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according to his promise. Now looking back to the lists, we all know that the foundation of the Heythrop pack was laid by a large lot of hounds from the Duke of Beaufort's kennel, from which have descended in a great measure the present pack, crosses with numerous other strains having been introduced. I never said, “the Beaufort blood was nearly worn out and lost,” nor “ that it did not flow in the veins of almost every hound in the kennel.” I know it does, but the colour of it—if I may be allowed to use the phrase—is becoming paler every year.
I am not now going to make any invidious comparisons to bear out my assertion as to the different merits of the present Heythrop Hounds and the pack which I knew as the Beaufort. But I must be allowed to make one remark, which I feel convinced all houndsmen will bear me out in, and that is with regard to the respective symmetry and general character of the two packs. I will even leave it to that experienced and excellent huntsman Jem Hills himself to decide. Do the two packs resemble each other in power, symmetry, and other distinguishing points? The character of the two packs is as different as light from darkness. This I attribute to the numerous fresh crosses from other packs, whose blood and character the present lot are inbibing ; whilst, as I said before, and still maintain, the old Beaufort sort, like a dissolving view,” is gradually departing from the scene.
ACTÆON. London, March 3rd, 1848.
T II E RING,
“ I see before me the Gladiator lie ;
He leans upon his hand-his manly brow
And his droop'd head sinks gradually low.
From the red gash, fall heavy one by one,
The arena swims around him-he is gone,
" The dying man cried, * Hold, I've had my gruel.
.. ... and as the fuel
His breath, he from his swelling throat untied
Here, from the hand of one of the greatest painters of life, are two sketches allegorical of the ring in the classic age and in more modern and matter-of-fact times. These passages may stand for the poetry and prose of professional chivalry : the gladiator in the extremity of his disaster bethinking him of his "Dacian" family, his bride and little
ones ; the flash cove exhibiting the like natural instinct, but in a far less romantic manner. Perhaps it may be urged there exists no authority for assuming that Byron's “ brave” was a pugilist; the author classes him, however, among professional heroes, and at the worst he is a gainer by the supposition. In the classic times the gladiator was
“ Butchered to make a Roman holiday ;" in our own days the prize-fight is very similarly conducted, and for the same purpose. Let us look at the policy and chivalry of the ring ere imperious Cæsar was dead and turned to clay. The sketch is by an eminent hand.
Gladiators were of two kinds, compelled and voluntary, and were supplied from several conditions—from slaves sold for that purpose ; from culprits; from barbarian captives, either taken in war, and, after being led in triumph, set apart for the games, or those seized and condemned as rebels ; also from the citizens, some fighting for hire, others from a depraved ambition ; at last, even knights and senators were exhibiteda disgrace of which the first tyrant was materially the first inventor. (This was Julius Cæsar, who got up a mill between Furius Septimus and A. Callenus.) In this era dwarfs and even women fought-an enormity prohibited by Severus. Of these, the most to be pitied were undoubtedly the barbarian captives ; and to this species a Christian writer (Tertullian) justly applies the epithet “innocent” to distinguish them from the professional gladiators. Aurelian and Claudius supplied great numbers of these unfortunate victims; the one after his triumph, and the other on a pretext of rebellion. In spite of the laws of Constantine and Constans, gladiatorial shows survived the old established religion more than seventy years ; but they owed their final extinction to the courage of a Christain. In the year 404, on the kalends of January, they were exhibiting the shows in the Flavian Amphitheatre before the usual immense concourse of people. Almachus, or Telemachus, an eastern monk, who had travelled to Rome intent on his holy purpose, rushed into the midst of the arena, and endeavoured to separate the combatants. The prætor Alypius, a person immediately attached to these games, gave instant orders to the gladiators to slay him; and Telemachus gained the crown of martyrdom and the title of saint, which surely has never either before or since been awarded for a more noble exploit. Honorius immediately abolished the shows, which were never afterwards revived. Besides the torrents of blood which flowed at the funerals, in the amphitheatres, the circus, the forums, and other public places, gladiators were introduced at feasts, and tore each other to pieces amidst the supper tables, to the great delight and applause of the guests. Yet Lipsius permits himself to suppose the loss of courage and the evident degeneracy of mankind to be nearly connected with the abolition of those bloody spectacles....... The philosophy of Lipsius has its modern disciples, from whom others differ, as in the olden instance.
