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and incalculable would be the good which might be effected by a more universal transformation of the cold and unanimated lecture into the fervent and glowing exhortation.: Checks have been imposed on our forefathers, indeed, by the disadvantages and deficiencies of their education : but it is the duty, as it should be the pleasure, of the rising generation to lay hold on the increased and increasing means of improvement, which are generally within their reach, and to exert themselves to the utmost in striving to attain what is so eminently calculated to make them both useful and distinguished members of the professions to which they are to belong.

The ambition of the most ardent and aspiring minds is usually directed towards St. Stephen's. The rò xadov of most of those who are at all disposed towards oratorical pursuits is situated within the walls of the House of Com

Visions of joy and honour open on their enraptured sight.

A successful debût-an offer from the minister-a Secretaryship of State—and even the Premiership itself--are the objects which form the vista along which a young visionary loves to look. But there is a barrier to pass, and an ordeal to endure : there are such articles as maiden speeches, sometimes calculated to act more generally and more forcibly on the lungs of such an audience than the most violent or the most cutting of all the breezes which Æolus can boast. There are such things as roars of coughing, as well as roars of cheering: and the man ought to be endowed with a considerable share of fortitude and presence of mind, in addition to natural and acquired powers of eloquence,

mons.

perhaps, I might say, as equal to that afforded by the sight of an impending rod, a stern visage, and a powerful arm. Truly, the tale with which our friend Herodotus entertains his readers respecting the eldest son of Croesus, would have possessed a fairer claim to confidence, had he placed the youth in the common situation of a delinquent school-boy, about to suffer the reward of his evil deeds. Then it is that the tongue vies with the eyes in their lamenting streams, and the hands in their supplicating attitude: these are clasped, and those are flowing: while the little organ of speech is vigorously exerted in pouring forth, congregated and united confessions of guilt, protestations of repentance, intreaties for mercy, and

promises of amendment. Eloquence has been defined as the art of persuasion ; never was definition less applicable than such a one in the present instance. sion! alas ! how few whippings have been escaped by means like these! Though the voice be honeyed, the attitude graceful, the expressions appropriate-though no requisite of the perfect orator be wanting, the uplifted hand descends in chastisement, and the cruel twigs perform their office.

I must request the kind indulgence, and the particular attention of my Etonian readers, while, in winding up this paper, I earnestly endeavour to impress on their minds another, a more serious, and a more familiar topic. I allude to the existence, the importance, and the condition, of the Debating Society established here.

It may amuse the gay to laugh, it may gratify the narrow-minded to rail, at such an institution. The proud may spurn it—the thoughtless may deride it-the male

Persua

volent (if such there be-I believe there are not such among us) may hate, may traduce, may injure it; but it has endured, and it does endure, and it must continue to endure, as long as the liberal and indulgent spirit of our superiors shall continue to foster those aspirations of legitimate ambition, to mature those buds of opening ability, which are, I rejoice to say, so abundant in the minds of those whom it is my pride and my pleasure to call by the homely, yet endearing, name of school-fellows.

To such cavillers as I have mentioned above, no answer need be given, for no satisfaction would probably suffice. To the candid reader, to the fair and unprejudiced inquirer, facts like those which I have to mention, may demonstrate the utility, and the efficacy, of such institutions as that which I am striving to recommend. Scarcely any one of the great orators of this country has risen to so proud a distinction without previously trying his strength, maturing his faculties, and remedying his defects, in a private Debating Society.

But I may here be met by a triumphant assertion, that they were not societies of boys which have thus contributed to form our orators and statesmen. I am happy to have to adduce what, I believe, is a strikingly powerful and conclusive answer.

Of the very few distinguished young speakers in the House of Commons, as it exists at present, (altogether, perhaps, not more than four or five,) three, and those perhaps the first-I mean Lord Morpeth, the Hon. E. G. Stanley, and Lord Castlereagh-have been members of the ETON DEBATING SOCIETY ! that Society which affords such abundant room for ridicule and contempt: that

VOL. II.

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perhaps, I might say, as equal to that afforded by the sight of an impending rod, a stern visage, and a powerful arm. Truly, the tale with which our friend Herodotus entertains his readers respecting the eldest son of Croesus, would have possessed a fairer claim to confidence, had he placed the youth in the common situation of a delinquent school-boy, about to suffer the reward of his evil deeds. Then it is that the tongue vies with the eyes in their lamenting streams, and the hands in their supplicating attitude : these are clasped, and those are flowing: while the little organ of speech is vigorously exerted in pouring forth, congregated and united confessions of guilt, protestations of repentance, intreaties for

mercy,

and

promises of amendment. Eloquence has been defined as the art of persuasion ; never was definition less applicable than such a one in the present instance. Persuasion ! alas ! how few whippings have been escaped by means like these! Though the voice be honeyed, the attitude graceful, the expressions appropriate--though no requisite of the perfect orator be wanting, the uplifted hand descends in chastisement, and the cruel twigs perform their office.

I must request the kind indulgence, and the particular attention of my Etonian readers, while, in winding

paper, I earnestly endeavour to impress on their minds another, a more serious, and a more familiar topic. I allude to the existence, the importance, and the condition, of the Debating Society established here.

It may amuse the gay to laugh, it may gratify the narrow-minded to rail, at such an institution. The proud may spurn it—the thoughtless may deride it--the male

up this

volent (if such there be-I believe there are not such among us) may hate, may traduce, may injure it; but it has endured, and it does endure, and it must continue to endure, as long as the liberal and indulgent spirit of our superiors shall continue to foster those aspirations of legitimate ambition, to mature those buds of opening ability, which are, I rejoice to say, so abundant in the minds of those whom it is my pride and my pleasure to call by the homely, yet endearing, name of school-fellows.

To such cavillers as I have mentioned above, no answer need be given, for no satisfaction would probably suffice. To the candid reader, to the fair and unprejudiced inquirer, facts like those which I have to mention, may demonstrate the utility, and the efficacy, of such institutions as that which I am striving to recommend. Scarcely any one of the great orators of this country has risen to so proud a distinction without previously trying his strength, maturing his faculties, and remedying his defects, in a private Debating Society. But I

may here be met by a triumphant assertion, that they were not societies of boys which have thus contributed to form our orators and statesmen. I am happy to have to adduce what, I believe, is a strikingly powerful and conclusive answer.

Of the very few distinguished young speakers in the House of Commons, as it exists at present, (altogether, perhaps, not more than four or five,) three, and those perhaps the first-I mean Lord Morpeth, the Hon. E. G. Stanley, and Lord Castlereagh-have been members of the ETON DEBATING SOCIETY ! that Society which affords such abundant room for ridicule and contempt: that

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