Ten Dual Commandments

Everything's Legal in New Jersey

"Ten Dual Commandments" from Lin-Manuel Miranda's musical "Hamilton" serves as a pivotal song that outlines the unwritten rules governing duels in the late 18th century. This rap-infused number educates the audience and characters about the intricacies of honor, pride, and conflict resolution.

Number of men who died because Lee was inexperienced and ruinous:


American Duels loosely adhered to the 1777 Code Duello, while 'Hamilton' condensed them from 25 to just ten.

Number One

The challenge: demand satisfaction.
If they apologize, no need for further action

Number Two

If they don't, grab a friend, that's your second
Your Lieutenant, when there's reckoning to be reckoned

Number Three

Have your seconds meet face to face
Negotiate a peace
Or negotiate a time and place

Number Four

If they don't reach a peace, that's alright
Time to get some pistols and a doctor on site

You pay him in advance, you treat him with civility
You have him turn around, so he can have deniability


Duel before the sun is in the sky
Pick a place to die where it's high and dry

Number Six

Leave a note for your next of kin
Tell 'em where you been
Pray that Hell or Heaven lets you in.


Confess your sins
Ready for the moment of adrenaline
When you finally face your opponent

Number Eight

Your last chance to negotiate
Send in your seconds
See if they can set the record straight

Number Nine

Look him in the eye, aim no higher
Summon all the courage you require

Then Count

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine Number (Ten paces!) Fire!

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