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to which he was exposed, and perhaps thinking them, in some degree, unmerited, took upon him to urge earnestly the necessity of a second meeting with Sheridan, as the only means of removing the stigma left by the first; and, with a degree of Irish friendliness, not forgotten in the portrait of Sir Lucius O'Trigger, offered himself to be the bearer of the challenge. The desperation of persons in Mr. Mathews's circumstances, is in general much more formidable than the most acknowledged valour; and we may easily believe that it was with no ordinary eagerness he accepted the proposal of his new ally, and proceeded with him, full of vengeance, to Bath.

The elder Mr. Sheridan, who had but just returned from Ireland, and been with some little difficulty induced to forgive his son for the wild achievements he had been engaged in during his absence, was at this time in London, making arrangements for the departure of his favourite, Charles, who, through the interest of Mr. Wheatley, an old friend of the family, had been appointed Secretary to the Embassy in Sweden. Miss Linley-wife and no wife, obliged to conceal from the world what her heart would have been most proud to avow, was also absent from Bath, being engaged at the Oxford music-meeting. The letter containing the preliminaries of the challenge was delivered by Mr. Barnett, with rather unnecessary cruelty, into the hands of Miss Sheridan, under. the pretext, however, that it was a note of invitation for her brother, and on the following morning, before it was quite daylight, the parties met at Kingsdown-Mr. Mathews, attended by his neighbour Mr. Barnett, and Sheridan by a gentleman of the name of Paumier, nearly as young as himself, and but little qualified for a trust of such importance and delicacy.

The account of the duel, which I shall here subjoin, was drawn up some months after, by the second of Mr. Mathews, and depo- . sited in the hands of Captain Wade, the master of the ceremonies. Though somewhat partially coloured, and (according to Mr. Sheridan's remarks upon it, which shall be noticed presently) incorrect in some particulars, it is, upon the whole, perhaps as accurate a statement as could be expected, and received, as appears by the following letter from Mr. Brereton (another of Mr. Sheridan's intimate friends), all the sanction that Captain Paumier's concurrence in the truth of its most material facts could furnish.


"In consequence of some reports spread to the disadvantage of Mr. Mathews, it seems he obtained from Mr. Barnett an impartial relation of the last affair with Mr. Sheridan, directed to you. This account Mr.

Paumier has seen, and I, at Mr. Mathews's desire, inquired from him if she thought it true and impartial: he says it differs, in a few immaterial circumstances only, from his opinion, and has given me authority to de clare this to you.

"I am, dear Sir,

"Your most humble and obedient servant,
(Signed)" WILLIAM Brereton."

"Bath, Oct. 24. 1772.

Copy of a paper left by Mr. Barnett in the Hands of Captain William Wade, Master of the Ceremonies at Bath.

"On quitting our chaises at the top of Kingsdown, I entered into a conversation with Captain Paumier, relative to some preliminaries I thought ought to be settled in an affair which was likely to end very seriously;—particularly the method of using their pistols, which Mr. Mathews had repeatedly signified his desire to use prior to swords, from a conviction that Mr. Sheridan would run in on him, and an ungentlemanlike scuffle probably be the consequence. This, however, was refused by Mr. Sheridan, declaring he had no pistols : Captain Paumier replied he had a brace (which I know were loaded).—By my advice, Mr. Mathews's were not loaded, as I imagined it was always customary to load on the field, which I mentioned to Captain Paumier at the WhiteHart, before we went out, and desired he would draw his pistols. He replied, as they were already loaded, and they going on a public road at that time of the morning, he might as well let them remain so, till we got to the place appointed, when he would on his honour draw them, which I am convinced he would have done had there been time; but Mr. Sheridan immediately drew his sword, and, in a vaunting manner, desired Mr. Mathews to draw (their ground was very uneven, and near the post-chaise).-- Mr. Mathews drew; Mr. Sheridan advanced on him at first; Mr. Mathews in turn advanced fast on Mr. Sheridan; upon which he retreated, till he very suddenly ran in upon Mr. Mathews, laying himself exceedingly open, and endeavouring to get hold of Mr. Mathews's sword; Mr. Mathews received him on his point, and, I believe, disengaged his sword from Mr. Sheridan's body, and gave him another wound; which, I suppose, must have been either against one of his ribs, or his breast-bone, as his sword broke, which I imagine happened from the resistance it met with from one of those parts, but whether it was broke by that, or on the closing, I cannot aver.


