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DUELS OF ALL NATIONS.
V. DUELLING IN THE BRITISH ISLES.
The Earl of Chatham with his sword drawn
In England, as on the Continent, wager of battle preceded duelling, and was limited at first to trials for treason; as when in 1096 the Earl of Essex proved this crime, sword in hand, ‘upon the body' of Geoffrey Baynard. Even kings did not disdain a duel to prove their rights. William the Norman challenged Harold ; Edward III., Philip of Valois ; Henry V., the Dauphin of France; as in this century Gustavus IV. of Sweden challenged Napoleon, and was invited to send a fencing-master to Paris as his second. In the long wars of the Middle Ages between the English and the French, combats between chosen parties were not uncommon. One, of thirty English knights under Richard Benbrough against thirty French led by the Sire de Beaumanoir, was decided at Ploermel in Brittany; another, of seven against seven, was fought to a finish in 1404. The leaders were Lord Scales and Guillem de Barbagas; the Earl of Rutland and Jean de Harpedine, the umpires. According to the French chroniclers nothing could stand before their countrymen, and Barbagas, with the title chevalier sans reproche, obtained the right to quarter the lilies in his shield. The first regular duels fought in England were under 'good Queen Bess,' when small swords were introduced, and the ‘Treatise of Honour' of Vincenzio Saviolo, an Italian fencingmaster, laid down the law in duelling matters. Sir Henry Urton, her ambassador, in Paris challenged the Duke of Guise for having dared to speak ill of his Queen, one of the most complete and virtuous princesses that exists in the world ;' an example followed about fifty years ago by the Honourable Berkeley Craven, who exchanged shots with Captain Boldero, M.P., for a similar reason. Sir Walter Raleigh, after having killed a number of men in duels, could never be induced to fight another. The first time James I. presided in the Star Chamber was at the trial of a duellist, when the King expressed his horror of duelling pretty freely. In 1679,
a proclamation of Charles II. visited duelling with severe penalties. Yet in his time, between 1660 and 1685, in 195 duels 75 men were killed, more than in all the long reign of George III. ; and when Buckingham fought and killed the Earl of Shrewsbury, while his countess in the disguise of a page held the Duke's horse, Charles received the homicide with open arms. Duelling, however, has never had the hold in England it had in France. But as the first Lord Lytton observes in 'My Yovel,'' while duelling is not within the range of an Englishman's ordinary habits of thinking, nevertheless, if an Englishman must fight, why he will fight. He says it is most unchristianlike. He agrees
with all that philosopher, preacher, and press have laid down on the subject, but he makes his will, says his prayers, and goes out-like a heathen. This is not quite true to-day-but it -'
— was fifty years ago. Dr. Samuel Johnson, though a good Christian and a sound moralist, if not a duellist himself, admitted the necėssity of duelling in others. “In a state of higher polished society,' observes the Doctor, an affront is held to be a serious injury. It must therefore be resented, or rather a duel must be fought on it, as men have agreed to banish from their society one who puts up with an affront without fighting a duel. Mandeville calls duelling the tie of society,' and the author of 'Duelling Days in the Army' claims that it caused an amount of courtesy to be shown towards the feelings and foibles of others, which in non-duelling days has to a certain extent disappeared.' Yet emollit mores can hardly be claimed for it in the early part of the eighteenth century, when in a savage fight among gentlemen in front of the Chocolate House, in St. James's Street, several were killed, and in another riot in Windmill Street a hundred or more were fighting at once with swords and sticks, so that many lost their lives or were ridden down and sabred by the Horse Guards in the attempt to disperse them. The killing of poor Mountfort the actor in 1692, for the love pretty Anne Bracegirdle was supposed to bear him, by Captain Hall, assisted by his friend Lord Mohun, fresh from their attempt to abduct the lady, was a cowardly murder. When Mohun's mother (the precious scamp her son was only eighteen) fell at William's feet to implore his pardon, the King said, 'It was a cruel act; I leave it to the law.? Mohun was acquitted by the Peers, to be concerned seven years afterwards in the disgraceful duel between the Earl of Warwick and Captain Coote, when principals and seconds came
on the ground drunk, Coote was killed, and Mohun and Warwick were put on their trial for murder-to be acquitted. The life of Mohun, one long revel and brawl,' was cut short by his duel with the Duke of Hamilton in 1712, when they fought until covered with blood and wounds, Mohun being killed on the spot, while the Duke died as he was being carried to his coach. Mr. Gower was killed in 1726 by a Major Oneby in a tavern brawl. Gower having in mockery wagered three halfpence instead of three halfcrowns, the Major had challenged. Though no premeditation was shown and the Major had been slightly wounded, he was sentenced to be hanged; a fate he evaded by committing suicide, Forty years later the fifth Lord Byron, the poet's granduncle, fought a similar duel, without seconds, in the private room of a Pall Mall tavern. He and his adversary, Mr. Chaworth, had quarrelled about the best method of preserving game. Chaworth, entering the room after Byron, stooped to fasten the door, and looking up saw the latter with his sword half-drawn. Knowing
