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Title: Every Boy's Book: A Complete Encyclopædia of Sports and Amusements
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Every Boy's Book: A Complete Encyclopædia of Sports and Amusements" ***

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  With more than Six Hundred Illustrations




  _R. Clay, Son, and Taylor, Printers,
  Bread Street Hill, London._


The twelve years that have passed since the first edition of EVERY BOY’S
BOOK was published, have brought so many changes in our national sports
and pastimes, and have seen the introduction of so many new games, that
it has been thought desirable to remodel this work, in order to bring it
down to the requirements of the present time. In carrying out this plan
effectually, EVERY BOY’S BOOK has been almost entirely rewritten; and
scarcely anything now remains of the old work except the title.

All the articles that were in the former edition have been thoroughly
revised, and papers on Boxing, Canoeing, Croquet, Fives, Golf, Rackets,
Sliding, Billiards, Bagatelle, Dominoes, Spectrum Analysis, Canaries,
Hedgehogs, Jackdaws, Jays, Magpies, Owls, Parrots, Ravens, Boats,
Cryptography, Deaf and Dumb Alphabet, Dominoes, Mimicry and
Ventriloquism, Shows, Stamp Collecting, and Tinselling, appear now for
the first time.

In carrying out this work much valuable assistance has been given by
Professor Pepper, the Rev. J. G. Wood, W. B. Tegetmeier, Clement Scott,
Sidney Daryl, J. T. Burgess, Dr. Viner, Thomas Archer, W. Robinson of
the _Field_, Cholmondeley Pennell, and other well-known writers on

The articles at the end of this work on American Billiards, Base Ball,
and the Canadian sport of La Crosse, have been contributed by Henry
Chadwick, the leading authority on these games in America.



It would be impossible for a single author to produce a book of this
description with a fair prospect of success, because it necessarily
treats of many subjects; and a perfect acquaintance with some of the
more important would occupy a lifetime. The reading and researches of
one man would not be sufficiently extensive to embrace the rich variety
of the materials required. Being fully convinced of this fact, the
Publishers have endeavoured to obtain the aid of the most distinguished
writers in the various departments of knowledge which the following
pages are intended to illustrate. Thus each contributor, in furnishing
his quota of information for the work, has been engaged in a congenial
task, one best suited to his peculiar turn of mind, as well as to his
individual acquirements, and one upon which he could, therefore, with
the greatest ease and accuracy dilate. This brief explanation will show
in what spirit the Publishers embarked in the undertaking; and the
accompanying list of the writers may be received as a proof that they
have succeeded in securing the services of the most competent
authorities. With that portion of the book with which he was practically
acquainted each of the following gentlemen has dealt: W. Martin, Esq.,
C. Baker, Esq., R. B. Wormald, Esq., J. F. Wood, Esq., A. McLaren, Esq.,
Stonehenge, author of “Rural Sports,” and the Rev. J. G. Wood, author of
several works on Natural History, who also furnished some of the
designs. The remaining illustrations are by William Harvey and Harrison
Weir; and the credit for the able manner in which they have been
engraved is due to the brothers Dalziel.


  _February, 1856_.





  Hop, Step, and Jump                                1
  Hopping on the Bottle                              2
  Hop-Scotch                                         2
  French and English                                 3
  Drawing the Oven                                   4
  I Spy                                              4
  Pitch-Stone                                        3
  Duck-Stone                                         5
  Prisoner’s Base, or Prison Bars                    5
  Fox                                                7
  Baste the Bear                                     7
  Leap-Frog                                          8
  Fly the Garter                                     8
  Spanish Fly                                        9
  Touch                                             10
  Touch-Wood and Touch-Iron                         10
  Buck, Buck, how many Horns do I hold up?          10
  Warning                                           10
  Follow my Leader                                  11
  The Fugleman                                      11
  Hare and Hounds                                   11
  Steeple Chase                                     13
  Duck and Drake                                    13
  Simon Says                                        14
  King of the Castle                                14
  Battle for the Banner                             14
  Snow-Balls                                        15
  Snow Castle                                       16
  Snow Giant                                        17
  Jack! Jack! show a Light!                         18
  Jingling                                          19
  Jump little Nag-tail!                             19
  Jumping Rope                                      20
  My Grandmother’s Clock                            20
  Rushing Bases                                     21
  See-saw                                           21
  Thread the Needle                                 22
  Tom Tiddler’s Ground                              22
  Two to One                                        22
  Walk, Moon, Walk!                                 22
  Want a day’s work?                                23
  Will you List?                                    23
  Whoop!                                            24
  High Barbaree!                                    24
  Bull in the Ring                                  24
  Cock Fight                                        25
  Dropping the Handkerchief                         25


  Blind Man’s Buff                                  26
  Bob-Cherry                                        26
  Buff                                              27
  Concert                                           27
  Consequences                                      28
  Cross Questions & Crooked Answers                 28
  Dumb Motions                                      29
  Family Coach                                      29
  Frog in the Middle                                30
  The Four Elements                                 31
  Hand                                              31
  Hot Boiled Beans                                  32
  Hot Cockles                                       32
  How? Where? and When?                             32
  Hunt the Slipper                                  33
  Hunt the Ring                                     33
  Hunt the Whistle                                  33
  Magic Music                                       34
  Post                                              34
  Proverbs                                          35
  Puss in the Corner                                36
  Red-Cap and Black-Cap                             36
  Shadow Buff                                       37
  Slate Games                                       37
  Trades                                            40
  Trussed Fowls                                     40
  The Two Hats                                      40
  What is my Thought like?                          41



  BALLS                                             43
  Catch Ball                                        43
  Doutee-Stool                                      43
  Egg-Hat                                           44
  Feeder                                            44
  Monday, Tuesday                                   45
  Nine-Holes                                        46
  Northern Spell                                    46
  Rounders                                          46
  Sevens                                            48
  Stool-Ball                                        48
  Trap, Bat, and Ball                               48

  HOOPS                                             49
  The Hoop                                          50
  Encounters                                        50
  Hoop Race                                         51
  Posting                                           51
  Tournament                                        52
  Turnpike                                          52

  KITES                                             53
  How to make a Kite                                53
  Flying the Kite                                   54
  Messengers                                        55
  Calico Kites                                      55
  Fancy Kites                                       55

  MARBLES                                           57
  Bounce Eye                                        58
  Conqueror                                         58
  Die Shot                                          58
  Eggs in the Bush                                  59
  Increase Pound                                    59
  Knock out, or Lag out                             59
  Long Taw                                          60
  Nine-Holes, or Bridge Board                       60
  Odd or Even                                       61
  Picking the Plums                                 61
  The Pyramid                                       61
  Ring Taw                                          61
  Spans and Snops, and Bounce About                 62
  Teetotum Shot                                     62
  Three-Holes                                       62
  Tipshares, or Handers                             63

  TOPS                                              64
  The Humming-top                                   64
  Peg-top                                           65
  Spanish Peg-top                                   65
  The Whip-top                                      65
  Chip-stone                                        66
  Peg-in-the-Ring                                   66

  MISCELLANEOUS TOYS                                68
  The Apple Mill                                    68
  Aunt Sally                                        68
  Baton                                             69
  Cat                                               69
  Cat and Mouse                                     70
  Knock-’em-down                                    71
  Pea-shooters                                      71
  Quoits                                            71
  Nine-pins                                         72
  Skittles                                          72
  Dutch-pins                                        73
  Throwing the Hammer                               73
  The Boomerang                                     74
  The Skip-jack, or Jump-jack                       74
  The Sling                                         74
  Walking on Stilts                                 76
  The Sucker                                        76


  Battledore and Shuttlecock                        78
  Bandilor                                          79
  Cup and Ball                                      79
  The Cutwater                                      79
  Fox and Geese                                     80
  Goose                                             81
  Head, Body, and Legs                              81
  Knuckle-bones                                     82
  Merelles, or Nine Men’s Morris                    83
  Paper Dart                                        83
  The Popgun                                        84
  Push-pin                                          84
  Schimmel                                          84
  Spelicans                                         86



  ANGLING                                           89
  A Word about Fish                                 90
  About the Rod                                     91
  Choosing the Rod                                  91
  Lines or Bottoms                                  92
  Shotting the Line                                 93
  The Float                                         93
  Reels or Winches                                  94
  Reel Lines                                        94
  Hooks                                             94
  How to bait a Hook                                95
  Baits                                             95
  To Bait with Greaves                              97
  To Scour and Preserve Worms                       97
  The Plummet                                       97
  Plumbing the Depth                                97
  Landing-hook and Landing-net                      98
  Clearing Ring and Line                            98
  Drag-hook                                         98
  Bank Runner                                       98
  Live-bait Kettle                                  99
  Disgorger                                         99
  Angling Axioms                                    99
  Salmon                                           100
  Trout                                            100
  Jack or Pike                                     101
  Gudgeon                                          103
  Roach                                            104
  Dace                                             105
  Perch                                            106
  Grayling                                         107
  Chub                                             108
  Carp                                             109
  Tench                                            110
  Pope, or Ruff                                    110
  Bream                                            111
  Flounder                                         111
  Eels                                             112
  Stickleback and Minnow                           113
  Barbel                                           114
  Natural Fly-fishing, or Dipping                  115
  Fly-fishing and Artificial Flies                 115
  Materials for making Flies                       115

  ARCHERY                                          121
  The Long-bow                                     122
  The Cross-bow                                    122
  Feats of the Bow                                 123
  Length of Bows and Arrows, and how used in
  Ancient Times                                    124
  Marks for Shooting at                            124
  Equipment for Archery                            125
  Ancient Directions for Archery                   125
  Decline of Archery                               125
  Modern Archery                                   126
  The Bow                                          126
  The String                                       126
  Stringing the Bow                                127
  The Arrows                                       127
  The Quiver                                       128
  The Tassel, Brace, Belt, and Pouch               128
  Shooting Glove, and Grease Pot                   129
  The Target                                       129
  Butts                                            130
  How to draw the Bow                              130
  Flight Shooting                                  131
  Clout Shooting                                   131
  Roving                                           131
  General Hints for Archers                        132

  BOXING                                           133

  CANOES AND CANOEING                              140

  CRICKET                                          143
  The Bat                                          145
  The Ball                                         145
  The Stumps                                       145
  Pads or Guards                                   146
  Batting Gloves                                   147
  Wicket-keeping Gloves                            148
  The Laws of Cricket                              148
  The Laws of Single Wicket                        152
  The Batsman.--Hints to Young Players             153
  Fielding                                         159
  Bowling                                          162
  The Wicket-keeper                                165
  Long-stop                                        166
  Point                                            166
  Short-slip                                       166
  Cover-point                                      167
  Long-slip                                        167
  Long-on                                          167
  Long-off                                         167
  Leg                                              167
  Mid-wicket on and off                            167
  Third Man up                                     167
  Diagram I.--Fast Round-arm Bowling               168
  Diagram II.--Medium Pace Round-arm Bowling       169
  Diagram III.--Slow Under-hand Bowling            169

  CROQUET.--Materials of the Game                  170
  The Mallets                                      170
  The Balls                                        171
  The Hoops                                        171
  The Posts                                        172
  Clips                                            172
  Marking Board                                    173
  Tunnel                                           173
  The Cage                                         173
  A Croquet Stand                                  174
  How the Game is played                           174
  Diagram, No. I.                                  177
     „      „  II.                                 178
     „      „  III.                                179
     „      „  IV.                                 180
  Rules                                            181
  Striking                                         181
  Order of Playing                                 181
  The Croquet                                      182
  The Posts                                        185
  The Rover                                        185
  Hints to Young Players                           186

  DRIVING                                          192
  Introduction                                     192
  The Horse in Harness                             193
  The Horse                                        194
  The Harness                                      194
  The Carriage                                     195
  Putting to                                       196
  Directions for Driving                           196

  FENCING                                          198
  The Guard                                        199
  Advance                                          200
  Retreat                                          201
  The Longe                                        201
  The Recover                                      201
  The Engage                                       202
  Parades                                          202
  Quarte                                           203
  Tierce                                           203
  Seconde                                          205
  Demi-Cercle                                      205
  Octave                                           206
  Contre-Parades                                   206
  Attacks                                          207
  The Straight Thrust                              207
  The Disengagement                                207
  The One-Two                                      208
  The Beat and Thrust                              208
  The Beat and Disengagement                       208
  Cut over the Point                               208
  Cut over the Disengagement                       208
  Double                                           209
  All Feints                                       209
  The Assault                                      209
  General Advice                                   210
  Broadswords                                      210
  Positions                                        211
  Target                                           212
  Cuts and Guards                                  213
  Cuts                                             213
  Points                                           214
  Guards                                           215
  Parry                                            215
  Hanging Guard                                    216
  Inside Guard                                     216
  Outside Guard                                    217
  Attack and Defence                               217
  Draw Swords                                      218
  Recover Swords                                   219
  Carry Swords                                     219
  Slope Swords                                     219
  Return Swords                                    219
  Practices                                        220
  Second Practice                                  220
  Third Practice                                   220
  Fourth Practice                                  221
  Fifth Practice                                   221
  Fort and Feeble                                  222
  Drawing Cut                                      222
  General Advice                                   222

  FIVES                                            223

  FOOT-BALL                                        224

  GOLFING                                          226

  GYMNASTICS                                       228
  Introduction                                     228
  Historical Memoranda                             229
  Modern Gymnastics                                230
  Walking                                          230
  The Tip-toe March                                231
  Running                                          232
  Jumping                                          232
  Leaping                                          233
  To climb up a Board                              234
  Climbing the Pole                                234
     „      „  Rope                                235
     „     Trees                                   235
  The Giant Stride, or Flying Steps, and its
  capabilities                                     235
  Parallel Bars                                    241
  The Horizontal Bar                               243
  The Horse                                        246
  The Swing                                        249
  Throwing the Javelin                             253
  The Trapeze, Single and Double                   254
  Tricks and Feats of Gymnastics                   262

  HOCKEY                                           265

  RACKETS                                          268

  RIDING                                           270
  The Horse                                        271
  The Marks of Age in the Horse                    271
  The Paces of the Horse                           272
  Terms used by Horsemen                           274
  Form of the Horse                                274
  Varieties of the Horse suitable for Boys         274
  The Accoutrements and Aids                       275
  Mounting                                         277
  Dismounting                                      278
  The Management of the Reins                      278
  The Seat                                         279
  The Control of the Horse                         280
  Management of the Walk                           280
  The Trot and Canter                              281
  The Management of the Gallop                     282
  Leaping                                          282
  Treatment of Vices                               284

  ROWING                                           288
  Historical Memoranda                             288
  Construction of Ancient Ships and Galleys        289
  Roman Galleys, Ships, &c.                        290
  Of Boats                                         291
  The Component Parts of Boats                     292
  The Oars and Sculls                              293
  Sea Rowing                                       293
  River Rowing                                     293
  Management of the Oar                            294
  The Essential Points in Rowing                   295
  Management of the Boat                           295
  Rowing together                                  296
  Caution to Young Rowers                          296

  SAILING                                          297
  Characters of a Yacht                            301
  Various kinds of Yachts                          302
  Description of the Cutter Yacht                  303
  Construction of the Hull                         303
  Something about the Masts, Spars, Ropes, &c.     306
  Sailing a Yacht                                  308
  Bringing up                                      310
  Making Snug                                      310
  Going back                                       310
  Jibing                                           310
  Bringing up at Moorings                          310
  Of the Mariners’ Compass, and various Nautical
  Terms                                            311
  Cautions and Directions                          312
  Nautical Terms                                   312

  SKATING                                          316
  The Skate                                        317
  Putting on the Skates                            318
  How to start upon the Inside Edge                319
  Movement on the Outside Edge                     319
  Forward Roll                                     320
  The Dutch Roll                                   320
  The Figure of Eight                              321
  The Figure of Three                              321
  The Back Roll                                    321
  General Directions to be followed by Persons
  learning to Skate                                322

  SLIDING                                          323

  SWIMMING                                         325
  Places and Times for Bathing and Swimming        327
  Entering the Water                               328
  Aids to Swimming                                 328
  Striking off and Swimming                        329
  How to manage the Legs                           330
  Plunging and Diving                              330
  Swimming under Water                             331
  Swimming on the Side                             332
  Swimming on the Back without employing the Feet  332
  Floating                                         333
  Treading Water                                   333
  The Fling                                        333
  Swimming on the Back                             334
  Thrusting                                        334
  The Double Thrust                                335
  To Swim like a Dog                               335
  The Mill                                         335
  The Wheel backwards and forwards                 335
  To Swim with one Hand                            336
  Hand over Hand Swimming                          336
  Balancing                                        336
  The Cramp                                        337
  Saving from Danger                               337
  Sports and Feats in Swimming                     338
  Bernardi’s system of Upright Swimming            338
  The Prussian System of Pfuel                     339

  TRAINING                                         342



  ACOUSTICS                                        347
  Difference between Sound and Noise               347
  Sounds, how propagated                           347
  To show how Sound travels through a Solid        347
  To show that Sound depends on Vibration          347
  Musical Figures resulting from Sound             347
  To make an Æolian Harp                           348
  The Invisible Girl                               348
  Ventriloquism                                    349

  AERONAUTICS                                      350
  Balloons                                         350
  How to make an Air-balloon                       351
  How to Fill a Balloon                            352
  To make Fire-Balloons                            352
  Parachutes                                       352

  CHEMISTRY                                        353
  Gases                                            357
  Oxygen Gas                                       358
  Experiments                                      359
  Nitrogen                                         360
  Experiments                                      361
  Atmospheric Air                                  362
  Hydrogen                                         364
  Experiments                                      364
  Water                                            365
  Experiment                                       366
  Chlorine                                         367
  Experiments                                      368
  Muriatic Acid Gas, or Hydric Chloride            369
  Experiments                                      370
  Iodine                                           371
  Experiments                                      371
  Bromine                                          371
  Experiments                                      371
  Fluorine                                         372
  Experiment                                       372
  Carbon                                           372
  Experiments                                      373
  Carbon and Hydrogen                              374
  Experiment                                       375
  Coal Gas                                         376
  Experiment                                       376
  Phosphorus                                       377
  Experiments                                      377
  Sulphur                                          378
  Metals                                           379
  Potassium                                        381
  Experiments                            381, 382, 383
  Crystallization of Metals                        383
  Experiment                                       383
  To form a Solid from two Liquids                 384
  To form a Liquid from two Solids                 384
  Experiments                                      384
  Changes of Colour produced by Colourless Liquids 385

  ELECTRICITY                                      386
  Simple Means of producing Electricity            386
  Attraction and Repulsion exhibited               387
  How to make an Electrical Machine                388
  The Conductor                                    389
  The Plate Electrical Machine                     389
  How to draw Sparks from the tip of the Nose      389
  How to charge a Leyden Jar                       390
  The Electrical Battery                           390
  Dancing Balls and Dolls                          391
  The Electrical Kiss                              391
  Ringing Bells                                    391
  Working Power of Electricity                     392
  The Electrified Wig                              392
  Imitation Thunder Clouds                         393
  The Lightning Stroke imitated                    393
  The Sportsman                                    394

  Origin of Galvanism                              395
  Simple Experiment to excite Galvanic Action      396
  With Metal Plates in Water                       396
  To make a Magnet by the Voltaic Current          397
  Effects of Galvanism on a Magnet                 397
  Change of Colour by Galvanism                    397
  The Galvanic Shock                               398
  The Electrotype                                  398
  How to make an Electrotype Apparatus             398
  To obtain the Copy of a Coin or Medal            399

  HEAT                                             399
  Heat or Caloric                                  399
  Expansion                                        402

  HYDRAULICS                                       404
  The Syphon                                       405
  The Pump                                         405
  The Hydraulic Dancer                             406
  The Water Snail or Archimedean Screw             407

  MAGNETISM                                        408
  Relation of Magnetism to Electricity             408
  To make Artificial Magnets                       409
  How to Magnetise a Poker                         409
  To show Magnetic Repulsion and Attraction        409
  North and South Poles of the Magnet              410
  Polarity of the Magnet                           410
  The Magnetic Fish                                410
         „     Swan                                411
  To suspend a Needle in the Air by Magnetism      411
  To make Artificial Magnets without the aid either
  of Natural Loadstones or Artificial Magnets      411
  Horse-shoe Magnets                               412
  Experiment to show that soft Iron possesses
  Magnetic Properties while it remains in the
  vicinity of a Magnet                             412
  Electro-Magnetism                                413
  Power of the Electro-Magnet                      413
  The Mariner’s Compass, and Experiments with a
  Pocket Compass                                   413
  Variation of the Needle                          414
  Dip of the Needle                                414
  Useful Amusement with the Pocket Compass         414
  Interesting Particulars concerning the Magnet    415

  MECHANICS                                        417
  Experiment of the Law of Motion                  417
  Balancing                                        418
  The Prancing Horse                               418
  To construct a Figure, which being placed upon a
  curved surface and inclined in any position,
  shall, when left to itself, return to its former
  position                                         418
  To make a Carriage run in an inverted position
  without falling                                  418
  To cause a Cylinder to roll by its own weight
  up-hill                                          418
  The Balanced Stick                               419
  The Chinese Mandarin                             419
  To make a Shilling turn on its edge on the point
  of a Needle                                      419
  The Dancing Pea                                  420
  Obliquity of Motion                              420
  The Bridge of Knives                             421
  The Toper’s Tripod                               421

  THE MICROSCOPE                                   422
  The Compound Microscope                          432

  OPTICS AND OPTICAL AMUSEMENTS                    455
  Light as an Effect                               455
  Refraction                                       456
  The Invisible Coin made Visible                  456
  The Multiplying Glass                            457
  Transparent Bodies                               457
  The Prism                                        457
  Composition of Light                             457
  A Natural Camera Obscura                         458
  Bullock’s-eye Experiment                         458
  The Camera Obscura                               458
  The Camera Lucida                                459
  The Magic Lantern                                460
  Painting the Slides                              460
  To exhibit the Magic Lantern                     461
  Effects of the Magic Lantern                     461
  Tempest at Sea                                   461
  The Phantasmagoria                               462
  Dissolving Views                                 462
  How to raise a Ghost                             462
  The Thaumatrope                                  463
  The Bird in the Cage                             463
  Construction of the Phantasmacope                464
  Curious Optical Illusions                   464, 465
  The Picture in the Air                           465
  Breathing Light and Darkness                     466
  To show that Rays of Light do not obstruct each
  other                                            466
  Optics of a Soap-bubble                          467
  The Kaleidoscope                                 467
  Simple Solar Microscope                          468
  Anamorphoses                                     468
  The Cosmorama                                    470
  Distorted Landscapes                             470

  PHOTOGRAPHY                                      472
  How to make the Negative on Glass, using
  Collodion bromoiodized for Iron development      472

  PNEUMATICS                                       477
  Weight of the Air Proved by a pair of Bellows    477
  The Pressure of the Air shown by a Wine-glass    478
  Another Experiment                               478
  Elasticity of the Air                            478
  Reason for this                                  479
  The Air-Pump                                     479
  To prove that Air has Weight                     479
  To prove Air elastic                             480
  Sovereign and Feather                            480
  Air in the Egg                                   480
  The Descending Smoke                             480
  The Soundless Bell                               481
  The Floating Fish                                481
  The Diving Bell                                  482
  Experiments                            482, 484, 485
  With Ice or Snow                                 485
  Without Snow or Ice                              485

  SPECTRUM ANALYSIS                                486
  How to use the Spectroscope                      488
  To obtain the Bright Lines in the Spectrum given
  by any Substance                                 488
  Professor Stokes’ Absorption Bands               489
  To Map out any Spectrum                          489



  BEES AND BEE-KEEPING                             493

  THE CANARY                                       497

  DOGS                                             506

  GOLD AND SILVER FISH                             516
  Glasses                                          517
  Feeding                                          517
  Diseases                                         517

  THE GUINEA PIG                                   518

  THE HEDGEHOG                                     520

  THE JACKDAW                                      521

  THE JAY                                          523

  THE MAGPIE                                       524

  OWLS                                             526

  THE PARROT                                       532

  PIGEONS                                          541
  Varieties of Pigeons                             545
  Blue Rock Dove                                   545
  The Antwerp, or Smerle                           546
  The Pouter                                       547
  The Carrier                                      548
  The Dragon                                       549
  The Tumbler                                      549
  The Barb                                         550
  The Owl                                          551
  The Turbit                                       551
  The Fantail                                      551
  The Trumpeter                                    552
  The Jacobin                                      553

  POULTRY                                          554
  Fowls                                            554
  Fattening                                        555
  Laying                                           555
  Hatching                                         555
  Rearing of Chickens                              556
  The Pintado, or Guinea Fowl                      557
  Ducks                                            558

  THE RABBIT                                       560

  THE RAVEN                                        570

  SILKWORMS                                        574
  Food of the Silkworm                             576
  Hatching, Feeding, and Temperature               576
  Moultings                                        577
  The Cocoon                                       577
  The Aurelia                                      578
  Winding the Silk                                 578
  The Moth                                         578
  General Remarks                                  579

  THE SQUIRREL                                     580

  WHITE MICE                                       587



  BAGATELLE                                        591
  English Bagatelle                                591
  The French Game                                  591
  Sans Egal                                        591
  The Cannon Game                                  592
  Mississippi                                      592

  BILLIARDS                                        593
  The Angles of the Table                          597
  The American Game                                602
  Pyramids, or Pyramid Pool                        602
  Winning and Losing Carambole Game                602
  Pool                                             603
  Italian Skittle Pool                             604

  BOAT-BUILDING                                    605
  Cutter                                           606
  Smack                                            607
  Schooner                                         607
  Lugger                                           608

  CARPENTERING                                     609
  The Shop and Bench                               609
  Of Planes                                        610
  Saws                                             611
  The Spoke Shave                                  613
  Stock and Bits                                   613
  How to make a Wheelbarrow                        613
  The Way to make a Box                            615
  To cut the Dovetails                             615
  The Bottom of the Box                            616

  THE GAME OF CHESS                                617
  The Laws of the Game                             618
  The King’s Knight’s opening                      620
  Game I.--Philidor’s Defence                      621
    „  II.--Petroff’s    „                         622
  Variation A. on White’s 5th Move                 622
  Game III.--The Giuoco Piano                      622
  Variation A. on White’s 6th Move                 622
  Game IV.--The Evans’ Gambit                      623
  Variation A. on White’s 9th Move                 623
      „     B.   „    „       „                    624
      „     A. on Black’s 10th Move                624
  The Gambit declined                              625
  Game V.--Ruy Lopez Knight’s Game                 626
  Variation B. on Black’s 3rd Move                 627
      „     C.  „    „        „                    627
  Game VI.--The Scotch Gambit                      627
  Variation A. on Black’s 4th Move                 628
  The King’s Bishop’s Opening                      630
  Game I.--The Lopez Gambit                        630
  Variation A. on White’s 4th Move                 631
  Game II.--The Double Gambit                      631
  Game III.                                        631
  Variation A. on Black’s 4th Move                 632
  The King’s Gambit                                632
  Game I.                                          632
  The Salvio Gambit                                633
  Variation A. on Black’s 4th Move                 633
  Game II.--The Muzio Gambit                       633
  Game I.--The Allgaier Gambit                     635
  Game II.                                         635
  Game I.--The Bishop’s Gambit                     636
  Game II.                                         636
  The Gambit refused                               638
  Game I.                                          638
  Game II.                                         639
  The Centre Gambit                                639
  Game I.                                          639
  Variation A. on Black’s 3rd Move                 640
  Game II.                                         640
  The Queen’s Gambit                               641
  Game I.                                          641
  Variation A. on Black’s 3rd Move                 641
  Game II.                                         642

  THE YOUNG CONJURER                               643
  Sleight of Hand                                  645
  The Flying Shilling                              645
  Another Method                                   646
  The Beads and Strings                            646
  To get a Ring out of a Handkerchief              647
  To tie a Knot in a Handkerchief which cannot be
  drawn tight                                      647
  The Three Cups                                   648
  To tie a Handkerchief round your Leg, and get it
  off without untying the Knot                     648
  The Magic Bond                                   649
  The Old Man and his Chair                        649
  To tie a Knot on the Left Wrist without letting
  the Right Hand approach it                       651
  The Handcuffs                                    651
  To pull a String through your Button-hole        652
  The Cut String restored                          652
  The Gordian Knot                                 653
  The Knot loosened                                653
  To put Nuts into your Ear                        654
  To crack Walnuts in your Elbow                   654
  To take Feathers out of an empty Handkerchief    654
  Tricks requiring Special Apparatus               654
  The Die Trick                                    655
  The Penetrative Pence                            656
  The Doll Trick                                   657
  The Flying Coins                                 657
  The Vanished Groat                               658
  The Restored Document                            658
  The Magic Rings                                  658
  The Fish and Ink Trick                           659
  The Cannon Balls                                 659
  The Shilling in the Ball of Cotton               660
  The Egg and Bag Trick                            660
  The Dancing Egg                                  661
  Bell and Shot                                    661
  The Burned Handkerchief restored                 662
  The Fire-Eater                                   662
  Tricks with Cards                                663
  To make the Pass                                 663
  To tell a Card by its Back                       664
  The Card named without being Seen                664
  The Card told by the Opera Glass                 664
  The Four Kings                                   666
  Audacity                                         666
  The Card found at the Second Guess               666
  The Card found under the Hat                     667
  To call the Cards out of the Pack                667
  Heads and Tails                                  667
  The Surprise                                     668
  The Revolution                                   668
  The Slipped Card                                 668
  The Nailed Card                                  668
  To ascertain the Number of Points on three Unseen
  Cards                                            669
  To tell the Numbers on two Unseen Cards          669
  The Pairs repaired                               669
  The Queen digging for Diamonds                   670
  The Triple Deal                                  670
  The Quadruple Deal                               671
  Tricks with Cards that require Apparatus         671
  The Cards in the Vase                            671
  The Metamorphosis                                672
  To change a Card in a Person’s Hand              673

  CRYPTOGRAPHY                                     674

  THE DEAF AND DUMB ALPHABET                       682
  The Alphabet                                     682
  The Numbers                                      685

  DOMINOES                                         685
  The ordinary Boy’s Game                          686
  All Fives                                        687
  The Matadore Game                                687
  All Threes                                       687
  Tidley-Wink                                      688
  The Fortress                                     688
  Whist Dominoes                                   688

  DRAUGHTS                                         689
  How to play the Game                             690
  The Moves                                        690
  Laws of the Game                                 690
  Games for Practice                               691
  Game I.                                          691
  Game II.                                         692

  FIREWORKS                                        693
  Gunpowder                                        693
  How to make Touch-paper                          694
  Cases for Squibs, Flower-pots, Rockets, Roman
  Candles, &c.                                     694
  To choke the Cases                               694
  Composition for Squibs, &c.                      694
  How to fill the Cases                            695
  To make Crackers                                 695
  Roman Candles and Stars                          695
  Rockets                                          696
  Rains                                            696
  Catherine Wheels                                 696
  Various Coloured Fires                           696
  Crimson Fire                                     696
  Blue     „                                       697
  Green    „                                       697
  Purple   „                                       697
  White    „                                       697
  Spur     „                                       697
  Blue Lights                                      697
  Port or Wild Fires                               697
  Slow Fire for Wheels                             697
  Dead Fire for Wheels                             697
  Cautions                                         697
  To make an Illuminated Spiral Wheel              698
  The Grand Volute                                 698
  A brilliant Yew-tree                             699

  GARDENING                                        700
  On Laying out a Small Garden                     702
  Planting the Ground with Trees, Flowers, &c.     703
  The Noblest Kind of Gardening for Boys           703
  The Boy’s Flower Garden                          710
   „    „   Fruit Garden                           717
  Cropping the Ground                              719
  Digging                                          719
  Hoeing                                           720
  Raking                                           720
  Weeding                                          720
  Sowing Seeds                                     721
  Transplanting                                    721
  Watering                                         722
  Various Modes of Propagation                     723
  Layers                                           723
  Pipings                                          723
  Grafting                                         724
  Tongue-Grafting                                  724
  Budding                                          725
  Inarching                                        725
  Grafting Clay                                    726
  Pruning                                          726
  Training                                         726
  Insects and Depredators                          727
  Protection from Frost                            727
  The Young Gardener’s Calendar for the Work to be
  done in all the Months of the Year               728
    January                                        728
    February                                       729
    March                                          729
    April                                          729
    May                                            730
    June                                           730
    July                                           731
    August                                         731
    September                                      731
    October                                        732
    November                                       732
    December                                       732

  MIMICRY AND VENTRILOQUISM                        733

  PUZZLES                                          736
  The Divided Garden                               736
  The Vertical Line Puzzle                         736
  The Cardboard Puzzle                             736
  The Button Puzzle                                736
  The Circle Puzzle                                737
  The Cross Puzzle                                 737
  Three-Square Puzzle                              737
  Cylinder Puzzle                                  737
  The Nuns                                         738
  The Dog Puzzle                                   738
  Cutting out a Cross                              738
  Another Cross Puzzle                             738
  The Fountain Puzzle                              738
  The Cabinet-maker’s Puzzle                       739
  The String and Balls Puzzle                      739
  The Double-headed Puzzle                         739
  The Row of Halfpence                             740
  Typographical Advice                             740
  The Landlord made to Pay                         740
  Father and Son                                   740
  ANSWERS TO PUZZLES                               741
    The Divided Garden                             741
    Vertical Line Puzzle                           741
    Cut Card Puzzle                                741
    Button Puzzle                                  741
    Circle Puzzle                                  741
    The Cross Puzzle                               742
    Three-Square Puzzle                            742
    Cylinder Puzzle                                742
    The Nuns’ Puzzle                               742
    The Dog’s Puzzle                               742
    Cutting out a Cross Puzzle                     743
    Another Cross Puzzle                           743
    The Fountain Puzzle                            743
    The Cabinet-maker’s Puzzle                     743
    String and Balls Puzzle                        744
    Double-Headed Puzzle                           744
    The Row of Halfpence                           744
    Typographical Puzzle                           745
    The Landlord made to Pay                       745
    Father and Son                                 745

  SHOWS                                            746
  Punch and Judy                                   746
  Fantoccini                                       749
  The Sailor                                       751
  The Juggler                                      751
  The Headless Man                                 751
  The Milkwoman                                    751


  TINSELLING                                       768

  THE AMERICAN GAME OF BASE-BALL                   769

  American Billiards                               797

  La Crosse                                        812






Make a mark on the ground at a place called the “starting point.” At ten
yards’ distance from this make another, called the “spring.” Then let
the players arrange themselves at the starting point, and in succession
run to the second mark called the spring. From the spring make first a
_hop_ on one leg, from this make a long _step_, and from the step a long
_jump_. Those who go over the greatest space of ground are of course the


Various games are in vogue among boys, in which hopping on one foot is
the principal object. Among these is one which not only assists in
strengthening the limbs, but also teaches the performers the useful art
of balancing themselves upon a movable substance. A wooden bottle, a
round wooden log, or something of that description, is laid upon the
ground, a mark is made at a certain distance, and the players have to
hop from the mark upon the bottle, and retain their possession while
they count a number agreed upon. In the olden times of Greece, this was
considered an exercise of sufficient importance to give it a place at
the public games. The performer in this case had to hop upon inflated
leather bags, carefully greased, and of course, by their inevitable
upsettings and floundering, caused great amusement to the spectators.
The sports took place on the Dionysia, or festivals of Bacchus, when the
vintage was gathered in, and the victor was appropriately rewarded with
a cask of wine. The rustics in many parts of England introduce a
modification of this game in their rural festivals. Two men place
themselves opposite to each other, the right knee of each being
supported on a wooden cylinder, while the remaining foot is totally
unsupported. When they are fairly balanced, they grasp each other by the
shoulders, and endeavour to cast their opponent to the ground, while
themselves retain their position upon their fickle support.


