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1869. Sir W. R. S. V. Fitzgerald. 45

There is another fact to which I would draw attention, in which
I myself take particular interest, and that is that
^is year we have admitted to a degree in engineer-
ing, for engineering acquirements, a member of the
Poona Engineering College. Last year I ventured to impress
on the young members of this University and I desire to impress
it upon them again that there is no career which will more
certainly ena,ble them to be of use to their country no career
in which it is more certain that they will attain honour and
distinction than that of civil engineering. At present, unfor-
tunately, among those who conduct the engineering works in
this country, there are not many who are natives; but I would
remind you that you live in a country which is studded with
the remains of the most magnificent architecture that you
live in a country where there are the remains of vast works of
irrigation and works of public utility that these were carried on
by your forefathers long before they had the advantage of thab
education which is now vouchsafed to you; and I ask you, will
you not advance in the same course, will you not avail yourselves
of the opportunities that are offered to you, and thus qualify
yourselves for entering into the service of the State, which is
bent upon promoting, as far as its means will allow, all those
works that shall increase the wealth, the happiness, and the
prosperity of the country ? Mr. Vice-Chancellor, you have
referred to a munificent act on the part of a distin-
ac munificent guished member of our Senate. Those who know
him and who know his family will, I am sure,
not be surprised that he has again come forward to extend this
munificent liberality to the University : and I feel I should be
wanting in my duty, Mr. Sassoon, if I did not publicly tender
to you my acknowledgments on behalf of the University. In
Services of ^e course ^ vour report, Mr. Registrar, you refer-
Sir Alexander red to the services of Sir Alexander Grant. I am
Grant - sure that there is no friend of the University, that

there is no friend of the youth of this country, that there is no
friend of India, who will not feel that we sustained a very great
loss by the retiring of Sir Alexander Grant. He has returned
home to undertake new duties, and in them I do not doubfc lie
will earn for himself as much distinction as he earned here in
India in the cause of education ; and I am sure that ifc will be
a gratification, to every friend of this University to know that,
although removed far from us, although he has now to take
charge of another academic institution, he yet continues to feel
the deepest interest in all that concerns education in this country,
and iu this University in particular, and that I have reason to know



46 University of Bombay.

that lie is exertiog all the influence lie possesses to encourage
the Government at home to lend that fostering aid to the educa-
tional cause in this country which, during his residence here,
he never failed to impress upon every one around him. I
do not know, Mr. Vice-Chancellor, that there is much more in
the report for me to notice ; but I would desire to say that I, for
my part, am equally desirous to give encouragement to the
youth of this University, and I propose, Sir, with your permis-
sion, in future years to give a gold medal, for which an examin-

ation shall be held under such rules and regula-
tor's Medal! tion . s as y u and tne Senate may deem fit, only

hoping that, as at the Universities at home the
Chancellor's Medal is considered about the highest honour the
graduates of the University can obtain, so in this University like-
wise, not only during my time, but during the time of those who
succeed me, the obtaining of the Chancellor's Medal may be an
object of ambition to every junior member of this University.

And now let me say one word to the younger members of

this University. I have tried to impress upon you

University life, ^he importance of one particular branch of studv

its influence ana . ... * TT . .. I.TI ,T T

its end. iu this University; but 1 beg even those who are

not intending to pursue this particular study I
beg you to consider what are the duties that being members of
the University imposes upon you. I would have you to regard
the University not merely as an institution where you can obtain
knowledge and distinction. Believe me, University life has a
higher influence and higher ends. Knowledge is not only power,
but knowledge produces refinement of mind and feeling. It is
impossible to become acquainted with all that is great and noble
amongst the great men whose works you will study, who being
dead yet speak it is impossible for you to become acquainted
with what is great and refining in literature, without also being
raised in tone of character, and coming to feel what is great,
what is noble in heart. And I would have you to cherish the
honour and the reputation of your University. Those who are
around me who are acquainted with what the effects of academic
life are at home, those who have had the advantage of acadmic
education, know that wherever they may meet, in whatever
clime they may be brought together, the members of a Univer-
sity at once sympathize with each other. They have a pride in
the distinction earned by those with whom they have been at
the University, and long after they have left the University there
remains a noble rivalry in the after-pursuits of life, which is the
best and highest stimulus to exert/ion. And I would have