• his lordship,' he said just before he died, he whipped out his own and thrust at his adversary, running him, as he thought, through the body, but in fact only through the waistcoat. Before he could disengage the blade, Byron shortened his sword and stabbed Chaworth in the belly. The Peers acquitted Byron of murder, and he suffered a nominal punishment; but public opinion condemned him, and the later years of his life were tortured by remorse. In 1750, two German gentlemen, Herr von Freykappel and Herr von Schweigel, fought a sword duel in Hyde Park for the beaux yeux of that painted old beldam the Countess of Yarmouth. Freykappel lost his life. In another sword duel, in 1784, Count Alfieri, the poet, wounded Lord Ligonier ; and in a third, in 1809, a Mr. Powell killed Viscount Falkland. Sword duels, however, were going out of fashion, and swords were no longer worn by gentlemen at the end of the reign of George the Third. General Benedict Arnold fought a duel near Kilburn Wells in 1791 with Lord Lauderdale, who, after Arnold missed him, refused either to fire or to apologise, saying that if the General was not satisfied he could keep on firing until he was. In 1804, the turbulent Lord Camelford, the symmetrical arrangement of whose whips and sticks over his chimneypiece is described by Byron
From the thick bludgeon to the taper switchlost his life in a duel he owed to a vengeance de femme. Captain Best had caught a sharper named Symonds in the act of cheating,
and kicked his face to a pulp. The man's wife wrote Camelford an anonymous letter to tell him his friend Best had slandered him. A duel was fought with pistols (they were the two best shots in England), and Camelford fell with a mortal wound. You have killed me, Best,' said the dying man, but the fault is wholly mine; I relieve you of all blame.' But men of mature years and established reputation risked life as recklessly as the wildest young Guardsmen or London rakes. Charles James Fox fought a duel with a Cabinet Minister, Mr. Adam, in 1779. Four shots were exchanged. Adam missed; Fox fired in the air and apologised. 'Sir,said Adam, 'you have behaved like a man of
' honour.' In India, towards the end of the last century, a duel was fought between Warren Hastings and Sir Philip Francis, the latter being dangerously wounded. Shortly afterwards, in Bombay, Lord Macartney and Mr. Sadler quarrelled at the Council Board, and in the duel Macartney received a dangerous wound. The Earl of Talbot and John Wilkes fighting a duel at night in the garden of the Red Lion Inn at Bagshot, and discussing the conditions of it beforehand in a private room over a chop, is a tableau de meurs. George Canning was seriously wounded when he and Castlereagh met at Putney in 1807 to exchange four shots. In the duel between Henry Grattan and Mr. Corry, a bullet shattered the latter's arm. As late as 1835, Mr. Roebuck fought a duel with Mr. Black of the Morning Chronicle,' when two shots were exchanged without result. The fighting parson was then as well known as the fighting editor. The Rev. Henry Bate, editor of the Morning Post,' was both. A dead shot, and with what his contemporaries call 'a profligate tongue,' he was most successful as a duellist, ‘pinked' 'fighting Fitzgerald,' a Mr. Temple, a young barrister, who was his assistant editor, and several others; but met his match at last in Captain Stoney Robinson, who gave him a severe wound, but whom he also wounded. In 1782 a duel took place in Hyde Park between the Rev. Benjamin H. Allen and a gentleman from Maryland, Mr. Lloyd Dulany. It grew out of a newspaper controversy regarding the attitude of certain American loyalists. Dulany was killed on the spot, and Allen fled to France, returned after a time, and was at once arrested. A woman testified to having seen him practising at a mark in Westminster with a pistol a few days before the duel ; but he succeeded in proving an alibi, and escaped with an imprisonment of six months in Newgate for the manslaughter,
A century earlier Dr. Blackburn, afterwards Archbishop of York, was chaplain in his youth to a buccaneering adventurer, and fought a duel with the first mate on a desert island, with the understanding that the survivor should roll the body of the other over the cliffs into the sea. Gentlemen of the stage wore swords, and could use them, or pistols too, upon occasion. Mr. Kemble and Mr. Aiken quarrelled about the management of the scenery at Drury Lane, and fought a duel. Aiken missed, and Kemble refusing to fire, they were reconciled. Captain Yates, father of the late Mr. Edmund Yates, was an officer in the commissariat department before he became an actor, and in promoting some private theatricals at Valenciennes to amuse Wellington's officers, exercised his powers of mimicry so well that he aroused the ire of Mr. Cole of the Connaught Rangers, and a duel was only averted by the prompt interference of their brother officers. No man shed more lustre on the stage than Sheridan. He owed to it his lasting laurels and his charming wife, Miss Elizabeth Ann Linley, for whom he twice crossed swords with a Major Mathews, who had published in a newspaper an offensive paragraph about her. In the first duel, in the private room of a tavern in Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, Sheridan disarmed Mathews and compelled him to sign an apology for the attack, which Sheridan at once inserted in the newspaper which had published the original article. This Mathews thought taking him at a disadvantage, and he challenged Sheridan to a second duel. They fought near Bath. Having fired their pistols without effect, they drew their swords and charged each other with fury. Their weapons broke off close to the hilts, but they continued to fight with what was left of them until, covered with wounds and weak from loss of blood, 'Sherry' was carried off the field, his face beaten to a jelly by the other with the hilt of his sword, and a piece of the blade sticking in his ear. Of course, when so much fighting was going on, the army and navy did their share; though the notorious duellist has never been a popular character in either service. The 'Derby' captains, army adventurers, and shabby scamps of the 'Barry Lyndon'type described in the 'Gentleman's Magazine' of the last century, were all duellists—M'Manus, M‘Neal, Hardiman, Scraggs, Marriott, and others. Of these 'pests of human society,' M Manus goes to the West Indies with his regiment, and dies of a drubbing received at the hands of a stout planter he had insulted. M'Neal takes an opportunity to 'salute