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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/473

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Such are the genial feelings thou canst claim—

My Falcon flies not at ignoble game.

    them to express a hope that a thing then published by me might lead to certain consequences, which, although natural enough, surely came but rashly from reverend lips. I refer them to their own pages, where they congratulated themselves on the prospect of a tilt between Mr. Jeffrey and myself, from which some great good was to accrue, provided one or both were knocked on the head. Having survived two years and a half those "Elegies" which they were kindly preparing to review, I have no peculiar gusto to give them "so joyful a trouble," except, indeed, "upon compulsion, Hal;" but if, as David says in The Rivals, it should come to "bloody sword and gun fighting," we "won't run, will we, Sir Lucius?" [Byron, writing at Athens, away from his books, misquotes The Rivals. The words, "Sir Lucius, we—we—we—we won't run," are spoken by Acres, not by David.] I do not know what I had done to these Eclectic gentlemen: my works are their lawful perquisite, to be hewn in pieces like Agag, if it seem meet unto them: but why they should be in such a hurry to kill off their author, I am ignorant. "The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong:" and now, as these Christians have "smote me on one cheek," I hold them up the other; and, in return for their good wishes, give them an opportunity of repeating them. Had any other set of men expressed such sentiments, I should have smiled, and left them to the "recording" angel;" but from the pharisees of Christianity decency might be expected. I can assure these brethren, that, publican and sinner as I am, I would not have treated "mine enemy's dog thus." To show them the superiority of my brotherly love, if ever the Reverend Messrs. Simeon or Ramsden should be engaged in such a conflict as that in which they requested me to fall, I hope they may escape with being "winged" only, and that Heaviside may be at hand to extract the ball.—["If, however, the noble Lord and the learned advocate have the courage requisite to sustain their mutual insults, we shall probably soon hear the explosions of another kind of paper war, after the fashion of the ever-memorable duel which the latter is said to have fought, or seemed to fight, with 'Little' Moore. We confess there is sufticient provocation, if not in the critique, at least in the satire, to urge a 'man of honour' to defy his assailant to mortal combat, and perhaps to warrant a man of law to declare war in Westminster Hall. Of this we shall no doubt hear more in due time" (Eclectic