This is a game played by hopping on one foot and kicking an oyster-shell
or piece of tile from one compartment to the other, without halting the
lifted foot, except in one case, to the ground, and without suffering
the shell or tile to rest on any of the lines. A diagram is first drawn
similar to the subjoined. It consists of twelve compartments, each being
numbered, and at its further end the pleasant and inviting picture of a
plum pudding with knife and fork therein stuck. In commencing the game,
the players take their stand at the place marked by a star, and “quoit”
for innings. The object is, that of doing what every boy is supposed to
like above all things to do, _i. e._ “pitch into the pudding,” and he
who can do this, and go nearest to the plum in the centre, plays first.


_Method of Playing._--The winner begins by throwing his shell into No.
1; he then hops into the space, and kicks the tile out to the star *; he
next throws the tile into No. 2, kicks it from No. 2 to No. 1, and
thence out. He then throws it into No. 3, kicks it from 3 to 2, from 2
to 1, and out. He next throws it into No. 4, kicks it from 4 to 3, from
3 to 2, from 2 to 1, and out; and so he proceeds till he has passed the
cross and comes to No. 7, when he is permitted to rest himself, by
standing with one foot in No. 6 and the other in No. 7; but he must
resume hopping before he kicks the tile home. He then passes through the
beds 8, 9, 10 and 11, as he did those of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, &c., and so on,
till he gets to plum pudding, when he may rest, and placing his tile on
the plum, he is required, while standing on one foot, to kick it with
such force as to send it through all the other beds to * at one kick. If
one player throws his tile into the wrong compartment, or when he is
kicking it out, he loses his innings, as he does also if the tile or his
foot at any time rests on a line, or if he kicks his tile out of the


This is an old Greek game, and, like very many simple boys’ games, has
retained its popularity to the present day. Its Greek name was rather a
jaw-cracking one, but may be literally translated by “Pully-haully.” It
consists of two parties of boys, who are chosen on different sides by
lots. One party takes hold of one end of a strong rope, and the other
party of the other end. A mark being made midway between the parties,
each strives to pull the other over it, and those who are so pulled
over, lose the game.

In this game, two leaders should be appointed, who must calculate the
powers of their own side, and concert plans accordingly. The leader of
either side should have a code of signals, in order to communicate with
his own friends, that he may direct them when to stop, when to slacken,
or when to pull hard. So important is the leader’s office, that a side
with a good leader will always vanquish a much superior force which has
no commander to guide it. For example, when all the boys are pulling
furiously at the rope, the leader of one side sees that his opponents
are leaning back too much, depending on their weight more than on their
strength. He immediately gives the signal to slacken, when down go half
the enemy on their backs, and are run away with merrily by the
successful party, who drag them over the mark with the greatest ease. Or
if the enemy begins to be wearied with hard pulling, an unanimous tug
will often bring them upright, while they are off their guard, and once
moved, the victory is easily gained. We have seen, assisted, and led
this game hundreds of times, and never failed to find it productive of
very great amusement. No knots are to be permitted on the rope, nor is
the game to be considered as won, unless the entire side has been
dragged over the line.


This is a game not very dissimilar to the preceding, but not so much to
be recommended, as the clothes are very apt to be torn, and if the
players engage too roughly, the wrists are not unfrequently injured. The
method of playing the game is as follows:--Several boys seat themselves
in a row, clasping each other round the waist, thus fantastically
representing a batch of loaves. Two other players then approach,
representing the baker’s men, who have to detach the players from each
other’s hold. To attain this object, they grasp the wrists of the second
boy, and endeavour to pull him away from the boy in front of him. If
they succeed, they pass to the third, and so on until they have drawn
the entire batch. As sometimes an obstinate loaf sticks so tight to its
companion, that it is not torn away without bringing with it a handful
of jacket or other part of the clothing, the game ought not to be played
by any but little boys.


This is a capital game for the summer months. The players divide
themselves into two parties, one party remaining at a spot called
“Bounds,” and concealing their faces, while the other party goes out and
hides. After waiting for a few minutes, the home party shouts, “Coming,
coming, coming.” After a short pause they repeat the cry, and after
another short interval they again shout, “Coming.” If any out-player is
not concealed, he may cry, “No,” and a few minutes more are allowed. At
the last shout, the home players, leaving one to guard bounds, sally
forth in search of their hidden companions. Directly one of the seekers
sees one of the hiders, he shouts, “I Spy,” and runs home as fast as he
can, pursued by the one he has found, who tries to touch him before he
can reach bounds. If he succeeds, the one so touched is considered
taken, and stands aside. If the hiding party can touch three, or more,
if especially agreed upon, they get their hide over again. The object of
the hiders is to intercept the seekers, and prevent them from reaching
bounds without being touched. The worst player is left at the bounds, in
order to warn his companions, which he does by the word “Home,” as any
hider may touch any seeker.


This game is played by two boys, each of whom takes a smooth round
pebble. One player then throws his pebble about twenty feet before him,
and the next tries to strike it with his stone, each time of striking
counting as one. If the two pebbles are near enough for the player to
place one upon the other with his hand, he is at perfect liberty to do
so. It is easy enough to play at this game when the pebbles are at some
distance apart; but when they lie near each other, it is very difficult
to take a good aim, and yet send one’s own pebble beyond the reach of
the adversary’s aim. Two four-pound cannon balls are the best objects to
pitch, as they roll evenly, and do not split, as pebbles always do when
they get a hard knock.


This game may be played by any number of players. A large stone is
selected, and placed on a particular spot, and the players first “Pink
for Duck,” that is, they each throw their stones up to the mark, and the
one who is farthest from it becomes “Duck.” The Duck places his stone on
the other, while the rest of the players return to the bounds, and in
succession pitch their stones at his with the endeavour to knock it off.
If this is accomplished, Duck must immediately replace it, and the
throwers must pick up their stones and run to the bounds. As soon as
Duck has replaced his stone, he runs after any of the other players, and
if he can succeed in catching or merely touching any one of them, the
player so touched becomes Duck.



This is a most delightful game, and is a very great favourite among boys
of all classes. It is commenced by choosing Captains, which is either
done by lot or by the “sweet voices” of the youths. If by lot, a number
of straws of different lengths are put in a bunch, and those who draw
from one end, the other being hidden, the two longest straws, are the
two “Captains;” each of which has the privilege of choosing his men: the
drawer of the longest of the two straws has the first choice. When this
has been arranged each Captain selects, alternately, a boy till the
whole are drawn out.

This method is, however, often attended with considerable inconvenience,
as it is not impossible that the lots may fall on the two worst players.
It is very much better to let the boys choose the two Captains, as the
two best players will then assuredly be elected, and most of the success
of the game depends on the Captains.

The leaders being thus chosen, the next point is to mark out the homes
and prisons. First, two semicircles are drawn, large enough to hold the
two parties, the distance between the semicircles being about twenty
paces. These are the “homes,” or “bounds.” Twenty paces in front of
these, two other semicircles, of a rather larger size, are marked out.
These are the prisons; the prison of each party being in a line with the
enemy’s home. These preliminaries being settled, the sides draw lots;
the side drawing the longest straw having to commence the game. The
Captain of side A orders out one of his own side, usually a poor player,
who is bound to run at least beyond the prisons before he returns.
Directly he has started, the Captain of side B sends out one of his men
to pursue, and, if possible, to touch him before he can regain his own
home. If this is accomplished, the successful runner is permitted to
return home scathless, while the vanquished party must go to the prison
belonging to his side; from which he cannot stir, until some one from
his own side releases him, by touching him in spite of the enemy. This
is not an easy task; as, in order to reach the prison, the player must
cross the enemy’s home. It is allowable for the prisoner to stretch his
hand as far towards his rescuer as possible, but he must keep some part
of his body within the bounds; and if several prisoners are taken, it is
sufficient for one to remain within the prison, while the rest, by
joining hands, make a chain towards the boy who is trying to release
them. When this is accomplished, both the prisoner and his rescuer
return home, no one being able to touch them until they have reached
their home and again started off. But the game is not only restricted to
the two originally sent out. Directly Captain A sees his man pressed by
his opponent, he sends out a third, who is in his turn pursued by
another from side B; each being able to touch any who have preceded, but
none who have left their home after him. The game soon becomes spirited;
prisoners are made and released, the two Captains watching the game, and
rarely exposing themselves, except in cases of emergency, but directing
the whole proceedings. The game is considered won, when one party has
succeeded in imprisoning the whole of the other side. Much depends upon
the Captains, who sometimes, by a bold dash, rescue the most important
of their prisoners, and thereby turn the fate of the battle; or, when
the attention of the opposite side is occupied by some hardly-contested
struggle, send some insignificant player to the rescue; who walks
quietly up to the prison, and unsuspectedly lets out the prisoners one
by one. No player is permitted to touch more than one person until he
has returned to his home; when he can sally out again armed with fresh
strength, like Antæus of old, who could not be conquered at wrestling,
because whenever he touched the ground his strength was renewed by his
mother Earth.


This game was extensively played at the school where our boyhood was
passed; but we never saw it elsewhere. It used to afford us such
amusement in the long summer evenings, that it deserves a place in this
collection of sports. One player is termed Fox, and is furnished with a
den, where none of the players may molest him. The other players arm
themselves with twisted or knotted handkerchiefs, (one end to be tied in
knots of almost incredible hardness,) and range themselves round the den
waiting for the appearance of the Fox. He being also armed with a
knotted handkerchief, hops out of his den. When he is fairly out, the
other players attack him with their handkerchiefs, while he endeavours
to strike one of them without putting down his other foot. If he does so
he has to run back as fast as he can, without the power of striking the
other players, who baste him the whole way. If, however, he succeeds in
striking one without losing his balance, the one so struck becomes Fox;
and, as he has both feet down, is accordingly basted to his den. The den
is useful as a resting-place for the Fox, who is often sorely wearied by
futile attempts to catch his foes.



This is a funny game. The players generally draw lots for the first
Bear, who selects his own Keeper. The Bear kneels on the ground, and his
Keeper holds him with a rope about four feet long, within a circle of
about five feet in diameter. The other players tie knots in their
handkerchiefs, and begin to strike or baste the Bear, by running close
to, or into the ring. Should the Keeper touch any of the boys while they
are at this sport without dragging the Bear out of the ring, or should
the Bear catch hold of any player’s leg, so as to hold him fast, the
player so touched or caught becomes Bear. The second Bear may select his
Keeper as before, and the play continues.



This is an excellent game of agility, and very simple. It consists of
any number of players; but from six to eight is the most convenient
number. Having by agreement or lots determined who shall give the first
“back,” one player so selected places himself in position, with his head
inclined and his shoulders elevated, and his hands resting on his knees,
at ten yards’ distance from the other players; one of whom immediately
runs and leaps over him,--having made his leap, he sets a back at the
same distance forward from the boy over whom he has just leaped. The
third boy leaps over the first and second boy, and sets a “back” beyond
the second; and the fourth boy leaps over the first, second, and third,
and sets a “back” beyond the third, and so on till the players are out.
The game may continue for any length of time, and generally lasts till
the players are tired; but the proper rule should be, that all who do
not go clean over should be out. Those who “make backs” should stand
perfectly stiff and firm; and those who “make leaps” should not rest in
their flight heavily upon the shoulders of their playmates, so as to
throw them down, which is not fair play.


Chalk or make a line, or, as it is usually termed, “a garter,” on the
ground; on this line one of the players must place himself and bend down
as in leap-frog, while the other players in rotation leap over him, the
last one as he flies over calling out “Foot it.” If he should fail in
giving this notice, he is out, and must take the other boy’s place at
the garter. The boy, immediately the word is given, rises, and places
his right heel close to the middle of the left foot; he next moves the
left forwards and places that heel close up to the toes of his right
foot, and bends down as before. This movement is called a “step,” and is
repeated three times. The other players should fly from the garter each
time a step is made, and the last player must invariably call out “Foot
it” as he leaps over. After making the three “steps,” the player giving
the back takes a short run, and, _from_ the spot where he made his last
step to, jumps as far forwards as he possibly can, and bends down again;
the others jump from the garter and then fly over. Should any of the
players be unable to jump easily over the one giving the back, but
rather slide down upon, or ride on him, the player so failing must take
the other’s place at the garter, and the game be begun again; if, also,
through the impetus acquired in taking the jump from the garter, a
player should happen to place his hands on the back of the player
bending down, and then withdraw them in order to take the spring over,
he is out, and must take his turn at the garter. It is usual, in some
places, for the boy giving the back to take a hop, step, and a jump
after he has footed it three times, the other players doing the same,
and then flying over.


This game is capable of being varied to any extent by an ingenious boy,
but it is generally played in the following way:--One boy, selected by
chance, sets a back, as in “fly the garter,” and another is chosen
leader. The game is commenced by the leader leaping over the one who
gives the back, and the other players follow in succession; the leader
then leaps back, and the others follow; then they all go over in a cross
direction, and return, making, in all, four different ways. The leader
then takes his cap in both hands, and leaves it on the boy’s back while
he is “overing,” and his followers perform the same trick; in returning,
the last man takes the lead, and removes his cap without disturbing the
others, and each boy does the same: this trick is repeated in a cross
direction. The next trick is throwing up the cap just before overing,
and catching it before it falls; the next, reversing the cap on the
head, and so balancing it while overing, without ever touching it with
the hands; both tricks must be performed while leaping the four
different ways. The leader, with his cap still balanced, now overs, and
allows his cap to drop on the opposite side; the others do likewise, but
they must be careful not to let their caps touch the others, nor to let
their feet touch any of the caps in alighting; the leader now stoops
down, picks up his cap with his teeth, and throws it over his head and
the boy’s back; he then leaps after his cap, but avoids touching it with
his feet. The other players follow him as before. The next trick is
“knuckling,”--that is to say, overing with the hands clenched; the next,
“slapping,” which is performed by placing one hand on the boy’s back,
and hitting him with the other, while overing; the last, “spurring,” or
touching him up with the heel. All these tricks must be performed in the
four different directions, and any boy failing to do them properly goes
down, and the game begins afresh.


This is a brisk game, and may be played by any number of boys. One of
the players being chosen as Touch, it is his business to run about in
all directions after the other players, till he can touch one, who
immediately becomes Touch in his turn. Sometimes when the game is played
it is held as a law that Touch shall have no power over those boys who
can touch iron and wood. The players then, when out of breath, rush to
the nearest iron or wood they can find, to render themselves secure.
Cross-touch is sometimes played, in which, whenever another player runs
between Touch and the pursued, Touch must immediately leave the one he
is after to follow him. But this rather confuses, and spoils the game.


These games are founded on the above. When the boys pursued by Touch can
touch either wood or iron they are safe, the rule being that he must
touch them as they run from one piece of wood or iron to another.


This is a very good game for three boys. The first is called the Buck,
the second the Frog, and the third the Umpire. The boy who plays the
Buck gives a back with his head down, and rests his hands on some wall
or paling in front of him. The Frog now leaps on his back, and the
Umpire stands by his side: the Frog now holds up one, two, three, five,
or any number of fingers, and cries, “Buck! Buck! how many horns do I
hold up?” The Buck then endeavours to guess the right number; if he
succeeds, the Frog then becomes Buck, and in turn jumps on his back. The
Umpire determines whether Buck has guessed the numbers rightly or not.
In some places it is the custom to blindfold the Buck, in order to
prevent him seeing. This plan, however, is scarcely necessary.


This is an excellent game for cold weather. It may be played by any
number of boys. In playing it “loose bounds” are made near a wall or
fence, about four feet wide and twelve long. One of the boys is
selected, who is called the Cock, who takes his place within the bounds;
the other players are called the Chickens, who distribute themselves in
various parts of the playground. The Cock now clasps his hands together,
and cries, “Warning once, warning twice, a bushel of wheat, and a bushel
of rye, when the Cock crows out jump I.” He then, keeping his hands
still clasped before him, runs after the other players; when he touches
one, he and the player so touched immediately make for the bounds; the
other players immediately try to capture them before they get there; if
they succeed, they are privileged to get upon their backs and ride them
home. The Cock and his Chick now come out of the bounds hand-in-hand,
and try to touch some other of the players; the moment they do this they
break hands, and they and the player now touched run to the bounds as
before, while the other players try to overtake them, so as to secure
the ride. The three now come from the bounds in the same manner, capture
or touch a boy, and return. If, while trying to touch the other boys,
the players when sallying from the grounds break hands before they touch
any one, they may immediately be ridden, if they can be caught before
they reach the bounds. Sometimes when three players have been touched
the Cock is allowed to join the out party, but this is of no advantage
in playing the game.


This may be played by any number of boys: one being selected as the
Leader, and the others are the Followers. The Followers arrange
themselves in a line behind the Leader, who immediately begins to
progress, and the others are bound to follow him. The fun of this sport
is in the Leader carrying his Followers into “uncouth places,” over
various “obstacles,” such as hedges, stiles, gate-posts, &c., through
“extraordinary difficulties,” as ditches and quagmires,--every player
being expected to perform his feats of agility; and those who fail are
obliged to go last, and bear the emphatic name of the “Ass.” The game
lasts till the Leader gives up, or the boys are all tired out.


This is a game something like the above. It consists of the Fugleman and
his Squad. The Fugleman places himself in a central spot, and arranges
his Squad before him in a line. He then commences with various odd
gestures, which all the Squad are bound to imitate. He moves his head,
arms, legs, hands, feet, in various directions, sometimes sneezes,
coughs, weeps, laughs, and bellows, all of which the Squad are to
imitate. Sometimes this is a most amusing scene, and provokes great
laughter. Those who are observed to laugh, however, are immediately
ordered to stand out of the line, and when half the number of players
are so put out, the others are allowed to ride them three times round
the playground, while the Fugleman with a knotted handkerchief
accelerates their motions.



This is perhaps the very best game that can be introduced into a school.
The principle of it is very simple, that one boy represents the Hare and
runs away, while the others represent the Hounds and pursue him. The
proper management of the game, however, requires some skill. When we
were at school in the north, this game was extensively played; and in
more recent times, when we ourselves were masters instead of scholars,
we reduced the game to a complete system. The first thing to be done is
to choose a Hare, or if the chase is to be a long one, two Hares are
required. The Hare should not be the best runner, but should be daring,
and at the same time prudent, or he may trespass into forbidden lands,
and thereby cause great mischief. A Huntsman and Whipper-in are then
chosen. The Huntsman should be the best player, and the Whipper-in
second best. Things having advanced so far, the whole party sally forth.
The Hare is furnished with a large bag of white paper torn into small
squares, which he scatters on the ground as he goes. An arrangement is
made that the Hare shall not cross his path, nor return home until a
certain time; in either of which cases he is considered caught. The
Hounds also are bound to follow the track or “scent” implicitly, and not
to make short cuts if they see the Hare. The Hare then starts, and has
about seven minutes’ grace, at the expiration of which time the Huntsman
blows a horn with which he is furnished, and sets off, the Hounds
keeping nearly in Indian file, the Whipper-in bringing up the rear. The
Huntsman is also furnished with a white flag, the Whipper-in with a red
one, the staves being pointed and shod with metal. Off they go merrily
enough, until at last the Huntsman loses the scent. He immediately
shouts “Lost!” on which the Whipper-in sticks his flag in the ground
where the scent was last seen, and the entire line walks or runs round
it in a circle, within which they are tolerably sure to find the track.
The Huntsman in the meanwhile has stuck his flag in the ground, and
examines the country to see in what direction the Hare is likely to have
gone. When the track is found, the player who discovers it shouts Tally
ho! the Huntsman takes up his flag, and ascertains whether it is really
the track or not. If so, he blows his horn again, the Hounds form in
line between the two flags, and off they go again. It is incredible how
useful the two flags are. Many a Hare has been lost because the Hounds
forgot where the last track was seen, and wasted time in searching for
it again. Moreover, they seem to encourage the players wonderfully. We
used often to make our chases fourteen or fifteen miles in length; but
before such an undertaking is commenced, it is necessary to prepare by a
series of shorter chases, which should however be given in an opposite
direction to the course fixed upon for the grand chase, as otherwise the
tracks are apt to get mixed, and the Hounds are thrown out. The Hare
should always carefully survey his intended course a day or two
previously, and then he will avoid getting himself into quagmires, or
imprisoned in the bend of a river. A pocket compass is a most useful
auxiliary, and prevents all chance of losing the way, a misfortune which
is not at all unlikely to happen upon the Wiltshire downs or among the
Derbyshire hills.


This is a trial of speed and agility, and may be played by any number of
boys. It consists in the boys agreeing upon some distant object for a
mark, such as a conspicuous tree, or house, or steeple. The players then
start off in whatever direction they please, each one being at liberty
to choose his own course. In a long run of a mile or so it very often
happens that hedges, ditches, and other obstructions, have to be got
over, which adds great interest to the play, and the best climbers and
jumpers are the most likely to come in victors. He who comes in first to
the appointed object is called the King, the second the Duke, the third
the Marquis, the fourth the Viscount, the fifth the Earl, the sixth the
Knight. The last receives the dignified appellation of the Snail, and
the last but one the Tortoise.

At Oxford there were in our undergraduate days two clubs for the purpose
of Steeple-chasing, one named the Kangaroo Club, and the other the
Charitable Grinders, whose performances over hedges and ditches were
really astonishing. There was also a club which kept a set of beagles,
and used to hunt a red herring with intense perseverance.


This is a very simple sport, but necessarily restricted to those spots
where there is a river, or a pond of some magnitude. It consists in
throwing oyster-shells, flat stones, or broken tiles along the water, so
as to make them hop as often as possible. One hop is called Dick, the
second Duck, and the third Drake. The sea-shore is a capital place for
this sport, as, if the player can only succeed in making the stone touch
the top of a wave, it is tolerably certain to make a succession of hops
from wave to wave. If a rifle-bullet is shot along the water, it will go
a great distance, making very long hops, and splashing up the water at
every bound. In war, this method of firing at an enemy that lies low is
extensively made use of, and is called “ricochet practice.” It is also
much used in naval warfare.


This, if well managed, is a very comical game. The players are arranged
as in Fugleman, the player who enacts Simon standing in front. He and
all the other players clench their fists, keeping the thumb pointed
upwards. No player is to obey his commands unless prefaced with the
words, “Simon says.” Simon is himself subjected to the same rules. The
game commences by Simon commanding,--“Simon says, _turn down_:” on which
he turns his thumbs downwards, followed by the other players. He then
says, “Simon says, _turn up_,” and brings his hands back again. When he
has done so several times, and thinks that the players are off their
guard, he merely gives the word, “Turn up,” or “Turn down,” without
moving his hands. Some one, if not all, is sure to obey the command, and
is subject to a forfeit. Simon is also subject to a forfeit, if he tells
his companions to turn down while the thumbs are already down, or _vice
versâ_. With a sharp player enacting Simon, the game is very spirited.


This is a very good game, and to play it properly there must be in the
centre of the playground a small hill or hillock. One player, selected
by choice or lot, ascends this hill, and is called the King; and the
object of the other players is to pull or push him from his elevation,
while he uses his endeavours to keep his “pride of place.” Fair pulls
and fair pushes are only allowed at this game; the players must not take
hold of any part of the clothes of the King, and must confine their
grasps to the hand, the leg, or the arm. If a player violates these
rules, he is to sit down upon the ground, and is called “Dummy.” The
player who succeeds in dethroning the King, takes his place, and is
subjected to the like attacks.


This game is to be played from a mound, the same as the above, and it
may consist of any number of players. Each party selects a Captain, and
having done this, divide themselves into Attackers and Defenders. The
defending party provide themselves with a small flag, which is fixed on
a staff on the top of the mound, and then arrange themselves on its side
and at its base, so as to defend it from the attacks of their opponents,
who advance towards the hillock, and endeavour to throw down those that
oppose them. Those that are so thrown on either side, are called “dead
men,” and must lie quiet till the game is finished, which is concluded
either when all the attacking party are dead, or the banner is carried
off by one of them. The player who carries off the banner is called the
Knight, and is chosen Captain for the next game.



Every boy has played at snow-balls, from the time that his little
fingers were first able to grasp and mould a handful of snow. Elderly
gentlemen know to their cost how apt the youthful friend is to hurl very
hard snow-balls, which appear to pick out the tenderest parts of his
person, generally contriving to lodge just at the juncture of the chin
and the comforter, or coming with a deafening squash in the very centre
of his ear. Even the dread policeman does not always escape; and when he
turns round, indignant at the temporary loss of his shiny hat, he cannot
recognise his assailant in the boy who is calmly whistling the last new
nigger-song, as he saunters along, with both his hands in his pockets.
The prudent schoolmaster will also not venture too near the playground,
unless he has provided himself with an umbrella. It is rather a
remarkable fact, that whenever a Grammar-school and a National-school
are within a reasonable distance of each other, they are always at
deadly feud. So it was at the school where our youthful days were
passed. One winter’s morning, just after school had opened, the door was
flung violently open, and a party of National-school boys hurled a
volley of snow-balls at the head-master. He, after the door had been
secured, remarked in a particularly mild voice,--“Now, boys, if _I_ had
been at school, and _my_ schoolmaster had been assaulted by
National-school boys, _I_ should have gone out and given them a
thrashing. Remember, I do not at all advise you to do so, but merely
mention the course that I should have adopted under such circumstances.
We will resume lessons at three.” So saying, he took off his gown, put
on his hat and gloves, and walked out to see the fun. Now, the prospect
of a morning’s holiday would have made us attack a force of twenty times
our number, but as they only out-numbered us threefold, we commenced a
pursuit without hesitation. After a sharp engagement, we drove them back
to their own schoolroom. The cause of their yielding was, that they
threw at random among us, whereas each of our balls was aimed at the
face of an opponent, and we very seldom missed. When they had reached
their school, they closed and barred their door; at which we made such a
battering, that their master, a large negro, rushed out upon us, vowing
vengeance, and flourishing a great cane. He was allowed to proceed a few
yards from the door, when one snow-ball took off his hat, and two more
lodged in his face. He immediately went to the right-about, and made for
the school, which he reached under an avalanche of snow. We pursued, but
he had succeeded in fastening the door, and we could not open it for
some time. When we did, the school was deserted; not a boy was to be
seen. There was no back entrance to account for their disappearance, and
we were completely puzzled. At last, when we had quieted down a little,
a murmuring was heard apparently below our feet, and on examination we
found that the entire school had taken shelter in the coal-cellar. We
made a dash at the door (a trap-door), and in spite of the showers of
coal that came from below, fastened and padlocked the door, carefully
throwing the key among a clump of fir-trees, where it was not likely to
be found. Having achieved this victory, we had a snow-ball match among
ourselves, and then returned to school. About five o’clock, in rushed
the black schoolmaster, who had only just been liberated by the
blacksmith, and who came to complain of our conduct. So far, however,
from obtaining any satisfaction, he was forced to apologise for the
conduct of his boys.


The object of this game is, that a castle of snow is built, which is
attacked by one party and defended by the other. The method of building
the castle is as follows:--A square place is cleared in the snow, the
size of the projected castle. As many boys as possible then go to some
distance from the cleared square, and commence making snow-balls,
rolling them towards the castle. By the time that they have reached it,
each ball is large enough to form a foundation-stone. By continuing this
plan, the walls are built about five feet six inches high, a raised step
running round the interior, on which, the defenders stand while hurling
the balls against their opponents. In the centre are deposited
innumerable snow-balls, ready made; and a small boy is usually pressed
into the service, to make snow-balls as fast as they are wanted. If the
weather is very cold, some water splashed over the castle hardens and
strengthens it considerably. The architect of the castle must not forget
to leave space for a door.



This is made in the same way as the snow castle, that is, by rolling
large snow-balls to the place where the giant is to be erected, and then
piled up and carved into form. He is not considered completed until two
coals are inserted for eyes, and until he is further decorated with a
pipe and an old hat. When he is quite finished, the juvenile sculptors
retire to a distance, and with snow-balls endeavour to knock down their
giant, with as much zest as they exhibited in building him. If a snow
giant is well made, he will last until the leaves are out, the sun
having but little power on so large a mass of hard snow. There is a
legend extant respecting the preservation of snow through the warmer
parts of the year. A certain Scotch laird had for a tenant a certain
farmer. The laird had been requested by influential personages to
transfer the farm to another man directly the lease was run out. The
farmer’s wife, hearing of this from some gossip of hers, went to her
landlord, and besought him to grant a renewal of the lease. When she
called, he was at dinner with a numerous party of friends, and replied
in a mocking tone, that the lease should be renewed when she brought him
a snow-ball in July. She immediately called upon the guests to bear
witness to the offer, and went home. In due time the winter came, and
with it the snow. One day, her husband, an excellent labourer, but not
over bright, asked her why she was wasting so much meal. At that time,
she had taken a large vessel of meal to a valley, and was pouring it
into the space between two great stones. Upon the meal she placed a
large quantity of snow, which she stamped down until it was hard. Upon
this she poured more meal, and placed upon the meal a layer of straw.
The whole affair was then thickly covered over with straw and reeds. To
her husband, who thought she had fairly lost her senses, she deigned no
reply, except that the meal would repay itself. So affairs went on until
July, when the good dame, hearing that her landlord had invited a large
party to dine with him, many of whom had been at the party when the
promise was made, proceeded to the store of snow, which she found about
half diminished. The remainder she kneaded hard, and put it in a
wheelbarrow, well covered with straw, which she rolled up to the laird’s
own house. When once there, she took out her snow-ball, and presenting
it to her landlord, before all his guests, demanded the renewal of her
lease. It may be satisfactory to know, that the laird, struck with her
ingenuity and perseverance, at once granted her request.



This game can only be played in the dusk of evening, when all the
surrounding objects are lost in the deepening gloom. The players divide
into two parties, and toss up for innings, which being gained, the
winners start off to hide themselves, or get so far away that the others
cannot see them; the losers remaining at the home. One of the hiding
party is provided with a flint and steel, which, as soon as they are all
ready, he strikes together; the sparks emitted guide the seekers as to
what direction they must proceed in, and they must endeavour to capture
the others ere they reach home; if they cannot touch more than two of
the boys, the hiders resume their innings, and the game continues as
before. It is most usual, however, for the boys at the home to call out,
“Jack, Jack! show a light!” before the possessor of the flint and steel
does so. When one party is captured, the flint and steel must be given
up to the captors, that they may carry on the game as before.


The jingling match is a common diversion at country wakes and fairs, and
is often played by schoolboys. The match should be played on a soft
grass-plot within a large circle, enclosed with ropes. The players
rarely exceed nine or ten. All of these, except one of the most active,
who is the “jingler,” have their eyes blindfolded with handkerchiefs.
The jingler holds a small bell in his hand, which he is obliged to keep
ringing incessantly so long as the play continues, which is commonly
about twenty minutes. The business of the jingler is to elude the
pursuit of his blindfolded companions, who follow him by the sound of
the bell in all directions, and sometimes oblige him to exert his utmost
abilities to effect his escape, which must be done within the boundaries
of the rope, for the laws of the sport forbid him to pass beyond it. If
he be caught in the time allotted for the continuance of the game, the
person who caught him wins the match; if, on the contrary, they are not
able to take him, he is proclaimed the winner.



In this game, six or eight players on each side is the best number. The
two leaders should toss up for choice of partners, and after selecting
them, toss again for innings. The loser must then place himself quite
upright, with his face to a wall, against which he rests his hands; and
one of his partners should next stoop down, and put his head against his
leader’s skirts, as shown in the annexed illustration; another partner
also bends, and places his head against the skirts of the second player,
and the rest of the partners must take their places in the same manner,
one behind the other: when thus arranged, they are called “nags.” One of
the winning party next takes a run, and placing his hands on the back of
the last player or “nag,” endeavours to spring on to the back of the
first, or at least to clear as many “nags” as he possibly can, in order
to allow room for those following him to leap on the backs of the other
“nags,” which they should do in succession, until they are all fairly
astride. If any of the “nags” sink under the weight, or in trying to
support themselves touch the ground either with their hands or knees, or
if the riders can keep their seats without touching the ground, whilst
their leader counts twenty, or repeats the words, “Jump little nag-tail
one, two, three!” three times, concluding with “off, off, off!” the
riders resume their innings, and begin again; on the contrary, should
there not be sufficient space for all to leap on, or they are unable to
keep their seats on the backs of the “nags,” they lose their innings,
and become “nags” in their turn. The “nags” must, while in the line,
hold either by the trousers of the player before them, or else lean
their hands on their knees, or cross their arms on their breasts. Each
rider must call out “Warning” before he leaps on the back of one of the


Two players swing round a long rope, and when the revolutions become
tolerably regular, one, two, or even more boys step forwards, and
allowing it to swing over their heads, jump up as it descends, so as to
let it pass under their feet as in the case of the common skipping-rope.
The leapers must step forwards the moment the rope is at its highest, in
order to be ready to skip over as it swings close to the ground; and
they should be careful to keep the same time with the motions of the
boys holding the rope, so as not to be struck by it in its circuit.
Another game may be played with a long skipping-rope, by the player at
one end holding the rope in his outside hand, making a step or two
towards the other player, and with his help swinging it round, and then
skipping over it.


In this amusing sport the players join hands, and extend their arms to
their full extent. One of the outside players remains stationary, and
the others run round him as fast as they can, which proceeding is called
“winding the clock.” In this manner the straight line becomes a confused
spiral, and all the players get huddled together in a most laughable
manner. The winding of the clock usually leads to such disorder that it
is next to impossible to unwind it without breaking the line of boys.


Two bases having been made, one at each end of the playground, all the
players take up their position in one of them, except one, who is
generally elected by counting out; this player, who is called “the
King,” stations himself midway between the bases, and endeavours to
catch the others as they rush through his territory from base to base.
Should the king succeed in catching one of the trespassers, he raps him
on the head, saying, “I crown thee king!” and the one so crowned joins
the first king between the bases, and helps to catch the other players.
When the out-players considerably outnumber those remaining in the
bases, they may enter the bases, and, if they are strong enough, pull
the others out and crown them. In this lively game the rule is, that a
player must run to the opposite base if he puts both feet outside his
own. In some parts of England this game is known by the name of “King



For this amusement a stout plank should be laid across a felled tree or
a low wall; it must be very nicely balanced if the players are of the
same weight; but if one is heavier than the other, the end on which he
intends to sit should be the shortest. Two players then take their seats
on the plank, one at each end, whilst a third stations himself on the
middle of it, as represented in the illustration; the name of this
player is in some places Jack o’ both Sides, and in others Pudding. As
the players by turns make slight springs from their toes, they are each
alternately elevated and depressed, and it is the duty of Pudding to
assist these movements by bearing all his weight on the foot, on the
highest end of the plank, beyond the centre of the tree or wall on which
it rests. This will be best understood by referring to the illustration:
thus, A is the trunk of a tree; across it a plank is laid, on which two
players, B, C, take their seats; D is “Pudding;” it will be seen that
his left foot is beyond the centre of the trunk A, on the highest end of
the board, and consequently his weight being added to that of B will
depress that end of the plank, and the end on which C sits must, of
course, rise; Pudding then bears on his right foot, and C in turn
descends; and thus the game continues during pleasure, Pudding bearing
alternately on each side.


This game can be played by any number of boys, who must all join hands;
the game is begun by the outside players at each end of the line holding
the following dialogue: “How many miles to Babylon?” “Threescore and
ten.” “Can I get there by candle-light?” “Yes, and back again.” “Then
open the gates without more ado, and let the king and his men pass
through.” The player and the one next to him at the end of the line
opposite the last speaker then elevate their joined hands as high as
they can, to allow the speaker to run under, and the whole line follows
him, still holding hands. This should be done, if possible, without
breaking the line by letting the hands go, and is styled “threading the
needle.” When all the boys have passed through, the same conversation
begins again, excepting that the respondent in his turn becomes the
inquirer, and runs between the opposite players, the others following as


This is a very favourite game with little boys, and may be considered as
a modification of rushing bases. A large base is formed by drawing a
line across the playground, and one boy, called “Tom Tiddler,” takes his
station within it, while the others run in crying out, “Here am I on Tom
Tiddler’s ground, picking up gold and silver.” If Tom Tiddler can touch
any boy while he is on his ground, the boy so touched takes his place as
the guardian of the imaginary gold and silver.


Two to one is a very capital exercise with a common skipping-rope. It is
done by skipping in the usual way for a short time, and then increasing
the rapidity of your movements, and leaping tolerably high, endeavouring
to swing the rope round so quickly that you can pass it twice under your
feet while you are taking the leap; practise this till you are quite
proficient, and then try to pass the rope three times under your foot
instead of twice.


This may be played by any number of boys, who all tie large knots in one
corner of their pocket-handkerchiefs, and then toss up to see who shall
be “Moon;” the loser is the one to whom the part falls, and he must be
blindfolded. “Moon” now stands with his legs stretched apart, while his
playmates go behind him in succession, and jerk their handkerchiefs
between his legs, as far as they can and in whatsoever direction they
please. When all the boys have done this, one of them cries “Walk, Moon,
walk!” which is a signal for the blindfolded player to walk forwards
until he treads upon one of the handkerchiefs, when in an instant the
other players pick up their knotted handkerchiefs, with which they
belabour the unlucky owner of the one trodden upon by Moon, as he runs
to a distant base and back; after which he becomes Moon, and the game
continues as before.


This is a capital game when well played, and the antics and grimaces of
boys who are mimics cause great merriment. It also gives a boy a good
notion of how mechanical labour is done, as no boy will ask for work
unless he understands something of the nature of the business he
solicits to be employed upon. The game begins thus, and it matters not
how many boys are engaged in it:--A line is drawn; within that line is
the shop, and when a bad workman is discharged he is pushed across the
line. The employer, or master, should be a very sharp lad. A boy comes
up, and the master asks him if he wants a day’s work; the boy says he
does. He is then asked what trade he is; if he says a tailor, a coat is
supposed to be given to him to make; if a shoemaker, a pair of shoes; if
a tinker, a saucepan to bottom; if a stonemason, a stone to cut or saw,
and every boy must imitate the actions of the tailor, shoemaker, &c.,
while at work, whatever the trades may be. Then the master looks over
the work, finds fault, gets in a rage, discharges the workman, and, if
he can, turns him out of the shop. But if in the struggle the boy turns
the employer out, he then becomes master, and the other is set to work.
So that, after a few good-natured trials of strength, each boy in turn
generally becomes master.


This is a very old game, and in some places is called “playing at
soldiers;” the whole ceremony of enlisting is gone through, taking the
shilling and swearing to serve the Queen, &c. But there ought to be two
parties of boys, of not less than a dozen, with a commanding officer on
each side. After learning their exercise, such as shouldering arms and
marching, war breaks out; then one party is English and the other the
enemy. Their weapons ought to be bulrushes, or stout reeds, such as are
used in building, or something that will not do any injury when the
charge commences. The side that breaks or takes away the most weapons is
the conqueror, and much skill may be displayed in capturing the arms of
others, and retaining your own. If boys can get some old soldier to
drill them a few times, this may be made as good a game as they can play
at. We have too few military amusements in our English games.


One player takes his station at a spot called the “home,” while the
others go to seek out various hiding-places in which to ensconce
themselves; when all are ready, one of them calls out “Whoop!” on which
the player at the “home” instantly goes in search of the hiders, and
endeavours to touch one of them as they run back to “home;” if he can do
so, the one caught takes his place at the “home,” while he joins the out



In this game sides are chosen, and one party remains “at home,” while
the other hides. When the hiders are all ready, one of them calls out
“High Barbaree!” upon which the seekers sally forth to look for them, as
in “Whoop!” If the seekers can succeed in touching a certain number of
the hiders before they can get to “home,” they take their turn at
hiding. The number to be caught must be agreed upon beforehand, and of
course depends upon the number of players. It is usual to mention this
number in the cry--thus, “High barbaree! _three_ caught he!”--“_four_
caught he!” and so forth. As a general rule, the number to be caught
should exceed half the number of the hiders.


This active, merry, noisy game can be played by any number of boys, and
commences by their joining hands and forming a ring, having enclosed
some boy in the middle, who is the Bull. It is the Bull’s part to make a
rush, break through the ring, and escape, and the part of the boys who
form the ring to hold their hands so fast together that he cannot break
their hold. Before making a rush the Bull must cry “boo” to give
warning, so that the boys may grasp their hands more tightly. The whole
ring generally replies to the Bull’s challenge by crying “boo” all
together, and a pretty noise they make. When the Bull breaks through the
ring he is pursued until captured, and the boy who seizes him first is
“Bull” when they return. A good “Bull” will lead them a pretty dance,
clearing hedges and ditches; and if he gets back and touches some mark
agreed upon, near to where he broke through the ring, he is “Bull”


This humorous sport must not be confounded with the cruel battles
between game-cocks once so popular in England. Two boys represent the
feathered combatants; each hops upon one leg, with his arms folded, and
bumps against the other, endeavouring to compel him to put both feet to
the ground. The boy who keeps up longest wins the game.


A tolerably large ring should be formed by several boys standing in a
circle and joining hands; another boy, who stands out, when all are
ready walks round outside the ring, drops a handkerchief behind one of
the players, and immediately runs off; he is instantly followed by the
one behind whom he dropped the handkerchief, and who must track him in
all his windings in and out under the arms of the boys in the ring, who
elevate them for the purpose, and indeed wherever he runs to; should the
pursuer be able to touch the pursued, the former takes the handkerchief
in his turn, and the latter joins hands in the circle. If the boy who
dropped the handkerchief is enabled to elude his follower by passing
through and about the ring, he walks again round and drops the
handkerchief behind some other player.




[Illustration: “SEEING’S BELIEVING.”]

Consists in one person having a handkerchief bound over his eyes, so as
to completely blind him, and thus blindfolded trying to chase the other
players, either by the sound of their footsteps, or their subdued
merriment, as they scramble away in all directions, endeavouring to
avoid being caught by him; when he can manage to catch one, the player
caught must in turn be blinded, and the game be begun again. In some
places it is customary for one of the players to inquire of Buff (before
the game begins), “How many horses has your father got?” to which
inquiry he responds, “Three.” “What colours are they?” “Black, white,
and grey.” The questioner then desires Buff to “turn round three times,
and catch whom you may,” which request he complies with, and then tries
to capture one of the players. It is often played by merely turning the
blindfold hero round and round without questioning him, and then
beginning. The handkerchief must be tied on fairly, so as to allow no
little holes for Buffy to see through. Blind Man’s Buff is a very
ancient pastime, having been known to the Grecian youths. In England it
formerly went By the name of Hoodman Blind, because it was customary to
blind Buff with his hood.


Attach a cherry to a piece of string, and then fasten it to a door,
sufficiently high to compel the player to jump a little in order to
catch the cherry in his mouth. The cherry is then set swinging; and the
players, ranging themselves in line, jump at the cherry, one after the
other. This game is productive of much amusement, and may be kept up for
a long time.


In this game one of the players enters the room, armed with a poker,
with which he taps on the floor. “Where do you come from?” inquires one
of the company. “Alas! from poor Buff, who is full of grief.” “And what
did he say to you?” “He spoke thus,” is the reply--

    “Buff said ‘Baff,’
    And gave me this staff,
    And bade me not laugh
    Till I came to his house again.”

Having thus spoken, the messenger leaves the room. While he has been
delivering his speech, the company, however, endeavour to make him
laugh, by asking him any absurd questions that may present themselves to
their imagination. If they do not succeed in this, the emissary of the
great Buff delivers himself of a more lengthy address:--

    “Buff says ‘Baff’ to all his men,
    And I say ‘Baff’ to you again;
    But he neither laughs nor smiles
    In spite of all your cunning wiles,
    But keeps his face with a very good grace,
    And carries his staff to the very next place.”


A noisier game than this could scarcely be desired by the most
boisterous of our young friends. The players having selected a
“conductor,” seat themselves round him in a circle. The conductor now
assigns to each a musical instrument, and shows how it is to be played.
When all are provided with their imaginary instruments, the conductor
orders them to tune, and by so doing, he gives each musician a capital
opportunity for making all sorts of discordant noises. When the
different instruments have been tuned, the conductor waves an unseen
_bâton_, and commences humming a lively air, in which he is accompanied
by the whole of his band, each player endeavouring to imitate with his
hands the different movements made in performing on a real instrument.
Every now and then the conductor pretends to play on a certain
instrument, and the player to whom it belongs must instantly alter his
movements for those of the conductor, and continue to wield the _bâton_
until the chief player abandons his instrument. Should a player omit to
take the conductor’s office at the proper time, he must pay a forfeit.
The fun of this game greatly depends upon the humour of the conductor,
and the adroitness with which he relinquishes his _bâton_ and takes up
the instruments of the other players.


The first player writes an _adjective_ on the upper part of a slip of
paper, and then folds the slip so that the written word cannot be seen
by the next player, who writes the _name of a gentleman_, real or
imaginary, on the paper, which he passes to another after having folded
it over again. The third player writes an _adjective_; the fourth, _a
lady’s name_; the fifth, the _name of a place_; the sixth, _what the
gentleman said to the lady_; the seventh, the _lady’s reply_; the
eighth, the _consequences_; and the ninth, _what the world said about
the whole affair_. One of the players now unfolds the slip and reads
what has been written by the different persons engaged in the game,
adding a few words to unite the disjointed members of the little
narrative. As a specimen of the ludicrous result which arises from each
player’s ignorance of what has been written by his companions, we give
the following pathetic tale, in which the words and phrases printed in
italics represent those written on the slip of paper:--“The
_ill-favoured Peter Wilkins_ met the _adorable Jenny Jones_ in _the
silver mine of Potosi_. He said to her, ‘_Will you love me then as
now?_’ and she replied, ‘_When did I refuse you anything?_’ The
consequences were, _he drowned himself in the water-butt and she married
the baker_, and the world said, ‘_Served them right!_’” When there are
only three or four players, the slip of paper is to be passed round from
one to another until it is filled up. When the players are numerous,
three or four slips may be commenced simultaneously by different


This game will be best described by a short dialogue.

_Harry._--I am going to put a question in a whisper to Tom, who is
seated on my right hand, to which he will reply in the same tone. _He_
will then put a question to _his_ next neighbour, and receive his
answer. When the tour of the circle is made, I shall commence by stating
aloud the question put to me by my left-hand neighbour, answering it by
the reply received in answer to my own from Tom. He will then do the
same, giving my question and his next neighbour’s reply.--(Whispers to
Tom.) Of what use are the bellows?

_Tom._--To blow up the fire.--(To Charles) Of what use is a fire-engine?

_Charles._--To put out a fire.--(To John) Of what use is a plough?

_John._--To plough up the ground.--(To James) Of what use is a cap?

_James._--To cover the head.--(To Edward) Of what use is a shoe?

_Edward._--To protect your foot.--(To William) Of what use is a black

_William._--To fasten your collar with.--(To Harry) Of what use is a

_Harry._--To tell the weather.--(Aloud) William has just asked me the
use of a barometer? Tom replies, “To blow up the fire!”

_Tom._--Harry has asked me the use of the bellows; and Charles replies,
“To put out the fire!”

_Charles._--Tom wishes to know the use of the fire-engine, and John
tells him, “To plough up the ground,” &c.

Any mistake is punished by a forfeit.


The players form sides, and decide who shall be _masters_ and who _men_.
The principal aim of the _men_ is to keep working as long as possible,
and to prevent the _masters_ taking their places. The men consult
secretly among themselves, and decide upon some trade or profession, the
practice of which may be certain movements of the arms, hands, or legs.
They now range themselves opposite the masters, and the foreman tells
them the first and last letters of the trade they are about to exercise;
as for example, C--r for carpenter, D--t for druggist, B--h for
blacksmith, and so on. The men now set to work and express in dumb
motions the various labours belonging to the craft they have chosen. Let
us suppose that they have selected the trade of blacksmith: one of the
players will appear to be blowing the forge bellows, another will seem
to be filing something in a vice, while others will be violently
exerting themselves by wielding imaginary sledge-hammers round an unseen
anvil. If any of the men speak at their work, or make use of
inappropriate gestures, the whole side is out. The masters are allowed
one guess each, and if none of them can hit upon the right trade, the
men tell them their occupation, and then fix upon another. If the
masters can guess the name of the trade, the men are out and become
masters. The men need not continue their labours until all the masters
have guessed, but may stop working, and demand their wages, after having
plied their craft for a reasonable time. When the name of a trade
consists of two words, the men must tell the first and last letter of
each word, as C--h B--r, for coach builder.


The chief player in this amusing game must possess the faculty of
inventing a long story, as well as a tolerably good memory. This player
gives to each of the others the name of some person or thing to be
mentioned in the story he is about to relate. For example, he may call
one “the coachman,” another “the whip,” another “the inn,” another the
“old gentleman,” another the “footman,” another “the luggage,” and so
on, until he has named all the persons engaged in the game. The
story-teller now takes his stand in the centre of the room, and
commences his narrative; in the course of which he takes care to mention
all the names given to the players. When the name of a player is
mentioned, he must immediately rise from his seat, turn round, and sit
down again, or else pay a forfeit for his inattention; and whenever “the
family coach” is named, _all_ the players must rise simultaneously. In
the following example of a story, the names given to the different
players are printed in italics: “An _old gentleman_, dreading an attack
of the gout, resolved to pay a visit to the hot wells of Bath; he
therefore summoned his _coachman_, and ordered him to prepare THE FAMILY
COACH (all the players rise, turn round, and sit down again). The
_coachman_, not liking the prospect of so long a journey, tried to
persuade the _old gentleman_ that THE FAMILY COACH was out of repair,
that the _leader_ was almost blind, and that he (the _coachman_) could
not drive without a new _whip_. The _old gentleman_ stormed and swore
upon hearing these paltry excuses, and ordered the _coachman_ out of the
room, while the _little dog_ sprang from under his master’s chair and
flew at the calves of the offender, who was forced to make a precipitate
exit. Early the next morning, THE FAMILY COACH belonging to the _old
gentleman_ stopped at an _inn_ on the Bath road, much to the surprise of
the _landlord_, who had never seen such a lumbering conveyance before.
THE FAMILY COACH contained the _old gentleman_, the _old lady_ (his
wife), and the _little dog_ that had made such a furious attack on the
poor _coachman’s_ legs. The _landlord_ called the _landlady_, who came
bustling out of the _inn_ to welcome the _old gentleman_ and _old lady_.
The _footman_ jumped down from behind THE FAMILY COACH, and helped the
_old gentleman_ and the _old lady_ to alight, while the _boots_ and
_chambermaid_ belonging to the _inn_ busied themselves with the
_luggage_. The _little dog_ trotted after the _old lady_, but just as it
was going into the _inn_, the _coachman_ gave it a cut with his _whip_.
The _little dog_ howled, upon which the _old gentleman_ turned round,
and seeing the _coachman_ with his _whip_ raised, he seized him by the
throat. The _footman_ came to the assistance of his friend the
_coachman_, and the _ostler_ belonging to the _inn_ took the side of the
_old gentleman_. The _landlord_, _landlady_, _chambermaid_, _boots_,
_cook_, _stable-boy_, _barmaid_, and all the other inmates of the _inn_,
rushed into the road to see what was the matter, and their cries, joined
to the yells of the _little dog_ and the screams of the _old lady_, so
frightened the _leader_, the _white horse_, and the _brown mare_, that
they ran away with THE FAMILY COACH.” Of course this tale might have
been continued to any length, but the specimen we have given will be
sufficient to give the story-teller some idea of what is expected from
him to keep up the fun of the game.


This is a highly amusing, though very simple game. One player seated on
the ground is surrounded by his comrades, who pull and buffet him till
he can catch one of them, when the person so caught takes his place, and
is buffeted in like manner. As the players sport round the Frog, they
usually cry, “Frog in the middle--can’t catch me!” but they frequently
find that this is vain boasting, as Froggy does catch them now and then.


The party being seated in a circle, the player who has been chosen to
commence the game takes a knotted handkerchief, and throws it suddenly
into another’s lap, calling out at the same time either “Earth!”
“Water!” “Air!” or “Fire!” If “Earth” be called out, the player into
whose lap the handkerchief has fallen must name some _quadruped_ before
the other can count ten; if “Water!” he must name a _fish_; if “Air!” a
_bird_; and if “Fire!” he must remain silent. Should the player name a
wrong animal, or speak when he ought to be silent, he must pay a forfeit
and take a turn at throwing the handkerchief; but should he perform his
task properly, he must throw the handkerchief back to the first player.
Those who have never joined in this simple game can have no idea of the
absurd errors into which the different players fall when summoned
unawares to name a particular kind of animal.


The game of Hand is of great antiquity, and is common to almost every
nation, whether savage or civilized. In many of the rural districts of
England this universal pastime is known by the name of “Coddem.” To play
at Hand, sides must be formed, and the players of each side must seat
themselves at a table opposite their antagonists. Chance decides which
of the sides shall first hide the _piece_; which may be any small object
that can be easily held in the closed hand of one of the players. One of
the fortunate players now exhibits the piece to his opponents; having
done which, he cries out, “Hands down!” at which signal he and his
comrades put their hands out of sight, and in the language of the game,
commence “working the piece,” which operation is performed by shifting
the piece from hand to hand, so as to deceive the opposite players as to
its whereabouts. When the piece has been properly worked, the chief
player calls out, “Hands up,” and he and all his comrades simultaneously
place their closed fists on the table. The top player on the opposite
side has now to fix upon the hand in which the piece is concealed. There
are two ways of guessing, either of which he may adopt; the first is to
point at once to the hand supposed to contain the piece, and cry out,
“Hand!” The second mode of guessing is to point to those hands which
appear to be empty, saying with each guess, “Take that hand away!” and
when most of the hands have been removed from the table, to fix upon the
most likely-looking one among those that remain. If the guesser can find
the piece without making a mistake, he claims it for his party, and is
entitled to guess again when the opposite side regains it; but if he
makes a mistake, either by ordering the hand that holds the piece to be
removed, or by “handing” an empty fist, his antagonists retain the
piece, and having concealed it, the second player attempts to discover
its whereabouts. From our description, the reader will probably regard
Hand as a mere frivolous game of chance; but we can assure him that
chance has little to do with the discovery of the piece. A good Hand
player watches the faces of his opponents while their hands are engaged
in working the piece under the table; he scrutinises the different
hands, and does not allow himself to be misled by any of the cunning
devices which the hiders employ to throw him off the right scent; again,
when he has the piece in his possession, he takes care not to let a
tightly-clenched fist, a guilty smile, or an anxious expression, betray
the fact to his wary antagonist.


In this game, one of the players is sent out of the room, while the
others hide a handkerchief or any small article that can be easily
secreted. When the article has been concealed, the door is opened, and
the seeker is invited to enter in these words: “Hot boiled beans and
butter; walk in and find your supper.” The seeker now sets to work to
look for the hidden article. When he approaches the place of
concealment, his playmates must give him notice of it, by telling him
that he is “rather warm,” “very hot,” or, if he gets very near it, that
he “burns.” When he wanders away from the object of his search, he is
told that he is “cold;” and if he persists in his mistaken course, he is
informed that he “freezes.” Should the seeker succeed in finding the
hidden article, another player goes out of the room in his stead.


One player with his eyes bandaged lays his head on a chair, or in
another player’s lap, while the others strike him on his back with their
open hands. In this unenviable position he remains until he can guess
who strikes him, when the striker takes his place. The poet Gay
describes this pastime in the following lines:--

    “As at Hot Cockles once I laid me down,
    And felt the weighty hand of many a clown,
    Buxoma gave a gentle tap, and I
    Quick rose, and read soft mischief in her eye.”


One of the players is sent out of the room, while the others fix upon a
subject, which may be anything to which the three questions, “How do you
like it?” “Where do you like it?” and “When do you like it?” will apply.
When the subject has been decided upon, the out-player is summoned. He
now puts the first question to the nearest player, who returns him a
puzzling answer; he then passes to the next, and repeats the same
question; then to the next, and so on, until he has made the round of
the room. If none of the answers enable him to guess the subject, he
tries each player with the second question, and if the answers to this
leave him still in the dark, he solicits a reply from each to the third
and last question. Should the player fail to guess the subject after
asking the three questions, he pays a forfeit and takes another turn
outside; but should he succeed in guessing it during his rounds, the
player last questioned must pay a forfeit, and go out of the room in his
place. The in-players should always endeavour to hit upon some word that
has two or three meanings for a subject, as such a word renders the
answers extremely confusing. For instance, if _Jack_ be the subject
decided on, one of the players may say, in answer to the first query,
that he likes it “fried,” referring to fish called the Jack; in answer
to the second, that he likes it “before the kitchen fire,” referring now
to a roasting-jack; and in answer to the third, that he likes it when he
is “dressing,” now regarding the subject as a boot-jack.


This old-fashioned pastime is so generally known that it is scarcely
necessary to describe it; however, as it forms one of the merriest
indoor sports for the long winter evenings, it would be absurd to omit
it in this work. Several boys seat themselves in a circle on the ground,
and another, taking his place inside the ring, gives a slipper to one of
them, by whom it is immediately and secretly handed to one of his
neighbours; it is now passed round from one sitter to another, with as
much dexterity as possible, so as to completely perplex the “hunter” (or
player standing in the middle) in his endeavours to “chase the slipper
by its sound,” and who must continue his search until successful. The
player in whose possession it is found must in his turn “hunt the
slipper,” whilst the former hunter joins the sitters.


A game almost similar to the former. A piece of tape, on which a ring is
fastened, is held by the players as they stand in a circle, with one in
the middle. The ring is passed from hand to hand, and the hunter’s
business is to find out in whose hand the ring is.


A boy who has never seen the game played is elected hunter; the others
seat themselves on the ground, as in Hunt the Slipper. The hunter,
having been shown the whistle, kneels in the centre of the circle, and
lays his head in the lap of one of the players until the whistle is
concealed. While he is in this posture, the whistle is to be secretly
attached to the back part of his jacket or coat, by means of a piece of
string and a bent pin. One of the players now blows the whistle and
drops it, and the hunter, being released, is told to find it; but this
is no easy task, as he carries the object of his search about his own
person. As the hunter kneels in the centre of the group, the different
players blow through the whistle and drop it, as the opportunities
occur. The puzzled hunter is sometimes fairly tired out before he
discovers the trick that is played upon him. We need scarcely say that
the whistle should be very small and light.


This is a very similar game to Hot Boiled Beans. One player having been
sent out of the room, the others arrange some simple task for him to
perform on his return. When this has been done, he is summoned by the
magic music, which is played by one of his comrades, either by tapping a
tea-tray with a key, or by rattling the poker and tongs together. The
boy who has been sent out of the room must perform his appointed task
under the guidance of the musician, who so regulates his performance on
the rude instruments that the music gets loud and noisy when the puzzled
player does what he ought not to do, and grows soft and quiet when he
does anything towards the performance of his task. To render this game
more intelligible, we will suppose the task to be the removal of a
certain chair from one room to another. The player having entered the
room is saluted by the magic music, the unmeaning clatter of which only
confuses him at first. He walks towards the side of the room where the
chair is stationed, and as he approaches it the clatter grows fainter;
this informs him that he is in the right path. He touches the table, but
removes his hand at the sound of the music, which suddenly gets terribly
noisy. He touches the chair; the music ceases. He now knows that he is
expected to do something with this particular chair, so he very
naturally sits down upon it; but he jumps up directly he hears the
“clatter, clatter, clatter” of the music. He lifts the chair, and as he
does so the music grows soft again. He now turns the chair upside down;
carries it into the middle of the room; places it on the sofa; but all
to no purpose, as he cannot stop the continual clatter of the magic
music. At last he carries the chair into the adjoining room; the music
ceases, and his troublesome task is accomplished. In this noisy but
amusing game the players go out of the room, and have tasks set them in
turns. The musician generally retains his office throughout the game.


This exciting game may be played by an unlimited number, and is
particularly adapted for a large party. One of the players, called “the
postman,” has his eyes bandaged as in Blind Man’s Buff; another
volunteers to fill the office of “postmaster-general,” and all the rest
seat themselves round the room. At the commencement of the game the
postmaster assigns to each player the name of a town, and, if the
players are numerous, he writes the names given to them on a slip of
paper, in case his memory should fail him. These preliminaries having
been arranged, the blind postman is placed in the centre of the room,
and the postmaster-general retires to some snug corner, whence he can
overlook the other players. When this important functionary calls out
the names of two towns,--thus, “London to Halifax,”--the players who
bear these names must immediately change seats, and as they run from one
side of the room to another, the postman tries to capture them. If the
postman can succeed in catching one of the players, or if he can manage
to sit down on an empty chair, the player that is caught, or excluded
from his place, becomes postman. The postmaster-general is not changed
throughout the game unless he gets tired of his office. When a player
remains seated after his name has been called he must pay a forfeit, or
if the game is played without forfeits he must go to the bottom of the
class, which is represented by a particular chair, and to make room for
him all the players who were formerly below him shift their places.


One player leaves the room, and while he is absent the rest fix upon
some proverb. The words are then distributed among them, and each
player, in reply to a question asked by the guesser, has to introduce
his particular word. When all the words have been introduced, the
guesser has to guess the name of the proverb, and another player takes
his place. If, however, he cannot make it out, he has to leave the room


  A false friend is worse than a bitter enemy.
  A penny saved is a penny gained.
  A man is known by the company he keeps.
  A bad workman quarrels with his tools.
  All is not gold that glitters.
  A friend in need is a friend indeed.
  A good name is better than wealth.
  A good word costs nothing.
  A little rain lays much dust.
  A little spark makes a great flame.
  A bird in hand is worth two in a bush.
  Better late than never.
  Barking dogs seldom bite.
  Cut your coat according to your cloth.
  Empty vessels make the most sound.
  Example is better than precept.
  Evil beginnings have bad endings.
  Friends are plenty when the purse is full.
  Good ware makes quick markets.
  Great cry and little wool.
  Gather thistles, expect prickles.
  Half a loaf is better than no bread.
  Hear twice before you speak once.
  In a calm sea every man is a pilot.
  Idle folks have the least leisure.
  It’s an ill wind that blows nobody good.
  If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing well.
  It’s a sad heart that never rejoices
  Least said is soonest mended.
  Let them laugh that win.
  Look before you leap.
  Long looked for comes at last.
  Make hay while the sun shines.
  Many a slip between the cup and the lip.
  Make the best of a bad bargain.
  Marry in haste, repent at leisure.
  Of two evils choose the least.
  One good turn deserves another.
  Opportunity makes the thief.
  Out of sight out of mind.
  Penny wise and pound foolish.
  Prevention is better than cure.
  Pride will have a fall.
  Short reckonings make long friends.
  Strike while the iron’s hot.
  Still waters run deep.
  Safe bind, safe find.
  The best part of valour is discretion.
  Waste not, want not.
  Where there’s a will there’s always a way.
  Wilful waste makes woful want.


Four players take their stations in the four corners of a room, and a
fifth, called “Puss,” places himself in the middle of it; the players in
the corners then change places by running to the opposite ends, and Puss
must endeavour to get into one of the vacant places before the opposite
player is able to reach it; if he can do so, the player left out becomes


The players sit round in a circle, each taking a colour. Thus one is
red-cap, another black-cap, and so on. One of them, who takes the place
of master, and has no colour, taking up a cap says: “Hullo, here’s a
false stitch. Who made it, blue-cap?” Blue-cap then answers, “Who, sir?
I, sir?” “Yes, you, sir!” “Not I, sir.” “Who then, sir?” “Yellow-cap,
sir.” Yellow-cap then starts up and says, “Who, sir? I, sir?” and goes
through the dialogues, giving another colour. The player who neglects to
start up when his colour is mentioned, or who does not repeat the
question correctly, pays a forfeit.


Shadow Buff differs very materially from Blind Man’s Buff, but it is
equally amusing. A large piece of white linen should be fastened neatly
up at one end of room, so that it hangs quite smooth; Buff (not blinded)
seats himself on a low stool with his face to the linen, and a table, on
which is a lighted candle, should be placed about four or five feet
behind him, and the rest of the lights in the room extinguished. Buffy’s
playfellows next pass in succession, between the candle and him,
distorting their features in as grotesque a manner as possible--hopping,
limping, and performing various odd antics, so as to make their
_shadows_ very unlike their usual looks. Buffy must then try to guess to
whom the shadows belong, and if he guesses correctly, the player whose
shadow he recognises takes his place. Buff is allowed only one guess for
each person, and must not turn his head either to the right or left to
see who passes.


_Birds, Beasts, and Fishes._--“Now, Tom,” said Harry, “get your slate
and pencil, and I’ll show you such a jolly game. Well now, look here, I
have put down h × × × a. Now that stands for a beast’s name, the first
and last letters of which are _h_ and _a_, with three letters between,
represented by the crosses.”

“Let’s see,” replied Tom, scratching his head, “I know--Hare.”

“You muff! There are only four letters in ‘hare,’ and five in my word.
Try again--mind you have only three guesses; so look out.”

Tom wondered again for a minute, and then suddenly blurted out, “I

“Wrong again,” replied Harry; “the last letter of Horse is _e_ and not
_a_. Now be careful, Tom, for this is your last turn.”

Again Tom scratched his head, bit his fingers, and after meditating for
at least two minutes and a half, shouted out in a moment of

As he was right, it now became his turn to put down a name. So he wrote
on the slate s × × × × × w, at the same time telling Harry it was a
bird; for according to the rules of this game you must say whether this
name represents a beast, a fish, a bird, an insect, or a reptile.

Harry in a minute shouted “Sparrow!” and so the game went on; and such a
capital game did Tom and Harry have, that they sent this account of it
to us in the hope that we would make it known to the world in “Every
Boy’s Book.”

_French and English._--On the slate should be drawn a plan somewhat like
the following. The dots represent soldiers, one side being termed French
and the other English. Each player is provided with a sharply pointed
pencil, and the game is played as follows:--English, keeping the point
of his pencil on a spot denoted by a cannon, draws it quickly across the
slate in the direction of the other army. The pencil naturally leaves a
line to mark his track, and if this mark passes through any of the men
belonging to the other side, they are considered dead. The game is over
as soon as all the men on one side are dead. Each player has a certain
space on the slate allotted to him, and he may dispose his men in
whatever part of it he pleases. The track of the pencil must be straight
or curved; any shot in which there is an angle does not count. In p. 38
we give a battle-field where the strife is ended. In this the English
side has killed all the opposite side in eight shots, while the French
in eight have only been able to kill nine men.



_Noughts and Crosses._--This is a capital game, and one which every
school-boy truly enjoys. A figure is drawn as follows, and the object of
the one player is to draw three crosses in a line before the other can
draw three noughts. Thus A begins by drawing a + in the centre division;
B follows with a nought in the top right-hand corner. A then draws a +
in the bottom right-hand corner, because by this means he gets two
crosses in a line, and spoils one of B’s chances. B in a hurry instantly
places a 0 in the top left-hand corner, and A follows by placing his +
between the two 0’s. B then, seeing that in the centre line A already
has two crosses, places a 0 in the third vacant space of the line; while
A, as a last resource, plants his + in the second space of the left-hand
line. Then when B puts a 0 in the centre space at the left-hand, A
places a + in the bottom left-hand corner, and the game is drawn, the
plan standing as above.




Every player, except one who holds the office of reader, selects a trade
or profession, which he must retain throughout the game. When all have
chosen their trades, the reader opens a book at random, and reads a
passage from it aloud; but when he comes to any common noun, he looks at
one of the tradesmen, who must instantly name some article that he is
supposed to have for sale, or some implement connected with the exercise
of his craft. By this substitution of one noun for another, the most
pathetic passage is converted into an indescribable jumble of
absurdities. In the following burlesqued extract from an Eastern tale,
the words in italics are supposed to be supplied by the different
tradesmen, in place of the nouns omitted by the reader:--

“One offered the prince a _bucket_ of the most precious _mutton chops_
of Golconda; another a curious piece of a _Wellington boot_, made by a
European artist; another a piece of the richest _plum-pudding_ from the
looms of China; another _a gridiron_, said to be a sovereign remedy
against all poisons and infectious diseases; another a choice piece of
the most fragrant _Turkey rhubarb_, in _a warming-pan_, inlaid with
_acid drops_; another _a coffin_ full of genuine _treacle_; another _a
rocking-horse_ of the purest breed of Arabia; and another _a Flanders
brick_ of exquisite beauty. The whole court of the palace was overspread
with _gingerbread-nuts_; and long rows of slaves were continually
passing loaded with _corn-plasters_, _tenpenny-nails_, _bees’-wax_, and
other articles of high price.”


Two boys having seated themselves on the floor, are _trussed_ by their
playmates; that is to say, each boy has his wrists tied together with a
handkerchief, and his legs secured just above the ancles with another;
his arms are then passed over his knees, and a broomstick is pushed over
one arm, under both knees, and out again over the other arm. The
“trussed fowls” are now carried into the centre of room and placed
opposite each other, with their toes just touching. The fun now begins;
as each fowl endeavours, with the aid of his toes, to turn his
antagonist over on his back or side, and the one who can succeed in
doing this wins the game. It frequently happens that both players turn
over together, to the great amusement of the spectators. On board ship
these comical encounters frequently take place between the boys, who are
trussed by their elder shipmates.


This game, although only two persons are engaged in it at a time,
furnishes much amusement, from the contradictory nature of its words and
actions. The rules relative to it are as follow:--If three mistakes are
made by the person who responds to the inquiries of the player who
brings the hats round, and whom for distinction’s sake we will call the
questioner, he must pay three forfeits, and is out of the game; when the
questioner desires the respondent to be seated, the latter must stand
up; when he begs him to put his hat on, he must take it off; when he
requests him to stand, he must sit; and in every point, the respondent
must take special care to do always the very reverse of what the
questioner wishes him. The questioner may sit down, stand up, put his
hat on, or take it off, without desiring the respondent to do so, or
giving him the least intimation of his intention; the latter must,
therefore, be always on his guard, so as to act in a contrary way in an
instant, else he incurs a forfeit. These rules being settled, the game
is simply this: one player places a hat on his head, takes another in
his hand, and gives it to one of the company; he then begins conversing
with him, endeavouring both by words and actions to puzzle him as much
as he can, so as to cause him to pay a forfeit. We will give a slight
specimen of a dialogue, describing the accompanying movements of the
hats, in which A is the questioner, B the respondent:

A. (_taking his hat off._) A very beautiful evening, sir.

B. (_putting his hat on._) Yes, indeed, a most lovely one.

A. (_putting his hat on, and sitting down_, B. _instantly taking his off
and getting up_.) Pray be seated, sir; I really cannot think of sitting
while you stand (_gets up, and_ B. _sits down_). Have you been out of
town this year? (_takes off his hat._)

B. (_putting his on._) I have not yet, but I think I shall, before (A.
_sits down_, B. _gets up_) the beauty of the season has entirely passed
away, venture a few miles out of town.

A. (_putting his hat on._) I beg ten thousand pardons, you are standing
while I am sitting; pardon me, your hat is on--you must pay a forfeit.

It generally happens, that before the dialogue has been carried thus far
the respondent has incurred three forfeits, and is, of course, out; the
questioner then goes in succession to the others, and the same scene is
repeated by each: the conversation, it is almost needless to add, should
be varied as much as possible, and the more nonsensical it is the


The leader of the game commences it by asking each of his companions in
turn, “What is my thought like?” to which they reply at hazard, by
mentioning anything that first comes into their thoughts, of course
avoiding naming the same thing twice over, as that incurs the penalty of
a forfeit. The leader carefully notes down all the answers he receives,
and then revealing his thought, desires to know what the thing thought
of resembles in what it has been compared to.

_John._--Charles, what is my thought like?

_Charles._--A young girl.


_James._--A queen.

_John._--Now, Harry?

_Harry._--A lion.



_John._--You, William?

_William._--An oak-tree.

_John._--Alfred, it is your turn.

_Alfred._--A beautiful woman.




_Arthur._--A hedgehog.


_Ben._--A rose.

_John._--And you, Cecil?

_Cecil._--A vine.

_John._--My thought was a rose; so now, Charles, tell me why a rose is
like a young girl.

_Charles._--Because it is loveliest when only half-blown.

_John._--And why a queen?

_James._--Because the rose is the queen of all flowers.

_John._--Harry, why is a rose like a lion?

_Harry._--Because it is one of the emblems of England.

_John._--And why, Tom, is it like beauty?

_Tom._--Because it soon fades.

_John._--William, why is it like an oak?

_William._--Because both spring from the earth.

_John._--And you, Alfred; why is a rose like a beautiful woman?

_Alfred._--Because its fragrance often remains after the charms are

_John._--Andrew, why is a rose like hope?

_Andrew._--Because in returning sunshine it forgets the past storm.

_John._--Arthur, why is a rose like a hedgehog?

_Arthur._--Because its thorns defend it from a rough grasp.

_John._--You, Ben, having fixed upon the same thing as myself, must pay
a forfeit. Cecil, why is a rose like a vine?

_Cecil._--Because in old times they were both considered essential to a
banquet. I can think of nothing better.




[Illustration: BALLS]


This is very simple play. The ball is thrown into the air by one player,
the others standing round him. He calls out the name of the player, for
whom the ball is thrown. If it be caught by the player so called, before
the ball reaches the ground twice, he scores a point; if any of the
other players catch it, they score a point, and the other loses one.


This is a variety of the above game. A certain number of stools are set
up in a circular form, and at a distance from each other, and every one
is occupied by a single player; when the ball is struck, which is done,
as before, by the hand, every one of them is obliged to alter his
situation, running in succession from stool to stool; and if he who
threw the ball can regain it in time to strike any of the players before
he reaches the stool to which he is running, he takes his place, and the
person touched must throw the ball, until he can in like manner return
to the circle.



All the players engaged in this favourite pastime must place their caps
on the ground, close to the wall, in such a manner that a ball may be
easily pitched into them. A line being marked on the ground about
fifteen feet from the wall, one of the players takes his station at it,
and begins the game by throwing the ball into one of the caps; the
moment this is done all the boys run away, excepting the one into whose
cap the ball is thrown, who immediately runs to take it out, and
endeavours to strike one of the fugitives by throwing the ball at him;
if he can do so, the one struck has a small stone, called “an egg,”
placed in his cap, and has to take his turn at pitching the ball. Should
the thrower fail to hit one of the boys as they are running away, an
“egg” is put into his cap, and he has to pitch the ball into the caps
again. If a player fails to throw the ball into a cap, he earns an
“egg,” but continues throwing until he succeeds. When a player gets
three “eggs” in his cap, he is out. When all the players but one have
been struck out, he is considered the winner, and the punishment of the
losers then commences; one of them standing near the wall bounces the
ball at it with all his force, and next stands with his back to the
wall, stretching out his right arm, and placing the back of his hand
quite close to the wall, while the winner, standing where the ball fell,
takes aim, and throws the ball at the said loser’s hand three times:
each of the losers likewise receives the same punishment from him. In
some places it is usual, when one boy gets out, for him to bounce the
ball against the wall, and all the other players, standing at the spot
where the ball first touched the ground, to have their three balls at
his back, as he stands with his face to the wall. Should the ball in
rebounding swerve either to the right or left, a line must be drawn,
from the spot where it falls, to a place directly in a straight line
from the boy at the wall; thus, suppose A is the boy who has just
bounced the ball, which instead of going direct to B, has deviated from
the straight line A B to C, a line should be drawn from C to B, and the
winner should stand at the latter.



In this game four or five stones or marks must be placed on the ground,
as in the annexed figure, A, B, C, D, E, about twelve or fifteen yards
asunder; these marks are called bases, and one of them, as A, is styled
“home.” The players next toss up for the office of “feeder,” who takes
his place about two yards in front of “home,” as at F, and the rest of
the players stand at and round the home. The feeder then calls out
“Play!” and pitches the ball to the first player, who endeavours to
strike it with a bat, as far as he possibly can; should he succeed in
hitting the ball, he immediately drops the bat, and runs to the first
base on his right hand, as E, while the feeder is going after the ball:
but if he can run all the bases and then home, before the ball is in
hand, so much the better. If, however, the feeder obtains the ball soon
enough to throw it at, and strike him with it as he is running from base
to base, the player is out; he is also out if the feeder catches the
ball: in either case the player becomes feeder, and the latter runs home
to join his playmates. Should any of the other players be out at the
bases, when one is caught or struck out, they also must run home. If the
first player could only reach the base E, after striking the ball, he
should, when the second player strikes it, run to the base D, as it is
not allowable for two persons to be at one base at one and the same
minute; he proceeds in the same manner to the third and fourth bases,
until he arrives home again, thus enabling the others to get to their
bases and home in their respective turns. The player with the bat is not
obliged to take every ball the feeder chooses to give him; if he does
not like a throw, he catches the ball and throws it back again. He is
not allowed to make more than three “offers” at the ball; if he does so
he is out, and must be feeder.



This game, which takes its title from the names assumed by the players,
is played by seven boys, each of whom calls himself after one of the
days of the week. To show the manner of playing the game, we will
suppose that some boys are playing at it, and that the ball is taken by
“Wednesday;” he throws it up against a wall, calling out at the same
time the assumed name of any one of the other players, who should be
standing around--we will suppose, for instance, “Friday!” All the boys
but Friday run away, and he endeavours to catch it ere it falls to the
ground; if he can do so, he throws it up again, calling out another
boy’s name--say “Sunday!” Should the ball touch the ground before _he_
can catch it, he must pick it up and throw it at the retreating party;
and if he succeeds in hitting one of them, the boy struck has to throw
the ball up the next time; but if he cannot strike one he loses a point,
as in Egg-hat; indeed, in the rules respecting the punishment of the
losers, and the number of points each player is restricted to, it
resembles that game.


Dig near a wall nine holes, of about six inches in diameter, and three
deep. Let each player have one of these, according to his number, which
must be determined by lot. At about six yards from the holes draw a
line, and from this, as a fielding place, one player pitches the ball
into one of the holes. The boy to whom this hole is assigned immediately
runs to it, while all the other players run off in different directions.
The player snatches the ball from the hole, and throws it at one of the
“runners;” if he hits him, the one so hit becomes “pitcher,” and the one
that struck him marks one. Should he not hit him, the player who throws
the ball loses a point, and bowls. The player who misses his aim at
throwing the ball at his partners a second time becomes a “Tenner.” If
he loses a third hit, he is a “Fifteener;” if the fourth, he stands out
and can play no more. When all the players are thus out, the last player
remaining in wins the game, and he can compel each of the losers to
stand with their hands open against the wall, for him to throw at, and
give what is called the “Brandy Ball.” If the ball be a soft one, this
conclusion of the game is all very well; but if a hard ball be used, it
ought to be omitted, or the “Brandy” may be too strong.


This game is played with a trap and ball, which is struck with a bat or
bludgeon at the pleasure of the players; but the latter is most commonly
used. The performance of this game does not require the attendance of
either of the parties in the field to catch or stop the ball, for the
contest between them is simply who shall strike it the greatest distance
in a given number of strokes; the length of each stroke is measured
before the ball is returned, by means of a cord made fast at one end
near the trap, the other being stretched into the field by a person
stationed there for that purpose, who adjusts it to the ball, wherever
it may be.

The cord is divided into yards, which are properly numbered upon in it
in succession, so that the person at the bottom of the ground can easily
ascertain the distance of each stroke by the number of the yards, which
he calls to the players to place to their account, and the ball is
thrown back.


This is a most excellent game, and very popular in some of our English
counties. It is played with a moderate-sized ball and a hand-bat,
_i. e._ a bat that can be held in one hand, and which is about two feet
in length, smooth, and round. Two parties play at the game, and there
ought not to be less than five on a side; and the first innings is
decided by throwing up the ball, the party catching it being allowed to
go in first.


In playing the game, five stones, or stakes (called bases), or, if these
be not convenient, as many holes may be made, at about sixteen yards
apart, forming the five parts of a pentagon, as in the diagram. At the
centre of this figure is a station called the feeder’s place, being the
spot at which one of the out party stands to give the ball to the
batsman, or to “feed” him, as it is technically termed. The out party
are distributed over the field, except the feeder, who takes his station
at F to deliver the balls, while one of the in party takes the bat and
places himself at Fig. 1, which is enclosed within a circle, and called
the Home, and where all the rest of the in party stand. The feeder then
says “Play,” and delivers his ball to the batsman, who immediately
strikes it as far as he can. As soon as he has done so, he drops his
bat, and runs to as many of the stations as he can; but he must touch at
all, or he will be out. If while he is running to the second, or between
any of the bases, the returned ball is sent up and strikes him, he is
out, and the next of the in party takes up the bat. If he is not struck
while he runs, as soon as he reaches one of the stations the next of the
in party takes up the bat, another ball is given by the feeder, and he
runs to the first, or as many other of the stations as he can; the first
batsman does the same, so as to go the whole round of the bases to the
home at No. 1. The in player is also out if he tips the ball behind him,
or if he misses striking it when delivered. The in players as they
arrive at home take the bat again, till they are got out, according to
the rules of the game just given. When it happens that all are out but
two, the best of the two may, with the consent of the other, call for
“three fair hits for the rounder.” Standing at the home, the feeder then
gives him in succession three balls. He may decline as many balls as he
pleases, if they do not suit him; but if he strikes at the ball, he is
only allowed to do so twice without running. On the delivery of the
third ball, he must run the entire course, touching with his bat at
every one of the five points. If, during his progress, he be touched by
the ball, or it be grounded at the home while he is absent, he is
declared out, and the opposite side go in and take their places. If, on
the contrary, he reaches home without being struck or the ball grounded,
his side go in again, and continue the game as before. Should he miss
the ball when striking at it the third time, the rounder is lost. In the
play the feeder is allowed to make feint or pretence of throwing the
ball, in order to tempt a player to run from his base, so as to get a
chance of hitting him. It is usual also for the out party to place a
player behind the home, so that when a batsman makes a tip on the side
of the home, he may seize the ball and strike him out before he reaches
the first base.


This game is very like Catch-ball. The object is to catch a ball seven
times in a particular fashion; hence the name. The player begins by
throwing the ball in the air and catching it seven times with both
hands. Then he catches it seven times with the right hand, next seven
times with the left. Then he throws the ball up, claps his hand while it
is in the air, and catches it seven times with both hands, then with the
right, and then with the left. The players are allowed to make as many
more variations as they please; and he who goes through the series first
wins the game.


This is an old English sport, mentioned by Gower and Chaucer, and was at
one period common to women as well as men. In the northern parts of
England, particularly in Yorkshire, it is practised in the following
manner:--A stool being set upon the ground, one of the players takes his
place before it, while his antagonist, standing at a distance, tosses a
ball, with the intention of striking the stool. It is the former
player’s business to prevent this, by breaking it away with the hand,
reckoning one to the game for every stroke of the ball; if, on the
contrary, it should be missed by the hand, and touch the stool, the
players change places. The conqueror of the game is he who strikes the
ball most times before it touches the stool.



This game is so called from the trap used to elevate the ball when it is
to be struck by the batsman. It is one of the earliest games played with
the trap and ball, and we can trace it to the commencement of the
fourteenth century. The manner in which it was then played was somewhat
different to the style at the present day. As now played, the trap is no
longer elevated, but set on the ground, and is generally made in the
form of a shoe, the heel part being hollowed out for the reception of
the ball: but some boys, when they cannot get a trap, make a hole in the
ground, and having obtained the crochet bone of an ox, place it in a
slanting position, one end being in the hole and the other out of it.
The elevated end is then sharply struck with the bat, which causes the
ball to rise to a considerable height, and then all the purposes of a
trap are answered, especially if the ground be hard and dry.

It is usual in the present game of Trap and Ball to place two
boundaries, at a given distance from the trap, between which it is
necessary for the ball to fall when struck by the batsman, for if it
falls outside of either, he gives up his bat and is out. He is also out
if he strikes the ball into the air, so that it is caught by an opposite
player; and, again, if the ball when returned by an adversary touches
the trap, or rests within one bat’s length of it. Every stroke tells for
one towards the striker’s game.

There are some variations in the play of the game in different counties.
In Essex and Suffolk, for instance, the game is played with a cudgel
instead of a bat, which would seem to be a preferable weapon, as those
who strike with it rarely miss their blow, but frequently send it to an
astonishing distance, no boundaries being set.

The ball being stopped by one of the opposing party, the striker forms
his judgment of the ability of the person who is to throw it back, and
calls in consequence for any number of scores towards the game that he
thinks proper. It is then returned, and if it appears to his antagonist
to rest at a sufficient distance to justify the striker’s call, he
obtains his number; but when a contrary opinion is held, a measurement
takes place, and if the scores demanded exceed in number the length of
the cudgel from the trap to the ball, he loses the whole, and is out;
while, on the other hand, if the lengths of the bat are more than the
scores called for, the matter terminates in the striker’s favour, and
they are set up to his account.

[Illustration: HOOPS]

Trundling the hoop is a pastime of uncertain origin, but it has long
contributed to the health and amusement of the youth of Great Britain.
Iron hoops have almost superseded the old-fashioned wooden ones, and
instead of being trundled with a stick, they are usually guided by an
iron hook shaped like the annexed figure. On a cold frosty morning the
hoop is an invaluable companion to a boy, as he is enabled by its aid to
defy the weather, and dispense with overcoats, comforters, and all such
devices for keeping out the wintry wind. Often have we envied our
juvenile friends, as they have rushed past us with their hoops, and
lamented that custom should prevent grown-up people indulging in the
same healthful recreation.



The proper and legitimate hoop, however, should be made of a stout ashen
lath, round on the outside and flat on the inside, and should be well
fastened at its point of juncture; it should be in height so as to reach
midway between the youngster’s elbow and shoulder, so that he may not
have to stoop while striking it. The stick should be about sixteen
inches long, and made of tough ash; and, in bowling the hoop, the bowler
should strike it vigorously in the centre, and in a direction horizontal
with the ground. Such hoop exercise is exceedingly good, and a good run
with such a hoop will warm the youth in the very coldest weather.

The games, properly so called, that can be played with the hoop are very
few, and not generally known.


Two boys start at different ends of the playground with their hoops,
and, meeting in the middle, each endeavours to knock down the hoop of
his antagonist, while his own remains upright.

There is no small skill required in this game, for it is not always easy
to make the hoops touch each other at all. Then a light hoop has little
chance against a heavy one, unless it can strike it sideways, for if it
were struck directly in front, it would be certainly upset.

Also, a ready hand at recovering a falling or tottering hoop wins many a
game that appears to be hopelessly lost.

Wooden hoops, also, give due exercise to the arm; and there is some tact
required in knowing exactly where to strike a hoop, so as to propel it
with the greatest force.

This cannot well be done with iron hoops, and forms one of the
objections to them. Moreover, boys always complain that they soon lose
their round form, and are awkward to bowl. Still, there is something
cheering in the ringing sound of an iron hoop, as it rushes along under
the pressure of the curved iron rod that is used instead of a
hoop-stick; and as long as boys don’t drive them against the legs of
unwary passengers, they are very well in their way.



Any number of boys can join in this exciting sport, but they ought all
to be provided with hoops as nearly equal in size as possible. At a
given signal the players all start together, and each endeavours to
reach the winning post (which may be any distant object) before his
companions. He who arrives at the winning-post last is generally
received with groans, hisses, and other vocal signs of disapprobation.


Bases, called _posting-stations_, are formed at regular distances, in a
large circle or ellipse, and at each base a player is stationed. Every
player, except the hoop-driver, has charge of a base. Let us suppose
that there are seven players--A, B, C, D, E, F, and G, and that the
latter holds the hoop: the other six players having taken possession of
their stations, G now starts from the station belonging to F, and drives
the hoop towards A, who waits, with hoop-stick in hand, ready to relieve
G of his charge. G stops at the posting-station, while A trundles the
hoop to B, who takes charge of it, and delivers it to C. C trundles the
hoop to D; D transfers it to E; E delivers it to F; and F conveys it in
safety to the first player, G. In this way the game continues, until all
the players have worked round the circle five or six times. It is
considered very disgraceful to touch the hoop with the hand, or to allow
it to fall after it has been started on its journey. The game is
rendered much more lively by increasing the number of players, and
having two or three hoop-drivers to follow each other from base to


This game is almost the same as Encounters. Two boys drive their hoops
one against the other, and he whose hoop falls in the encounter is
conquered. With eight players this game may be rendered very exciting.
Four of the players stand in a row, about six feet apart, and, at a
considerable distance, the other four take their stand, facing them. At
a given signal each player dashes towards his opponent, and strives to
overturn his hoop. The four victors now pair off, and charge two against
two. The conquerors then urge their hoops one against the other, and he
who succeeds in overturning the hoop of his antagonist wins the game.
Wooden hoops are more suitable for Tournament than iron ones, though the
game is usually played with the latter.


Five or six boys can play at this game, though only one hoop is
required. Chance decides which of the players shall first take the hoop.
The other players become turnpike-keepers. Each turnpike is formed of
two bricks or stones, placed on the ground, and separated by about three
fingers’ breadths. These turnpikes are fixed at regular distances, and
their number is regulated by the number of keepers. When all is ready,
the first player starts his hoop, and endeavours to drive it through all
the turnpikes; should he succeed in this, he turns the hoop, drives it
back again, and retains it until it touches one of the turnpikes, the
keeper of which now becomes hoop-driver. When a player touches the hoop
with his hand, or allows it to fall, he must deliver it up to the
nearest turnpike-keeper. Each keeper must stand on that side of his
turnpike which is towards the right hand of the hoop-driver, and it
therefore follows that he must alter his position when the hoop-driver
returns. Should a keeper stand on his wrong side, the driver need not
send the hoop through his turnpike. When the players are numerous, there
may be two or more hoops driven at once.

[Illustration: HOOP STICKS.]

[Illustration: KITES]

The form of the kite and manner of flying it must be familiar to all our
readers. This favourite toy probably received its denomination from
having originally been made in the shape of the bird called the kite.
The flying of paper kites is a favourite pastime among the Chinese. On a
certain day they hold a sort of kite festival, and then people of all
ages hasten to the hills to fly their kites, the fantastic shapes and
gaudy colours of which produce an extraordinary effect. Philosophers
have occasionally taken the kite out of the hands of the schoolboy, and
have applied it to useful and curious purposes. By means of a kite
formed of a silk handkerchief stretched over a wooden frame, Dr.
Franklin drew down lightning from the clouds, and demonstrated its
identity with electricity. Many years ago Mr. Pocock, of Bristol,
travelled on the road between Bath and London in a carriage drawn by two
paper kites, supported at a moderate elevation, and impelled by the
wind. The paper kite has also been employed to convey a line over the
capital of Pompey’s Pillar. We do not expect our readers to perform any
electrical or locomotive experiments with their kites; but we are quite
sure that they may derive great amusement from these little aërial
machines, especially if they manufacture them with their own hands. We
know of no pleasanter occupation for a summer’s day than watching the
graceful flight of a well-made kite.



For the upright get a good straight lath, as A B, in the annexed figure,
and next procure half of a thin hoop or cane for the bow C D, and then
tie the hoop to the upright at A, and take care to have as much on one
side of the upright as on the other; otherwise your kite will be sure
to fall on one side when flying. Notch the two ends of the bow C D, and
tie a long piece of string to D; pass it round the upright at E, and
then fasten it at C; next carry the string to A, pass it down to D, and
tie it there: from thence it is to be continued to B, passed round a
notch there, and carried up again to C, then down the upright at F, and
up to D, where it is to be finally fastened off. The skeleton being thus
finished, the next thing to be done is to paste several sheets of paper
so as to form a surface large enough to cover the kite and allow of a
little turn over to fasten the outer edges; after you have pasted the
paper on to the skeleton, you must make two holes, in the upright, as at
G, G, through which the belly-band is to be passed, knotting the two
ends of the string to keep it from slipping through the holes. The wings
are to be made of several sheets of paper, cut into slips, rolled close
up, so as to bear some resemblance to a tassel, and tied to the sides of
the kite at C, D. The tail, which should be about fifteen times the
length of the kite, is made by folding a number of pieces of paper so as
to be about an inch in breadth, and four inches in length, and
afterwards tying them on a string at intervals of three inches, and is
finished by affixing to the end of the string a large tassel made in the
same manner as the wings. Tie the string with which you intend to fly
the kite to the belly-band, and your kite is complete and ready for



We need not enter very minutely into the rules to be observed in flying
a kite, as every boy is acquainted with them. Unless there be a nice
breeze stirring, the kite-flyer need not expect to have much sport, as
nothing can be more vexatious than attempting to fly a kite when there
is not sufficient wind for the purpose. To raise the kite in the first
instance, the flyer will require the aid of another boy. The owner of
the kite having unwound a considerable length of string, now turns his
face towards the wind and prepares for a run, while his assistant holds
the kite by its lower extremity as high as he can from the ground. At a
given signal the assistant lets the kite go, and if all circumstances be
favourable it will soar upwards with great rapidity. With a
well-constructed kite, in a good breeze the flyer need not trouble
himself to run very fast nor very far, as his kite will soon find its
balance, and float quite steadily on the wind. The kite-flyer should be
careful not to let out string too fast. When a kite pitches, it is a
sign that it is built lop-side, or that its tail is not long enough.


Some boys amuse themselves by sending messengers up to their kites when
they have let out all their string. A messenger is formed of a piece of
paper three or four inches square, in the centre of which a hole is
made. The end of the string is passed through the hole, and the wind
quickly drives the messenger up to the kite. The kite-flyer should be
careful not to send up too many messengers, lest they weigh down the


Calico has many advantages over paper as a covering for kites; it is not
so liable to be torn, is not damaged by wet, and may be sewn on the
framework much more neatly than paper can be pasted. Being much heavier
than paper, it is, however, only suited for large kites. A portable
calico kite may now be procured at most of the toy-shops. The framework
of this kite is formed of two slender pieces of wood, which turn on a
common centre in such a manner that they can either be shut up, so that
one piece lies flat upon the other, or opened out into the form of a
cross. The calico covering is attached to this cross by means of tapes.
This portable kite can be rolled up and carried to the field without




Ingenious boys now and then take a hint from the Chinese, and so shape
and paint their kites that they resemble different animate and
inanimate objects. The “officer kite,” which has the figure of a soldier
painted on it, and the “hawk kite,” which rudely represents a flying
hawk, are common forms of fancy kites. A very funny effect may be
produced by painting a kite like a sailor, and attaching moveable arms,
instead of the ordinary tassel wings, to the shoulders. We present our
readers with a few suggestive forms, which are quite novel. All fancy
kites should be painted with the most glaring colours, and the figures
on them drawn as coarsely as possible, as they are intended to be seen
at a great distance.

[Illustration: A HIGH FLYER.]

[Illustration: MARBLES]

In ancient times, when we were boys, and indulged in the luxury of
marbles, they were very different from their present form. They were
made of stone, nicely polished, and some of them, called “alleys,” of
the purest marble. Many of the stone marbles were beautifully
variegated, and now and then a fancy pet was treasured under the name of
“taw,” which had somewhat the virtues of a talisman, for to “lose it or
to give it” were “such perdition,” as Othello says, as could never be
exceeded. Of late years, marbles, like all other matters, have undergone
considerable change. Foreign marbles have been introduced, prodigiously
cheaper, it is true, than our old English marbles, but infinitely worse;
and various kinds of “patent marbles” have had their day. Some of these
go by the name of Dutchmen, others are called Frenchmen, and others
again Chinamen, while it is not quite impossible to procure some right
old English marbles, which, if they can be procured, are still the best.
We would advise all marble players to procure these, if they can, as
“marbles” is a royal game, and ought to be duly honoured.

[Illustration: HOW TO HOLD YOUR TAW.]

_How to Shoot your Marble._--The art of holding a marble to shoot it
properly seems to be lost among our London boys, who are generally
content to throw one marble at another, or if they shoot it to hold it
in the turn of the fore-finger, forcing it out by the thumb, which is
placed behind it. This, in our boyish days, was held to be a very
illegitimate way of proceeding, derogatory to the true marble-player,
and bore the dishonourable appellation of “fulking,” and any one who
made it his rule to hold a marble in such a manner was looked upon as a
charlatan, or almost a cheat. The true way to hold your taw is to place
it between the point of the forefinger and the first joint of the thumb,
and to propel it from the nail of the thumb with strong muscular force;
and so great was the skill attained by many boys, that they would
sometimes strike a marble at five yards’ distance, and frequently shoot
one to six or seven.


This game is played by several players, each of whom puts down a marble
in a small ring. One player then stands in a perpendicular position over
the cluster of marbles, and, taking his own bounce in his hand, lets it
fall from his eye on to the heap, and those forced out of the ring by
this method are considered won. If he does not succeed in this, and his
marble falls within the ring, it belongs to the common stock, and is
there impounded.


There is a game called “Conqueror,” which is extensively played in some
places. A piece of hard ground, and free from stones, is chosen for the
spot. The first player lays his marble on the ground, and the second
throws his own at it with all his force, and endeavours to break it. If
he succeeds, his marble counts one, and the vanquished player lays down
another marble. If two players have marbles that have already vanquished
others, the “Conqueror” counts all the conquered of the other party in
addition to his own. For example, suppose A, being conqueror of twenty,
breaks B, also a conqueror of twenty, A counts forty-one, _i. e._ twenty
of his own, twenty for the vanquished belonging to B, and one for B

Nuts, chestnuts, and other similar objects are also employed in this
game, only they are fastened to a string, and swung against the
opponent, instead of being thrown.



This is a very good game, and requires both skill and caution. It is
played by elevating a die upon a marble, whose sides are slightly ground
down, so that it will stand firmly, and firing at it from an offing,
which is generally at a distance of about four feet from it. The
die-keeper undertakes to pay to the shooter who knocks down the die the
number which falls uppermost, receiving one marble from each player as
he shoots.


This game is a great improvement upon odd or even. Dick asks Tom to
guess the number of “eggs in the bush”--that is, the number of marbles
in his closed hand. If Tom can guess the right number, he takes all; but
if he is out in his reckoning, he pays Dick as many marbles as will make
up or leave the exact number. Suppose Dick has six marbles in his hand;
now, if Tom should guess either four or eight, he would have to forfeit
two marbles to Dick, because four is two less, and eight is two more,
than the exact number. The players hold the “eggs in the bush”


In most respects resembles Ring taw, the variations being, that if
before a marble is shot out of the ring one player’s taw is struck by
another’s (excepting his partner’s), or if his taw remains within the
ring, he puts a shot in the pound, continues in the game, and shoots
again from the offing before any of his companions. If his taw is struck
after one or more marbles have been driven out of the ring, if he has
taken any shots himself, he gives them to the player who struck him,
puts a taw in the ring, and shoots from the offing, as before. If,
however, he has not won any marbles during the game, before his taw is
struck, he is “killed” and put out of the game; he is likewise out if,
after any shots have been struck out, his taw gets within the pound--if
it remains on the line it is nothing. He then puts the marbles (if he
has won any) into the circle, adding one to them for the taw struck, and
shoots again from the offing. In case he cannot gain any shots after his
taw gets “fat,” as remaining in the ring is termed, he is killed, and
out for the rest of the game. When only one marble remains in the ring,
the taw may continue inside it without being “fat.” Each player seldom
puts more than one marble in the ring at the beginning or a game.



This game is played by knocking marbles against a wall, or perpendicular
board set up for the purpose; and the skill displayed in it depends upon
the player’s attention to what is called in mechanics the resolution of
forces: for instance, if an object be struck against the wall at A from
the mark at B, it will return again to B in a straight line; if it be
sent from C to A, it will, instead of returning to C, pass off aslant to
D, and its course will form the angle C A D; the angle of incidence
being equal to the angle of reflection.

The game is played by any number of players: the first player throws his
marble against the wall, so that it may rebound and fall about a yard
distant from it; the other players then, in succession, throw their
marbles against the wall, in such a way as to cause them to strike any
of those already lagged out, and the marble struck is considered won by
the owner of the taw that strikes it, in addition to which the winner
has another throw. When only two boys play, each successively throws out
till one of the “laggers” is struck, and he who strikes takes up all.



Long taw is played by two persons in the following manner. One boy
places his marble on the ground at A, the other at B; then both retire
to the spot C. The first boy now shoots at B from a line marked at C. If
he strikes it, he takes it and shoots at A; if he strikes A, he then
wins the game. If, however, he misses B, the second boy then shoots at
B; if he strikes it, he can then either shoot at the first boy’s taw at
the place at which it lies, or he can shoot at A. If he hits his
opponent’s taw, he is said to kill him, and wins the game, or if he
shoots at A, and hits it. The boy who hits the last shot has the
privilege of shooting at the taw of the other, provided it has not
already been killed. If he hits it, the taw is taken, or the owner must
pay one, and the game ends; and if he misses it, the game is then at an
end also. Long taw is a game seldom played by London boys, but is very
common in the different English counties.


This game is played by means of a piece of board cut into the form of a
bridge, having nine arches, and just large enough to let the marbles
pass through, as in the subjoined diagram. One of the players undertakes
to be “bridge-keeper,” and the stipulation usually made is, that he
should receive one for every unsuccessful shot, and pay to those who
shoot their marbles through the arches the numbers standing over them.
The place from which the players shoot their marbles is generally about
four feet from the bridge.



One player extends his closed hand containing some marbles, and asks his
opponent to guess whether their number is odd or even. Should he guess
wrong, he forfeits a marble, and his questioner tries him with another
lot; but should he guess right, the first player must pay him a marble,
and take a turn at guessing.



This game consists in each player placing a marble on a line drawn upon
the ground thus, and the whole shooting at them in succession from a
mark about four feet off. The order of the shots is determined
beforehand, by pitching at a marble from a six-feet offing, those
nearest being first, second, third, and fourth in order, as the marbles
lie. The marbles knocked off the line are won by the respective



In this game a boy generally sits upon the ground, with his legs open
wide, and, making a small circle, places in it three marbles at the
three points of a triangle, and the fourth on the top of them, so as to
form a small pyramid. A distance of about four feet is then chosen as
the point to shoot from, and the other players shoot at the pyramid.
Those that strike it have all the marbles they knock out of the ring;
but if they miss, they lose their shots.



Ring taw is a game requiring skill and judgment, and is a most excellent
game. It is played as follows. Two rings are drawn upon the ground, a
small one, six inches in diameter, enclosed by a larger one, six feet in
diameter. Into the small ring each player puts a marble, called “shot.”
The players then proceed to any part of the large ring, and from thence,
as an offing, shoot at the marbles in the centre. If a player knocks a
marble out of the ring he wins it, and he is entitled to shoot again
before his companions can have a shot. When all the players have shot
their marbles, they shoot from the places at which their marbles rested
at the last shot. If the shooter’s taw remain in the small circle, he is
out, and has to drop a marble in the ring, and he must put in besides
all the marbles he had previously won in that game. It is a rule, also,
that when one player shoots at and strikes another’s taw, the taw so
struck is considered dead, and its owner must give up to the striker of
the taw all the marbles he may have previously won during the game. The
game is concluded when all the marbles are shot out of the ring, or all
the taws are killed.


This consists of one boy laying down his taw, and, giving a distance,
his antagonist shoots at it; if he misses, the first boy shoots at the
taw of the second, till one is struck, which the striker claims. Bounce
About is the same game played by throwing large marbles instead of
shooting smaller ones, he who strikes the other’s bounce being the



This is played on the same conditions as Die Shot. A teetotum is set
spinning by the keeper, and, when in motion, any player is allowed to
shoot at it, upon the payment of one marble, receiving, if he strikes,
turns over, and stops the teetotum, as many marbles as are indicated on
the side that falls uppermost. This is a very skilful game, and requires
good shots.


This game is played by making three holes in the ground, about a yard
and a half or two yards asunder. About two yards from the first hole a
line is drawn. The right to shoot first is decided by chance. The first
shooter now knuckles down at the line, and endeavours to shoot into the
first hole. If he does this he proceeds to the second, then to the
third, and wins the game; but this rarely occurs. If he misses the first
hole, the other players shoot their taws, and if neither of them enter
the hole, the first shot immediately does so; and then he has the
privilege either of proceeding to the second hole, or of killing the
other men by shooting at and hitting them, when they must either give up
their taws or drop one. Sometimes a player will kill all his antagonists
in succession without proceeding to any hole except the first, and thus
wins the game; at other times the game may be won by any of the players
killing their antagonists during any period of the game. It is a rule
that no one can “kill a taw” till he has been in the first hole.



This game is played by two or more players. To play it, a hole, of the
diameter of three inches, is first made on a smooth or level piece of
ground, and a line is marked at about seven feet from it. Each boy puts
down two, three, or four marbles, as may be agreed upon, and then the
whole party bowl for their throws, by retiring to three times the
distance already marked from the hole, and bowling one marble to it; the
order of throws being determined by the nearness that each boy’s marble
approaches the hole. When this is settled, the first thrower takes all
the marbles in his hand, and throws them in a cluster towards the hole.
If an even number falls in, such as 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, he wins all; but if
an odd number falls in, he loses all.

[Illustration: “MARBLES ARE OUT”]

[Illustration: TOPS]

The peg-top appears to be a modern invention, but the whip-top is of
great antiquity, it having been used in remote times by the Grecian
boys; it was well known at Rome in the days of Virgil, and in England as
early at least as the fourteenth century, when its form was the same as
it is now. Strutt, in his “Sports and Pastimes of the People of
England,” relates the following amusing anecdote of Prince Henry, the
eldest son of James I., which he met with in an old manuscript at the
British Museum: “The first time that the prince went to the town of
Stirling to meet the king, seeing a little without the gate of the town
a stack of corn in proportion not unlike to a top wherewith he used to
play, he said to some that were with him, ‘Lo, there is a goodly top!’
Whereupon one of them saying, ‘Why do you not play with it then?’ he
answered, ‘Set you it up for me and I will play with it.’”


These cannot easily be made, but can very easily be purchased by those
who are so lucky as to have the money. They are made hollow, having at
their crown a peg, round which is wound a string; this, being pulled
through a kind of fork, gives motion to the top, and sets it
spinning--the fork and the string being left in the spinner’s hand. In
spinning the top, care should be taken to wind the string firmly and
evenly on the peg; and when it is pulled out, neither too much nor too
little force should be used, and a firm and steady hand should be
employed, while the top should be held in a perpendicular position. The
string should be drawn with a steadily increasing force, or the top will
not hum properly.



There are various kinds of Peg-tops, and they also vary in shape, some
being much rounder than others. Those are the best which are shaped like
a pear. There is also great variety as regards the shape and size of the
peg, which in some tops is short and thick, in others long and tapering.
Again, tops are made of different kinds of wood, some being made of
deal, others of elm, some of yew-tree, and others of boxwood. These last
are the Boxers so highly prized. Some of the very best tops are made of
lignum vitæ, with long, handsome pegs.




The Spanish peg-top is made of mahogany. It is shaped somewhat like a
pear; instead of a sharp iron peg, it has a small rounded knob at the
end. As it spins for a much longer time than the English peg-top, and
does not require to be thrown with any degree of force in order to set
it up, it is extremely well adapted for playing on flooring or pavement.


Whip-top is a capital sport when played by two persons; and is played by
first whirling the top into motion by turning it sharply with both
hands, and then by flogging it till its motion becomes very rapid. When
two persons play whip-top, the object should be for each to whip his top
to a certain goal, he who reaches it first being the victor.


This game is played by two boys, in the following manner: Two lines,
about six feet apart, are marked upon the ground, which ought to be
smooth and hard. Some small stones are then procured and placed midway
between the lines; they should not be larger than a small bean, and the
black and polished ones are the most sought after. The tops are now set
up spinning on the ground, and the players, being each provided with a
small wooden spoon, dexterously introduce them under the pegs of the
spinning tops, and then, with the top still spinning in the spoon, throw
the point of the peg against the stone, so as to chip it out of bounds;
he who does this the soonest being the victor. While the top continues
to spin, he may take it up with the spoon as many times as he can, and
when it spins out he must again wind up, pursuing the same plan till he
“chips out.”

_Directions._--In winding up the top do not wet the end of the line too
much, and take care to lay it closely and evenly within the grooves. In
throwing the top from you, the line must be pulled in with a peculiar
jerk of the hand, which practice alone can give. The string button
should be held close in the hand, between the last two fingers of the
hand. There is what is called an “underhand” way of spinning a top,
_i. e._ by holding it peg downwards, throwing it in a straight line
forward, and withdrawing the string; but as we dislike everything
underhand, we shall not recommend this practice any more than we shall
the Spanish tops, which are spun after this method.



This game may be played by any number of boys. A ring about a yard in
diameter is first marked on the ground, and another ring surrounding
the first, and at a yard’s distance from it, is also marked. The players
must stand on this ring, and from it throw their tops. One player begins
by throwing his top spinning into the ring, and while it is there
spinning the other players are at liberty to peg at it as quickly as
they can. If none of them hit it while it is spinning, and if it rolls
out of the ring, the owner is allowed to take it up, and having wound
it, to peg at the others which may be still spinning in the circle.
Should any of the tops, when they cease spinning, fall within the ring,
they are considered dead, and are placed in the centre of the circle for
the others to peg at. The player who succeeds in striking any of the
tops out of the circle claims those so struck out. In some places each
player may ransom his top with a marble.

Sleeping tops are exposed to much danger in the play, for they offer a
fair mark to the “pegger,” and often get split, when the “peg” is taken
by the splitter as his trophy. Long-pegged tops are the best for the
game, for they lie more upon their sides after their fall, and, before
the spinning entirely ceases, are the more likely to spin out of the

There is a way of making the top spring out of the ring directly it has
touched the ground. Only long-pegged tops will execute this feat. It is
done by drawing the hand sharply towards the body just as the top leaves
the string. When the manœuvre is well executed, the top will drive any
opponent that it strikes entirely out of the ring, while it does not
remain within the dangerous circle itself for more than a few seconds.

[Illustration: “TOPS ARE IN.”]


There are some out-door games played with toys which do not fall under
any of our previous headings. These games we now lay before our reader,
together with a description of the toys in common use.


The Apple Mill is made by boring a hole in a nut, just large enough to
pass a thin skewer through; the kernel should then be extracted, and
another hole bored in the side of the nut, as A in the annexed figure. A
skewer should next be cut or thinned, leaving it large enough at the top
to form a head, as shown in the cut. A piece of string is then to be
tied to the skewer, and passed through the hole in the side of the nut
at A, and an apple stuck on the end of the skewer. The mill being now
complete in all its works, it should be twirled round in the same manner
as the humming top to wind up the string, holding the nut stationary
between the forefinger and thumb of the left hand; when this is done,
the string must be pulled out quickly, and the mill will immediately
spin round. When an apple cannot be procured, a small potato will serve
equally well.



This amusing game is of a very simple character, consisting essentially
in throwing at a small object. Aunt Sally herself is composed of a head
and bust cut out of a solid block of wood, and generally carved with
negro features, and painted black. In the middle of her nose, or between
her lips, a hole is bored, into which is stuck a short pipe. To break it
is the object of the game. An iron rod serves to support the wooden
figure at a proper elevation from the ground; and when in gala costume,
Aunt Sally is usually arrayed in a mob cap and a petticoat. The mode of
playing the game is as follows:--

The iron rod is stuck in the ground, a pipe put into the old lady’s
mouth, and a line drawn upon the ground, at twelve, sixteen, or more
paces. At this line the players stand, and each is furnished with three
short cudgels, about eighteen inches in length, which they hurl at Aunt
Sally’s head, in hopes of hitting the pipe. The best plan is to throw
the cudgels underhand, giving them a rapid rotatory movement at the same
time. Some persons insert an additional pipe into each ear; but this is
an innovation, and leads to careless throwing. It is better to hang a
sheet, net, or large cloth behind Aunt Sally, in order to catch the
sticks, and save the trouble of continually fetching them from a
distance. Within doors, the iron rod is furnished with a loaded



Or, “Throwing Sticks.” This very popular game among the Greeks was by
them called Kyndalismos. It was played with short batons, and required
considerable strength and quickness of eye. With us the game is played
in much the same manner as the Greeks played it. A stick is fixed in a
kind of cup or hole, about six inches deep, in a loose moist soil, and
the players consist of the Keeper and Throwers. The Keeper places on the
top of the stick some article, such as an apple or orange, and the
Throwers endeavour to knock it off, by throwing at it with short thick
sticks, or batons; whoever succeeds in doing this claims the prize,
whenever it falls without the hole. The Thrower will soon find in his
play, that to hit the stick is of little importance, as from the
perpendicular line of gravity which the apple or orange will take in its
descent, it is almost certain to fall into the hole. The aim, therefore,
should be to strike the object from the stick. This game is very common
at fairs and similar places, and three sticks, with articles upon them,
are usually set up, but which offer no advantage to the throwers.


Tip Cat, although not altogether a nice pastime, ought to be noticed
here. It is a dangerous game, and should be played with great caution on
the part of the players. It is a rustic game, well known, and generally
goes by the name of Cat. It is played with a cudgel or bludgeon,
resembling that used for trap-ball. Its name is derived from a piece of
wood called a “Cat,” of about six inches in length, and an inch and
half, or two, in diameter, diminished from the middle to both the ends,
being of the shape of a spindle or double cone; by this contrivance the
places of the trap and ball are at once supplied, for when the Cat is
laid upon the ground, the player with his stick tips it at one end by a
smart stroke, which causes it to rise in the air with a rotatory motion,
high enough for him to strike it as it falls, in the same manner as he
would a ball.


There are various methods of playing the game of Cat. The first is
exceedingly simple, and consists in making a large ring upon the ground,
in the middle of which the striker takes his station. His business is to
beat the Cat over the ring; if he fails in so doing he is out, and
another player takes his place; if he is successful, he judges with his
eye the distance the Cat is driven from the centre of the ring, and
calls for a number at pleasure to be scored for the game: if the number
demanded be found, upon measurement, to exceed the same number of
lengths of the bludgeon, he is out; on the contrary, if it does not, he
obtains his call.

The second method of playing Cat is to make four, six, or eight holes in
the ground, in a circular direction, and as nearly as possible at equal
distances from each other, and at every hole is placed a player with his
bludgeon. One of the opposite party who stands in the field tosses the
Cat to the batsman who is nearest him, and every time the Cat is struck
the players are obliged to change their situations, and run once from
one hole to another in succession. If the Cat be driven to any very
great distance, they continue to run in the same order, and claim a
score of one towards the game every time they quit one hole and run to
another. But if the Cat be stopped by their opponents, and thrown across
between any two of the holes, before the player, who has quitted one of
them, can reach the other, he is out.


This sport, which is of French origin, is for two players only. Both
being blindfolded, they are tied to the ends of a long string, which is
fastened by a loose knot in the middle to a post, and, as the knot is
very slightly tied, the players are enabled to move about with facility.
The player who takes the part of the “mouse” scrapes two pieces of wood
together, so as to make a grating noise, and for which purpose the edges
of one of the pieces of wood are notched: the sound attracts the other
player, who represents the “cat,” and he immediately uses his utmost
efforts to catch his prey, by following the noise as well as he can, the
“mouse” at the same time struggling about, in order to escape being



A similar game to Aunt Sally, but a simpler one, is made by scooping a
hole in the ground, and placing in it an upright stick; on the top of it
is placed a stone, or similar substance. The player then retires to a
distance, and flings at the stone with cudgels or balls, the latter
being preferable. If the stone falls into the hole, the player only
counts one towards the game; but if it falls outside the hole, he counts
two. This is a capital game for the seaside, and can be played upon the
sands. This game is almost similar to Baton.


The pea-shooter is a tube of metal, through which a pea may be propelled
with great force by a puff of air from the mouth. The ordinary tin
pea-shooters sold in the shops are comparatively worthless. We should
advise the reader to procure a straight piece of brass tube from two to
four feet long, and get a brazier to tin one end of it, so that the
brass may not corrode when placed in the mouth. With such a tube peas,
pellets of clay, and other projectiles may be shot with great precision
to a considerable distance. The game of puff and dart is played with a
long brass tube, and a small dart having a needle point. The dart is
blown through the tube at a target, on which there are divisions bearing
different numbers.


The game of Quoits is very excellent. It seems to have derived its name
from the ancient discus, and with us in the present day is a circular
plate of iron perforated in the middle, not always of one size, but
larger or smaller to suit the strength or convenience of the several


To play at Quoits an iron pin called a hob is driven into the ground
within a few inches of the top, and at the distance of eighteen or
twenty yards, as may be agreed upon, a second pin of iron is also fixed.
The players are generally divided into parties, and the players pitch
the quoits from hob to hob; those who pitch the nearest reckoning
towards the game. But the determination is discriminately made; for
instance, if a quoit belonging to A lies nearest to the hob, and a quoit
belonging to B the second, A can claim but one towards the game, though
all his other quoits be nearer to the hob than all the other quoits of
B, because one quoit of B being the second nearest to the hob, cuts out,
as it is called, all behind it. If no such quoit had interfered, then A
would have reckoned all his as one each. Having all cast their quoits,
the players walk to the opposite side, and determine the state of the
play. Then taking their stand there, throw their quoits back again, and
continue to do so alternately, till the end of the game. A quoit that
falls with its flat side upward does not count.




This game, as its name denotes, is played by means of nine pins, which
are set up in a regular order, the aim of the players being to throw
down as many as possible in the fewest attempts. Each player is
permitted to throw three times at the pins, and if he can knock them all
down in two throws, it is called a “single,” and they are again set up
for his last throw; or, if he can knock them down in one throw, it is
called a “double,” and they are set up. A heavy wooden ball, called a
“bowl,” is used to throw at the pins.



Skittles is played in a manner somewhat similar to the preceding game,
but the number of pins is only four. These are very large, and are
arranged on a square framework, so as to present one of the angles to
the player. The bowl used for playing this game is of the shape of a
cheese, and is usually made of lignum vitæ, as being very heavy and hard
wood. The game requires more bodily strength than nine-pins, as the bowl
must be thrown upon the skittles, and not rolled up to them.

The best play is to throw the bowl with a round-handed swing of the arm,
so as to strike the nearest skittle at the right of its upper third. The
ball then springs to the second skittle, and from this generally twists
to the third, while the fourth skittle is sent down by the roll of the
one first struck. It is very difficult to make this throw successfully,
and many players prefer driving down the first and third skittles with a
straightforward shoot, and then making their second ball spring across
from the second to the fourth. This latter stroke appears very
difficult, but is soon learnt; the great point being to throw the bowl
high, so that it may drop as perpendicularly as possible on the left of
the upper third of the second skittle. In the long run, the constant
repetition of this practice will overbalance occasional brilliancy of



This game is nothing more than a modification of nine-pins; the pins
being higher, and the centre one bearing the name of king, and a crown
upon its head. The great point in this game is to strike the king out of
the board without knocking down any of the subjects. If this can be
done, the game is won. In all other cases, the king counts for no more
than any of his subjects.


This is a good athletic sport, but the Hammer can scarcely be called a
toy. The hammer used by rustics is generally the sledge-hammer of the
blacksmith, with a head weighing some twelve or fourteen pounds. The
players are all single and do not join in parties, and the prize is
given to him who makes the greatest number of long throws in a dozen. It
does not merely require strength to throw the sledge-hammer, but a nice
calculation of the area which the Hammer has to pass over in its flight,
combined with the strength of the thrower.



This instrument is a curved piece of wood, flat on one side, and
slightly rounded on the other. It is used by the natives of New South
Wales, who can throw it so dexterously as to kill a man behind a tree,
where he may have fled for safety. It should be held horizontally in
throwing it, and cast by bringing the arm backwards, and after making a
variety of curves it will come back again to the person who send it. If
skilfully thrown, it may be made to go in almost any direction the
thrower pleases.

  [1] The instrument represented in the cut is the Australian boomerang.
      Those used in England have a sharper curve.


The skip-jack is manufactured out of the merry-thought of a goose, which
must, of course, be well cleaned before it is used. A strong doubled
string must be tied at the two ends of the bone, and a piece of wood
about three inches long put between the strings, as shown in the
marginal illustration, and twisted round until the string acquires the
force of a spring. A bit of shoemaker’s wax should then be put in the
hollow of the bone at the spot where the end of the piece of wood
touches, and when the wood is pressed slightly on the wax the jack is
set; it adheres but a very short time, and then springs forcibly up. The
skip-jack is placed on the ground with the wax downwards, and in some
parts of the country it is usual to call out, “Up, Jack!” or “Jump,
Jack!” just before it springs.




The art of slinging, or of casting stones with a sling, is of very high
antiquity. We see it represented on the Nimroud monuments, and the feat
of the divine youth, David, is familiar to every one. In the earliest
times there were bands of slingers, and probably whole regiments of
them, and there is little doubt that the art of slinging preceded that
of archery. The former seemed, however, to belong to the Asiatic, as the
latter did to the European nations. Our Saxon ancestors, also, seem to
have been skilful in their manner of holding the sling. Its form is
preserved in several of their paintings, and the manner in which it was
used by them, as far back as the eighth century, may be seen in the
annexed cut. We have also sufficient testimony to prove, that men armed
with slings formed part of the Anglo-Norman soldiery.


In country districts, slinging of stones is a common sport; and the
sling so used consists simply of a piece of leather cut into the
subjoined form, to which are affixed two cords, one having a loop. In
using it, leather is suffered to hang from the strong downwards; the
slinger places his little finger in the loop, and holds the other end in
his hand, and then putting the stone in the hole of the sling at A,
which prevents its falling, whirls the whole round for three or four
times, to obtain a strong centrifugal force, and suddenly letting go of
that part of the sling held in his hand, the stone flies forward with
inconceivable rapidity, making a twanging sound in the ear as it flies.
Slinging is a very good exercise for imparting strength to the arm, but
young slingers should be very careful where they send their stones, or
they may do much damage.


If any of my readers may wish to construct a better kind of sling, they
may do it in the following manner:--Get a currier to cut a piece of very
strong buckskin leather in this shape, the centre being cut into bars.
Two long strips of the same leather are then cut of this shape,


two cuts being made along them, so as to leave three leather cords.
These are plaited together, and the flat ends firmly sewn to the
centrepiece. The shape will then be this:


A sling made on this principle will carry a stone of a pound weight. The
loop and point should be whipped with silk. The accuracy that can be
obtained with such a weapon is astonishing, only the missiles should
always be leaden bullets of the same weight--two or three ounces being
the best average weight. At the school where my boyhood was spent, we
used to send such bullets just over the weather-cock of one of the
loftiest spires in England, and stripped a chestnut-tree of its
blossoms. One year there was a solitary blossom on the top of the tree,
which defied our efforts for many days. The blossoms were soon knocked
off, but the green stalk resisted the blows for a long time. It was
battered to pieces, but bent to the strokes, and had to be knocked off
in fragments. I mention this to show the accuracy of aim that can be
attained by practice.



Among the Swiss, and in several districts in the South of France,
walking on stilts is not only an amusing, but a useful, practice, as by
means of these crane-like legs men and women transform themselves into
the order of “Waders,” emulating the long-legged storks and herons, and
can cross over marshes and flooded grounds without wetting their feet.
Stilts are easily made, being nothing but a pair of poles, with a wooden
step at the sides for the feet to stand on. The poles are kept in their
proper place by the hands. A little practice will soon render a youth
“easy on his stilts,” and they may be made an amusing and healthy



The sucker is a toy of the simplest construction imaginable; it is made
by merely cutting a circular piece out of some tolerably stout leather,
boring a hole in its centre, and then passing a string through the hole,
taking the precaution to make a large knot at the end of the string, to
prevent its being drawn completely through the hole. Before using the
sucker, it must be steeped in water until it becomes quite soft and
pliable. If its smooth, moist surface be now pressed so closely against
the flat side of a stone or other body, that the air cannot enter
between them, the weight of the atmosphere pressing on the upper surface
of the leather will cause it to adhere so strongly, that the stone, if
its weight be proportioned to the extent of the disc of leather, may be
raised by lifting the string. If the sucker could act with full effect,
every square inch of its surface would support about the weight of
fourteen pounds. The feet of the common house-fly are provided with
minute natural suckers, by aid of which the insect is enabled to run up
a smooth pane of glass and walk along the ceiling.

       *       *       *       *       *

Our young readers will in all probability remark that we have laid but
little stress on games with toys, and that comparatively few toys have
been mentioned. We have done so intentionally, because the book is
written expressly for boys, and those, English boys. Now an English boy
always likes a toy that will _do_ something. For example, he cares not
one farthing for all the elegant imitations of guns in the world, as
long as he can have his pea-shooter; and the walnut stock, the
glittering decorations, and the burnished but useless barrel of the toy
gun, are nothing in his eyes, when compared with the plain tin barrel of
his beloved pea-shooter, which will throw a missile with rifle-like
accuracy of aim.

For these reasons, we have mentioned but very few toys, looking with
contempt upon those innumerable fabrications that find their place in
the windows of toy-shops, and in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred are
only purchased for the immediate gratification of spoilt children, who
unconsciously illustrate the real objects of toys, by pulling them to
pieces, and converting the fragments to unexpected uses.

[Illustration: END OF TOYS.]



There are many elaborate toys which are not included under this head, as
they are always sold with printed directions for using them. The games
which follow are played with toys of the simplest construction, many of
which may be easily manufactured by the reader.




This game is so well known as to require but little remark. The
Battledores may be purchased at the toy-shops, as may also be the Cocks;
but many of our young friends who know anything about carpentry may
easily make both for themselves. The Battledores can be cut out with a
key-hole saw into the subjoined shape. They should be about a quarter of
an inch thick, the handles about six inches long, and the “spades” of
about five inches long, and five broad. The Shuttlecock may be made by
cutting a piece of cork into the following form, and placing a small
brass nail at its lower end. The top should be plumed with five feathers
standing outwards from the rim, being fastened by a little gum into
small holes cut therein. The practice of the game is for two players to
beat the Cock backwards and forwards from one to the other, and the one
that lets it fall, by failing to strike it with his bat, is to give to
the other a pea, bead, pin, or some other small article. Some
foreigners, particularly the Chinese, play at this game with the toes,
hands, elbows, and other parts of the body, and will keep the Cocks up
in a most amusing manner, in the midst of many grotesque gestures.


This toy is simply a wheel or pulley of hard wood, having a very deep
groove, round which a strong but fine cord is wound. The player holds
the free end of the cord between his finger and thumb, gives a rapid
rotatory motion to the bandilor, by allowing it to fall towards the
ground; by a sudden jerk he now tightens the cord in the groove, and the
toy rises towards his hand. A little practice will enable any one to
keep the bandilor in motion for a considerable time by causing it to
rise and fall alternately.


A ball of ivory or hard wood is attached to a stem of the same
substance, having a shallow cup at one end and a point at the other. The
player holds the stem in his right hand, as shown in the figure; and,
having caused the ball to revolve by twirling it between the finger and
thumb of his left, he jerks it up and catches it either in the cup, or
upon the spike, to receive which a hole is made in the ball. We need
scarcely say that the latter feat can only be performed by a skilful
player. Cup and Ball was the favourite pastime at the court of Henry
III. of France.



The Cutwater is a circular piece of sheet lead, notched like a saw round
the edge, and having two holes pierced in it at some distance from each
other, through which is passed a piece of string, the two ends being
afterwards tied together. The annexed figure shows this toy, and the way
it is to be held by the player. To set the Cutwater in action, the
double string must be alternately pulled and slackened. Every time the
string is relaxed the disc revolves, in consequence of the impetus it
has acquired from the previous pull; and every time the string is
tightened, it whirls round in an opposite direction, as the double
string is then untwisted. If the edge of this toy be dipped in water, it
may be made to sprinkle the bystanders and the player; hence its title
of “Cutwater.”




Fifteen ordinary draughtsmen compose the flock of geese. The fox may
either be two draughtsmen placed one upon another, or any small object
which may be at hand. The game is played on a board marked as shown in
the annexed engraving. The fox is placed in the middle of the board, and
the geese on the points on one side of it, as shown in the illustration.
The game is to confine the fox to some spot on the board, so that there
shall be either the edge of the board or else two rows of men round him.
When the fox cannot escape, the game is done, and the player of the
geese wins; but when one of the geese is left on a point next to that
occupied by the fox, and is not supported by another goose behind, or by
the edge of the board, the fox can take it, and by jumping over its head
to the next space, he may, perhaps, escape the persecutions of some of
the others, as all the geese are compelled to move forwards towards the
end of the board that was unoccupied at the commencement of the game.
The fox is allowed to move either backwards or forwards. Neither fox nor
goose must be moved more than one space at a time. If the fox neglects
to take when he has a chance, he is huffed, and one of the captured
geese is restored to the back of the board. The fox should avoid getting
into the lower square of the board if possible, as he will find it
difficult to extricate himself from a position which can be so easily


There is another method of playing fox and geese on a chessboard;
namely, with four white men, representing the geese, and one black one,
representing the fox.

The geese are ranged on the four white squares nearest one player, and
the fox may be placed where his owner pleases. The best place for him is
that marked in the diagram, as he can manœuvre in a very puzzling way.

The geese can only move forward, and the fox moves either way. The
object of the geese is to pen up the fox so that he cannot move, and the
fox has to break through.

If the game is properly played, the geese must win, the secret being to
keep them all in line as much as possible. The fox tries to prevent this
plan from being followed up; and if he can succeed in doubling the
geese, or getting one to stand before another, he is nearly sure to pass
through them.


