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BARRY DEBATING SOCIETY.

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BARRY DEBATING SOCIETY. "IS MAN A CHILD OF CIRCUMSTANCES?" This was the topic of a most interesting dis- cussion on Monday evening at the weekly meet- ing of the Barry Debating Society. There was a tool attendance, Mr J. 0. Davies, presiding. Mr F. Biss, in an excellent paper, led off in the affirma- tive. He said that man was hedged about by circumstances from the sradle to the grave. What a mighty progeny of circumstances follow hard on the event of his birth. Look at the consequences of mere nationality alone ? We are accustomed to speak with pardonable pride of the land of our birth, which, in our case, happens to be a country where the manners and customs, have their im- mense formative influences for weal or woe. These may be spoken of as being generally good and healthy but how different it would have been had we been born iu the midst cf heathen daikmss, superstition, and vice. A man's country is no great factor in his life's history. A man's station in life is followed by a whole train of attendant circum- stances. If he be of wealthy parentage, he is naturally nurtured in the lap of luxury and ease be neea not take anxious thought for the morrow in order to provide himself with such common- places as food and clothing. These are assured, and he can devote his time to any object of his passing fancy. This rank determines the society among which he moves and their tastfes are his. But what a contrast is found at the other end of the social scale, the pinch of chill poverty is known in early years, the bread is earned by the sweat of the brow, toiling on year in, year out, the one absorb- ing thought being how to earn the bread that perisheth. The lowly position circumscribes men's existence. Gray's elegy on a country churchyard is the teaching of this doctrine of circumstance, and nothing else. There were men who, if born under happier conditions, might have risen to the highest pinscles of fame as Statesmen, generals, and poets, but they were bound w ith the chain of circumstance, and so lived and ditd in obscurity. And what of environment ? Are there not hundreds of unhappy wretches who are born and reared iu dens of darkness, where the moral atmosphere is full of the most poisonous germs, and where every form of wickedness is practised and gloried in. Who shall say that we would not have been as they if our surroundings had been the same ? Who expects darkness to beget light ? Reflect on the momentous issue of a single circumstance-a friendshipâa fortuneâa speculationâa hasty word âthese have changed the whole current of the lives of thousands. Lives of great men were cited, the sport of circumstances in literature producing epoch-making books like Bu^yan's Pilgrin.'s Progress," De Quincey's Confessions," and Milton's "Paradise Lost." In conclusion, he claimed history to be but the narration of circum- stances. In the very lively discussion that followed,which covered a very wide range of matter, and in which Milton's "Paradise Lost." Iu conclusion, he claimed history to be but the narration of circum- stances. In the very lively discussion that followed,which covered a very wide range of matter, and in which expression of dissent were very pronounced, the folowiug gt-ntlemen took pait,viz:âMeters James, Jenkins, Buig«ss, Buzzo, Councillor Paterson, and Dr Keiiv. I

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