Gateway to the Classics: American History Stories, Volume III by Mara L. Pratt
American History Stories, Volume III by  Mara L. Pratt

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 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 Marshpee River, on a two day's 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 in position by a kind of suspenders) "we stepped into the brook and waded down stream, fishing with live bait (mummy chubs); he went ahead and caught all the large ones.

"I followed behind and caught what escaped his hook. 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 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?'

" 'Yes,' said I, 'I have caught as big a trout as that.'

" 'Confine yourself to the question,' said Mr. Webster; 'did you ever see so big a trout, George?'

" 'Seen as big a one?'

" 'Yes.'

" 'Yes, I have seen and caught as big a trout as that.'

"Mr. Webster surveyed me as I stood there deep in the 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.' "

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