People, Society & Culture of Tunbridge Wells in the 18th Century & later.

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Yet both, a Man may safely swear,
To save themselves in earnest were :
But thus the mighty Fight begun,
And ended was almost as soon;
Sir Harry first gave Sword-man's Law,
And bid his Adversary draw,
Saying Sir, for your base detraction,
Give me immediate Satisfaction,
Or else before all People present,
I'll spit you like a Lark or Pheasant.
With that the adverse Hero drew,
And tilted like I know not who :
Each for his safety travers'd round,
And like skill'd Fencers chang'd their Ground;
Right equal was their stout Behaviour,
Begging a clear Stage, and no favour:
Sometimes they would advance slap-dash,
So near their very swords would clash;
And then confus'd 'twixt Death and Anger,
Jump back for fear of further danger.
The Ladies at the dreadful sight,
Ran squeaking from 'em in a fright,
The Gentlemen that knew 'em better
Stood off, and some began to titter;
Tho' had it been their Case 'tis very
Like they'd not have been so merry.
When for some time they'd push'd and parry'd,
And neither, God be prais'd, miscarry'd,
Both equal Courage thus exerting,
And finding little hopes of parting,
Sir Harry as he back was stepping,
Happen'd to tumble at a Peppin;
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