When Daniel Webster’s father found that his son was not robust enough to make a successful farmer, he sent him to Exeter to prepare for college, and found a home for him among a number of other students in the family of ‘old Squire Clifford ,’ as we of a younger generation had always heard him called. Daniel had up to this time led only the secular life of a country farmer’s boy, and, though the New Hampshire farmers have sent out many heroes as firm and true as the granite rocks in the pasture, there cannot be among the hard and homely work which such a life implies the little finenesses of manner which good society demands. Daniel was one of these diamonds of the first water, but was still in the rough, and needed some cutting and polishing to fit him to shine in the great world in which he was to figure so conspicuously.

None saw this more clearly than the sensible old Squire. The boy had one habit at table of which the Squire saw it would be a kindness to cure him. When not using his knife and fork he was accustomed to hold them upright in his fists, on either side of his plate. Daniel was a bashful boy of very delicate feelings, and the Squire feared to wound him by speaking to him directly on the subject. So he called aside one of the other students with whom he had been longer acquainted, and told him his dilemma. ‘Now,’ said he, ‘I want you this noon at the table to hold up your knife and fork as Daniel does. I will speak to you about it, and we will see if the boy does not take a hint for himself.’

The young man consented to be the scapegoat for his fellow-student, and several times during the meal planted his fists on the table, with his knife and fork as straight as if he had received orders to present arms. The Squire drew his attention to his position nu skin , courteously begged his pardon for speaking of the matter, and added a few kind words on the importance of young men correcting such little habits before going out into the world. The student thanked him for his interest and advice, and promised reform, and Daniel’s knife and fork were never from that day seen elevated at table.”

It is all important point in a boy’s life when he enters college. He leaves home, in most cases, and, to a greater extent than ever before, he is trusted to order his own life and rely upon his own judgment. It is a trying ordeal, and many fail to pass through it creditably. A student who has plenty of money is in greater danger of wasting his time from the enlarged opportunities of enjoyment which money can buy. From this danger, at least, Daniel was free. His father found it hard enough to pay his ordinary expenses, and it is hardly likely that the boy ever had much spare money to spend on pleasure nu skin .

Besides, though only fifteen, Daniel already possessed a gravity and earnestness not often to be found in much older students. These, however, were blended with a humor and love of fun which contributed to make him an agreeable companion for his fellow-students.