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"The fight, the fight's the thing, Wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king."
X Where there's a will, there's a way.-I said so to
myself, as I walked down Chancery lane, about half-past six o'clock on Monday the 10th of December, to inquire at Jack Randall's where the fight the next day was to be ;' and I found " the proverb” nothing “musty” in the present instance. I was determined to see this fight, come what would, and see it I did, in great style. It was my first fight, yet it more than answered my expectations. X Ladies ! it is to you I dedicate this description; nor let it seem out of character for the fair to notice the exploits of the brave. Courage and modesty are the old English virtues ; and may they never look cold and askance on one another! Think, ye fairest of the fair, loveliest of the lovely kind, ye practisers of soft enchantment, how many more ye kill with poisoned baits than ever fell in the
ring; and listen with subdued air and without shuddering, to a tale tragic only in appearance, and sacred to the Fancy! X
I was going down Chancery lane, thinking to ask at Jack Randall's where the fight was to be, when looking through the glass-door of the Hole in the Wall, I heard a gentleman asking the same question at Mrs Randall, as the author of *Waverley' would express it. (Now Mrs Randall stood answering the gentleman's question, with the authenticity of the lady of the Champion of the Light Weights.) Thinks I, I'll wait till this person comes out, and learn from him how it is. For to say a truth, I was not fond of going into this house of call for heroes and philosophers, ever since the owner of it (for Jack is no gentleman) threatened once upon a time to kick me out of doors for wanting a mutton-chop at his hospitable board, when the conqueror in thirteen battles was more full of blue ruin than of good manners. I was the more mortified at this repulse, inasmuch as I had heard Mr James Simpkins, hosier in the Strand, one day when the character of the Hole in the Wall was brought in question, observe—“The house is a very good house, and the company quite genteel : I have been there myself !” Remembering this unkind treatment of mine host, to which
mine hostess was also a party, and not wishing to put her in unquiet thoughts at a time jubilant like the present, I waited at the door, when, who should issue forth but my friend Joe Toms, and turning suddenly up Chancery lane with that quick jerk and impatient stride which distinguishes a lover of the Fancy, I said, “I'll be hanged if that fellow is not going to the fight, and is on his way to get me to go with him.” So it proved in effect, and we agreed to adjourn to my lodgings to discuss measures with that cordiality which makes old friends like new, and new friends like old, on great occasions. We are cold to others only when we are dull in ourselves, and have neither thoughts nor feelings to impart to them. Give a man a topic in his head, a throb of pleasure in his heart, and he will be glad to share it with the first person
he meets. Toms and I, though we seldom meet, were an alter idem on this memorable occasion, and had not an idea that we did not candidly impart; and “so carelessly did we fleet the time," that I wish no better, when there is another fight, than to have him for a companion on my journey down, and to return with my friend Jack Pigott, talking of what was to happen or of what did happen, with a noble subject always at hand, and liberty to digress to