BLTC Press Titles

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The Characters of Theophrastus


The Pictorial Key to the Tarot

Arthur Edward Waite

The Bhagavad Gita


Letters on the Aesthetical Education of Man

Friedrich Schiller

Boxiana: During the championship of Cribb, to Spring's challenge to all England

by Pierce Egan





My Lord;

It has been observed by several authors, and men of considerable talent, that the most difficult part of a book is the DEDICATION; perhaps it may be so, if Sophistry on the one hand, and flattery on the other, are unfortunately connected with the subject. This, however, is not the case with me : I have no stumbling-blocks in my path; I can see my way; and the road before me is ! plain and direct.


» Therefore, my Lord, as an admirer of true ^tbourage, I most humbly present the following pages to your notice, in a national point of ^view, with all the bluntness of an Englishman. ^In them you will perceive a list of many brave Rencounters—several noble specimens of man% hood—numerous real traits of generosity of


disposition—fine touches of feeling, and wound up by that climax of all subjects—Humanity.

It cannot be unknown to your Lordship, that when Themistocles led an army of his countrymen against their barbarian neighbours, he beheld two cocks engaged in furious combat. The spectacle was not lost upon him; he made his forces halt, and thus addressed them:— "These cocks, my gallant soldiers, are not lighting for their Country—their paternal Gods ; nor do they endure this for the monuments of their ancestors, for their offspring, or for the sake of glory in the cause of liberty : the only motive is, that the One is heroically resolved not to Yield to the other." This impressive harangue rekindled their valour, and led them to conquest. After their decisive victories over the Persians, the Athenians decreed by law, that one day should be set apart in every year for the Public Exhibition of Cock-fighting, at the expense of the state.

Permit me then, my Lord, to observe, that the Parallel is borne out from the battles in the Prize Ring. It is of no importance to the public at large, whether Cribb still retains the Championship as a boxer, or whether RanDall is viewed as a Nonpareil in the situation of a Pugilist; but it is of the very last importance to England, as a nation, my Lord, that she still preserve her high character for Trub Courage, both at home and abroad, both by land and by sea: nay, more, that not one particle of this real greatness should ever be frittered away from squeamishness of DispoSition or Effeminacy of habit. It is, indeed, an important point, my Lord, and well worthy the consideration of the statesman, in order to prevent a Wellington (whenever his splendid talents are again called into actual service) from experiencing the want of a body of brave men to direct, and aho from becoming little more than possessing the title of a great general; or some future Nelson only able to prove himself a gallant commander.

It is from such open and manly contests in England, my Lord, that the desperate and fatal effects of human passion are in a great measure, if not totally, prevented; the use of the poisonous draught shuddered at; secret revenge found to have no lurking place in the breast of a Briton ; and the application of the dagger abhorred.

To your Lordship, who has gloriously contributed in person to earn the most splendid laurels for England, it must be well known, that no soldier or sailors, from one end of the globe to the other, show so much mercy to a fallen foe as the British; and I hope, my Lord, it is not too much to infer, that they owe that "doubly blessed" quality to their early acquaintance with the Ring, the principle of which is not to strike an opponent when he is down.

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