Literary Work 541
historic interest that made such questions so interesting to the students
of that period; we are no longer much interested in them nor in the
many questions of morals which were often debated. There is,
however, no denial of the educational and cultural value of the
discussion of the questions mentioned above; the same may be said of
questions of the character of Cromwell, Charles I, and Elizabeth, or
the merits of Hamilton and Jefferson.
Perhaps the historical question most often debated was whether
Elizabeth was justified in putting Mary Queen of Scots to death. In
the Euzelian Society, after the banning of party questions, it was
especially popular and always the "Good Queen Bess" found herself
condemned by most decisive votes. On one occasion, November 30,
1855, not a voice was raised in her defense, by her appointed
champions, F. M. Purefoy, W. C. Parker, and Erastus D. Nixon;
seeing her thus basely deserted Professor Jack Mills of Oxford
College, who perchance was present, offered some words in her
behalf, but all to little purpose; by a vote of 39 to 3, she was convicted
of unjustly putting her sister queen to death, or as the record reads, the
question, "Was Mary Queen of Scots justly executed? was decided in
the affirmative over the left, by a vote of 3 to 39."
On November 11, 1853, the badly worded question, "Who was the
greatest general that ever lived?" brought many Euzelian champions
into the field. The record shows that "after a long discussion it was
decided in favor of Napoleon Bonaparte." The Society which had
suffered for six hours immediately revised that question. This
historical interest was what gave point to such questions as the
relative oratorical powers of Demosthenes and Cicero or of Cicero
and Daniel Webster, which were sometimes up for discussion.
In that day before Darwin had disturbed the calm depths of thought
with his Origin of Species and science was the handmaid of religion,
scientific questions were freely discussed, but such as dealt with the
telescope rather than the microscope. The nearest approach to
forbidden ground was when the Euzelians debated,
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