To play at Goose a board must be made containing sixty-three circles,
placed so as to form some resemblance to the shape of a goose, and
numbered consecutively. Two dice and a box, and as many counters as
there are players, are required. Each player in turn throws the dice,
and according to the number he throws, so he reckons, counting from No.
1, and placing his counter on the number he obtains. The player who
first reaches sixty-three wins the game. But mark; he must throw
sixty-three exactly, or else he has to count the surplus number back
from sixty-three. For instance, suppose when at sixty he throws eight,
this makes sixty-eight, five over sixty-three. The player must,
therefore, take five back from sixty-three, and leave his counter at
fifty-eight. The game is called Goose from the fact that a goose is
usually drawn on every fourth and fifth ring; and the player who lands
on one of these, scores double the number he has just thrown. Several
obstacles occur, however, on the journey. On one ring is drawn a bridge,
to pass which a toll of one counter must be paid. A little farther on is
an inn, where the player halts for two turns and pays two to the pool;
but if he fall into the pond, the unfortunate wight has to stay there
until another player tumbles in too, when he is allowed to proceed on
his journey. The last hindrance is a gloomy prison, in which the same
rule holds good, except that the relieving party, instead of going on as
in the case of the pond, remains in durance vile until somebody else
enters the prison-house. Other obstacles may be inserted at the players’


One player takes an oblong piece of paper, and having divided it into
three equal parts by folding, he sketches a comic _head_, either with
pen or pencil, in the upper space; he then doubles the paper over, and
hands it to another, who draws a _body_ in the middle compartment, folds
the paper over once more, and passes it to a third, who completes the
figure by drawing a pair of _legs_ in the lower space. The player who
draws the head, must continue the neck a little way into the middle
space, and he who sketches the body must just commence the legs in the
lower compartment; this arrangement insures the connexion of head, body,
and legs. Our first illustration shows how the paper is to be folded
over for drawing the different parts of a figure. Each player should be
provided with a pen or pencil, and a few pieces of paper; having drawn a
head, he should fold his sketch in a proper manner and pass it to his
right-hand neighbour; in this way a number of figures may be finished
simultaneously. A knowledge of drawing is not expected of any player, as
the crudest notion of a head, a body, or a pair of legs, will fully meet
the requirements of the game. Those who have never played at Head,
Body, and Legs, can have no idea of the absurd combinations that spring
from the independent labours of the different players; thus, a man’s
body will sometimes get joined to a donkey’s head, and be supported by
the legs of an ostrich.



This game is played with five little bones from a sheep’s trotter. One
player tosses up the knuckle-bones, sometimes one at a time, sometimes
all together, and catches them either in the palm or on the back of his
hand, according to certain rules. Should he fail to perform one of the
tricks properly, he must hand the bones to his opponent, who attempts to
go through the same series of manœuvres with them. When the first player
regains the bones through the unskilful play of his adversary, he once
more attempts the feat he failed to accomplish before, and if he
succeeds he tries to pass through the subsequent stages of the game. The
player who first arrives at the end of the regulated series of tricks
wins the game. It would be impossible to give the reader a clear idea of
the manner of performing each trick without the aid of diagrams. In
almost every school may be found an experienced player at knuckle-bones,
whose directions will be of more value than any remarks we can make,
though we were to devote a couple of pages to this pastime. In some
parts of England a similar game, called “Jackstones,” is played with
small round pebbles.



This is an ancient English game, and ought not to be laid aside; so we
resuscitate it for the benefit of young England. It used to be played in
England on the ground with stones, but may be played best on a table
indoors. The form of the merelle-table, and the lines upon it, as it
appeared in the fourteenth century, are here represented. These lines
are still the same. The black spots at every angle and intersection of
the lines are the places for the men to be laid upon. The men are
different in form and colour, for distinction sake. The manner of
playing is briefly thus: Two persons, having each of them nine pieces,
or men, lay them down alternately, one by one, upon the spots; and the
business of either party is to prevent his antagonist from placing three
of his pieces so as to form a row of three without the intervention of
an opposing piece. If a row be formed, he that made it is at liberty to
take up one of his competitor’s pieces from any part he thinks most to
his advantage; excepting he has made a row, which must not be touched if
he have another piece upon the board that is not a component part of
that row. When all the pieces are laid down, they are played backwards
and forwards in any direction that the lines run, but can only move from
one spot to another at one time. He that takes all his antagonist’s
pieces, is the conqueror.



To form this dart you must take an oblong piece of paper, and fold it
down the middle lengthwise; then double each of the lower corners up to
the middle crease, and fold the doubled paper over to the same mark; you
must now turn each folded side outwards, and your dart will resemble the
annexed figure. The paper dart, when thrown from the hand, rarely hits
the object aimed at, as it generally makes a graceful curve in passing
through the air. Boys sometimes amuse themselves by fighting sham
battles with these harmless weapons.



The best Popguns are made of a strong straight piece of elder-tree,
which ought to be cut from an inner branch, and should be about six
inches long. The pith of this should be pierced out by an iron ramrod
fitting the hole; and when the inside is made thoroughly smooth by
rubbing the rod up and down, it is ready for use. The pellets are made
with moistened tow--brown paper is a nasty thing to put into the mouth,
and we shall never advise the use of it. When the pellet is prepared, it
should be laid over the mouth of the gun in such a quantity as to
require squeezing and plugging in. The first pellet should be driven
through the gun to its other end; the second pellet is to be driven in,
in a similar manner to the first, and then it is forced through the gun:
the air between the pellets being incompressible beyond a certain point,
forces out the lower pellet with a loud “pop;” hence the the term
“Popgun,” which has been applied to them. Popgun-playing is not a very
healthy exercise, the pressing of the rammer against the pit of the
stomach frequently leading to derangement of that organ. To prevent
this, the lad who plays at popgun should have a small round board slung
over his neck by a string, hanging as low as the pit of his stomach,
like a “conductor’s ticket,” against which he should press the handle of
his ramrod when he fires off his popgun.


This trifling game is usually played by two boys. Each player places a
pin on the table, and then endeavours to push one pin across the other
with his finger-nail; should he succeed, both pins become his property.
At starting, the pins must be placed head to head, and the players push
alternately. Sometimes each player puts down two, three, or even more


To play this amusing game, which is of German origin, it is necessary to
be furnished with five cards, on which are painted the figures of a
white horse, an inn, a bell, a hammer, and a bell and hammer; with eight
little ivory cubes marked on one side only, six numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
6, and the other two marked, one with a bell and the other with a
hammer; with a box for throwing the dice, a hammer for disposing of the
cards by auction, and a proportionate quantity of counters for the
players. The cards, dice-box, and auctioneer’s hammer, are shown in the
annexed illustration. Any youth who can draw may easily prepare the
cards; the cubes may be procured from an ivory-worker’s and may be
marked with ink. The game can be played by as many persons as are
present. The counters are to be distributed by one of the players who
holds the office of cashier, their value having been previously
determined upon by the players. This being done, twelve are to be
deposited by each player in the pool. The cashier then disposes of the
five cards separately to the highest bidders, the produce of which is
also to be placed in the pool. The white horse is by far the most
valuable card, and therefore fetches the highest price in counters. The
inn ranks next, and is usually purchased by the most speculative player,
as its value depends upon circumstances. The bell and the hammer
generally fetch the same number of counters, these cards being equally
valuable, and the card upon which both bell and hammer are painted
fetches about half the number that is given for one of the single
figures. The bidders are not bound to confine themselves to the number
of counters dealt out to them at the beginning of the game; should they
exceed it, they may pay the remainder of the debt by instalments out of
their receipts in the course of the game.


Each person is at liberty to purchase as many cards as he may think

The dice are then to be thrown by the players alternately, beginning
with the holder of the white horse, any one being allowed to dispose of
his throw to the highest bidder. When all blanks are thrown, each of the
players pays one to the holder of the white horse, and he pays one to
the inn. If with the blanks the bell, or hammer, or the bell and hammer
together are thrown, the possessor of the card so thrown pays one to the
white horse.

When numbers accompany the bell, hammer, or bell and hammer, the cashier
is to pay the counters, to the amount of numbers thrown, to the holder
of such card, from the pool; but if numbers are thrown unaccompanied,
the cashier then pays to the thrower.

When the pool is nearly empty there arises an advantage to the inn, for
if a player throws a figure greater than the quantity contained in the
pool he pays the overplus to the inn; thus: suppose 4 are in the pool,
if the players throws 10, he is to pay 6 to the inn; and if 2 are
thrown, those 2 are paid to him from the pool, and so on till a figure
is thrown which clears the pool, and so concludes the game.

If all blanks are thrown after the inn begins to receive, the players
pay nothing, but the owner of the white horse pays one to the inn; and
should the bell, &c. be thrown with the blanks, the holder of that card
pays one to the inn; and if numbers accompany the bell, &c. the holder
of that card must pay to the inn the number thrown above those remaining
in the pool. Nuts are sometimes used as counters, and the players keep
their winnings. Sometimes the cashier receives a halfpenny or a penny a
dozen for the counters, and when the game is finished the receipts are
divided among the players according to their winnings. Those who do not
hold cards frequently find themselves richer at the close of the game
than their speculative companions, whose winnings do not always exceed
the price paid for their cards.


Spelicans are made of thin pieces of ivory cut into different forms,
some being like spears, others saws, bearded hooks, &c.; of some of the
patterns there are duplicates, whilst of others only one. Each pattern
has a value assigned to it, the lowest being five, and the highest
forty; the numbers do not run in regular succession--as five, six,
seven, eight--but irregularly, as five, sixteen, twenty-five. Hooks,
made of bone, are used pointers.

The game is played as follows:--One player should take up all the
spelicans in a bundle, and holding them at a little height from the
table, let them fall down in a confused heap on it; each player must
then try alternately to take away a spelican from the heap without
moving any of the others, and this it is generally very easy to
accomplish at the first, for the top ones are mostly unconnected with
the rest, but as the players proceed it requires some tact to jerk them
out, with the help of the hook, made pointed for that purpose. The
player who, at the entire removal of the heap, has the greatest number
of spelicans, wins the game. Should any of the spelicans, while being
removed shake the others, they must be put back into the heap again. It
is usual in some places, instead of each player removing a spelican
alternately, for one to continue lifting up the spelicans until he
happens to shake one, when another player takes his turn until he in
like manner fails, when another tries his fortune; and so the game
continues, until all the spelicans are withdrawn.


Athletic Sports and Manly Exercises:



[Illustration: ATHLETIC SPORTS.]



    “When I was a mere schoolboy,
      Ere yet I learnt my book,
    I felt an itch for angling
      In every little brook.

    “An osier rod, some thread for line,
      A crooked pin for hook;
    And, thus equipp’d, I angled
      In every little brook.

    “Where sticklebacks and minnows
      Each day I caught in store,
    With stone-roaches and miller’s thumbs:--
      These brooks afford no more.

    “But I a little angler,
      With crooked pin for hook,
    Would shun each noisy wrangler,
      To fish the little brook.”

What can be more delightful than angling? Not indeed so much on account
of the fish we may catch, but for the pleasantness of the recreation
itself, for the cool streams, the shady trees, the little sunny nooks,
the tiny or gigantic cascades, the meandering rills, the still pools,
“with sedges overhung;” the picturesque mill-wheels, the deep
mill-ponds, “smooth sheeted by the flood;” and above all, for the
hair-breadth escapes, for the duckings, for the hazards, for the
triumphs. We do not wonder at boys being fond of angling, it is almost
an instinct with them, and has long been a favourite amusement with boys
of all degrees, ages and constitutions. Therefore we shall be somewhat
comprehensive in our notices of this interesting sport, that every boy
who can bait a hook and hold a line may be an angler if he will.


First, however, let us say a word about fish in general, before we come
to fish in particular. Fish or fishes are, to speak scientifically, a
class of vertebrated animals (having a backbone) inhabiting the water;
which breathe through the medium of that fluid by means of branchiæ or
gills, instead of lungs; which swim by means of fins, and are mostly
covered with scales. They are also generally furnished with a white
membraneous bag close to the backbone, called the air bladder, by the
dilatation or compression of which it is supposed they can rise or sink
in the water at pleasure. All parts of their bodies seem to aid them in
swimming in the water; their fins, their tails, and the undulation of
their back-bones assist progression, and their whole structure is as
much adapted for swimming as that of a bird is for flight.

The fins of fish consist of thin elastic membrane, supported by bony
rays, and are denominated according to their position--_dorsal_ on the
back, _pectoral_ on the breast, _ventral_ near the vent, _anal_ that
between the vent and the tail, and _caudal_ the tail fins. The dorsal
and ventral fins appear to balance the fish, and the pectoral to push it
forward; while the tail fins are the grand instruments of motion, and
enable the creature to dart forward almost as rapidly as the bullet from
a gun.

With regard to the senses of fishes, the eye holds the first place; but
this is best adapted for seeing under water. Of the organ of hearing
there is no outward sign. The organ of taste is thought to be very
unsensitive, and the sense of touch but slightly developed. To preserve
their own existence, and to transmit it to their posterity, seems to be
their only enjoyment; they move forward in pursuit of whatever they can
swallow, conquer, or enjoy, and their insatiable appetite impels them to
encounter every danger, whilst to their rapacity there seems to be no
bound. A single pike has been known to devour a hundred roach in three
days. The fecundity of fish is prodigious. The number of eggs in the
codfish often amounts to more than three millions; those of flounders
are above a million, of the mackarel 500,000, of the sole 100,000, and
of the lobster 20,000; but the sturgeon is far more productive than any
of these, as it has been known to have more than twenty millions of

Without saying any more about “Fish in the abstract,” as the angler
called his “catch,” when he returned without one, we must go to the art
of “catching fish;” and the first thing to be attended to is the
necessary fishing apparatus, which may be increased to any extent; but
the _young_ angler would be wise to limit his stock as much as possible.
We have fished many a hundred miles of water, and killed many a thousand
of fish, with no better equipment than this:--One rod of about fourteen
feet long, with three tops,--one stiff top, for bottom fishing and
trolling, and two for fly-fishing. Two reels or winches, one holding a
silk and hair line of thirty-five yards in length for fly-fishing, and
the other holding a similar line, of forty yards, but much stronger, for
bottom fishing, trolling, &c. One moderate-sized creel or fishing
basket. One tin bait-box for worms or gentles; one tin live-bait can for
carrying pike baits or minnows; and one strong _bag_ for carrying
ground-bait. A landing-net; some shoemaker’s wax in a piece of soft
leather; a large clasp-knife; a pair of sharp-pointed scissors; a
pocket-book, the centre filled with leaves of flannel to hold flies, and
the remainder fitted up with gut, hooks, silk, baiting-needles, a pair
of small pliers, split shot, floats, &c.



The rod is a material article in the young angler’s catalogue, and much
care should be taken to procure a good one. The fishing-tackle shops
keep a great variety, made of bamboo cane, hazel, hickory, and other
kinds of wood. Rods are of different lengths, some fitted as
walking-canes, and others made to pack in canvass bags; the latter are
preferred, because you may have them any length, and they are more true.
Those made of bamboo cane are the best for general angling; but the rods
made of the white cane much superior for fine fishing, particularly for
roach, being very light in weight, but stiff.


In choosing a rod (not a school rod, for no one likes to choose that),
observe that it is perfectly straight, when all the joints are put
together and that it gradually tapers from the butt to the top, and is
from twelve to sixteen feet long. A bad rod is likely to snap in
striking a heavy fish. Rods fitted with several tops are at once the
best and most convenient. Some anglers have one rod for trolling,
another for barbel, perch, or other heavy fish, as well as one for
fly-fishing--which boys may have when they become men--but a thoroughly
good rod will suit the juvenile for all purposes. We have now one with
which we can fish for anything, from a bleak to a pike, by only changing
the top and second joints.

A good trolling rod should be made of the choicest stout and
well-seasoned bamboo cane, from fourteen to sixteen feet in length. When
trolling with the gorge, or live-bait fishing, a long rod is necessary,
to enable the angler to drop in his baited hook over high sedges,
rushes, &c. as also when the water is bright, for he should then keep as
far away from it as he can, which a long rod enables him to do while
dipping, casting, or spinning his bait. If either a jack or pike see
him, it is very rare indeed that he will take the bait; and again, with
a long rod you will be able to drop your baited hook in some very likely
place for jack or pike, such as a small hole, division, or clear place
among a bed of weeds, in a river or any other water where there are any

There is some difference of opinion among anglers about the number of
rings necessary for _trolling rods_: those who have their line on a
thumb winder, or on a bank runner, seldom place more than two or three
rings on their rod, and others have only one large ring at the top; but
if a winch is used, there should be a ring to every joint including the
butt; make each ring of double twist wire, fixed so as always to stand
out, and nearly large enough to admit the top of your little finger; the
top joint should have two rings, the top one nearly three times the size
of the others; this prevents any obstruction of the line running, which
is of material consequence. When not in use, rods should be kept nicely
stowed in a moderately dry place, and they ought to be well scraped and
revarnished every three years; should the joints become loose by
shrinking, they should be slightly moistened. Should any accident befall
a rod while fishing, and you should not have a spare top with you, your
only remedy will be to splice your rod. To do this the ends of the
broken pieces for about two inches must be laid parallel to each other,
and then tightly bound together with waxed silk, or very strong yellow
hempen twine.


Next to the rod the line is of the utmost importance. Good lines should
be well twisted. The twisted lines should be made wholly of silk, or
silk hair, but those made of gut are the strongest and best for young
anglers; the twisted hair are the cheapest, and the single horsehair the
finest. The young angler will find a line of about four yards in length
the most useful. A single gut line, with a small porcupine float, is
commonly useful for general fishing; the plaited silk lines are the best
for trolling, and are less inclined to break or tangle than the


The line must be shotted, that the float may partially sink in the
water; and in putting on the shots, place them all together within three
inches of the bottom loop of the line; to which loop fix the loop of the
hair or gut to which the hook is tied. When you make a line of silk,
gut, or hair, remember it must be always finest at the bottom, where the
hook is fastened, very gradually increasing in thickness to the top.


There are various kinds of floats, each adapted for different kinds of
fishing. The principal are: 1. Tip-capped floats; 2. Cork floats; 3.
Plugged floats. The tip-capped floats are made of several pieces of
quills, or of reed for the middle, and ivory or tortoiseshell for the
top and bottom, and narrow at each end, gradually increasing in
circumference to the middle. They are superior to all others for angling
in waters which are not very rapid, particularly in roach fishing, as
the least movement or fine bite sinks them below the water. The
tip-capped float is also best for pond fishing for carp and tench, as it
requires but few shot to sink it, and consequently disturbs the water
but little when cast. The young angler should note that the caps which
fix the lines to the float are not rough at the edge, as this roughness
chafes and weakens a fine line; should this be the case, he should
smooth them before use. The best caps are made of gutta-percha.


_Cork Floats_ are generally made of quills at the top, with a piece of
cork, which is burned or bored in the middle to admit the quill, and
then filed or ground down smooth and painted. The bottom is plugged with
wood, and has a ring to let the line pass through. Cork floats are well
calculated to fish in heavy or rapid streams, as they require a great
many shot to sink them, which weight of shot prevents the baited hook
from passing too rapidly over the bottom. Cork floats are made of
various sizes and forms; instead of common quills, some introduce the
quills of the porcupine, which make an excellent strong float. Except
for live-bait fishing a tapering cork float is preferable to a round

_Plugged Floats._--These kind of floats are the cheapest, and made of
indifferent quills, some of them of one goose quill with a wooden plug
at the bottom, from which they take their name: they are very apt to
loosen by the plug coming out. They are often used by the young angler,
because they are cheap; but we may say in the words of the ancient
Roman, “Bad is the best.”


A reel or winch is a most necessary addition to the rod and line, as it
enables you to vary the length of your line at pleasure, and to play
your fish. The best winches are those to fix in a groove on the rod, and
are fastened with brass ferrules made for the purpose on the butt,
because you can fasten such a winch to any sized joint.


There are three kinds of winches, check, multipliers, and plain: the
multiplying winch is apt soon to get out of order, unless carefully and
constantly oiled, and is otherwise the least efficient and most
expensive of the three. I would recommend young anglers at first, to
purchase a plain and strong winch, which will answer every purpose, and
be much less expensive. A check winch is, however, the best.


Are mostly made of silk and horsehair, twisted or plaited together, but
some are made entirely of silk. I prefer the latter, as it is less
likely to twist, runs more freely, and is less likely to rot. The length
of lines vary from fifteen to eighty yards; but for general purposes
thirty or five-and-thirty yards is quite long enough. The line should
always be unwound after a day’s fishing, as, if it is allowed to remain
wet on the reel, it soon rots.


Hooks are to be bought at the angling shops, of all sizes, and suitable
for the kind of fish to be caught. There are great controversies among
adept anglers about hooks, which are sometimes as violent as those upon
politics or religion. Some anglers prefer what are called the Limerick
hooks, some the Kendal; while others again prefer the Kirby or
Sneckbend. We are hooked to the Kirby, as we consider those to be by far
the best for holding the fish--a most important particular. The hooks
found most suitable for the following fish are these:--

  BARBEL, 1, 7, 8, 9.
  BLEAK, 11,12, 13.
  BREAM, 10.
  CARP, 7, 8, 9.
  CHUB, 8, 9.
  DACE, 10, 11, 12.
  EELS, 8.
  GRAYLING, 10, 12.
  GUDGEON, 9, 10.
  LOACHES, 13.
  MINNOW, 13.
  PERCH, 7.
  ROACH, 10, 11, 12.
  RUDD, 10.
  RUFFE, 10.
  SMELT, 9, 10.
  TENCH, 9, 10.
  TROUT, 6, 10.


To bait a hook with a worm, use the following method: First enter the
point of the hook close to the top of the worm’s head, and carry it
carefully down to within a quarter of an inch of its tail; to do which
you must gently squeeze or work up the worm with your left thumb and
finger, while with your right you are gradually working the hook
downwards. The small lively piece of the worm at the point of the hook
moving about will entice the fish; but, mind, if too much of the worm
hangs loose, though it may entice fish to nibble, yet they will seldom
take the whole in their mouth, so as to enable the angler to hook them;
on the contrary, he is frequently tantalized with a bite, and, when he
strikes, finds part of his worm gone, and his fish too. Therefore, to
bait a hook well with a worm is necessary to ensure hooking a fish when
you strike; and it consists in drawing the worm without injuring it (use
him as you would a friend, Walton says) quite over and up the shank of
the hook, leaving only a small lively part of the tail below. If you
bait with half a worm, prefer the tail end, and enter the point of the
hook into the top part, and bring it down nearly to the end of the tail,
leaving only a very small piece of it loose. If you bait with two worms
on the same hook, draw the first up above the shank, while you put the
second on in the same manner as directed with one worm, but enter the
hook near the tail of the second worm; then draw the first one down on
the second over the shank of the hook, and all will then be well
covered, and the bait will be a very _bon-bon_ for perch, chub, carp,
barbel, and all large fish; but when angling for gudgeon, and other
small fish, half a red worm is sufficient, and the tail end is best. If
blood-worms are used, put on two or three, in doing which be tender, or
you will burst them.


The principal baits are--

  10. GENTLES.
  11. CAD-WORMS.
  14. WASP-GRUB.

1. _Lob-worms_ are found in gardens or churchyards, late in the evening;
they have a red head, a streak down the back, and a broad tail. This is
a good worm for salmon, chub, trout, barbel, eels, and large perch.

2. _Brandling_ is found in old dunghills, rotten earth or cow-dung, and
the best in tanners’ bark. It is a good bait for any kind of fish.

3. The _Marsh-worm_ is found in marshy grounds, or on the banks of
rivers; and is a good bait for trout, perch, gudgeon, grayling, and

4. The _Tagtail_ is found in marly lands or meadows, after a shower; and
is a good bait for trout when the water is muddy.

5. The _Ash-grub_ is found in the bark of trees. It is a good bait for
grayling, dace, roach, or chub.

6. _Cowdung Bait_ is found under cowdung, from May to Michaelmas; and is
good bait for grayling, dace, roach, or chub.

7. _Caterpillars_ can be found on almost every tree or plant. Almost any
small caterpillar will answer.

8. The _Cabbage caterpillar_ is found on cabbages.

9. The _Crabtree-worm_ can be taken by beating the branches of the

10. _Gentles._ These are bred in putrid meat--liver producing the
best--or may generally be obtained from the butchers. They are an
excellent bait for most kinds of fish.

[Illustration: THE CADDIS FLY.]

11. _Caddis_ is found in ditches, or on the sides of brooks. It is an
excellent bait for trout, grayling, roach, dace, or chub.

12. _Flag-worms_ are found among flags in old pits or ponds, and are
good bait for grayling, tench, bream, carp, roach, and dace.

13. _Grasshoppers_ are found in sun-burnt grass, and are good bait for
chub, trout, and grayling.

14. _Wasp-grubs_ are to be obtained from wasps’ nests, and are a good
bait for most fish that will take gentles.[2]

  [2] Wasp-grubs will keep better, and be easier to fit on the hook, if
      they are baked for half-an-hour.

15. _Cockchafers_ are found humming round the bushes at about dusk on a
summer evening, and everywhere, and sometimes in cowdung; are a capital
bait for chub, though not for anything else.

16. _White-bread Paste_ is prepared by dipping white bread in water
(soaking and squeezing it in the corner of a pocket-handkerchief is the
best way), and then working it a little in the palm of the hand. It is a
good bait for carp, tench, chub, or roach. Some add a little honey.

17. _Cheese Paste_ is made with fresh cheese, worked up in the hand. It
is a good bait for chub.

18. _Ground Bait_ should be used in the spot about to be fished, and, if
possible, the night before, and should be fresh. For carp, chub, roach,
or dace, use white bread soaked in water, and mixed with bran, pollard,
or meal. For barbel, chandler’s greaves, boiled and worked up into a
ball with clay. Gentles may also be used as ground bait for any of the


First select the whitest pieces from those you have soaked, and put two
or three of them upon your hook, or as much as will cover it from the
bend to and over the point; these pieces should be put on the hook
separately, one after the other--not a large piece doubled, as some
slovenly boys will do, for then the hook is prevented from entering
firmly the fish you may strike. These little particulars of baiting are
of considerable advantage to young anglers, who ought to remember also
that it is a bad practice to soak greaves in hot water, for it makes
them rotten, and they in consequence soon fall off the hook.


To do this, the young angler should provide himself with a quantity of
fresh moss. Wash out all the earth and squeeze it, but not too dry; then
put it into a jar and squeeze it lightly down: throw in the worms upon
it. The jar should be kept in a cool place in summer, and the moss
changed once in three or four days. Gentles should be thrown into a
mixture of damp sand or bran to scour them, and will be ready in two or
three days.


Plummets are used by anglers for sounding the depth of a stream or hole.
They are of two kinds, either the folding plummet, or the common
plummet. The folding plummet, which is the better, is made of a slip of
sheet lead, folded up; and this the young angler should never be



Is performed in the following manner: If a folding plummet, unfold about
two inches of it, pass the hook over its side, and then fold the plummet
up again: your hook is now secured from drawing away from the plummet.
As success depends much in angling at a proper depth, the young angler
should take due pains, and measure the depth accurately before he begins
fishing. When the plumb-lead touches the bottom, and the top of the
float is even with the surface of the water, you will have the true



The landing-hook or gaff is a large hook, which is sometimes barbed like
a fish-hook, and sometimes plain, fastened to one end of a handle; this
latter is occasionally composed of several pieces, which run one into
another, like the slides of a telescope. A landing-net is a small net
mounted on a iron ring, which is fastened, like the landing-hook, to the
end of a handle or pole.


The clearing-line is made of several yards of strong small cord, to the
end of which is fastened a heavy ring of lead or brass. If the hook
should get fast in a heavy weed, post, or anything else, this ring is
put over the butt of the rod, and suffered to slip down the line to the
hook. The rod should be held in the right hand, the top pointing
downwards, the clearing-line in the left, the ring falling on the hook,
from its weight, generally clears the hook from what it may have struck
against. If not, the angler should hold the rod firmly, and draw the
line sideways, and break away. In this case, the angler seldom loses
more than a hook, if he acts as above directed; but without the
assistance of a clearing-line he frequently loses his float as well as
his hook and line, and sometimes breaks his top joint. The brass
clearing-rings are to be preferred, because they are jointed, and in
consequence can be used when the angler has a winch in his rod, in which
case the leaden ring could not be passed over the winch.


The drag is a piece of iron with three or four stout wire hooks without
barbs, placed back to back, fastened to a strong cord line, and which is
used to draw away weeds.


The bank-runner is mostly used in the day-time, when the angler is
fishing for roach, barbel, &c. It is stuck in the bank, the bottom
being strong turned wood, sharpened for the purpose, with a winder at
the top for the line, which should be from forty to sixty yards long,
made of silk, thin cord, or plaited Dutch twine. But there should be a
cork and bullet to the line, and the bait a dace or gudgeon, which
should swim about mid-water.


This should be of an oblong form, and not round; bright inside, and
brown out. In getting out the bait, never put your hand into the water,
which frightens the fish, and, by heating the water, makes them sickly
and dull; but make use of a small net, which is easily carried in the
fish-kettle, by having a piece of the lid cut away in one corner.


This is an instrument with a forked top, about six inches long, made of
iron, brass, or bone. Its use is to get the hook from a fish when
swallowed; and in using it, the forked end is thrust down upon the
swallowed hook with one hand, while the line is held tight with the
other: pressure disgorges the hook, and it is then easily drawn out. In
attempting to get a gorged hook from a fish without this instrument, you
run a hazard of breaking the hook and hurting yourself. When the fish is
hooked through the lip, the angler has only to hold the fish steadily in
one hand, while with the other he carefully disengages the hook.


1. Never fish any water without leave from the proprietor, unless it be
water that is free to all comers.

2. Never use unfair bait, or attempt to take fish in any but a fair and
sportsmanlike manner.

3. Never start on a day’s fishing without first considering the wind,
weather, and water.

4. Never let your shadow fall on the water.

5. Use the finest tackle of which your fishing will admit.

6. Never begin bottom fishing without first plumbing the depth.

7. Never intrude upon another fisherman’s water.

8. And always remember that nothing is lost by politeness.




The Salmon is the king of fresh-water fish. It is handsome in form, its
head is small, its nose pointed, its back and sides grey, its belly
silvery, and its flesh the well-known salmon colour. The male may
generally be distinguished by its having the lower jaw more “hooked,” or
turned up at the point, than the female; the head is also generally
somewhat longer, in comparison to the rest of the body.


Salmon bite best from six till eleven in the forenoon, and from three in
the afternoon until sunset, especially when there is a moderate breeze
upon the water. The chief months to angle for them are March, April,
May, and June. They are to be fished for with lob-worms, or in spinning
with minnows, but a large artificial fly is the most killing bait. The
rod, for a boy, should not be less than fifteen feet long, with a good
running line, and the reel should contain at least fourscore yards. The
hook must be large and long in the shank. Few of our young readers,
however, will be able to go salmon fishing till they have reached
maturity, and, therefore, to give detailed instructions as to the modes
of capturing the fish would be superfluous.


This beautiful fish is much prized. Izaak Walton says of it, “It is more
sharp-sighted than any hawk, and more watchful and timorous than your
high-mettled merlin is bold.” In its habits it is a very solitary and
predacious fish.

The trout are found in lakes and rivers and minor streams, and are
finest in appearance from the beginning of April to the end of July or
middle of August: their principal spawning time is from November to
January. The most brilliant and beautiful trout are generally found in
streams that flow rapidly over rocky or chalky bottoms. They feed upon
worms, minnows, and other small fish, but their favourite food consists
of insects, flies, caterpillars, &c. upon which they thrive and fatten


In angling for the trout we must have a stout rod and running tackle.
The principal baits for him are natural and artificial flies, minnows,
and worms. The minnow is, perhaps, the most taking bait for large trout:
it should be cast lightly on the water, and drawn trippingly against the
current so as to spin. The angler must strike directly his bait is
seized. The favourite haunts of the trout are scours, mill tails,
eddies, pools, the roots of overhanging trees, and the “nethers” of
bridges and weirs.


The mighty luce or pike, says Walton, is taken to be the tyrant, as the
salmon is the king, of the fresh waters. His aspect is savage but by no
means repulsive, and when in fine condition a large pike is altogether a
grand-looking fish. His teeth are very sharp and very numerous, being
upwards of seven hundred, and his voracious appetite is such that
nothing comes amiss to him. He has been known to swallow the plummet,
and the clay and bran balls of ground bait of the angler, and he will
prey upon “rats and mice and such small deer,” with ducks, geese, and
even swans, which he has been known to pull under water. He often grows
to an enormous size (no wonder), and has been taken upwards of ninety
pounds in weight.

Pike are fond of dull, shady, and unfrequented waters, with a sandy,
chalky, or clayey bottom, and are found among or near flags, bulrushes,
or water docks. They seldom seek a very rapid stream, although weirs and
mill-pools are often their favourite retreat in the early summer
months--that is, in June and July, when they have recently spawned. In
winter they retire into the depths, eddies, and waters little acted upon
by the current.


