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Convocation addresses of the universities of Bombay and Madras online

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memory, but must solve its problems by their self-acting reason
alone. They will immediately find that they cannot succeed in
this, unless their observations are correct. And the necessity,
thus imposed upon them, of observing correctly, will remedy
some of the mental faults to which J have been alluding. MilPs
work on Logic prescribed for you by the University as a text-book,
has been regarded as a landmark in the progress of general
studies, and especially of scientific inquiry. Take up his chap-
ters on induction and causation. In this work on Political Eco-
nomy, read the opening chapter explaining* the origin of wealth.



100 University of Bombay*

the fundamental structure of society, and the principles on
which the science is based.

Follow up these principles in the economic works of the late
Professor Cairnes. Note the introductory part of Buckle's work
on Civilization, and observe the method of examining the circum-
stances which make history and mould the fate of nations. Study
especially the works of Sir Henry Maine, namely, Ancient Law,
Village Communities, and the Early History of Institutions; these
shew you the origin of rights, the foundation of law, the progress
of jurisprudence. All such works teach you how to reach the
pith, the kernel, the root of every matter. They are to several
branches of study what the protoplasm is to living substances.

The practical study of the physical sciences, being itself the
most cardinal instance of inductive reasoning, will eminently
conduce to the same object, and will supply to the Native mind,
as it were, that fibre and sinew, that solid strength, which it so
much needs. Take Whewell's history of the absorbing labours
of Newton j or the account of the German astronomer iSchwabe,
who day by day for thirty-one years watched for the recurring
spots in the sun ; or the story of Sir Humphrey Davy's enquiries
into the composition of water ; or Tyndall's narrative of Faraday's
experiments in electricity ; or Darwin's observations of the habits
of insectivorous and climbing plants ; and you will derive bene-
fit, not only from knowing the grand conclusions obtained from
their labours, but from noting the processes by which they
laboured.

As a preparation for such scientific study there is needed
that general culture, that gymnastic mental training (as it is
technically termed from physical analogy) which you have all
received.

The relative proportions which should be allotted in our
University curriculum to general learning and to physical
science have of late demanded, and will still demand, special
consideration.

Of the students in this University some will follow profes-
sions, such as the public service, for which general education
alone is needed ; others will follow professions, such as the
scientific branches, for which special education must be super-
added. Up to a certain point general education must be given
to both classes of students. But afterwards such education will
be prosecuted to the end of the College course by those who
live by the learned professions, while it will be relinquished by
those who are to live by the scientific professions, each one of



1878.- Sir Richard Temple. 101



whom must thenceforth devote himself to his particular science.
He must, therefore, not be unduly burdened with general educa-
tion, lest he should be prevented from learning, during his
Collegiate course, the science which is to be his means of liveli-
hood. There are but five years within which a young man
must learn all that is to be learnt at College for the purpose of
his profession. If he is to be a chemist or a botanist, or a
professor of art or science, or a medical man, or a forester, or a
civil engineer, he ought to have as large a part, as possible, of
the five years for acquiring his technical and special knowledge.
For all such cases endeavour has been, and will be, made to
lighten the weight of general education so as to give time and
opportunity for the scientific pursuits.

We rejoice to Bee so many promising students qualifying
themselves by general education for the public service, which
offers an ever-widening field to your reasonable ambition, and
in which you are likely to rise to higher spheres; for the judicial
bench where Natives acquit themselves so honourably, also for
the Native bar which is everywhere rising in repute and use-
fulness. But we hope that these professions may not become
overstocked. Though the danger of such over-crowding does
not seem to be so imminent here as elsewhere, yet even here it
exists. On this account, as well as for other reasons, we are
anxious that many of you should choose the other professions
which the sciences so abundantly offer. Looking to the vigor-
ous growth of European manufactures at this capital city and
at other places in the Presidency ; to the extension of railways ;
to the hydraulic engineering needed for works of irrigation ;
to the establishment of professional forestry ; to the increasing
demand for surgery and medicine ; to the incorporation of scien-
tific teaching in our national education ; looking to all these
things, we hope that students will be attracted more and more
in such directions. And the Senate and Syndicate of the
University will be moved from time to time to consider amend-
ments of the University standards of examination with this view.

