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The Palmy Days of Duelling, Hard Drinking, Fun and Jollification

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  • Cathy Joynt Labath
    Arizona Republican; Phoenix, Arizona;June 20, 1893 IRELAND OF OTHER TIMES The Palmy Days of Duelling, Hard Drinking, Fun and Jollification. Never was such a
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 10, 2006
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      Arizona Republican; Phoenix, Arizona;June 20, 1893
      IRELAND OF OTHER TIMES
      The Palmy Days of Duelling, Hard Drinking, Fun and Jollification.
      Never was such a time of feasting and jollification as the palmy days of
      the Irish parliament, says All the Year Round. The county elections were a
      continued scene of fighting, fun and revelry. It is one continuous
      Donnybrook affair, and the county elector, with a good coat on his back and
      money clinking in his pocket
      Steps into a tent, just to spend half a crown,
      Steps out, meets a friend, and for joy knocks him down
      With his sprig of shillelah and shamrock so green!
      With the same gayety of heart, the gentlemen fought their battles with
      more deadly weapons. At that time dueling was a recognized part of the
      social code. The "thirty-six commandments," arranged by a gentleman of
      Galway, formed a complete set of rules on all the punctilios of the duello.
      According to the printed rules of Galway, seconds, if desirous, may exchange
      shots at right angles to their principals, and, lest the gentlemen should
      have forgotten their mathematics, there is a diagram to explain how the
      right-angled fire is arranged. The pistol was a national weapon, the long,
      heavy dueling pistol, which was handed to the principal by his second, "the
      flints hammered and the feather-spring set." Some Irish gentlemen who had
      served in France tried to substitute the small sword for the pistol, and a
      dueling club was formed in Dublin - "a most agreeable and useful
      association" - the members of which styled themselves the "Knights of Tara,"
      and who strove by practice in the fencing school and on the field of honor
      to bring the rapier into fashion again. But their practices were denounced
      as "frivolous" by the regular blazers and national habits were too strong
      for the innovators. "Well hit, but no lives lost," was the bulletin most
      hoped for on the conclusion of a duel, for the kindly Irish nature recoiled
      form occasioning the death of a neighbor, and perhaps a friend, but wounds
      were glorious and none could doubt the honor of one who had been winged on
      such an occasion.

      Cathy Joynt Labath
      Ireland Old News
      http://www.IrelandOldNews.com/
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