1870. Rev. John Wilson. 47

you all feel the same. It is not only in the words I addressed
to each one of those who received at ray hands a degree this
day it is not only that they are in their life and conversation
to be worthy of the distinction that they have now earned, but
I would ask you, in the interests of the University, in the pride
you take in her, continue the same desire to learn distinction:
and I pray that your after-life may reflect lustre, may reflect
credit, on the University with which you are connected. I ask
you all to join with me in wishing " Floreat Academia."



NINTH CONVOCATION.

(BY REV. JOHN WILSON, D.D., F.R.S.)

Gentlemen of the Senate, I am sure we all deeply regret the
absence on this occasion of our Governor, the Right Honourable
Sir Seymour Fitzgerald, our Chancellor. The deep interest
which His Excellency takes in the prosperity of the University;
his ready, eloquent, and effective advocacy of its claims; and the
encouragement which he gives to it in various ways, we most
highly appreciate. We all deeply sympathise with the object of
his absence, that of welcoming, along with our distinguished

Viceroy, the Earl Mayo, and the other magnates
th^i) ? 6 *? ^ tn * s l ' ea k country, the second son of our most
Connaught. Gracious and Illustrious Queen Victoria to the

shores of India. We ourselves (I venture to speak
not only for this large assembly, but for the whole of ths
West of India) most cordially join in that welcome. We, the
dwellers on " Cambay's strand/' unite our most cordial felicita-
tions with those of our fellow-subjects sojourning near "Ganges'
golden wave " on the arrival, in this distant land, of our Sailor
Prince, who is gracefully carrying the expression of the imperial
and personal interest of her Majesty in all her subjects to the
remotest places of the globe. We go further than this, and
humbly bog His Royal Highness to spare as much time as he
conveniently can for this most populous and rapidly growing
city, with its numerous and diversified tribes and tongues con-
gregated together, with its capacious and beautiful harbour,
with a commerce the most valuable of the " Greater Britain/'
needing the protection of the Royal Navy, with most curious
and instructive antiquities within easy reach, some of which
extend back beyond the Christian era, and with the most pic-
turesque and sublime scenery in its neighbouring isles, hills, and
mountains.



48 University of Bombay.

Before making a few general remarks on our University and
its varied studies, and the prospects of education in
Examfnations f In&ia,, especially in its higher departments, I shall
briefly advert to the report which has now been
read, by order of the Syndicate, by our valued Registrar, Mr.
Taylor. That report, generally speaking, we must all feel to be
satisfactory and even gratifying. The only qualification which
some may be disposed to make of this remark may have refer-
ence to the results of one or two of the examinations held this
season, which have not altogether come up to our expectations.
It has certainly been a disappointment, for example, to the public
as well as to ourselves that, of 803 candidates who presented
themselves for Matriculation, only 1 42 have successfully passed
the examination, while of 600 candidates last year, 250 passed;
and that of 100 undergraduates who presented themselves at the
First Examination in Arts, only 34 have passed this year, while
of 77 candidates last year, 40 passed. I am not prepared to say
or insinuate in this place, that any fault exists in any quarter in
connection with these results. Possibly the great body of the
candidates who appeared for trial were on no reasonable expect-
ancy fit for entrance into the University. Possibly some incidental
errors of system may have been made by some of the examiners
(competent and conscientious though they assuredly are) either
in constructing their questions or assigning their marks. The
time allotted for answering each paper is only three hours, and
demands should not be made in excess of this time. Candidates
are entitled to the benefit of each of their answers in so far as
they are correct, while deductions, of course, are to be made for
errors and defects. Possibly the instructions given to the
examiners by the Syndicate should be extended, or a conference
of certain classes of examiners held, as of those both in the first
and second languages, before the questions to be given are print-
ed, and before the results of examination are declared. Trans-
lations made from English into the Oriental languages, and from
the Oriental languages into English, are certainly a test of the
knowledge of English, as well as are the questions put and
answered only in English. Our most satisfactory examination in
Arts this year was that for the degree of B.A., at which 20 of 46
candidates passed. The other examinations do not require any
special remark. The public, I think, may have confidence, from
the very strictness practised, in the proficiency of our graduates,
to whatever faculty they belong. I distinctly see, both from the
feeling which I observe among students and the improving ap-
pearances Of the colleges, a great increase of graduates in Medi-
cine, Law, and Civil Engineering, who doubtless will promptly