I beg you to read the general evidence given in 1862 before
the Royal Commission on the Public Schools in England, by
such witnesses as Hooker, Faraday, Owen, Lyell, Acland, Car-
penter. They declared that scientific pursuits by themselves
afford an excellent general education, as training the mind to
habits of method, order, observation, and classification, and that
in the words of Faraday himself " the study of natural science
is a glorious school for the mind."



102 University of Bombay.



All the arts and sciences which, have helped to make Eng-
land what she is by land and by sea, which have contributed so
much to our national greatness and prosperity, these we are
offering to you without stint or reserve ; nay, more, we are
urging them upon you for your acceptance, in the hope that they
may do good to you as they have done to us. We hope, too,
that many of you will become imbued with artistic and aesthetic
ideas, and that some of you will follow art as a profession. India
must deplore the loss, during wars and revolutions, of so many of
those arts which flourished in the days when Asoka graved on
the rocks the edicts of duty; when the Buddhists hewed sacred
chambers out of the strata on the mountain sides ; when the
Brahmanists covered their fanes with carvings which seem to
make ancient races of men live again before our eyes; when the
Mahomedans reared the tall minarets for prayer, and the domes
in memory of the dead. You can hardly do better than fix your
gaze on the antique remains of your own national art, which
remains will hardly be surpassed by anything that European art
can teach you. But under the guidance of Sir Bartle Frere,
whom you so well remember as Chancellor of this University, an
artistic revival arose some years ago in Western India, a move-
ment which is worthily sustained by our School of Art and
Design at Bombay, and by the group of edifices where we are at
this moment standing.

Most of you must win knowledge for the purpose of fighting
. the battle of life, yet some of you may be able to

knovdedge. pursue knowledge for her own sake. You have
read Macaulay's stanzas, in which the goddess of
literature adjures him to love her for herself alone. You may
recall the passage in which Buckle declares that he who under-
takes to write history, must relinquish all other ambition, not
for him are the riches and the honours of the world. Remember
that the man who can compose a book that shall live, or enlarge
the bounds of human knowledge, or make a discovery in science,
or produce a valuable invention, is as great as the successful
statesman or warrior.

Though I refrain from dwelling upon poetry, its importance
is not forgotten by us. However successful our training may
be in other subjects, it is beyond our power to train you to be
poets. But we never cease to set before you the best examples
of English poetry : and, fortunately, the British natron is as
great in poetry as it is in sterner subjects. National poo&r? is in
some degree the outcome of the history and the condition of a
nation. Whether such poetry will arise in the India of to-day,



1878. Sw- Richard Temple. lt)3

we kesc; not. You will, doubtless, cherish affection for the
poetry 9? ancient India. If you consult the recent works of
Griffiths, of Talhoys Wheeler, of Monier Williams, you will
observe how greatly that poetry is admired by modern readers-
You will have seen how many of the finest verses of Tennyson
have sprung from contemplation of the British Empire. You
may claim a share in the pride inspired by the widespread
rule of the British Sovereign for whom so many Native soldiers
have fought and bled, and under whose colours the Native
armies are serving.

Lastly, whether hereafter you mix in the turmoil of active
life, or be immersed in business, or tread the hard paths of
practical science, you must not forget the moral philosophy you
have learnt in this University.

