COLLEGE LIFE--RANK AS A STUDENT--DEVELOPMENT AND ACQUISITIONS.
WE now enter upon a period, in the life of Mr. Webster, through which it is necessary to move with careful steps. The extraordinary elevation to which he rose has tended to invest his college-life with an uncommon interest, and to surround it with impressions which, however pleasing in their apparent conformity with what he afterward became, must be examined with fidelity. For those who knew him, and acted with him only after his mind was in its full maturity, and those who knew him only through the glory of his vast reputation, could not well conceive that there ever was a time, after his intellect began to be manifested at all to the observation of others, when it was not, in a degree corresponding to its subsequent exhibitions, of the same preëminent qualities and powers. Thinking and speaking of him as a prodigy, such as Nature can vouchsafe but once, men easily believed that, at all times, and in every period of his existence, he must have stood in the same relative superiority to his fellows, in which they saw and felt that he stood when they could compare him with others or themselves.
It is well known that there have been those, among the contemporaries of his youth, who have thought that his future greatness was then foreseen and predicted. But such a suggestion, even in regard to such a man, may challenge a dissent