« PrécédentContinuer »
Joseph's name — JOSEPH! What more probable than that the EXPEROR, at a loss to decide under what name his son should pass, should have selected this ? name not so uncommon as to excite attention, nor yet so common as to be lost among the multitude of Johns, THOMASES, and WILLIAMS. The name of the Emperor's elder brother: a tie to bind him to his family in a distant land, and to form one link in the chain of evidence to lead to his recognition on some happier day. It was no chance which dictated the selection of this name.
The same forethought which snatched his child from the talons of Austria dictated its choice. I throw out this, however, merely as a suggestion. I am aware that a strictly logical mind, accustomed to sift evidence, and to weigh testimony, would hardly consider it as proof.
'If the facts which I have already offered have failed to shake the incredulity of the skeptic, the last and most important testimony I shall adduce, cannot fail to stagger his disbelief. I allude of course to ‘Brother JOSEPH's resemblance to Napoleon. This resemblance must strike the most unobserving; and I can only ascribe it to a want of acquaintance among our people with the features of the EMPEROR, that it has not before been recorded. The same prominent, thoughtful forehead ; the same cold, reflective gray eye; the same small mouth; the lips thin and firmly compressed; and above all, the same bold, aquiline nose: a nose, be it remarked, not the common aquiline protuberance common upon the Continent, but less marked in its prominence, and more delicate in its chiseling: the nostrils thin, and easily dilated with scorn or passion. The nose, at all times a marked feature, is in the BonAPARTE family most distinctive.
“The resemblance in the figure too is remarkable. When standing, ‘Brother JOSEPH ' strikes the observer as a short man: when seated, he is of at least average height. This peculiarity of the BONAPARTES has often been observed. In Louis NAPOLEON it is marked: in • Brother Joseph' it is so striking as to be almost ridiculous. It was to be expected, that if the nephew had this trait of the great EMPEROR, the son should possess it in a still greater degree. This, too, is not a common characteristic among men. Let the reader search among his whole circle of acquaintance, however extensive, and I doubt if he can point to a single individual distinguished by this trait. Find two persons thus marked, however widely separated, locally or socially, and the inference is irresistible that the same blood flows in their veins.
'It is not my object in these pages to establish the claims of . Brother Joseph' to the throne of France. He is contented with his lot, and has no desire to exchange his happy obscurity for the anxieties and dangers of a crown. Loris NAPOLEON, too, holds his position, not by virtue of his birth, but by the choice of the French people. How that choice was effected, whether it was free or forced, I cannot here inquire. An ardent republican, I still look forward to the day when the principles of civil and religious liberty will triumph over the active hostility of the despots of Russia and Austria, and the passive indifference of the French people. Should the revelations here made shake the throne of the EMPEROR of the French, and so contribute to this glorious result, my purpose will have been fully attained.'
This appears to us conclusive: and yet we hear that the head male-descendant of the late Isaac T. Hopper, a well-known Quaker of this city, (who, in his little cockéd hat and tight short-breeches, was the exact counterpart of the 'Little Captain,') is about to 'contest’ Louis Napoleon's seat,' on the argument of strong personal resemblance!'
