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you. I know not how many of you may become great, but I feel sure that all of you may make yourselves good and happy.
THE QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY IN IRELAND.
SPEECH OF THE EARL OF CARLISLE ON CONFERRING DEGREES, ETC.
[OCTOBER 3RD, 1857.]
MR. VICE-CHANCELLOR, AND GENTLEMEN,
AM extremely glad, not only to have again, in this place, the opportunity of meeting the Authorities and Professors of the Queen's University, and the youthful candidates for its Degrees and Honors, but also, at the same time, to be able to congratulate them all upon the circumstances which attend the present period of the annual examinations. It appears from the list before us, as well as from the interesting and lucid statement of your distinguished Vice-Chancellor, that the number of successful candidates has on this occasion culminated to a higher point than it has ever yet reached, and double that of last year. It appears, further, that out of seventy candidates, there have been only five rejections; and I apprehend that any one who will take the trouble to make himself acquainted with the examination papers, and the literary and intellectual tests that have been applied, will be amply satisfied that this increase in the number of successful candidates, and this paucity in the rejection of insufficient candidates, have been in no respect caused by any lowering of the standard of proficiency and success. I am tempted also to observe-what might not be so obvious at first sight-that even the amount of success as well as of attendance at these annual examinations do not in themselves afford an accurate measure of the success of the College education itself. I am informed that there are many instances in which the education in the Colleges enables the students to obtain employment which forces them to leave part of their academical career unfinished. One of them, for instance, from the Queen's College at Galway, would have been here to-day, had he not just obtained at a competitive examination the post of master of an agricultural school, with an annual salary of £120. Another, from the same College, has just been
appointed usher to the great school of science at Dungannon. Why have we not here to-day Mr. Devereux, Mr. Bartley, and Mr. Smith? Why, because at the recent examinations for the Civil Service of the East India Company, they have respectively obtained first, and fourth, and tenth places in that distinguished list. And when we remember that the prizes at this Indian Examination are of so high a character as to draw the foremost men from all the Universities of the empire, I think any one who is interested in the character and credit of the Queen's Colleges in Ireland will feel no slight satisfaction that, whereas in former years two of those appointments were carried off by Cork, and one by Galway, in the present year three of them have fallen to Belfast. I am tempted, by the mention of that place, to remind my young friends now here who come from it, that we must look to them as called upon in some measure to redeem, as well as to adorn, that celebrated and thriving community. It is very painful to find in these modern days of enlightenment and progress-I might add, in these days of national emergency and stern pressure-an advanced and polite city like Belfast disfigured by unseemly exhibitions of religious discord and-if such a violent contradiction of terms may be allowed-of religions hatred. We have heard, indeed, Belfast occasionally termed the Northern Athens: I hope the future career of some whom I now see before me, will do much to justify, and secure, and perpetuate that title; but if we were only to give attention to some of the statements we have been lately perusing of the bitter strife and contention amongst those who ought to live as brothers, it would make us think that we were reading not so much the annals of Athens as of Thebes. One further reflection I may indulge in, feeling that it is suggested by the special sphere of action to which some of your late associates are on the point of being called, and whither, I hope, some more among you will follow them,-I mean the Civil Service of India. Other associations, alas! are now mingled with that name besides those of peaceful duties quietly performed, and substantial fortunes comfortably amassed. All who are now sent to that stirring theatre- whatever may be the precise character of their mission-must be prepared for hardship, for danger, for much patient endurance-possibly for high, strong courage-at all events, for sustained and strenuous exertion. In the great drama of Indian re-conquest every one must play his allotted part to the top of his bent; and I fervently hope that, among the honourable and enduring successes of the Queen's
Colleges in Ireland, it may come to be recorded of them that the young men whom they shall have trained for the business of active life have borne a conspicuous and distinguished part in the great imperial task which now devolves upon us as a people, of restoring upon a firmer, a purer, a nobler basis than it ever yet rested on, the hold of civilized and Christian England upon the regained millions of India.
THE QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY.
CONFERRING DEGREES, ETC.
[OCTOBER 14TH, 1859.]
