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of character. And they accordingly demand a large place in our curriculum. What is right and honorable in an American citizen is more worthy of careful study than the opinions of Spinoza or Tom Paine. Whether our speculations shall be guided by Des Cartes or Hobbes, by Sir William Hamilton or J. S. Mill may not be considered of moment, but the effect upon the young minds of the rising generation may have the gravest consequences. If pleasure be considered the chief good, and utility in providing this according to individual taste by the only measure of the value of things, the altruism of our youth will be a sorry spectacle.
Sound principles of philosophy and ethics, involving careful training of the moral and spiritual nature, would seem to be among the foremost duties of this great University.
(3) To effect this a large measure of attention must be given to the training of the will. Thus only may the grave responsibility arising from our liberty of choice be adequately guarded, and the grand lessons of self-control be formed into a habit. To turn out from a great university a number of young men, intellectually cultivated to a high degree of keenness, but whose powers of moral obligation and self-control have been to a large extent neglected, is to afflict the world with a number of intellectual buzz-saws, driven by a steam engine without a regulator and without a frame or sign to warn the inquisitive daughters of Mother Eve of the dangers of approach.
It was my privilege to be the orator at your first Commencement. Your State was then as large as now, but your University was not. How stately are your halls; how grand the development of your facilities! I rejoice in the rich and glorious fruitage of the years.
I was also the first preacher at the Agricultural and Mechanical College near Bryan. There, too, I have since witnessed the majestic progress of our young life. Go on in the grand and noble work of intellectual development. Spare nothing which this growing State requires for the further equipment of your faculties. Raise continually the standard of your educational demands. The young manhood and womanhood of Texas is equal to the best on this green earth today. They will respond to the highest class of teaching, and under its influence will produce a class of citizenship which will excite the envy of the world.
COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS,, MAIN UNIVERSITY, AUSTIN, JUNE 11, 1903 EDUCATION AND
HON. EDWARD F. HARRIS.
Mr. President and Fellow Students in Life:
I am grateful to your able President and yourselves that I am permitted on this day of rejoicing to meet you and in at least some small degree participate in these memorable exercises. It is a great pleasure to one who once shared college life on campus and in study to shut his eyes even for an hour to the routine duties of his every-day existence and in spirit again become an undergraduate. It is a real inspiration to a tired soul hungry for youth and youthful optimism to look at you eye to eye, to feel your presence as something good and your friendship, a prize much to be desired. It is a marked distinction unmerited by me to be chosen for the agreeable duty of today.
In 1839 in the then wilderness of Texas, encompassed by domestic and foreign foes-driving back alike the Indian and the Mexican-busied with maintaining both individual and national life against conditions so adverse as to be beyond the real comprehension of our minds, that remarkable man, with the courage of the warrior and the vision of the seer, President Mirabeau B. Lamar, in urging upon the Congress of the Republic of Texas the establishment of a system of public education, uttered that philosophic truth which has been so wisely chosen by your President as the master-thought to be inscribed on every publication of this University: "Cultivated mind is the guardian genius of democracy. It is the only dictator that freemen acknowledge and the only security that freemen desire."
Education embraces the development of the moral as well as the technically-styled mental qualities. It is a problem of heart culture as well as brain culture. It is the crucible into which barbarism enters and out of which civilization emerges. It is the force whose manifestation is the development of superior men and women.
The man of cultivated mind, the educated man, is just, faithful, charitable. He is without guile, yet acute to perceive; without
fear, yet prompt to see the danger; without anger, for he knows the folly of wrath; without jealousy, for he loves his fellows. He possesses the wisdom which weighs, balances and compares; he apprehends the forces of Nature and of Nature's God. He tests and examines all things that he may learn if they be good or no. In domestic life he is the obedient son, the loyal husband, the model father; in commercial life the honest workman and the upright merchant; in professional life, the truthworthy physician, the reliable lawyer, the impeccable priest; in public life the patriot and the statesman.
The educated mind is not from books alone. Mere book-learning is not education. Education is the educing or outdrawing of the faculties of mind, body and soul. It is the trained athlete, sound in mind and body; the man who knows himself and the world in which he lives; the man of mental vigor; the man who can use the tools of life, who is the educated man. These tools of life are nearly always live objects. They are other men. Book learning, to be useful, to educate, must come on through the mind of the man and be to him a personal force, a power which he handles with consummate ease in convincing and leading his fellowmen.
The cultivated mind simply must produce. It is the law of Nature that unproductive animal and plant life shall be utterly cut down and destroyed. Nature maintains no useless organs, no purposeless organisms. Stagnation is decay and ultimate death. Non-user is punished by the inevitable decree of forfeiture.
