174 History of Wake Forest College
and with a fair knowledge of French and
German.22
Within the past
decade he had given much attention to the study of Gothic and Anglo-
Saxon, which at that time were occupying the mind of English
scholars, and on his return to Wake Forest he instituted a new order of
the study of the English language with AngloSaxon as its base.
During his first eight years, when all the modern language instruction
in the College was under his charge he taught five hours a week in
classes each in French and German, and turning over the work in
English grammar to a tutor, he found time to teach five hours a week
of advanced English, devoting two hours a week to English literature,
one hour to rhetoric, and two hours to
Anglo-Saxon.23
Dr. Royall had
written and used in manuscript in his classes his own AngloSaxon
grammar, along with Corson's Handbook. As a textbook in rhetoric he
used Genung's manual which was first published about this time. In
English literature he used the Shaw-Backus history and required a
moderate amount of reading of literary masterpieces. The members of
his classes in English have often been heard to testify to the
excellence and value of his instruction, since from it they learned the
structure of the language they should never have received otherwise,
and also were supplied with proper canons for judging literary
productions. Personally and magisterially he commanded their
respect, admiration and love. His great dignity and moral force served
both as a model and an inspiration for his students.
In his first year, 1879-80, President Pritchard had no classes during
the fall term, but in the spring term he heard three classes
―――――――
22 He was the author of A Treatise on Latin Cases and Analysis, a copy of which
is in the College Library.
23 In an article published in the Wake Forest Student of October, 1885, Dr. Royall
sets forth at some length and most cogently the reasons for such attention of the
study of Anglo-Saxon as he was giving at Wake Forest. For a lack of knowledge of
it some of the best literature of the language was as good as lost to whole
generations of English-speaking people. From a knowledge of Anglo-Saxon alone
could a satisfactory knowledge of English grammar and idiom be obtained; it was as
necessary to the acquirement and correct use of a vocabulary as Latin; a proper use
of Anglo-Saxon words gives to style a terseness and vigor and pathos that cannot be
conveyed by a classical vocabulary, and it has a valuable literature of its own.
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