Abbildungen der Seite
[merged small][ocr errors]

who have distinct notions of the principles iof the .science, make any soch pretence.

Upon the theatre of nature we see innumerable effects, which require an agent endowed with active power ; but the agent is behind the scene. Whether it be the Sopreme Cause alone, or a subordinate cause or causes; and if subordinate causes be employed by the Almighty, what their nature, their cumber, and their different offices rnay be, are things hid, for wife reasons, without doubt, from the human eye.

Ohfcrvat'txtttj en the Injlinil of A

til'trials *.

WE come into the world ignorant of every thing, yet we mull do many things in order to our subsistence and well-being. A newbom child may be carried in arms, aud kept warm by his nurse; but he must fuck and swallow his food for himself. And this must be done before he has any conception of lucking or swallowing, or of the manner in which they are to be performed. He is led by nature to do these actions without knowing for what end, or what he is about. This we call insiina

In the animals we are be,st acquainted with, and which we look upon as the more perfect of the brute creation, we see much the fame instincts, or mechanical principles of action, as in the human kind, or very similar ones, suited to the particular state and manner of life of the animal.

Besides these, there are in bruteanimals instincts peculiar to each tribe, by which they are fitted for defence, for offence, or for providing.for themselves, and for their offspring.

It is not more certain, that nature hath furnished various animals with various weapons of offence and defence, than that the, lame nature hath

* From

taught them how to use them ; the bull' and the ram to butt, the horse to kick/ the dog to bite, the lion to use his paws, the boar his tuiks, the serpent his fangs, and the bee and wasp their sting.

The manufactures of animals, if we may call them by" that name, present us with a wonderful variety of instincts, belonging to particular species, whether of the social or of the solitary kind; the nests of birds, so similar io their situation and architecture in the same kind, so various in different kinds; the webs of spiders, and of c— thcr spinning animals ; the ball of the silk-worm ; the nests of ants and other mining animals; the combs of wasps," hornets, and bees ; the dams and houses of beavers.

The instinct of animals is one of the most delightful and instructive parts of a most pleasant study, that of natural history; and deserves to be more cultivated than it has yet been.

Every manufacturing art among men was invented by some man, improved by others, and brought to perfection by time and experience. Men learn to work in it by long practice, which produces a habit. The ans of men vary in every age, and in every nation, and are found only in those who have been taught them.

The manufactures of animals differ from those of men in many striking particulars.

No animal of the species can claim the invention. No animal ever introduced any new improvement, or any variation from the former practice. Everyone of the species has equal skill from the beginning, without teaching, without experience or habit. • Every one has its art by a kind of inspiration. I do not mean that it is inspired with the principles or rules of the art, but with the ability and inclination of working in it to perfection; without any knowledge of its principles, rules, or end.

The more sacacious animals rn«y

be the fame;

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

be taught to do many things which they do not by instinct. What they are taught td do, they do with more er less skill, according to their sagacity and their training. But, in their own arts, they need no teaching nor training, nor is the art ever improved •r loir. Bees gather their honey and their Wax, they fabricate their combs and tear their young at this day, neither better nor worse than they did when Virgil so sweetly sung their Works.

The work of every animal is indeed like the works of nature, perfect in its kind, and can bear the molt critical examination of the mechanic or the mathematician. One example from the animal last mentioned may serve to illustrate this.

Bees, it is well known, construct their combs with small cells on both CJes, sit both for holding their store of honey, and for rearing their young. There are only three possible figures of the cells, which can make them ail equal and similar, without any useless interstices. These are the equilateral triangle, the square, and the regular hexagon.

, Ix. b well known to mathematicians, that there is not a fourth way possible, in which a plane may be cut into little- spaces that shall be equal, Similar and regular, without leaving any interstices. Of the three, the hexagon is the most proper, both for conyeniancy and ' strength. Bees, as if they knew this, nuke their cells regular hexagons.

. As the combs have cells on both sides, the cells may either be exactly opposite, having partition against partition, or the bottom of a cell may rest upon the partitions between the cells eu the other fide, which will serve as a buttress to strengthen it. The last way is best for strength ; accordingly, the bottom of each cell rests against the point where three partitions meet on the other side, which gives it all the strength posiibk.

The bottom of a cell may eithtf he one plane perpendicular to the fidepartitions j or it may be composed of several planes, meeting in a solid angle in the middle point. It is only in one of these two ways that all tne cells can 'be similar without losing room. And, for the lame intention, the planes of which the bottom is composed, if there be more than one, must be three in number, and neither more nor fewer.