What must this cultured, this educated, mind produce? Everything which tends to purify thought, relieve trouble, broaden life. Deeds are but thoughts in action. No thought, no deed, is the eternal law of God. Thought is dynamic. It makes for good or evil, for advance or retreat, for the uplifting or down-pulling of man. Thought is the father of physical forces. The universe is the child of the Almighty Brain, for He made it out of physical nothingness. As is the parent mind, so are its children-thoughts. If the mind be educated, the thoughts are pure, clear, virile; they lay hold of the difficulties of life; they dig out the secrets of the deep earth; they measure the mountain heights, explore the recesses of Nature, cross the boundless plains, plunge into the abysmal depths of the mysterious sea and soar into the ethereal blue of the
stars that sing together at night. They master logic and its cognate studies; prove the abstruse theorems of higher mathematics; decipher the hieroglyphs of the Nile land and of the ancient Aztec kings; compose the ravishing strains of Lohengrin and the magic flute; indite the imperishable verse of Shakespeare and Homer; paint in pigments of indescribable beauty the lineaments of the Madonna and the Heavenly Choir and build the frozen music of architrave and dome. They invent the cotton gin, the steam engine, the telephone, the electric storage battery; they discover the properties of ether and the habitat and qualities of the bacillus. They make life more comfortable, people happier, homes brighter, men better.
Out of the educated mind come the religions of the world, convicting of sin, assuaging grief, promising eternal life. Out of the educated mind come the governments of the world; for while force has ruled in the inception and maintenance of government and panoplied power still parades in all the brilliant pageantry of war, yet educated mind produces and conserves them both. They are but the visible tokens of superior mentality.
The thought of self-government gave birth to these United States of America. The thought of liberty, fraternity and equality created the French Revolution. The thought of cohesive defense produced the German empire. The thought of self-protection begot the Monroe Doctrine. The thought of expansion has circled the world with the red ensign of Britain's king and has added to our own already vast territory, Alaska, Hawaii and the Philippines.
Impelled by educated minds, Otis and Henry cried out for freedom alike in New England and Virginian hills; driven by educated minds, Napoleon warred, Danton thundered, Bismarck planned and Von Moltke fought; Adams devised and Monroe executed.
The educated one, the king or knowing one, rules in despotisms. The educated few dominate and control in monarchies. It is sufficient for such governments that those who are by inheritance the rulers and law-givers shall possess education and culture. Indeed, absolute monarchies depend for their continued existence on the non-education, the ignorance of the great mass of peasantry. Education and absolutism fight, they grapple in combat deadly to the latter whenever and wherever they meet. But in a democracy, a
government which depends for its strength upon the individual citizen, it is essential that the citizen be educated, fitted to honestly and intelligently fulfill his public duties and instruct his chosen temporary rulers in matters entrusted to them. It is essential that the citizen understand, read, think and inwardly digest the problems of civic life and hold his chosen officers to rigid obedience to his instructions and ready compliance with the will of the majority. The government in a democracy is the concrete expression not of its best citizenship, but of its average citizenship. To improve the government, educate the citizen; educate him to a sense of his duty to his country; arouse him to the fact that his nation demands and is entitled to some of his time all the time and to all of his time sometimes; teach him that no man is a good citizen who has only the commercial sense developed; convince him that the riches of a nation consist of more than the figures of trade; make him know that a great nation can exist only when its citizenship is great in thought, righteous in action, noble in spirit, pure in concept. The homes and hearts of men and women faithful to civic ideals are the real buttresses of the nation's grandeur. This educated citizen is not one apart from his fellows. He is not the cloistered monk. He is not the recluse. He is not the cynic. He is not the stoic. He is a man educated into sympathy with his fellow-atoms of humanity; educated into the capacity to touch other men and make them feel as well as think. He is the man to whom others come for assistance in need, for comfort in distress, for rejoicing in prosperity, for advice in material as well as spiritual difficulties. He is a sort of elder brother to all his fellowmen, a kindly mentor whose heart beats out in mighty emotions the sympathetic throbs of his magnificent brain.
The supreme expression of a State's efforts to educate itself is the State University. The old, old East and the very new West meet here on common grounds. Time and space are eliminated by a common thought. China and California alike have State Universities, Bologna, Paris, Moscow, Berlin, Cambridge, Austin are names rendered famous at least as much from being seats of learning as centers of industrial and governmental life.
No true democracy can exist without public education, and every scheme of public education finds its summit and its crown of glory