Dr. Daniel Federman (Dean, Harvard Medical School) published a paper in
Academic Medicine (1999, 74, 93-4) and cited a situation described by
Mark Twain. I have been contacted asking for assistance in locating
the source of the original passage.
"Twain pointed out that the world's greatest duelist had nothing to
fear from the world's second greatest. They both knew and used the
strokes and moves, and the greatest was in that lofty position because
he was the better at them. What the greatest had to fear was the
uninformed clod who picked up a stick for the first time and used it in
some novel way for which the number one (and the number two) were
Does anyone recognize the original source for this passage?