DESCRIPTION: "She was at a noble wedding" and sees a young lawyer. He ignored her. She sends him a letter challenging him to a duel. He is advised by a friend to attend the duel: "faint heart never won fair lady." At dawn "the young lady came, it seems" [end of text]
EARLIEST DATE: 1914 (GreigDuncan4)
KEYWORDS: love wedding lawyer fight
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (1 citation):
GreigDuncan4 847, "The Challenge" (1 text)
NOTES [139 words]: The line "faint heart never won fair lady" goes back to Don Quixote, and even there, is is called an old saying. It became cliche enough that Gilbert made it the chorus in a song of platitutes in Iolanthe.
Could this somehow be related to Iolanthe? After all, it involves (among much Gilbertian intricacy) the possibility of a duel between Earls Tolloller and Mountararat over the right to court Phyllis. And Phyllis is supposed to make a choice among nobles over who will win her love.
Even more closely parallel, but more obscure is a tale of the marriage of "Berkshire Lady," Frances Kendrick (born 1687?), which is called the "Sword-Point Wedding." That sounds very much like this, but what would a Berkshire story be doing in Scotland? And I have found no real documentation of the story -- just a few Internet references. - RBW
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