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walk of a few minutes' duration cost the officer a wound which laid him two months in bed. His antagonist took a pair of scissors from his pocket, and quietly cut a circle from off the black patch.
No sooner had the wounded man regained his health, than his servant announced a visitor with a black patch. He had to take another walk, and received a second wound. Another circumference was cut out of the black patch, and the proceeding was renewed till it was reduced to a mere speck.
"I have finished with my plaster," said the officer, on going out for the last time," and now you shall be relieved from further persecution." And he killed him on the spot. The black speck was, we suppose, the concentrated point of honour.
The Duke of Brissac adopted a strange but successful device in putting down duelling in his regiment. He pretended to countenance the proceeding, but requested that his officers, before fighting, which they did almost every day, would report the circumstance to him. They agreed to this joyfully. Next day two made their appearance. The duke inquired the cause of quarrel. As usual, it was a mere matter of foolish contradiction. "Certainly it is worth while fighting for such a matter," observed the duke. And he gave them their congé. Next morning, at parade, the two officers were present. "What!" said the duke; "the affair had no results, then?" "Excuse me, colonel," said one, holding up his arm in a scarf," I received a sword-wound." "Pooh! a scratch. And a question of etiquette, too! You must fight it out." So the officers had to fight again, and one of them received a wound that kept him confined three weeks to his bed. In the interval, several others applied for permission to fight, but the duke would not grant it; they must wait, he said, till the first quarrel was settled. One day he met the wounded officer taking fresh air, and leaning on the arm of a friend. "What!" he said, "on foot again? Capital! To-morrow you can fight again, and let this affair be finished with." The two officers met again, and both fell dead. The duke then summoned before him those who had requested permission to fight, and he said he would grant them their wish, but it must be to only two at a time, and in each case he was determined to see the quarrel settled as in the instance that had just occurred. The lesson had its effect. The duke received no more requests for permission to fight.
M. de Marcellus was a pious man. Being grossly insulted, he appealed to Richelieu, saying that some one had spat in his face.
"Go and wash yourself," simply observed the indignant minister. But the matter did not stop there. M. de Marcellus was elected one of the notables in 1768, and he found that no one would sit near him. He had not the courage to remain firm to his religious principles; he felt that he must wash off the affront in blood, and he challenged one of the deputies, only to be slain on the spot.
The Chevalier Saint-Georges, who was a half-caste, is said never to have met with any one who had a chance with him till he encountered that strange character, the Chevalier d'Eon, in London. The latter obtained an advantage over the Creole, having touched him seven times at a public "assaut d'armes."
Under the Assemblée Nationale a battalion of chasseurs took an oath
to consider every attack made upon the patriotic members as a personal insult. Boyer, on his side, organised a kind of guard, who were designated as the "bataillon des spadassincides." The Revolution deified Reason and legalised spadassincide. But it soon found other cats to whip than duellists, and combats of man to man disappeared in the mêlée that followed, till the Empire arose, when all Frenchmen, being turned into soldiers, the entr'actes of war were filled up with duels. Officers fought merely to keep their hands in, and that in face of the fact that Napoleon held duellists in the greatest contempt. He punished General Destaing for having killed General Reynier in a duel. If duels were common under the Empire, there were few that presented anything worthy of record. One of the most curious was one that had lasted nineteen years. It had its origin at Strasbourg. A captain of hussars, Fournier by name, and a "bretteur forcené," killed, under the most frivolous pretext, a youth of the name of Blumm, who was the only support of a family. The evening that Blumm was buried, General Moreau gave a ball, and he gave instructions to his aide-de-camp, Dupont, to refuse admission to Fournier. The latter, irritated, challenged the aide-de-camp for carrying out his general's orders, but luckily the latter came off best, and wounded the bully. But a month having elapsed, Fournier had so far recovered as to be able to call Dupont out again, and this time it was the latter's turn to be placed hors de combat. Being about to meet a third time, Fournier, who used to amuse himself by knocking the pipes out of his brother officers' mouths when riding by, proposed pistols. But to this Dupont naturally declined to accede, and they fought once more with swords, both being - slightly wounded. The two antagonists became generals without having ceased to fight whenever an occasion presented itself. One night Dupont arrived at a village in the Grisons, so poor that there was not an inn in the place. There was only a light in one lone hut. Dupont opened the door and found himself face to face with Fournier.
"What you!" he said, gaily. "Well, then, we must have a bout with the sword."