When one gladiator wounded another, he shouted, “He has it,
“ Hoc habet, “ Habet.” The wounded gladiator dropped his weapon, and, advancing to the edge of the arena, supplicated the spectators. If he had fought well, the people saved him ; if otherwise, or as they happened to be inclined, they turned down their thumbs, and he was slain. (Is it any wonder there were earth
quakes ?) They were occasionally so savage, that they were impatient if a combat lasted longer than ordinary without wounds or death. The emperor's presence generally saved the vanquished ; and it is recorded as an instance of Caracalla's ferocity, that he sent those who supplicated him for life, in a spectacle at Nicomedia, to ask the people ; in other words, handed them over to be slain. A similar ceremony is observed at the Spanish bull-fights. The magistrate presides : and after the horsemen and piccadores have fought the bull, the matadore steps forward and bows to him for permission to kill the animal. If the bull has done his duty by killing two or three horses, or a man, the people interfere with shouts, the ladies wave their handkerchiefs, and the animal is saved. The wounds and death of the horses are accompanied by the loudest acclamations and many gestures of delight, especially from the female portion of the audience, including those of the gentlest blood ! The thor of “Childe Harold,” the writer of this, and one or two other Englishmen, who have certainly in other days borne the sight of a pitched battle, were, during the summer of 1809 in the governor's box at the great amphitheatre of Santa Maria, opposite to Cadiz. The death of one or two horses completely satisfied their curiosity. A gentleman present observing them shudder and look pale, noticed that unusual reception of so delightful a sport to some young ladies, who stared and smiled, and continued their applause as another horse fell bleeding to the ground. One bull killed three horses “ off his own horns." He was saved by acclamation, which was redoubled when it was known he belonged to a priest. An Englishman, who can be much pleased by seeing two men beat themselves to pieces, cannot bear to look at a horse galloping round an arena with his bowels trailing on the ground, and turns from the spectacle and spectators with horror and disgust.
It may be taken for granted that neither the gladiatorial spectacles of Rome, nor the combats of men and animals common to Spain, would find grace in this kingdom. Bull-baiting is perhaps not quite obsolete among us, but in these conflicts the brutes engaged are all quadrupeds. Let it not be imagined, however, that all praise is withheld from the fourfooted beasts for the honour and honesty of their duello, for the downright faith wherewith they fulfilled their engagements. If the beasts that walk upright naturally did as much morally; if they were as trustworthy members of society as badgers and bull-terriers, the Ring would not have fallen so many degrees as it has below 0 in the social scale. But this is not the place wherein to deal with that question as a theory. The gladiatorial pomps of Rome—at first instituted to honour the obsequies of heroes—became eventually zests wherewith the “used up" of the eternal city was wont to excite its morbid materiel.
"Nunc atheletarum studiis, nunc orsit equoram.” Bloody and brutal as they are, still neither the sordid nor the shameless distinguished the gladiators as handed down to us by history. The bull fight of Spain, if not absolutely an aristocratic tryst, is a well-principled barbarism, and a pure unmixed issue of courage and cruelty. Your picador is a swaggering swash-buckler gallant, but still a gentleman, though of some few score removes ; your torero is a bottle-holder a hundred-fold refined. What is your prizefighter?
It is now several years since I answered that question in the pages of a sporting periodical. My solution caused some angry feelings, which it certainly was never my purpose to excite, and begot remonstrances, which by no means rose out of a true interpretation of the text. I am not, nor ever was, an enemy of the art of sparring, or the application of boxing: I hold the former one of the very best of our athletic exercises, and the latter a fair and manly fashion of settling those differences which arise among boys of all classes, and among men who do not aspire to the dignities of chivalry. But am I therefore the advocate of prizefighting ? No; because I believe its tendency is to promote ruffianism and to debase human nature. It is one thing to fight for honour, another to profess to fight for hire. I cordially agree with the spirit of the following little episode on youthful tournaments, narrated by Mr. Donald Walker :
“ In England it is curious and interesting to see the beneficial rules of boxing, affecting all contests, even of children! In passing a field at Paddington, I me day observed a juvenile fight. It was a serious affair-for there they were, the four alone, and no spectator but I myself, who came upon them accidentally. They were above being disturbed by an intruder ; they did not even notice me. Each little antagonist had his second, who after a round fell on one knee, and presented the other in a rectangular form, adapted for a seat, to which, at the close of each round, he perseveringly pulled his principal, who sat there pusfing and blowing as if he had been engaged in mortal combat. In one of the rounds one of the principals fell, when the other was instantly withdrawn by his second, and the prostrate one lifted from the ground and placed on the knee of his second. The amusing part of the battle was that the fighters seemed to be more worn out by the perpetual and determined interference of the seconds than by the fight itself; and, though they most exemplarily submitted to it, did they seem to be much comforted by each having his face ever and anon wiped by his second's wet and dirty pocket-bandkerchief."