HEN the conferring of Degrees and Honors had concluded, the
MAY IT PLEASE YOUR EXCELLENCY,
It has already, on three or four occasions, been our fortunate privilege to be thus honoured by your attendance at our annual meetings, while filling the office of Her Majesty's representative. We feel that it is of no small advantage to have once more associated with us, if I may venture on the expression, in the person of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland— the early, long-tried, consistent friend and advocate of civil and religious liberty-the supporter of every institution founded for the benefit of our country, and the amelioration of the condition of her people, physically and intellectually. It is a presence to us full of encouragement and hope; it justifies the past, it graces the present, it heralds the future; and in that future we have an abiding confidence that our progress will advance with the advancing prosperity of the country, and will continue to receive, as we think it has hitherto done, the approval and good wishes of all who, like your Excellency, manifest their attachment to the great national principles of united education.
The EARL OF CARLISLE replied:
MR. VICE-CHANCELLOR AND GENTLEMEN,
I rise, with your permission, to return a few words of thanks for the honour you have so courteously awarded me. The Vice-Chancellor of the
Queen's University laid before this assembly, with his usual clearness and precision, all that pertains to the present circumstances and actual condition of the institution in which he holds so eminent a post. Into that branch of the subject, accordingly, I may congratulate both the meeting and myself that I am not required to follow him. In meeting once more, on this well-remembered spot, this annual congress of the Queen's Colleges in Ireland, after a very short break of continuity, during which, all will gratefully acknowledge, your academic institutions reposed under no unfriendly auspices in this island, it is certainly very gratifying that I should learn from so authentic a source that nothing has occurred in the history of the Colleges of a retrograde or unfavourable character, but that the intervening period has been marked by features of distinction and hopefulness. I infer, indeed, on this occasion, that there are two causes— one of a more local, and it may be transient, the other of a more general and inherent character-which may be considered to have operated against a fuller attendance of competitors for the prizes and honors which it has been my pleasing duty to award to the successful candidates. The general cause to which I refer has been fully pointed out by the Vice-Chancellor,-the absence of a sufficient number of the intermediate or middle-class schools, to act as feeders or tributaries to the respective Colleges. This want is both recognised and appreciated by the Government, and the subject is now engaging their serious attention. It is not, however, without difficulties both intrinsic and imported. The more local, and as yet at least partial cause is one which I mention neither with a view on this occasion to the expression of praise or blame, of sympathy or misgiving, but as a matter of positive fact. We have been credibly assured, several young men, who would otherwise have been here from the College at Belfast as competitors for our Honors and Degrees, have been diverted from their purpose by the engrossing interest excited by what is generally termed the Revival in the North of Ireland. This is an incident worthy of being considered with that cautious and reverent watchfulness which is eminently due to the whole subject. If, however, there should appear to be temporary deficiency in the number of candidates for the Degrees, I am happy to find that there has been an increase in the total number of students in actual attendance on their collegiate studies, amounting, I believe, at present, to very few short of five hundred; and I apprehend that nothing can be more satisfactory than the quality of the instruc
tion imparted, the high and deserved eminence of the respective professors, the elevated standard of the examinations as conducted in this place; and the practical results exhibited at the competitive ordeals for employment in the Civil, and more expressly, the Indian Service, combine to place the credit of the Queen's University on the most unassailable foundation in these respects. I learn, also, with increasing pleasure, that the proportion of different religious communions among the students at the Colleges is just what might be expected and wished. The Vice-Chancellor has touched upon the general and most important considerations connected with this topic. Thoroughly unwilling as I should be to introduce into these precincts, nsually set apart to social festivity-at this moment to the furtherance of polite, useful, and liberal learning-any subject or any syllable that could tend to excite dissension or promote discord, yet there are periods when the frank avowal of opinion is due from any seat of authority or centre of influence. I do, then, continue to think it most desirable that in our great imperial community, where its citizens are to play united parts, and discharge united functions-to live, in short, an united life— the preparation for it should be laid and learned in an united education. Such, surely, should be the case with respect to the trades and professions which are to build up and perpetuate our united wealthto the sciences which are to mould our united wisdom-to the arts which are to constitute our united enjoyment. I feel profoundly, at the same time, that all that we are accustomed to gather under the name of religion is of so paramount, so subtle, so ethereal a nature, that it may properly require to be treated as something at once superior and separate, which may repel all interference foreign to itself, and be communicated by no organs and ministrations but those exclusively and distinctly its own. While I, therefore, cannot but wish that education which is general and mainly secular should be united, I as readily admit that what is expressly religious and mainly spiritual ought to be separate. I will yield to none in respectful deference to the clergy of all our religious communions; but, assuredly, to none whatever of them can I, either in a public or a private capacity, concede the right of denying to the laity, of which I am myself a member, the full power of acting upon the decisions of our own consciences, and of regulating the education of our own children. I have never closed the observations I have been called upon to make on these occa