The most unusual dueling



Today you can insult anyone by using the Internet. Sometimes people who are strangers are arguing, not choosing words. Only here to respond to the offender is possible only with the help of the same “virtual” weapons, without causing him real harm.

But in the old days the question of insults was solved much easier. If men argued with each other, they appointed a duel or duel. At first weapons were swords and swords, and then they were replaced with pistols. And this solution was much more convincing than pressing the “complain” button.


And the most interesting is that dueling in some countries and in some periods of history was a legitimate means of clarifying the relationship. True, heated men often did not even stop the ban on such fights. And although dueling was a noble way to find out how to defend honor, these fights were sometimes ridiculous and ridiculous. Charles-Augustin Saint-Beuve against Paul-François DuBois.

Dueling can be explained when two evil enemies are confronted in a dispute. But sometimes the situation gets out of control and between old friends and colleagues. This is exactly what happened with Sainte-Beuve and Dubois, whose duel took place on September 20, 1830. Sainte-Beuve was a literary critic who created his own method of assessing the writers’ works. He believed that all of their novels and novels actually reflect to some extent their own lives and experiences. Dubois was the editor of the newspaper “Le Globe”. Paul Francois did not only teach the famous critic in the lyceum of Charlemagne, he hired him to work in his publication. What exactly they were arguing about, remained a mystery. But the result was a duel, appointed in the forest near Romenville. The problem was heavy rain. Sainte-Beuve said that he does not mind dying, but refuses to get wet at the same time. The critic picked up an umbrella instead of a gun. As a result, no one was killed, and two writers later became friends again. Sainte-Beuve himself recalled Dubois as a wonderful and sincere person. But the publisher called the critic’s critics “mother’s son, afraid of rain.” Otto von Bismarck v. Rudolf Virchow.

This story is about how the politician was ready to defend his convictions, which in the modern world simply is not to be met. Otto von Bismarck was a Prussian minister who united Germany and became her chancellor. In 1865 he faced the leader of the Liberal Party, Rudolf Virchow. This scholar and oppositionist believed that the politician unnecessarily inflated the military budget of Prussia. As a result, the country plunged into poverty, overpopulation and epidemic. Bismarck did not challenge his opponent’s views, but simply summoned him to a duel. At the same time the politician generously gave his opponent to choose weapons. But Virchow acted out of the box, he decided to fight with sausages. One of them was raw, infected with bacteria. Bismarck understood that when using a cold or firearm, Virchow simply had no chance. But the sausages equalized the possibilities. Then Bismarck said that the heroes do not have the right to eat up to death and canceled the duel. History is not only that fun, it is noteworthy also that the head of the country called the oppositionist. Usually everything happens the other way around.

The most unusual dueling

Mark Twain vs. James Laird.

Twain was a well-known opponent of the duel. The writer considered them unreasonable and a dangerous way to find out the relationship. In the opinion of Twain, it is also sinful. If someone would challenge him, the writer promised with the utmost courtesy and politeness to take the enemy to a quiet place and kill there. That is why it is not surprising that when he summoned the editor of a competing newspaper to a duel, he tried in every possible way to prevent it. Describing the unsuccessful fight, Twain recalled that he was terrified. The fact is that his opponent was a famous shooter. But as soon as Laird and his second came to the place of the fight, Mark Twain’s second, Steve Gillis, struck the head of a flying bird from 30-meters.Laird asked in astonishment who had shot the metro so far? Then Gillis said that this was done by Twain, an excellent sniper. Fortunately for the writer, Laird chose not to risk his life and canceled the duel.

The most unusual dueling

Marcel Proust against Jean Lorren.

Digital technology prevents writers from fighting with devastating reviews of their creations. The struggle is reduced to endless comments, outposts and huskies. In 1896, Proust published a collection of short stories “Joys and Days,” but the poet and novelist Jean Lorren released a devastating review on this score. In addition, the critic called the author himself “soft-bodied” and allowed himself to make comments about his personal life. The duel was appointed on February 5, 1897. Proust’s only request was not to start the fight until noon, as he was a pronounced “owl.” Nevertheless, the writer arrived on a duel impeccably dressed. Both men shot and both missed. Then the seconds agreed that the honor was restored. It is worth saying that this reaction to the review was still excessive, but with the help of a duel both writers were able to settle their differences. It’s good that both of them turned out to be bad arrows, otherwise literature would be much poorer. Lady Almería Braddock vs. Mrs. Elphinstone.

