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“ But, Colonel,” queried the Vermonter, “ according to your theory I should suppose that the person giving the offence, would in this case, be the man whose behaviour had been improper towards the female. He would be the offender, and not the

person who reproved him.” “The reprover being right, cannot possibly apologize," said Allen. “It is a pity that one cannot be sure where the ball would strike ; for notwithstanding the Colonel's theory, who knows which may fall ?”

" It's a difficult question for powder and lead to decide upon," said Hilson. “I think it likely both might fall.”

· Both might miss,” said Spiffard. “ Not likely,” said Hilson, looking seriously at Cooper. “The science is brought to great perfection. The hair-trigger was a great invention. Steam engines and spinning-jennies are nothing to it. Formerly if a man's nerves happened to be a little the worse for wear and tear, or constitutionally trepidationally inclined, he was sure to turn the muzzle of his pistol out of line by the exertion of the pulling trigger; but now, though he shakes like an aspen leaf, or the hand of an old tippler when lifting the first glass, if he is only quick upon the word, and brings his muzzle within a foot of the horizontal-touch! whiz!—the lead must tell—if both parties fire-both may

fall." Spiffard! give us a song,” said Cooper. “ Yes. But Colonel, you said that the two gentlemen you mentioned, fired repeatedly.” “ They did.

But the seconds were determined to bring the affair to a happy conclusion, and finding that the light failed fast, they brought their principals up to three paces."

1 Spiffard looked upon the carpet, and seemed to measure the distance, as he said, “ Three paces !"

The Colonel proceeded, “ It is all nonsense and stuff not to settle these things when you have begun, you know; so at the three paces, the word was given to fire.”

• Well?”

“ Johnson missed his antagonist, and Brown's fire was reserved by the circumstance of his second having neglected to cock his pistol."

* Well ?"

“So, the second did his duty by cocking the pistol, and all Brown had to do was coolly to put the ball through Johnson's body."

" Horrible!" ejaculated Spiffard, " and the seconds stood by -and-o

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My good fellow what could they do? Johnson was asked to apologize." * Well,—and he,-?"

Said, fire away; and there was an end of it. Mr. Cooke, pass that bottle."

" What ! pass it without filling !" demanded the host.

“I drink no more wine to-day,” and the veteran emphatically turned his glass bottom upwards.

“ Mr. Cooke, here is brandy,” said Hilson, very gravely, offering it. Cooke looked up from under the heavy folds of his eye lids, and then laughing good naturedly said, “ Tom, you are a big blackguard. What?” said Cooper, “has Hilson offered you

the

empty brandy bottle! George, more brandy!”

Ah, you was a pretty set of fellows !! “ But Linstock and Alcort the duellists you first mentioned are both alive, I know,” remarked Spiffard.

“ Linstock hit general Alcort three times without bringing him down, and these rude thumps,-(although the general did not mind a pistol ball more than the proboscis of a musquito,) prevented his steady aim-he couldn't touch his mark. A man must be iron, you know, to be perfectly unmoved when another is breaking his shins with leaden bullets."

Spiffard told Cooper that he wanted to speak with him in private. They accordingly withdrew.

“ There he goes now to show Cooper Captain Smith's letter -I think it is Captain Smith, is it not Allen ?"

“ Yes, captain of a merchantman, sailing out of Philadelphia.” 6. Did

you mark how miserable Spiff looked while the Colonel kindly described, and mercifully dwelt upon the particulars of the bloody encounter in Love-lane ? Colonel, did you note how his jaw fell when you shot Johnson ?"

" I hope," said Simpson, who had taken little part in the plot, and had been a silent observer, “ You will not carry the joke too far.”

“What? Are you afraid that Captain Smith will shoot Spiff!”

“ He has more to fear from his good natured friends than from Captain Smith. Torture is worse than death." * Torture and death! What say you, Allen ? As you

made John Smith, I suppose you can prevent his committing murder or inflicting torture ?"

“ He will obey his maker doubtless,” said Allen, “ men should.”

“ Not if he is like most men,” said Cooke. “But what is all

as all

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this ? What does it all mean? Who is captain John Smith ? Tom, who is he ?"

