The Party Receiving a Note Before Challenge.
1. When a note is presented to you by an equal, receive it, and read it, although you may suppose it to be from one you do not intend to meet, because its requisites may be of a character which may readily be complied with. But if the requirements of a note cannot be acceded to, return it, through the medium of your friend, to the person who handed it to you, with your reason for returning it.
2. If the note received be in abusive terms, object to its reception, and re
urn it for that reason; but if it be respectful, return an answer of the same character, in which respond correctly and openly to all interrogatories fairly propounded, and hand it to your friend, who, it is presumed, you have consulted, and who has advised the answer; direct it to the opposite party, and let it be delivered to his friend.
3. You may refuse to receive a note, from a minor, (if you have not made an associate of him); one that has been posted; one that has been publicly disgraced without resenting it; one whose occupation is unlawful; a man in his dotage and a lunatic. There may be other cases, but the character of those enumerated will lead to a correct decision upon those omitted.
If you receive a note from a stranger, you have a right to a reasonable time to ascertain his standing in society, unless he is fully vouched for by his friend.
4. If a party delays calling on you for a week or more, after the supposed insult, and assigns no cause for the delay, if you require it, you may double the time before you respond to him; for the wrong cannot be considered aggravated; if borne patiently for some days, and the time may have been used in preparation and practice.
Second's Duty of the Party Receiving a Note Before Challenge Sent.
1. When consulted by your friend, who has received a note requiring explanation, inform him distinctly that he must be governed wholly by you in the progress of the dispute. If he refuses, decline to act on that ground.
2. Use your utmost efforts to allay all excitement which your principal may labor under; search diligently into the origin of the misunderstanding; for gentlemen seldom insult each other, unless they labor under some misapprehension or mistake; and when you have discovered the original ground or error, follow each movement to the time of sending the note, and harmony will be restored.
3. When your principal refuses to do what you require of hi, decline further acting on that ground, and inform the opposing second of your withdrawal from the negotiation.