The Story of Daniel Webster

by James Baldwin

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Chapter III: Ezekiel and Daniel

Ezekiel Webster was two years older than his brother Daniel. He was a strong, manly fellow, and was ready at all times to do a kindness to the lad who had not been gifted with so much health and strength.

But he had not Daniel's quickness of mind, and he always looked to his younger brother for advice and instruction.

And so there was much love between the two brothers, each helping the other according to his talents and his ability.

One day they went together to the county fair. Each had a few cents in his pocket for spending-money, and both expected to have a fine time.

When they came home in the evening Daniel seemed very happy, but Ezekiel was silent.

"Well, Daniel," said their mother, "what did you do with your money?"

"I spent it at the fair," said Daniel.

"And what did you do with yours, Ezekiel?"

"I lent it to Daniel," was the answer.

It was this way at all times, and with everybody. Not only Ezekiel, but others were ever ready to give up their own means of enjoyment if only it would make Daniel happy.

At another time the brothers were standing together by their father, who had just come home after several days' absence.

"Ezekiel," said Mr. Webster, "what have you been doing since I went away?"

"Nothing, sir," said Ezekiel.

"You are very frank," said the judge. Then turning to Daniel, he said:

"What have you been doing, Dan?"

"Helping Zeke," said Daniel.

When Judge Webster said to his neighbor, "I am going to try to educate my boys," he had no thought of ever being able to send both of them to college.

Ezekiel, he said to himself, was strong and hearty. He could make his own way in the world without having a finished education.

But Daniel had little strength of body, although he was gifted with great mental powers. It was he that must be the scholar of the family.

The judge argued with himself that since he would be able to educate only one of the boys, he must educate that one who gave the greatest promise of success. And yet, had it not been for his poverty, he would gladly have given the same opportunities to both.


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