“ He is a man of straw, or buckram. A buckram-man, sir John ; don't you remember little Spiff bullying two men in the boxes?" said Hilson.

** Yes. Two blackguards.”

“ One of them proves to be captain John Smith, master of the good ship-what's her name, Allen?”

" • Anna Matilda,' trading between Philadelphia and Liverpool; but the captain is a man of spirit and honour.— * Is’nt he, Moses ?'"

“ • I'll shwear to it,'” responded Hilson.

· And he requires our friend to make an apology. • Does’nt he, Moses ?'"

No doubt of it." “ He has written to Spiff, who is now consulting Cooper on the subject."

“ You seem to know all this by intuition. I am sure Mr. Spiffard said nothing on the subject,” remarked Cooke.

Now, Mr. Cooke," said Hilson, “ don't you peach. Allen wrote the letter-he is to conduct the business. And if it should come to a duel, he will be Spiff's second."

Ah, you are a precious set of boys!" Just then Cooper returned, took his seat, and all were attention. He said, “I have advised him to let Allen manage the business; but I consented to accompany him to the Albany Coffee-house, and witness his interview with John Smith. After what has passed, I told him, and he thinks, he ought rather to receive than make apology. So we are to go to-morrow at eleven o'clock, to meet captain John Smith. He asked me if I knew any one of that name? I told him I remembered a dashing fellow in Philadelphia of the name of Smith, a notorious duellist, and little Spiff has gone home pretty considerably cogitative."

“ You did not hesitate telling him you knew such a man ?” said Cooke.

“ Smith ? I do know such a fellow. John Smith or Tom Smith. Why I have known a hundred of them. I'll bet a hundred I find a John Smith in every street in town that has a hundred houses."

“ So,” said Cooke, “ This is the way you treat your friends ? Deliver me from such friendship."

66 What! you are not going ?” 6 Home, to read.”

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You will go

Say nothing to Spiff.” “ I shall not see him until your hoax is over. to the Albany Coffee-house, and as you will find no John Smith, there is an end."

" I suppose so. Nous verr ons.”

“ I shall have an eye upon ye, boys,” said the veteran as he left them.

The young men lost sight of the duel for the present, and indeed only looked forward to carrying Spiffard on a fool's errand to the Albany Coffee-bouse, and perhaps having a laugh at his credulity and serious deportment. He went home, musing, and was very bad company the remainder of the evening.

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CHAPTER IV.

More hoaring. Mr. Smith and Captain Smith.

" It is almost incredible how opinions change by the decline or decay of spirits.-Swift.

6 Win me and wear me-

e--let him answer me.”

“ Give-a-dis letter to Sir Hugh: by gar it is a
Shallenge.--I will cut his troat in de Park.”
" I had as lief not be, as live to be,
In awe of such a thing as ! myself.-Shakspeare

Spiffard had determined to make his adversary hear reason; and doubted not the power of reason if enforced with due eloquence and a spirit of benevolence. He was not a man to shed the blood of his fellow creature; neither would he consent that another should shed his blood. He felt no enmity to the person he expected to meet; and did not doubt, upon a mild statement of the circumstances attending the offence, they should part friends, if he was a reasonable creature ; if nothe saw no necessity for further proceedings. He had often deliberated on and examined all the arguments for and against duelling—he had made up his mind that not the most extreme case, which the casuist can conceive, would justify the practice. In short, he detested duelling; but he would not submit to insult. He would repel aggression by force even to the death, in the last resort, but thought that with a reasonable creature, reason must triumph. In this case it had not escaped him, that his antagonist, if disguised, must attribute the offensive words to that disguise ; as the expressions which offended Spiffard, might be supposed likewise, to have been an assumed language suited to the disguise.

These reasonings were communicated by Spiffard to his friend, who was of course to use them in his behalf, and who received them with great apparent gravity.

Cooperand Spiffard met at the hour appointed, giving sufficient time to walk to the Albany Coffee-house, by eleven of the clock. The tragedian did not fail to enjoy the serious and determined countenance of his pale-faced companion; who was thinking

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