Tuesday, March 10, 2020

By Kemp Plummer Battle
     Those who have tried it say that there is no better courting time and place than in a light buggy drawn by a spirited team. But let the amatory youth take a waning from the mishap of a friend of mine. He borrowed of his grandfather a barouche and pair and took his lady-love on a four mile ride, determined to bring love matters to a focus. After skirmishing around with preliminary sweet speeches, he turned his head to gaze into her face while he asked her to share his life. As he did so he discovered that the boy, whom he had employed to hold his horses at the house of his girl, had jumped up behind and was listening with grinning delight to all tender words. The shock was so great that the opportunity was lost—and as matters turned out, lost forever. My readers need not weep over this story. "Mrs. Grundy" said that the young lady would have refused him. 

[From FamilyOldPhotos.com]
     Another "smart" young man driving over Franklin street saw a cow lying contentedly in the way. He thought he would show his skillfulness as a driver by running one wheel over her side. Much to his grief the animal suddenly rose, upset the vehicle, and turned him and his lady-love sprawling into the sand.
     Unfailingly courteous, too, were the beaux of fifty years ago. I give one specimen of this: A lady friend of mine was taking a ride with a student of the forties. The buggy wheel ran into a deep rut on his side of the road and threw the lady with some violence on him. She said, "I beg your pardon, sir!" He replied with evident sincerity, "Not at all disagreeable, madam!"

Kemp Plummer Battle was born in Louisburg, Franklin County, NC. He was valedictorian of the 1849 class of UNC. He worked at UNC as a tutor, as a lawyer in Raleigh, Wake Co., NC, and as a trustee to the University. In 1876 he became president of UNC.

[Taken from History of the University of North Carolina by Kemp P. Battle; 1907]

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