Home

Cite

The Devil's Dictionary

by Ambrose Bierce
DUCK-BILL
DULLARD

DUEL

-n.

A formal ceremony preliminary to the reconciliation of two enemies. Great skill is necessary to its satisfactory observance; if awkwardly performed the most unexpected and deplorable consequences sometimes ensue. A long time ago a man lost his life in a duel.

 That dueling's a gentlemanly vice
I hold; and wish that it had been my lot
To live my life out in some favored spot —
Some country where it is considered nice
To split a rival like a fish, or slice
A husband like a spud, or with a shot
Bring down a debtor doubled in a knot
And ready to be put upon the ice
Some miscreants there are, whom I do long
To shoot, to stab, or some such way reclaim
The scurvy rogues to better lives and manners,
I seem to see them now — a mighty throng.
It looks as if to challenge me they came,
Jauntily marching with brass bands and banners!

- Xamba Q. Dar

See also: