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most cruel People, and upon frivolous Occasions, very apt to cry. Alexander, the Tyrant of Pheres, durst not be a Spectator of Tragedies on the Theatre, for Fear left his Subjects should see him weep at the Misfortunes of Hecuba and Andromache P; tho' he himself caused so many
People every Day to be cruelly murdered.' Is it not. Meanness of Spirit, that renders them so pliable to all Extremities? Valour (whose Effect is only to be exercised against Resistance,
Nec nisi bellantis gaudet cervice juvenci .
neither, unless it fight, In conquering a Bull' does he delight.) stops when he sees the Enemy at its Mercy; but Pufillanimity, to say, that it was also in the Action, not having Courage to meddle in the first Act, rushes into the second, of Blood and Massacre, The Murders in Victories are commonly performed by the Rascality, and Officers of the Baggage ; and that which causes so many unheardof Cruelties, in domestic Wars, is, that the Dregs
of the People are flushed in being up to the Elbows in · Blood, and ripping up Bodies that lie prostrate at their · Feet, having no Sense of any other Valour.'
Ęt lupus, et turpes instant morientibus ursi,
None but the Wolves, the filthy Bears, and all
Th'ignoble Beasts, will on the Dying fall. Like cowardly Curs, that, in the Houfe, worry and tear in Pieces the Skins of wild Beasts, which they durst not attack in the Field. What is it, in these Times of ours, that causes our mortal Quarrels ? And how comes it, that, where our Ancestors had some Degree of Revenge, we now begin with the last Degree, and that, at the first
Meeting Plutarch in the Life of Pelopidas, ch. 15: 9 Claud. ad Hadrianum, v. 30. • Ovid. Trift. lib. iii. Eleg. 5. v. 35.
Meeting, nothing is to be said, but Kill ? What is this but Cowardise ?
Every one is sensible, that there is more Bravery and Disdain in subduing an Enemy, than in cut
Revenge is ting his Throat ; and in making him
yield, rendered of no than in putting him to the Sword : Besides Effect by killing that, the Appetite of Revenge is better af- an Enemy. swaged and pleased, because its only Aim is to make itself felt : And this is the Reason why we do not fall upon a Block or a Stone when they hurt us, because they are not capable of feeling our Revenge ; and to kill a Man is to fhelter him from the Hurt we intend him. And as Bias cried out to a wicked Fellow, I know that, sooner or la-,
ter, thou wilt have thy Reward, but I am afraid I shall
not see it.' And as the Orcbomenians complained, that " the Penitence of Lyciscus, for the Treason committed
against them, came at a Time when there was no one remaining alive of those who had been concerned in it, and whom the Pleasure of this Penitency must have
affected ;' so Revenge is to be repented of, when the Person on whom it is executed, loses the Means of suffering it: For as the Avenger desires to see and enjoy the Pleasure of his Revenge, so the Person on whom he takes Revenge, should be a Spectator too, to be mortified by it, and brought to Repentance. He shall repent it, we say, and, because we have given him a Pistol-shot through the Head, do we imagine he will repent ? On the contrary, if we but observe, we shall find, that he makes a Mouth at us in falling ; and is so far from repenting, that he does not so much as repine at us : And we do him the kindeft Office of Life, which is to make him die speedily and insensibly : We are afterwards to hide ourselves, and to shift and Ay from the Officers of Justice, who pursue us; and all the while he is at reft. Killing is good to fruitrate a future Injury, not to revenge one that is already past; and ’tis more an Act of Fear than Bravery, of Precaution than Courage, and of Defence than of Offence: It is manifest that by it we abandon both the true End of Revenge, and the Care of our Reputation; we are afraid, 3
if he lives, he will do us such another Injury; not out of Animosity to him, but Care of thyself, that thou riddest him out of the Way. In the Kingdom of Narfingua, this Expedient would be
useless to us : There not only Soldiers, but and authorised Tradesmen also end their Differences by the in the Kingdom Sword. • The King never denies the Field af Narsingua. i to any one that will fight; and, when they
are Perfons of Quality, he looks on, rewarding the « Victor with a Chain of Gold; for which any one that
will, may fight with him who wears it : Thus, by com
ing off from one Combat, he is engaged in many.' If we thought, by Valour, to be always Mafters of our Enemies, and to triumph over them at Pleasure, we should be forry they should escape from us as they do, by dying; but we have a mind to conquer more with Safety than Honour, and, in our Quarrel, more pursue the End than the Glory
Afinius Pollio, who, for being a worthy Man, was less Pollio's Libel to be excused, committed a like Error, who
having writ a Libel against Plancus, defer
red to publish it, till he was long dead": Which is to make Mouths at a blind Man, to rail at one that is deaf, and to wound a Man that has no feeling, rather than to run the Hazard of his Refentment. And Plancus is made to say, in his own Behalf, “That it was
only for Ghosts to struggle with the Dead.' He that stays to see the Author die, whose Writings he intends to quarrel with, what does he but declare, that he would bite, but has not Teeth? It was told Aristotle, Thae < fome one had spoken ill of him.' Let him do more, faid he, let him whip me too, provided I am not there.'
