Obrázky stránek



much attention, and from their high rank a most pernicious example was set to the hot spirits of the time. It became the custom to decide disputes with the sword, and from that period dates the modern duel " as far as it relates to mortal combat upon a mere point of honor." It was reported that Francis had offered to fight an eminent German who had offended him, but who had declined the proffered meeting. Duelling became the rage in France, and has so continued until now. The lapse of 3 centuries appears not to have changed the character of French duelling, and the combats in which some of Henry III.'s mignons distinguished themselves were in no respect worse than that in which a Paris editor was stabbed by an army officer in 1858. The party dissensions and civil wars of France that raged during the last 30 years of the rule of the house of Valois, and in the early part of the reign of the first Bourbon king, naturally tended to make duelling more common and more savage than it could have been under other circumstances. It was the age, too, of assassination, which shows that duelling does not necessarily imply the existence of the sentiment of honor. Henry IV. has been praised for the efforts which he made to prevent duelling, but his practice was in flagrant opposition to his edicts, and few sovereigns have done more to make single combats fashionable. It is asserted that in his reign 4,000 persons fell in such combats, and that he granted 14,000 pardons for duelling; yet among his edicts was one that made duelling a crime against royalty, punishable with death. He further required that persons who had quarrelled should submit their grievances to the governor of their province, to be laid before the marshals of France and the constable, thus seeking to carry out the idea which had originated with Charles IX., to establish the jurisdiction of the court of honor. Louis XIII. treated duellists as his father had, though justice was done in the case of the infamous Bouteville, one of the Montmorencys, and the worst duellist of his day, who, by the influence of Richelieu, was brought to the scaffold. Louis XIV. set his face against duelling, and the autocratic position to which he attained enabled him to lessen its frequency, though it had been increased by the wars of the Fronde, in the early part of his reign. Edict after edict was issued by him against it, and courts of honor were instituted for its prevention. The regency revived duelling, which Louis XV. sought to stop, but with little effect. John Law was a noted duellist, and the duke de Richelieu was another, while St. Evremont and St. Foix carried duelling to such perfection that they well nigh made it a farce. The reign that ushered in the revolution had its share of duels, a party to one of which was the count d'Artois, afterward Charles X., his antagonist being the duke de BourbonCondé, while two of the most famous swordsmen were the chevalier d'Eon and the chevalier de St. Georges. The duke de Lauzun, who served in the forces that were sent to aid the

bat of mortals and gods is immortalized in the Iliad; and the fight between David and Goliath has often been mentioned to show that the Jews and other Asiatics were acquainted with the practice. The Arabs of Mohammed's time knew it, and it may be asserted that it has been recognized in almost every community. The barbarians who overran the Roman empire gave to duelling its modern character, which is believed to have had its origin in the wager of battle, or judicial combat, the object of which was to vindicate the innocent. To rude races, by whom courage was held in the highest honor, the belief was natural that success in combat was the test of truth. The trial by combat was legalized as early as A. D. 501; the practice extended, and was maintained for centuries after the modes of thought in which it originated had disappeared. It was recognized as legal in England as late as 1818 by the highest law court, and was abolished by parliament in 1819; but in France its judicial character was never formally admitted after 1547. It belonged to the list of ordeals, and the solemnities that attended its observance were calculated to impose upon men's minds, and to give it the force that proceeds from permanence. Jurists and churchmen upheld it, and monarchs were its patrons and regulators. This class of duels became so common that various attempts were made to lessen their number. By the truce of God, 1041, they could not be fought from Wednesday to Monday, the days intervening being sacred to Christ's passion. In 1167 an edict forbade duels upon claims that did not exceed 24d., a circumstance that shows their absurdity, for even allowing largely for the change in the value of money, the sum mentioned was less than a dollar. The occurrence of the crusades and the study of the civil law had some effect in abating personal combats.-France was the country in which the duel was most common, and in the reign of the chivalric Francis I. it assumed the character which it has ever since maintained. That king laid down the principle" that the lie was never to be put up with without satisfaction, but by a base-born fellow ;" and lies were divided into 32 categories, each having its own particular mode of satisfaction. But it was the king's conduct that had the most influence on the minds of fighting men. The personal quarrel between him and the emperor Charles V. was one of the scandals of that age, and grew out of the determination of the former to break the promises which, as a prisoner, after the battle of Pavia, he had made to the latter, in order to obtain his freedom. The emperor accused the king of violating his pledge, and proposed to make his accusation good with his sword. Francis returned the lie in coarse terms, and offered to meet his rival in arms at any place he might name. Charles named the banks of the Bidassoa, the very spot where he had restored Francis to liberty. By quibbling, the king prevented the meeting he had appeared to desire. The violence of the disputants excited

