464 History of Wake Forest College
that they freely forgave the offending student. On another occasion
one of the students caught in the act escaped punishment by
The disorder of the students was usually of that harmless kind
indicated above. The uniform testimony both oral and written is that,
as Dr. Hufham has said,13 the spirit of the College was in favor of
studiousness and clean living. Hazing was not tolerated, and if now
and then a student was inclined to idleness and dissipation the
example and influence of the leaders made it hard to neglect one's
studies and waste time in bad living. With a regular round of duties
for the day the students found the discipline strict but at the same time
inspiring to lofty attainments.14
No proper appreciation of the discipline and standards of living at
Wake Forest in the days before the Civil War can be gained except by
considering them in relation to those that obtained in the larger and
stronger educational institutions of the South at that time, most of
which were State institutions.
As Wake Forest College began to feel her strength and to claim a
place under the sun, the contrast between her standards and those of
the State institutions became evident and the distinguishing features
of the two were clearly drawn. The students of the College coming for
the most part from homes of so-called middle class and many of them
with small means were necessarily frugal in their expenditures. Being
barely able to remain in college they devoted themselves with all
possible ardor and industry to taking advantage of the opportunity
they had. While several of them
12 This story was told the writer by Dr. W. B. Royall. Major Foote has this further
story of bell ringing: "It was against the rules of the College to ring the bell except
at certain hours, but the mischievous students gave the Faculty no little trouble by
ringing the bell at night. So one night to avoid detection, a student climbed up in the
belfry and rang the bell with the clapper. A member of the Faculty spied the culprit
with his lantern and bid him come down, and on asking him why he rang the bell,
the student replied that he read in his lesson that day that "Caesar fecit bellum in
Germania Sylva," that "Caesar made a bell of German silver" and he wanted to see
if it were true. The joke was so good that he escaped punishment." Wake Forest
Student, XXVIII, 336.
13 Wake Forest Student, XXVIII, 341.
14 Ibid., p. 336 f. Statement of Major Foote.
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