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THE WORSHIP OF THE PRIZE RING.
(By the Author of "Tom Brown's School Days.)
THE Saturday Review has broken out in a new place, and come frankly forward as the advocate of the P.R. Since the days when our late sovereign, George IV., drove Tom Spring in flesh-coloured silk stockings and yellow kerseymere breeches down to fight for the belt in his own royal barouche and four, we take it that no such article has seen the light in a journal of the character and standing of our contemporary, as that on the late prize fight for the champion's belt, which appeared last Saturday, and was republished in a prominent column of the Times of Monday. The leading daily journal is rather too knowing to go in for prize fighting just yet, but must have had, we should think, a grim satisfaction in making a catspaw of the Saturday Review, in view of the indignation roused by the garotte robberies. Meantime, while sending out this feeler, to see how the tide is setting at the expense of an old detractor, the Times recommends Englishmen to take to going about armed. We should be sorry to think that this advice will be followed, but would rather see every Englishman carrying a revolver and bowie knife than that prize fighting should be allowed to revive, and become what it was in the days of Corinthian Tom and George IV.
The Saturday Review is of a different opinion. "We cannot help thinking," he writes, "that where there is room for experiments with rifled guns and iron-plated targets, a few yards of turf may well be spared for testing the powers of penetration and resistance of the human fist and cheek. Surely the police have plenty to do in looking after garotters, and might venture to leave the prizefighters to themselves. It is rather hard upon the patrons of this sport that they must sit up all night, and steal like malefactors amid the fog of early morning to an out-of-the-way spot, where it is only just possible that the police may be an hour or two behind them." Can this be meant for a joke? If it be fooling it is about the heaviest we have ever met with. But, we fear after reading the whole article through more than once, that it is all meant in sober seriousness. A man who writes thus, and counsels us to legalize prizefighting, should, at least, know something of what he is talking about. This article carries its own evidence that the writer knows nothing of boxing, for he blunders as to the meaning of so well-known a term as a counter." Is he competent to speak on any other ground? Has he ever seen a prize fight? Has he actually set eyes on that inner ring of privileged spectators, who have paid their guinea or two apiece to be protected during the fight, and sit on soft wrappers, cigar in mouth, and betting book in hand-a strange mixture of young exquisites, bill discounters, and other aristocratic and middle-class rowdyism-on that broken-nosed band who stand round to protect their patrons in consideration of the guineas, against the outer circle of howling and blaspheming lower-class rowdyism, which frets and strains round the privileged inner ring? Has he seen the fierce lust of blood flush up in all faces, as after the first few rounds the men begin to get home, and tremendous blows are exchanged, and the very likeness of humanity is mashed out of the faces of the fighters? Has he seen the sickening struggle of the weaker man when the fight is lost in all but name, as he totters up, round after round, in answer to the goading of his backers? If he has seen all this, does he really mean that we should relax the law, and give facilities to "the patrons of this sport " to indulge their cowardly taste for brutality? If not,-if he is simply ignorant of what he has taken upon himself to write about,-how dare he come forward, even anonymously, to plead in the columns of the most popular of our high-class weekly papers for the most utterly demoralising and blackguard custom which is still allowed to drag on a hole-and-corner existence in our country!
Let us speak out plainly about the prize ring. There is not a redeeming feature about it. Fighting men are a peculiar class. If left to themselves, after a turbulent youth, they might become decent members of society. They are laid hold of by "the patrons of this sport," begin sparring at benefits, are backed for a pound or two to fight in cold blood for the amusement and profit of the said patrons. Then comes the starring at fighting houses, when the stakes are deposited, the training, the fight, and the subsequent orgies, after which not one in fifty of them ever turns to honest industry again. A flash house in Whitechapel or St. Martin's Lane, the resort of prostitutes, card-sharpers, dog fanciers, and bullies, is almost always the
end of the successful ones. The unsuccessful drink themselves into the workhouse, the prisons, or an carly grave, and meantime haunt and skulk about the flash houses and form the outer circle at prize fights. As to the character of the regular prizefighter, there is nothing whatever of the heroic about them. Their object of worship is mere brute strength and cunning, and so they fall more and more away from all true manliness. They are pampered and humoured till they become as vain and frivolous and fanciful as spoilt mistresses, and when a turn of ill luck comes, are cast off as lightly as these by "the patrons of this sport " They are far better, no doubt, than the regular parasites, who live with and prey on them, and are not fighting men; better than most of their aristocratic and middle-class patrons; but, as a rule, a young fellow who once takes to the ring in England is utterly ruined in character, and almost as certainly in worldly prospects.
