Sting LIKE A 'BEE'

'Literary pursuits – subscription to a library and access to talking company; the production of a scrap or two occasionally in a favourite paper, busy intercourse (monthly) with a magazine, and the announcement of a volume once in ten years. Of such quacks and their admirers we find there are two classes, "those who have erudition without genius, and those who have volubility without research".' (Bee’s Sportsman’s Slang).


Bee stressed the authentic oral foundation for his glossary: ‘phrases over-heard in the market-place […] around the ring, and at other verbal sources […] where the people do not make parade of their deep reading or facile penmanship’.

'Bul – a blunder; generally ascribed to Irishmen; and one of them [Egan] reports in The Weekly Dispatch of the 26th May, 1822, the notable fact that “the winner of the Derby Stakes, Moses, was got by Seymour out of Whalebone”; but both being Stallions, we cannot conceive (being male) how this could be possible'.


'Dandy – an invention of 1816 […] Men of fashion […] having imported a good deal of French manner in their gait, lispings, wrinkled foreheads, killing king’s English, wearing immense plaited pantaloons, the coat cut away, small waistcoat, with cravat and chitterlings immense: Hat small; hair frizzled and protruding. If one fell down, he could not rise again without assistance'.


'Duel – two testy chaps firing at each other, until they are tired, or one drops […] The murderous practice has declined much; sensible people now-a-day generally have recourse to those arms alone which God sends – Pugilism. Gamblers are all good shots' (Bee's Sportsman's Slang).


‘If a man cannot quietly put up with the loss of £3000, at roley-poley, of a night, he ought to have his head perforated in the morning' (Annals of Sporting II).


Bee condemned the practice of publishing long-winded speculation on prospective fights: ‘Editors of other contemporary publications, finding that the tortuous lies about matches […] are inquired after […] speak of challenges and challengers as if the men actually meant fighting, and had backers to support them’ (Annals of Sporting VII, 1825). He was also eager to warn against wild conjecture, as in the boasts made for Neate before a proposed 1823 fight against Spring:

'The torrent of opinion was previously so strong in favour of Neat, both in Bristol and London, on account of his tremendous hitting, as to carry away, like a flood, all moderate calculation [.…] SPRING was to have been smashed; SMASHED – and nothing else but SMASHED!!! One hit was to have spoiled the science of SPRING; TWO taken the fight completely out of him! And the THIRD operated as a coup de grace. Yes! And so they would, if the chaffing over some heavy, light blue, or black ink, could have done it' (Boxiana IV).

Far from increasing anticipation, Bee implies that rival journalists were indulging in a mode of superficial hysteria.