The Students, Work and Recreations 143
hissing sounds are from the Dulcimo. Moonlight and music!-but enough. There's no
place like Wake Forest. Good
night.
Rarely some form of recreation, such as a fishing party was given
the students to break the long monotony of the hot work in hoeing
cotton and corn already ruined by grass in the low-grounds of
Richland Creek. Such an event was talked of for weeks before, and on
the eve of it the students would be so much elated as to forget to
study. When the day was come they were up by candle-light and off
to the fishing ground. When they had caught what fish they could,
they prepared their own dinner, to which hunger gave a keen relish,
though it was very crudely cooked. Towards night they would return,
foot-sore and leg-sore, so much fatigued that they could not study that
night, but well satisfied since they had gone "for the amusement of
the thing, not the
profit."29
Another very successful expedient of President Wait was the
formation of a military company. One Saturday morning in the first
year the students were ordered to assemble in front of his residence.
He stood on the portico with a flute and played martial airs, such as
"Hail Columbia" and "Star Spangled
――――――
29
Such was the party of August 19, 1836, thus described by Brooks in his Diary:
"Friday Morning 19th. Bell rang quite early this morning to arouse us to make
preparation for the long contemplated fish. Took breakfast before light. All divided
off into messes of ten. Arrived at the Falls of the Neuse in good time; found the
place quite romantic. Large rocks show their mossy heads, almost in every size,
which is calculated to strike the beholder with mingled awe and delight. The whole
establishment, the mills and other things included, seem as though they may bring
in considerable profit. River very muddy so that we made but little speed catching
fish. After we had quit fishing, we then commenced cooking, which was truly
diverting. We had two large ovens in which we broke up corn bread, and also put in
the fish with the bread after they had been cleaned and salted, and in addition to
this, fat as seasoning. We stirred this composition together until properly done,
which I assure was quite palatable. After the dinner was prepared every student pre-
pared him a leaf plate, or got a piece of pine bark and spread leaves over it, and
made wooden forks which answered every purpose. We dined as happy as kings,
notwithstanding our manner was so very singular. After dinner we started for
Institute; sun shining very hot. Quite fatigued before I reached Institute: feet and
legs very sore; unable to study Friday night, though well satisfied with my trip. I
went for the amusement of the thing, not the profit."
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