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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/424

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I have been informed, since the present edition went to the press, that my trusty and well-beloved cousins, the Edinburgh Reviewers, are preparing a most vehement critique on my poor, gentle, unresisting Muse, whom they have already so be-deviled with their ungodly ribaldry;

"Tantæne animis cœlestibus Iræ!"

I suppose I must say of Jeffrey as Sir Andrew Aguecheek saith, "an I had known he was so cunning of fence, I had seen him damned ere I had fought him." What a pity it is that I shall be beyond the Bosphorus before the next number has passed the Tweed! But I yet hope to light my pipe with it in Persia.[1]

My Northern friends have accused me, with justice, of personality towards their great literary Anthropophagus, Jeffrey; but what else was to be done with him and his dirty pack, who feed by "lying and slandering," and slake their thirst by "evil speaking"? I have adduced facts already well known, and of Jeffrey's mind I have stated my free opinion, nor has he thence sustained any injury:—what scavenger was ever soiled by being pelted with mud? It may be said that I quit England because I have censured there "persons of honour and wit about town;" but I am coming back again, and their vengeance will keep hot till my return. Those who know me can testify that my motives for leaving England are very different from fears, literary or

  1. [The article never appeared, and Lord Byron, in the Hints from Horace, taunted Jeffrey with a silence which seemed to indicate that the critic was beaten from the field.]