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The Elon College Weekly
VOL. I. New Series
BURLINGTON, N. C, TUESDAY, APRIL 19. 1910.
And Elon College. N. C.
Great Things Have Little Be
[An oration delivered by Joseph
Pleasant Farmer at the Clio Entertain
ment, February 22, 1910.]
Great things have insignificent settings.
There were no flags of pomp and power
to wave a glorious farewell to the Gen
esee sailors as- they sailed from the
Spanish port of Palos, nor were there
shouting and glorying when they set foot
on West India soil. The Plymouth
Colony, few in number, landed on the si
lent coast of New England, and the
Pilgrims settled with prayer and humble
song. And there had been no settle
ment but for the Indian's corn. All
great discoveries have been made when
the world was not expecting them and
when there was silence. The beginnings
have been devoid of show and pomp of
power. Every great achievement, every
great movement and every great life h?s
had its beginnings in the little things. The
little fountain gushes softly and silently
from the side of the high mountain, but
its waters roar in the valleys below. The
little acorn grows into the oak and makes
a desert place a beautiful habitation.
The little deeds of yesterday and the
day before, to-day fall lightly upon the
ocean of time, but their waves of in
fluence encircle the S"t and spread out,
and out for ever. The little habits of
last year and the year before are small
and insignificent but they are the "'ones
which build the structure of character.
Sir Walter Raleigh threw his cloak
across the muddy path, that the .Qjeen
might pass over with shoes unsoiled and
this was the beginning of his favor with
Elizabeth and of his immortal knight
The simple things, the little things, the
common place things have made and
continue to make the great men of His
tory and of enduring honor. No indi
vidual can attribute his success to any
great circumstance in his life. He can
not think of one wonderful thing that
transformed his life and made his fame
all at once. He will recall only the little
things and will find that out of these grew
his present state.
Demosthenes’ fame was not begotten
when he delivered that matchless oration
on the crown, but when he stood by the
seashore and spoke with pebbles in his
mouth. Cicero’s name had its beginning
not in the orations ..gainst Catiline, but
when he followed his teacher day after
day and spoke after him. Webstar
plead with his brother for the life of a
bird, and there began his fame as an
orator and statesman. Lincoln lay upon
the hearth at night after he ha^l spent
the day splitting rails and read, by torch
light, the books which were his hidden
path to the presidency of the United
Small beginnings, these! Shall we
wait for great things to turn up and
make us great in the twinkling of an eye ?
We have heard of old that fortune knocks
once at the door of every man’s life, and
so it does; but it knocks mdre than once
—:t knocks hour after hour, day after
day, and year after year. And the boys
and the girls, and the young men and
the young women of this land are enter
taining now this knocking guest, whom
through life they must needs bear com
pany. The beginnings must be small and
the acts very unimportant, but so has
been the life’s setting of all the great
Not only great lives but great move
ment^of every kind have had small be
ginnings. The great Student bounteer
movement which is spreading over the
country and which is meaning so much
to the spirit of missions in our own land
and for the aid of those across the seas,
was started a few years ago when six
men met in a prayer meeting behind a
stack of hay. The nailing of a few
doctrines to the door of a university in
Germany was a little affair to Martin
Luther, but it meant the revolutionizing
of the world in the form of Reformation.
When Cranmer and Latimer were burned
at the stake it was a common scene, but
that fire kindled a great conflagration
which, after these many years, has swept
across every sea. Tlie night was no
brighter than other nights, the stars sang
not more happily nor did the moon shine
in gentler lusue, when over the Judean
hills three wise men sought a savior. He
lived like other children, going to church
aiiu tu slIiou! ds iliey uiii, [oiling as they
toiled. Simple beginnings! But how
grand the end ; the fisherman fished on
the Gallilean sea and sang their familiar
songs, as they drew the net, a simple
training it was to be fish as of men.
No wonder we read; “Out of weak
ness comes strength.” The Shepherd
David as he watched his father’s sheep
threw rocks at the surrounding objects
and played leisurely upon his harp.
Later the little stone won a great battle
and overcame a great nation. Later the
harp was played before kings and prin
ces; and later the Shepherd boy was
crowned a king. Grand temples are
built of small stones and great lives are
made up of trifling events. There are
many strokes of the artist’s brush which
we think worthless, but these complete
the picture. There are many taps of
the sculpter’s mallet which are to us
meaningless, but just these touches finish
The great Napoleon was a master of
the little things. No details were too
trivial for his utmost care and study. His
marches were perfectly planned and his
battles orderly manipulated, and so came
his victories and his name foremost amongst
the great military geniuses. “Little things
give victory. "Trifles," says Michael
Angelo, " make perfection, but perfection
is no trifle."
And Charles Dickens upon being asked
what is a genius replied that he was "a
being who paid attention to little things."
So is life, and so is achievement, based
upon little things. It seems a law of
greatness that it be placed on a foundation
of trivial affairs. How far the simple deeds
of life throw their light we cannot divine,
and when we take an inventory of our
past and present we think it vain and
empty. Yet the greatest lives of all ages
and of all times have been made up of
trifles. "Emergencies and great things
occur rarely in our lives. It is the steady
stran of little things, trifles, unimportant
events, experiences so small as to leave
scarcely a trace behind, which make up
thesum total of life.