This immature chivalry is very well ; so is a “turn up" between a couple of country bumpkins of ripe age, or a “ set-to" to settle differences, wherein the more scientific manhood of town or city may contend. But this is not pugilism—this is not the Ring-with its professor, who, like Byron's danseuse
With more than one profession, gains by all." No one that has not seen a prize battle got up, with two stars to fill the chief characters, can form any idea of what it is, or what manner of men may be the dramatis persone.
The celebrated French artist, Gavarni so well known to the world as the delineator of the human face and form, divine and demoniacal, in the “Charivari"--came to this country some time ago to study John Bull ; and no doubt with that viow joined the procession which bore Messrs. Lane and Walker to the scene of their glories, on the occasion of their recent cncounter in Kent. He was assured the mise en scene woulil astonish him, and it should seem he was not misinformed. On his arrival at the London Bridge station of the South Eastern Railway, as the on dit goes, he was duly “ bonnetted;"' and with his hat secured beneath his nose, eased of such cash as he had been careless enough to encumber his pockets with, and then proceeded to his destination, “ bodkin” of a first-class carriage, with the gentlemen who had so kindly divested him of his dross, the one on his right and the other on his left.
This is a matter of course ; sometimes the action is bolder and more striking. The passage at arms near Newmarket a few years agowhereof a foreign champion, hight Bungaree, and a native hero, Broome
by name, if my memory serves, were the knights conflicting--here and there presented some very spirited “bits." The appropriation clause, for instance, was carried out with considerable vigour and effect. Instead of the old and tardy plan of "faking," or drawing the subject by instalments, the practice was to hold it up by the heels, and so shake the contents out of every repository simultaneously. This, too, was done in a handsome manner. There was a stout yeoman from Cumberland thus accommodated at my elbow, so that I could mark
incident of the plot. Half a score young gentlemen, of the Hebrew persuasion, whose “go-cart" bore the device of a lozenge quartered, and the motto, “Duke's Place,” first lifted him carefully into their carriage, and then suspended him with his head to the centre of gravity and the heels of his boots to the sun. The experiment was perfectly successful ; the result being a canvass bag, containing one hundred and sixty-five sovereigns and a piece of silver of the value of two shillings and sixpence. Upon regaining his feet, or rather, on being restored to his natural perpendicular, he thus bespoke him —
“Gentlemen,” he observed, with admirable philosophy-indeed with as much sang froid as if, like an eel, he was accustomed to being skinned — " I'm a matter of two hundred mile from home, and that's summat to a chap without a brass farthing to get him a meal, beside losing every penny he brought with him to pay for his ship’-vernacular for sheep" among the hills."
That's hard boards,” remarked a youth with an ornithological countenance, and a hatchment over either eye ; and then addressing himself to an elderly Israelite, who held the swag, he continued—“ I say, Ikey, the poor cove is in Queer-street, number forty-eleven ; do it genteel, that's a beauty, hand him back his half-crown!”
A word in a more serious vein, and I have done. A prizefight is the thieves' Saturnalia, and therefore I think it an inconvenient liberty of the subject. Pugilism has long been the instrument of the basest dastardy. I doubt if it ever were the school in which generous manhood might profitably study. It has been said, perhaps in a somewhat lax philosophy, thať vice loses half its offence when freed from all its cparseness. The Ring has gradually been losing its daring spirit of fairplay, and in the same degree progressing in shameless trickery and foul practice. This I denounced some years ago ; and I was taken severely to task for having done so. As a comment upon what was then said, I conclude with a couple of extracts from the two metropolitan sporting papers of a recent date. ... Both arise out of the battle between Lane and Walker :
"It has been our fate to receive from all quarters the most positive assurances that the sports of the Ring shall no longer receive the encouragement to which the principles of British boxing have ever been considered entitled.”-Bell's Life.
" And now most persons will say, 'Farewell to prizefighting.' by this time that the great majority of its admirers must be sickened of continuing a system which opens the door to such disgraceful trickery."-SUNDAY Times.
As a public sporting writer, I have seen occasion to express myself opposed to the boxing ring and the betting ring in their professional relations. I had the misfortune to differ for a long while in both cases with those whose opinions in all other matters I entirely coincide with. We now accord on one of those points. I hope the hour is not distant in which we shall agree upon both,
We should think