United States, was a noted duellist. It is a co- individual combats have been rare in Spain, and rious circumstance that in the last duel of any it was probably his Irish blood that caused the moment fought under the old monarchy, the Carlist" O'Donnell to challenge the Christino principal party was a man who has exposed ad- Lopez—a challenge that was accepted, but led mirably the absurdity of duelling, and who was to no fight. Duelling is even less common in imprisoned for fighting by the court of honor, Portuga than it is in Spain. -Duels were fawhich was presided over by Richelieu, then more vored by the northern races, and in Denmark than 90 years old. The first tendency of the women were not allowed champions as in other revolution was to suppress duelling, both on countries, but compelled to do their own fightpartisan and patriotic grounds. It was looked ing, though certain advantages were permitted upon as aristocratic, and the life of every man them, which enabled them to assert their supewas said to belong to his country. When the riority. In Norway this species of combat was reaction commenced duelling was revived, and held in high honor, but in Sweden it was nomiall the more readily and universally because of nally forbidden under severe penalties. Gasthe ascendency of the military. Napoleon was tavus Adolphus was especially opposed to duelaverse to duelling, but had to tolerate it, even ling, and on one occasion prepared a gallows for while expressing his contempt for duellists. that party who should survive a particular comThe story that Sir Sidney Smith challenged bat; yet he offered the "satisfaction of a gentlehim at Acre, and that he answered he would man" to an officer whom he had struck.-In Gerfight a Marlborough, is an invention; but when many duelling is much less in vogue than in Gustavus IV. of Sweden sent him a message, his France, excepting among students in the unianswer was that he would order a fencing mas- versities. In Austria and Hanover the ancient ter to attend him as a plenipotentiary. The laws on the subject, inflicting long and rigorous most celebrated duels in France since the revo- imprisonment upon those who kill or maim their lution were between Gen. Gourgaud and Count antagonists, are still in force, and in the latter Ségur, Col. Pépé and Lamartine, Bugeaud and country the sentence of death may still be proDulong, Armand Carrel and Emile de Girardin nounced whenever homicide results from a pre(in which the former lost his life), Thiers and determination of fightiog for life or death. A Bixio, Proudhon the socialist and Félix Pyat. law was passed in Saxony, Aug. 13, 1855, punSince 1837 duellists and their seconds are liable ishing such extreme cases of premeditated bomto the criminal law in France for any homicide icide with imprisonment, varying from 4 to 20 or manslaughter resulting from the duel, but in years; but in all other cases it is limited to a the conduct

