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ACTA

Congregation of the Regent House on 13 July 2000

A Congregation of the Regent House was held this day at 11.10 a.m. The Chancellor was present.

Processions formed in the Schools Arcade at 11.05 a.m., passed round the Senate-House Yard, and entered the Senate-House by the South Door and the East Door.

Music was performed at the Congregation by the Choirs of King's College and St John's College, and by the King's Trumpeters.

The following titular degrees were conferred:

Doctor of Law (honoris causa)

PETER MICHAEL BECKWITH
M.A.

Honorary Fellow of Emmanuel College, Chairman of PMB Holdings Ltd, member of the Guild of Benefactors

Doctor of Law (honoris causa)

The Rt Hon. Dame ELIZABETH BUTLER-SLOSS

President of the Family Division of the High Court of Justice

Doctor of Law (honoris causa)

The Rt Hon. Sir EDWARD ALAN JOHN GEORGE
G.B.E., M.A.

Honorary Fellow of Emmanuel College, Governor of the Bank of England

Doctor of Law (honoris causa)

BRENDA MILNER
O.C., O.Q., M.A., Sc.D., F.R.S., F.R.S.C.

Honorary Fellow of Newnham College, Professor of Psychology, McGill University, and Dorothy J. Killam Professor, Montreal Neurological Institute

Doctor of Science (honoris causa)

ELIAS JAMES COREY

Professor of Chemistry, Harvard University

Doctor of Science (honoris causa)

GURDEV SINGH KHUSH
F.R.S.

Principal Plant Breeder and Head of the Division of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Biochemistry, International Rice Institute, the Philippines

Doctor of Science (honoris causa)

Sir DENIS ROOKE
O.M., C.B.E., F.R.S., F.R.Eng.

Chancellor of Loughborough University, formerly Chairman of British Gas plc

Doctor of Letters (honoris causa)

Sir TOM STOPPARD
O.M., C.B.E., F.R.S.L.

playwright and novelist

Doctor of Music (honoris causa)

ALEXANDER GOEHR
M.A.

Emeritus Fellow of Trinity Hall, Emeritus Professor of Music in the University

The Orator delivered the following speeches when presenting to The Chancellor the recipients of Honorary Degrees:

INTER studia nostra Iuris et Biochemiae et Negoti Gerendi numquid commune sit primo quidem fortasse dubitares; dubitanti tamen optime respondeat hic uir, qui fidem nobiscum VIII abhinc annos trifariam subueniendi datam hoc modo exsoluit, ut aedificium nouum ad iura commodius docenda discenda iamdiu petitum institueretur, ut augeretur aedificium ad biochemiam inuestigandam, ut cathedra ut dicitur suo nomine nuncupata ei poneretur qui in maius negoti gerendi studia proueheret. felix qui talia possit; qui uelit felices facit. gratias ita agimus ut iam permultos annos egimus nominibus eorum memoratis qui universitatis huius opera ope sua cum uoluntate sustentant.

plura tamen aliqua oportet de hoc uiro, negotiante homine, dicamus. aliud enim negotium, alia doctrina et eruditio saepe putantur esse, quae tamen similia pleraque inter se habent. primum eius rei quam petis - petebat hic uir insulas domusque renouandas - omnia singula quid quodque ualeat quantum potes cognoscas; opus est labore, diligentia, tempore; tum forsitan accidat peropportune ut occasionem capias, subeas periculum, iudicio confidas tuo: Occuponem propitium1 sine mora habes. fortuna frui dicare licet; sciebas idem uti.

non hic locus est enarrandi quantum et ludo et collegio subuenerit suo. ipsi iam Iunianum illud2 est curae, ut sit mens sana in corpore sano: namque in eorum habetur numero quorum sodalitati pro uerbo nil nisi descensus est. nec difficilis is quidem, ut ait poeta, Auernum uersus;3 sed qui nunc commodius fiet ut in tali uiro, negotia emerito, stimuletur periculi sensus qui solebat et debet?

praesento uobis Magistrum in Artibus, Societatis suis litteris PMB nuncupatae Praesidem, Collegi Emmanuelis honoris causa Socium, Ordini Benefactorum adscriptum,

PETER MICHAEL BECKWITH

1 Petronius 58.11.

2 Juvenal 10.356.

3 See Vergil Aeneid 6.126.

 

A COMMON thread linking our studies of Law, Biochemistry, and Management is not, at first sight perhaps, something easy to discern; best able to provide the linking answer is this man. Eight years ago he made us a pledge of support for three projects, and he has kept his word: there would be a new building to house the Faculty of Law (a long-felt need), the Department of Biochemistry's quarters would be greatly extended, and a Professorship of Management Studies would be established to be called the Beckwith Chair. To be able to do such things is a blessing in itself; to will it is a blessing shared, and we give thanks as we have done these many years in commemorating the names of those whose generous help sustains the work of this University.