"Mr. Mathews, I think, on finding his sword broke, laid hold of Mr. Sheridan's sword-arm, and tripped up his heels: they both fell; Mr. Mathews was uppermost, with the hilt of his sword in his hand, having about six or seven inches of the blade to it, with which I saw him give Mr. Sheridan, as I imagined, a skin-wound or two in the neck; for it could be no more,-the remaining part of the sword being broad and blunt; he also beat him in the face either with his fist or the hilt of his sword. Upon this I turned from them, and asked Captain Paumier if we should not take them up; but I cannot say whether he heard me or not, as there was a good deal of noise; however, he made no reply. I again


turned to the combatants, who were much in the same situation : I found Mr. Sheridan's sword was bent, and he slipped his hand up the small part of it, and gave Mr. Mathews a slight wound in the left part of his belly I that instant turned again to Captain Paumier, and proposed again our taking them up. He in the same moment called out, Oh! he is killed, he is killed!'-I as quick as possible turned again, and found Mr. Mathews had recovered the point of his sword, that was before on the ground, with which he had wounded Mr. Sheridan in the belly: I saw him drawing the point out of the wound. By this time Mr. Sheridan's sword was broke, which he told us. -Captain Paumier called out to him, 'My dear Sheridan, beg your life, and I will be yours for ever.' I also desired him to ask his life: he replied, 'No, by God, I won't.' I then told Captain Paumier it would not do to wait for those punctilios (or words to that effect), and desired he would assist me in taking them up. Mr. Mathews most readily acquiesced first, desiring me to see Mr. Sheridan was disarmed. I desired him to give me the tuck, which he readily did, as did Mr. Sheridan the broken part of his sword to Captain Paumier. Mr. Sheridan and Mr. Mathews both got up, the former was helped into one of the chaises, and drove off for Bath, and Mr. Mathews made the best of his way for London.

"The whole of this narrative I declare, on the word and honour of a gentleman, to be exactly true; and that Mr. Mathews discovered as much genuine, cool, and intrepid resolution as man could do.

"I think I may be allowed to be an impartial relater of facts, as my motive for accompanying Mr. Mathews was no personal friendship, (not having any previous intimacy, or being barely acquainted with him,} but from a great desire of clearing up so ambiguous an affair, without prejudice to either party,-which a stranger was judged the most proper to do,-particularly as Mr. Mathews had been blamed before for taking a relation with him on a similar occasion.

"October, 1772.



The following account is given as an “Èxtract of a Letter from Bath," in: the St. James's Chronicle, July 4: "Young Sheridan and Captain Mathews of this town, who lately had a rencontre in a tavern in London, upon account of the maid of Bath, Miss Linley, have had another this morning upon Kingsdown, about four miles hence. Sheridan is much wounded, but whether mortally or not is yet uncertain. Both their swords breaking upon the first lunge, they threw each other down, and with the broken pieces hacked at each other rolling upon the ground, the seconds standing by, quiet spectators. Mathews is but slightly wounded, and is since gone off." The Bath Chronicle, on the day after the dnel (July 2d), gives the particulars thus:-"This morning about three o'clock, a second duel was fought with swords between Captain Mathews and Mr. R. Sheridan, on Kingsdown, near this city, in consequence of their former dispute respecting an amiable young lady, which Mr. M. considered as improperly adjusted; Mr. S. having since their first rencontre, declared his sentiments respecting Mr. M. in a manner that the former thought required satisfaction. Mr. Sheridan received three or four wounds in his breast and sides, and now lies very ill. Mr. M. was only slightly wounded, and left this city soon after the affair was over."

The comments which Mr. Sheridan thought it necessary to make upon this narrative have been found in an unfinished state among his papers; and though they do not, as far as they go, disprove any thing material in its statements, (except, perhaps, with respect to the nature of the wounds which he received,) yet, as containing some curious touches of character, and as a document which he himself thought worth preserving, it is here inserted.


"To William Barnett, Esq.

