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(continued).-Memoirs of Distinguished Persons. Biographi-
( 3 Publications. Meteorological Register. Discoveries and Improvements in Arts and Manufactures. Domestic Occurrences. Foreign Occurrences. Retrospect of Public Affairs. Commercial Report. Price of Stocks. Agricultural Reports. Price; of Grain. To Correspondents.
No. XXII. General Correspondence. Real Killcrops. Custom of Marling. Description of the Feroe Islands. A Topic of Consolation. Biblical Remarks. Augsburg in the Sixteenth Century. Synonymic Elucidations (continued). Observations on Wasps. Proposals for editing an English Dictionary, under the direction of a Society. Instinct of Vegetables exemplified. MSS. of Wicliffe's Old Testament. Remarks on Horace. Sonnet by James I. Extracts from a Manuscript Tour through the Counties of Gloucester, Worcester, Salop, Hereford, and Monmouth (continued). On the Terms “ Comfort” and “ Comfortable.” -Classical Disquisitions. Æschylus.-- Accounts of, and ExIractsfrom, Rare and Curious Books. An Account of an ancient Hebrew Manuscript, in the Bodleian Library, at Oxford.Memoirs of Distinguished Persons. Bibliographic Notice of Jerome Pompei.--Original Poetry. Literary and Miscellaneous Information. The State of the Press in the University of Cambridge. Monthly List of New Publications. Meteorological Register. Discoveries and Improvements in Arts and Manufactures. Domestic Occurrences. Foreign Occurrences. Retrospect of Public Affairs. Commercial Report. Price of Stocks. Agricultural Reports. Prices of Grain.
No. XXIII. . General Correspondence. Remarks on Historical Relations of Poisonings (continued). Description of the Feroe Islands (continued). Further Observations on “Comfort” and “Comfortable." Sketch of a Tour into the County of Wicklow. Mrs. Cappe's Answer to Enquiries. Synonymic Elucidations (continued). A Roman Country Seat. An Obstacle to the Conversion of the Hindoos considered. Custom of the Horkey.
On the different Tendency of Spring observable in some kind of Plants. Degrees in Universities. Letter from Mr. Dyer,
Classical Disquisitions. Sophocles.-- Accounts of, and Extracts from, Rare and Curious Books. The Historie of Henry VII. as far as relate to Bosworth Field, by Charles Aleyn.Memoirs of Distinguished Persons. Mr. Professor Porson, -Original Poetry. Literary and Miscellaneous Information. Monthly List of New Publications, Meteorological Register, Discoveries and Iinprovements in Arts and Manufactures. Domestic Occurrences. Foreign Occurrences. Retrospect of Public Affairs. Commercial Report. Price of Stocks, Agricultural Reports. Prices of Grain.
, No. XXIV. General Correspondence. On crying Fudge. Description of the Feroe Islands / continued). Account of the University of Aberdeen. Mr. Hope on the Imitative Arts. On Mercantile Biography. Synonymic Elucidations (continued). Sketch of a Tour into the County of Wicklow (continued). Mildew in Wheat. Remarks on an Obstacle to the Conversion of the Hindoos considered. Further Remarks on Vegetable Instinct, Correspondence on the Subject of Liberty of Conscience.COLLECTANEA OXONIENSIA; OR, LETTERS TO AND FROM EMNENT PERSONS, FROM THE ORIGINALS IN THE BODLEIAN LIBRARY. Sir Kenelm Digby to Dr. Gerard Langbaine. Dr. Charleton to Dr. Barlow.–Classical Disquisitions. Euripides, ---Accounts of, and Extracts from, Rare and Curious Books, Ilsung's Travels from Augsburg to Compostella.--Memoirs of Distinguished Persons. Account of the Literary Labours of Mr. Professor Porson.--Original Poetry. Literary and Miscellaneous Information. Monthly List of New Publications, Meteorological Register. Discoveries and Improvements in Arts and Manufactures. Domestic Occurrences. Foreign Oecurrences. Retrospect of Public Affairs. Commercial Report, Price of Stocks. Agricultural Reports. Prices of Grain. To Correspondents.
