460 History of Wake Forest College
ful and interesting ladies," whose enjoyments were enhanced by "the
harmony of sweet sounds and perhaps the articulation of sweeter
words." Music was provided from the earliest years, and received due
appreciation. In a report for the Commencement of 1852, it is said: "A
fine band of music was present to cheer and enliven the scene; the ear
was filled with the melody of music, and the eye was ravished by
rapid succession of beauties, which passed like magic before minds in
a trance." At the Commencement of 1859, the party closed with a
dinner at the College Hotel in honor of the graduating class, at which
the young ladies in attendance were guests, having been "invited to
partake of a largely and handsomely furnished supper." This feature
seems first to have been added this year, and to have been retained at
the Commencement of 1860.
Those who write of these parties and entertainments take pains to
emphasize the fact that order was good and the entertainments
innocent, and that there was nothing untoward to mar the joy of the
occasions. Probably the writers were tending to draw a contrast
between these parties and the balls with which it was customary, to
close the Commencements at the State University and at most other
colleges. Another manifest purpose of the reporters was to dissipate
the general idea that such parties were dull and unpleasurable. "Tell
us not," says the reporter of the Commencement of 1852, "there is no
pleasure at a party but where they trip the dance on the light fantastic
toe.' We have seen and know better, and the truth is, it is only those
who can use their heels better than their brains that cry out, Oh how
dull, how insipid all these conventional parties are.' "
During manual labor days the students got all the physical exercise
they needed and often more than they desired from work on the farm
or in the shop. But after the institution became a college no regular
provision for such exercise was made. In that day intercollegiate
sports were unheard of in the South, and there were no such games as
the modern games of baseball, football, and basketball. The College
had no gymnasium, and had no regula-
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