LESSONS of tue Spirit of FisticuFFS.— It is useless to try to ignore a patent' subject, in a periodical like the KNICKERBOCKER, which is an 'abstract and brief chronicle of the time.' We write on this nineteenth day of October, in our quiet sanctum at Cedar-Hill Cottage, looking out upon the smooth Hudson, and the hazy autumnal villa-sprinkled shores beyond: and yet to-morrow, two Pugilists, men of renown,' enter the gladiatorial circle in the Queen's adjoining realm of the Canada Provinces, Upper and ‘Lower.' We never beheld a prize-fight: we never but once saw even a 'sparring-match,' a glove 'duel,' in a PICKWICKIAN sense, at a metropolitan theatre, 'for one night only.' It was Mr. BENJAMIN CAUNT, from England, who had given and received severe punishment in the British islands and coasts adjacent. His antagonist, if he might be so termed, was a person from the village of Brooklyn, (which, of a clear day, can be discerned with the naked eye, upon the eastern shore of the East River,' so called, extending some distance, from the various points, into the contiguous Gowanus, Wallabout, and Long-Island country.) This person's name was JEROLIMAN: a Brooklyn purveyor of the fleshly substantials of every-day life; of excellent character, and esteemed of all who knew him. But ambition was his ruin, on the occasion to which we allude. He had had manly bouts at the 'manly science,' in a friendly way, with certain of his stalwart contemporaries in the trade, and with vigorous customers, who thrived upon the meat which they fed on from his hands, and were by these means enabled to encounter him in single combat. Mr. BENJAMIN Caunt, of England, fresh from his blood-bought laurels, met him upon the boards of the * Metropolitan Theatre' at that era. The English Champion entered. His legs were sturdy, but not a 'study. They were not for closet' contemplation. They stood out,' as puzzled connoisseurs say of a portrait, when they can say nothing else to flatter a faithful portrait-painter. His nose was not even passable, for it had no bridge: but his knotty and combinéd head was as firmly imbedded between his shoulders ‘as a ship-of-war in the mud of the Potomac:' also he had a large tract of uncultivated country below the short skullhair under each ear — and-an-half: for part of the rim of one had been carried away in a former engagement. Mr. JEROLIMAN entered on the other side: the contestants were clad alike: buff short-clothes ; opera-shoes, with the latest “ties;' whitish gloves, but apparently of an unusual size. Mr. JEROLIMAN stood unarchitecturally, as was remarked by a gentleman near us, upon his pips. However, our attention was abstracted for a moment by an individual in a very handsome white overcoat, and a colored scarf, of variegated and bright colors, who exclaimed, in a quick and vehement accent, `TIME!' There was an approach of the combatants a meeting a mutual jerk of the head of each — “an out-go,' as we heard it designated, from the hand of 'the Champion of England' — and Mr. JEROLIMAN, keeling over and over, like unto a wheel, as it struck us, and as we thought it also struck him, disappeared through a side-scene, only to reappear for a moment, remonstrating against an advantage' that had been taken of him, and pointing to his nose, profusely bleeding, as an incontestable and gradually-enlarging evidence of the fact.
And this, reader, is our only experience, our only observation, of any exhibi. tion of the manly art of self-defence' in this country.
But we had it in our mind to allude at this moment to an article now before us, from a Scottish gazette of high character and extensive circulation, namely, *Chambers' Edinburgh Weekly Journal? That a Scottish periodical should be as ignorant as ourselves of The Sporting World, and What It Is,' did in some degree surprise us. The editors take up, for example, a single number of 'Bell's Life in London,' and with its multitudinous sporting announcements, of every variety and description, for a theme, proceed to make various comments upon sundry extracts from its columns, by way of a concentrated text. But let the editors go back for a few years, and in one of the most popular periodical works (then and now) of their own city, see how CHRISTOPHER North and his confrères spoke of one part of what the
Sporting World' is, in the Noctes Ambrosianæ — namely, 'The Ring,' with all its revolting characteristics. Talk of 'Nigger' coming up lively to the scratch: how did they expand, bourgeon, ripen into exultant admiration of the manly art of self-defence,' as exhibited in the battle between Crib and MOLYNEUX? How did they praise Byron's ‘pluck,' (and ‘British instinct of manly fair play,') for taking lessons of Jackson, the pugilist ? Let 'Chambers' Edinburgh Journal' look back a little to the ancient records of its past peers, and of its present compeers, and assuage the freshet of its assumed ignorance, as not consonant with the general character of Scottish appreciation. But this apart : let us take the lesson as it comes — and it is a good one. We present but few passages, and they are brief : but how truly they 'tell the whole story' to all who feel that God has not made them animals merely, to 'travel on their muscle through this wonderful and instructive world. We have spoken of 'Fistiana: ' and it is to that branch of 'The Sporting World' that the subjoined excerpts refer :
