Page:Convocation Addresses of the Universities of Bombay and Madras.djvu/605

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University of Madras.

has two sides: one side in the strength and intellect of manhood; the other in the tenderness and faith and submissiveness of womanhood. Man and woman, not man alone, make up human nature." Gentlemen, will you whose lips have tasted of the "new joy ineffable" of the feast of knowledge, keep the nectar and ambrosia of that feast selfishly to yourselves and not invite to join you at the board the other half of your humanity—your wives, your sisters and your daughters? Remember if you will not bid them to share that feast with you, if you leave them to stand without, humbled and unsatisfied, you must pay the penalty. The laws of our nature are inexorable. You cannot split humanity in two and expect to attain for yourselves moral and intellectual completeness. That which God hath joined together let no man put asunder. No people recognises more fully, I might say more beautifully, than your own, so far as the family is concerned, this truth, the mutual dependence of the sexes,—but as yet you have not recognised this union in knowledge and culture as necessary for your social well-being and moral advance. But so it is. It is a law which science more and more acknowledges. If in man were collected all the excellencies of our many-sided nature and women only possessed them in a lower degree, something might be said for that view. But it is not so. In woman this aptitude for the perfection of some of the qualities of our nature is stronger and capable of a higher development than our own. To these virtues, the distinctive virtues of womanhood, how much does the world not owe? To the influence of woman is due in no small measure the exercise of those gentler virtues which have become characteristic of the most progressive races on this planet. To woman are they indebted for much of that reasonable spirit of self-sacrifice and obedience which is rendering the social, nay, the political, progress of mankind possible. But assuming that this is not so—that woman is but "undeveloped man" and feebler intellectually and morally. Are you even so acting wisely in not educating her, in not strengthening her intellect, in not substituting principles on which to base right conduct for moral rules of thumb? It is the boast of the people of Madras that they of India's peoples have been the first to welcome the rays of this new gospel—for of the two hundred and fifty thousand girls who are under instruction in India one-third appertain to Madras although its population is but a sixth of the total population. But this progress is after all but the twilight which precedes the dawn. It rests with you, gentlemen, by requiring for, and affording to your women the highest instruction in knowledge, especially in those branches which chiefly concern their side of humanity, to make these