Round 15 - SELECTION MIX
Egan - [May 1820] 'The morning was truly forbidding for the Swells to leave their downy dabs; and the heavy torrents of rain informed the kids, upon opening their peepers, that their game would again be put to the test; but delicacy of canvass [skin] is not one of the features of the Ring, and those lads who delight in witnessing a Prize mill, value not distance – fear not weather […] and the drag is shoved forward with as much indifference, as if the most perfect serenity of climate prevailed'. (Boxiana III)
Hazlitt - The author records a night-time glimpse of the venue from his coach window: ‘The moon now rose in silver state, and I ventured […] to point out this object of placid beauty, with the blue serene beyond […] it gave promise d’un beau jour for the morrow, and shewed the ring undrenched by envious showers, arrayed in sunny smiles’. And prior to proceedings: 'I felt the sun’s rays clinging to my back, and saw the white wintry clouds sink below the verge of the horizon […] A bustle, a buzz, ran through the crowd’. ('The Fight', 1822)
Egan - [Recounting the contest between Young Sam and Ned Neal (1831)]:
'There is a sort of magic about his [Sam’s] blows; the bat of Harlequin cannot change the scene quicker than the “bunch of fives” of our hero […] The fine eye of the latter seemed to penetrate into the very soul of his adversary […] and he positively rallied against the effects of nature […] until he sent his opponent down amidst the admiring shouts of thousands'. (Book of Sports)
WF Deacon - 'I was for some months puzzled to ascertain the precise meaning of this ambiguous term. My mind first conjectured that it alluded simply to a windmill; and secondly, that it meant a treadmill […] as a last resource I applied to Mr. John Randall, who informed me with prompt politeness, that ‘Mill’ was the generic denomination of a fight'. (Warreniana, 1824)
Dickens - 'Mr Heenan is represented on emerald sward, with primroses and other modest flowers springing up under the heels of his half-boots; while Mr Sayers is impelled to the administration of his favourite blow, the Auctioneer, by the silent eloquence of a village church. The humble homes of England, with their domestic virtues and honeysuckle porches, urge both heroes to go in and win; and the lark and other singing birds are observable in the upper air, ecstatically carolling their thanks to Heaven for a fight' ('Shy Neighbourhoods', 1860).
Shaw - 'Though his neighbours are as peaceful and nervous as he; though if he knocked a man down or saw one of his friends do it, the event would stand out in his history like a fire or a murder; yet he not only tolerates unstinted knockings-down in fiction, but actually founds his conception of his nation […] on these imaginary outrages, and at last comes to regard a plain statement […] that the average respectable Englishman knows rather less about fighting than he does about flying, as a paradoxical extravagance'. (Cashel Byron's Profession)
Waddell - "Jocky Wilson - All the psychology of a claymore".
"Cliff is looking for something yellow in a tall glass - and I don't mean daffodils".
"The players are under so much duress, it's like Duressic Park out there".
Blackwood’s Magazine (March 1820) – 'BOXIANA is a Book we never tire of, take it up when you will, it puts us into immediate spirits. It is a sufficient justification of Pugilism to say, Mr. Egan is its Historian […] his style is perfectly his own, and likely to remain so, for it is as inimitable as it is excellent. The man who has not read Boxiana is ignorant of the power of the English language'.