Reminiscences and Anecdotes of Daniel Webster

By Peter Harvey | Go to book overview

CHAPTER X. .
PERSONAL TRAITS. -- CONTINUED

MR. WEBSTER'S sense of humor was keen and easily provoked. He saw the ludicrous side of things, and was quick to seize upon it and make the most of it. Some anecdotes may be related which serve to exhibit how largely this trait was developed in him.

Fletcher and I once went to New York to meet Mr. Webster; and in the cars I saw for the first time one of those lanterns that have since become so common, through which the conductor puts his arm, beneath the light, and with which he is thus enabled to use both hands while holding his own light. I happened to think of this a few days after, while we were all at dinner in New York, and I described the lantern to Mr. Webster. He saw at once what it was, and said: --

"What a grand thing that is! Is it not surprising that it was not invented before? Fletcher, order two or three of those, and send them down to Marshfield. They will be very convenient for the man to use about the barn, when he is called on to harness the horses in the night, and so on. Get two or three of them to send to Marshfield."

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