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DEAR FULLER, Whenever I see the face of Mr. Whitwell, I am reminded of my duty. For two months, he has been a standing monitor, notifying me every time I enter the State House, to write to Fuller. Not that he has ever spoken to me, or I to him, but that he always brings you to my mind ; and being remembered, you call on me for an answer to your last. Since I saw you, I have flown to Albany ; rested my wing for a while, and next perched at Hudson ; oiled my feathers there, and proceeded to Hartford and Providence, and after cooing and chattering with Nye and Whitaker, fluttered into Boston. Shortly after, the ill health of my father summoned me to Salisbury. I went, had the pleasure of seeing him recover, took his blessing, and hied back again. In two weeks I again put myself in motion, and like Noah's dove, shall flutter, with faint and wearied wing, over the deluge of this world, seeking for rest. In some country town in New Hampshire I shall probably put off my character of a rover, and fix my feet for a season. Having been for the winter a wandering comet, in the spring I become a falling star, and shall drop from the firmament of Boston gayety and pleasure, to the level of a rustic village, of silence and of obscurity. From this village, however, wherever it is situated, the voice of friendship will issue ; you will hear my accents and be invited to answer to them. In the meanwhile, wish me well, as the only service you can for the present render me.
The discussion you had with the " five ladies in Boston," on the question whether Mr. W. was a " plain man," must have been, I think, very edifying. It requires, certainly, a vast variety of knowledge to manage this question creditably. You must, for instance, know geometry ; for how could you speak of the angles of his phiz, unless you understood decagons and rhomboides ? And chemistry, and sculpture, and architecture, and gardening would all be necessary. If, however, you will admit the reasoning of Granger, the Parisian, I can easily prove that I am the handsomest man in New England. This is the process : Boston is the handsomest town in New England ; Tremont is the handsomest street in Boston ; Scollay's are the handsomest buildings in Tremont street ; Christopher Gore's office is the handsomest room in Scollay's buildings ; and I am (now) the handsomest man in Christopher Gore's office, ergo, I am the handsomest man in New England ; Q. E. D. Now if this cause stands over for second argument, I shall entreat my counsel to make use of this reasoning. We had fine fun here of "Allen's motion ; " the poor fellow now sits in his seat, still as a sitting hen ; scathed and blistered by the thunderbolts that knocked him down, he has such a dread of making motions, that he seems afraid to move his limbs. is acquitted. So much for and ; so much for and the devil. These four illustrious personages I consider the real agents in the whole business ; though perhaps not in equal degrees, for I take it the last-mentioned gentleman has more modesty than to come in for an equal share. If the devil has any regard for truth, he must confess that, at the head of Club, either of the other gentlemen is much more of a devil than himself.
Make a low bow for me to Miss G., and assure her I esteem her for your sake and her own.
- Private Correspondence of Daniel Webster, Edited by Fletcher Webster, Volume I, 1857