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THE general attention has been recently
attracted to a monstrous French duel. The
records of such things in France present
another duel quite as absurd, but far less

At the beginning of the present century,
the city of Strasbourg resembled Caen in
possessing a certain number of wrong-headed
gentlemen who took a pleasure in getting up
disputes. Soldiers of all ranks had ample
opportunities of picking quarrels, whenever
they wished it, and often when they did not
wish it. In seventeen hundred and ninety-four
a captain of hussars, named Fournier,
indulged in this amusement to his heart's
content. At a later period, his merit and
his courage earned him the epaulettes of a
general of division. His aggressive temper
and his address with arms, rendered his
name celebrated in the annals of the duel.
He was invariably the victor in these
unfortunate meetings; and Strasbourg had
to reproach him for the loss of several of
her sons on the most futile motives of
quarrel, and especially for having killed, on
very trifling grounds, a young man named
Blume,—generally beloved, the only support
of a numerous family,—whom he had
challenged without any plausible reason, and
slain without the slightest pity. The death
of Blume was regarded as a public
misfortune, and sympathised in by a public

On the very day of Blume's funeral
General Moreau gave a ball, to which were
invited all the members of the high
bourgeoisie. It was desirable to avoid the
scandalous scenes which could not fail to
take place between the fellow townsmen,
perhaps the relations, of the unfortunate
deceased and the aggressor, who was styled
his murderer. General Moreau, therefore,
desired his aide-de-camp, Captain Dupont,
afterwards the general who capitulated at
Baylen, to prevent Captain Fournier from
entering the ball-room. Dupont stationed
himself in a corner of one of the antechambers,
and immediately he caught sight of him
accosted him abruptly.

"What are you going to do here?"

"Ah! That's you, Dupont? Good evening.
Parbleu! You see what I am doing; I am
come to the ball."

"Are you not ashamed to come to a ball
the very day of the funeral of that poor
unhappy fellow Blume? What will his friends
and his relations say?"

"They may say what they please; it is all
one to me. But, I should like to know, what
business is that of yours?"

"It is everybody's business. Everybody is
thinking and talking about it."

"Everybody is wrong then. I don't like
people to poke their noses into my affairs.
And now, if you please, let me pass."

"You shall not go into the ball-room."

"And, pray, why?"

"Because you must take yourself off
instead. The General orders you to retire to
your own apartments."

"Am I turned out of the house?"

"No; it is merely a precaution."

"Are you aware of the consequences of
turning Fournier out of doors?"

"I do not want to hear any of your
rhodomontades. Just have the goodness to take
yourself off."

"Listen!" said Fournier, in a fury. "I
cannot have my revenge of the General,
because he is my superior officer; but you
are my equal; you have presumed to take
your share in the insult, and you shall pay
for the whole of it. We will fight!"

"Listen, in turn," replied Dupont. "I
have long been out of patience with you; I
am disgusted with your bullying ways; and
I hope to give you a lesson, which you will
long remember."

Fournier passed a sleepless night. He
would have gone mad with vexation, had he
not been consoled by the hope of killing
Dupont. But the result of the combat was
not what he expected, for Dupont gave him
a frightful wound.

"You fence well," said Fournier, as he

"Not badly, as you see."

"Yes; but now I know your game. You
won't catch me another timeas I will show
when I am well again."

"You wish for another encounter?"

"Parbleu! That's a matter of course."

In fact, after a few weeks' nursing, Fournier,
for the second time, was face to face

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