Daniel Webster eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 281 pages of information about Daniel Webster.
Webster.  With this income he could relieve the family from debt, make his father’s last years comfortable, and smooth Ezekiel’s path to the bar.  When, however, he announced his good luck to Mr. Gore, and his intention of immediately going home to accept the position, that gentleman, to Mr. Webster’s great surprise, strongly urged a contrary course.  He pointed out the possible reduction of the salary, the fact that the office depended on the favor of the judges, and, above all, that it led to nothing, and destroyed the chances of any really great career.  This wise mentor said:  “Go on and finish your studies.  You are poor enough, but there are greater evils than poverty; live on no man’s favor; what bread you do eat, let it be the bread of independence; pursue your profession, make yourself useful to your friends and a little formidable to your enemies, and you have nothing to fear.”  Mr. Webster, always susceptible to outside influences, saw the wisdom of this advice, and accepted it.  It would have been well if he had never swerved even by a hair’s breadth from the high and sound principles which it inculcated.  He acted then without delay.  Going at once to Salisbury, he broke the news of his unlooked-for determination to his father, who was utterly amazed.  Pride in his son’s high spirit mingled somewhat with disappointment at the prospect of continued hardships; but the brave old man accepted the decision with the Puritan stoicism which was so marked a trait in his character, and the matter ended there.

Returning to Boston, Mr. Webster was admitted to the bar in March, 1805.  Mr. Gore moved his admission, and, in the customary speech, prophesied his student’s future eminence with a sure knowledge of the latent powers which had dictated his own advice in the matter of the clerkship.  Soon after this, Mr. Webster returned to New Hampshire and opened his office in the little town of Boscawen, in order that he might be near his father.  Here he devoted himself assiduously to business and study for more than two years, working at his profession, and occasionally writing articles for the “Boston Anthology.”  During this time he made his first appearance in court, his father being on the bench.  He gathered together a practice worth five or six hundred a year, a very creditable sum for a young country practitioner, and won a reputation which made him known in the State.

In April, 1806, after a noble, toiling, unselfish life of sixty-seven years, Ebenezer Webster died.  Daniel assumed his father’s debts, waited until Ezekiel was admitted to the bar, and then, transferring his business to his brother, moved, in the autumn of 1807, to Portsmouth.  This was the principal town of the State, and offered, therefore, the larger field which he felt he needed to give his talents sufficient scope.  Thus the first period in his life closed, and he started out on the extended and distinguished career which lay before him.  These early years had been years of hardship, but they were

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Daniel Webster from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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