Alexander Herzen: War, duel between nations; duel, war between individuals
From My Past and Thoughts
Translated by Constance Garnett
…In a duel everything remains secret and concealed. It is an institution belonging to that pugnacious period when blood was still so fresh on men’s hands that the wearing of deadly weapons was looked on as a sign of nobility and exercise in the art of killing as an official duty.
So long as the world is governed by military men duels will not be abolished; but we may boldly demand that the choice should be left to us when we should bow the head to an idol we do not believe in, and when show ourselves free men in our full stature and – after battling with the gods and powers of this world – dare to challenge the bloody, mediaeval order…