The only point in which the Saturday Reviewer makes in support of his advice is that, it being agreed on all hands that it is good for English boys and men to learn to fight, there must be regular professional teaching, which cannot be had without the prize ring. We take leave to question his position. Boxing will no more die out in England when the prize ring is extinct, than cricket would if there were no professional players. It is a practice which is thoroughly ingrained in the nation. There is not a village throughout the country in which the traditions of fair fighting are not known and generally recognised; and as for the upper classes, to which the Saturday Reviewer's remarks are addressed, as long as public schools last boxing will be practised as a national sport by a considerable percentage of young Englishmen. Whether it will ever be more widely practised than it is at present may be doubtful, but assuredly the prosperity of the prize ring, should it ever become prosperous again, will be likely to make every decent Englishman turn from the pursuit in disgust. While the ring is unknown there will always be a certain sentiment for it, and a lazy belief that the devil is not so bad as he is painted. But if any man will take the trouble really to become acquainted with the patrons of and actors in it-the scenes which they live in, and the lives they lead-he will as soon think of bringing back exhibitions of gladiators, or introducing bull fights into England, as of doing anything to prop up such a hideous social evil as the British prize ring.-Spectator.
WHITE . BROWN BREAD.-A belief that the whiteness is a proof of superior quality is a popular error; and the unwise preference almost universally given to it has led to the pernicious practice of mixing alum with the flour. The use of this is very general, if not universal; the most honest baker employs it, since all bread not whitened by its means is rejected as of base quality. The proportion of alum used is said to be from twenty-two grains in the quartein loaf to three times that amount. It is well known to men of science that the entire meal will sustain life, while bread made of the finest flour will not. It has been stated on authority that if a man be kept on unfermented brown bread and water he will live and enjoy good health, and if you give him fermented white bread and water only he will sicken gradually and die. The meal of which the first is made contains all the ingredients essential to the nourishment of the various structures of which our bodies are com, osed. Some of these ingredients are removed, or much reduced in quantity, by the miller, in his efforts to please the public taste; and others are destroyed by fermentation, through the application of yeast or leaven. Fine white bread is found to be not only less nourishing, but also more difficult of digestion. The passion for it, as regards the mass of the population, is almost peculiar to England. In making it, the purpose of lightening the dough by the admission of air is generally effected by the process of fermentation, which is carried out by the introduction of leaven (sour dough), or yea-t, into the mass of dough; but, science informs us (and the practice has been long adopted in my own family), that instead of resorting to the destructive process of fermentation, the lightening of the dough may be effected by applying hydrochloric (muriatic) acid to carbonate of soda. The carbonic acid, expelled from the carbonate by virtue of the superior attraction of the hydrochloric acid to the soda, escapes in the form of effervescence from its connection with the soda, forming carbonic acid gas, by which the mass of dough is sufficiently blown out and distended. It simply acts mechanically, without creating any chemical change; whereas, fermentation acts by converting some portion of the dough itself into alcohol and gas; and the portion so converted is lost. It is found, in consequence, that a sack of fine flour, of 280 lbs., which makes 360 lbs. of white bread by fermentation, gives 420 lbs. by effervescence; and it is also found that 280 lbs. of wheat meal will give 464 lbs. of a more wholesome bread by effervescence. The total loss by fermentation and refining, taken together, is, therefore, under-rated at 25 per cent., a loss exceeding the annual value and amount of breadstuffs imported annually from abroad-Thoughts on Population and Supply of Food.
