Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/266

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A man familiar with the "science" of the ring said last week that the three elements of a good boxer were courage, skill, and endurance. There certainly is no exercise more splendidly fitted than boxing to develop these qualities; and this being granted, the popular instinct is easily explained.

But the interest of respectable men in boxing is strictly confined to these elements, which may be seen and judged without beastly and bloody struggles. All that is worth seeing in good boxing can best be witnessed in a contest with soft gloves. Every value is called out, quickness, force, precision, foresight, readiness, pluck, and endurance. With these the rowdy and "rough" are not satisfied. To please their taste, they must be smeared with blood, served up with furious temper, mashed features, and surrounded by a reeking and sanguinary crowd.

The prize fight with bare hands could only have been developed in England. It is fit only for brutalized men. It belies and belittles real skill, which has never been and never can be its test. No prize fight with bare hands was ever decided on the merits of the boxing alone. The end of the controversy is to "knock the other man out." One accidental or lucky blow with the bare fist has often spoiled the chances of the superior boxer, and gained the prize of his opponent.

We trust that the fight in New Orleans will be the last ever seen in America without gloves. It is highly to the credit of the winning man, John L. Sullivan, that he wished to fight with gloves. Months ago, both men were asked to do so; and we are glad that the better man at once agreed. The other refused, casting a slur on Sullivan's courage, and it has turned out to his bitter cost.

Again he pronounces his opinion on a widely different subject, that of woman suffrage, to which he was unalterably opposed, thereby bringing down upon his head the following comment from The Woman's Journal:

A poem, written by Minnie Gilmore and addressed to women, has appeared in the Boston Pilot. It contains the following couplet:

"We need not the poll, nor the platform! Strong words may ring out from the pen,
And leave us still shrined on our hearthstones, the ideal women of men!"

Fifty years ago, women who wrote and published poetry were considered as "Amazonian," and as far removed from the "ideal women of men" as the most ardent advocate of suffrage is to-day. The ghost of Wendell Phillips and the living presence of Miss McCarthy and Mrs. Parnell ought to rise up and remonstrate with Mr. Boyle O'Reilly against the attitude of his paper on the woman question.