of the trial much discretionary pow. short time, not only in Saxony, but throughout er is left to the prosecuting magistrate. There Germany. Tribunals of honor for military men have been female duels in France; a celebrated have existed in Prussia since July 20, 1843, for one was fought under the regency between Ma- the purpose of reconciling the contending parties dame de Nesle and the countess de Polignac, for when it can be done without prejudice to the unilthe possession of the duke de Richelieu. There itary code of honor. If reconciliation is imposwas another female duel as late as 1827, and in sible, the duel takes place; if no injury is done, 1828 one between a young girl and a soldier the imprisonment never exceeds 6 months; who had betrayed her, and between a French and even if it prove fatal, never more than 4 and a German woman, who were both in love years. The duel which created the greatest senwith a painter.-Italy has not been much behind sation in Berlin within the last few years was France in duelling, and it was the land of punc- fought in 1856 between Hinckeldey, the president tilio in those days when the duel was establishing of police, and Rochow, a nobleman and an army itself in the latter country. The Italians excelled officer, in which the former lost his life.--Rasin the use of the lighter descriptions of weap- sia has known little of the duel, the fantastical ons, and among the multitudes of them who point of honor being there mostly incompreswarmed over the world, adventurers of all kinds, hensible. Russians when abroad, however, have not a few were teachers of the use of arms. shown a readiness to fight in single combat quite Public opinion favored duelling, but it could equal to their steadiness in the battle field. The not prevent assassination, which was as fre- Poles have proved themselves stanch duellists, quent as if the other art of killing had been un- and the judicial combat was frequent in old Po. known. The Italians are accused of conduct- land. The Netherlands have closely imitated ing their duels treacherously, but the practices France, both in duelling and in abortive atcharged on them might easily be paralleled by tempts to suppress it. A new law on duelling facts taken from the history of French duellists. was passed in Belgium in 1841.-It has been -Single combats were of ordinary occurrence asserted that single combats were introduced in Spain during the long contest between the into England by the Normans. They are said to Christians and Mussulmans, and duelling was have instituted the wager of battle, from which sometimes encouraged by laws which at other duelling proceeded, and which it is believed times were directed against it. In 1519 Charles was unknown to the Saxons. Yet Lappenberg V. issued an edict for its suppression; though, states that “ William the Conqueror speaks as we have seen, it was his conduct in his dis of the judicial combat as a known English pute with the French king that gave to the prac- custom.” It was a favorite mode of procedure, ttce its power in modern times. Of late years and was not formally abolished until the last

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

year of the reign of George III. ; and as late as strength of the custom-says: “In the duke of 1774 it was defended by some of the greatest Wellington's case, no such imputation could men of England. In the chivalrous times there have been hazarded, and his forbearance under were numerous personal combats in England, but insult would have been esteemed by his country they hardly come under the head of duelling; as a magnanimous disregard of vexatious annoyand duels may properly be said to have com- ance, and would have been appreciated as a menced in that kingdom about the same time proof both that his temper was under the serene that they did in France, so wide-spread was the control of reason, and that he disdained to avail effect of the evil example of Francis I. and Charles himself of this wretched means of exhaling his V. In the reign of James I. there were many passion, or satisfying his revenge. The nation duels between British subjects, one of the most felt humiliated when they learned that their noted of which was that fought between Lord great hero had submitted to the folly of a duel.” Bruce and Sackville, afterward earl of Dorset, Wellington might have pleaded the example of in which the former was killed. The cavaliers Marlborough, who sought a duel with Lord were a class of men with whom the point of Paulett, in 1712, which the latter took care to honor was likely to be in as high favor as it was prevent. In 1835 Mr. B. Disraeli challenged Mr. with Lord Herbert of Cherbury, whose fantastic Morgan O'Connell. Among the most conspicuous potions had been increased by his residence in duels in England of late years was that fought beFrance, and whose sensibility on the subject of tween the earl of Cardigan and Capt. Tuckett in ladies' “ topknots" is among the ludicrous mor- 1840.