Duel, a single combat,on some private occasion or quarrel, in consequence of a challenge.
Taking away the life of a per son, by deliberate duelling, is, by the law of this count ry, a species of mur-der; and consequently, it charges the crime and inflicts the punishment of homicide on the principals, and likewise, according to the nature of the case, on their seconds. It has also been enacted, that challenges to fight, whether by word or letter, as well as the carrying of such messages, are punishable by fine and imprisonment. And, if they arise from gambling, the of-fender, by the 9 Anne, c. 14, incurs the forfeiture of all his goods to the Crown, and an imprisonment for five years.
Such, however, has been the prevalence of fashion, that neither the terror of severe penalties, nor any other consideration, have been able to abolish a practice so unjustifiable, and, at the same time, so unbecoming every person who aspires to the character of a rational agent. It must, nevertheless, be acknowledged, that neither duelling with weapons, nor boxing, is in such repute at present as it was a few years since ; and we trust, that from the good sense of individuals, and the vigilance of the Jaw, it will in a short time be completely abolished.