Duelling Stories - A Duel With Strange Weapons
Dueling stories of the 16th Century From the French of Brantome by George H Powell (AH Bullen 1904)
Originally published in Punta Dritta May AS XXXVI (2001)
These stories are my paraphrasing of his paraphrasing of Brantome. They are various strange true tales of duels that were fought in the 16thC, showing the rules and customs.
- Silfren the Singer
Two men of Corsica fought a duel in the late autumn. For armour they had sleeveless jackets of mail over an ordinary shirt with no coat or jack, and fought with a sword apiece. They had morions on their heads, and fastened to each helmet a short sharp dagger!
This was a fancy of the smaller man, who thought himself the weaker and feared the other man's skill at wrestling if they closed.
They entered the lists with all due ceremony and fell to, exchanging many blows with no result. The stronger man closed with his enemy and brought him to the ground. The smaller man fell under most, but his opponent couldn't gain much advantage as he broke his arm when he fell.
So they lay on the ground, pecking at each other's arms and necks and faces with the blades mounted on their morions, until they were both bleeding from many ghastly wounds and could move no more.
They fought like brave men, but finally their seconds separated them, with neither having gained any honour or advantage over the other.
One of them died a month later, and the other nearly died of sheer grief as they were close friends before their quarrel and had been reconciled afterwards and forgiven one another.