Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature: An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891. Vol. IV: Literature of the Republic, Part I., Constitutional period, 17881820
To John Randolph, In Rejoinder to a Challenge
By Daniel Webster (17821852)
[From The Private Correspondence of Daniel Webster. Edited by Fletcher Webster. 1856.]
SIR,For having declined to comply with your demand yesterday in the House, for an explanation of words of a general nature, used in debate, you now demand of me that satisfaction which your insulted feelings require, and refer me to your friend, Mr. , I presume, as he is the bearer of your note, for such arrangements as are usual.
This demand for explanation, you, in my judgment, as a matter of right, were not entitled to make on me; nor were the temper and style of your own reply to my objection to the sugar tax of a character to induce me to accord it as a matter of courtesy.
It is unnecessary for me to state other and obvious considerations growing out of this case. It is enough that I do not feel myself bound at all times and under any circumstances, to accept from any man, who shall choose to risk his own life, an invitation of this sort; although I shall be always prepared to repel in a suitable manner the aggression of any man who may presume upon such a refusal.