1870. Rev. John Wilson. 49

obtain employment and remuneration for the services which they
may render to Government or the community.

All our prizes and scholarships, we have reason to believe,

have been salutary stimulants of study and exertion
Scholarships"* 1 during the past year, a circumstance which must

be pleasing to their liberal founders. The essay
which gained the Manockjee Limjee Gold Medal for 1868 is a
very creditable production. Though it is not an object with
our University to give instruction in the more mechanical of
the fine arts, for which we have in Bombay a separate school,
founded and endowed by the Jamsetjee family, we have given
encouragement to the study of architecture, in connection with
engineering, bj r prescribing the subject of this essay. We have
done this, remembering the architectural achievements of India
in past ages, and that still

" ingenuas didicisse fideliter artes

Emollit mores, nee sinit ease feros."

The physical geography of India, viewed in connection with
its history, the subject of the essay for 1869, belongs to our
course of instruction. Our Sanskrit scholarships, endowed by
Mr. Bhagawandas Purushottamdas, and by Mr. Vinayakrao
Jagannath Shankarshet, and our Latin scholarship endowed by
Cowasji Jehangier Keadymoney, c.s.i., have proved to be very,
useful. So, doubtless, will be the prize in books established
through the liberality of one of our European Fellows, the
Honourable Mr. Ellis, who will be long remembered in the Bom-
bay Presidency as a wise, faithful, and efficient administrator, and
as the first successful advocate of an educational cess for this
country.

The Sassoou endowment for a Hebrew scholarship was
noticed at last Convocation. The regulations formed for that
scholarship will, we hope, encourage the study of a most ancient
language, on the highest grounds of undying importance.

Most gratifying to all our feelings is the commemoration
through this University of the late Mr. James J. Berkley, one of
our first Fellows. Looking to the Sahyddri Mountains (literally,
the " Kange of Difficulty " ) in oar neighbourhood, with the
courageous eye of true practical science, he determined to do
his best to carry over them a pathway for our steam-car-
riages, acting perseveringly on the determined resolution,

" Inveniam viam ant faciam."

His efforts, through the aid of Providence, were crowned with
the success which we all appreciate; and we now surmount,
what at one time were the almost unpassable barrier-walls of
7



50 University of Bombay.

the Dakhan, in about an hour and a quarter, luxuriously seated
in fleet conveyances, with nothing to do by ourselves but to look
out from the windows of our convenient apartments, and admire
in our ascent the sublimities of height added to height, and
depth added to depth, and clothed with all the diversified vege-
table drapery of the tropics. It is pleasing to remember the
delight which Mr. Berkley took in the work of himself and his
able associates as it advanced; and how eloquently and forcibly
he descanted upon it in this hall before the Mechanics 3 Institu-
tion, of which he was the president and ornament, and before the
public of Bombay,

With respect for the judicious liberality of the Chiefs of
Junagadh and Navdnagar, and with tender interest in the loss
of the young but promising and brave officers Hebberb and
LaTouche, who fell at the Tobar Hill, we must contemplate the
endowment which their Highnesses have offered and we have
accepted.

I hope that the regulations, now due, for the Gold Medal in
Law, commemorative of the late Honourable Mr. Justice Forbes,
one of the most accomplished members of our Civil Service, and
the ingenious, inquisitive, and successful historian of Gujarat,
who has done for that interesting and important province what
Colonel Todd has done for Rajput-ana, will soon be submitted to
the Senate.