The pursuit of physical science, if undertaken with single-
ness of purpose and humility of spirit, leads us to
Physical sci- the contemplation of the first creative power, of

ence and uatur- TT . , \, -LAI- p a A ^

ai religiou. Him whom the ancient Arabians figured to them-

selves as the Causer of Causes, of that impassable
gulf which philosophers describe as separating the knowable
from the unknowable. It would be unjust to physical science to
regard it as hostile to natural religion. On the contrary, a strong
presumption in favour of religion is supplied by science. Equally
unjust would it be to science to regard it as failing to quicken
faith or to strengthen the moral sense. Few things can be more
ennobling to the soul of man than honest effort to penetrate the
mysteries of the material universe, and to understand the laws
ifhich the Creator has ordained for its existence. You probably
have read that some modern authors divide knowledge into two
main categories : one " humanistic," which may be broadly de-
scribed as literoe humaniores, metaphysical philosophy, assthetics,
law, history; the other "realistic," which may be broadly de-
scribed as mathematics and physical science. Ifc is to the human-
istic division that all the noblest flights of eloquence, the most
refined sentiments, the most exalted thoughts, have belonged
until recent times. But within this century passages of consum-
mate eloquence, of the purest beauty, are to be found in the
writings of realistic authors. Take some of the finest or grand-
est passages by modern humanistic authors with whom you are
acquainted, say those of Burke, Canning, Coleridge, Macaulay,
Husk in. Buckle. Then on comparison you will find very fine and
grand passages by realistic authors, say Lyell, Brewster, Her-
fichel, Tyndall, Balfour-Stewart, Josiah Cooke.

All these studies will raise your thoughts towards principles



104 University of Bombay-

which can be felt by faith, though they cannot be proved by
our finite senses ; towards glories not to be beheld by the eye of
man, and harmonies not to be heard by mortal ear. Fix your
hopes on that better life in the future which is beyond this poor
troublous sinful existence of ours here below ; remembering
that " the things which are seen are temporal, but the things
which are not seen are eternal."



EIGHTEENTH CONVOCATION.

(By THE HONORABLE J. GIBBS, C.S.I., F.R.G.S.)

[An address was read by the Dean of the Faculty of Arts
to the Vice- Chancellor, the Honorable Mr. Gibbs, expressing the
deep sense of the obligations he had laid the University of
Bombay under by the valuable services he had rendered it dur-
ing his nine years' tenure of office as Vice- Chancellor.]

Mr. Dean, and Gentlemen of the Senate, It would be
affectation on my part if I were to begin without admitting the
great gratification with which I have listened to this Address,
and thanking you most cordially for the indulgent spirit in
which you have been pleased to review my action during the
lengthened period I have had the honor of holding the office of
Vice-Chancellor of this University, a period which will ever
form one of the most cherished recollections of my long sojourn
in this Presidency, and for the kindly terms in which you have
given expression to the judgment you have formed. I have
listened to the Address with the greater pleasure, because,
although I do not delude myself with the idea that I deserve all
you have said about me, for I cannot but acknowledge, as I
review the years of my Vice-Chancellorship, that I have in many
things fallen short of what I might and perhaps ought to have
done, yet I recognise in the broad principles, for my fidelity to
which you are pleased to praise me, principles to which it has
been at least my constant aim to adhere. Your appreciation of
my services would in any case have been exceedingly gratifying,
but the terms in which you have been pleased to express that
appreciation is evidence that, in spite of my many shortcomings
and imperfections, I have been able to some extent to be of
service to the University. It was not without diffidence that



1579. The HorwraUe J. Oibba. 105

I accepted at the hands of Sir Seymour Fitzgerald an office
which had been filled by such eminent men as Sir Alexander
Grant and Dr. John Wilson, to mime only my two immediate
predecessors. The former of these brought not only the
resources of scholarship which had won for him high honour in
his own venerable Alma Mater, but a grasp of educational doc-
trine and practice which was of the greatest value in laying
the broad and deep foundation of our system, and which had
found an appropriate recognition in his elevation to the highest
post in the Educational Department of this Presidency. While
of the latter, who looked on his appointment of Vice-Chancellor
as his most cherished distinction, it may be said that he brought
to the performance of his duties a most intimate knowledge
of India and its people, a life-long experience in the cause
of education, and a keen and catholic interest in all branches
of knowledge, combined with a sympathy broad as the Uni-
versity itself with all the many races whom we desire to attract
to our portals. To follow such men without a feeling of
diffidence at the thought that I should be judged by the high
standard to which they had accustomed the public mind, would
have argued presumption on my part ; but I was encouraged to
think that the principles they had laid down would prove a sure
foundation on which to raise the superstructure, while a pretty
long experience in the public service would, I ventured to hope,
give me some special qualification for the duty.