—Ireland is that part of the British empire al features of the duello. Scott has, in “Wood- in which duelling has always been most in vogue. stock" and in “Peveril of the Peak,” exhibited In the latter part of the last century there was their ideas on the subject. One of the sermons scarcely an Irishman of note who had not been delivered by Chillingworth before Charles I. "out," and many of them had fought often. contains a warm expostulation against duelling. Grattan, Curran, Lord Clare, Flood, Burrowes, Cromwell was a foe to duelling. After the res- Barrington, Toler, and many others, men of high toration it became still more common, from positions, were among the Irish duellists of those the spread of French ideas. Some of the Eng- times. In 1815 Daniel O'Connell fought with and lish duels of that time were of a character in killed Mr. D'Esterre, a member of the Dublin perfect keeping with its loose morality. The corporation, which the former had stigmatized as duke of Buckingham killed Lord Shrewsbury; a "beggarly" body; and the death of his antagLady Shrewsbury, on whose account the duelonist is said to have caused Mr. O'Connell great was fought, attending the duke as a page, and grief. He afterward became involved in a disthen passing the night with her lover. In pute with Mr. (subsequently Sir Robert) Peel, Anne's reign, the duel between the duke of that would have led to a duel if he had not been Hamilton and Lord Mohun, in which both fell, arrested. Mr. Peel wished to fight the gentlecaused much feeling, from its political character, man who was to have been Mr. O'Connell's secand the atrocities that marked it. Duels be- ond.-In Scotland duels have not been so comcame more numerous as society became more mon as in Ireland, yet the Scotch have always orderly, and many of the most distinguished evinced something more than readiness to go to Englishmen took part in them. William Pul- “the field of honor.” In 1822 Mr. James Stuart, teney, leader of the opposition, fought Lord well known by his work on the United States, Hervey. Wilkes was engaged in 2 duels. The killed Sir Alexander Boswell, son of Johnson's Byron and Chaworth duel happened in 1765. biographer, in a duel, which grew out of gross Throughout the reign of George III. duels were newspaper attacks on the former. Mr. Stuart frequent; among those who fought in England was tried and acquitted. Mr. Francis Jeffrey, were Charles James Fox, Sheridan, Pitt, Can- who was of counsel for the defence, went alning, Castlereagh, the duke of York, the duke most the entire length of upholding duelling, of Richmond, Sir F. Burdett, and Lord Camel- and boldly assumed that the man who slew anford; the last named, a member of the Pitt other under the circumstances that caused Mr. family, was the great duellist of the time, and Stuart to slay Boswell was not guilty of murfell in a duel in 1804. In the present reign, as der in any sense. The court, while it charged well as in those of George IV. and William IV., that killing in a duel was murder, declared that there have been some noted duels; the strangest there was no evidence of malice on the part of of which was that between the duke of Wel. Mr. Stuart, and praised his conduct on the lington and Lord Winchelsea, in 1829, the duke ground; and when the acquittal was given, the challenging the earl because of the latter's hot court congratulated him on the result. These reflections on his conduct at the time he deter- jincidents, and the stress which the court laid on mined upon emancipating the Roman Catholics. the licentiousness of the press, through which The duke fired at his antagonist, who fired in the Mr. Stuart had been assailed without provocation, air, and then apologized. Perhaps no duel of show how strongly even the opinion of enlightour time had less excuse, because the challeng- ened men has been pronounced in favor of dueler's character for courage was so completely ling. It is a singular fact that Boswell, when a established. Mr. Roebuck, after admitting that member of parliament, took the principal part there are circumstances under which duelling in getting two old Scotch statutes repealed that is necessary—an admission that shows the were directed against duelling, one of which

