Besides the advantages of attending schools and colleges, the student in great cities has access to large libraries, where he can study the best literary and scientific and philosophical works, and read in the newspapers what is going on all over the world.
It must also be remembered that education, in the proper sense of the word, means far more than mere book learning, and that the educational advantages of great cities are not exhausted when we have mentioned the knowledge to be acquired in schools, colleges, and libraries.
Unfortunately a large number of Indian students bury themselves in their books and take no interest whatever in the busy life of the great city in which their college is situated. This is a great mistake.
They ought in their leisure hours to examine with intelligent curiosity the public buildings, the harbours, the ships, and all the other material products of advanced civilization accessible to them.
Students sacrifice a great part of the advantage that they ought to derive from their university career, when they thus live in the midst of a great city with no more knowledge of the outer world that could be obtained by a peasant living in his native village.
There is a stimulus to mental activity in the life of large towns, which is lacking in the quiet and slow routine of a village. To compete with his fellows in a busy city, a man must live at high pressure; and the very rush of the crowded life around him stirs his ambition and incites him to put forth his best energies.
This is why town-dwellers are more enterprising, energetic and mentally alert than the slow, plodding rustic, who is apt to stagnate in the quiet life of the country.
At the same time, while taking part in city life, country students must be on their guard against the many temptations to which the inhabitants of cities are exposed. If they yield to these temptations, they will ruin their health and happiness, and have reason to curse the day they left their village homes.
Otherwise they may expect to enjoy good health and happiness in crowded cities, if only they take regular exercise every day during term time, and spend their vacations in the country.
Where they can refresh their minds and bodies by breathing purer air than can ever be obtained for the inhabitants of great cities by the most perfect system of sanitation.