A word or two must be said of the man himself. He is a businessman. Business and scholarship are often thought to be rather different activities, but they have things in common. Businessman and scholar each need to evaluate the worth of every detail of information they can garner about the object they pursue (Mr Beckwith's pursuit was property for development); they need industriousness, devotion, and timing. Then the moment may come for seizing an opportunity, for taking a risk, for backing your judgement: and suddenly your goal is gained. Some may exclaim at your luck, but you knew how to use it.

Of Mr Beckwith's further generosity, to his school and College, only brief mention can be made here. He is increasingly impressed by Juvenal's famous association of fit bodies and fit minds, and is himself a member of a skiers' club called Down Hill Only. Downhill has been called the easy bit: not on skis! Even on the far side of a successful career one should still keep fit that due sense of risk and adventure.

I present to you

PETER MICHAEL BECKWITH, M.A.,

Honorary Fellow of Emmanuel College, Chairman of PMB Holdings Limited, Member of the Guild of Benefactors

--*--

IUSTITIA femina est: testis est uerbum, testis est imago eius oculis obuolutis et libram tenentis. sed ministrorum sunt pauci eius generis. haec ergo rara auis; in munera autem ad quae nulla prius femina peruenit cursu ascendit suo.

uniuersitate enim ad ius discendum est usa nulla: num sibi usum satis intellectum a patre habere uisa est, a fratre, tunc etiam a coniuge? sed merito inter peritos spe maturius adscripta uariis in causis uersabatur, quarum aliqua uestigia in libro de plaustris agendis edito inuenias; tum non iurisconsulti praetextam, id quod solent ei qui in iudicum numero uolunt esse, sed registrari munus accepit ad rem familiarum expediendam institutum, quo munere dum fungebatur prima praegnati puellae permisit ut aboreretur.

tali tamque manifesta iuniorum et liberum affecta erat cura - materfamilias ipsa est - ut recte, iudex iam creata, causam illam de liberis habitam quibus abuti parentes putabantur diiudicauerit. difficillima res erat, uariaeque de ea peruolgabantur opiniones; ipsa reis se tam comem praebuit, tam humanam, tam promptam ad aeque audiendum, tam denique singula quaeque cognoscendi animoque retinendi capacem, ut mox bonam fidem laudarent uniuersi. iudicium DC amplius paginarum edidit, cuius auctoritate et consilio freta lex de liberis postea lata admodum incohata est.

in hoc omni liberum iuris loco multum oritur noui: quod ius uelit nolit haec femina sententiis dictis semper informat atque exprimit. bene est quod praeses iudici creata, quo non altius ulla femina ascendit, tam aeque planeque dicit.

feminam admodum honorabilem praesento uobis, Excellentissimi Ordinis Imperi Britannici Dominam Commendatricem, pro Iuris Aula Summa Praesidem a Familiis institutam,

ANN ELIZABETH OLDFIELD BUTLER-SLOSS

JUSTICE is a lady, as is attested by the familiar image of her, holding the scales, with eyes bandaged. Few of her ministers, however, have been women. This lady is a rarity, and she has risen by a route of her own to heights unscaled by any woman before.

She did not study law at university; she may have reckoned her family was context enough for that basic understanding, her father and her brother (and later her husband too) all being lawyers who rose high. She was, however, rightly and promptly accepted at the Bar and took on a variety of practice, some traces of which may still be seen in Corpe on Road Haulage (second edition). Barristers with any mind to become judges one day usually take silk; she did not. Instead she became Registrar in what is now called the Family Division. During her time in office she became the first person to permit abortion for a girl under age.

