I must observe that this Fashion was first of all brought to us from France, a Country which has Infected all the Nations of Europe with its Levity. I speak not this in derogation of a whole People, having more than once found fault with those general Reflections which strike at Kingdoms or Commonwealths in the Gross: A piece of Cruelty, which an ingenious Writer of our own compares to that of Caligula, who wished the Roman People had all but one Neck, that he might behead them at a Blow. I shall therefore only Remark, that as Liveliness and Assurance are in a peculiar manner the Qualifications of the French Nation, the same Habits and Customs will not give the same Offence to that People, which they produce among those of our own Country. Modesty is our distinguishing Character, as Vivacity is theirs: And when this our National Virtue appears in that Female Beauty, for which our British Ladies are celebrated above all others in the Universe, it makes up the most amiable Object that the Eye of Man can possibly behold.
* * * * *
No. 436. Monday, July 21, 1712. Steele
’Verso pollice vulgi
Quemlibet occidunt Populariter.’
Being a Person of insatiable Curiosity, I could not forbear going on Wednesday last to a Place of no small Renown for the Gallantry of the lower Order of Britons, namely, to the Bear-Garden at Hockley in the Hole;  where (as a whitish brown Paper, put into my Hands in the Street, informed me) there was to be a Tryal of Skill to be exhibited between two Masters of the Noble Science of Defence, at two of the Clock precisely. I was not a little charm’d with the Solemnity of the Challenge, which ran thus:
“I James Miller, Serjeant, (lately come from the Frontiers of Portugal_) Master of the noble Science of Defence, hearing in most Places where I have been of the great Fame of_ Timothy Buck of London, Master of the said Science, do invite him to meet me, and exercise at the several Weapons following, viz.
Back-Sword, Single Falchon,
Sword and Dagger, Case of Falchons,
Sword and Buckler, Quarter Staff.”
If the generous Ardour in James Miller to dispute the Reputation of Timothy Buck, had something resembling the old Heroes of Romance, Timothy Buck return’d Answer in the same Paper with the like Spirit, adding a little Indignation at being challenged, and seeming to condescend to fight James Miller, not in regard to Miller himself, but in that, as the Fame went out, he had fought Parkes of Coventry.  The Acceptance of the Combat ran in these Words:
“I Timothy Buck of Clare-Market, Master of the Noble Science of Defence, hearing he did fight Mr. Parkes of Coventry, will not fail (God Willing) to meet this fair Inviter at the Time and Place appointed, desiring a clear Stage and no Favour.