'One great peculiarity of the ring is the anonymous character of almost all its heroes at the commencement of their profession: they seem to be quite content to lose all individuality in a name such as the Novice,' or even do without a name at all. For instance : ‘Alec Keene has an old man, fifty-eight years of age; he will back to fight Jesse Hatton for ten pounds, or twenty pounds, a side, at catch-weight.' Our own weight, although we are far from stout, is certainly not what we should understand by cat t;' so
suppose there must be non-natural meaning attached to this term : but apart from that, who would like, at fifty-eight years of age, to be Alec Keene's or any body else's old man? ... How strange it seems that while Mr. BENJAMIN Caunt here is expressing a wish to back his ExtACSIASTIC Potboy against any man in the world at nine stone eight pounds for two hundred sovereigns, TOPPER Brown, Esq., should be also advertising in the same column bis willingness to accommodate any man in the world at nine stone six pounds! Surely this trifling difference of two pounds should not be allowed to keep asunder heroes like these. There is a certain Elastic Potboy, of little less repute, who will afford, next Monday, in donning the gloves with JOHNNY Walker, "a treat in himself, independently of all other considerations.' It would be tedious to narrate the many attractions of the boxing boudoir, here so much extolled, at all of which the Bibliotheca Pugilistica is kept for reference; and where Fistiana and the Fights for the Championship are to be had at the bar. Tedious, too, to tell where the best sing. songs at the east-end are held nightly, and where are the snuggest snuggeries at the west; where the Lancashire champion step-dancer holds his harmonic meetings; or
where the Indian club and Sir CHARLES NAPIER feat are imparted upon moderate terms. Let us rather take a glance, once for all, at the ring itself, to which these others are but mere ministers and accessories. What a peculiar phraseology it has, and yet how thoroughly understood of the people! Neither foot-note nor marginal reference is considered necessary to elucidate a statement of the following kind: 'Seventh round — the Nigger came up looking five ways for Sunday.'
Now, what was Sunday to the Nigger, or the Nigger to Sunday, that he should be so superfluous as to look for it in five several directions? One would have thought it would have been about the very last thing with which this gentleman would have concerned himself, and that which he would know least what to do with when he had found. But the phrase is in common use, it seems, to express the confusion and all abroadness'consequent upon having head and eyes punched to excess in the previous rounds. The weakness of the Nigger was such, we are told, that he could not make a dint in a pound of butter' — also a pugilistic phrase, and not, as might be supposed, the result of an ingenious experiment proposed by his seconds or other interested persons. He had his ruby drawn,' and was then caught up and dashed violently upon the ground by his opponent, the Young 'Un, who, however, 'with the greatest generosity, declined to fall upon him.' Honor to the brave! The Nigger was so punished, we read on, that had not his bottom been of the very first quality, the sponge would most certainly have been thrown up, even at this early period. He had to spar for wind.' We have heard of whistling for a wind in extreme nautical emergencies; but this picture of a black man so faint with heat that he has to impart a rotatory or fan-like movement to his fists for the sake of air, is really terrible. Perhaps it was for time only in which to recover breath ; at all events, he sparred for wind, but the · Young 'Un got home heavily upon his occiput, (there is no place like home,) and then knocked him clean out of time by a hit under the left ear.' Does this fearful sentence mean that the younger of the two antagonists destroyed the other's power of discriminating melody, or that he absolutely killed, launched into eternity, as the chroniclers of the executions have it, this poor black person ; wbo, never let us forget, is a man and a brother, when the hat is going round for the beaten man — beaten because he was knocked out of time - and hence, perhaps, the expression “knocked into the middle of next week,' or, more poetically, 'wrapped into future times,' and could not recover in the minute allowed between the rounds. The Young 'Un, who was the favorite from the first, must, it is written, have rocked the gold cradle to some purpose, so many of his handkerchiefs having been distributed before the fight began, upon the usual terms — a sovereign if he won, and nothing if he lost.