SIR,- Allow me to refer your correspondent "R. W.," who quotes the authority of an Independent Minister for the questionable statement, "that it was found necessary to give the convicts more animal food in proportion to the work they did," to a very different statement of the case. In one of the numbers of the Lancet for August last, your correspondent will find a report to government on prison diet, in which the medical commission appointed for investigating the question distinctly state it as their opinion that, with a contemplated decrease to a minimum of the amount of animal food supplied to prisoners, there must be a proportionate increase in the amount of bodily labour required of them. F. E.
SIR, I wonder your correspondent "Q,"in looking for a "practical Vegetarian physician," has not seen the Botanic Establishment in Preston, 140, Friarsgate. If Mr. "Q" writes to Dr. Skelton, 105, Great Russell-street, Bloomsbury, he shall find him to suit; or what is much the same, buy Dr. Skelton's "Family Medical Adviser," price 2s. 6d., in which the disease is copiously treated of, and which has saved the writer many a pound. In short, I have dispensed entirely with doctors. I have cured on the Botanic System, measles, whooping cough, fever, rheumatic fever (a very bad case), inflammation of the chest, bronchitis, influenza, indigestion, and disease of the liver. I should say "Q" may get the "Adviser" at Dr. Skelton's agent, 140, Friarsgate. For the sake of our Manchester friends I may add that Dr. Skelton is represented in that city by an intelligent gentleman, Mr. Jones, of 62, Chester Road, Hulme, where I have no doubt they can procure the "Medical Journal" of the Botanic practice, published monthly, price 1d., and got up much in the style of the "Dietetic Reformer." Vegetarians, to be consistent, should use Botanic remedies. J. D.
THE BIBLE AND VEGETARIANISM.
DEAR SIR,-On page 17 of the January number, 1863, there is a letter from a correspondent who attempts to prove from Scripture that Jesus Christ did not sanction the eating of fishes as is alleged by Matthew (xiv., 17), Mark vi., 38), Luke (ix., 16), and John (vi., 11). So long ago as April, 1862, I called attention to this very subject on p. 39 of the "Dietetic Reformer," vol. 1:-"There is, however, one question to which I have not been able to obtain a very satisfactory answer. It is this: If the slaying of animals for food be in any degree immoral, how is it possible to account for Jesus Christ sanctioning the catching and eating of fish? The above difficulty only affects the moral view of the question, and I doubt not it that is susceptible of a lucid explanation. If a correspondent would favour me with such an explanation, through the medium of your pages, I should feel obliged both to him and to you." Such was the question I asked in the "Dietetic Reformer" nearly a year and a half ago and it may easily be imagined with what interest I have read all the communications on the subject of "The Bible and Vegetarianism." I must confess that it was with extreme surprise and disappointment that I read the attempt I have alluded to, to prove that the Christian world have for centuries had a false notion of an important occurrence in the life of Christ, all because the four sources of information on the subject have been all but unanimously in error! It so happens that Matthew, Mark, and Luke use a specific word ichthmas which must mean fish, while John uses a generic word opsaria, which may mean fruit-though it may also with more probability (if the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke are to be depended upon) mean fish like the word ichthmas. This is your correspondent's main or only ground for setting aside the testimony of three out of four gospels, and for reversing the universal opinion of Christendom! He urges that John's gospel is the only one of which the oldest copies are in the original language. On the faith of your correspondent I lately assumed this as a fact, when speaking at a meeting of Sunday School teachers, but two ministers present instantly contradicted me. However, allowing our friend to be correct, the argument would only have the least force if John had used a specific word which could not possibly mean fish. But this is not the case according to our friend's own showing; and submit that it is preposterous for him to put John in the opposite scale to Matthew, Mark, and Luke, so unceremoniously-quite overlooking the extreme probability that all the four gospels should be weighed in one scale against his own view in the other. "It will be objected, no doubt, that the three authorities outweigh the one, and
therefore the balance of evidence is against us: but this is not so, the number of books is against us, but not the weight of authority." Is not this summarily assuming-what is extremely improbable that the fourth gospel does contradict the others?