"It has always appeared to me so impertinent for individuals to appeal to the public on transactions merely private, that I own the most apparent necessity does not prevent my entering into such a dispute without an awkward consciousness of its impropriety. Indeed, I am not without some apprehension, that I may have no right to plead your having led the way in my excuse; as it appears not improbable that some ill-wisher to you, Sir, and the cause you have been engaged in, betrayed you first into this exact narrative, and then exposed it to the public eye, under pretence of vindicating your friend. However, as it is the opinion of some of my friends, that I ought not to suffer these papers to pass wholly unnoticed, I shall make a few observations on them, with that moderation which becomes one who is highly conscious of the impropriety of staking his single assertion against the apparent testimony of three. This, I say, would be an impropriety, as I am supposed to write to those who are not acquainted with the parties. I had some time ago a copy of these papers from Captain Wade, who informed me that they were lodged in his hands, to be made public only by judicial authority. I wrote to you, Sir, on the subject, to have from yourself an avowal that the account was yours; but as I received no answer, I have reason to compliment you with the supposition that you are not the author of it. However, as the name William Barnett is subscribed to it, you must accept my apologies for making use of that as the ostensible signature of the writer.—Mr. Paumier likewise (the gentleman who went out with me on that occasion in the character of a second) having assented to every thing material in it, I shall suppose the whole account likewise to be his; and as there are some circumstances which could come from no one but Mr. Mathews, I shall (without meaning to take from its authority) suppose it to be Mr. Mathews's also.

As it is highly indifferent to me whether the account I am to observe on be considered as accurately true or not, and I believe it is of very little consequence to any one else, I shall make those observations just in the same manner as I conceive any indifferent person of common sense, who should think it worth his while to peruse the matter with any degree of attention. In this light, the truth of the articles which are asserted under Mr. Barnett's name is what I have no business to meddle with; but, if it should appear that this accurate narrative frequently contradicts itself as well as all probability, and that there are some positive facts against it, which do not depend upon any one's assertion, I

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must repeat that I shall either compliment Mr. Barnett's judgment, in supposing it not his, or his humanity in proving the narrative to partake of that confusion and uncertainty, which his well-wishers will plead to have possessed him in the transaction. On this account, what I shall say on the subject need be no further addressed to you; and, indeed, it is idle, in my opinion, to address even the publisher of a newspaper on a point that can concern so few, and ought to have been forgotten by them. This you must take as my excuse for having neglected the matter so long.

"The first point in Mr. Barnett's narrative that is of the least consequence to take notice of, is, where Mr. M. is represented as having repeatedly signified his desire to use pistols prior to swords from a conviction that Mr. Sheridan would run in upon him, and an ungentlemanlike scuffle probably be the consequence. This is one of those articles which evidently must be given to Mr. Mathews: for, as Mr. B.'s part is simply to relate a matter of fact, of which he was an eye-witness, he is by no means to answer for Mr. Mathews's private convictions. As this insinuation bears an obscure allusion to a past transaction of Mr. M.'s, I doubt not but he will be surprized at my indifference in not taking the trouble even to explain it. However, I cannot forbear to observe here that had I, at the period which this passage alludes to, known what was the theory which Mr. M. held of gentemanly scuffle, I might, possibly, have been so unhappy as to have put it out of his power ever to have brought it' into practice.

"Mr. B. now charges me with having cut short a number of pretty preliminaries, concerning which he was treating with Captain Paumier, by drawing my sword, and, in a vaunting manner, desiring Mr. M. to draw. Though I acknowledge (with deference to these gentlemen) the full right of interference which seconds have on such occasions, yet I may remind Mr. B. that he was acquainted with my determination with regard to pistols before we went on the Down, nor could I have expected it to have been proposed. 'Mr. M. drew; Mr. S. advanced, etc. :'-here let me remind Mr. B. of a circumstance, which I am convinced his memory will at once acknowledge."

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This paper ends here: but in a rougher draught of the same letter (for he appears to have studied and corrected it with no common care) the remarks are continued, in a hand not very legible, thus:

“But Mr. B. here represents me as drawing my sword in a vaunting manner. This I take to be a reflection; and can only say, that a person's demeanour is generally regulated by their idea of their antagonist, and for what I know, I may now be writing in a vaunting style. Here let me remind Mr. B. of an omission, which, I am convinced, nothing but want of recollection could occasion, yet which is a material point in an exact account of such an affair, nor does it reflect in the least on Mr. M. Mr. M. could not possibly have drawn his sword on my calling to him as

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It is impossible to make any connected sense of the passage that follows,

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