Her manifest concern for young people and for children - she is a mother herself - made her very much the right person, when she had become a judge, to chair the inquiry into alleged child abuse in Cleveland. It was no easy case; a great variety of opinion had been kindled. But she was so courteous and humane to the parties involved, so determined to give fair hearings and so thorough in her grasp of detail, that she soon had everyone's trust. Her judgment ran to over 600 pages, and much of the good counsel in it was later embodied in the Children Act.

All this area of the law is in a state of lively development. Willy nilly she gives it shape with her every pronouncement. We are lucky that one who is now President of the Family Division (another first for a woman) pronounces in such a fair and down-to-earth fashion.

I present to you the Right Honourable

Dame ANN ELIZABETH OLDFIELD BUTLER-SLOSS, D.B.E.,

President of the Family Division of the High Court

--*--

CELEBERRIMUS est Horatianus ille locus ubi fortuna rei publicae per similitudinem appellatur:

O nauis, referent in mare te noui

fluctus! o quid agis? fortiter occupa

portum. tu nisi uentis

debes ludibrium caue.1

salutent ea uerba gubernatorem quendam introductum, eum uero qui caeli tempestates prouidere, qui portus cognosse, qui nauibus alienis uentum captantibus cauere iamdudum solet, qui denique

ipse gubernaclo rector subit.2

tali uiro nonne multum est a nobis confidendum si pro re publica praefectus nauem aerariam nostram manu gubernat sua? nam quod quis otiosus facit, id non nihil prodesse negotianti potest. alteram praeterea exercet artem, ad aciem forensem aeque pertinentem ut uidetur, ludi XIII dolorum ludendi: quo in ludo usu opus est et astutia, praesertim (ut ipse dicit) sorte iniqua data; nam eodem pacto aduersarios licet fallas sed fidat tibi socius.

omne aetatis suae stipendium uno in cursu meretur. mensae prius praefectus quam ei tradita est dicendi potestas quantulis usuris reddendum aes mutuum esset, omnium qui praefuerunt notissimus iam erat. eorum qui rei pecuniariae intersunt duo dicuntur esse genera, unum, idque paruum, qui suo freti consilio alias recte alias praue augurentur, alterum multitudine multo maius eorum qui semper errent; ipse tamen tria dinumerat genera, aut qui summas facere possint aut qui non possint. sunt uero quibus obscurius deo Pythio respondeat; uniuersitati uel collegio suo consulenti rem libens qua est pietate luce prudentia expedit.

praesento uobis uirum admodum honorabilem, Excellentissimi Ordinis Imperi Britannici magnae crucis Equitem, Magistrum in Artibus, Aerari Anglici Rectorem, Collegi Emmanuelis honoris causa Socium,

EDWARD ALAN JOHN GEORGE

1 Horace Odes 1.14.1-3 and 15-16.

2 Vergil Aeneid 5.176.

 

IN a poem of Horace there is a famous allegory of Rome's political fortunes:

O ship of state, fresh waves are bearing you

out to sea again! What are you doing? Make

for harbour boldly. Unless you owe

the winds some sport, beware!

These words may serve well in introduction of one who really is, to continue the imagery, a helmsman of a Governor, watchful of the weather, well informed about harbours, alert to other ships trying to steal his wind; one who can take the tiller himself and steer. We are right to have every confidence when such a man is captain of our bullion ship. The activities of people's leisure time are not irrelevant to their workaday business. Here we have a notable bridge player; in that game skills of public interest need to be exercised: shrewdness and experience, for instance, count for much, especially when (to quote him) you need to make the best of a poor hand. It is a game in which you may fool your opponents in the preliminary negotiations but must not at the same time forfeit your partner's trust.

Sir Edward has spent all his working life with the Bank of England. He was the best known of all its Governors even before it was given the power of fixing the minimum lending rate. It has been said that 'those involved in economic policy can be divided into two: a small category of independent-minded people who are sometimes right and sometimes wrong, and a much larger group who are invariably wrong'. He himself has said that there are three groups: those who can do their sums and those who cannot. His capacity for a more than Delphic response is familiar to committees of the House of Commons; but when his University or College seeks advice, he is all duty, light, and wisdom.

