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whether you were or were not of their mind; from those who demanded the combat of their contemporaries, both for admiring their mistress or discommending her. I cannot therefore but lament, that the terrible part of the ancient fight is preserved, when the amorous side of it is forgotten. We have retained the barbarity, but lost the gallantry of the old combatants. I could wish, methinks, these gentlemen had consulted me in the promulgation of the conflict. I was obliged by a fair young maid, whom I understood to be called Elizabeth Preston, daughter of the keeper of the garden, with a glass of water; who I imagined might have been, for form's sake, the general representative of the lady fought for, and from her beauty the proper Amaryllis on these occasions. It would have run better in the challenge, “I James Miller, serjeant, who have travelled parts abroad, and came last from the frontiers of Portugal, for the love of Elizabeth Preston, do assert that the said Elizabeth is the fairest of women. Then the answer; “ I Timothy Buck, who have stayed in Great Britain during all the war in foreign parts, for the sake of Susannah Page, do deny that Elizabeth Preston is so fair as the said Susannah Page. Let Susannah Page look and I desire of James Miller no favour.”
This would give the battle quite another turn; and a proper station for the ladies, whose complexion was disputed by the sword, would animate the disputants with a more gallant incentive than the expectation of money from the spectators; though I would not have that neglected, but thrown to that fair one whose lover was approved by the donor.
Yet, considering the thing wants such amendments, it was carried with great order. - James Miller came on first, preceded by two disabled drummers, to shew, I suppose, that the prospect of maimed bodies did not in the least deter him. There ascended with the daring Miller a gentleman, whose name I could not learn, with a dogged air, as unsatisfied that he was not principal.
This son of anger lowered at the whole assembly, and, weighing himself as he marched around from side to side, with a stiff knee and shoulder, he gave intimations of the purpose he smothered till he saw the issue of this encounter. · Miller had a blue riband tied round the sword arm; which orna
ment I conceive to be the remain of that custom of wearing a mistress's favour on such occasions of old.
Miller is a man of six foot eight inches in height, of a kind but bold aspect, well-fashioned, and ready of his limbs, and such a readiness as spoke his ease in them was tained from a habit of motion in military exercise.
The expectation of the spectators was now almost at its height; and the crowd pressing in, several active persons thought they were placed rather according to their fortune than their merit, and took it in their heads to prefer them. selves from the open area or pit to the galleries. This dispute between desert and property brought many to the ground, and raised others in proportion to the highest seats by turns, for the space of ten minutes, till Timothy Buck came on, and the whole assembly, giving up their disputes, turned their eyes upon the champions. Then it was that every man's affection turned to one or the other irresistibly. A judicious gentleman near me said, “I could, methinks, be Miller's second, but I had rather have Buck for mine.” Miller had an audacious look that took the eye; Buck a perfect composure, that engaged the judgment. Buck came on in a plain coat, and kept all his air till the instant of engaging; at which time he undressed to his shirt, his arm adorned with a bandage of red riband. No one can describe the sudden concern in the whole assembly; the most tumultuous crowd in nature was as still and as much engaged as if all their lives depended on the first blow. The combatants met in the middle of the stage, and shaking hands, as removing all malice, they retired with much grace to the extremities of it; from whence they immediately faced about, and approached each other, Miller with a heart full of resolution, Buck with a watchful untroubled countenance : Buck regarding principally his own defence, Miller chiefly thoughtful of annoying his opponent. It is not easy to describe the many escapes and imperceptible defences between two men of quick eyes and ready limbs; but Miller's heat laid him open to the rebuke of the calm Buck, by a large cut on the forehead. Much effusion of blood covered his eyes in a moment, and the huzzas of the crowd undoubtedly quickened the anguish. The assembly was divided into parties upon their different ways of fighting; while a poor
nymph in one of the galleries apparently suffered for Miller, and burst into a flood of tears. As soon as his wound was wrapped up, he came on again with a little rage, which still disabled him farther. But what brave man can be wounded into more caution and patience? The next was a warm eager onset, which ended in a decisive stroke on the left leg of Miller. The lady in the gallery, during this second strife, covered her face, and for my part, I could not keep my thoughts from being mostly employed on the consideration of her unhappy circumstance that moment, hearing the clash of swords, and apprehending life or victory concerned her lover in every blow, but not daring to satisfy herself on whom they fell. The wound was exposed to the view of all who could delight in it, and sewed up on the stage. The surly second of Miller declared at this time, that he would that day fortnight fight Mr. Buck at the same weapons, declaring himself the master of the renowned Gorman; but Buck denied him the honour of that courageous disciple, and, asserting that he himself had taught that champion, accepted the challenge.
