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established for the promotion of the knowledge of the heala ing art.
If the good sense and reflection of the community be insufficient to arrest the progress of this evil, if their experience has no warning voice, the guardianship of the legislature should be extended to protect us. Laws are enacted for the inspection of many articles of life, while those, by which our health may be more readily affected, are suffered to be regu. lated by the mercenary spirit of trade.
ESSAY ON DUELLING.
WHILE the names of Cæsar and Alexander shine with eternal brilliance in the broad zodiac of fame, and the sacrifice of millions to their heroic ambition stamps immortality on the recording page, the splendor of his character, who offers, as a victim to HONOR, a single life, has suffered a total eclipse by the overwhelming profusion of their lustre..
Friendly to the free enjoyment of equal rights, I feel impelled to shear those worthies of their beams, which have 80 long obscured the glory of the duellist, and robbed him of his just share of admiration and applause.
His happiness lives not on the breath of fame. Worth, like his, feasts on its intrinsic beauty ; but his merit as well, a6 Alexander's, or Cæsar's, claims a seat in her aerial car, and gratitude must with rich odors perfume the gale, which wafts his praises.
A panegyric on the duellist has one peculiar excellence ; however exalted, it cannot incur, as all others do, the suspicion of flattery. No selfish view, no interested policy can be charged with the imputation of partiality.
Detraction herself must feel the justness of every encomium, and calumny confess the laurels well applied. Charac· ters, possessed of petty, tame virtues only require a stricte numeration of them all, to claim a tolerable aggregate of
praise; but the duellist shows prominence in every virtue, and the lustre of each entitles to an exalted seat in the temple of fame.
To display, in a faint picture, a few of the numerous claims, which the duellist has on the profound veneration and ardent gratitude of society, will suffice to elevate him to the rank, due to his merit ; but to which, alas, the laws of our country have hitherto forbidden him to rise !
Where lives so vigorous a sense of dignity, where glows devotion to honor with such impassioned ardor, as in the breast of a generous duellist ? Say but a crooked word ; cast but a glance of disrespect ; and, clothed in vengeance, he meditates swift destruction for the wretched offender. But his sense of dignity rises still higher. He sacrifices life to the slightest indecorum. What punishmentt hen can atone for the most insulting contempt * Hecatombs of victims must appease with their blood his animated ire. Attachment to bonor how sublime ! .It exalts her even to divinity.
Did not Moloch and other celebrated gods of the heathen world demand similar oblations to their wrath? It is true, the duellist sometimes falls by the hand of his brother. What then ? Where is the genuine worshipper, who, at the call of his god, refuses to sacrifice his life? Let the man, who feels not the exalted pleasure of killing and of being killed, when bonor commands, cease to censure a conduct, the cause of which he is incapable of comprehending. It is indeed pretended, that true dignity and genuine honor demand the forgiveness of injuries, and pity for the injurious person. This is the musty doctrine of timid, superstitious souls, who are too tame to assert their rights, and shelter their cowardice - under the authority of a pretended revelation from heaven. For, did this revelation require them to avenge their wrongs by humbling their adversary, infidelity strong, as bars of brass, would refuse it admittance within the pale of their minds. It is also urged, and with an air of triumph too, that reason, -which the dueļlist himself potseses, forbids the practice of attacking a nuan's life to revenge an insignificant affront. How weak the insinuation! Can any affront be trifling, which seeks to tarnish that diamond, honor ? She, incoercible, as the subtle gas of fermentation, is no more restrained in her career by the torpid hand of reason, than the bursting volcano is extinguished by the trickling tears of the dismayed inhabitants around its mouth. She has nobler feelings ; she burns with an ardor far above the elevation of that dull, phlegmatic preacher. Reason pretend to circumscribe the impulses of honor ? As well might we attempt in the famed bag of Ulysses to confine the wild, impetuous whirls of Euroclydon. Let the whole herd of reasoning mopes know once for all, that the duellist lives above their atmosphere. While they, mere earth worms, crawl after the ignis fatuus of reason and the aqua fatua of revelation, he soars into the airy region, where the goddess honor holds her throne, and sheds pure ether for the nourishment of her votaries. With painful emotions he laments, that his body is like that of others, who are incapable of feeling the glow of his sentiments. But, possessed of a principle so sublime, and which elevates him so far above their level, he submits to the humiliating circumstance. For even a man of honor bows the knee to necessity. But let it be remembered to his praise, that he bows the knee to nothing else in heaven or on earth; for the goddess, he adores, dwells in the region between them both. Too subtle for earth, and too proud for heaven, she fills that point in air, where the celestial and terrestrial attractions, exactly counterpoised, insure a moveless throne.
