The Days of the Duel

Self-respect meets attacks squarely, as a man should do; but it wields an honest sword. It fights in the open, and scorns to win victory by a treacherous thrust. It is a hard fighter; but it fights by the code and will stand up for the rights and honour of the individual as courageously and as cordially as any brave captain in the days of the duel.” ~ William George Jordan

The duels in the days of yore were based on a code of honor. Contrary to popular opinion, the goal was not necessarily to kill an opponent (unless such an end was specifically demanded to “gain satisfaction”), yet duels always served to restore honor by demonstrating a willingness to lose one’s life for it. The approach was often violent – perhaps unnecessarily so – but it did promote a virility and pluck that seems to have waned in the men of our current era.

To maintain your self-respect, you mustn’t shy away from the challenges in living. You must meet them with the same resolve, confidence and ease that you would the sure bets that come your way. Further, if you are concerned to safeguard your self-respect you must do everything within your power to protect the rights and honor of others. Victories achieved by treachery are not worthy of the name, neither is progress when gained at the expense of the honor or rights of another.

 

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5 Responses to The Days of the Duel

  1. Vincent says:

    Even for pacifists, battle presents itself on occasion as an inevitable necessity. How to handle those situations without the usual reactiveness, vitriol, vindictiveness and unkindness…that’s a useful consideration!

  2. Rebecca says:

    Protecting the rights and honors of others is what our constitution is based upon. This is an amazing privilege we have in the United States as a nation, but it really comes down to what we’re going to do as individuals, regardless of where we live or the limitations that we may life under. Self respect is central to progress, power and purpose.

  3. Kimberly says:

    It’s said the end justifies the means but I think it helps determine it. Treachery is always best dealt with by taking the highest road we can. It doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t have to take sterner measures then you’d prefer, it means you’ll face what you have to but in your heart is forgiveness and maybe some dismay with the other persons chosen path.

  4. Colin says:

    The world becomes a different place when you are immediately responsible for the things that come out of your mouth. You can keep that same sense of responsibility, even in modern times, if you are concerned with being an honorable person. Treat people with respect, even if they won’t ever require satisfaction in the form of a duel if you don’t. You can live by a code of honor today, we need it now more than ever.

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