The pike is in its prime during October and November, but is in season
from June to February; the baits used for it are gudgeon, minnows, chub,
and bleak, and should be about three or four inches in length. The rod
should be strong; the line of dressed silk, at least sixty yards long,
wound upon the winch already described. Hooks for trolling, called dead
gorges, and other sorts for trolling, snap, &c. and fishing needles, are
to be bought at every shop where fishing tackle is sold; in the choice
of the first, let them not be too large, nor their temper injured by the
lead on the shanks, nor the points stand too proud; and although usually
sold on wire, it is recommended to cut off the wire about half an inch
from the lead, and with a double silk, well waxed, fasten about a foot
of good gimp to the wire, with a noose at the other end of the gimp
large enough to admit the bait to pass through to hang it upon the line.
The best baits are gudgeon and dace of a middling size; put the baiting
needle in at the mouth and out at the middle of the tail, drawing the
gimp and hook after it, fixing the point of the hook near the eye of the
fish; tie the tail to the gimp, which will not only keep it in a proper
position, but prevent the tail from catching against the weeds and roots
in the water. Thus baited, the hook is to be fastened to the line and
dropped gently in the water near the sides of the river, across the
water, or where it is likely pike resort; keep the bait in constant
motion, sometimes letting it sink near the bottom and gradually raising
it. When the bait is taken, let the pike have what line he chooses. It
will be soon known when he has reached his hole, which he generally
flies to, by his not drawing more. Allow him ten minutes for gorging the
bait, wind up the line gently till you think it is nearly at its
stretch, and then strike. Manage him with a gentle hand, keeping him,
however, from roots and stumps, which he will try to fasten the line
upon, till he is sufficiently tired, and a landing net can be used; but
by no means, however apparently exhausted he may be, attempt to lift him
out with the rod and line only.


In trolling, the bait hook should never be thrown too far; in small
rivers the opposite bank may be fished with ease, though the violence of
its falls upon the water in long throws soon spoils the bait by rubbing
off its scales. In angling for pike always prefer a rough wind. If a
pike goes slowly up a stream, after taking the bait, it is said to be
the sign of a good fish.


Is one of the most delicious fish for eating, although small in size. It
bites freely from the latter end of spring until autumn, in gloomy warm
days, from an hour after sunrise to within the same space of its
setting; and during the rest of the year, in the middle of the day, when
it is warmest.

In angling for gudgeon the tackle must be very fine, a single hair or
fine gut fine, a hook No. 8 or 9, a short rod and line, and a small
tapering cork float. The gudgeon will take the small red-worm greedily,
and blood-worms--the first is perhaps the best. A rake or the boat-hook
should be kept frequently stirring the bottom. To the spot so stirred
gudgeon assemble in shoals, expecting food from the discolouring of the
water. They are apt to nibble at the bait; the angler ought not,
therefore, to strike till the float goes well down.

[Illustration: GUDGEON AND BREAM.]

Should any young angler desire a good day’s fishing for gudgeon, and a
pleasant walk into the bargain, he should seek out some sequestered
gravelly stream, and providing himself with a rake with a long handle,
he may have sport till he is tired of it. He will find the fish
scattered up and down every river in the shallows during the heat of
summer, but in winter they get into deeper water. Gudgeon are to be
fished for there with your hook always touching the ground.


The roach is a handsome fish either in or out of the water. It inhabits
many of our deep still rivers, delighting most in quiet waters. It is
gregarious, keeping in large shoals. It delights in gravelly, sandy, or
a kind of slimy marl bottom, under a deep gentle running stream; in
summer it often frequents shallows near the tails of fords, or lies
under banks among weeds, under the shades of boughs, and at or opposite
the mouth of a rivulet or brook, that empties itself into a large river.
In winter the roach like to get into clear, deep, and still waters.

The tackle for roach must be fine and strong, a twelve-foot rod and a
five-foot line, a porcupine float, and hooks No. 11 or 12. The bait,
gentils, bread-paste, boiled wheat or red worms. The ground bait should
be damp meal or bran, mixed with soaked bread or clay (the former best).
In fishing for roach in ponds, chew and throw in white bread. The hook
should be No. 6, and the bait either touch the bottom or lie within one
inch of it. As many gentils should be put on the hook as will cover it,
all but the barb. Strike _directly_ the float goes down.

The season for roach fishing in the Thames begins about the latter end
of August and continues through the winter. To London Bridge and among
the shipping below it, numbers of roach return in June and July, after
having been up the river to spawn, and many of them are taken by means
of a strong cord, to which is fastened a leaden weight, more or less,
according to the strength of the current; a foot above this lead a twine
twelve feet long is joined to the cord, and to this twine at convenient
distances are tied a dozen hair links, with roach hooks at the ends;
these are baited with white snails or periwinkles, the fisherman holds
the cord in his hand, and easily feels the biting of the fish, which is
a signal to pull up, and frequently five or six are taken at a haul.

[Illustration: ROACH AND DACE.]


Dace are gregarious--are great breeders--very lively--and during summer
fond of playing near the surface. Their haunts are deep water, near the
piles of bridges, where the stream is gentle, and has a sandy or clayey
bottom. They like deep holes that are shaded by water-lily leaves, and
under the foam caused by an eddy; in the warm months they are to be
found in shoals on the shallows and gravels.

The baits for dace are red-worms, gentles, and small flies, natural or
artificial, used as in fly-fishing for trout. In angling for dace with
worms, maggots, &c. the tackle cannot be too fine, the float small, the
hook No. 9, the shot a foot from it; by baiting the place with a few
maggots before fishing, the diversion will be increased. If you angle in
an eddy between two mill streams, and the water is only two or three
feet deep, there will be a greater chance of success than where it is
deeper; bait and strike as in roach fishing. The ground-bait may also be
the same.

Fish for dace within three inches of the ground, especially where the
ant fly is the bait under water. In fishing, take advantage if you can
of a still, warm, gloomy day, or go in a summer’s evening to a gravelly
or sandy shallow, or tail end of a mill-stream, and as long as the light
continues the dace will yield diversion.


“Perch feed on perch,” is an old maxim; the perch being the only one of
all fresh-water fish that feeds on its own kind. His excuse is a
prodigious appetite, like that of Saturn, who ate his own offspring.
Notwithstanding this wicked propensity, the perch is a beautiful fish,
the back and part of the sides being a deep green, marked with broad
black bars, pointing downwards; the spaces between are golden, the belly
white, and the fins tinged with scarlet. They vary greatly in size. The
largest perch we ever caught weighed three pounds twelve ounces, and was
taken with a roach bait near Richmond. Their general length is about ten
or twelve inches.


Perch are found in ponds and in clear rivers with pebbly, clayey, or
sandy bottoms. They are fond of water moderately deep, and frequent
holes near to gentle streams where there is an eddy, the hollows under
banks, among weeds and roots of trees, piles of bridges, or in ponds
which are fed by a brook or rivulet. The perch is a bold biter in the
summer, but scarcely ever in the winter. In the middle of a warm
sunshiny day, you are sure to have him with a proper bait. In the winter
he bites best in large quiet eddies, to which he retreats after the
first heavy flood.

The baits for perch are various, as well as the manner of using them. Of
worms, the best are brandlings, and red dunghill-worms, well scoured.
The hook may be varied from No. 2 to 6, being well whipped to a strong
silkworm gut, with a shot or two a foot from it. Put the point of the
hook in at the head of the worm, out again a little lower than the
middle, pushing it above the shank of the hook upon the gut; then put
the point of the hook into the worm again the reverse way, and draw the
head part down so as to cover the hook entirely. This is the most
enticing method that can be adopted in worm-fishing. Use a small cork
float to keep the bait at six or twelve inches from the bottom, or
sometimes about mid-water. In angling near the bottom, raise the bait
very frequently from thence almost to the surface, letting it gradually
fall again. Should a good shoal be met with, they are so greedy that
sometimes they may be all caught.

Other baits for perch are cadbait and gentles; but the best and most
enticing bait is a live minnow. If you find the fish shy, try not long
in one spot. In baiting your hook with the minnow, fix your hook through
his upper lip, and use a small reel with your rod. Your hook should be
No. 5, fastened to a link of gut.


The grayling is a fish of elegant form; the back is of a dusky purple,
the sides of a fine silvery grey, with the scales in long parallel rows
or lines (from which the fish derives its name), marked with black
spots, irregularly placed. It is rather a hog-backed fish; and, from the
nose and belly touching the ground together, is supposed to feed mostly
at the bottom. In length it seldom exceeds sixteen inches, but some have
been caught upwards of five pounds in weight.


The haunts of the grayling are in rapid, clear streams, particularly
such as flow through mountainous countries. They are usually taken in
the same manner as the trout, and with similar baits. They do not bite
freely till late in August, or early in September, and may be found at
the tails of sharp streams and in deep water. They rise more boldly than
the trout, and if missed several times will still pursue the bait. They
will bite during the whole of the cold cloudy days; but the preferable
time to look after them is between eight and twelve o’clock in the
morning, and from four in the afternoon till after sunset. Grasshoppers,
wasp-grubs, maggots, and the artificial fly, are the most killing baits.


This fish takes its name from the shape of the head, not only in our
own, but in other languages. The head and back are of a deep dusky
green, the sides silvery. The tail is forked, and very black at the end,
and altogether the chub is rather a handsome fish, although its flesh is
not much in esteem.

The haunts of the chub are in rivers whose bottoms are of sand or clay,
or which flow over a gravelly bottom, in deep holes, under hollow banks;
in summer, particularly where shaded by trees, &c. they frequently float
on the surface, and are sometimes found in streams and deep waters,
where the currents are strong. In ponds fed by a rivulet they grow to a
large size.


To fish for chub at the bottom, you should have a stout long rod, a
strong line (and if you use a reel, you will be the better able to fish
under bushes), with two yards or more of the best silkworm gut at
bottom; a hook proportionate to the bait used; a swan-quill float; and
the line so shotted, eight or ten inches from the hook, as to sink the
float to a quarter of an inch above the surface. The same groundbait is
to be used as for carp. The best baits are greaves, cheese paste, or the
tail end of a well-scoured lob-worm. The cockchafer is also a very
tempting bait, especially towards dusk: no float or shot are required
for this.

After baiting your hook with a cockchafer, move it two or three times
near the surface, as in the act of flying; then drop it in the water,
tapping the rod gently, which will cause the appearance of its
struggling to escape. This attracts the chub, who are so fond of this
bait, that they will rise two or three at a time to seize it. But mind
and be ready with your landing-net.

The chub will take a grub, wasps, maggots, paste of fine new bread
worked in the hand, and tinged with vermilion, to make it look like
salmon-roe; but the best bait for bottom or float-fishing for the chub
is new Cheshire cheese, worked with the crumb of a new roll, or the pith
from the backbone of an ox. In baiting with the cheese, put a round lump
the size of a cherry on a large hook, so as to cover the bend, and some
way up the shank; fish six inches from the bottom, or in cold weather
the bait may lie on the ground. When there is a bite, the float will be
drawn under water: strike immediately, and give him play, holding a
tolerably tight line, to keep the fish clear from weeds and stumps.

The best time for fishing for chub is chiefly before sunrise to nine in
the morning, and from four till after sunset in the summer; but, in
winter, the middle of the day is best. In hot weather, the chub is to be
fished for at or near the top of the water, and not deeper than
midwater; and in cold weather, close to or near the bottom; and the main
point in taking the fish is for the angler to keep himself out of sight.
A very deadly way of killing chub, and certainly the most artistic
method, is with the artificial fly, used as in trout fishing. Flies are
made expressly for this purpose, and of these the best are red and black
palmers, and the Marlow buzz.


Carp are esteemed among the richest fresh-water fish we have in the
kingdom, and are as cunning as foxes. The angler, therefore, must be
“wide awake” to catch him, and also as patient as a saint. He may,
however, fish for him at any time in the day during warm weather. The
bait may be either worms or paste. Of worms, the bluish marsh or meadow
is the best; but a red-worm, not too big, will do: of paste, the best is
made of bread and honey; and the spot intended should be well baited
beforehand. In a large pond, to draw them together, throw in either
grains, or soaked bread worked up with meal or bran; follow this with a
few of the small baits you intend to angle with.


Whilst you are fishing, chew a little bread, and throw it in about the
place where your float swims. In fishing for carp in ponds, the bait and
about half a foot of the gut nearest the hook should _lie on the
bottom_; otherwise the carp will continually suck the bait off. When the
carp has fairly taken the bait, you will perceive the float move
steadily away or under water, then strike, and not till then. In this
way, with due patience, you will prove a match for these crafty fish.


The tench is one of our most useful fresh-water fishes, for the ease
with which it may be preserved, and the goodness of its flesh. It is
very usual to breed it in ponds, but naturally, like many others of the
carp tribe, it is generally found in lakes and still waters; its
favourite haunts are in places well shaded with bushes or rushes. In
standing waters, it lies under weeds, near sluices, and at pond-heads.


The best baits for tench are bread paste and red worms, but he usually
prefers the latter. He feeds best in the three hot months. The worm
should be put on the hook in the method directed for perch, but the hook
itself should be of a somewhat smaller size. Use a light float and
strong gut line, and let the bait swim within an inch or two of the


Is something like a perch in shape, but more bluff and bulky. He is
found principally in slow, deep, quiet rivers, which have a loamy
bottom. The spawning time is in April. The best baits for him are
red-worms and brandlings. The places where he is to be had are where
the water is deep and still; and these places should be baited with some
clay-balls, with which worms are mixed. Should the water be muddy, worms
will do alone; but if clear, clay must be used to render it opaque
before you fish. The fish will bite at any time of a warm summer’s day,
when the sky is cloudy. In angling, use a No. 8 or 9 hook, with a quill
float; and the moment you see the float disappear, strike.



The bream, at full growth, is a large and stately fish, and is
oftentimes as fat as a hog. He is principally found in large ponds or in
lakes, and in still rivers where the waters are deep and shaded by
weeds; and may be taken throughout the latter part of summer and autumn.

The baits are many: paste made of white bread and honey, gentles,
wasp-grubs, and brandlings; but much the best general bait is the tail
end of a lob-worm. Use lob-worms, cut in pieces, brewers’ grains, or
greaves, as groundbaits in the places where you intend to angle. Use a
gut line, quill float, and hook the same as for perch. Sound the bottom,
which should be eight or ten feet deep, and stand at least two yards
from the bank from which you fish; the bait should just touch or trip
along the bottom.


The flounder is a well-known flat-fish very common about our own coasts;
and should any of our young friends be at the seaside, it is well that
they should know how to take flounder. They are also found in rivers, at
some distance from the sea. They may be taken in May, July, and
August,--not in June, as that is their spawning time. The best baits
are red-worms and marsh-worms, on a No. 6 hook; and you should fish at
the bottom.

[Illustration: THE FLOUNDER.]


Eels are denizens of the mud; but they are fond of clean not foul mud,
and ought never to be sought after in filthy places. There are many
modes of taking them: by rod and line, by dead line, by sniggling, by
bobbing, and by spearing. When a rod is used, you should put a brandling
or red-worm on a No. 8 hook; the bait should touch the bottom; and, when
you have a “bite,” the float should be drawn quite under water before
you strike.



The dead line is a line of whipcord, with hooks about two feet asunder,
baited with lob-worms or small fish, and having a weight at the end. You
should also have a bank-runner--a reel on a pin or stake stuck into the
ground on the edge of the bank; the line and baits should be thrown in,
and left for the eels to amuse themselves with,--looked to, and drawn up
at your leisure.

In sniggling, a lob-worm is put upon a stout worsted needle; the line is
on a winder; and the fish will be found near flood-gates, wharfings,
bridges, piles, holes in the banks of rivers, ponds, and canals. The
bait should be put into the lurking-places of the eel, by means of a
stick with a forked head; and when the bait is taken, which will easily
be known by the pull of the string, strike.

Bobbing for eels.--In this process long red-worms are strung on threads
of worsted, until a bunch as large as the two fists is formed around a
piece of lead. The whole is sunk to the bottom, or nearly so, then
raised a little, then depressed, so as to induce the eels to bite. When
this occurs, heave up without hurry. The number of eels taken in this
way is often prodigious.

In spearing eels, the spearer usually goes into the mud in a pair of
pants or mud pattens, pieces of square board fastened into the heel to
prevent sinking. He takes an eel-spear in his hand, something like
Neptune’s trident, and progs the mud all over, and the eels are caught
between the forked blades of the spear. Great numbers of eels are taken
in this way on the muddy ooze of salt or fresh-water rivers.



The stickleback is a dark-coloured little fish, found in ditches and
ponds. They are best caught with a small hand-net, and are occasionally
used as bait for perch. The minnow is very beautiful in appearance,
being of a rose colour underneath, and may be taken with a worm and a
No. 13 hook at any time of day; but more easily with a small hand-net.
They are commonly found in little rivulets, rills, or small sandy
streams, and are highly prized by the angler as baits for many kinds of


The barbel is a bold, sturdy, handsome-looking fish, although its flesh
is coarse to the eater; but he is a rare fellow for sport, and often
affords great amusement as well as chagrin to the angler by his bolting
off with the line by a “coup de barbel,” and breaking it with his tail.
Izaak Walton says, that barbel “flock together like sheep.”

Barbel are to be found in the strongest runs of water. In summer, they
love the shallowest and sharpest streams, and will lurk under weeds, and
will root and dig in the sand like pigs. Sometimes he retires to deep
and swift bridges, or to flood-gates or weirs, and will rest himself
against piles or hollow places. In winter he gets into deep water.

[Illustration: BARBEL WITH GOLD CARP.]

In fishing for barbel in large streams, you should go out in a boat
provided with greaves, gentles, and red-worms; and, before you begin
fishing, you should throw in plenty of groundbait--such as soaked
greaves, bran and clay made into small balls, maggots, or lob-worms.
They may be angled for with a stout rod, strong running line, cork
float, and No. 7 or 8 hook, baited with marshworms or greaves. The
barbel being a sharp biter, strike the moment you feel a nibble. He may
be caught from May to October all day, but best in the morning and
evening. After he is struck he will frequently make a run, but you must
play him gently; keep him clear of weeds, and try to get him into deep
water; and when you have him, mind he does not bounce out of your hand
and drop down the stream again.


Fishing with a fly may be practised either with the natural fly, usually
called “dipping,” or with the artificial fly; in which latter case the
sport is called “fly-fishing,” or sometimes “whipping.” Dipping requires
a moderately long and _stiff_ rod, of about twelve or thirteen feet. The
line should not be above a yard in length from the end of the rod, but
the reel should contain sufficient to play the fish if necessary. When
the river is much overhung with bushes, it is a good plan to wind the
line round the end of the top joint, leaving only a few inches
dependent; and then, having thrust the rod through some small opening in
the bushes, gradually to unwind the line by turning the rod in the hand,
so as to drop the fly on the water in the most gentle manner. In this
insidious way large fish are often taken with any of the flies which are
in season and found at the time on the banks of the river which is
fished, especially if they are only just coming out, and the fish are
not yet satiated with them. It is quite needless to give a list of the
natural flies which are likely to prove serviceable to the fisherman,
because he has only to look for those which _at the time_ are tempting
the fish, and then to endeavour to find them on the banks, and at once
to try their powers. In the case of chub, however, he will find
grasshoppers and humble-bees more useful than any of the flies, and yet
they are neither of them often seen upon the waters, and may be
considered exceptional cases. The fish which will generally take the
natural fly are grayling, trout, chub, and dace.


For this delightful sport, which captivates alike the sexagenarian and
the schoolboy, rods and tackle of the finest quality are required. It is
true, that a good workman will take fish even with a willow wand, but
still he would do far better with a rod turned out by a good maker; and
few young hands will be able to do much without a well-finished specimen
of the art of rod-making. The rod should be strong, yet fine, and either
of dressed silk, or silk and hair mixed. The lower portion, called the
foot-length, is of gut, generally occupying about five or six feet of
it, to which one, two, or three flies are attached, the one at the end
being called a stretcher, and the others droppers.

The fly-fisher should be able to make his own flies, as there is a great
advantage in being able to “do for oneself;” and it may sometimes happen
that he may be out of a particular fly when far away from “fly shops.”


Feathers of various kinds; hairs of various kinds; very fine sewing
silk; gold and silver twist. Of the first, the young fly-fisher must
provide himself with the feathers of the duck, cock, grouse, snipe,
bittern, woodcock, partridge, landrail, starling, jay, golden plover,
and peacock. Of the second, the fur from Tommy’s tail, from the skins of
squirrels, moles, and water rats, camel’s hair, hare’s ear, fur from its
neck, the yellow fur from the neck of the martin, mohairs of different
shades, camlets, black horsehair, hog’s down dyed various colours. And
with these, gimps, silks, and tinsel, a good pair of pliers, and a pair
of fine-pointed scissors.

In making your fly, imitate as nearly as possible the natural fly you
wish to represent; to do this properly, it will be well to dissect a
natural fly, and to imitate its several parts, and then to reconstruct
it with a reference to the whole. With a hook of the proper size, and a
feather of the right colour, the fly-maker may now commence. His feather
must be stripped down on each side, leaving just so much as will do for
the wings at the fine end; a piece of fine gut, free from imperfection,
and properly tested as to its strength; dubbing or hackle; and a piece
of fine silk well waxed with shoemaker’s wax.

Let the essay be now made. Hold your hook in the left hand, wrap the
silk round the bare hook two or three times, and put the finest end of
the gut on the under side of the hook. If you are working for a tackle
fly, begin at the band and work up to the head, after turning three or
four times round the hook and gut; fasten on the tackle, and continue
the winding of the silk until it reaches the end of the hook, then turn
it back two or three times, to form the head. The dubbing must now be
twisted round the silk, and wrapped upon the hook for nearly half the
proposed length of the body; fasten it there by a single loop, that both
hands may be at liberty to manage the tackle.

When sufficient of the feather is wound upon the hook, the remainder
should be held under the thumb of the left hand, and the entangled
fibres picked out with a needle. The silk and dubbing must now be
twisted over the end of the tackle, until the body of the fly is of the
length required, and then fastened. If gold or silver twist is used, the
twist should be fastened to the lower end of the body before the dubbing
is applied to the silk.

_To make a winged fly_, the same method must be observed in tying on the
hook; then take the feather which is to form the wings, and place it
even on the upper side of the shank, with the roots pointing towards the
bend of the hook; fasten the feathers, by winding the silk over it, and
cut the root end close with a pair of scissors, and divide the wings as
equally as possible with a needle, passing the silk two or three times
between them, to make them stand in a proper position; bring the silk
down the shank of the hook the proposed length of the body, and fasten
it, then apply the dubbing to the silk, and twist it towards the wings;
fasten in the hackle for legs, and wind it neatly under the wings, so as
to hide the ends of the cut fibres: the silk must be fastened above the
wings--be careful of this.

It would be impossible for us, nor would it be very useful to the young
fly-fisher, to give him directions for making every kind of fly. We may,
however, throw out a few hints concerning the making of most of the
flies in common use, and of the materials employed.


1. _The green drake or May fly._--This is one of the most killing trout
flies, but it is seldom in the water for a longer period than three
weeks. The time of its appearance varies in different rivers, but it
generally rises about the last week in May, and continues for about
three weeks. The wings are made of the light feathers of a grey drake,
dyed a pale yellow-green colour, by being boiled for a minute or two in
a decoction of green vitriol. The body is formed of amber-coloured
mohair or silk ribbon, with dark green silk; the head of peacock’s harl,
and the tail of three long hairs taken from a sable muff.

2. _The black gnat._--The body of this fly is made of black ostrich
harl, and the wings of a pale starling’s feather; it must be dressed
short and thick. It is in use from the end of April till the end of May,
and is a good killer when the water is low.

3. _Hare’s ear._--The wings are made from the feather of a starling’s
wing, the body from the fur of the hare’s ear, the legs of a ginger
cock’s hackle.

4. _Cock tail._--Wings of the light feather from a snipe’s wing, the
body of yellow mohair.

5. _Whirling dun._--Wings of a snipe’s feather, body of blue fur wrapped
with yellow silk, and a blue cock’s hackle for legs; the tail of two
hairs from a coloured muff.

6. _Grey drake._--Wings of a dark grey feather of the mallard, the body
of white silk, striped with dark silk, the head of a peacock’s harl, and
the tail of three hairs from a sable muff.

7. _Cowdung fly._--The wings of the feather of a landrail, the body of
yellow camlet, mixed with a little brown bear-fur, and a ginger hackle
for legs; the wings should be dressed flat.

8. _Bee fly._--The body of thread of various colours, arranged in
stripes of the following order:--black, white, light yellow, white,
black, white; the legs of a black hackle; the wings from the feathers of
a blue pigeon’s wing: the body must be dressed thick.

9. _Red palmer._--The body of dark-red mohair, ribbed with gold twist,
and wrapped with a red cock’s hackle.

10. _Peacock palmer._--The body of a peacock’s harl, wrapped with a
dusky-red cock’s hackle.

11. _Kingdom fly._--Wings of a woodcock’s feather, the body of white
silk, striped with green, and the legs of a red cock’s hackle.

12. _White gnat._--The wings of a small white feather, the body of white
silk, and the legs of a red cock’s hackle.

13. _Blue dun._--The wings of a starling’s feather, the body of blue fur
from a water rat, mixed with a little lemon-colour mohair; the tail is
forked, and should be made of two fibres from the feather used for the

14. _Red ant._--The wings of a light starling’s feather, the body of
peacock’s harl made thick at the tail, and a ginger hackle for legs.

15. _Gold spinner._--Wings of a starling’s feather, body of orange silk,
ribbed with gold twist, and the legs of a red hackle.

16. _Great white moth._--Wings of a feather from the wing of a white
owl, the body of white cotton, and a white cock’s hackle wrapped round
the body.

17. _Governor._--Wings of a woodcock’s feather, the body of a peacock’s
harl, tied with orange silk.

18. _March brown._--Wings of the dark mottled feather from the tail of a
partridge, the body of fur from a hare’s ear, well mixed with a little
yellow worsted, and a grizzled cock’s hackle for legs.

19. _Stone fly._--Wings of a dusky-blue cock’s hackle, or a mottled
feather from a hen pheasant, the body of dark-brown and yellow camlet
mixed, and a grizzled hackle for legs; the wings should be flat.

20. _Black silver palmer._--The body of black ostrich harl, ribbed with
silver twist, and wrapped with black cock’s hackle.

21. _Willow fly._--The wings of dark grizzled cock’s hackle, the body of
blue squirrel’s fur, mixed with yellow mohair.

22. _Yellow palmer._--The wings of white hackle, dyed yellow, the body
of yellow silk.

23. _Black palmer._--The body of black ostrich’s harl, wrapped with a
black cock’s hackle.

24. _Black palmer ribbed with gold._--The body of peacock’s harl,
wrapped with a black cock’s hackle, and ribbed with gold twist.

25. _Marlow Buzz or Cock-a-Boundhu._--This is one of the most killing
flies known, and should never be off the line during the trout season.
The body of peacock’s harl, ribbed with gold twist, and a dark-red
cock’s hackle over all.

26. _The Grouse Hackle._--This is also a very killing fly, especially
late in the evening, during June, July, and August. Body of brown fur,
ribbed with gold twist, and a grouse hackle over all; hook No. 10.

The foregoing list comprises twenty-six of the most killing flies; and
the following are the months in which they will be found to kill best.

_February_, red cowdung fly, blue dun; _March_, brown; _April_, black
gnat, stone fly, gravel or spider fly, the green tail, brown, blue dun;
_May_, green drake, grey drake, oak fly, hazel fly, little iron blue and
yellow sally; _June_, hare’s ear, cock tail, whirling dun, marlow buzz,
bee fly, kingdom fly, white gnat, blue gnat, blue dun, governor, fern
fly; gold spinner; _July_, red ant, red spinner, yellow dun, coachman,
fern fly; _August_, whirling blue, red spinner, pale yellow dun;
_September_, willow fly, silver twisted blue, whirling blue.

It would of course be impossible, in a work of this description, to give
a list of all the artificial flies used by experienced fishermen, but
the above are a few of the most killing. For bleak, dace, roach, chub,
&c. a piece of a maggot, or a small piece of white leather, should be
placed at the end of the hook.

Having thus given the “order of flies,” natural and artificial, we may
imagine the young fly-fisher, with rod in hand, proportionate to his
strength and the breadth of the stream, ready to throw his fly; but let
his rod and running tackle be in good order, and the idea of the
coachman’s whip out of his mind. He is not to flog the water, but to
tickle it. The novice should teach himself to handle the line, by
beginning with it alone, (_i. e._ without flies or hook,) trying a short
length first, and lengthening it gradually. In using the rod, it should
be drawn vigorously back, though without a jerk, and thrown forward
again _when the line has reached its full extent behind_. Take care in
doing this, that the fly be not whipped off. When tolerably expert, put
on one fly, and try awhile with that, adopting two or three when able to
use them properly.

In fly-fishing keep as far from the water as possible, especially if
fishing for trout. Let only the flies touch the water, and keep moving
them gently and slowly on the surface. When a fish rises, let not a
moment elapse before you strike, and do it sharply.

When you have two flies on your line, you must try to throw your line so
that the bottom fly shall reach the water first; it must be done always
as lightly as possible, so that it may resemble a natural fly settling
upon the water. You must suffer the line to float gently down the
stream, at the same time working it towards you.

The best time for angling with the fly is when there is a gentle breeze
upon the water; south and west winds are to be preferred, when the water
has been disturbed by heavy rains and is just resuming its natural
colour, or when the day is dull and cloudy. The best time, morning and
evening. In cold weather the fish bite deeper, and you should then let
the fly sink a little. Take care to have the wind in your back, and the
sun in your face, if possible.

When you see a rise, throw your fly about half a yard above the fish’s
nose, and let it fall down with the stream; watch it narrowly, and
strike as the fish rises, giving him an “infinite little moment” to
taste. When you have hooked, play your fish carefully, keeping up his
head and running him down the stream, at the same time steering him
towards you. If you see a fish rise at a natural fly, throw your bait a
little before him, so that he may take it as “one of the number.”

To know what flies the fish are most likely to take, observe what
natural flies are about the water, or on the grass, trees, or bushes in
the vicinity of the river; and take that fly which is the most in
abundance, either natural or artificial at your discretion.

Such are a few practical particulars concerning angling and fly-fishing,
sufficient to enable any young angler to begin. For more abundant
information we refer him to Mr. Stoddart and Mr. Stewart, for
fly-fishing, Mr. Cholmondeley Pennell for pike-fishing, “Hewitt
Wheatley” for grayling fishing, and Mr. Francis Francis for the various
modes of bottom fishing.




    “And he was clad in coat and pode of grene;
    A shefe of pecocke arrows bryght and shene
    Under his belt he bare, ful threftely.
    Well coude he dresse his tackle yomanly.
    His arrows drouped not with feathers lowe,
    And in his hande he bare a myghty bowe.”--CHAUCER.

The skill of the English in archery was always very great. Our ancestors
used the bow for a double purpose: in time of war, it was a far more
dreadful instrument of destruction than our present soldier’s musket;
while in the “piping times of peace,” it became an object of amusement.
The victories the English obtained over their enemies in times of war
were many, and what the world calls glorious; and they stand upon record
in our history, where the young reader may peruse them with interest and

[Illustration: SAXON BOW AND ARROW.]

The Anglo-Saxons and the Danes were certainly well acquainted with the
use of the bow, which they used, not so much for war purposes, as in
the sports of the field. But it is well known that the Normans used the
bow as a military weapon, and under their government the practice of
archery was not only much improved, but generally diffused throughout
the kingdom. The long-bow was an instrument of Norman introduction, and
there seems good reason to believe that the arbalist, or cross-bow, was
used by these sturdy invaders.


[Illustration: NORMAN-BOW.]

The use of the English long-bow arrived at the highest perfection in the
reign of Edward III.; and, notwithstanding the introduction of
fire-arms, continued for a long time after to be successfully
cultivated. Cressy, Poictiers, Agincourt, and many other victories, were
obtained by its use; and Sir John Fortescue writes, “That mighte of the
realme of Englande standyth upon her archers,”--as it will now upon our
riflemen or sharpshooters, when our army shall get the right kind of



The cross-bow, or arbalist, was a popular weapon with the Etolians, and
was introduced into England in the thirteenth century. The arrows shot
from it were called “guorrels.” It was fastened upon a stock, and
discharged by means of a catch or trigger, which probably gave rise to
the lock on the modern musket. One historian informs us, that Richard
the First was wounded by an arrow from a bow of this kind; and also,
that the English cross-bow was used chiefly at sieges of fortified
places, and on ship-board in battles upon the sea. It was, however, used
in recreation, and acquired great reputation among the citizens of
London, who had “butts” in various places for the practice of this kind
of archery; as at Newington Butts, Brentford Butts, and other spots,
which still retain the name of Butts: and in the reign of Edward IV. an
act passed, which directed that butts should be in every township,
where the inhabitants should shoot on every feast-day, under a penalty
of a halfpenny when they shall omit the exercise.



