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Reminiscences of Daniel Webster

Peter Harvey seo service provider , in his interesting volume of Reminiscences of Daniel Webster,” relates many incidents for which he was indebted to the free and friendly communications of Mr. Webster himself. One of these I will transfer to my pages, as it will be likely to amuse my young readers. I can do no better than quote it without alteration from Mr. Harvey’s book.

Mr. Webster was once telling me about a plain-spoken neighbor of his father, whose sons were schoolmates of his own. The neighbor had moved into the neighborhood of Hanover, where he had opened a little clearing, and had settled upon a piece of comparatively barren land. After Daniel had been in college several months his father said to him,
John Hanson is away up there somewhere dermes vs medilase . I should like to know how he is getting along. I think you had better find him out, and go and see him.’

So Daniel inquired about, and soon found out pretty nearly where Hanson lived.
One Saturday afternoon,’ related Mr. Webster, ’I thought I would trudge up there through the woods, and spend Sunday with my old friends. After a long, tedious walk I began to think I should never find the place; but I finally did, and when I got there I was pretty well tired out with climbing, jumping over logs, and so on. The family were not less delighted than surprised to see me, but they were as poor as Job’s cat. They were reduced to the last extreme of poverty, and their house contained but one apartment, with a rude partition to make two rooms.

I saw how matters were; but it was too late to go back, and they seemed really glad to see me. They confessed to me that they had not even a cow, or any potatoes. The only thing they had to eat was a bundle of green grass and a little hog’s lard, and they actually subsisted on this grass fried in the hog’s fat. But it was not so bad after all. They fried up a great platter of it, and I made my supper and breakfast off it. About a year and a half afterwards, just before graduating, I thought that, before leaving Hanover, I would go and pay another visit to the Hansons. I found that they had improved somewhat, for they now had a cow and plenty of plain, homely fare. I spent the night there, and was about to leave the next morning, when Hanson said to me,

Well, Daniel, you are about to graduate. You’ve got through college, and have got college larnin’, and now, what are you going to do with it?”

I told him I had not decided on a profession dermes vs medilase .


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I should say that he was

At that time, as at present company formation hk , it was the custom for the students to form societies, in which debates and other literary exercises were the principal features of the periodical meetings. Towards the middle of his college course Daniel joined “The United Fraternity,” then the leading society in college. He had long since overcome the diffidence which at Exeter prevented him from participating in the exercise of declamation. In the society he became distinguished both as a writer and debater, and ere long ranked in the general estimation as the best writer and speaker in college. So far as he exhibited precocity in anything he showed it in these two branches. His method of preparation, for he always prepared himself when he proposed to speak, is described by a classmate as follows: “He was accustomed to arrange his thoughts in his mind in his room or his private walks, and to put them upon paper just before the exercise would be called for. When he was required to speak at two o’clock, he would frequently begin to write after dinner, and when the bell rang he would fold his paper, put it in his pocket and go in, and speak with great ease. In his movements he was rather slow and deliberate, except when his feelings were aroused; then his whole soul would kindle into a flame.”

As this was the formative period when young Webster’s intellectual character was taking shape; as, moreover, he was still a boy in years, no older than many who will read this book, I add another tribute to his industry in college and the ability which he displayed. It is from a letter written by Hon. Henry Hubbard to Prof. Sanborn.

“I entered the Freshman water sports class in 1799,” writes Mr. Hubbard, “at the early age of fourteen. I was two years in college with Mr. Webster. When I first went to Hanover I found his reputation already established as the most remarkable young man in the college. He was, I believe, so decidedly beyond any one else that no other student of his class was ever spoken of as second to him. I was led, very soon, to appreciate most highly his scholarship and attainments. As a student his acquisitions seemed to me to be very extensive. Every subject appeared to contribute something to his intellectual stores. He acquired knowledge with remarkable facility. He seemed to grasp the meaning and substance of a book almost by intuition. Others toiled long and patiently for that which he acquired at a glance.

“As a scholar, I should say that he was then distinguished for the uncommon extent of his knowledge, and for the ease with which he acquired it. But I should say that I was more impressed by his eloquence and power as a speaker, before the society of which we were both members, than by his other qualifications, however superior to others. There was a completeness and fullness in his views, and a force and expressiveness in his manner of presenting them, which no other student possessed. We used to listen to him with the deepest interest and respect, and no one thought of equaling the vigor and glow of his eloquence. The oration which he delivered before the United Fraternity on the day of his graduation is, I think, now among the records of that society. Whoever will read it at this late day, and bring to mind the appearance of the author, his manner and power, during its delivery, cannot fail to admit that I have said no more of his eloquence than I was warranted in saying. The students, and those who knew him best and judged him most impartially, felt that no one connected with the college deserved to be compared with him at the time he received his first degree. His habits and moral character were entirely unimpeachable. I never heard them questioned during our college acquaintance.”

Daniel’s path seemed to lie plain before him stainless protank 4 . He was a college student, receiving and using such advantages as Dartmouth could give him. At nineteen he would be a graduate, and well qualified to commence a professional course. So far as he was concerned Daniel felt that he had reason to congratulate himself. But there was another for whom he began to feel solicitude.


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