Our Fathers contented themselves to revenge an Injury The Lye re
with the Lye, the Lye with a Box on the venged with
Ear, and so forward; they were valiant ea Box on the
nough not to fear their Adversary, both livEar.
ing and provoked: We tremble for Fear, fo long as we see them on Foot. And, that this is fo, is it
Pliny's Preface to Vefpafian.
not our noble Practice of these Days equally to profecute to Death both him that has offended us, and him whom we have offended ?
'Tis also a kind of Cowardise, that has introduced the Custom of Seconds, Thirds, and Fourths in Seconds introour Duels : They were formerly Duels, they duced, in Duels, are now Skirmishes and Battles. The first by Cowardise. Inventors of this Practice feared to be alone. Quum in se cuique minimum fiducia esset : " They had little Confidence • in themselves.' For, naturally, any Company whatever. is comfortable and assisting in Danger. Third Persons were formerly called in to prevent Disorder and foul Play only, and to be Witnesses of the Success of the Combat. But since they have brought it to this pass, that they themselves engage, whoever is invited cannot handsomely stand by as an idle Spectator, for fear of being suspected either of Want of Affection or Courage. Besides the Injustice and Unworthiness of such an Action, the engaging other Force and Valour, in the Protection of your Honour, than your own ; I conceive it a Disadvantage to a brave Man, and who wholly relies upon himself, to shuffle his Fortune with that of a Second, fince every one runs Hazard enough for himself, without running it for another, and has enough to do to depend on his own Valour for the Defence of his Life, without intrusting a Thing so dear in a third Man's Hand: For, if it be not expresły agreed.on before to the contrary, 'tis a combined Party of all four, and, if your Second be killed, you have two to deal withal with good Reason. And to say, that it is foul Play; it is so indeed, as it is for one, well-armed, to attack a Man that has but the Hilts of a broken Sword in his Hand, or for a Man clear, and in a whole Skin, to fall on a Man that is already desperately wounded; but, if these be Advantages you have got by fighting, you may make Use of them without Reproach: All that is weighed and considered is the Disparity and Inequality of the Condition of the Combatants when they begun; as to the rest, you charge it upon Fortune : And though you had alone three Enemies upon you at once, your iwo Companions being killed, you have no more Wrong 3
done you, than I should do, in a Battle, by running a Man through, whom I should see engaged with one of our own Men, at the like Advantage. The Nature of Society requires, that where there is Troop against Troop, (as 'where our Duke of Orleans' challenged Henry King of England, an Hundred against an Hundred; where the Argives challenged Three hundred against as many of the Lacedæmonians ", and Three to Three, as the Horatii against the Curiatii) the Multitude on either Side is confi. dered but as one single Man. Wherever there is Com. pany, the Hazard is confused and mixed. I have a domestic Interest in this Discourse ; for
my Brother, the Sieur de Matecoulom, was, at A Story of a
Rome, intreated by a Gentleman, with whom Duel between fome French
he had no great Acquaintance, and who was Gentlemen, in Defendant, and challenged by another, to be which a Bro his Second : In this Duel he found himself ther of Mon
matched with a Gentleman, his Neighbour, taigne was engaged.
much better known to him, where, after hav.
ing dispatched his Man, seeing the two Principals still on Foot, and Sound, he ran in to disengage his Friend. What could he do lefs? Should he have stood still, and, if Chance had ordered it so, have seen him, he was come thither to defend, killed before his Face ? What he had hitherto done signified nothing to the Business, the Quarrel was yet undecided : The Courtesy that you may, and certainly ought to shew to your Enemy, when you have reduced him to an ill Condition, and have a great Advantage over him, I do not see how you can shew it, where the Interest of another is in the Case, where you are only called in as an Alfistant, and where the Quarrel is none of yours : He could neither be Just nor Courteous at the Hazard of him he had agreed to second, and he was also inlarged from the Prisons of Italy, at the speedy and solemn Request of our King. Indiscreet Nation ! We are not content to make our Vices and Follies known to the World by Report only, but we must go into Foreign Countries, there to shew them what Fools we are. Put three Frenchmen into the Desarts of Lybia, they will
not • Monfirelei's Chronicle, Vol. I, c. 9.
u Herodot. lib. i. p. 37.