564 History of Wake Forest College
of the Supreme Court. Later he was the sole editor of the famous
"Battle's Revisal" of the laws of North Carolina. For many years had
charge of the department of Law at the University of North Carolina.
In 1833, while a member of the Legislature, he had shown his
friendship for Wake Forest by introducing in the House of Commons
the bill for the charter of the Wake Forest Institute.
The address of Mr. Battle is very short, covering only fourteen
pages in large type. After an introduction in which he speaks of the
critical character of the college period, he asks the students as they are
parting to forget any unfriendliness and renew pleasant relations with
one another. Addressing those who are to remain in college he asks
that they remember gratefully their parents and try to show
themselves worthy of the sacrifices they are making in their behalf; to
remember their faithful instructors and their efforts to help them
acquire knowledge and wisdom, and also to be grateful to those who
have given of their means to found the institution. To the graduating
class he makes appeal to continue the pursuit of knowledge, to avoid
both avarice and extravagance, to be circumspect in their conduct; to
love their country and obey its laws; to preserve a fair character, and
not to forget the claims of religion.
The following paragraph from the introduction will indicate Mr.
Battle's style and the quality of his thought:
There are few periods in the short and transitory course of our existence which
are more interesting and important in themselves and which exert a more deep and
permanent influence over our destiny for time and eternity than the years of our
collegiate pupillage. The tender age of childhood is then passed, and all the toys and
sports and amusements of infancy are discarded as unworthy to attract attention or
engross the care of the ripening intellect. New wishes and desires arise in the
bosom, and new objects of pursuit begin to present themselves before the expanding
imagination. The passions, too, then begin to assume a controlling sway, and the
whole youth like the rosebud, which in the genial warmth of spring unfolds its
tender leaves and expands into flower, discloses new capacities and enlarged