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Fire First

Non, Monsieur, nous ne tirons jamais les premiers. According to tradition, this was said by the Count D'Auteroches to Lord Charles Hay at the battle of Fontenoy, 30th April, 1745 (old style).

“On c'était de tradition dans l'armée; on laissait toujours par courtoisie, l'avantage du premier feu à l'ennemi.” (See Notes and Queries, 29th October, 1892, p. 345.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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