And so saying, they set to work, conversing all the time. At length Dupont pierced Fournier's neck, and held him pinned against the wall at arm's length.
"Come, now," he remarked, "you must acknowledge that you did not anticipate that trick."
"Oh! I know one quite as good as that. When you are obliged to let go, I will give you one in the abdomen that will give your bowels
"Thank you; but I shan't let go. I shall pass the night in this position."
"A pleasant perspective! Do you know that I am not at all at my
"Let go your sword, then, and I will let you go." "No, not till I have disembowelled you.' Luckily the noise brought some officers in, who separated these invete
But after a lapse of time, Dupont wished to marry. This he could not very well do, so long as Fournier was alive. So he went to Paris to find him out.
"Ah! you then."
here?" said Fournier. "We shall have another little bout,
So this time
"Yes," replied Dupont; "but listen to me for a moment first. I want to get married, but to do so I must get rid of you. we will fight with pistols."
"What! are you mad?" said Fournier, astonished.
"No. I know your skill, but I propose to equalise the combat. There is a little wood near Neuilly. I propose that we go there, and that, after getting out of sight of one another, we shall track each other at our convenience."
But don't think about marriage, for I promise you you
"Agreed to. shall die a bachelor."
On the day appointed Fournier and Dupont entered the wood. Each advanced stealthily through the thicket, till their eyes met in the foliage. Each at the same moment rushed behind a tree. The position was a delicate one. Dupont passed the tail of his coat beyond the trunk. It was struck in a moment by a ball that whistled by.
"So much for one," said the general.
A few moments more elapsed, when, holding his pistol pointed with his left hand, as if about to fire, he pushed his hat out with the right. It was struck in a second.
"That is the last," said Dupont; and he walked, pistol in hand, right upon Fournier. "Your life belongs to me," he said, "but I will not
"Just as you like," replied the hussar.
Only remember this, I preserve the rights which I suspend to-day. And if ever you cross my path, I will shoot you like a dog.'
And thus ended the long succession of duels which altogether had been carried on for nineteen years.
Two generals of the Empire managed to fight six out of the hundred days of the Emperor's return. General d'Ornano was going to the Tuileries, when he met General Bouet, with whom he had had some slight misunderstanding. He, however, saluted him, but Bouet did not return it. Whereupon he turned back, and, addressing him, said:
"General, was it by mistake that you did not return my salute, or was it intentional ?”
"It was not by mistake."
The next morning, without further explanation, the two generals exchanged balls. This was repeated for six days, till General Ornano received a ball, which perhaps prevented his being killed at Waterloo, and obliged him to use crutches for two years afterwards. General Bouet was hit at the same time, but his life was saved by a five-franc piece that lay accidentally in his waistcoat-pocket. Money and watches have saved several lives in duels.
At the Restoration scarcely a day passed without a meeting between Royalists and Imperialists. The insults chiefly took place beneath the wooden gallery (now the glass gallery) of the Palais Royal, where a tread on the toes, or a push with the elbow, sufficed. An old Imperialist fireeater, a certain Colonel Dufai, thus took in hand one day a youth of herculean frame, Raoul by name, who wore the uniform of the Royal Guard; but, barely eighteen years of age, he was but little practised in
the use of arms. The parties merely adjourned to a street close by, that led upon the Louvre, and the combat began, but so great was the inequality of the parties, Colonel Dufai having disarmed his antagonist several times, that, to bring an impossible combat to a conclusion, he made the extraordinary proposition that they should be tied to one another with the exception of the right hand, in which should be a dagger, and that they should be thus placed in a hackney-coach with orders to drive twice round the place of the Carrousel. Two of the witnesses drove the vehicle, two others got up behind. First one cry of agony was heard, then another, and all was silent.
The accomplices drove the hack-horses furiously round the square. Two turns accomplished, they rushed to the carriage doors. All was perfectly quiet within, and the two bodies lay still tied together in a pool of blood. Dufai, however, recovered. His adversary had struck him four times in the breast, and torn his face and chin with his teeth!
But such a horrible encounter did not cure him of his ruffianly propensities. His next victim was Colonel de Saint-Morys, of the Gardes du Corps; and he also wounded General Viscount de Montélégier grievously. At length, the police got hold of him on account of a pamphlet he had published. Condemned to a month's imprisonment, he was so roughly treated that he became violent; he was then thrown down, put in a straight jacket, and tied by the neck and feet like a madman, or a wild animal, as he was.