It has been my privilege to preside over the meetings of the
Syndicate and Senate for a longer period than has fallen to the
lot of any previous Vice-Chancellor, and it is with peculiar satis-
faction that I learn from you, Sir, that the spirit in which
I have endeavoured to discharge this and other functions apper-
taining to my office has commended itself to my colleagues on
the Syndicate and to the body of the University. With you I
am glad to believe that the progress o the University has been
satisfactory during the period 1 have presided over its counsels.
On that point I hope to touch in detail presently. In the mean-
time I cannot do better than borrow the language of this
Address, if you will first permit me briefly to make some
adequate recognition of other services to the University which
have had no small share in contributing to this success. For I
could not omit this opportunity of putting on record my high
sense of what the University of Bombay owes to the unbou^hb
exertion of the Syndicate. On this point 1 fully concur with
what Sir Bar tie Frere said in his farewell address at the Convo-
cation for 1867, when, after pointing out that " ib is a noteworthy
U



106 University of Bombay.

circumstance that this University stands almost alone among the
great institutions of this country, as managed by the unbought
exertions of those who direct its action" ; expresses his strong
conviction and that of his colleagues in the Government, "that
here, as in every part of the world, men will serve their fellow-
men truly and laboriously for honour, for love, and for con-
science sake," and thanks them " for teaching this among other
truths that great service may be done the State, though it be not
paid for in money." Nor can I refrain from noticing the care
and discrimination with which the Senate has justified the
wisdom of the arrangement which made the choice of the execu-
tive body devolve on it. With these additions then, Sir, I say
confidently, in the language of this Address, that the practical
working of our University has been made more systematic and
efficient, the purposes of its executive, gaining in precision and
persistence, have exercised a wider and deeper influence on the
Colleges and Schools of Western India, the teaching of these
Institutions has been moulded to greater symmetry and thorough-
ness, the beneficial influence of the University has been felt
through every grade of the educational scale ; and with you I
rejoice to see the fruit of our labours in the replenishment
of society with intelligent and cultivated representatives, both
of the ancient learning and of the last won conquests of modern
thought.

For my share in the work that has been done your gratitude
would have been ample reward. I have a warm appreciation of
the kindness which has prompted this expression of your grati-
tude in a form which I cannot but consider as in itself a high
distinction, and I have peculiar pleasure in the thought that your
regard and that of other friends outside the University, may be
permanently commemorated in the way which of all others is the
most gratifying to me personally, by the addition to the Univer-
sity of a collection of books and a Library endowment fund,
which I am confident will prove no small accession to its means
of usefulness.

On the first occasion of my addressing the Senate as Yice-
Chancellor, so far back as 1871, I reviewed the
results of the previous ten years of the University,
and showed the progress it had made in the number
of its graduates, the wealth of its Endowments, and its influence
on the progress of High Education in the Presidency. I think I
cannot now, at the close of my Vice-Chancellorship, do better than
pass in review the results of the nine years which, have elapsed