It has been demonstrated, that, by making the bottoms of the cells W consist of three planes meeting in a poiiu, there is a saving of material and labour no' way inconsiderable. The bees, as if acquainted with these principles of solid geometry, follow theni most accurately } the bottom of each cell being composed of three planes which make obtuse angles with (he side-partitions, and with one another, and meet in a point in the middle of the bottom; the three angles of this bottom being supported by three par* titions on the other side of die comb, and the point of it by the common intersection of those three partitions.

Ofte instance more of the mathe* matical skill displayed in, the structure of a honey-comb deserves to be men* tioned,.

It is a curious mathematical problem, at what precise angle the three planes which compose the bottom of a. eell ought to meet, in order to make the greatest possible saving, or the leist expence, of material and labour.

This is one of these problems, be* longing to the higher parts of mathematics, which are called problems cf maxima and minima. It has been re* solved by some mathematicians, parti* eularly by the ingenious Mr Maclaurin, by a fiuxionary calculation, -which is to be sound in the Transactions-of the Royal Society of London, He has determined precisely the angle re* quired; and he sound* by the most exact mensuration the subject could admit, that it is the very angle, in which the three places ia the-bottom


[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

Continuation os the liifiory of Boxing. Being an Extras} from a scarce P*vt* phlet on the Science os Defence. By Capt. John Godfrey.

ADvA»iCE,braveBroughton! Thee I pronounce Captain of the Boxers. As far as I can look back, I think I ought to open the characters with tint: I know none so fit, so able to lead up the van. This is giving hiih the living preference to the reft j but I hope I have not given any cause to say, that there has appeared, in any of Biy characters, a partial tincture. I have throughout consulted nothing but fay unbiassed mind, and my heart has known no call but merit. Wherever I have praised, I have no desire of pleasing; wherever decried, no fear of offending. Broughton, by his manly merit, has bid the highest, therefore as my heart. I really think all will with me who poll with die (ame principle. Sure there is some standing reason for" this preference. What can be stronger than to fay, that for seventeen or eighteen years he has

fought every able Boxer that appeared against him, and has nev^r yet been beat* i This being the cafe, we may venture to conclude from it. But not to build alone on this, let us examine farther into his merits. What is it that he wants? Has he not all that others want, and all the best can have? Strength equal to what is human, (kill and judgment equal to what can be acquired, undebauched wind, arid a bottom f spirit, never to pronounce the word enough. He sights the stick as well as most men, and understands a good deal of the small-sword. This> practice has given him the distinction! of time and measure beyond the rest. He stops as regularly as the swords^man, and carries his blows truly in the line; he steps not back, distrusting of himself to stop a blow, and piddle in the return, with an arm unaided by his body, producing but a kind of fly'lap blov.'s,


"He Was, however, afterwards beaten by Slack on April ri, 1750. Oa this occasion there was the greatest number of persons of distinction present perhaps ever known, and the greatest sums of money betted in favour of Broughton. He wit heaten in fourteen minutes.

t Our author explains-this term in the following manner J "There are two things required to nuke thi* bottom, that is, wind and sou-it, or heart, or whereevtr you can fix the residence of courage. Wind may be grently brought about, hf exercise and diet; but the spirit is the first equipment of a Boxer. Without this substantial thing, both art and strength will avail a man but little.

- Vol. VII. No 38." R,


[ocr errors][merged small]

such as the pastry-cooks use to beat those insects from their tarts and cheesecakes. No—Broughton steps bold and firmly in; bids a welcome to the coming blow; receives it with his guardian arm; then with a general summons of his swelling mnfcles, and his firm body, seconding his arm, and supplying it with all- it* weight, pour* thcpile-driving force upon his man.

That I may not be thought particular in dwelling too long upon Broughton, I leave him with this assertion, that as he, I believe, will scarce trust'a battle to a warning age, I never shall think he is to be beaten, till I fee him beat.

About the time I first observed this promising hero upon the stage, his Chief competitors were Pipes and Gretting. He beat them both (Snd I thought with ease) a* often as he fought them.

Pipes was the neatest boxer I remember. He put in his blows about the face ("which he fought at most) With surprising time and judgment. He maintained his battles for many years fty his extraordinary (kill, against men cf far superior strength. Pipes was but weakly made; his appearance bespoke activity, but his hand, arm, and body were but small; though by that acquired spring of his arm he hit prodigious blows; and I really think that at last, when he was beat out of his championship, it was more owing to bis debauchery than the merit of those who beat him.