The massive gates of circumstance are
turned upon the smallest hinge;
And thus some seeming prettiest chance
Oft gives our life its after tinge.
The triflles of our daily lives,
The common things scarce worth recall,
whereof no visible trace survives,
These are the mainsprings, after all.
LOCALS AND PERSONALS.
Mr. Joe Pointer left Friday for his
home at Semora.
Miss Blondie Kernodle spent Sunday ^
at her home at Ossipee.
Mr. C. J. Kee, of Mebane, spent
Sunday here with his family.
Mrs. Robinson, from Boston, is visit
ing her sister, Mrs. Alma Wilson.
Miss Beulah Foster spent Saturday
and Sunday at her home in Burlington.
Mrs. S. E. Jones, of Suffolk, Va., is
visiting her daughter, Miss Ruth Jones.
Miss Narvie Hobby, from Raleigh, is
vt«ihpo’ K#»r Mrs. Moses Atkin
Misses Lila Newman and Mabel Yar
brough went to Burlington Saturday
Miss Lillian Aldridge led in Y. W.
C. A. Sunday afternoon, subject, “Power
Mrs. Willis Lee, from near Norfolk,
Va., spent last week here with Mrs. J.
Miss Bessie and Mr. Marvin McPher
son spent Sunday at their brother’s at
Mr. E. L. Daughtry led in Y. M. C.
A. Saturday evening, using as a subject
Rev. W. C. Wicker preached at
Whitsett Sunday afternoon in the Re
Mr. W. E. Lowe, traveling railroad
auditor In West Virginia, spent Sunday
with his family.
Dr. G. S. Watson left the latter part
of the week to visit his daughter, Miss
Ellen, at Tryon, N. C.
Mr. Henry Barnes spent last week in
Eastern North Carolina in the interest of
The Barnes Safe Company.
Dr. J. O. Atkinson left Saturday af
ternoon for Chapel Hill. He held ser
vices on Sunday at Damascus.
Miss lola Patton, accompanied by
Miss Clea Wagner, spent Saturday and
Sunday at her home near Mebane.
Misses Hattie Ashburn and Affie
Griffin spent Saturday night and Sunday
at the home of Mrs. E. P. McClure in
Miss Knight, of Greensboro, spent
Saturday here visiting Lida Pierce. She
purposes to return soon to take the teach
Mr. S. M. Patton, class of 1909,
visited friends here Sunday and Monday.
He has just closed a successful year of
teaching in Florida.
Rev. J. D. Andrew, pastor of the Re
formed church in Burlington, filled the
pulpit here Sunday. He preached a
highly pleasing and practical sermon.
Misses Hattie Ashburn, Lillian Al
dridge and Pattle Preston spent Friday
night and Saturday with Miss Pearl
Fogleman at her home in Burlington.
Mr. J. C. Stuart was a leader of a
very interesting, inspiring meeting In
Christian Endeavor Sunday evening,
subject, “Good cheer In dark days."
' Quite a number of delegates are ex
pecting to attend the Christian Endeavor
Convention in High Point, which is to
be held thie 22nd, 23rd and 24th of
The first baseball nine has just re
turned from their trip to the Western
part of the State. They played six
games, made a good showing and had a
Mr. Mack Neese, of Bellemont, at-
I tended the Metiiodist Protestant v^uar-
' terly Conference at Mt. Hermon Satur
day and Sunday where he received
license to preach the gospel.
The following are the delegates elect
ed by the Christian Endeavor Society
here to go to the State C. E. Conven
tion, which meets in High Point next
Friday and continues through Sunday;
Mr. and Mrs. Scott, from Philadel
phia, were pleasant visitors at the college
last week. Old students will remember
Mrs. Scott as Miss Sallie Albright, who
for a number of years with her sister,
was a student. Mrs. Scott was greatly
pleased with the growth and develop
ment of Elon College.
Those who deserved special mention
in the Psiphelian Society Friday even
ing were Miss Viola Frazier, “My Life’s
Work.” Miss Ruby Satterfield, “Con
dition of Southern Maintainers.” Miss
Maggie Isley, “The American Women
as discussed by several writers.”
Prof. J. T. Cobb, Messrs. W. W.
Elder, E. T. Hines, W. F. Warren, C.
J. Felton, B. J. Earp, J. C. Stuart, D.
S. Scott, R. A. Truitt, H. E. Truitt, J.
W. Short, J. F. Morgan, E. L. Daugh
try. Misses Hattie Ashburn, Pearl
Tuck, Affie Griffin, Bessie McPherson,
Cora Lawrence, Lucy Gregory and Nel
In the Philologian Socety last Friday
evening, the best speaker oratorically was
Mr. J. F. Morgan. Debate, Query, Re
solved. " That the Republican party is
responsible for the present high cost of
living." Best speaker on the affirmative,
Mr. Arnold Hall. Best speaker on the
negative, Mr. E. T. Hines. Question
won by the affiirmative.