A correspondent of the Boston Gazette tells the following story and vouches for its truth:
Some years ago, while Mr. R. H. Dana was running for Congress against Gen. Butler, there was a dinner at Parker's (in the large room, No. 6, fragrant with the memory of many a symposium), and a young gentleman was seated between Judge E. R. Hoar and Mr. Dana. There was a general discussion upon the merits of the candidate, which reached back and forward. This young gentleman - younger then than now - listened and gradually grew merry with the thought of the perturbation which the planetary orb of Butler was producing in the political system. He was not a friend of Butler - then or now - but the gravity of his companions at the table, instead of oppressing him, seemed to create a mirthful disposition. The character of Butler he did not greatly admire, and he no more rejoiced in the "Widow's" candidacy than did his friends at the table. But their melancholy amused him.
Said the young gentleman: "This contest is perpetually renewed. Annually General Butler is to be a candidate. He is beaten today. He will come again, and by-and-by, for mere weariness, the State will accept him. Some dozen years hence, when he has worried everybody to death, he will be found to have a majority."
"Then," said he, "I see in a vision the board of overseers of Harvard College assembled at No. 50 State street (rooms of the Mass. Hospital Life Ins. Co.), and there, after the election, the board is convened. The gentleman at my right is in the chair. The gentleman on my left rises with his accustomed dignity. He says: 'Mr. Chairman, it is with no common emotion that I rise on this occasion. You are all aware of the trial we have passed through; and, as custom requires, we are about to honor the chief magistrate designated at the recent election. I rise therefore to propose that the degree of LL. D. be conferred upon the soldier, statesman, lawyer and publicist, Gen. Benjamin F. Butler.'"
With a mischievous but not ill-tempered manner the young gentleman continued:
"Upon this motion, the gentleman in the chair (Judge Hoar) will rise and say: 'It gives me uncommon pleasure to listen to the remarks and the motion of my friend on the left. The State, the college and the community owe him a debt of gratitude. It gives me pleasure to listen to the motion and the remarks, and I trust the proposition will meet with general approval.'"
Then said the young gentleman, "Gen. Butler will bestride his wonderful horse, and will canter over Cambridge bridge. You will have given him the knightly accolate, and the college will have a new honor in this last and most glorious doctor of laws."
This badinage went on for some time. Judge Hoar laughed. Mr. Dana looked grave, and at last said: "This is well for a jest, but don't say it aloud! Don't! A loud word in the Alps sometimes starts the avalanche!"