280 History of Wake Forest College
An immense amount of courting is evidently going on. We are near a courting
couple. He tells her that he loves her, and desires above all earthly blessings that she
shall be the companion of his life. She tells him she reciprocates all his feelings, and
is ready to go with him to the altar. He becomes excited and proposes an
engagement kiss. She thinks the Chapel a little too public, and so they disappear in
the grove, where many other couples occupy the rustic seats and promenade the
winding walks. We hope that a hundred wedding days were appointed, and that a
hundred loving couples may soon be settled in happy homes. We believe that
marriage is a great promoter of peace and civilization, and that church and state
should protect and encourage it. The press also should wield an influence in its
favor, provided no encouragement be given to late hours, flirtations or health-
destroying dissipations.
For many years this love-making went on at the social receptions of
the Societies. In the account of the commencement of 1885, written
by A. T. Robertson, and found in the Wake Forest Student, IV, 453f.,
it is said: "And Cupid is rarely ever as busy as then. His darts are
thick and fast and pierce many a tender heart with a deadly wound."
At the Society reception of 1892, which was one of all the splendor of
frescoed walls and ceilings and sparkling chandeliers and hundreds of
beautifully dressed young ladies and of as many handsome young
men, with the perfume of cape jessamines filling the air, a gentleman,
Rev. J. G. Blalock, one of the graduates of that year, has told me that
on that night he won for his wife the lady whom he accompanied, and
that on the same occasion four of his college mates accompanied
ladies whom they courted that night and who soon after became their
wives, and all had happy homes.
For many, however, these receptions were times of social pleasure
and nothing more. At most of them, at least after 1890, one might see
groups of well-dressed young men, who had not troubled themselves
to bring out ladies, sitting around, mere spectators of what was going
on, with cynical grins and smiles on their faces. Possibly they were
not uninfluenced by what they saw, for among such groups were
many who were among the first to marry after they had left college.
After the turn of the
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