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n Note, The doors will be opened at ten, and the combatants mount at twelve.
"There Will be several bye-battles, as usual; and particularly one between John Divine and John Tipping, for five pounds each."
May 4, 1742.
"At the Great Booth, at Tottenham-Court, to-morrow, the 5th of May, will be a Trial of Manhood between the following champions, viz.
"Whereas-I, John Francis (commonly known by the name of the Jumping Soldier) who hare always had the reputation of a good fellow, and'have fought several bruisers in the street, &c. nor am afraid to mount the stage, especially at a time when my manhood is called in question by an Iristi braggadocio buffer, whom I sought in a bye-battle some time since fet Tottenham Court, for twelve minutes, and though I had not the success due to my courage and ability in the art of boxing, do invite him to fight me for two guineas, at the time and place above-mentioned, when I doubt not but I (hall give him the truth of a good beating. John Francis,"
"I Patrick Henley, known to eyery one for the truth of a good fellow, who never refused any one on or off the stage, and fight as often for the diversion of gendemen as for the money, accept the challenge of this Jumping Jack, and shall, if he don't take care, give him one of my brothering blows, which will convince him of his ignorance in the art of boxing.
This last advertisement appeared also in the Daily Advertiser, and is, together with the others, a curious specimen of the boasting style used by those boxers in challenging each other. It must not, however, be supposed, that the challenges were penned by the respective parties—by the generality of these men, the art of writing was not esteemed a manly or an honourable UC€«E»li:ltn}«;. (J&eMes which, the
uniformity of the language (hews that all die advertisements from the Tottenham-Court Booth were written by one person, who was employed for the purpose. We find, indeed, that diis was really the cafe; and that, in the true spirit of the heroick ages, a poet undertook to celebrate the exploits of these champions; and that poet, our readers perhaps will be a little surpri* zed to hear, was no less a man than Mr Theophilus Cibber.
The Tottenham Court, Booth was the only stage on which these Professors, or as they called themselves, Masters of the Boxing Art, displayed their prowess, till Broughton, en* couraged and patronized by some of the nobility and gentry, built his amphitheatre in Oxford Road. This place was finished 1742. George Taylor, the proprietor of the booth, was himself a very able practitioner, and welcomed every champion who offered himself to fight, by giving him what was called, in the cant language of those bruisers, the truth of a good drubbing.
The nobility and gentry, who patronized this exercise, and among whom were reckoned the first characters in the kingdom, having complained of the inconveniences sustained at the Tottenham Court Booth, they prevailed on Mr Broughton, who was then rising into note as the first bruiser in London, to build a place better adapted for such exhibitions. This was accordingly done, in 1742, principally by subscription, behind Oxford* road. The building was called Broughton's New Amphitheatre; and, besides the stage for the combatants, had feats corresponding to the boxes, pit, and galleries, much in the fame manner with those at Astley's. The following advertisement, in the Spring of 1743, announced the opening of it to the publick, though several matches had been fought in it before. March 10,' 1743.
^ At Broughton'a New Amphitheatre, theatre, in Oxford-road, the back of the late Mr Figg's, on Tuesday nest, the 13th inst, will be exhibited, The true Art of Boxing, by the eight famed following men, viz. Abraham Evans, Sweep, Belos, Glover, Roger Allen, Robert Spikes, Harry Gray, and the Clog-maker. The above-said eight men are to be brought on the stage, and to be matched according to the approbation of the gentlemen who (hall be pleased to honour them with their company.
"Note. There will be a Battle Royal between the noted Buckhorse and seven or eight more; after which there will be several By-battles by 0thers.—Gentlemen are desired to come betimes, by reason of the number of tattles.
"The doors will be opened at nine, and some of the champions mount at eleven.—No person to pay more than a (hilling."
This undertaking of Mr Broughton justly gave alarm to the proprietor of the Tottenham-Court Boodi, who immediately engaged Taylor, Stevenson, James, and Smallwood, four first-rate Champions, under articles, like regular performers, not to fight on any stage but his. Mr Broughton's advertisement was answered by the following appeal to the publick :—
To all Encouragers os the manly art os Boxing. "Whereas Mr Broughton has maKcioufly advertised several battles to be fought at his amphitheatre on Tuesday next, the 13th of March, in order to detriment me, who fight Mr Field the fame day at Tottenham-Court, I think it incumbent en me to undeceive gentlemen, by informing them the greatest ■art of the persons mentioned to fight there never intended any such thing, •r were ever acquainted with it; therefore hope this assertion will be understood (as it really is) a spiteful undertaking.
"Mr Broughton has likewise inserted in his bills, that there never was a' ny imposition on the champions who fought at his amphitheatre, and has in vain endeavoured to make it appear, which gentlemen will be sensible of. when an account of his exactions are set forth at large in print, which will be done with all expedition.