Since I came into this room there has been put into my hands
a gold medal denominated the Chancellor's Medal, and presented
to us by Sir Seymour Fitzgerald. It is a very beautiful and
massive medal, and reflects much credit on the Bombay Mint,
where it was executed. I am sure it will be highly appreciated
by the youth of this University, and I hope that when we meet
here next year, the Chancellor himself will have it in his power
to put into the hands of some successful student this token of his
high regard for this University.

To advert now to more general matters connected with our

University : I would say that the list of our

Fellows and Fellows represents every class of the community,

tions. qUE European and Native, able to do it service, includ-

ing, besides those appointed jure dignitatis,

gentlemen of University culture and training; of intimate

acquaintance with the Oriental languages, manners, and customs ;

of legal, scientific, medical and engineering skill and experience ;

of special influence in large sections of the native community;

of generous liberality to the University as an institution ; of

qualification as examiners of our entrants and candidates for



1870. Rev. John Wilson. 51

degrees ; and of marked success in our own graduation, or of
local academical distinction before this University was formed.
Now, when we have obtained such an extended constituency as
tli at which we possess, the annual appointments to the Senate
ni'i'd not perhaps be so large as they have been for some years
past. It is a great mistake to appoint to our Fellowship gentle-
men, whether Natives or Europeans, for the mere enhancement
of their social position in the community.

Our bye-laws regulating our curriculum of study have been
very carefully framed, and should not be interfered
of sSEes Culum with without much deliberate consideration, and
without being subjected to the test of experience.
I think that for our Matriculation Examination the prescription
of a course of reading in general history in one or other of
our most approved authors (as Fraser-Tytler, Dr. Schmitz,
Dr. Taylor, and Dr. White) would be better, because mora
comprehensive and generalized, than the prescription by the
Syndicate of the four select histories of Greece, Rome, England,
and India, now in use. To this general history I think we
should add, under the heading of " General Knowledge," some
elementary knowledge of the classification of animals, and of
the geological formations revealed in the crust of the earth.
Dr. Oldham, the able and enterprising head of the Geological
Survey of India, has justly complained to the Government of
India of the want of even the most rudimental knowledge of
natural history on the part of many who might otherwise find
employment connected with that survey, profitable both to
themselves and the State. Independently of the improvement
of their observational powers, our young men, by such a study
of the works of God as I now venture to recommend, would
confer great advantages on their native land. We may be
assured that the mineral resources of India will not be fully
discovered and brought to light till the .sons of India themselves
receive at least such an amount of elementary instruction as that
at which I have just hinted. I may venture to say, from
personal knowledge, that His Excellency the Viceroy feels much
interest in this matter, as he does in everything likely to call
forth the natural resources of this great and marvellous country.

After our next examinations no cognizance, according to

Vernacular our P resent bye-laws, will be taken of the vernacu :