* This, we suppose, must be the somewhat illegitimate offspring of that chivalrous custom of the knights of old, who always got possession, if they could, of their fair ladies' kerchiefs to wear upon their helms: but a pound apiece seems certainly a very long price for them. Besides this graceful distribution of what, we are distressed to say, are elsewhere denominated "wipes,' there is another curious piece of delicacy in this account of the late fight between Mr. BENJAMIN Caunt and Mr. NATHANIEL LANGHAN. 'Ben,' we read, “barring his mug, was a study for a sculptor; his powerful legs being set off to the best advantage by pink silk stockings and well-fitting drawers.' Why, one would think the man was going to dance a ballet, instead of subjecting himself to such excessive ill-treatment as this: 'Nat fiddled him to within due distance,''popped his larboard daddle on his jowl,''nailed him prettily on the left squinter,''got sharply on to his tenor-trap,' 'dropped smartly on to his snorer,' • set his warbler bleeding;' and, in fact, rendered the whole of his features as unrecognizable physically, as they must appear to any exclusive reader of Messrs. Addison and STEELE. Still, we think, we would rather be even prize-fighters than wrestlers, who are subject to such conditions as these : «Two back-falls out of three, Lancashire fashion; no hanging allowed, catch as catch can, in pumps and drawers. The spikes not to exceed a quarter of an inch in length.' The generosity of the Young 'Un before men
tioned, in not throwing himself upon his prostrate antagonist, pales, in our opinion, before the humanity of this regulation. Think of drawers,' spikes of a quarter of an inch long,' (only,) and catch as catch can !!!
The following is out of the 'milling' range, we take it: it belongs not, as we understand, to the ‘manly art' which we have been considering: but as *some' among the multitudinous ‘matters and things' which are mentioned commented upon, and Sawneyistically satirized in 'Chambers', we infer that our Yankee readers have as good a right to guess' as to what it's all abeout,' as any ‘Britisher' whatsomever :
What is ‘Nurr and Spell,' at which Tommy Stephenson of Wortley is open to play any man sixty years of age for five pounds a side, providing he will give him ten score in thirty-one rises ? Also, is there any man short of a bird-fancier who can translate this ? 'J. ARNOLD, of the Rising Sun, Stoke Newington, will match his goldfinch against any other for five pounds, for the best and most slamming of a goldfinch, also mule one in the month for the same sum.' Mule one in the month! What possible misprint or assemblage of misprints could have produced this? Here is something like a pigeon : ‘Thomas Miller's checkered cock will fiy R. WALL's black cock, Podgers' sandy cock, or John Dawson's white cock, or will take a quarter of a minute's start of Thomas Leech's blue cock, all from North Shields station.' Also: 'Samuel Binns of Bradford, is surprised, after what has occurred, at seeing Joun Suandik's challenge of Lamberhead Green : if he really means flying, let him send a deposit to Bell's Life, and articles to Davy Deacon's at once.''
And what brought all this into our mind, at this time ? — and how came it here ?' Nothing in the world, but sitting this morning on our beautiful sanctum-piazza, looking off, over the the thick cedar screen, upon the bosom of the peaceful Hudson, and the sweet scenes beyond, and reflecting that tomorrow Mr. MORRISSEY and Mr. Heenan were to engage in one of the MODERN CRUSADES.
THE STORY OF CARAUSIUS, TIE Dutch AuguSTUS.— We cannot better foreshadow the character of a work evincing the most comprehensive research and unwearying assiduity, than by quoting its entire title:
*The Story of CARAUSIUS, the Dutch Augustus and Emperor of Britain and the Seas; and of Holland's mighty share in the defeat of the INVINCIBLE ARMADA : likewise, The Lives of the Dutch ADMIRALS, from their monuments and the medals erected to their memory and struck in their honor by the ‘DIERBAAR VADERLAND,' collected, collated, and translated by a Descendant of that Race who once gave an Augustus to the world and an Emperor to Britain; Carausius, (A.D. 285—7— 292-24) twice preserved the Religion and Liberty of England; (in 1588 and in 1638) thrice played a decisive part in Albion's greatest Naval Triumphs; (at Sluys, 1340; La Hogue, 1692; and Algiers, 1816 :) ever maintained the Independence of the Anglo or true Saxon Family, and compelled tyrants to respect the rights of man; whose representative The Dutch Nation, made the wide world the witness of their grandeur; splendor which knew no limits but the poles, the zenith and the depth of that element upon which they founded their state and harvested their wealth: a race to whom the ocean was a Friend, an Ally, a Preserver, and a Benefactor; won by their patient rigor, and retained by their valor and enterprise. By J. Watts De Peyster.'