"And to convince Mr Broughton that I have no disgust to his amphitheatre, I am willing to meet him there, and fight him for an hundred pounds, whenever he pleases j not in the iealt regarding (as he expresses himself) die valour of his arm. G. Tavlos.." March 12, «743»
Mr Broughton, in his reply to this declaration, stated, that he had built his theatre at the express solicitation and desire of the publick; that it had cost four hundred pounds, of which eighty were by contribution ; and that, having himself been at the expence of what was required beyond that sum, he thought it but fair and reasonable that he (hould appropriate to himself a third part of the money collected at the door, the rest going to the champions.
All the principal amateurs and en* couragers of the science gave their sanction to Broughton's cause ; and in the end all the professors were obliged to come over. Taylor, and the others, finding that their exertions could not prevent the Tottenham-Court Booth from being deserted for Broughton's more commodious theatre, like the seceding actors in the Haymarket, gave up the contest ; and on condition that Mr Broughton engaged to make good to them die loss incurred by the forfeiture of their articles, they agreed to leave the Booth, and to fight no longer but on his stage.
Mr Broughton thus became sole mt* nager and proprietor of the boxing theatre, engaged all the first performers, and reared many pupils, who were afterwards expert professors of this gym- ■ pastick art.
MR Pope has introduced a harmony of verse which, however difficult to invent, is imitated With ease. The close of the sense in couplets, and the frequent antitheses in the second kne, are features so prominent, that an artist of inferior (kill, a mere saber im'v, ii able to copy them, and to preserve a resemblance.
His translation of Homer is a treasury of splendid language; and he who has studied it will not lind himself at a loss for mining epithets adapted to every occasion. I detract not from his merit; for, as the improver of English versification, as the introducer of a brilliant diction unknown before, he has justly obtained universal fune.
main of real genius to recommend them! They would not be read, notwithstanding their glare of epithet and their sonorous numbers.
It is usual with these works to rise to universal fame immediately on publi-. cation } to bade, like the ephemera, in. the sunshine for a day, and then to fall into a sudden and irretrievable obseu^ rity.
One of the principal arts of their writers is to secure attention by seizing the topic of the hour, by filling their poems with the names of persons who are the subject of conversation at the moment, and by boldly surprising their readers with attacks on the most res. pectable characters, or at least on per
But that which is laudable in him sons who, from their rank and their osas the inventor, cannot entitle his mere sices, provided jthey are tolerably deimitators to any great applause. They cent, ought to be exempted from virur may be called good versifiers, pretty lent abuse and public obloquy. It is poetasters, but they cannot rank with the interest of the community, that pertheir master as a poet, Or an original sons of high stations, whose example improver of versification. is powerful, and whose authority ought
While they exercised their imitative to carry weight, mould not be held out
flail on subjects not at all injurious, they might obtain approbation, and would certainly escape censure; but the candid, the moderate, and impartial part of mankind, have lamented
to the vulgar as objects of derision. If they have common failings, or have been guilty of human errors, a veij mould be thrown over them for the fake of decorum, and of that beautiful order
that they have stolen the graces of in society which conduces to a thouPope's versification to decorate and sand beneficial purposes. . , recommend a kind of satire, abound- But a spirit os levelling high chancing in virulent and personal invective, ters and rank is one of the distinI am sensible that some works o'f guifhing marks of the present times. this kind have been extolled in the It was introduced by what is called highest terms; but I know, at the the Opposition. Unfortunately fop same time, that the extravagant ap- all that is decent, and honourable, and plause was, in great measure, the cbul- right, it has been judged expedient Ltion of party-zeal, or of that unhappy that Government, or the Ministers of disposition of the human mind which Government, should be constantly em
prompts it to rejoice in seeing elevated merit or rank degraded by defamation. Take away from such poems the personality, the local and temporary alln
barraised by a standing Opposition. The tools employed by the leaders of this Opposition are often such as are only sit for dirty work. Unable to
£on% and how small a portion will re- effect any more laudable purpose, they Vol. VII. No. 37. B hay«
1 from Whiter Evening?; or Lnjubr.uijn* on. Life aiid Letters. Jujlpublj/hsJ.
have been employed to asperse the characters of the temporary possessors of office, and its consequent powers and emoluments. Not satisfied with attacking the Political persons, they have dared to go farther, to enter into the privacies of- family retirement, and to spare ncithei age nor sex, in divulging whatever envy has suggested. The poetical satirist has been called upon as a powerful auxiliary in conducting the levelling engine. Some read, and are pleased with verse, who would have overlooked the invtfctlve in humble prose. Good versifiers have been found, and the most exalted persons in the kingdom cruelly hitched in a rhyme, and thrown out to the vulgar, to be tossed about by the tongue of Infamy.
Every loyal subject, every gentleman, every considerate father of a family, every man of common humanity, is hurt at the cruel and opprobrious treatment which the King, the very fountain of honour, has experienced from the hands of rhyming ruffians.
Great pretensions to good humour, mirth, and gaiety, are made by the satirists; but the pretensions are a veil of gauze. It is easy to see through the pellucid disguise, the snakes of envy, the horrid features of malice, the yellow tinge of jealousy, the distortions of disappointment grinning with a Sardonic smile.
