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wastes); then they begin to brandish their fists in the air ; the blows are aim'd all at the face, they kick one another's shins, they tug one another by the hair, &c. He that has got the other down may give him one blow or two before he rises, but no more; and let the boy get up ever so often, the other is oblig'd to box him again as often as he requires it. During the fight, the ring of by-standers encourage the combatants with great delight of heart, and never part them while they fight according to the rules : and these by-standers are not only other boys, porters, and rabble, but all sorts of men of fashion ; some thrusting by the mob, that they may see plain, others getting upon stalls; and all would hire places, if scaffolds could be built in a moment. The father and mother of the boys let them fight on as well as the rest, and hearten him that gives ground or has the worst. These combats are less frequent among grown men than chil but they are not rare. If a coachman has a dispute about his fare with a gentleman that has hired him, and the gentleman offers to fight him to decide the quarrel, the coachman consents with all his heart: the gentleman pulls off his sword, lays it in some shop, with his cane, gloves, and cravat, and boxes in the same manner as I have describ'd above. If the coachman is soundly drubb’d, which happens almost always (a gentleman seldom exposes himself to such a battel without he is sure he's strongest), that goes for payment; but if he is the beator, the beatee must pay the money about which they quarrell’d. I once saw the late Duke of Grafton at fisticuffs, in the open street,' with such a fellow, whom he lamb’d most horribly. In France we punish such rascals with our cane, and sometimes with the flat of our sword: but in England this is never practis’d; they use neither sword nor stick against a man that is unarm’d: and if an unfortunate stranger (for an Englishman would never take it into his head) should draw his sword upon one that had none, he'd have a hundred people upon him in a moment, that would, perhaps, lay him so flat that he would hardly ever get up again till the Resurrection.”
"A marginal note says: “In the very widest part of the Strand. The Duke of Grafton was big and extremely robust. He had hid his blue ribband before he took the coach, so that the coachman did not know BUCKLER-PLAY.
In Foure Statutes, specially selected and commanded by his Majestie to be carefully put in execution of all justices and other officers of the peace throughout the realme : together with a Proclamation, a Decree of the Starre-chamber, and certaine Orders depending upon the former lawes, more particularly concerning the citie of London and counties adjoining, 1609, 4to. p. 94, is the following order: “That all plaies, bear-baitings, games, singing of ballads, buckler-play, or such like causes of assemblies of people, be utterly pro hibited, and the parties offending severely punished by any alderman or justice of the peace."
Misson, in his Travels, translated by Ozell, p. 307, says : “ Within these few years you should often see a sort of gladiators marching thro’ the streets, in their shirts to the waste, their sleeves tuck'd up, sword in hand, and preceded by a drum, to gather spectators. They gave so much a head to see the fight, which was with cutting swords, and a kind of buckler for defence. The edge of the sword was a little blunted, and the care of the prize-fighters was not so much to avoid wounding one another, as to avoid doing it dangerously: nevertheless, as they were oblig'd to fight till some blood was shed, without which nobody would give a farthing for the show, they were sometimes forc'd to play a little ruffly. I once saw a much deeper and longer cut given than was intended. These fights are become very rare within these eight or ten years. Apprentices, and all boys of that degree, are never without their cudgels, with which they fight something like the fellows before mention'd, only that the cudgel is nothing but a stick; and that a little wicker basket which covers the handle of the stick, like the guard of a Spanish sword, serves the combatant instead of defensive arms.
(PERHAPS this is the same with Blind-man's Buff. The game of Course of the Park has not been elsewhere noticed :
“ Buft's a fine sport,
And so's Course o' Park;
We trip it completely,
Is the breath of the lasses,
O the pretty rogues kiss featly. (Jack runs away, and leaves them to stumble out in the dark.”)
The Slighted Maid, 1663, p. 50.]
BULL AND BEAR-BAITING.
FITZSTEPHEN mentions the baiting of bulls with dogs as a diversion of the London youths on holidays in his time.
The ancient law of the market directing that no man should bait any bull, bear, or horse in the open streets in the metropolis, has been already quoted in the former volume of this work.