No. 19. : July 1st, 1808.
For the Athenceum.
THERE are evils in society to which we are so much fami. liarised that we are apt to lose the sense of their being evils, or, at least, to fancy that they are so interwoven into the texture of social life, that they cannot be removed without greater mischief. The practice of duelling seems, with respect to common opinion, to stand in this predicament. A case of peculiar calamity or atrocity sometimes calls forth the public compassion or indignation; but these feelings soon subside in the vague notion that the custom is too inveterate to be eradicated, and that it may have its advantages as well as its inconveniences. But, surely, when we have seen many of the most valuable lives in the nation, and amongst them, those of its two highest political characters, put to hazard through this mode of settling punctilios of honour-when we read almost daily of persons engaged to the service of their country perishing in these unpatriotic combats-when we further observe the cruel dilemma in which trials originating from this cause involve judges and juries, from which they can hardly extricate theinselves without violating their public duties or their private feelings~-We cannot deliberately regard duelling as an evil to be acquiesced in without an attempt for its removal.
In reasoning upon this topic I shall not think of usurping the pulpit's office by demonstrating the inconsistency of private revenge with the precepts of christianity. Speaking to the world as a man of the world, it would indeed be absurd to appeal to a law which, while its authority is acknowledged in words, has no more force in fact than if it had been promulgated in another planet. To nations continually plunged in wars of vengeance, avarice, or ambition, and in the unrestrained pursuit of pleasure or emolument, pleading the maxims of a religion which breathes nothing but humility, forgiveness, self-denial, Vol. IV.
and detachment from worldly concerns, is either a cant or a mockery. I shall, therefore, consider the matter simply upon the ground of common sense and common interest.
I take for granted that few duels are fought at present which the parties would not rather avoid if the empire of opinion would permit them to do it. There is, in fact, such a radical absurdity in the idea of revenging an injury by exposing ones-self to the same danger in which we place the person who has injured us, that this notive could not long subsist as the cause of duels. Revenge naturally points to the stilleto; and if notions of honour forbid its use, the sword or pistol in open fight can never be its substitute. The most skilful in those weapons are the most likely to offer insults. Challenges are now given and accepted chiefly through fear of the imputation of cowardice ; and if that imputation could be obviated by any less hazardous expedient, the principle of self-preservation might in general be confided in for giving that the preference. A remarkable example of this truth is afforded by the modern, or rather the English, mode of seeking redress for what has been usually regarded as the most unpaidonable injury a gentleman could receive, and not to be expiated but by the blood of the offender-seduction of the partner of his bed. Men of the nicest honour among us are now contented to obtain reparation for this cruel wrong by a legal action for pecuniary damages ; and it is not uncommon for the husband and seducer to mix afterwards in society upon terms of civility. This fact alone is sufficient to prove that all the causes producing duels are within the controul of public opinion, were means found to give it a proper direction. Indeed, as the most polished nations of antiquity maintained social intercourse without having recourse to this pretended support of order and decoruin, to suppose it necessary in inodern times is to acknowledge such a relapse to barbarism as no advocate for the improvement of mankind would chuse to admit. That relapse, however, which unquestionably took place on the irruption of the barbarous nations into the Roman einpire, was the real source of this, as well as of various other Gothic customs, which still in some degree derogate from the boasted refinement and civility of modern Europe.
The obligation to demand or grant the satisfaction of single combat, which is now attached to the character of a gentleman, is founded upon the maximn that courage is the quality most of all indispensable to that rank in society, and that life, with all its duties and enjoyments, is not to be set in competition with the reputation of that quality. But this is a proposition which very few, I presume, would seriously maintain. That life, indeed, is freely to be hazarded, or even sacrificed, on certain occasions, is a tenet of sound philosophy, as well as of the worldly school of honour; but neither philosophy nor true honour will regard the maintaining a mere reputation for courage as one of those occasions. That reputation, too, thus supported, is a very equivocal one; for neither is the man who, urged by the fear of disgrace, reluctantly stands a shot, proved to be brave; nor is he who