How would La Bruyère recount this spat among les sots en vue?
A certain lady, enjoying a high position at court and an even higher one above the courts, may have claimed certain titles of nobility to which she had no right. A votary of merit and honest labor spread word of this usurpation throughout the land. The lady dispatched her footmen to administer a thrashing to the gentleman of excessive and exigent virtue. He then availed himself of his bruises and contusions as proof that his charge was true, though he had no evidence of this but his own stigmata, and the lady's rage. A rival of the man of virtue, whose prowess was that of wielding a mere feather as though it possessed the weight and heft of a saber, sought the favor of the lady's patron by vilifying her attacker. Yet in defense of his own virtue he employed his prowess to strike a glancing blow at the lady, whose footmen had thrashed him as well, he averred, the only difference between him and his nemesis being that in the battle with the footmen he claims to have given as good as he got, this being the only gauge of true virtue in the war of all against all that is political life in the Great Nation.
Should you follow the links above, you may want to follow this one as well, in case you don't know the word escagasser. I didn't.