Page images
PDF
EPUB

THE DEDICATED LIFE

Haldane, Richard Burdon Haldane, jet wiscount

THE DEDICATED LIFE

AN ADDRESS DELIVERED TO THE STUDENTS

OF THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH

ON JANUARY 10, 1907

BY THE

RIGHT HONOURABLE R. B. HALDANE

K.C., M.P., LL.D., D.C.L., F.R.S.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors][merged small]

It is your custom to leave to the Rector freedom of choice in the subject of his address. I take this freedom to mean that he may, within well-understood limits, turn to the topics that interest him most and to the things that he would fain speak of. With me it has happened that the personal history of the thirty-four years that have passed since I entered this University as an undergraduate has been the story of the growth and deepening of a conviction. It is this conviction that I shall to-day seek to put into words. I shall ask you to bear patiently with me while I strive to

express it.

What at present occupies my time is public business ; and it is my daily task, in conducting that business, to remember and to remind others that the end which the State and its members have to strive after is the development of the State. No such development can be genuine unless it stands for progress in the realization of some great purpose. It is a truism, and yet a much-forgotten truism, to say that such purposes cannot be great if they are narrow. The ends aimed at by those engaged in public affairs must be based on foundations both wide and sure ; but no foundations are wide or sure unless they are such that all the world can be legitimately asked to accept them as foundations. Such a test leaves room for abundance of healthy party difference and criticism, but it insists on that without which there cannot be real stability. The foundation of purpose in the

5

169349

« PreviousContinue »