I present to you the Right Honourable

Sir EDWARD ALAN JOHN GEORGE, G.B.E., M.A.,

Honorary Fellow of Emmanuel College, Governor of the Bank of England

--*--

CAPUT quid in se habeat quidque hominibus id conferat praeter locum ad oculos aptissimum dubitabant uel omnino ignorabant antiqui, quibus omnis in pectore inesse sentiendi meditandi dicendi ratio uidebatur. nec stulte sic opinabantur: nam quando quis

saxo cere- comminuit -brum1

quid patefactum est nisi materies exsanguis, iners, incerta, quam tantummodo ἐγκέφαλον uocabant Graeci? nunc tamen maiore ornati sapientia capita conferunt medici et libentius in capite elaborant seu morborum et uolnerum grauissimorum commoti cura siue amore inuestigationis adducti. ita crescit scientia humana et augetur ars medendi difficultatibus singularibus in hac parte corporis impedita.

studiorum haec femina felix et temporis opportunitate et loci; in urbe enim Monte Regali tum cum iuuenis erat morbus inuestigabatur comitialis ut dicitur, ad quem sanandum uel saltem minuendum in lobo cerebri temporibus proximo excidi placuit. sed non id fiebat sine periculo alterius detrimenti: nam cuidam hoc morbo affecto, qui nobis litteris H M tantum est notus, post excisionem in utroque lobo cerebri factam admodum perdita est memoria. cum hoc uiro cognito tum aliis quibus in uno modo latere excisum erat, demonstrat haec femina memoriae humanae elementa diuersa esse atque alia in aliis partibus cerebri locata; nam si in lobo dextro sit caesum, orum et locorum interire memoriam, si in sinistro uerborum et fabularum. qua ex indagatione tam subtili oritur etiam nunc multum et ad cerebrum discribendum et ad cursus mentis ipsius cognoscendos utilissimum.

praesento uobis Magistram in Artibus, Doctorem in Scientiis, Regiae Societatis Sodalem, in Vniuersitate Collegi McGilliani Psychologiae Professorem et in Instituto Neurologico Montis Regalis in nomine Dorotheae Killam Professorem, Collegi Newnhamensis honoris causa Sociam

BRENDA MILNER

1 Ennius Annals 609.

 

THE ancients were unclear, or altogether ignorant, about the contents of the human skull and their functions; all our systems of feeling, thought, and utterance were for them located in the thorax. It was not an obviously foolish view. When a man 'split a skull with a stone', there was only grey, vague, wobbly stuff to be seen; no wonder Greeks entitled it the stuff-in-the-head. Doctors nowadays, however, order their work in a better state of understanding, and they practise brain surgery with a greater readiness, whether from a concern to cure disease and damage of great seriousness or simply from the passion to know more. So human knowledge expands and the art of healing is extended even in a part of the body fraught with its own particular difficulties.

Professor Milner timed and placed her postgraduate work in medicine most successfully. When she began her career, Montreal already led the world in research on epilepsy; to cure it, or at least to reduce its impact, temporal lobotomy was the standard practice. It was a practice, however, not without risk of secondary damage. There was an epileptic (known to us only by the initials H. M.) who underwent temporal lobotomy on both sides and suffered almost total amnesia. This lady got to know him well; she also worked with patients who had undergone lobotomy on one side only, and was able to show that the components of human memory are fractionated, and lie in different parts of the brain: if you cut in the right lobe, we may lose our memory for faces and places; if in the left, we may lose our verbal skills. Work based on this research continues still, in brain-mapping and in learning ever more about the processes of the mind itself.

I present to you

BRENDA MILNER, M.A., Sc.D., F.R.S.,

Honorary Fellow of Newnham College, Professor of Psychology at McGill University, and Dorothy J. Killam Professor in the Montreal Neurological Institute

--*--

HUC accedit uti quid sit molecula dicam. sunt elementa, quibus non ulla minora uidentur

esse quibus fieri possit res quaeque gerique,

tam uaria forma, tam parua aut magna figura,

conexu tam multiplici quam quaeque monet res

se constare, sient hominum genus atque ferarum

siue herbae fungique atque horrida frondibus arbor.

sunt elementorum tamen illorum usque minora

semina, quae quali conexu quodque sit auctum

dicere difficilest uerbis; sed qua ratione

haec elementorum fieri primordia possint

et qua dissolui potis est hic pandere princeps.

qui cum iuuenis compositioni rerum studebat, quamquam paucae componendi tum dicebantur incognitae latere rationes, tamen obscura tam prompte explicabat ut integram rationem rei peteret. solebant eo tempore moleculae quibus intererat studere ab elementis minoribus coagmentari, sed quae deberent ea esse non omnino liquebat; rem forte aliquando potius quam ratione penetratam hic uir euertit: qui, cum moleculas penitus intellegeret quali mutatione obsessae alia in aliam uerti possent, eas quae natura erant multiplici diiungere in simpliciora constituit; habiliore tum fore ut reficerentur modo. haec res usui maximo medicis erat: sic enim fieri poterat ut uenena quae per se rara nascuntur, inter quae id quod prostaglandin nuncupatur, numero multo plura salutis humanae causa crearentur.

harum molecularum ego uidi figuras modo lineis adumbratas: apium uidentur opera esse arte fingendi solutiore gaudentium. ipse oratione cum praemium Nobelianum accepit habita conexuum factorum uarietatem decoremque admiratus artem suam conectendi cum arte recte contulit pictoris et poetae.

praesento uobis in Vniuersitate Harvardensi Chemiae Professorem

ELIAS JAMES COREY

MY theme now is the molecule, the smallest unit of matter of natural occurrence, the building block of all the working world. Molecules are as various in shape and size and composition as are the greater bodies they construct, be they human and animal or plants, fungi, and trees of bristling leaf. They are also constructs themselves composed of even smaller units, and it is no easy task to describe what manner of inner coherence each one has. If anyone can set forth the patterns and procedures for combining these lesser units and for undoing them, it is this man.

As a student he took a course in synthetic chemistry. They told him there was little in the field still to do, but he had a facility for solving problems of synthesis which led him to seek a systematic analysis. At the time most chemists had been trying to prepare the various molecules they studied from smaller units without it being entirely clear what those units should be; chance was sometimes more important for success than reason. Young Corey turned this process back to front: he invented retrosynthetic analysis. Through his intimate understanding of organic reactions he was able to reduce complex molecules back to their simple building blocks; now they could be synthesized efficiently. Medicine saw great advantage in this: drugs of rare or restricted natural occurrence, for instance the prostaglandins, could now be made in good quantity, to the benefit of human health.

When I see these processes set out in diagram form, I think of bees at work, rejoicing in an exceptional freedom of design. In the speech he made in 1991 when accepting the Nobel Prize for his work, Professor Corey expressed his admiration for the beauty and diversity of the reactions achieved, and justifiably compared the chemist's skill in synthesis with the skills of painter and poet.

I present to you

ELIAS JAMES COREY,

Professor of Chemistry, Harvard University

--*--

HORDEUM, fabae, siligo, pisa, auena, triticum, crescit in modis occultis omne frumenti genus.

sed herbarum ista series nescioquid sapit Europaeum:

nunc sata permultis celebretur oportet oryza,

qua cum uescatur omnium hominum qui sunt in orbe terrarum pars dimidia, cumque eorum qui sunt in orbe numerus semper augeatur, is qui fructu frequentiore certiore meliore donet nonne maximis est gratiis maximisque laudibus dignus?

hic uir inter eos qui 'maxume quidem gaudent oryza'1 natus iam XXX amplius annos experitur quomodo eius frumenti noua seminum genera in uim messemque magis frugiferam colantur. panici forma plantis est, non multo auenae dissimilis; stirps gracilis, et grano suum cuique stamen. disponitur in paludibus manu, adeoque per annos in hominum usu cogitur esse ut ea fortasse quae nunc coluntur semina nisi in debito solo sata uix floreant.

iam diu per saecula uim cognouimus eligendi, inserendi, coniungendi quo qua largius nobis metatur seges, ita ut quae sit uni uirtus seu resistendi caelo seu bestiolis aduersandi seu Robigo Floraeque supplicandi eam alterum frumenti genus traditam habere possit; sed aliquid adhuc et tempori concedendum fuit et fortunae. quanto nunc subtilius et strictius res agatur ex hoc manifestum est quod hic uir non modo diuersa oryzae genera numero amplius CCC diffudit in terras, quorum unum iam per quadringentiens iugerum seritur, sed etiam nouissimum spondet uel abundantiore fructu genus.

pauci sunt quorum opera sedulitate scientia tot esurientibus suppeditari sit coeptum; uirum praesento uobis optime de gente humana meritum, Regiae Societatis Sodalem, in Instituto Oryzae Generandae in insulis Marianis locato Principem et Caput

GURDEV SINGH KHUSH

1 Pliny Natural History 18.71.

 

OATS, peas, beans, and barley grow, oats, peas, beans, and barley grow;

do you or I or anyone know

how oats, peas, beans, and barley grow?

It is a rather western menu that the old rhyme contains; we need to be singing of rice, truly a world crop: it is eaten by half the people on earth, and since the number of people on earth is always increasing, anyone who can make the rice crop bigger, better, and more reliable earns not only thanks but also admiration.

Dr Khush was born in India, where the staple crop was known to the Romans to be rice, and he has been experimenting on new strains of it for over thirty years, seeking to improve its productivity in the field. Rice is a panicoid plant, rather like oats; it has a slender stalk, and the grains branch off the stalk separately. The seedlings are planted out underwater by hand; it has become so pliant to human need that probably no cultivated strain could now survive in the wild.

Over the generations we have come to learn the effectiveness of selection, grafting, and cross-breeding in order to make plants serve us better, any quality in one variety, whether of resistance to insects or disease or of climatic durability, being transferred to other varieties, but there was a slowness in the process, and some need of luck. These practices proceed more systematically and precisely now, as is clear from the fact that Dr Khush has already delivered to the world over three hundred new breeding lines, one of which has been planted on eleven million hectares, and that now a new plant type of even greater yield is promised. Few men do so much with such sustained research to feed so many hungry people.

I present to you

GURDEV SINGH KHUSH, F.R.S.,

Principal Plant Breeder and Head of the Division of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Biochemistry at the International Rice Institute in the Philippines

--*--

LUX calor uis nobis effosso carbone oleoque exhausto his temporibus expediri solent; recentius in usum uenit materies primo aliquantum neglecta,

putribus ex herbis iam pridem excocta mefitis.

nec mirum si neglecta erat ea quae non facile in usum e fonte uehi posset nisi tanto frigore affecta ut in liquorem uersa esset; tum uero paulo expeditius commearet. sed uasa quali metallo quanta arte diligentiaque conflata id frigoris sustinebunt? quomodo in uas immittetur liquor, haurietur e vaso? quae denique corbita onere tam leui accepto fluctibus et uentis afflicta recto malo sospes euadet? aderat uir multum in eius modi rebus expertus, sagax, consili potens: nauem alueis alteris intus ornauit, quo et tutius ab externo periculo onus esset et grauius quid inter primum et alteros alueos pro saburra ueheretur; ferruminandi autem ingenti labore curauit ne noceret aliquid metalli uitium. inter nautas tunc cietur metus, ne 'quassatis undique uasis diffluere umorem et laticem discedere'1 posset. Ego nauem, inquit, sic ornaui: ego uos in naue comitabor. fit cursus ille primus sine tumultu nisi quod tempestates non paruas Oceanus excitauit.

quid multa? in re mefitica gerenda usque ad summam ascendit potestatem atque in pretio rem esse auctoritate et constantia multo maiore coegit quam iis placuit qui tum rem publicam gerebant: quibus tamen haudquaquam cedit, sed potius

ludificat una cornix uolturios duos.2

idem cum multa alia pro re publica gessit tum fabrorum academiam regiam, fama dignissimam, ipse Daedalus inter fabros instituit.

praesento uobis Equitem Auratum, Ordini insigniter Meritorum adscriptum, Excellentissimi Ordinis Imperi Britannici Commendatorem, Regiae Societatis Sodalem, Vniuersitatis de Loughborough Cancellarium, Rei Mefiticae Britannicae olim praefectum

DENIS ERIC ROOKE

1 Lucretius 3.434.

2 Plautus Mostellaria 832.

 

IN coal and oil we have well established sources of our light, heat, and power; natural gas, the product of long rotted plants, is a rather more recent resource, and its initial neglect was not surprising: techniques for conveying it to a point of use were undeveloped - unless it could be made so cold that it went liquid; only then might carriage be easier. But what sort of metal and what degree of craftsmanship were needed for the containers to withstand so low a temperature? How would the liquid be put in and got out? What sort of boat could take so light a cargo and stay upright in a storm? Fortunately a true expert was on hand, full of shrewd ideas. He equipped a boat with second holds inside the first, so that the cargo would be better protected from external threat and something solid by way of ballast could go in between; he also examined every joint with the greatest of care to eliminate any risk from faulty welding. Then the crew expressed a worry: the containers might crack, and the liquid escape. 'I designed the boat,' he said, 'and I shall be sailing with you.' The maiden voyage of the Methane Pioneer passed without incident, apart from force-10 gales in the Atlantic.

