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"Near This Spot
While yet primeval forest stood the
A devout man of God,
A faithful Minister of the Presbyterian Church Born 1739-Died 1805 'Socrates died like a philosopher-but Jesus Christ like a God.' From his sermon as narrated by William Wirt."
Katherine K. Scott.
CLASSICS FROM ORANGE COUNTY, VIRGINIA
AMES BARBOUR, Governor of Virginia, was riding over his estate, Barboursville, consulting with his overseer. The land there is very rolling.
It was just before frost and the negroes were doing the fall plowing.
The Governor remarked: "Mr. W., the declivity of the land renders it indispensably necessary that the soil be cultivated horizontally."
"W'at ye mean, Gov'ner? Do ye mean I must go to strippin' tobarco to-morrow?"
Montibello, near Gordonsville, Virginia, the farm where Zachary Taylor was born, is owned by an old Virginia lady, Mrs. Betty Brent.
One day, in years gone by, she was speaking to an old family servant concerning the packing of the newly cured hay:
"Don't pack it too tight. I'm afraid of spontaneous combustion."
"Hi, dar, Miss Betty," said he, "ain't dat just plain ole horse colic?"
Katherine K. Scott.
SOUR WOOD MOUNTAIN*
HICKEN crowing on Sour Wood Mountain,
Get your dog and we'll go hunt 'em,
My true love's a blue-eyed daisy,
If I don't get her I'll go crazy,
Big dog barks and little dog bite you,
Big girl court and little girl slight you,
My true love she lives in Letcher,
She won't come and I won't fetch her,
My true love lives up the hollow,
She won't come and I won't follow,
My true love lives up the river,
A few more jumps and I'll be with her,
Hey, ho diddledum dey!
*The young lady who sent this old song in writes: "There is something curious about this old song, Sour Wood Mountain. Over in the mountains of Wise and Scott and Lee there is a kind of people called Molungeons (I don't know whether this is spelt right or not, but this is the way it sounds). When I taught in Lee County, I was told that they were a mixture of Indian and Negro. At the Normal School we were told that whenever any of these people heard this song they began to fight. I asked several of the girls from that section about it and they said it was certainly true."
W. A. DICKINSON, Editor
(EDITOR'S NOTE: In view of the fact that news items concerning the liv ing alumni are handled by the Flat Hat, our weekly publication, the Alumni Editor wishes to announce that, following the policy of last year, the lives of the more distinguished alumni, both living and dead, will be presented in this section.)
JEFFERSON AT THE COLLEGE OF
WILLIAM AND MARY
T will perhaps be of interest to the students and alumni of the College to review the life of one of the greatest alumni the College of William and Mary has ever produced. It is with the endeavor to make the college life of Thomas Jefferson interesting to the readers and friends of this Magazine, that the writer presents the following summary of his college days at William and Mary.
When we think of Jefferson once a student at this College we are now attending, we naturally look askance into his college days. We would like to know about the social events of his days, about the courses he took in college; in short, everything concerning his two years' stay at William and Mary.
When Jefferson entered the College of William and Mary in 1760, he was tall and raw-boned, with reddish hair and hazelgray eyes. He was not a handsome man as it would appear from the description of his physical being. However, the damsels of Williamsburg were at times his intimate friends and refuge for social entertainment. His many social accomplishments made him a very desirable companion. Yet the colonial dames of this ancient city were not his most intimate friends. His precocity while still a student made him a desirable associate for
Dr. Small, George Wythe, and Lieutenant-Governor Fauquier, of the colony of Virginia. He discussed philosophy and government with these distinguished men at his leisure hours.
It would seem that since Fauquier was a passionate gambler and since the gentry that gathered at Williamsburg during the winter was addicted to the same weakness, Jefferson would certainly have become contaminated with such social vices. But the fact that he never gambled, used tobacco in no form, or was not given to quarreling or fighting, reflects great credit upon Jefferson's character.
Jefferson was a leader in all social events, frequenting the Apollo Room at the Raleigh Tavern, where many balls were given during the winter. He was a good singer, an expert violinist, and a graceful dancer, making him a natural leader of the social group gathered at Williamsburg. During his first year he spent a good part of his time dancing with the ladies of this city. His red-headedness, his tallness never prevented Jefferson from associating with the ladies.
Jefferson in his twentieth year carried with him from William and Mary a knowledge of Latin, Greek, and French, to which he added Spanish, Italian, and Anglo-Saxon afterwards. He possessed a familiarity with mathematics and the natural sciences that was only acquired by the exceptional scholars who had a taste and ability for such studies. His preferred studies were mathematics and philosophy, to which he devoted the greater part of the fifteen hours that he himself said he gave to his studies during his second year at college. This was not true of his first year, however, for he spent fifteen hours participating in the many festivities and social events in Williamsburg. Although he gave fifteen hours to his studies daily, he nevertheless took some exercise. He was a fine athlete; very fond of horse racing and running. For his exercise the second year at college he used to run at twilight a mile out of the city and back.
Of all the courses he took at William and Mary, ethics and metaphysics he detested. He sneered at them, saying that it
was "lost time" to listen to the lectures on moral philosophy as "He who made us would have been a pitiful bungler if he had made the rules of our moral conduct a matter of science." A science of morals never met with his approval. This same heretical notion of his college days remained with him throughout his life. He is said to have written the Bible as he wanted it written, cutting out all the parts that he disapproved.
William Small was professor of mathematics and became per interim professor of philosophy while Jefferson was at college. As an instructor he had the rare skill of making the way to knowledge comparatively easy. He was very much struck with the deportment of young Jefferson, with his intellect and energy of thought; he admired him so that he not only instructed the young Jefferson in his lecture room, but made him his daily companion. Jefferson stated that the instruction and social intercourse with Dr. Small "probably fixed the destinies of his life."
Jefferson was very fond of the Latin, Greek, and French languages, and he probably had a reading knowledge of all three. His acquaintance with Italian, Spanish, and Anglo-Saxon was not, however, made during his college life, though he may have comprehended the rudiments of these languages during this period. But he acquired Anglo-Saxon while he was studying law, in order that he might dip deeply into the fountain of the English Common Law.
As for literature, he was very partial to the Greek. The Athenians were his chosen people. In logic and burning oratory, he placed Demosthenes above Cicero. Of the historians he preferred Thucydides and Tacitus. For fiction he cared little or nothing. He never read beyond the works of Smollett, Sterne, Fielding, and Cervantes. The latter he read twice. He was a general reader of poetry, however, in spite of his utilitarian tendencies. Homer, Horace, Shakespeare, Milton, Dryden, and Pope were his favorite poets. He admired Dante and Virgil, but read them very little.