[ocr errors]

made the mere fighting of a duel, though it with Mr. Graves of Kentucky in 1838, near should have no evil result, punishable with death. Washington, and the former was killed. This -Duelling has been known in the United States duel caused nearly as much excitement as that from the very beginning of their settlement between Hamilton and Barr. Both parties were the first duel taking place in 1621, at Plymouth, members of congress. Duels have been numer. between two serving men. Mr. Sabine thinks ous in California since that country became a it possible that in the ludicrous punishment in- part of the United States, and some of them flicted on these chivalrous combatants we can find have been of a very severe character. Formerly the cause of the difference in opinion on duelling they were very common in the U. S. navy, and that exists between the North and the South. valuable lives were lost. It is related of RichThey were sentenced to be tied neck and heels ard Somers, who perished in the Intrepid, and together for 24 hours, but a portion of the pun- who is said to have been a mild man, that be ishment was remitted. Castle island, in Boston fought three duels in one day. Capt. Bolton harbor, is said to have been a duelling ground (then Finch) shot Lient. White, on an island in for Englishmen. In 1728, a young man named Boston harbor, in 1819; but White forced the Woodbridge was killed in a duel on Boston com- duel on him, and fell. In 1830 President Jackmon, by another young man named Phillips. son caused the names of 4 officers to be struck They fought without seconds, in the night time, from the navy roll because they had been enand with swords. Aided by some of his friends, gaged in a duel. These encounters have not Phillips got on board a man of war and escaped been so common in the navy of late years as to France, where he died a year afterward. A formerly. The army has furnished duellists, great sensation was caused, and a new and se- some of them of the highest rank in the service. vere law against duelling was enacted. There In the northern states, the force of opinion is were few duels in the revolution, the most noted strong against duelling; yet, at the beginning being those between Gen. O. Lee and Col. John of the century, duelling was there common, and Laurens, in which the former was wounded, and several duels were fought in New England, between Gens. Cadwallader and Conway, in while the "code of honor" was in full force in 1778, in which the latter received a shot in the New York and New Jersey. Five shots were head from which he recovered. Button Gwin- exchanged between De Witt Clinton and John nett, one of the signers of the declaration of in- Swartwout, in 1802; and a challenge passed dependence, from Georgia, was killed in a duel between Mr. Clinton and Gen. Dayton of New with Gen. McIntosh, in May, 1777. In 1785 Jersey, in 1803.-Duels have been not unfrequent Capt. Gunn challenged Gen. Greene twice, both in the different parts of British America, and in being citizens of Georgia, and threatened a per- Canada and the other provinces the state of opinsonal assault when the latter refused to meet him. ion resembles rather that which prevails in our Greene wrote to Washington, acknowledging southern states than the opinion of neighboring that if he thought his honor or reputation would New England.—By the common law, when one suffer from bis refusal he would accept the chal- of the parties to a duel is killed, the survivor lenge. He was especially concerned as to the and the seconds are guilty of murder; and the effect of his conduct on the minds of military participation in a duel where there is no fatal remen, and admitted his regard for the opin- sult, either as principal or second, is regarded ion of the world. Washington approved of as a misdemeanor. Many of the states of the his course in the most decisive terms, not on American Union have, however, modified this moral grounds, but because a commanding offi- rule by legislative enactment, and while in some cer is not amenable to private calls for the dis- of them the killing of a man is punishable with charge of his public duty. Gen. Hamilton was death, in others a term of imprisonment with killed in a duel with Col. Burr in 1804, the latter forfeiture of political rights is substituted. Some being vice-president, and the former the great states require certain officers of state to make est leader of the opposition. This duel is al- oath either that they have not within a certain ways allowed the first place in the history of time been, or will not be, concerned in a duel; American private combats. That which stands and in nearly all, the duellist and his abettors next is the duel between Capts. Barron and are disqualified from holding office or exercising Decatur, the latter being killed, and Barron se- the elective franchise for life, or for a term of verely wounded. Henry Clay and John Ran- years, according to the issue of the duel. In the dolph fought in 1826, and Col. Benton, in closing American naval and military service, an officer his account of the fight, says: Certainly duel- implicated in a duel with a brother officer, either ling is bad, and has been put down, but not as principal or second, is liable to be cashiered, quite so bad as its substitute-revolvers, bowie upon conviction by a court martial; and an knives, blackguarding, and street assassinations equally stringent provision exists in the articles under the pretext of self-defence." Gen. Jack- of war regulating the British military service. son killed M. Dickinson in a duel, and was en- All the legislation that has been directed against gaged in other "affairs.” Col. Benton killed a it in the United States and it is much has Mr. Lucas, and had other duels. In 1841 Mr. been fruitless; and the labors of individuals of Clay was on the eve of fighting with Col. King, the highest character have been equally barren, then a senator from Alabama, and elected vice- in more than half the Union.-See J. G. Millinpresident in 1852. Mr. Cilley of Maine fought gen, "The History of Duelling" (2 vols. London,



his academical duties with great benefit to the institution until 1842, when he retired on account of ill health, and took up his residence in Morristown, N. J. He is the author of a treatise on the "Constitutional Jurisprudence of the United States," of which an enlarged edition appeared in Boston in 1856; of a memoir of his maternal grandfather, Gen. William Alexander; and of various occasional addresses before historical and literary societies. In the early part of his life he was a frequent contributor of literary articles to the periodical press of New York.

