I have another duel worthy of mention, because it will show what a brave, cool, and collected man may do, even when over-matched in arms, in point of skill, and bodily agility. An intimate friend of mine, one Count Scotti, of Parma, had a quarrel with the Marquis Campomele, whom I have already mentioned as one of the parties in the quadruple combat between French and Neapolitans. The Count had been a good fencer in his youth, but he was now past fifty, and had not had a foil in his hand for the last twenty years. He came to me early one morning, before I was up, and asked me two favors. One was, that I would lend him my famous dueling sword, the other, that I would be his second in his duel with Campomele. The Neapolitan dueling swords are the best in the world for the purpose intended. They are not hollowed out and ribbed like the common small swords, but a transverse section of the blade from end to end would represent a lozenge, having a very sharp edge on each side, and quite solid. The difficulty is, in getting such a blade to be of the proper length (four palms), of sufficient lightness, properly stiff, and proof against fracture in the midst of the combat. Such a sword had I, for which, with a mere brazen hilt, I had given as much as one hundred ducats, or twenty pounds sterling. It had been proved in a score of strifes, and stood them all; it was of the utmost assized length, and so light withal, as to be little more than a foil in the hand. It was manufactured by a celebrated man in his way, called Saule del Viego, and, I am sorry to say, was finally stolen from me, along with many other things and papers, by the French police at Paris, in 1821. Campomele was a very good and practiced fencer, as he had proved himself to be in his combat with the Frenchman above spoken of. My friend Scotti had occasion for much warning as to his mode of proceeding with such an adversary, who was no coward to boot. My plan was to get up instantly, give him a good breakfast and a bottle of old wine, then to work with the foils. “Don’t give him an opportunity of maneuvering,” preached I; “whenever you see him move, strike out at him at once—force him to be always on the defensive—keep your point always to his breast. Never attempt to parry, if you do, you will become embroiled, Jump back, and present your point.” So—and so—and so—and so I went on showing him how he ought to act. He took my lessons admirably; we fenced all that day, the next morning we went out, and, keeping close beside him, I kept inculcating my directions, so that, in less than five minutes, I saw about a foot length of his sword pass out behind poor Campomele’s right shoulder. I rushed between them and stopped the fight. Campomele had received the point of Scotti’s sword upon a rib, it then run round his body, and, gathering the integuments, curved and bent round so as to make its exit behind, just as if it had passed straight through the thorax, which it had not touched. The wound inflicted by me upon the second was precisely of a similar nature; and all the faculty of Naples flocked to examine two such extraordinary instances of escape from death occurring at one and the same instant. The name of Campomele’s second, whom I wounded, was Piccoluomini, and to an over anxiety for his friend alone, can I attribute his attack upon me, who was actually interposing my sword on his own friend’s behalf. He lives at present, I believe, respected by all parties, the happy husband of Mary Maccarani, of Rome, and the father of several children. Piccoluomini did not answer to the meaning of his name, for he was, at least, six feet high, and of very athletic make. If ever this book gets into his hands, he will remember me with pleasure, as we, after this affray, became intimate friends. Often when bathing, did he show me the two holes I had made in his Herculean body, and wonder how he could ever have made me an object of attack. But he felt so keenly for his wounded friend, that, attributing the disaster to my directions, his feelings blinded him for the moment.

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