“The Duel” is a Joseph Conrad story made into a movie called “The Duellists” in the 70’s by Ridley Scott. One of Napoleon’s officers, a stupid and aggressive man, challenges another to a duel over an imagined insult. They fight many inconclusive fights over the years but eventually he loses. His rival ends the story with this speech to him-
“You have kept me at your beck and call for fifteen years. I shall never again do what you demand of me. By every rule of single combat, from this moment your life belongs to me. Is that not correct? Then I shall simply declare you dead. In all of your dealings with me, you’ll do me the courtesy to conduct yourself as a dead man. I have submitted to your notions of honor long enough. You will now submit to mine.”
All your ideas are failures. All your political activity has come to nothing, if not less than nothing. You have made the world a worse place by having been born, by having seen the light of day and by having breathed. You have been repudiated in a conclusive and humiliating fashion.
You could maintain the last tiny scrap of dignity you have by remaining silent, although you most certainly will not. But whatever you do you will be treated as dead men, dead men forgotten as soon as the mourners turn their backs on the grave. There is a future, life goes on, but it goes on without you.
Good night, and good riddance.