Public Exercises 577
ants, and distinction is attainable in all, there is danger of indecision,
of procrastinating any choice at all, and of quitting one and trying
another, if success follow not immediately. Learn then this truth, if
vacillation characterize you, mediocrity awaits you. Choose your pur-
suit-choose it freely, but upon reflection with judgment, and when
you have chosen it, let it be your polar star, not in the sense that
everything else is to be neglected, but in the sense that everything else
is to be subordinate or auxiliary.
1852-ROMULUS M. SAUNDERS
Romulus M. Saunders made the address at the Commencement on
June 9, 1852.13 His subject was "The Early History and Present
Resources of the State," which he treated in an illuminating way. He
laid special emphasis on the Mecklenburg "Declaration of
Independence," with fine historical sense recognizing that the
"Resolves of May 31" must be regarded as the sole historical
document, but not yet seeing that they do not constitute a declaration
of independence. For quotation, however, I am giving some words
from his introduction, which not only show his own noble interest in
the College but doubtless reflect contemporary sympathies of the
cultured and intellectual classes towards it.
Nineteen years, said he, have elapsed since the General Assembly of the State
incorporated "The Trustees of Wake Forest Institute." During this long and anxious
period, the Trustees have had great embarrassment and many difficulties to
encounter, which they have met with that manly resolution, that entitles them to the
thanks and gratitude of the community. Nothing, I assure you could have induced
me to place myself before you, in obedience to the call of one of your Literary
Societies, but a desire to gratify my young friends and at the same time to second as
far as may be in my power the efforts of those who are displaying such a
commendable zeal in sustaining the fortunes of this Institution.
1853-A. W. VENABLE
The address at the Commencement in June, 1853, was by Abraham
W. Venable of Granville County, who had been elected
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13 Born in Orange County, March 3, 1791; after 1831 a resident of Raleigh. Died
April 21, 1867. Member of Congress, minister to Spain, judge.
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