92
EULOGY ON

deep snows in a New England sleigh, when my father made known his purpose to me. I could not speak. How could he, I thought, with so large a family, and in such narrow circumstances, think of incurring so great an expense for me? A warm glow ran all over me, and I laid my head on my father's shoulder and wept." He entered Dartmouth College in 1797. During his collegiate course, which he completed in 1801, he gave sure indications of his future eminence. On leaving College, be selected law as a profession, a science whose vast and comprehensive range, acute distinctions and logical structure, are remarkably adapted to call forth the latent powers of the mind. Though he had to struggle with difficulties and to overcome obstacles which the straightened means of his parents threw in his way, be did not despair, but met the emergency like a man determined to succeed. To enable himself to complete his own professional education; and to assist his brother through College, be took charge, for a short time, of an academy at Fryeburg, in Maine, and acted as assistant to the Register of Deeds of the County. His biographer justly observes, "that trials, hardships and efforts constitute no small part of the discipline by which a great character is formed." Under all these discouragements and difficulties, Mr. WEBSTER laid the foundation of that eminence in his profession which justly entitled him to the proud distinction of being the greatest Lawyer of his day. He made himself thoroughly acquainted with every branch of jurisprudence. Taking at the very outset, an enlarged and liberal view of the science, his acute and discriminating mind perceived at once that law is not composed of a collection of heterogeneous and incongruous rules, dictated by the whim and caprice of the law-maker; but that it is a beautiful and harmonious system, devised by the profoundest wisdom and foresight, to regulate the multifarious rights and obligations arising from the complex relations of social life, and founded on the great and immutable principles of right and wrong inscribed on the mind of man by the hand of his Creator. Hence he did not content himself with the perusal of the ordinary black-letter text books which are usually put into the hands of law-students, some of which, when read exclusively, are but too apt to contract, instead of enlarging the mental vision; but he enriched and invigorated his intellectual faculties by the careful


Page 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104