The estimable Phil Crawley recently posted this excerpt to the Smallsword Symposium group. Given the gravity of a legitimate duel, this is refreshing approach from an entirely different direction. This is reblogged here with Mr. Crawley’s permission.
By the care [of the Second] and that of the other Second, if he is a good child, a meal is prepared in the “Temple of Conciliation”; you will arrive there “by chance”, without thinking about it, to find some foils or some pistols. A beautiful white of good label strikes up your eye. “A snifter before you leave!” Cries one of your friends. you hesitate, they plead, you accept. The first bumper is followed by a second, the wine is generous, it’s sweet aroma titillates, its beneficent liquor renders you insensible of hatred to the very bottom of your soul; at the second bottle one threatens no one any further; at the third one draws nearer; at the fourth you hold hands; at the fifth you embrace each other. Oh this ineffable seduction is the most beautiful in the world! Oh the irresistible power of Chablis and Champagne! The second true talent! The indestructible goodness of human heart! A mortal who escapes this innocent snare is not a brave man, he has a heart of bronze, he is a rabid beast. No, no, for the glory of society and the fortune of M. Gillet, an equal has never been found.