Hentzner, in his Travels in England, ed. 1757, p. 42, says: “ There is a place built in the form of a theatre, which serves for the baiting of bulls and bears : they are fastened behind, and then worried by great English bull-dogs; but not without great risk to the dogs, from the horns of the one and the teeth of the other : and it sometimes happens they are killed on the spot. Fresh ones are immediately supplied in the places of those that are wounded or tired. To this entertainment there often follows that of whipping a blinded bear, which is performed by five or six men, standing circularly, with whips, which they exercise upon him without any mercy, as he cannot
Description of London, edited by Dr. Pegge, 1772, p. 50. In Misson's Memoirs and Observations in his Travels over England, pp. 24-26, are some remarks on the manner of bull-baiting as it was practised in the time of King William III.
escape from them because of his chain. He defends himself with all his force and skill, throwing down all who come within his reach, and are not quite active enough to get out of it, and tearing the whips out of their hands and breaking them. At these spectacles, and everywhere else, the English are con. stantly smoking tobacco.” Hentzner was here in 1598.
Gilpin, in his Life of Cranmer, tells us : “ Bear-baiting, brutal as it was, was by no means an amusement of the lower people only. An odd incident furnishes us with the proof of this. An important controversial manuscript was sent by Archbishop Cranmer across the Thames. The person entrusted bade his waterman keep off from the tumult occasioned by baiting a bear on the river, before the king ; he rowed, hov. ever, too near, and the persecuted animal overset the boat by trying to board it. The manuscript, lost in the confusion, floated away, and fell into the hands of a priest, who, by being told that it belonged to a privy-counsellor, was terrified from making use of it, which might have been fatal to the head of the reformed party.”
In a proclamation “ to avoyd the abhominable place called the Stewes,” dated April the 13th, in the 37th year of Henry VIII. (preserved in the first volume of a Collection of Proclamations in the Archives of the Society of Antiquaries of London, p. 225), we read as follows: “Finallie to th' intent all resort should be eschued to the said place, the king's majestie straightlie chargeth and comaundeth that from the feast of Easter next ensuing, there shall noe beare-baiting be used in that rowe, or in any place on that side the bridge called London-bridge, whereby the accustomed assemblies may be in that place cleerely abolished and extinct, upon like paine as well to them that keepe the beares and dogges, whych have byn used to that purpose, as to all such as will resort to see the same.”
1 The subsequent extract from the same proclamation will be thought curious : “Furthermore his majestie straightlie chargeth and commandeth that all such householders as, under the name of baudes, have kept the notable and marked houses, and knowne hosteries, for the said evill dis. posed persons, that is to saie, such householders as do inhabite the houses whited and painted, with signes on the front for a token of the said houses, shall avoyd with bagge and baggage, before the feast of Easter next comyng, upon paine of like punishment, at the kings majesties will and pleasure."
In the very rare Roman Catholic book, the Life of the Reverend Father Bennet of Canfilde, Douay, 1623, translated from the French by R. R., Catholique Priest, p. 11, is the following passage: “Even Sunday is a day designed for bearebayting, and even the howre of theyre (the Protestants) service is allotted to it, and indeede the tyme is as well spent at the one as at the other.” R. R. was at least an honest Catholic; he does not content himself with equivocal glances at the erroneous creed, but speaks out plainly.
“ Her Majesty,” says Rowland White, in the Sidney papers, “ this day appoints a Frenchman to doe feats upon a rope in the Conduit Court. To-morrow she hath commanded the beares, the bull, and the ape to be bayted in the tilt-yard.” Andrews's Continuation of Henry's History of Great Britain, 1796, p. 532.
In Vaughan's Golden Grove, 1608, we are told : “Famous is that example which chanced neere London, A. D. 1583, on the 13th daye of Januarie, being Sunday, at Paris Garden, where there met together (as they were wont)' an infinite number of people to see the beare-bayting, without any regard to that high day. But, in the middest of their sports, all the scaffolds and galleries sodainely fell downe, in such wise that two hundred persons were crushed well nigh to death, besides eight that were killed forthwith.”
In Laneham's Account of the Queen's Entertainment at Killingworth Castle, 1575, we have the following curious picture of a bear-baiting, in a letter to Mr. Martin, a mercer of London : “Well, syr, the bearz wear brought foorth intoo the court, the dogs set too them, too argu the points even face to face; they had learn’d counsel also a both parts : what may they be coounted parciall that are retain but a to syde ? I ween no. Very feers both ton and toother, and
argument; if the dog in pleadyng would pluk the bear by the throte, the bear with travers woould claw him again by the scalp; confess and a list, but avoyd a coold not that waz bound too the bar : and his coounsell toold him that it coould be too him no pollecy in pleading. Thearfore thus with fending and prooving, with plucking and tugging, skratting and byting, by plain tooth and nayll a to side and toother, such
I There is an account of this accident in Stubbes' Anatomie of Abuses, 1585, p. 118.