1879. The Honorable J. Gibbs. 107

since my appointment to that high office, and thus as it were givr
you an account of the stewardship which has been confided to the
Syndicate over which I have presided for that period. It appears
that while for the first ten years up to 1871, 176 degrees were
conferred ; in the eig'nt following, including the present Convoca-
tion, the roll of graduates has increased to 571, while the total
number of students who presented themselves for the Matricula-
tion have increased from 4,567 to 12,931, and those who succeeded
in passing that test from 1,227 to 3,565. While the B. A. degree
has been progressing in a satisfactory manner, the scientific
degrees of L.M. & S., M.D., and L.C.E. have increased in a
greater proportion. I think this is a fact on which the Univer-
sity may well congratulate itself, as it shows that a large
number of the young men of the present generation are
educating themselves for the purpose of gaining a professional
livelihood. It further shows, from the results oE the Matricula-
tion, that the University has maintained that high standard for its
entrance which has distinguished it from the beginning from its
sister Universities. It will be seen that while in the first ten
years the ratio of successful students was about one-fourth, the
same proportion has been maintained during the succeeding
eight years. Oar great object has been to prevent in the first
place Matriculation and afterwards the attainment of degrees,
being made too easy. We have preferred a few comparatively
highly trained men to a multitude of an inferior quality. I
trust that when another decade draws to a close, when one of
my successors may have to submit a similar review, that the
results may be, especially as to the standards, equally satis-
factory.

In 1870 the University was in the possession of Courses of
Study and Regulations for Graduations in the
St?idy! S6S various Faculties, over the elaboration of which

much thought had been spent, and which had
stood the test of experience on the whole very satisfactorily.
But it need cause no surprise that as time went on some
modifications suggested themselves, and no small part of the
attention of the G-overning Body has during the last five years
been directed towards the task of removing inconsistencies,
adapting our courses of study more and more to the surrounding
circumstances, and giving fuller recognition to the great
advances that have been made in recent times in certain
branches of knowledge. Chief among the changes to which I
refer have been the modifications introduced, on the recom-
mendation of a Committee presided over by Mr. Justice West,



108 University of Bombay.

into the course of the degree of Bachelor of Arts. There are
special rensons why the curriculum for that degree should be
I do not say more important but a matter of great anxiety and
debate than the courses in the professional faculties of Medicine,
Law, and Civil Engineering, in which the question as to what
ought ro be demanded of the student finds an easy solution in
the reference that can, be made to the standard of professional
knowledge of the day. The Faculty of Arts has a different and
more difficult task to discharge in laying down such course or
courses of study as shall best conduce to the special end it has
in view, that of securing by more direct means the general
cultivation of the mind. In the main principle which guided
the deliberations of this Committee, that of the desirableness
of permitting in the later stages of a student's career and after
having taken guarantees for a certain basis of general culture
considerable latitude in the courses of study open to him I
cordially concurred. We have not closed the door to those who
may still wish to take their B.A. degree a range corresponding
to the width of the old curriculum, though to do so effectively
is a difficult task for the student in days like ours when
knowledge has lengthened her stakes and stretched her borders
on all sides. It is not, however, the business of the University
to make that which is difficult impossible. But the majority
of students, it is to be expected, will avail themselves of the
permission accorded to them to specialise to a greater or less
extent their studies after they have passed the First Examina-
tion in Arts. We have not as yet gone so far in this direction
as other Universities. To three subjects we still attach an
exceptional degree of importance, inasmuch as without a
knowledge of English, one of the languages which we techni-
cally call classical, and Mathematics, it is impossible for any
student to obtain the Degree of Bachelor of Arts. English it
will always be necessary to retain on this list. But I think it
deserves the anxious consideration of the Senate and Syndicate
whether it may not eventually be advisable to extend the
principle of specialisation further by permitting a candidate to
go up in any one of the five branches of knowledge which at
present constitute our optional subjects for the B.A. To a
further though yet future development of this principle of
specialisation I may perhaps be permitted to allude for a
moment. Moved by His Excellency the Chancellor, whose
interest in all that concerns our welfare deserves our grateful
acknowledgment, the Syndicate are at present discussing a
scheme for giving the Physical and Experimental Sciences in
our Courses of Study a more distinct plaice. These sciences



1879. The Honorable J. Gibbs. 100

deal with subjects of an interest inferior to none. Their value
as educational instruments has always been recognised in this
University. But there have been practical difficulties in the
way of giving them that full recognition which we all admit to



Online LibraryK Subba RauConvocation addresses of the universities of Bombay and Madras → online text (page 12 of 66)