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A Victorian Scrapbook

A Scrapbook of Newspaper Articles Compiled by George Burgess (1829-1905)

Victorian Culture and Life

Anecdote of the late Daniel Webster

Daniel Webster (1782-1852), leading American statesman and senator from Massachusetts.

Visits Sandwich, Massachusetts, America from the neighbouring town of Cape Cod on a fishing expedition for trout.

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Transcript from original newspaper article: -
Anecdote of the Late Daniel WebsterANECDOTE OF THE LATE DANIEL WEBSTER. – Some years since, Mr. Webster started off from Marshfield on a trouting expedition to Sandwich, a neighbouring town of Cape Cod. On approaching the fine stream he alighted from his wagon, and just then he met the owner of the farm through which the stream ran.

“Good morning,” says Webster, “is there any trout here?” –
“Well,” says the farmer, “some people fish here, but I don’t know what they do get.” –
“I’ll throw my line in,” says Webster, “and see what there is.”

Webster walked the banks of the stream trying his luck, and the old farmer followed him. Soon Webster remarked,

“You have some bog on your farm.” –
“Yes,” says the farmer, “that ain’t the worst of it.” –

Fishing still further along, Webster says,
“You seem to have plenty of mosquitoes here.” –
“Yes,” he replied, “that ain’t the worst of it” –

Webster still kept on throwing his line into the deep pools, and then said,
“You have plenty of briars here.” –
“Yes,” said the farm, “and that ain’t the worst of it.”

Mr. Webster, getting somewhat discouraged in a hot August day, bitten by mosquitoes, scratched by briars, and not raising a single fish, dropped his rod and said,
“I do not believe that there is any trout here.” –
“And that ain’t the worst of it,” says the farmer. –
“Well,” says Mr. Webster, “I should like to know what is the worst of it?” –
“There never was any here!” says the farmer.

Mr. Webster enjoyed the joke, and often told it to his particular friends. – New York Times.