Allan Kardec

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16. REMARKS: As time goes by, duelling is becoming more and more rare. But if from time to time a painful example still occurs, at least the number is greatly diminished compared with days gone by. In those olden days a man could not leave his house without anticipating an encounter, and so always took the necessary precautions. A characteristic sign of the habits of those times and of the people was the habitual presence, either ostensible or hidden, of arms for both attack and defence. The abolition of this custom demonstrates the softening of habits, and it is interesting to follow this graduation from the epoch in which a gentleman only rode out covered with armour plate, to the times when a sword at the waist was more an ornament or blazon than a weapon of aggression. Another indication of the modification of these customs is that formerly these strange combats were held in the middle of a thoroughfare before a mob, whereas in more recent times they were held in secret. At present, death is something which causes emotion. But in other times no one took any notice of it.

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