276 History o f Wake Forest College
class as much reading as practicable is done in the classroom, and a larger amount
as private parallel work.
Every first-year student was required to take the first year of
English, for which was outlined a prodigious amount of work under
five heads: (1) Rhetoric and Composition, (2) History of Literature,
(3) Selected Masterpieces, (4) Eighteenth Century in Literature, (5)
The courses outlined for the other years were similar in extent.
With such a program the students were tempted to devote an undue
amount of their time to their English studies, and in fact, many of
them did so; but the quickening of pace in Sledd's department was not
altogether a loss to the other departments, since the work in them was
also stepped up. Many able students found their English studies a
challenge and made such progress in them and acquired such
enthusiasm for them that after graduation from the College they
pursued them in the universities of the country. In a few years the first
of a long line of able students were leaving Sledd's classes for such
advanced work in other institutions, some of whom like J. Q. Adams,
were to attain national and international prominence. A larger number
were to become teachers, poets, and journalists. During these early
years Professor Sledd had only students to assist him, the most
notable of these being John Charles McNeill.
Until the separation of the Schools of English and Modern
Language the offerings of French and German at the College were
very meager, a year of five recitations a week being offered in each.
On assuming the professorship of Modern Languages in September,
1888, Professor B. F. Sledd, offered two years of work in each of
these languages, five recitations a week for the first year, and three a
week for the second year. His requirements in both classes were large,
and those who had completed them had a good reading knowledge of
them. The work in them was somewhat neglected when the death of
Dr. Royall had reduced the teaching force, and this continued until
September, 1895, when J. Hendren Gorrell entered on his work as