The most unusual dueling

This duel went down in history as a “skirt bout”. The two ladies decided to go a little further to clarify their relationship, as was the case with French women. But nothing foreshadowed such an outcome of the usual tea party between two friends – Mrs. Elphinstone and Lady Braddock. Simply the first began to describe the appearance of the hostess with the help of the past tense: “You were a beautiful woman.” Lady Almeria Braddock was so offended by these words that she immediately appointed a duel in the nearby Hyde Park. Initially, it was decided to shoot pistols. After the bullet hit Lady Braddock’s hat, she still insisted on continuing the duel. Then the ladies took swords in their hands. And only when Braddock was able to easily injure her abuser, she agreed to a written apology from her side. The duel ended, but it represented an unusually spectacular performance.

The most unusual dueling

Sasaki Kojiro vs. Miyamoto Musashi.

This duel may seem ridiculous, but you can not deny its participants ingenuity. In 1612, in a duel in the territory of feudal Japan, two fighters, principled opponents, came together. They did not agree on the art of fencing. There are many different descriptions of that duel. The most common version says that Musashi was three hours late, and instead of a sword he came with a hewn oar. It was a psychological blow to the enemy. Musashi smiled at his opponent, throwing insults at him. And when Kojiro was blinded by the rays of the rising sun, he hit him with his improvised weapon, killing him. It turns out that it was possible to defeat the legendary warrior with the help of a delay and a boat oar.

The most unusual dueling

Francois Fournier-Sarlovez vs. Pierre Dupont.

Frnier-Sarlovez was a very impulsive person who resorted to a sword at every opportunity. Did not stop him and the fact that dueling in France in the XVII century were prohibited. The most famous fight Fournier-Sarloveza stretched for a long 19 years. These events even formed the basis of Joseph Conrad’s novel The Duel and Ridley Scott’s The Duelists. And everything began in 1794. Pierre Dupont, an army courier, delivered a message to Fournier. But he did not like the message. Word for word, the hapless courier was guilty, who was immediately bullied and called to the duel. He agreed and managed to injure Fournier, but not fatal. Recovering, he offered a rematch. At this time, injured DuPont. The third time, both were wounded. Over the next 19 years, duelists converged about 30 times, trying to prove something to each other. They even concluded a treaty that a duel can not take place unless there is a distance of more than a hundred kilometers between them.And although the French called each other sworn enemies, they corresponded and even sometimes dined together after the fight. In 1813, DuPont decided to marry, and the long-standing hostility to him was to nothing. He suggested finalizing the issue. The decisive duel took place in the forest. Dupont decided to cheat – he hung his coat on a branch, where he discharged the charges of Fournier. Then the groom declared that he would not shoot, but the next time he would do it twice. So Fournier stopped pursuing his longtime enemy. Humphrey Howard vs. Earl Barrymore.

Experienced duelists know that you should always take some precautions before the fight. In 1806, between two respectable English gentlemen, MP Humphrey Howard and Henry Barry, the eighth count Barrymore, a dispute arose that led to a duel. But Howard, a former army doctor, knew that it was the infection that got into the open wound and became most often deadly. That’s why he decided that clothing is the very subject. And if the count, like a real gentleman, came into battle in a frock coat and a top hat, then his opponent prudently stripped naked. They say, however, that Howard took such a decision under the influence of alcohol. But the count was sober enough, preferring to hush things up. Is it a great honor to kill a naked person or, on the contrary, to die at the hands of a nudist? Howard made such a decision, and the gentlemen went home.

The most unusual dueling

Alexey Orlov against Mikhail Lunin.

When a person agrees to take a challenge to a duel, it is good to have some skills to this. Alexei Orlov for the fight was not ready. He was a good general, who manifested himself in the Napoleonic wars. But this does not mean that he was able to shoot well. Orlov never fought with anyone in a duel, which was the reason for youth jokes. Lunin offered the general to experience a new sensation for him, in fact, summoning him to a duel. To refuse such, let even a joking call it was impossible. The vulnerability of Orlov became noticeable during the duel with the much more experienced and skilful cavalryman Mikhail Lunin. He so provoked the general that Orlov really wanted to kill the offender. The first shot was given to an inexperienced duelist, but the bullet only hit Lunin’s epaulette. He only laughed and fired into the air. Then the furious Orlov fired again, hitting this time in the hat. Lunin laughed and fired into the air again. He found pleasure in danger. Enraged Orlov wanted to re-charge the weapon, but the senseless duel was stopped. Lunin offered his opponent shooting lessons. And although the young officer did not win a duel, he won the battle in the battle – Orlov was humiliated.