To be brief: he rose to be Chairman of British Gas, and promoted what gas could give with far more effectiveness and spirit than suited the government of the day. He gave them not an inch; a queen and her bishop were comfortably checked by a rook. Among his very many public works we may note especially the establishment of the Royal Academy of Engineering, a very proper achievement for a prince among engineers.

I present to you

Sir DENIS ERIC ROOKE, O.M., C.B.E., F.R.S.,

Chancellor of Loughborough University and formerly Chairman of British Gas plc

--*--

VERSUM a Thoma quodam fictum hunc habemus:

non ego sum princeps, nec sors praecepit ut essem,

qui modo sum dominis principibusque comes.

qualis satelles is esset talem habemus ab hoc confectum. fabulam enim in scaenam agendam petebant iuuenes; scriptam, sed tum quidem spretam, habebat hic uir. conuenit fabula, agitur, placet. quid plura? postero die

surgit homo tota subito narratus in urbe.

ex quo primum enim mortuum esse par illud satellitum uisum est, inuentionis scaenicae hic non caret fontibus, siue ex Abona Sabrinaue cum Camo hausit lymphaue ferociore, siue ex Ilisso, Danuuio, Indo. ex noto fictum carmen1 componere mauult, atque in unum ita alienas personas Arcadia testudine2 non omissa coniungit ut alteram uitam, eamque probabiliorem quam priorem, explicare uideantur. qui sub Mercurio quippe natus quisquiliarum et nugarum quasi correptor est. sunt qui haec incusent; bene monet Q. Flaccus:

rectius Iliacum carmen deducis in actus

quam si proferres ignota indictaque primus.3

praeterea ut salibus et facetiis abundat ita non tamen grauiora neglegit; est enim illa

lux breuis, a dextra penetrans mortalia rerum,

quae uidetur apertissime cum satelles unus, obuiam alteri simillime togato factus, tum demum ipsum se quis esset inuenire potuisset:

heus tu! mane dum, neu mihi - em, iam tempus est

ex quo - sed ubi te uidi? iam sum in me redux.

sed nonne te cognoui? numquam memoria

fugit os, nisi tuom. pol uidebaris modo -

ignoro omnino. uereor ne in errore sis

qui forte me esse nescioquem alterum autumas.

nunc tamen eum praesento uobis qui re uera Eques Auratus est, Ordini insigniter Meritorum adscriptus, Excellentissimi Ordinis Imperi Britannici Commendator, Regiae Societatis Litterarum Sodalis, fabularum inuentor

TOM STOPPARD

1 Horace Ars Poetica 240.

2 See Statius Siluae 5.3.93.

3 Horace ibid. 129-130.

 

WE owe to T. S. Eliot a self-perception of Mr Prufrock:

No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;

Am an attendant lord...1

We owe to another T. S. the realization of such a lord. Some students wanted a play for the Edinburgh Festival; young Mr Stoppard had a play, written but rejected. They took it and acted it, to applause; very simply, on the morrow he awoke and found himself famous.

Ever since that first performance of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, plays have bubbled up in him from very diverse sources, from Shakespeare, and Housman, and waters yet more Wilde, and even from Philosophy, communist Europe, and colonial India. He does as Horace advised: he makes his plays off something known, putting other people's people together (not to mention the tortoise Lightning) so that they seem to display a whole new life that is almost more real than the original. Surely, like Autolycus, he was littered under Mercury, to be a snapper-up of unconsidered trifles.2 Some cry plagiarism; they should read Horace: 'You do better to put on a tale from Troy than innovate, presenting things unheard of and untold.'