Hie nigræ succus loliginis, hxc est
But as a veil is used, as diversion and pleasantry are promised, and as detraction from illustrious merit is but too agreeable to most men, the poems are read, and do much mischief in the short period of their existence.
The pain they give to individuals, who are burned with a caustic, yet are conscious of having given no provocation, is enough to render the practice odious in the eyes of all who consider duly how much a feeling
mind suffers on such occasions, and how little right a dark and malignant assassin can have to inflict a punishment without an offence, to bring an accusation without coming forward as the accuser.
The practice is injurious to the public, as it tends to discourage the growth of virtue, and all honest attempts to be distinguished by merit. Such attempts of necessity render a man conspicuous; and he no sooner becomes so, than he is considered as a proper mark for Scorn to shoot at, and for Envy to asperse. A man may be afraid to exert himself, when, every step he advances, he is the more in danger of attracting notice, and consequently of becoming the mark at which the malevolent may bend their bows, andjhoot out their arrows, even bitter words.
What a triumph to villany, profligacy, and ignorance; when virtuous and innocent, and inoffensive characters are singled out for that satire which themselves only can deserve!
This is a vis digna lege regi. Expostulation is in vain; and laws, which might restrain it, will not be duly executed, in a country where licentiousness is unfortunately considered as essential to the existence of civil liberty.
Of affefled Sensibility; a Lamentation over an unfortunate Animalcule*.
Belinda was always remarkably fond of pathetic novels, tragedies, and elegies. Sterne's sentimental beauties were her peculiar favourites. She had indeed contracted so great a tenderness of sensibility from such reading, that she often carried the amiable as weakness into common life, and would weep and sigh as if her heart was breaking at occurrences which others, by no means deficient in humanity, viewed with indifference. She could not bear the idea of killing animals
a Lamentation over ar unfortunate Animalcule.
fcr food. She detested the sports of fishing and hunting, because os their ineffable cruelty. She was ready to faint if her coachman whipt his horses when they would not draw up hill; and (he actually fell down in a fit on a gentleman's treading on her favourrite cat's tail, as he eagerly Hooped to fare her child from falling into the fire.
As she was rather of a romantic turn, she would frequently utter sentimental soliloquies on benevolence and humanity; and when any catastrophe of a pathetic nature occurred, she generally gave vent to her feelings by wilting a lamentation. I procured from one of her friends the following piece, with liberty to present it to die public eye.
Belinda, it seems, was at her toilette, adorning her tresses, when an animalcule of no great repute in the world, but who often obtrudes where be is not welcome, fell from her beautiful tresses on her neck. In the first emotions of her surprise and anger she seized the little wretch, and crushed it between her nails, till it expired with a sound
Aamnwit It riff ar,
as Homer expresses the exit of his heroes.
The noise and the fight of the viscera soon recalled her sensibility, and she thus expressed it:
u Thou poor partaker of vitality, farewell. Life undoubtedly was sweet unto thee, and I have hastily deprived thee of it. But surely the world was wide enough for thee and me; and it was ungenerous to murder one who sought an asylum under my fostering protection.
"Because thou art minute, we are inclined to suppose thee insensible. But doubtless thou hadst nerves and delicate sensations proportioned to the fineness of thy organs. Perhaps thou hadst a partner' of thine affections, and a numerous progeny, whom thou sawest rising to maturity with parental de
light, and who aro now lest destitute of a protector in their helpless infancy.
"Thy pain is indeed at an end ; but I cannot h'elp deploring the unfeeling cruelty of those who deprive the smallest reptile, to whom nature has given breath, of that life which, though it appears contemptible in the eyes of the thoughtless, yet is sweet to the meanest animal—ivas sweet to thee, thou departed animalcule. Alas, that I must now fay ivas sweet to thee! Did I possess the power of resuscitation, I would re-animate thy lifeless corpse, and cherish thee in the warmest corner of thy favourite dwelling-place. But adieu for ever; for my wish is vain. Yet if thy shade is still conscious, and hovers over the head it once inhabited, pardon a hasty act of violence, which I endeavour to expiate with the tear of sympathy and the sigh os sensibility."
Flendo turgiduli rubent ocelli.
I am informed that the drawer oF her writing-table is full of elegies and elegiac sonnets on rats and mice caught in traps, and of tom-tits and robin red - breasts killed by schoolboys. I remember to have heard a most pathetic elegy recited on the death of a red-breast, but can only recollect one pathetic Erotefis,—" Who « killed Cock Robin P*
There is also a sublime deification of an earth-worm which she once accidentally trod upon as she was endeavouring to rescue a fly from a spider in the garden. It concludes thus:
But cease to weep—no more to crawl
Efts, toads, bats, every thing that hath life, has a claim to her tenderest compaflion. And certainly her tenderness to them does her honour ; but the excessive sensibility which their flightest sofferings seem to occasion; gives room to suspect that (he is not without affectation. What is so sin3 z gulat