There have been literary as well as military bullies. Martainville used to abrogate to himself the right of insulting people in his journal, and that of killing them if they ventured to complain. This gave, however, a chance to the complainant, and was therefore, perhaps, preferable to the system pursued by certain hebdomadals in our own times of doing an author an injury, and if he complains, reserving to themselves the right of adding insult to it. Benjamin Constant, who, like M. de Montlosier, used to discuss the right of the conquering and of the conquered with sword as well as pen in hand, was called out by a zealous Royalist, Forbin des Issarts, at a time when he was so unwell that it was agreed to fight with pistols seated in arm-chairs. The two deputies aimed so dexterously that they did not even hit the chairs.
It is not altogether a safe thing to tread upon the ground of duellists still living, or both Great Britain and America would furnish us with some curious types. We shall content ourselves with extracts from M. Emile Colombery's "Histoire Anecdotique du Duel," and that gentleman throws the responsibility for modern instances back (except when otherwise indicated) upon M. de Campigneulles, author of a "History of Ancient and Modern Duels." This explanation will attest what a lively sense we have of the unpleasantness of being tied to a man armed with a dagger in a hackney-coach, or let loose in a thick covert or a dark room with a man boiling over with murderous intent, whether armed with a revolver or a bowie-knife. Mr. Robert Bell and Lord Tullamore, for example, are said to have had words at the Kildare-street Club, in March, 1845. A meeting being appointed for five o'clock the ensuing morning in Phoenix Park, Mr. Bell and his second arrived there at the time agreed upon, and were followed by a close carriage, from which, instead of the opponent and his friend, issued two police-officers. Lord Tulla
more and his friend Captain Lindsay had been arrested on issuing forth from the club on the same morning. Among the exceptions indicated as not derived from M. de Campigneulles are such indiscreet writers as M. Véron, who tells a tale of M. Thiers engaging himself, before coming up to Paris, to some village beauty, and having in consequence to fight a ridiculous duel with a justly indignant parent. The ball, in fact, passed between the legs of the future minister and historian, and many were the jokes at his expense. General Gourgaud called out Count Philip of Ségur for certain passages in the latter's well-known "History of the Campaign of Russia," but nothing came of it. The exaide-de-camp and author were not animated with the same demoniacal fury that induced two officers, after wounding one another in single combat, to lie down and finish the affair on a mattress! M. Beaupoil de Sainte-Aulaire had to fight two duels, for a squib entitled "Oraison Funèbre du Duc de Feltre." He got safe through the first, which was with the son of the deceased, but was killed in the second by a cousinM. de Pierrebourg. No sympathy was expressed at his fate by his literary contemporaries, for he was sent out of the world with all the requisite formalities!
The Court of Appeal decided in four cases of homicide by duel-in one of which, that of Roqueplane and Durré, the first had fired in the air, the second insisted he should fire at him, which he did, and missed him, whereupon Durré shot his antagonist dead-that in all duels there is previous agreement, a common intention, reciprocity and simultaneity of attack and defence, and such a combat, when it takes place with equal chances on one side as the other, without disloyalty or perfidy, does not come within the cases provided for by the law. But in the case of Triens, who had killed his antagonist at six paces, he was condemned, as having been the provoker, and having fired the first, and that at a distance at which he was sure of hitting. In another instance, a verdict was given because one of the parties had aimed too long a time. As to Durré, he was also punished for having killed his antagonist at a time when he no longer ran any danger.
A distinguished and well-known notary of Paris, while breakfasting at the Café de Foy, indulged in some loud animadversions upon Marshal Marmont's conduct at Essonne.
"Sir, you shall give me satisfaction," said suddenly another consommateur present, and who hastily approached the table with his moustaches erect with anger.
"Are you Marshal Marmont?" quietly inquired the notary. "I have not that honour; but I am his aide-de-camp."
"Give me your card then, sir; I will send you my head clerk."
Jules Janin declares that nothing succeeded in life with M. Mira after he had slain-albeit "with all the formalities"-the young poet Dovalle in a duel. He lost his situation, lost his fortune, and dragged an amiable young woman with him down into the dregs of poverty and obscurity. Jules Janin also relates a story of a young man of the name of Signol, who began his literary career by a successful piece at the Porte St. Martin. Unfortunately he had a bad temper. Being at the Italian Opera, he took a seat vacated between acts, but which was shortly afterwards claimed by a young man who happened to be the officer on duty that