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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
A Duel
By Louis Veuillot (1813–1883)
 
From ‘Les Odeurs de Paris’

NOT long ago we had one of these heroic spectacles. It was very exciting.  1
  The men had stripped to their suspenders and taken their swords in hand. Complications arose. One of the opponents was in doubt as to the other’s identity, and thought, not without reason, that a proxy was before him. The seconds argued somewhat hotly; the adversaries, more favorable to peace, separated the seconds…. To be concluded at another meeting! At the following meeting the trouble begins again. Postponement. The public is palpitating, the fire is rekindled, the interest increases. Nothing is accomplished; the public talks of nothing else; to-morrow in the field! They strip to their suspenders, they even remove their suspenders; they take swords, cross them, the steel emits sparks. One, two! One, two! They thrust, they ward off. The fencer thrusts, the thruster fences. One, two! Thrusts here, thrusts there, thrusts everywhere! Flic, flac! More thrusts! What thrusts, what fire in the steel, what steel in fire, what fire in the hearts! The sweat pours and is not wiped! At last one of those cruel swords touches one of those cruel men; the blood starts. Stop, rash fellows! Honor is satisfied!  2
  The wounded lost a few hairs of his left eyebrow.  3
 
 
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