Sir Tom is moreover as serious as he is witty. For there is that 'thin beam of light that, seen at the right angle, can crack the shell of mortality',3 and it is most clearly seen when Rosencrantz comes face to face with one of the troupe of actors dressed exactly as himself; at that moment he really could have discovered his real self:

'Well, if it isn't - ! No, wait a minute, don't tell me - it's a long time since - where was it? Ah, this is taking me back to - when was it? I know you, don't I? I never forget a face... not that I know yours, that is. For a moment I thought - no, I don't know you, do I? Yes, I'm afraid you're quite wrong. You must have mistaken me for someone else.'3

The man that I present to you now, however, is the real

Sir TOM STOPPARD, O.M., C.B.E., F.R.S.L.,

playwright and novelist

1 T. S. Eliot The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.

2 Shakespeare A Winter's Tale, act iv scene iii.

3 Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, act ii.

--*--

 

QUIS nonus manet hic deserto litore solus? an tua declarat uox, Ariadna, uirum?

nam deus e Viridi descendens Monte sileri

quae fuit una sua uoce querela uetat,

atque ornare nouis iubet hunc mera uerba relicta

cantibus, ut totum restituatur opus.

sed a nouissimis ingressi ad huius uiri uertamur initia. patre in re musica clarissimo natus quid potius ipse gesturus erat? sed inter musicos tum disputabatur quid sibi Musa uellet a famulis. quo se conferret iuuenis, quibusque pareret legibus is qui in sonitu inueniendo et exprimendo suo formam iustam et decoram exponere cuperet? rationes quae inter se repugnare credebantur in unum conferre semper uolebat; sic eum primum in Symphonia Parua quae dicitur audires et in Saltatu Metamorphoseos suo proprio modo harmoniarum uti ratione et XII sonorum et catenarum; tum rationem antiquiorem grauiorum sonorum addidit; postremo, Orbe Arielis carminum composito et Colosso qui dicitur et Carmine Clausulae, cum Dionysi quodam afflatu modum rationemque coniunxit Apollinis.

uerbis de musico uix narratur bene. melius de professore XXIII annorum dicerem quam sapienter urbaneque rem gesserit, uel optime de tot discipulis quo lumine et ardore stimulauerit, quorum multi iam ipsi laudantur; non modo explicationibus docebat impetu plenis sed etiam disputationibus quasi dialecticis.1 ita pariter usu et ratione informatus clarius et exactius urgebat illud suum, qui sonus qualis quando posterior priori succederet. musicam enim nisi et uoluptate et mente factam fieri negat posse.

praesento uobis Magistrum in Artibus, Aulae Sanctae Trinitatis honoris causa Socium, Musicae Professorem Emeritum,

ALEXANDER GOEHR

1 Quintilian 5.14.27.

 

WHO is this final figure, alone on an abandoned shore? Is it the voice of Ariadne that reveals him? Down the Green Mountain the god descends to forbid silence for her one surviving lament and to ask this man to give new music to a mere libretto and make the opera whole again. But I have come in on a later movement: I must return to the overture.

The son of so distinguished a conductor as Walter Goehr was perhaps likely to be a musician, but in those days opinions differed about the sort of musical language to compose in. What rules were best to follow for a young man ambitious to give right and proper form to what he had to say? His own persistent aim was to bring together ideas thought then to be irreconcilable; in his Little Symphony and in Metamorphosis/Dance can be heard his own original combination of modality, dodecaphony, and serialism; later he took up the tradition of figured-bass composition, and finally the lyrical impulse and the logical came together in works such as the song cycle Sing, Ariel, and Colossos, and Schlussgesang.

Words are not good for presenting a composer. It might be better to dwell on the twenty-three years of his wisdom and tact in running our Faculty of Music, or best of all to speak of the clarity and passion with which he taught composition to students so many of whom are now distinguished composers themselves. His analyses were inspiring, and his discussions have been called rabbinical. Practice and theory have thus gone side by side, sharpening and clarifying the question that has become his hallmark: what note should come next, and what sort of note, and how soon? Music, he says, is thought and sensuality.

I present to you

ALEXANDER GOEHR, m.a.,

Honorary Fellow of Trinity Hall and Emeritus Professor of Music

T. J. MEAD, Registrary

END OF THE OFFICIAL PART OF THE 'REPORTER'


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Cambridge University Reporter, 19 July 2000
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