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CONFESSION OF POISONING A…

THE TRIAL OF MRS. LANGFORD.

GERMAN HOUSEHOLD ECONOMY.

FEARFUL COLLIERY ACCIDENT…

THE "HONOURABLE" WAY OF SETTLING…

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THE "HONOURABLE" WAY OF SETTLING A DISPUTE. Referring to the duel which has just been fought in France, by two journalists, The Times has the follow- ing leader and it is to be hoped that the time is not far distant when the legislature of that country will make that foolish way of settling affairs of "honour," a capital crime, and visit it with a severe punishment:— The telegraph infoims us that the great duel of the year- that between M. Paul de Cassagnac and M. Gustave Flourens —came off on Thursday morning. It is an event calculated to supply conversation fora long time to come. Your French man, as a general rule, and your Parisian in particular, is in- ordinately fond of a duel; not loath to be mixed up with it if it can be managed, but, if otherwise, he tries to console himself by at least talking about it. It is not that duels in Paris are events of uncommon occurrence. We hear of no less than four such "affairs," about the imminent issue of which the city is full of pleasurable emotion. The duel is a subject that never palls. An arm in a sling from the merest scratch of a sharpened fencing-foil is some- thing more to show about the Boulevard or the Bois than a whole rainbow of ribands at the button- hole. Crimean and Lombard campaigning may be all very well iu its way, but on the battle-field heroism goes by whole- sale and every bullet has its billet." To try a man's nerve and skill, in a Frenchman's opinion, there is nothing like six square feet of ground and bare steeL The cannon is the King's ultima ratio but the rapier is the only argument of the brave." And it is so true that duelling bravery has nothing in common with martial valour that in the French Army, where the practice is winked at, a duel between officers is a very rare occurrence." Your fire-eaters in France are generally Journalists. The hostile meeting of which the first tidings have just reached us belonss to this last category. It was an encounter between M. Paul de Cassagnae, the successor of M. Granier de Caxiagnae in the management of the ultra-Imperialist ergm, Le Pays, and M. Gustave Flourens, one of the chief editors of the ultra-Democratic paper, Le Rappel. The quarrel arose out of an article bearing M Cassagnac's signa- nature, in which, it seems, he had spoken slightingly of the Republican party." According to other reports, "the truculent M. de Cassagnac had grossly insulted M Flonrens" We are not told what was the nature of the language in the Pays, for it is one of the beèiutielof this duelling minia in France that people go forth to out each other's throats with- out ever enlightening the world as to the real ground of dispute. The pirties were. according to seme accounts, unknown to each other even by name. The offence, if such it must be called, was given as far back as the middle of June, at the time of the general elections. The dispute was carried on for several weeks, curing which the two adversaries had leisure to become aware -of the violent political hatred that ought to exist between them. M- de Cassagnac charged M. Flourens with being "a mad Republican," while he avowed himself "a mad Bonapartist." Of course such conflicting Insanity could not continue to subsist. M. de Cassagnac sent his chal- lenge to M. Flourens at a time in which the latter was a prisoner at St. Pglxgie On his release from durance M. Flourens returned the civility to M. de Cassagnac, who asked for the respite of a few days, or hours, on the plea of illness M. Flouiens indulged some bitter sneers about his adversary's indisposition -an epidemic pre- valent in Paris at this time of the year, and which has its origin in excess of heat, hut which, in some instances, is traced to internal commotions not of a heroic nature. "As U. de Cassagnac was a sufferer from such a complaint," said his challenger, "he would proceed no further, and was will- ing to let the matter drop-en rester la Whereupon the journali<t fired up, and wrote a savage letter, in which he said that "ill as he was, and shivering with fever," he would show M. Flourens he was as wanting in courage as I in good breeding, and that F ourens was much mistaken if he fancied that, after accepting his challenge, Cassagnac would allow Flourens to slip through his fingers on so flimsy a pretext. After this imputation on the man's bravery, M. de Cassagnac proceeds to compliment him on the honoured name he bears in the literary world, on his reputation for a daring b >rdering on foolhardiness, on fcis exploits against the Turks in Crete, on his skill as a ilrst-rate swordsman, &c." and, then, again, going back i-the original charge, he says:—"You have refused ne, Sir, a few hours to master my bodily suffer- ings but I grant you as much time as you may require to recover your heart, which seems to be fainting within you." And he concludes, "It is not ink that I want from you, but blood." And M. de Cassagnac's thirst for blood was, it is to be hoped, fully slaked. The two anta- gonists were brought face to face on the green sward, and M. Flourens left the field bleeding from three wounds, one of which is described as "very serious." We rub our eyes as we read the particulars of this transac- tion, and especially the letter of M de Cassagnac, and ask ourselves whether the feelings and manners of which they are the index can, indeed. still prevail among a people at little more than ten hours' distance from us. You are a mad Republican, I am a mad Bonapartist-an excellent reason why our swords should be crossed in mortal combat." Were all men of extreme parties to come to the same determination, a chance might arise for temperate men and rational opinions At all events, the sword would easily open a short cut, enabling a disputant, if not to confute, at least to silence, his opponent, and blood would, beyond all question, be a more efficient means of drowning political passions than printer's ink. On the one side stands an Imperialist, on the other a Democrat; the latter is carried off with three bleeding wounds; ergo, the cause of the former is the one on whose side Heaven itself haadeclared. Such has been in all ages the rationale of duelling; such it Is still In France in this latter part of the nineteenth cen- tury. What is above all things strange, however, is the ex- treme touchiness of all these preux cltevaliert on the subject of their reputation for courage, and their extreme readiness to question the courage of others. Cassagnac challenges Flourens while the latter is a prisoner. Flourens renews the challenge while Cassagnac is shivering with fever. They are both patterns of valour; yet each of them seems by turns to speculate on the other's cowardice. And, after all, what is bravery, or what cowardice ? They are both proud of their renown as keen swordsmen and crack shots. Each of them re- lies on a proficiency in the use of his weapon which renders him almost invulnerable. No doubt, one of them may find more than his match one of them may fall a victim to his over- weening conceit. But each of them goes forih strong in the consciousness of his superiority. M. de Cassagnac reckons upon his adversary's blood with the confidence of a hunter selling the lion's skin before killing his lion, and M. Flourens is so sure of his advantage that he taunts his opponent with a craven design to balk him of it. With such a certainty of victory who will say that there was a pin to choose, as to gallantry, between the two champions 7 A man should have the courage of his opinions he should be ready to back them with his life when his reasons are of no avail." By all meanl: but between Heurl. Flourens and Cassagnac there was only a question of courage, or rather of skill with their weapons, and the solution of the question was sought with mutual reflections on each other's bravery. Whatever be the issue of tlll. combat, we do not believe that "mad Bonapartism will have gained much ground, or that mad Republicanism" will feel greatly disposed to give up the contest. The really vanquished in this ignoble strife are Reason and Civilisation and France—which runs so widely in advance of other nations In most things, yet tolerates and almost countenances a practice which many of her neighbours consider as no longer in keeping with the ideas of the present age. Even in France, a country which has during these last 80 years gone through so appalling a succession of violent changes, it may be proved that a rage for duelling might always be taken as a symptom of the prostration of the public mind, of a decline in the ascendency of free opinion. If better days are now in store for France, if the Emperor Napoleon is really bent on opening a fair field for political contests, we shall look forward to the gradual and perhaps flual discontinuance of those appeals to the sword, which only escape being ridiculous when they are absolutely atrocious.

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