There is something in human nature very unaccountable on such occasions, when we see the people take a painful gratification in beholding these encounters. Is it cruelty that administers this sort of delight? or is it a pleasure that is taken in the exercise of pity? It was, methought, pretty remarkable that the business of the day being a trial of skill, the popularity did not run so high as one would have expected on the side of Buck. Is it that people's passions have their rise in self-love, and thought themselves in spite of all the courage they had) liable to the fate of Miller, but could not so easily think themselves qualified like Buck?
Tully speaks of this custom with less horror than one would expect, though he confesses it was much abused in his time, and seems directly to approve of it under its first regulations, when criminals only fought before the people. “ Crudele gladiatorum spectaculum et inhumanum nonnullis videri solet ; et haud scio annon ita sit ut nunc fit ; cùm verò sontes ferro depugnabant, auribus fortasse multa, oculis quidem nulla, poterat esse fortior contra dolorem et mortem disciplina.” *** The shows of gladiators may be thought bar
barous and inhuman, and I know not but it is so as it is now practised; but in those times when only criminals were combatants, the ear perhaps might receive many better instructions, but it is impossible that any thing which affects our eyes should fortify us so well against pain and death.”
N° 437. TUESDAY, JULY 22, 1712.
Ter. And. act. v. sc. 4. Shall you escape with impunity; you who lay snares for young men of
a liberal education, but unacquainted with the world, and by force
of importunity and promises draw them in to marry barlots ? THE other day passed by me in her chariot a lady
with that pale and wan complexion which we sometimes see in young people who are fallen into sorrow and private anxiety of mind, which antedate age and sickness. It is not three years ago since she was gay, airy, and a little towards libertine in her carriage; but, methought, I easily forgave her that little insolence, which she so severely pays for in her present condition. Flavilla, of whom I am speaking, is married to a sullen fool with wealth. Her beauty and merit are lost upon the dolt, who is insensible of perfection in any thing. Their hours together are either painful or insipid. The minutes she has to herself in his absence are not sufficient to give vent at her eyes, to the grief and torment of his last conversation. This poor creature was sacrificed with a temper, which, under the cultivation of a man of sense, would have made the most agreeable companion, into the arms of this loathsome yokefellow, by Sempronia. Sempronia is a good lady, who supports herself in an affluent condition, by contracting friendship with rich young widows, and maids of plentiful fortunes at their own disposal, and bestowing her friends upon worthless indigent fellows; on the other side, she insnares iuconsiderate and rash youths of great estates into the arms of vicious women. For this purpose, she is accomplished in all the arts which can make
her acceptable at impertinent visits ; she knows all that passes in every quarter, and is well acquainted with all the favourite servants, busy-bodies, dependants, and poor relations, of all persons of condition in the whole town. At the price of a good sum of money, Sempronia, by the instigation of Flavilla's mother, brought about the match for the daughter; and the reputation of this, which is apparently, in point of fortune, more than Flavilla could expect, has gained her the visits and the frequent attendance of the crowd of mothers, who had rather see their children miserable in great wealth, than the happiest of the race of mankind in a less conspicuous state of life. When Sempronia is so well acquainted with a woman's temper and circumstances, that she believes marriage would be acceptable to her, and advantageous to the man who shall get her, her next step is to look out for some one, whose condition has some secret wound in it, and wants a sum, yet, in the eye of the world, not unsuitable to her. If such is not easily had, she immediately adorns a worthless fellow with what estate she thinks convenient, and adds as great a share of good humour and sobriety as is requisite. After this is settled, no importunities, arts, and devices, are omitted, to hasten the lady to her happiness. In the general, indeed, she is a person of so strict justice, that she marries a poor gallant to a rich wench, and a moneyless girl to a man of fortune. But then she has no manner of conscience in the disparity, when she has a mind to impose a poor rogue for one of an estate: she has no remorse in adding to it, that he is illiterate, ignorant, and unfashioned; but makes those imperfections arguments of the truth of his wealth ; and will, on such an occasion, with a very grave face, charge the people of condition with negligence in the education of their children. Exception being made the other day against an ignorant booby of her own clothing, whom she was putting off for a rich heir: “Madam,” said she, “ you know there is no making children, who know they have estates, attend their books."
Sempronia, by these arts, is loaded with presents, importuned for her acquaintance, and admired by those who do not know the first taste of life, as a woman of exemplary good breeding. But sure to murder and rob are