Gretting was a strong antagonist to Pipes. They contended hard together for some time, and were almost alternate victors. Gretting had the nearest way of going to the stomach (which is what they call the 7>iark) of any man I knew. He was a most artful boxer, stronger made than Pipes, and dealt the (uaitest blows. But what made Pipe* a match for him, was his rare bottom spirit, which would bear a deal of beating: bat this, in my mind, Gretting was not sufficiently furnished

with; for, after be was beat NriceO*gethcr by Pipes, Hammersmith Jatfkj a rheer sloven of a boxer, and every beidy that fought him afterwards,' besuv him. I must, notwithstanding, do that justice to Gretting's memory, as to own that his debauchery very much contributed to spoil a great Boxer; but yet I think he had not the bottom of the other. *

Much about this time, there was one\Vhitakcr,who fought the Venetian Gondolier. He was a very strong fellow, but a clumsy Boxer. He had two qualifications very much contrf* buting to help him our. He was very extraordinary for his throwing, and contriving to pitch his weighty body on the fallen man. The other was, rhat he was a hardy fellow, and would bear a deal of beating. This was th« man pitched upon to fight the Vcnetr* an. I was at slaughter's Coffee-house when the match was made, by a gentleman of an advanced station : he sent for Fig to procure a proper man for him: he told him to take care of his man, because it was for a large sum; and the Venetian was a man of extraordinary strength, and famous for breaking the jaw-bone in boxing. Fig replied, in his rough manner, I do not know, master, but he may break on« of his own countrymen^* jaw-bones with his fist; but I will bring him a man, and he fliall not break his jaw* bone with a sledgehammer in his hand.

The battle was fought at Fig's am* pbithcatre, before a splendid company, the politest house os that kind I ever saw. While the Gondolier was stripping, my heart yearned for my oovaJ tryman. His arm took up all observation ; it was surprisingly large, long, and muscular. He pitched himself forward with his right leg, and his arm full extended, and, as Whitaker approached, gave him a blow on the fide o{ the head, that knocked him quite off the stage, which was remarkable for its height. -Whitakcr's misfortune in his fall was then the grandeur

[merged small][ocr errors]

derrr of the company, on which account they suffered no common people |n, that usually fit on the ground and line the stage round. It was then all clear, aud Wbitaker had nothing to stop him. but the bottom. There was

not know one he was not a match for, before he loll his finger. He was famous, like Pipes, for sighting at the face, but stronger in his blows. He knew Whitaker's hardiness.and doubting of his being able to give him beat

a general foreign huzza on the side of ing enough, cunningly determined to

the Venetian, pronouncing our countryman's downs a I ; but W hi taker took no more time than was required to get up again, when, finding his fault in (landing out to the length of the other's arm, he, with a little sloop, ran boldly in beyond the heavy mallet, and with one English peg in the stomach (quite a new thing to foreigners) brooght him on his breech. The blow carried too much of the English rudeness for him to bear, and finding

sight at his eyes. His judgment carried in his arm so well, that in about six minutes both Whitaker's eyes were shut up j when groping about a while for his man, and finding him not, he wisely gave out, with these odd words. Damme, I am not beat, but what signifies my sighting when I cannot fee my man?

We will now come to times a little fresher, and of later date.

George Taylor *f known by the

himself so unmannerly used, he scorn- name os George the Barber, sprang

up surprisingly. He has beat all the chief Boxers but Broughton. He, I think, injudiciously fought him one of the firfr, and was obliged veiy soon to give out. Doubtless it was a wrong step in him to commence a Boxer, by sighting the standing champion: for George was not then twenty, and Broughton was in the zenith of hit age and art. Since that he has greatly distinguished himself with others* but has neverengaged Broughton more. He is a strong able Boxer, who, with a skill extraordinary, aided by his knowledge of the small and backsword, and a remarkable judgment in the cross -buttock fall, may contest with any. But, please or displease, I am resolved to be ingenuous in my characters. Therefore I am of the K * opinion,

* Thai rnin died Feb. ar, 1750, and the following Epitaph it on his tomb-stone is DeptforJchu.-ch-y.-ii'cl:

Farewell, ye honours of my brow!
, Victorious wreaths, farewell!

One trip from Death has laid me low,
. • By wnom such numbers fell!
Tet braves* I'll dispute the priir*
Nor yield, tho' out of breath t
*Ti» but a fall I I yet shall rise,
And conquer—even DtAtH I •

The newspapers, of the time take notice of a battle fought between Taylor an4 Slack the 31st of January 1749-50, at Broughton's Amphitheatre, which held If sciuuict, when Taylor with some difficulty beat his antagonist*

cti to hare any more doings with his slovenly fist..

So sine a house was too engaging to Fig not to court another. He therefore stepped up, and told the gentlemen that they night think he had picked out the best man in London on this occasion ; but to convince them to the contrary, he said, that if they would come that day se'nnight, fee would bring a man who should beat this Whitaker in ten minutes, by fair tutting. This brought very near as great and fine a company as the week before. The man was Nathaniel Peaitx-e, who knowing the other's bottom, and his deadly way of flinging, took a molt judicious method to bent him.— Let bis character come in here. He was a most admirable Boxer, and I do

« ZurückWeiter »