My Particular Friend footnotes: The Affair of the Code Duello 3

Beginning with Mr Wallace Reports:

‘No, I am afraid Mr Jenkins remains adamant. Nothing I could say would deter him and if as expected Mr Sunderland demands satisfaction to-morrow, he will accept the challenge.’ And then Mr Wallace gave us a wry smile and amended, ‘Unless of course it is Mr Jenkins who demands satisfaction and challenges Mr Sunderland. Apparently he believes the failure to call Miss Bassett … to acknowledge her beauty … the more serious offence.’

The rules of the Code Duello encouraged a delay before issuing a formal challenge. Rule 15, for instance, reads: “Challenges are never to be delivered at night, unless the party to be challenged intend leaving the place of offense before morning; for it is desirable to avoid all hot-headed proceedings.”

Part of the confusion here is who is the injured party. Rule 10: “Any insult to a lady under a gentleman’s care or protection to be considered as, by one degree, a greater offense than if given to the gentleman personally, and to be regulated accordingly.” Is not calling a woman “the most beautiful woman I have ever seen” tantamount to an insult and is she under Mr Jenkin’s care?

‘Yes, it’s appalling what the men eat in the field or sailors on long voyages. They say Napoleon will pay 12,000 francs to whoever can find a way to keep food from spoiling, and I think His Majesty should do the same.’
preserving food: Nicolas Appert, a French chef, was able to claim the prize in 1810 by first cooking the food and preserving it in airtight class jars or bottles. The British quickly followed with preserving food in tin cans. Unfortunately the invention of the can opener came later.

‘Well, as to the first, he said that as Mr Jenkins had chosen to insult a gentleman he supposed it fair to do him the courtesy of treating him as such, and as to the second, he said that if Mr Jenkins were in no fit state to hold a pistol, he would of course hold fire, and that Mr Jenkins need merely apologize to prevent the duel, but that otherwise he expected to meet him at Claverton Downs.’
Claverton Downs: in 1778 an infamous duel was fought on the Downs between Count Rice and Vicomte du Barri

‘Not odd in Sunderland’s case,’ Mr Wallace replied. ‘He proudly shewed me his duelling pistols and said that as he has survived two previous duels he supposed he should survive a third.’
duelling pistols: matched flintlock pistols (and possibly later fitted for percussion caps) that fired a large lead ball (.45-caliber). There were built as identically as possible to offer neither party an advantage.

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