The Degrees of Insult, and How Compromised
1. The prevailing rule is, that words used in retort, although more violent and disrespectful than those first used, will not satisfy,--words being no satisfaction for words.
2. When words are used, and a blow given in return, the insult is avenged; and if redress be sought, it must be from the person receiving the blow.
3. When blows are given in the first instance and not returned, and the person first striking, be badly beaten or otherwise
the party first struck is to make the demand, for blows do not satisfy a blow.
4. Insults at a wine table, when the company are over-excited, must be answered for; and if the party insulting have no recollection of the insult, it is his duty to say so in writing, and negative the insult. For instance, if the man say: "you are a liar and no gentleman," he must, in addition to the plea of the want of recollection, say: "I believe the party insulted to be a man of the strictest veracity and a gentleman."
5. Intoxication is not a full excuse for insult, but it will greatly palliate. If it was a full excuse, it might be well counterfeited to wound feelings, or destroy character.
6. In all cases of intoxication, the seconds must use a sound discretion under the above general rules.
7. Can every insult be compromised? is a mooted and vexed question. On this subject, no rules can be given that will be satisfactory. The old opinion, that a blow must require blood, is not of force. Blows may be compromised in many cases. What those are, much depend on the seconds.