DUER, JOHN, an American jurist, born in Albany, N. Y., Oct. 7, 1782, died on Staten island, Aug. 8, 1858. He was the son of Col. William Duer of the revolutionary army, and on his mother's side a grandson of Gen. William Alexander, the claimant of the Scottish earldom of Stirling. In his 16th year he enter ed the U. S. army, but after two years left the service to pursue the study of the law and of general literature. He commenced the DUFAU, PIERRE ARMAND, & French publipractice of his profession in Orange co., N. Y., cist, and director of the imperial institution for whence about 1820 he removed to the city of the blind at Paris, born in Bordeaux, Feb. 15, New York, where he resided until his death. 1795. His first important literary undertaking In 1825 he was appointed one of the commis was a continuation of Velly, Villaret's, and sioners to revise the statute law of the state, Garnier's general history of France. In 1824 and afforded valuable assistance in the prepara he published a collection of the fundamental tion of the first half of the work, his professional laws of the nations of Europe and America, labors preventing him from giving more than with notes upon the history of liberty and of occasional advice to his colleagues on the re- political institutions in modern times. About the mainder. In 1849, after an honorable career at same date appeared his work on the "Partition the bar, he was elected a justice of the superior of European Turkey between Russia, Austria, court of New York city, a position which he England, and the Greeks, with the Mediation filled until his decease. After the death of of France." From 1880 to 1840 he was one Chief Justice Oakley in May, 1857, he became of the most active writers of the moderate libthe presiding justice of the court. He was a eral party. He assisted in editing the Temps delegate to the convention which amended the and the Constitutionnel, and was for a time state constitution in 1821, but seldom took an chief editor of the latter journal. He was a active part in public affairs. In 1845 he pub- teacher in the royal institution for the blind lished a "Lecture on the Law of Representations from 1815 to 1840, and its director from 1840 in Marine Insurance," and in 1845-6 a treatise until within a recent period, when he retired on the "Law and Practice of Marine Insurance" with the title of honorary director. He took (2 vols. 8vo.), which has become a standard au- part also in founding and supporting other charithority in the United States. In 1848 he deliv- table institutions, and fulfilled several public ered a discourse on the life, character, and functions until obliged to devote himself exclupublic services of Chancellor Kent, which was ively to the interests of the establishment conpublished, and at the time of his death was en- fided to him. He continued, however, to write gaged in editing "Duer's Reports" of the deci- treatises upon political sciences, and for the amesions of the superior court. The 6th volume, lioration of the condition of the blind, and was which he did not live to complete, was revised at the same time a contributor to some of the by him while confined to his bed by a severe leading French cyclopædias. Many of his later fracture of the thigh. Justice Duer was held in works were crowned by the academy of sciences, great esteem for his eminent judicial abilities, as and one of his earlier essays on the abolition of well as for the dignity and impartiality with slavery in the French colonies (1830) by the sowhich he discharged the duties of his office.ciety of Christian morality. He has also pubWILLIAM ALEXANDER, brother of the preced- lished, under the name of Armand, several light ing, a distinguished jurist, born in Rhinebeck, theatrical pieces. His latest works are: StatisDutchess co., N. Y., Sept. 8, 1780, died in New tique comparée des aveugles et des sourds-muets York, May 31, 1858. After serving for a short (4to., 1854), and De la réforme du mont de piété, time in 1798 as a midshipman in the navy, he a memoir presented to the academy of moral commenced the study of law, was admitted to science in 1855. the bar in 1802, and having practised for a few years in New York, removed to New Orleans to form a professional partnership with Edward Livingston. Compelled by his health to return to the north, he opened an office in his native village, and between 1814 and 1820 was a member of the state assembly, taking a prominent part in the debates on the establishment of canals and other important questions. In 1822 he was appointed judge of the supreme court in the 3d circuit, an office which he held until the close of 1829, when he was elected president of Columbia college. He discharged VOL. VI.-42

DUFAURE, JULES ARMAND STANISLAS, a French statesman and lawyer, born Dec. 4, 1798, was councillor of state in 1836, minister of public works in 1839, a member of the chamber of deputies from 1834 to 1848, and a champion of constitutional liberty until 1844, when he became the leader of a new moderate party midway between the opponents and supporters of the government. Although opposed to the agitation which caused the downfall of Louis Philippe, he adhered to the new republic in 1848, was elected to the constituent and legislative assemblies, and officiated as minister


1841); Lorenzo Sabine, "Notes on Duels and Duelling, with a preliminary Historical Essay" (12mo., Boston, 1855).

« PředchozíPokračovat »