Public Exercises 569
Under the fostering care of your Alma Mater, I know that your
advantages have been great. I trust I may not be misunderstood, or be
guilty of offering the incense of flattery, at a shrine where I would be
exposed to reproach, and where flattery would be indignantly refused,
when I say that, under the care of the excellent and venerable head of
the institution, you, gentlemen, have received every advantage that
your ambition could desire, or your hopes anticipate. I must be
pardoned, for I was under his care before some of you who hear me
were on the stage of existence. He laid the foundation of those studies
which, to me, have been a source of unalloyed pleasure, and his hand
assisted in riveting that armor which has since enabled me better to
stand the tilts and tournaments of the forum and the bar, and now after
years of separation I return to lay at his feet the tribute of grateful
Tully [Cicero] acknowledges the transports which he felt on be-
holding the porticoes of Athens, where Socrates taught, and where
Plato held his disputations. Similar feelings pervade my mind when I
behold these classic edifices, the object of the tender cares of my
venerable preceptor, and as I consider the enviable condition of the
youth blessed with his inspiration and advice.
As a further tribute of friendship and gratitude Colonel Wheeler
dedicated his published address to Wait in a few well chosen
The address at the Commencement in June, 1844, was by Henry I.
Toole, of Tarboro, an able lawyer and eloquent speaker. His general
subject was Education, which he treated in a new and interesting
manner, and "enhanced the attention of the delighted auditory more
than an hour."6 Near the close of his address he paid the following
beautiful tribute to John C. Calhoun7
There is another American name whose intellectual lustre pales before no other
in our history: that of a statesman whose analytic mind has explained and developed
all the complexities of political forms: who has brought to the discussion of political
topics, a power of moral
6 Biblical Recorder, June 29 and July 6, 1844.
7 Mr. Toole was a staunch Democrat and had made a strong campaign for
Congress against the Whig incumbent, the able Edward Stanley. Afterwards an
ardent advocate of Secession, he edited Aurora, a Secession paper.
Previous Page Next Page