BLTC Press Titles

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The Pictorial Key to the Tarot

Arthur Edward Waite

Theory of Colours

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The Haunted Bookshop

Christopher Morely

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll

Boxiana: From the championship of Cribb to the present time

by Pierce Egan






My Lord,

It is with mingled sentiments of deference and confidence, that I venture to solicit your Lordship's attention to the present Work ; with confidence, as far as an accurate acquaintance with the subject entitles me to that feeling; and, at the same time, with deference, not merely for your Lordship's elevated fyrank in society, but for your acknowledged judgement in the science of Pugilism.


^ In being unknown to your Lordship, I feel v^the sincere satisfaction, that I shall escape the "^charge so often levelled, with too much propriety, against Dedicators in general—of halving been guilty of base adulation and servile flattery.

The subject here descanted on, my Lord, is truly National; and the Legislator, in keeping up and feeding this British Spirit, feels its advantages in a political point of view, namely, that it is not only acquired, but strengthened by use and familiarity with danger, more firmly than from any arguments, however strong, I might have to offer in support of its public practice and general utility. Emulation and the love of glory are its true and powerful breeders. To what a pitch of daring do we not see these carry men? At Talavera, Vimiera, and at that memorable epoch of military intrepidity and greatness, the battle of Waterloo, (which might truly be said to have decided the fate of Europe,) the undaunted and persevering traits of a Shaw,* a Thorne, &c. with other innumerable characteristic proofs of the valour of Englishmen, in all our battles, demonstrate the truth of this position.

. It is well known to your Lordship, that Rome, once the powerful and unrivalled

* " Oh, shade of the Cheesemonger! you, who, alas !

Doubled-up, by the dozen, these Mounseers in brass, •: On that great day of milling, when blood lay in lakes,

When Kings held the bottle and Europe the stakes."

Mistress of the World, degenerated, from the introduction of too much refinement and effeminacy of character, to the universal contempt and derision of surrounding countries ; and it was, in consequence, emphatically urged by a late much lamented and enlightened Senator,* "Will it make no difference in the mass of the people, whether their amusements are all of a pacific, pleasurable, and effeminate nature, or whether they are of a sort that calls forth a continued admiration of prowess and hardihood ?

He that the world subdued had been
But the best wrestler on the green.

" True courage does not arise from mere boxing, from the mere beating or being beaten ; but from the sentiments excited by the contemplation and cultivation of such practices." The good effects of this manly spirit have long been witnessed in England, and I trust, my Lord, it will never be extinguished : as it tends to inure . the common people to bravery, and to encourage that truly British spirit, which was the pride and glory of our ancestors.

* Right Hon. W. Windham.

It is an honourable prejudice, which I trust your Lordship will permit me to promulgate, that, at the present moment, the English Nation stands on an eminence, if not decidedly superior, it must be admitted, equal to any other country in the world. ■ Its corner-stones are-^huinanity of heart—generosity of disposition—firmness of mind—and courage of soul. To support these native characteristics of Britons has been the only aim of the Author, in the following portraiture of English scientific Pugilists, in order to prevent their being groaned down by puritanical cant and theoretical sophistry, so as to induce us to discountenance what has always been our pride and distinction, independently of its political necessity and interest—the BREED Of Valiant MEN: and, also, never to lose sight of those stimulating words of our immortal Bard, that

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