Some caviller may perhaps demand the import of that word, honor, so frequently on the tongue, and so dear to the heart of the duellist. Strange demand ! Who pretends to ask a difinition of sound, of color, of sweetness? The difinition is felt, but defies expression. Pride and shame are her noble parents ; revenge her darling offspring ; nemo me impunè lacessit her glorious motto.
Fiction wants images, painting is void of colors, and poetry sighs in vain for figures, fitted to form a faint description of her beauty. Silence is Vol. II. No. 4.
most expressive, and the true sublime of her charms can be understood only by the hearts of her votaries.
Some persons, slaves to vulgar prejudices and a weak set of nerves, accuse her of involving in distress perhaps whole families by the execution of her mandates. Perhaps a husband falls in the field of combat ; a father, a brother ; perhaps a son, on whom an aged parent was dependent for support, protection, and comfort. How often must the current of my eulogy be diverted from its easy channel by such paltry obstacles? Have these puny souls so soon forgotten, that honor is a goddess ? And must the happiness or misery of mortals, children of an hour, influence the operation of her laws ?
The dwellist rests his cause, not on the slender reeds of patronage, but on the broad basis of authority.
Did not Cain, the very firstborn of men, by sacrificing to the voice of envy his own, his only, his amiable brother, deify the passions, and thus institute the illustrious order of duellists? The birth of man, of thee, great Cain, was the Lucifer of duelling. What custom, what practice, what sect, or society can boast an origin at once so ancient, yet so clear? While myriads in every age sacrifice their lives on tlie altar of that most capricious, ever varying goddess, fashion, and countless selfdevoted victims to pleasure daily throng her courts, who forbids the son of Cain to offer one, two, or a thousand on the altar of his far more exalted divinity, HONOR ?
I should now resume the silken thread of panegyric, did I:not observe still another captious fellow gaping with an objection, and in pain to be delivered. How animating the consolation, that they are all merę cobwebs! And pray, what is it?' The object of the duellist is satisfaction. Now what great satisfaction does he derive from the death of his adversary, who, with his expiring breath, adds fresh reproaches to the original affront, which excited the combat ?
- Here the objector fancies himself strongly entrenched. But mark the force of my artillery against him." The duela list has convinced the world, that he is a votary of honor, a
man of spirit ; and has besides disenabled his adversary from ever disturbing or affronting him in future. And his pride must receive fresh gratification from the idea, that his opponent is no mean trophy; since he was, like himself, a votary of bonor, a man of spirit. All duellists are actuated by the same high impulses. A butcher feels not half the pleasure in knocking down the fattened ox, because he is a brute ; because no resentment impels his arm, and no revenge keens his relish for destruction.
But to such a feast of vengeance can remorse succeed? Here is another whisper from some tėnderhearted stripling. No, nothing like it. The duellist sometimes has sensations after killing a man similar to those, which for a moment Hector felt, when embracing Andromache and his child, before he left them to join the army.
Parting was painful. But when his country's call touched his recollection, the quick impulses of martial glory swelled high his throbbing bosom ; his soul was on fire ; he burst from the close embrace, and Andromache and Astyanax were forgotten. So the duellist regrets the loss of his friend, who had afforded him many a pleasing hour ; but, when the vindication of his bonor, which occasioned the deadly fight, comes up in contrast, every painful emotion is absorbed in the glory of the sacrifice.
Having now completely demolished every possible objection, raised against my hero, with what ardent impatience do I again launch into the ocean of panegyric! What conscious pride swells my bosom, while I présent him to your admiring view ! See him encircled with the dazzling rays of honpr; his head disburdened of the lumber of reason and religion ; antiquated names ! His heart absorbing and expanding with the rays, which surround him ; his tongue chanting praises to his goddess, and his mouth breathing the sweet accents of revenge. Behold the man. What exalted gratitude is due for his sublime achievements in the field of philosophy and religion ! Directed by the pure light of the divinity, he adores, he surveys the multifarious systems of each,