17 OCTOBER 1868, Page 24

The Romance of Duelling. By Andrew Steinmetz. 2 vols. (Chap-

man and Hall.)—We all know what tedious reading a book of anecdotes may be, and this is a book of anecdotes on one subject. Nor has Mr. Steinmetz been careful to compress his materials as much as might have been done. He puts in much that is irrelevant, as about "the ordeal of battle," which was only verbally a duel, and such events as Lord San- quair's murder of the fencing master, which was not a duel at all. And something of what is relevant might well be spared. We don't care to- hear over and over again how Mr. A shot or missed Mr. B. If the remarkable duels only had been given a much better book would have been the result. Even as it is, the good stories are plentiful enough to make it worth while to rue through the two volumes. Human eccentricity has certainly gone as far in this matter as in any. We read of two Frenchmen who fought in balloons. A shot B's balloon, and B and his second were dashed to pieces on the roof of a house. Another pair of combatants went to the other extreme by fighting in a puncheon. How far the book is complete we can hardly say, but we cer- tainly miss the account of one remarkable man, "Fighting Fitzgerald," who held London society in terror some time, we fancy, about the begin- ning of the century. Mr. Steinmetz expressos, of course, a proper horror of duelling ; but gives, nevertheless, a most elaborate account of how it is to be conducted.