Again: If Under The
Sudden Anguish Of A Wound The Receiver Of It Makes A Grimace,
He Falls Some Degrees In The Estimation Of His Fellows;
His Corps Are Ashamed Of Him:
They call him "hare foot,"
which is the German equivalent for chicken-hearted.
[How Bismark Fought]
In addition to the corps laws, there are some corps
usages which have the force of laws.
Perhaps the president of a corps notices that one of the
membership who is no longer an exempt - that is a freshman
- has remained a sophomore some little time without volunteering
to fight; some day, the president, instead of calling
for volunteers, will APPOINT this sophomore to measure
swords with a student of another corps; he is free
to decline - everybody says so - there is no compulsion.
This is all true - but I have not heard of any student
who DID decline; to decline and still remain in the corps
would make him unpleasantly conspicuous, and properly so,
since he knew, when he joined, that his main business,
as a member, would be to fight. No, there is no law
against declining - except the law of custom, which is
confessedly stronger than written law, everywhere.
The ten men whose duels I had witnessed did not go away
when their hurts were dressed, as I had supposed they would,
but came back, one after another, as soon as they were free
of the surgeon, and mingled with the assemblage in the
dueling-room. The white-cap student who won the second
fight witnessed the remaining three, and talked with us
during the intermissions.
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