As I was perhaps the first to introduce this subject in the "Dietetic Reformer" I should be much obliged if you would insert my letter.-I am, yours sincerely, London.
A PLEA FOR THE CALF.
SIR,-The following is the copy of a letter I addressed to the Right Honble. the Lord Provost and magistrates of Edinburgh.
"My Lord and Gentlemen,-The religion of Jesus Christ inculcates mercy not only to man but to beasts created by the same God, and who we are plainly told does not disdain to care for the meanest of his creatures. Is it consistent then with our profession of religion to subject calves to an atrociously cruel and lingering death for the mere sake of whitening the flesh, consequently an artificial and diseased state. For the sake of man's nature let this barbarous practice be consigned to the same category as cock fighting, bull baiting, &c., only to be remembered as relics of a bye-gone and less-enlightened age. I remain, my lord and gentlemen, your most obedient servant, P. L. F."
Sir Benjamin Brodie, in his excellent and instructive work on "Psychological Inquiries," says:-"The truth is that the pride of man has led him to regard himself as if he were the only object for which the universe is created. In acknowledging the superiority of man to all the rest of the animal creation on earth, we must at the same time acknowledge not only the possibility, but the great probability, that there are in some regions of the universe organised beings endowed with faculties as much superior to those of man, as the faculties of man are superior to the humblest quadruped; and such beings might with as much reason regard us as having nothing in common with themselves, as we should deny the same things to the animals below us." If I recollect rightly, Bishop Butler ("Analogy of Religion to the Constitution and Course of Nature") goes so far as to believe it probable that the future life which man hopes to claim for himself will not be denied to the lower animals. And elsewhere he says, what has been often repeated in your columns,-"Man in his pride is too apt to believe that all the world is made for him; yet the earth teems with life in other forms, even in regions never trodden by man, and in corners to which he cannot penetrate, and where it has no relation whatever to him." This proves false the absurd doctrine that all animals were created for the comfort and subsistence of man. I remain, yours, &c., Edinburgh.
Reviews and Notices of Books.
P. L. F.
Union and Emancipation: A Reply to the "Christian News" Article on "Emancipation and War." By THOS. H. BARKER, Manchester. Reprinted from the "Christian
News." 24pp., price 1d. Manchester: Union and Emancipation Society.
THIS little pamphlet deals vigorously, but not unfairly, with some very prevalent fallacies and sophisms of the pro-Southern party, who cry "Peace, peace," when there is no peace possible, except by an infamous and horrible compromise with the vilest slave oligarchy the world ever saw. We are intense lovers of peace; but our definition of PEACE includes FREEDOM-the freedom of conscience, of discussion, of labour, and of all the God-given rights and prerogatives of humanity. Hence we pray for Union and Emancipation, as the only rightful issue of this great American civil conflict.
A Safe, Speedy, and Certain Cure for Small-pox. London: Kent and Co., Paternoster Row.
THIS is a very valuable pamphlet, and ought to be extensively known and read. "A safe, speedy, and certain cure" for so terrible a disease as the "small-pox" may well be pronounced "a blessing to the world." Purified bi-tartrate of potash, commonly called " cream of tartar " is stated to be a specific for the variolous fever, its efficacy having been tested and proved in many thousands of cases throughout a long course of years. If it were within our power we would circulate this little pamphlet by millions in the interests of suffering humanity. The writer not only deserves the thanks of all philanthropists, but we think that a national testimonial of a substantial character ought to be presented to him for having given to the world so valuable and simple a remedy for this most loathsome and terrible scourge. In our next we will give some extracts or analysis of the pamphlet; but as the price is only sixpence, and the value beyond computation, we beg our readers to order it at once through their booksellers, and lend it to their poorer neighbours who may be afflicted with the disease it refers to.
The Anti-Slavery Cause in America and Its Martyrs. By ELIZA WIGHAM. 2s. 6d. London: A. W. Bennett, 5, Bishopgate-street Without.