versus Classical lar languages of India in connection with our

higher examinations. In common with some of

our best linguists and educationists, European and Native, I

personally regret this circumstance, though I cordially rejoice in



62 University of Bombay-

tile signal success which has attended our introduction and
extended use of the classical languages both of the West and of
the East. Of these classical languages the best for style, and
the simple, chaste, and appropriate expression of thought, are
the Latin and Greek; the best for philological science and
research is the Sanskrit; the best (as an ancient tongue) for
elevation and sublimity, the Hebrew, with its cognates; and the
best for richness, power and delicacy, and universality of appli-
cation, the English, drawn from many sources. We deliberately
include the English among the classical languages. Jacolj
Grimm has justly pronounced it one of the most noble ever used
for human utterance. It contains wonderful and undying
creations and compositions, such as those of our Shakespeare and
Milton, which will be read and studied to the ends of the earth.
I much regret that we have not yet included the
Ian a ^ ersian Persian in the list of our prescribed classical lan-
guages. The proposal to put it in this position
was lost in the Senate only by a single vote ; and it may be yet
renewed with the prospect of success, as some who voted against
it are prepared to withdraw from it their opposition. Let all
dubitants in this case listen to what Max Muller says of th<J
Persian: "As to Persian; this was long the language of the
most civilized and most advanced nation in Asia. In the first
centuries of the Islam, Persians were the teachers of Arabs, and
among the early Arabic authors many names are found of
Persian origin. Persian literature again was the only source
whence, in the East, a taste for the more refined branches of
poetry could be satisfied, whether through originals or by the
medium of translations. In fact, Persian was for a long time
the French of Asia, and it is still used there as the language of
diplomatic correspondence. Hence many terms connected with
literary subjects, or referring to other occupations of a society
more advanced in civilization are of Persian, i,e., of Arian, origin."
To this it has to be added, that the principal Muhammadan
histories of India are in Persian ; and that many Persian words
are found in the Urdu, Kurdish, Turkish, and other Caucasian
languages. It affords abundant scope for study, from the
grand epic of Firdausi of the commencement of the eleventh
century down to the latest authors of Ispahan and Teheran.
It is through it that we have to arrive at the definite meaning
of many Zend and Pehlvi words still but imperfectly understood.

Of our professional studies, legal, medical, and engineering,
Professional modifications founded on experience will doubt-
Studies. } egs require from time to time to be made. A



1870. Rev. John Wilson. 53

new degree in Law, that of Licentiate in Law, has been
asked by some of our undergraduates. It will, I presume, be
the duty of the Faculty of Law to advise us, in the first instance
at least, as to the disposal of this application. I hope that the
Faculty of Civil Engineering will receive important accessions
by the introduction into it of the eminent professional gentle-
men just nominated members of our Senate by His Excellency
the Governor in Council.

I would now, in conclusion, say a word on the progress of
the higher education in Western India, during the
o forty-one years that I have been connected with
this country, I may say that I witnessed its com-
mencement, for when I arrived in this place there
were only about eighty native boys learning the rudiments of
English in the Native Education Society's school patronized by
Government, and about the same number in private seminaries
in the town and island. I remember hearing the gallant, gener-
ous, brave and learned soldier, and accomplished and successful
political officer, Sir John Malcolm, encouraging the native gen-
tlemen to persevere in the work thus feebly begun, that there
might be a constituency for the Elphinstone Professors, selected
from home, when they might arrive. I remember welcoming to
Bombay the first Elphinstone professor, Dr. John Harkness, who
was among my own fellow-students and friends at the University
of Edinburgh, as were Mr. Eisdale, the first academical instruc-
tor in English and the Western sciences in Puna, and Dr. More-
head, the first Principal of our Grant Medical College. At his
first lecture, which was an excellent one, Dr. Harkness had
present, with others, only some half dozen of students, a couple
of whom were lent to him for the occasion from the Mission
Institution which I myself had before this been instrumental in
founding. The original supply of students for the higher or
Collegiate Department of the Elphinstone, or Government Insti-
tution, was principally the production of two most accomplished
and devoted teachers from Scotland, Messrs. Bell and Hender-
son, afterwards constituted professors, and of whose success in
teaching, united with that of Dr. Harkness and Mr. Orlebar, a
Mathematical professor from Oxford, such men as Dr. Bhau Daji
and Messrs, Dadoba Pandurang and Vinayak Vasudeva are the
monuments, as Professor Keru Lakshuman Chhatre, one of the
most accomplished and advanced Mathematicians in India, is of
Mr. Eisdale's work at Puna, For what has followed all this,
both in this presidency and the neighbouring States, by the
multiplication of most able Collegiate instructors, I refer you,



54 University of Bombay.

gentlemen of the Senate, to the Reports of the late Board of
Education, and of the Director of Public Instruction, to the
Reports of the various Missionary Institutions and Educational
societies, and to our own Calendars. Due preparation was made
for the University ; and the University has given a* great im-
pulse to the higher education in all our provinces. It has done
more than this, It has introduced a great improvement in the
quality of that education. The books prescribed embrace the



Online LibraryK Subba RauConvocation addresses of the universities of Bombay and Madras → online text (page 6 of 66)