Greeks Don’t Ride Together

Peter Harvey, Reminiscences and Anecdotes of Daniel Webster (pp.47-48)

An able and forcible writer, N. P. Rogers, of Plymouth, N. H., who often assumed a rough, quaint style, was well acquainted with the Websters, and was in early life their warm and devoted friend. The following letter, which he contributed to the ” New York Tribune,” relates to Daniel Webster’s early appearance at the bar; and is worth inserting, both as giving a vivid picture of that period of the great statesman’s life, and as an amusing literary curiosity.

“There ‘s a town a little south of me, about thirty-five miles off, in plain sight, where they’ve held courts for the county. It’s the county of Grafton. They’ve held courts there these seventy years. Webster used to come to court there when he was a young lawyer. They say he went to his first court there. I don’t know how that is, but he went there when he was almost a boy. I could see him plainly from here. He was singular in his look. Him and his brother ‘Zeke’ used to come to court together after a year or two. Daniel came first, though ‘Zeke’ was the eldest. I can see them now, driving into that little village in their bellows-top chaise, — top thrown back, — driving like Jehu, the chaise bending under them like a close-top in a high wind. I had heard tell of Diomede and Ulysses, — a couple of old Greeks that used to ride in some such looking cars as they did, though I believe the Greeks don’t ride together. But Daniel and ‘Zekiel Webster made me think of them two Greeks. Daniel used to drive very fast. They ‘d come in as if they had started long before day; and it was a sight, in a small place, to see them two ride in together. I could have told either of them thirty miles among a thousand men.

Leave a Reply