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The vote of an audience on the merits of a college debate is perhaps of no great significance when one of the debaters is on "home grounds" and presumably has the sympathy of a majority of the listeners. . . . It was hardly to be expected, however, that the majority against Harvard would be so large--the ration was perhaps ten or fifteen to one . . . Probably three or five or any number of individual judges would have been unanimous for Boston College or pretty nearly so, as the young men from the Heights outgeneralled their adversaries, marshalled arguments more skillfully, were more serious and more dignified, used better diction and were far superior in oratory.
Our debating visitors from Oxford and Cambridge seem to have had a greater influence on Harvard forensics today than on those of Boston College. . . At its worst, the English style is aid and comfort to the enemy. It suggests triviality, lack of seriousness, immaturity, meagre preparation, an inclination to turn a serious occasion into a holiday.
It was noticeable in Symphony Hall that the Harvard speakers were chattier than the Boston College men, strayed from the microphone more often and, in a commendable effort to be chummy, unacademic and pretty understandable, did not hesitate to employ terms which would have horrified the late Messrs. Barrett Wendell and Adams Sherman Hill, dismayed the chaste Charles Townsend Copeland and disturbed the poise of Dean Briggs. Boston Herald.
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