The Golden Age of the Literary Societies 369
vulgar practices such as the chewing of gum and tobacco were
punished with fines; smoking in the halls was inconceivable;
boisterousness and slouching in one's seat, and sleeping had to be paid
for. In this way "Mother Philomathesia" and "Mother Euzelia" came
to be regarded with reverence.
Another characteristic of the Society spirit was the sense of self-
respect and power. Each of them had about half the students and
together they had all of them. In some matters they had a control of
their own members that the faculty never was able to maintain. The
faculty could not keep the students from trampling the grass, or going
to the train, or tearing down rustic benches or marking or defacing by
whittling and carving college furniture and buildings, from spitting on
floors of chapel and classrooms and halls, and library, or keeping
firearms, or throwing water from the windows, but the Societies had
with enforcing proper regulations about these things.
When both Societies united on a policy or course of action in matters
that were in their province the faculty learned to act with them. The
members of the faculty also respected this power; they knew that each
Society was jealous of its rights and they were careful to maintain
strict neutrality toward them.
A new era may be said to have begun for the Societies in 1879,
when they moved into their new halls in the second story of the Heck-
Williams Building, the Philomathesian Hall on the north and the
Euzelian Hall on the South, assigned by
They were leaving the
narrow halls under the roof of the Old College Building for quarters
which were amply large to accommodate easily 100 students each,
provided with tall windows and well ventilated, and ready for
decoration and other improvements. Soon the two societies were
engaged in a friendly rivalry in beautifying and furnishing their new
halls. Within ten or twelve years the walls were hung with heavy
3 See Records of Phi. Society for March 14, 1885.
Minutes of the Board of Trustees, March 1, 1879. Minutes of Euzelian Society,
June 6, 1879: "This evening, the time long looked for by the Euzelian Society, was
hailed as the beginning of a new era."