The Students, Work and Recreations 139
On the first Sabbath morning we all put on our best, and at the ringing of the bell
we all went into the chapel for service. Mr. Wait preached an eloquent sermon from
Job XIX, 25-26. I marked many of his texts in my Bible and can refer to them now.
I enjoyed Mr. Wait's sermons very much, and was surprised that so few of the
people of the neighborhood attended service at the Institute. There was a fine
commodious auditorium. The able sermon was delivered to nobody but the students
and those on the Hill. A young lady of the neighborhood visited us. I asked her why
the young ladies did not come to church; adding that we would like to see them out.
She replied that they would come at the drop of a hat, and drop it themselves, but
that they had heard that Mr. Wait said that he wished there was a wall fifty feet high
and ten miles square around the place, and a young lady not permitted to come
inside it. I told her that Mr. Wait did not say any such thing, and asked her to tell
them all to come on Sabbath and Mr. Wait would be glad to see them. She remarked
that I could not make them believe that. I understood that they had captured several
of his boys
previously.17
The young men were thus thrown back upon themselves for their
social life. Very early they developed a strong college spirit. Faculty
and students formed one family, with instructors and students
partaking of food at the same
table.18
They were ready to resent in a
most vigorous way adverse criticism of the Institute. About April 1,
1835, three students ran away, telling no one of their destination, and
went to
Petersburg.19
Very probably with no special malice but to
justify themselves they alleged as the reasons of their leaving the poor
quality and insufficient quantity of the food they had got and the
prison-like confinement at the Institute. These stories were "seized
upon and zealously propagated by the enemies of the school and in
too many instances credited by the wavering and
suspicious."20
When
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17
Wake Forest Student, XIII, 473.
18
Raleigh Register, July 5, 1836.
19
Brooks's Diary under date of April 5, 1835, says, "Heard the melancholy news
this evening that three of our students have left the Institute and not been fully
found out what was the cause or where they intended to go. Poor thoughtless youth.
I think they have taken a leap in the dark. I hope they will retrace their steps and
repent of their doings." That they made their way to Petersburg before going home
is told in the Biblical Recorder of May 27.
20
Biblical Recorder, May 27, 1835.
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