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The Spike or Victoria College Review, October 1903

[Review of the activities of the debating society]

Sketch of scholar shouting

Some Debating Societies languish for want of speakers. The Victoria College Debating Society has to cut off its budding orators by "ten o'clock closing ". The younger members of the Society have been specially prominent this year, and a great deal of interest has been shown in the Society by the general public who are always welcome at the meetings. The attendances have been good, though, as usual, thoughts of examinations have reduced the numbers towards the end of the term.

* * * *

The Society uses every effort to adhere to the Syllabus. This year, however, several postponements were necessitated and the Committee resorted to the expedient of holding debates in the short Vacation. This was not a success and one or two of the most interesting subjects were debated with a bare quorum. In spite, however, of postponements, counter attractions and delays, proceedings have never flagged and the Society continues to flourish.

* * * *

It is to be regretted that the Prize Essay Competition fell through. This should be one of the most important events of the year and has in the past resulted in a great deal of interest. The Committee, however, should be careful to choose a subject which the average mind could make a sporting shot at. "Student Types" is more suggestive of artistic than literary enterprise (See our illustration Student Types, No. 1.)

* * * *

The President's Address, which is always one of the most entertaining events of the Session, was delivered this year by page 14 Professor Von Zedlitz. His subject, was "Counters of Thought" or "Lexicographical Anthology"—mysterious expressions which he explained as "words" — "words in the relation of their meanings to human life". Professor Von Zedlitz showed "how the general progress of courtesy and refinement of manners is reflected in language" and in a spirit of quaint humour explained the paradoxes of his theories. This was explained by reference to many examples which joined harmoniously in the serio—comic strain. The "degeneration" and "regeneration" of words were appropriately illustrated by such words as "gamble", "hector" "stout" and "ostler."

How's this?

Words in common speech, I ween,
Share the fate of Kings and crowns
And,—like all things human—know
Their ups and downs.

Stout in ancient times they say
Told of joy at trumpet sound;
When not a beverage, now describes
Distance round.
Exceptions may be counted out—
As when we speak of "good old Stout."

Beer a long long time ago
In terms of pureness could lie stated
Now the common verdict is—
Exceptions should be noted here
As when we speak of "Whiskey Beere."

When little lambs frisked on the hill
Or frolicked blythely to the shamble,
Their action yon could rightly call
A harmless "gamble"
But in these days of "sweeps "you see,
A Gamble cannot guileless be.

An Ostler was in good old days
A Corpulent and jolly host
But later was a servant kept—
For horses most.
Though obsolete about the Court
There's one survival—great at sport.

Words in common speech, I ween,
Know their ups and downs alike
No better instance could be given
Than the "Spike."

The lecturer concluded with a strong appeal to those who would see English the great world-language to prseerve and cherish the immortal glories of the language of Shakspere.

page 15

A College "bard" sends us a "poem" dedicated to the President, Victoria College Debating Society.

As Spring's bright sunshine moves the birds
To fill dark woods with sweet sensation,
So thou mak'st luminous dark words
Of Sweet's narration.

Thine eye perceives in flowers' decay,
(For thine is deepest penetration)
To-morrow's glory—and in slang to-day,

Oh, may thy genial spirit flood my rhymes,
Impart a joy to all creation,
Preserving still our Shakspere from the time's