Friedrich Nietzsche, Human All Too Human (Menschliches, Allzumenschliches), subtitled A Book for Free Spirits (Ein Buch für freie Geister).

First published in 1878.   A second part, Assorted Opinions and Maxims (Vermischte Meinungen und Sprüche), was published in 1879, and a third part, The Wanderer and his Shadow (Der Wanderer und sein Schatten), followed in 1880.

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Previous Section   365. THE DUEL   Next Section

THE DUEL.  It may be said in favour of duels and all affairs of honour that if a man has such susceptible feelings that he does not care to live when So and so says or thinks this or that about him; he has a right to make it a question of the death of the one or the other.  With regard to the fact that he is so susceptible, it is not at all to be remonstrated with, in that matter we are the heirs of the past, of its greatness as well as of its exaggerations, without which no greatness ever existed.  So when there exists a code of honour which lets blood stand in place of death, so that the mind is relieved after a regular duel it is a great blessing, because otherwise many human lives would be in danger.  Such an institution, moreover, teaches men to be cautious in their utterances and makes intercourse with them possible.  
 

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