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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 76

Institutions. — Debating Society Notes


Debating Society Notes.

In these notes there is not a great deal to record. The prize essay by Mr J. C. Begg was read by Mr W. L. Moore. The audience was very small; for which the fact that the essay is printed in the Review is answerable. In former years the same thing has occurred, and in page 102 future it would be advisable to discontinue the reading, provided that the essay is printed. The essay was well read by Mr Moore, and was thoroughly worthy of the close attention with which the audience listened to it. It was thoughtful, carefully reasoned, and well expressed, the only failing in this particular being that the language was occasionally rather philosophical. However, readers of the Review will have a chance to judge for themselves.

The debate on "Amateur Dramatic Societies" was much handicapped by being postponed. Naturally, the enthusiasm of the debates had had time to cool, being therefore "cauld kail het again." The audience also seemed half-hearted. Unfortunately there were very few men present, but the few who were there did their best. We [unclear: can] say "unfortunately," even though there were many ladies. They write "Cloak Room Notes," and talk of the deadness and slowness [unclear: of] the Debating Society. They even talk of attempting to put some [unclear: life] into it, but when the matter comes to the test, when there is a gap [unclear: for] a speech, when we should expect at least one of the many ladies to [unclear: ris] and speak, then no one arises. We must conclude either that [unclear: the] writer of the notes is irresponsible, or that the ladies have not [unclear: th] courage of their opinions. After all, what was there to be afraid of [unclear: in] the last debate ? There were very few men present, and there was [unclear: non] of the "Barracker's Brigade" at the back, the betes noirs of [unclear: every] chairman and earnest debater. It may be that the ladies are [unclear: mo] afraid of critics among themselves than of those of the opposite [unclear: se]. For the present we can say no more. Before these notes are [unclear: printe] the last debate will be past, and there will be no chance until [unclear: ne] year.

To return to our debate, several of the speeches were very [unclear: meri] torious. Mr Guthrie spoke very well; his points were good, and [unclear: hi] arguments clear and concisely put. Mr Reid spoke sometimes [unclear: with] more zeal than discretion, but his speech was forcible and had [unclear: plent] of life in it. Mr Tewsley had unexpectedly to take the lead on his [unclear: si] instead of seconding, no light experience for one debating for the [unclear: fir] time. He acquitted himself very well, and with practice will [unclear: make] formidable debater. His modesty should not prevent him from [unclear: drivin] his argument home. Of the other speakers, Mr L. Thompson and [unclear: M] Hercus seemed inclined to treat matters in a fatherly and mildly [unclear: critic] manner rather than to take one side definitely and work into it.

For our next debate we hope to have a larger [unclear: attendance] speakers.

We are much indebted to the musical performers who [unclear: ha] favoured us at these two meetings. Miss Branson and Mr Bagley [unclear: pe] formed for the second time for us, and Messrs P. B. Haggitt and [unclear: kei] Ramsay sang. We have also to thank Dr Salmond and Dr [unclear: Benin] for the encouragement they give us when they take the chair at [unclear: o] meetings.