The agreeable eye

an eudæmonistarchives

The trouble with Shakespeare

The spirit of contrariety indulged in the boy, leads the man into serious quarrels, into brawls, fights, and duels. I have known a most tragic duel to arise from a dispute about a passage of Shakespeare. The parties were friends when they began. One quoted the passage, the other asserted he had misquoted it. Instead of referring to the book and good-naturedly settling it, they became angry and insulting. A duel ensued. One of the parties was killed. The other repented; but too late! He had killed his friend and for what a cause! He lost his senses, and passed all the years of his after-life, — and there were many, — in pacing up and down the cell of a mad-house, marking out the ground for a duel, and turning to fire. His steps wore a channel in the stone pavement. This duel, my young friends, and I may add, most duels, and most wars, too, began in a trifling dispute — a dispute that a gentle word would have ended.

—Catherine Sedgwick, Morals of Manners;
or, hints for young people


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