THIS is a well timed and well written offering to the Anti-Slavery cause. The facts and incidents have been carefully and judiciously gathered from the most authentic sources, with an evident desire to adhere strictly to truth in statement and inference, and to leave as far as possible the interesting narrative and the noble actors and sufferers to speak for themselves.
We have read every page of the narrative of this little "Book of Martyrs" with a deep thrill of sympathy towards the cause it so faithfully represents-the cause of a suffering and oppressed race; and we cannot doubt that a thoughtful perusal will do much to quicken the fainting hearts and strengthen the feeble knees of those Christian men and women in England, Ireland, and Scotland, who are unable to sympathise with the free Northern States of America in their fearful struggle with the dark oligarchy of the SLAVEHOLDERS' CONFEDERACY. Those who read this book will see that it was not possible for honest and liberty-loving men to concede the infamous demands of the REBEL SLAVE POWER. The writer has rendered great and good service, not merely by producing this noble narrative, but by the excellent, truthful, and Christian spirit that pervades it throughout. There is nothing to offend the most scrupulous "Peace Advocate;" and there is everything to satisfy the most zealous Federal sympathiser. It ought to be widely circulated.
Lectures on Biblical Temperance. By ELIPHALET NOTT, D.D., President of Union College, Schenectady, New York. London: Trubner and Co., Paternoster Row; and Caudwell, Strand. Manchester: United Kingdom Alliance.
THIS is the first English edition of perhaps the ablest and most celebrated American contribution to our Temperance literature. These eloquent lectures were originally delivered by Dr. NOTT, before his students and others at Schenectady, New York, during the winters of 1838-9. This new and beautiful edition has been carefully revised, and is issued with notes and appendices, historical and explanatory. A PREFACE by Dr. LEES, the able editor of this latest and best edition; and an INTRODUCTION by Professor TAYLOR LEWIS, add considerable value to the lectures. The book also contains Commendatory Letters from EDWARD C. DELAVAN, Esq.; Rev. President WAYLAND, D.D., LL.D.; Rev. W. D. SPRAGUE, D.D.; and the Hon. WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State, Washington. A number of very valuable articles from the pens of Dr. LEES and BISHOP POTTER are among the appendices. A useful schedule of texts; an index of authorities; and some beautiful pathological drawings are included. The book altogether is a most valuable addition to our temperance standard literature. Dr. FRANCIS CLOSE, Dean of Carlisle, writes of it: "A more useful or convincing book has never yet been published on the great subject of Total Abstinence."
Dr. Lees has certainly added another laurel to his wreath of literary fame, and made the Temperance community more deeply his debtor, by undertaking the labour and responsibility of putting this noble volume within our reach. It cannot fail to render important service to the cause among the learned and thoughtful portions of society.
We are delighted to hear that through the liberality of several gentlemen in America and this country, a number of presentation copies are to be sent to our Bishops, Heads of Colleges, and other distinguished public characters, not forgetting our beloved Queen Victoria, and the Prince and Princess of Wales. As the edition printed is not a large one, and the copies will soon be exhausted, we must urge our readers who desire the work to make early application either to Dr. Lees or to the Secretary of the United Kingdom Alliance, from whom copies can be had at 4s. 6d.—the publishing retail price being 62. to non-subscribers through the trade.
Intelligence, Reports, &c.
A WORD WITH THE VEGETARIANS.
We gave in our last Number the beginning of a controversy in the Hereford Times; originating in a somewhat trenchant criticism of Vegetarianism, which appearing originally in the "Family Herald," has been quoted approvingly by several newspapers in different parts of the country. The letter of our friend the "Herefordshire Vegetarian" has provoked the ire of quite an army of indignant flesh-eaters, including the veritable editor of the "Family Herald" himself, who rushed in at last to the rescue. Single-handed, a Samson among the Philistines, our doughty ally has, however, effectually demolished the whole battery of argument so many opponents combined to bring against him, and we have only to regret that his over-zeal should have tempted him to fight his adversaries with their own weapons. On both sides