(77) Lord Byron, like Walpole, had a mortal dislike to angling, and describes it as " the cruelest, the coldest, and the stupidest of pretended sports.” Of good Isaac Walton he says,
“The quaint, old, cruel coxcomb,. in his gullet Should have a hook, and a small trout to pull it."-E.
There is nothing in the world so tiresome as a person that always says they will come to one and never does; that is a mixture of promises and excuses; that loves one better than anybody, and yet will not stir a step to see one; that likes nothing but their own ways and own books, and that thinks the Thames is not as charming in one place as another, and that fancies Strawberry Hill is the only thing upon earth worth living for-all this you would say, if even I could make you peevish: but since you cannot be provoked, you see I am for you, and give myself my due. It puts me in mind of General Sutton, who was one day sitting by my father at his dressing. Sir Robert said to Jones, who was shaving him, “John, you cut me”—presently afterwards, “John, you cut me”—and again, with the same patience or Conway-ence, “John, you cut me.” Sutton started up and cried, “By God! if he can bear it, I can’t; if you cut him once more, damn my blood if I don’t knock you down!” My dear Harry, I will knock myself down-but I fear I shall cut you again. I wish you sorrow for the battle of Quebec. I thought as much of losing the duchies of Aquitaine and Normandy as Canada.
However, as my public feeling never carries me to any great lengths of reflection, I bound all my Qu`ebecian meditations to a little diversion on George Townshend’s absurdities. The Daily Advertiser said yesterday, that a certain great officer who had a principal share in the reduction of Quebec had given it as his opinion, that it would hold out a tolerable siege. This great general has acquainted the public to-day in an advertisement with—what do you think?—not that he has such an opinion, for he has no opinion at all, and does not think that it can nor cannot hold out a siege,—but, in the first place, that he was luckily shown this paragraph, which, however, he does not like; in the next, that he is and is not that great general, and yet that there is nobody else that is; and, thirdly, lest his silence, till he can proceed in another manner with the printer, (and indeed it is difficult to conceive what manner of proceeding silence is,) should induce anybody to believe the said paragraph, he finds himself under a necessity of giving the public his honour, that there is no more truth in this paragraph than in some others which have tended to set the opinions of some general officers together by the ears—a thing, however, inconceivable, which he has shown may be done, by the confusion he himself has made in the King’s English.