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The debating societies hold their first meeting tonight; and we hope that they may be good meetings. These societies are cultivating, and with no mean speed, an increasing interest in debating. The position which this branch of education formerly held in the University was nothing short of absurd. In a country where good public speakers are a government necessity, and where the number of such speakers is at present distressingly small, it seems beyond comprehension that young men in a position to make themselves good speakers should wholly let slip the opportunity.

To be sure, debating has a better position today than three years ago. The Yale debates have given new life. But there is need of far more development. Students ought to go into these societies, not of course to build up the societies but to build up themselves. Some of the more noted Harvard graduates have testified to the lamentable lack of power they have felt when called upon to take part in debate. It is fully time for Harvard to produce some graduates who may testify, under similar circumstances, to the sense of power which their college debating training gave them.

Both societies have arranged attractive programmes. We shall be interested to see how effective is the new plan of debate which the Union will try.

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