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THE HOME OF WEBSTER
Daniel Webster loved nothing better than to get away from the noise and hurry of his political life and shut himself away in the quiet little village of Marshfield, where he
could hunt and fish and farm to his heart's content. 5 He used sometimes to say, “I doubt if the applause of
the Senate gives me half such real pleasure as my good broad acres, with all the rest they bring me.'
We can usually judge a man's character by his house and lands. Some seem satisfied with a plain, staring, 10 square box of a house, hedged in by street and block;
others choose broad grand prospects, or beautiful hilly bits of woodland.
Webster's home, as we might suppose, was broad and grand; it had the hill, the plain, the woods, and the ocean.
A writer who saw it some years ago, before the house was burned in 1878, describes it as follows:
A long, stone wall, painted white, runs in front of the farm. Within, one sees a large meadow and an old, scatter
ing orchard. It is a broad domain. Leaving the road and 20 entering the winding drive-way, one passes under beautiful
shade-trees, till at length he reaches a large, ancient-looking white house.
Near it stood a little white building, scarcely more than ten feet square. Here the famous orator spent many days 25 in hard thought and study.
A very interesting spot is the resting-place of Webster. We pass by the house and the large barn and little lakes and ornamental trees, and walk on through field, and meadow, and orchard.
Now we come out upon a little open plateau of land covering two or three acres. There is not a tree or shrub upon it. It is native soil, unturned by any plow.
To the north, a vast marsh stretches away for several 5 miles. To the west, more marsh, and then higher land, with timber. To the south, a level half mile of open field -- Webster's field — and then hills and woods. To the east, low, marshy land and the sound of the surf-beating
ocean two miles away. There is no house near. Only the 10 quiet or rugged aspects of nature; of broad-handed, farreaching nature.
It is here that the gifted senator and his family rest. On the southern slope of this elevation of land a space is fenced off by an iron railing, some eight feet high.
In this inclosure lies buried the Webster family. Within this iron fence lies the wife whom Webster tenderly loved. Also Major Edward, his son, who died in the Mexican War, and Colonel Fletcher, who died in 1862, from wounds
received in his country's service. The Websters were a 20 race of brave men.
Webster's grave is situated at the north end of the plot in this little jut of land. A mound of earth is thrown up, some four feet high, and overgrown with grass; at the
head of this is a simple, pure white marble slab, some fifteen 25 by ten inches, bearing this inscription : “Daniel Webster.”
In this obscure place reposes this man whose eloquence charmed a nation; upon whose lips ten thousand hung delighted; who walked among crowds of noble men, "the observed of all observers."
DANIEL WEBSTER'S FISHING
This great man, as we please to call him, could enjoy a quiet day of hunting and fishing, and could, moreover, appreciate fun as well as any boy you know. A friend of his, relating anecdotes of this great man, once told the 5 following:
“As I was quite an expert in trouting and shooting, Webster used always to send for me to dance attendance on him, while he was here to enjoy himself and relieve his mind from the toil and trouble of Congress.
“One day he came for me to go to Mashpee River, on a two days' trouting trip. We arrived there at night; and in the morning we were at the brook or river at eight o'clock, and pulling on his long rubber boots (he always took
them when he went fishing; they were very long, and kept 15 in position by a kind of suspenders), we stepped into
the brook and waded down stream, fishing with live bait (mummy chogs); he went ahead and caught all the large ones.
"I followed behind and caught what escaped his hook. 20 I also carried a net. We had been fishing for a couple of hours with good success, when I heard him call:
“George, George, come here quick! I have got a mighty fellow hooked!'
“I hurried down to him, and saw his line leading under 25 the bank. I riled up the water with mud above so that the
trout could not see me, then run my net under the bank and scooped out the trout; he was a noble fellow, weighing at least three and a half pounds.
“Ah! ah!' exclaimed Webster, 'we have him! Look
at him, George! Did you ever see such a big fellow as he is?'
“Yes,' said I, 'I have caught as big a trout as that.'
“Confine yourself to the question,' said Mr. Webster; 5 'did you ever see so big a trout, George?'
“Seen as big a one?”
"Mr. Webster surveyed me as I stood there deep in the 10 water, and said: 'Ah, George! I fear I shall never make
anything of you! You are an amphibious creature. You lie in the water, and you lie out of the water. Come, let's start home.”
HELPS FOR STUDY
Who was Daniel Webster?
How did he compare the applause of the Senate to the pleasure and rest he enjoyed at Marshfield?
Find Marshfield on your map of Massachusetts.
CALHOUN AT HOME
Although Calhoun and Webster were always bitterly opposed in political life, they did not fail to appreciate each other's talent and real honest worth. We aren't all of us always so fair as the little boy who said of a rival class5 mate, “I hate Jimmie Waters 'cause he gets ahead of me; but just the same I know he's a heap smarter than I am.”
To hold a fair, honest judgment of an enemy, to judge him without petty personal prejudice, is a thing that many a grown-up boy and girl fails to do.
Webster was big and broad enough to do this. While hating Calhoun as a politician and an enemy, no one more thoroughly appreciated his talent and respected his manhood than he did. On Calhoun's death it was Webster
who pronounced his eulogy, and gloried in the opportunity 15 to do the dead man justice.
Webster's famous eulogy was a noble compliment; but nobler still was the love and reverence of Calhoun's own household. To remain a hero for a lifetime in one's own
family, to be still respected and reverenced by those who 20 have for years known one's daily life, is a greater proof of real nobility than any public eulogy can ever be.
The great man's family loved him even more than they admired him; and yet they exulted in his career.
soon again,” said a younger brother to the eldest son, as he 25 was leaving the homestead for his home in Alabama.
“Come soon again and see us, for do you not see that father is growing old? and he is the dearest and best old man in the world!”
His own daughter, in speaking of him to a gentleman,