Literary Work 537
weeks the number was increased to six, three on each side, which
arrangement was kept except for a period of six weeks from February
6, 1841, when the number was increased to six on each side.
At the time of naming the disputants the query which they were to
debate was also announced, being chosen by the disputants, when
they so desired, from the list of questions which had been selected by
the query committees and approved by the Societies. Soon both
Societies had query books with some three hundred queries each, on
almost every conceivable historical or current subject, except that
controverted religious subjects were debarred.4
The disputants were expected to make special preparation and
invest the subject on either side, a thing they were the more able to do
with the help of the books, and periodicals in the libraries. At the time
of the debate they opened the discussion; when they had finished,
others in one section were required to speak, being free to take the
side of their choice; then the question was open for miscellaneous
debate, when any member who desired might speak if he could get the
floor. In November, 1839, the Philomathesians divided their roll into
two sections in alphabetical order, requiring those on each section to
debate at alternate meetings. After a few years they discontinued this
but before the end of the period they divided the roll into five
sections, requiring those on each section to debate once in five weeks,
in regular turn. The Euzelians having a greater number of disputants
required speeches of them alone, and when they had finished threw
the subject open for general debate. For this in both Societies there
were almost always a great number of participants, who went about it
with much enthusiasm. To secure them in this privilege the Societies
found it necessary to forbid those who had already spoken once to
speak again so long as there were others who wished to speak. It was
also found necessary to limit the time which a speaker
4 Some of the later query books of the Euzelian Society are to be found in the
College Library; those of the Philomathesians are lost. Nearly all the queries,
however, are found in the regular
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