The most unusual dueling

Monsieur de Grandpre v. Monsieur de Piquet.

It seems that dueling is something French, who, if not they, knows in this lesson and uses a certain style. In 1808, one opera prima donna fell in love with two respectable monsieur. The rivals decided that there is no better way to dodge the competitor from his passion, except how to shoot him. And the victory itself should have a positive impact on the lady herself. Men decided to make a duel with greater efficiency in balloons, high in the sky. Opponents rose up above the Tuileries paris garden, taking with them muskets with gunpowder and lead bullets. The second pilots helped to manage the balls, to which the unenviable fate was assigned. As soon as the balls moved closer to the distance of the shot, Grandpray and Pique shot each other. Pique’s ball caught fire and fell down. Together with the duelist, his second pilot died. The most interesting thing is that the prima donna did not appreciate such a sacrifice and fled with another fan.

The most unusual dueling

Andre Marchand against the dog.

This amazing story happened in the 14th century. Andre Marchand went on a hunt with his friend, Jacques Shevantier. Friends could not find a third fellow traveler, but he took a friendly dog. During the hunt, Jacques Chevanet disappeared somewhere.No one would have suspected the disappearance of the man Marshan, only the dog of the missing, who was an eyewitness, literally barked at the sight of his master’s friend. Friends Shevantier came to the original conclusion – the dog wants to cause Marchand to a duel, instead of the missing Shevantier. In order to preserve the honor, Marshan had to accept the challenge. But he could not choose a revolver, he simply did not exist then. Then the duelist decided to fight with a club with iron fangs. They just resembled dog fangs. The dog did not have much choice, how to rely on his natural weapons – teeth and claws. The duel was surprisingly short. As soon as the dog was released from the leash, he immediately clung to the neck of the enemy. Marchand did not even have time to use his club. They say that while dying, the poor fellow managed to confess to killing a friend. But most likely this legend was invented by the organizers of such a wild fight to justify their madness.

The most unusual dueling


Count Cagliostro against Dr. Sozonovich.

The famous European wizard Count Cagliostro in the XVIII century visited Russia. Here he was given a warm welcome – the magician had many admirers and clients. But at the court there were those who openly called the visiting guest a charlatan. The most serious conflict erupted near Cagliostro with Dr. Sozonovich, the court physician of Empress Catherine II. There was an interesting case – Prince Golitsyn fell ill with his only ten-month-old son. The official medicine has spread his hands, but Cagliostro just managed to heal him in just a month. Gossips whispered that the count had simply replaced the baby. Then the offended Sozonovich summoned Cagliostro to a duel. He said that once it concerns medicine, the weapon must be a self-cooked poison. The enemies must exchange pills and the one who has the better antidote will win. Later Cagliostro boasted how he managed to replace the poison with a chocolate ball before everyone’s eyes. But the trusting Sozonovich drank the poison, trying to muffle its effect by several liters of milk. Fortunately, the two duelists were still alive. Perhaps the cunning Italian decided to spare his opponent and did not give him any poison. After Cagliostro after that duel wrote to Sozonovich that there was only a potentiating agent in the pill. Jack Robson and Billy Beckham.

Times change weapons of duelists. First they were swords and swords, later – firearms. Apparently, even the balloons took part in clarifying the relationship. In this case, two American farmers decided to find out the relationship with the help of their cars. The reason for the duel was banal – both fell in love with a certain beauty. The Americans decided that in the middle of the 20th century and weapons should be appropriate, that’s why they chose cars. Early in the morning, rivals came to the edge of the plateau, where the honesty of the fight was to be watched by seconds – a doctor and a mechanic. Yes, and the subject of the dispute – a charming lady, was in place of the duel. At the command of the machine, a friend ran towards each other with great speed. But at the last moment the duelists turned off, avoiding instant death. The men decided to change tactics – now they were trying to push the enemy’s car into the abyss. The winner was Jack Robson, but his prize was not the girl’s heart, but 15 years in prison. The very same beauty married a bus driver who kindly drove her home after a terrible duel.



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