Mr. Grose informs us that an archer could shoot six arrows in the time
necessary to charge and discharge a musket; and even in modern days, a
practised bowman has been known to shoot twelve arrows in a minute into
a circle not larger than the circumference of a man’s hat, at a distance
of forty yards. Of the power of the bow, and of the distance it will
carry, some remarkable anecdotes are told. Xenophon mentions an
Arcadian, whose head was shot through by a Carduchian archer. Stuart
mentions a random shot of a Turk, which he found to be 584 yards; and
Mr. Strutt saw the Turkish ambassador shoot 480 yards in the old
archery-ground in London. An old author speaks of a Turkish bow, the
arrow of which was known to pierce a steel target two inches thick. In
the journal of King Edward VI., it is mentioned that 100 archers of the
king’s guard shot at an inch board, and that some of the arrows passed
through this, and into another board behind it, although the wood was
extremely solid and firm. William de Brensia relates that a Welshman
having directed an arrow at a horse-soldier of his, who was clad in
armour, and had his leathern coat under it, the arrow, beside piercing
the man through the hip, struck also through the saddle, and mortally
wounded the horse on which he sat. Another Welsh soldier having shot an
arrow at one of his horsemen, who was covered with strong armour, the
shaft penetrated through his thigh, and fixed in the saddle; but what is
most remarkable is, that as the horseman drew his bridle aside, in order
to turn round, he received another arrow in the opposite thigh, which
passing through it, he was firmly fixed to the saddle on both sides. Mr.
Barrington, in the “Archæologiæ,” relates a tradition that one Leigh, an
attorney (it must have been a barrister), shot an arrow a mile in three
flights; and Carew, speaking of the Cornish archers two centuries back,
says that the butts for long shooting were placed 480 yards apart. Such,
my good friends, are the feats you may emulate with the bow.



The length of the bow varied, but was usually the height of the bearer,
as the Act of Edward IV. commands every man to have a bow his own
height. The arrows were of different weights and sizes; the lighter
sort, for long ranges, about two feet three inches; while the heavy were
a cloth yard in length. The heads had various shapes, among which the
broad arrow extended in width to nearly four inches to the extremity of
the wings. Of these, 24 in a sheaf were put into a quiver, and, in
action, about 12 in the girdle. They were trimmed with three goose-quill
feathers each, and when the archers shot in volley, the quantity of
arrows in the air was compared by Froissart to a fall of snow. The
farthest range of arrows was estimated at eleven score yards. The
archers, in order of battle, generally carried, beside the bow, axe, and
target, a stake pointed at both ends. They formed in open ranks, in
files eight deep. When on the point of engaging, they advanced a few
paces beyond the intended line, and fixed their stakes, inclined towards
the enemy, in the ground. They then stepped backward, and from behind
these chevaux-de-frise dealt forth their destructive arrows; and when
the enemy were thrown into confusion, they sallied, and with small
battle-axes and swords completed the defeat.


The marks usually shot at by the archers for pastime were “butts,”
“prickes,” and “rovers.” The “butt” was a level mark, made by placing a
target on a slope of a hill or bank of earth, and required a strong
arrow. The “pricke” was a “mark of compass,” but always of one distance,
and had some emblem on a pole for shooting at; and to this mark strong
swift arrows of one flight, with a middling size feather, were best
suited. The “rover” was a mark of uncertain length, and often an arrow
shot forth from a bow. Other marks were used, as the standard, the
target, hazel-wands, rose-garlands, and the popinjay, which was an
artificial parrot or peacock, or sometimes the common cock, set upon a
post or pole, as seen in the engraving.



Roger Ascham, who was well versed in the subject of archery, says that
it was necessary for the archer to have a bracer, or close sleeve, to
lace upon the left arm; and to this was added a shooting-glove for the
protection of the fingers. The bow was to be made of elm, ash, or yew;
the bow-string to be composed of good hemp, flax, or silk; the arrows
were to be made of oak, hornbeam, or birch. The feathers from a goose,
and especially of a grey goose, he thought preferable to any for the
pluming of an arrow.


Ascham says: “First take care of a graceful attitude.” The archer should
stand fairly and upright with his body, his left foot at a convenient
distance from his right, holding the bow by its middle, with his left
arm stretched out, and with the first three fingers and the thumb of his
right hand on the lower part of the arrow affixed to the string of the
bow. The notch of the arrow to rest between the fore-finger and the
middle finger of the right hand. The arrow, in drawing the bow, was to
be elevated to the right ear. The shaft of the arrow below the feathers
to be rested on the knuckle of the fore-finger of the left hand. The
arrow was to be drawn to the head, and not held too long in that
situation, but neatly and smartly discharged. Among the requisites
necessary to constitute a good archer are, a clear sight steadily
directed to the mark,--a proper judgment of distances, to determine the
length of the ground. He ought also to know how to take advantage of a
side-wind, and to be well acquainted with what compass his arrows would
take in their flight. “Courage,” he says also, “is an indispensable
requisite; as he who shoots with the least trepidation is sure to shoot


Notwithstanding the great advantages of archery in ancient days, somehow
or other it began to decline even at the time of its zenith; so that,
from time to time, acts of parliament were made to compel the citizens
of London, and other towns, to practise it. Some of our monarchs made
sumptuous archery entertainments. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth, a
grand shooting-match was held in London of all the archers in the
surrounding districts; and these meeting at the appointed time, with
their different companies, proceeded in a pompous march from Merchant
Tailors’ Hall, numbering 3,000 archers, sumptuously apparelled, every
man having a long-bow and four arrows; 940 of them had gold chains about
their necks. This splendid company was attended by 4,000 whifflers and
bellmen. The queen met them in Smithfield, and presided at their
sports. But still the art continued to decline, and, with the increase
of other warlike weapons, became at last almost extinct. Within these
few years, however, it has again become a somewhat favourite exercise,
near London, and in various parts of the country. In Scotland, the
“Royal Company of Archers”--the Queen’s body-guard for
Scotland--comprises many of the Scottish nobility, and King George IV.
recognised it. It now comprises about 500 members, who meet weekly, and
at certain seasons contend for several annual prizes.

Convinced as we are that the practice of archery possesses, in point of
health, all the advantages of field sports, without their cruelty to
animals, and demoralizing oppression to our fellow-creatures, we
strongly recommend it to our juvenile friends. It is an exercise adapted
to every age and every degree of strength; and especially adapted to
young ladies, whose sedentary occupations,--rendered still more
injurious by the pestiferous Berlin wool,--disposes them to disease and
consumption. I do not wish to sing the praises of the art to their full
extent, but I wish to see it universally cultivated, and should hail
with pleasure the time when it can be again said, as with Statius,
“Pudor est nescere sagittas.”


Proceeding now to the modern practice of the art, we must first begin


The Bow may be made of the yew-tree, laburnum, thorn, or acacia, and is
generally formed of two pieces of wood joined together, the back piece
being of a different wood to the front, and the grain reversed. It is of
great importance to secure a good bow. We would not, therefore, advise
the young archer to make one, but to buy one at a good archery shop,
where they may be had at all prices. Upon making a purchase, he should
examine the bow well, to observe whether it be well set in all its
parts, of an elegant cut or shape, and free from flaws, knots, or
cracks. He should look well at the ends, and to those points on which
the bow-string is fixed, which ought to be tipped with horn. The proper
length of a bow for a youth is about five feet. The flat or outward part
of a bow is called its back, and the inward part its belly; and in
stringing it the young archer should be particularly careful to keep the
belly inwards, or the bow will break.


The string of the bow should be made of hemp, and whipped with sewing
silk at that part of it which receives the arrow, marked C in the
annexed plan. The thickness of the string should depend upon the length
of the bow, and should never be too thin for its powers, as the
snapping of a string sometimes causes the snapping of the bow. The young
archer should never use a string in the least out of order, and should
avoid cat-gut strings especially. A bow five feet long, when bent,
should have a string about five inches from the centre. This will be a
guide in stringing the bow. The young archer should take great pride in
the care of his bow, especially of the string, and look carefully, after
every day’s shooting, at the “whipping” of the string, and at the
wearing points, repairing the least defect. He ought also to place his
bow in an oil-skin case, lined with baize; and when put away for the
season it should be well rubbed with oil, and polished. He should also
have always two or three spare strings in readiness, in case the one in
use may fly.



The young archer must be very careful in performing this feat, or he
will fail in the attempt; to do so safely, he must take the bow in his
right hand by the handle, the flat part towards him; then let his arm
rest against his side, then put the lower end of the bow against the
inside of the right foot, bring his left foot forward, and place the
centre of the left wrist on the upper level of the bow below the loop of
the string, the fore-finger knuckle on one edge of the bow, and the top
of the thumb upon the other; then up with the bow and loop it. This
feat, however, can be best learned by seeing another expert person
perform it. In unstringing the bow, the short horn should be placed on
the ground against the right foot, the middle of the bow grasped in the
right hand, and the left wrist placed on the upper horn, so that the
fore-finger may unloop the string when the bow is brought down, as in
the manner of stringing it.



Arrows are generally made of some white wood, such as ash, deal, or the
wood of the orbele poplar, and are sometimes varnished. They are both
blunt and sharp. The sharp ones are for target shooting, the blunt ones
principally for roving; they also vary as regards length, some being
long, and some short. In purchasing them, the principal thing to be
attended to is, that they are perfectly straight, well made, and that
the plumes are securely fitted. There should be three on each arrow;
one, which is of a darker colour than the rest, is called the cock
plume, and in shooting should be placed uppermost. The length and weight
of the arrows should be in proportion to the size of the bow. The nicks
of arrows should be cased with horn, and they should fit the string



The quiver is used to contain the arrows, and is usually made of wood,
or tin, or leather, those made of the latter material being the most
serviceable and convenient to wear. It should be long enough to contain
the arrows up to the feather, without bruising or crushing the plumes,
which ought always to be kept perfectly straight and unruffled. The
quiver in shooting is not carried, but the arrows are placed in a pouch
attached to the belt.

[Illustration: TASSEL.]

[Illustration: BRACE.]


_The Tassel_ is usually made of green worsted, and is used by the archer
for the purpose of cleansing the arrow from dirt after being taken from
the ground. It is usually suspended on the left side of the archer.

[Illustration: THE BELT.]

_The Brace_ is of leather, and is buckled on the arm to save it from
being hurt by the string upon the discharge of the arrow. It ought to
be very smooth on its surface, so as to offer no impediment to the

_The Belt_ is made of leather, and is buckled round the waist. It has
fastened to it a _pouch_, for the temporary reception of the arrows in


_The Shooting Glove_ is made of cow-hide, or horse ball leather. It has
places or stalls for three fingers only, with a wrist strap to fasten it
on. Its use is to protect the fingers from the action of the string, and
in selecting it the young archer should be careful that the finger
stalls are neither too long nor too short for the hand.

[Illustration: THE GLOVE.]

[Illustration: THE GREASE POT.]

_The Grease Box_ hangs usually by the side of the tassel, and contains a
small portion of grease composed of suet and bees-wax well compounded.
This is used for rubbing on the fingers of the shooting glove, and is
indispensable to the archer.


Targets are made with plaited straw bands, wound round a centre, and
sewn together. Over this body is placed a facing of canvass, the ground
of which is painted white; upon the white are painted four circles, and
a gold centre called the bull’s eye. The first circle close to the eye
is red; the next white, called the inner white; the third black; and the
fourth white, called the outer white; while the outside verge, called
the petticoat of the target, is painted green.


A certain value in shooting is given to each circle of the target, which
is thus computed: Outer white 1; Black 3; Inner white 5; Red 7, and the
Gold Eye 9.

There are usually two targets in an archery field, placed at certain
distances from each other, which shortens the labour of walking; for if
one target only be used, a great deal of time is lost in going from the
shooting mark to the target to fetch the arrows, and in returning to the
spot again.

The prizes usually shot for in archery matches are gold and silver
medals, silver cups, silver arrows, silver gilt bugles, prize bows and
arrows. There are generally two prizes given; the first for the shots
nearest the gold centre, the second for the number of shots put into the
target, according to their value.

A person is usually appointed to register the shots at the targets, who
has a card similar to the form given below, by which he takes an account
of the hits as they are made.

  |       |      |     | WHITE |       | WHITE |       |       ||
  |_Smith_|  2   |  3  |   7   |   3   |   11  |  26   |  100  ||
  |_Jones_|  1   |  6  |   5   |   8   |    7  |  27   |  107  ||
  |_Brown_|  3   |  4  |   9   |   7   |   18  |  41   |  139  ||

The markings are usually made by the marker with a pin, holes being less
liable to obliteration than pencil marks.


Are usually made of pieces of turf piled one upon another, and laid one
upon the other in the following shape. They are usually about six feet
high and four feet broad at the face, upon which a circular piece of
thin white pasteboard, about six inches in diameter, is affixed with
pegs. Butts are generally placed in the field in sets of four, so as not
to stand in the way of each other. And when shot at, the arrows placed
in the pasteboard mark are alone reckoned, and those who here place the
greatest number of shots are the winners of the prize.



The ancient directions for drawing the bow, or rather the arrow, have
been already given. The archer having placed himself opposite to the
target, with his face a little inclined to the right, should swing
himself slightly round, so that his eye and the target are in an exact
line. He should stand quite upright, his left foot slightly in advance.
Holding the bow horizontally in his left hand, he should draw an arrow
from his pouch and carry it under the string and over the left side of
the bow. The fore-finger of the left hand now holds the arrow secure on
the wooden part of the bow at its centre, while the right hand fixes the
nick of the arrow on the string, where it is held fast between the first
and second fingers, the cock feather being uppermost. The fore-finger of
the left hand may now be removed from the arrow, and the centre of the
bow grasped tightly. The bow is now raised gradually by the left hand,
at the same time that the string is pulled by the right; and when the
arrow is drawn about two-thirds of its length, the neck of it should be
brought close to the right ear and the aim should be taken. The aim
should be taken quickly, and the string loosened freely from the fingers
with a peculiar touch, which no books can teach, and which nothing but
experience and skill can give. In long shots the right hand must be
lowered, and the arrow sent so as to form a greater curve in its flight.
The archer should look at his _mark_, not at his shaft, and when he has
shot should retreat to the leftward, and take his position behind the
person with whom he is shooting.



This is principally engaged in for the purpose of ascertaining the
greatest distance to which the arrows can be sent by the respective
shooters. It requires no skill in aiming, but much care in drawing the
arrow, as nothing is more likely to fracture the bow than flight
shooting. The archer who sends his arrows to the greatest distance is
the winner.


In clout shooting the target is only a small piece of white pasteboard
attached to a stick about five feet from the ground, and placed at a
distance of from 120 to 150 yards. In it seven makes the game, and all
arrows that fall within two bows’ length of the foot of the stick are
marked in counting.


So called from the shooters roving from place to place, over field,
heath, moor, common, finding their marks in trees, posts, bushes, &c.
The distances constantly varying, give to young archers a great deal of
practice; besides which, the variety of the scenery, and the various
incidents that occur in a day’s roving, are often highly interesting and
exciting. By roving the eye gets a habit of measuring distances, and the
hand and arm strength for the bow. Blunt-headed arrows are the best for
roving, of which about a dozen ought to be carried by each archer. Sharp
arrows would imbed themselves too deeply in trees to be easily
extracted. In a roving party, arrows that reach within five bows’ length
of the mark tell, and those which are nearest cut the others out. Each
archer measures with his own bow. The number of the game is often nine,
but generally twelve.


1. In commencing archery never begin with a stiff bow, but select one
adapted to your strength, and change this for a stronger from time to

2. Never shoot with another person’s bow.

3. Never put an arrow in the string when any one stands between you and
the target, or you may shoot out an eye.

4. Never talk, jibe, or jest at the time of shooting.

5. Always study to take a graceful attitude in shooting, or in moving
about the field.

6. Never draw a bow near another person; as, should it snap, the danger
will be greater to him than yourself.

7. Never let your bow-string get untwisted or ravelled by neglect.

8. Never exhibit impatience at the tardy efforts of your compeers, or
chagrin at your own failures.

9. Never shoot alone if you can help it, as it leads to negligence and



We will first give briefly some of the reasons why we have determined to
mention this branch of the manly exercises. Firstly, we do so because we
have a great personal esteem for the art, though none can be more
sternly opposed to its abuse. Secondly, because it affords one of the
finest exercises in the world, employing every limb and every muscle in
the body, giving at the same time readiness of hand and quickness of
eye, while it tests and improves the patience and endurance. And,
thirdly, because every one likes to know how to use the weapons which
Nature has given him, and will contrive to acquire the desired knowledge
whenever he can find an opportunity. All Englishmen, and therefore all
English boys, are proud of their natural weapon, and compare it with the
knife, the loaded stick, the knuckleduster, and the pistol of other
nations. The principle of fair play and justice is strongly developed in
an English breast, and in nothing is the principle so thoroughly carried
out as in boxing. No unfair advantage is allowed to either side, no
striking upon the vital parts of the body is permitted, and the use of
the foot, tooth, or nail is forbidden under the severest penalties. Even
in the very prize ring, where men are trained for the express purpose of
hitting each other with the utmost force of which human arms are
capable, there is little harm done, and in a few days both combatants
look as if nothing had happened to them. It is not so even in a
wrestling county, or in some few parts of our own land where men fight
like brute beasts, and use their best endeavours to maim or blind their
adversaries for life. A well-known American writer has expressed, in his
own humorous language, the astonishment which he felt at witnessing a
short “turn up” at an English cattle-fair. The grave propriety of the
affair, and the admirable order in which it was conducted, struck him
with profound admiration, as contrasted with the “inglorious and
inevitable Yankee _clinches_, followed by a general _mêlée_,” which in
popular language is termed a “free fight,” and in which every one
attacks every one else with any weapons and in any manner.

Before proceeding to our genuine English Boxing, we must just mention
the French “_savate_,” of which we have heard so much of late. We have
seen it practised and taught in the _salles d’armes_, and for it, as a
system for boxing, we have the profoundest contempt; as also for that
execrable French custom of striking upwards with the knee when at close
quarters--an atrocity for which we should like to see a man soundly
horsewhipped on the spot.

Now, the _savate_ simply consists in this. You make a feint, as if to
strike in the usual manner, and then, instead of striking with the fist,
you kick with the foot. Or, when your antagonist is pressing you
sharply, you send the point of your toe into his chest, and stop him.
Or, you retreat from him, suddenly turn round, and kick at him
backwards--of course being quite unable to tell where the blow will
alight, and possibly inflicting an injury the effects of which will be
felt for life.

Those who are practised in this manœuvre will employ it with wonderful
skill. They will hit you on the nose or on the forehead without the
least apparent effort, and with the greatest certainty; they will fling
you back from your advance with stunning force, and the effect of the
lash-out is terrific. Indeed, if the object of boxing be to use all
means of offence and defence, the _savate_ is indispensable.

Having many opportunities of visiting several schools of arms, we
carefully considered this system, which was then totally unknown to us;
and after watching it well for some time, during our residence in Paris,
we came to the conclusion that the _savate_ is useful enough in case you
are attacked by ruffianly fellows, whom you must needs maim, lest they
should maim you; and that by the combined use of the _savate_ and a
stick, or even the fist, a man may knock over a couple of assailants
simultaneously and effectually.

And if a Frenchman who uses the _savate_ were opposed to an Englishman
who never heard of it, the probability is that the former would win,
because the latter would lay himself open to a mode of attack which he
had always been taught to consider unfair and unmanly. But we do not
believe that it would be of the slightest value against any one who knew
that his antagonist would employ it, and think that the person
attempting to use it would find himself hurled to the ground, and
probably discover that his leg was violently sprained. So much for the

It is not easy to teach any branch of the science of arms in a book, and
boxing is perhaps as difficult to be learned from books as fencing.
Still, something can be done even through the medium of ink and paper;
and the reader can, at all events, learn to avoid the errors to which a
total novice is subject.

The first and most important point is the position in which the boxer

This is not very dissimilar to that of a left-handed fencer, except that
the right arm, instead of being raised, is brought across the body, so
that it defends the pit of the stomach (technically called the “mark”),
and only leaves a very small portion of the chest open to a blow. The
left arm is rather higher than if it held a foil, and the elbow is kept
well to the side. This latter point is most important, as it is
impossible to hit straight from the shoulder if the elbow should project
from the side.

The weight of the body rests mostly on the right leg, so that the boxer
can step backwards or forwards, while still keeping his side to the
adversary. If you stand opposite a good sparrer in boxing attitude, you
will be surprised to find how well guarded he is, and how difficult it
is to hit him, even if he neither moves nor attempts to return the blow.
His left hand keeps you well away from him, and his right is ready
either to stop or throw off your blow.


It will be seen from the foregoing description, as well as by reference
to the illustration, that a right-handed boxer stands with his left side
towards the opponent, uses his left hand for the chief part of the
hitting, and reserves the right for stopping, parrying, or returning
blows when at close quarters, or what is technically called a “rally.”

Practise this attitude before a glass. You will soon see if you lay
yourself open, and will learn to stand in a correct position. Advance
and retreat also before the glass, and so make sure that you do not
expose some weak point while so doing. I met a French gentleman who had
made himself really a creditable boxer, merely by practising before his
mirror; and after a few days of practical work with the gloves he became
quite a formidable antagonist.


Another important point is the making up of the fist--not such a simple
matter as it seems. The fingers must be clenched tightly, and the thumb
doubled down outside them, so that when presented towards your
antagonist he can see no part of it projecting over the fingers. This
can also be practised at the glass. If the hand be rightly held, it will
be seen that the knuckles form a kind of arch, of which the middle
knuckle is the keystone. It is with this knuckle that you strike; and be
sure to clench the hand with all your power as you deliver the stroke;
otherwise you will run a sad risk of dislocating either a finger or a

The position of the head is of no small importance. On no account bear
forwards, as is the way of muffs, but keep it lightly thrown back, and
never take your eye off that of your opponent. Greenhorns always lower
the head, and rush at their antagonist with their arms flying about like
the sails of a windmill; and the natural consequence is, that their
opponent quickly steps aside, lets them pass, and knocks them neatly
over by a blow on the temple, which they cannot possibly see or guard.

Having got our attitude and doubled our fist, we now learn to strike.
Deliver your blow straight and from the shoulder, not merely with the
arm. Put all your body into the stroke, and aid it with the spring of
the right foot against the ground. Thus you add to the blow the force of
a kick, and the stroke comes with such terrific force that I have seen a
tall man lifted fairly off the ground and deposited on his back by a
straight shoulder-hit, even though the two were merely sparring with the

Never draw back your hand before you strike, as that tells your opponent
what you are contemplating. Your stroke should flash out like the
lightning, without warning and straight to the mark. You cannot strike
too rapidly, and you cannot recover yourself too quickly. Practise this
repeatedly before a glass, and note the length of your reach, for in a
knowledge of distance lies half the art of boxing. As a general rule, if
you can get your left toe on a level with your antagonist’s heel, you
have your proper distance. This rule, however, is necessarily variable,
as in the case of the contest to which allusion has just been made,
where one party could reach a full foot beyond the other, and had, in
consequence, the advantage of twelve inches of space at his disposal.

Now that we have practised the left hand and arm, let us turn to the
right. Except when striking, you need not trouble yourself to close the
fist very tightly, but may let the hand lie in an easy and unconstrained
position across the chest, ready for use in any direction that may be

The chief use of the right hand and arm are for parrying and stopping,
which are thus achieved:--

If your opponent delivers a blow at the face or upper part of the chest,
and you find yourself in a good position, do not retreat from it, but
fling your right arm sharply outwards and upwards, catching the
opponent’s arm by the wrist, and throwing it out of the direction in
which it was aimed. The effect of the parry is very powerful, as it
mostly lays open the antagonist’s head, and gives opportunity for a
smart return blow with the left hand; it is then near the opponent’s
head, and has only a short distance to traverse. This return blow is
technically called the “counter,” and is usually very effective, as it
takes effect just at the moment when the antagonist is expecting his
own blow to strike, and turns the tables on him after a rather
discouraging fashion.

Practise this also before the glass, parrying an imaginary blow from the
opponent, and simultaneously shooting your own left hand against the
spot where your antagonist’s head ought to be. I have often found that a
quick double blow when countering is very embarrassing, and gives an
opportunity of stepping in and planting your right hand after your left
with enormous effect.

Stopping is performed in another manner, and must often be used where
the parry is impracticable. For example, if your antagonist strikes at
the body the parry cannot be accomplished, and you must either get away,
stop, or take the blow in hopes of retaliation. In stopping you receive
the blow on your arm, and thereby break its force, while, unless your
opponent is possessed of herculean strength, the arm scarcely feels the
stroke, yielding before the assault and acting like the cotton bales
that have saved many a ship from the enemy’s cannon.

If you are fortunate enough to find a good boxer, get him to give you a
few lessons in the practical department of the art, and in all cases be
careful to keep your temper. I know that few things are more annoying
than when you have made a telling plan of attack, and are just about to
begin its execution, to be checked by a short dab on the nose, which
makes your eyes water and the lids blink, and forces you to act on the
defensive for the next few minutes, while the tears are streaming down
your cheeks, and you cannot use a handkerchief by reason of the gloves.

Remember that there are two golden rules for a boxer, namely, hit
straight and keep your temper. Fail in either of these requisites, and
you will probably come off second best; fail in both, and you will
certainly do so. Listen to an account of a battle where strength and
weight and anger were overmatched by skill and coolness:--“As the
assailant rushed in he ran a prominent feature of his face against a
fist which was travelling in another direction, and immediately after
struck the knuckles of the young man’s other fist a severe blow with the
part of his person known as the epigastrium to one branch of science,
and the bread-basket to another. This second round closed the battle.”

So we say again, keep your temper and hit straight. You see a circular
blow takes more time to deliver than a straight one, and if your
opponent swings his arm round at you, while you dart out your own fist
at him, your blow will have taken effect long before his clumsy
circumgyratory attempt has completed its journey.

Let me here offer another piece of advice. Do not buy cheap gloves. You
may get them at a saving of half-a-crown or so, but you will soon wish
that you had expended the money in obtaining a better pair. Gloves
require the best horsehair, arranged after a peculiar fashion, in order
to give them the mixed softness and elasticity which they require.
Inferior gloves soon become hard and knotty, the stuffing gets thin in
some places, especially just in those very parts where it is most
required. The consequence is, that the gloves become practically
useless, and the blows are nearly as severe as if struck with the bare

Remember that, although we strongly approve of boxing, it is not to be
understood that we want every one to be fighting. We very much approve
of fencing and single-stick, but we certainly have no wish that every
one who learns to use the foil or the single-stick in mimic combat
should want to try his rapier or his broadsword in deadly fight.

As a mere exercise it stands supreme; but it is even something beyond an
exercise. It shows that superior strength and height and weight are
powerless before superior skill, and that a small boy who knows how to
box will certainly conquer a big one who is ignorant of the art. We say
again, we do not recommend fighting; but still it is good to know how to
stand up in one’s own defence, and we heartily wish that when we went to
school some kind friend had taught us the rudiments of the art.

The brutal bully of a school never holds his own when he meets with an
antagonist who is skilful in the use of his hands, and is forced to
confess that his brute strength and cruel nature are useless in such a
contest. We once saw a school bully get his deserts in a charming
manner. He had fallen upon (of course) a much smaller boy, and was
chasing him down a passage between a double row of forms. Suddenly his
victim turned round, and delivered a right-and-left blow on the chin of
his tormentor, astonishing him in no slight degree. The bully pressed
on, thinking to annihilate his impertinent antagonist, but could not do
so on account of the narrowness of the passage. As he pressed forward
the bold little fellow retreated backwards, step by step, popping in his
blows sharp and quick, and stepping back just as those of his persecutor
were delivered. The bully never guarded a single blow or succeeded in
hitting one, and by the time that they had made their way through the
defile he was obliged to confess himself beaten, and was deposed for
ever from the despotic throne which he had so long disgraced.



Despite the assertion of even so great an authority as Mr. Macgregor,
whose name has now become a household word, canoeing is an amusement
that must necessarily involve a considerable amount of danger, and ought
to be indulged in by no one who has not, according to the Eton phrase,
passed in swimming. Whether or not it is a very comfortable means of
locomotion is purely a matter of personal feeling; but in face of the
fact that the Canoe Club now numbers upwards of a hundred members, and
that the boat-builders have had extensive orders for canoes, it is only
fair to suppose that those who venture enjoy the new mode of locomotion.
There is one circumstance that will, no doubt, obtain for canoes great
favour, especially with young people, and that is, their cheapness.
Messrs. Searle at Lambeth, Simmons at Putney, or Wheeler at Richmond,
will build a good stout travelling canoe, after the fashion of the _Rob
Roy_, for 15_l._; which price includes mast, sails, apron, paddles, and
all necessaries. Any respectable boatbuilder would no doubt do the same,
when he is once provided with the necessary instructions, which, I need
scarcely add, it is essential should be carried out to the letter, for
the slightest deviation from the recognised standard might cause the
most disagreeable results. The following points are the most important.

In having a canoe built, it is a matter of considerable moment, that in
certain portions of its framework it should be constructed for and
peculiarly adapted to the particular person who is going to use it. The
length of the foot decides the height the canoe should be from keel to
deck; the length of the legs the space required for the “well;” while
the weight, of course, decides the displacement that is to be accounted
for, and must be taken into consideration at the same time as the amount
of luggage that it is proposed to carry. Oak is the best wood that can
be used, with the top streak of mahogany and the deck of fine cedar.
These were the materials of the _Rob Roy_, and as her weight with all
her fittings was only 71 lbs., it would be unreasonable to want one
lighter; indeed, for anything like knocking about flimsy canoes are
utterly and entirely useless, and only aggravate the labour of paddling.
The length over all should be 14 feet; beam, 26 inches; depth, from top
of deck to bottom of keel, 12 inches, though towards the gunwale this is
reduced to 8½ inches. The well should be 32 inches long and 20 broad,
and protected by a combing of oak half an inch in height. If your canoe
is intended for travelling purposes, the beam should be 6 inches abaft
midships; so that when stores, provisions, sails, and so on, are stowed
away forward, it brings the craft to very nearly an even keel.
Otherwise, it should only be 1 foot abaft midships. The boards that
compose the floor, and on which you have to sit, resting your back
against the backboard, are about two feet long, and are fitted so that
the knees just touch the combing, while the heels are against the
footboard on the keel, thus obviating the discomfort that would follow
on having to keep the legs stretched out straight at full length. As I
take it for granted that no one would think of going to the expense of
having a canoe built without securing the services of some one who could
supply him with the many minor details that it would be impossible to
give here, I shall not enter more minutely into any of the less
important matters, but would add, that a comfortable backboard, after
the following pattern, goes a long way to lightening the labour of
paddling. It should be made of two strips of oak, 18 inches long, 2½
inches wide, arched by two crosspieces, one of which should be grooved,
so as to rest on the combing, and work after the fashion of a hinge, it
being fastened thereon by a stout cord. The result is that the muscles
down the back are supported and rested while the spine is left free. The
greatest possible care should be taken in selecting the apron, which is
too often left to the last moment and chosen in a hurry. Being intended
to prevent the water making its way over the deck into the well, and at
the same time to avoid being fastened in any way likely to impede the
canoeist in case of an upset, it may readily be understood that it
requires nice discrimination and handiwork. It should fit close to
him--in short, he should be measured for it as for a coat. Mr. Macgregor
has invented a new apron, the receipt for which may be easily obtained,
as well as any other particulars, at Messrs. Searle’s at Lambeth.

I should recommend the novice in canoeing to rest content with
propelling himself by the aid of his paddle for a while--in fact, until
he is thoroughly at home in his craft and the way to manœuvre her.
Spruce-fir is the best wood of which to have it made, as it combines
lightness and durability, two qualities that can be readily appreciated
after a day’s locomotion. The action, though it need not be violent,
except in currents and so on, is very fatiguing, owing to the motion the
body takes from side to side. At the same time, practice will prove to
the novice that he requires to move but very little from one side to the
other. There can of course be no harm in having a mast fitted to your
canoe, and as soon as you feel capable of the risk, set it up, hoist
your sail, and be prepared to capsize. This latter alternative is only
added by way of warning. With caution nothing of the sort need happen,
for the stiffness of canoes under sail in a strong wind and heavy
weather has been satisfactorily proved on more than one occasion.
Messrs. Silver and Co. of Bishopsgate Street, make the sails according
to a regulation pattern that has been supplied them, while the boom,
yard, and woven cord can best be obtained at Mr. Farlow’s, the
fishing-tackle maker’s, in the Strand. I have thought it advisable to
give these names, as they are recommended by Mr. Macgregor himself, who
speaks in their favour with that best of all good reasons for doing so,
namely, that he has found their wares satisfactory. In conclusion, I am
bound to add that I am under much obligation to him for the information
he has afforded me concerning this pleasant and novel form of aquatic




    “Come on, lads! come on: come on, one and all:
    Now shoulder the bat, and spin up the ball.
    Take the field like young Trojans; your prowess essay:
    While the batsman cries, Ready, the bowler says, Play:
    Then run like wild deer pursued by the hounds,
    And ground your bat proudly just over the bounds.”--CUNNINGHAM.

The game of cricket is the noblest of English pastimes. It combines
athletic power, grace, quickness of eye and of hand, nimbleness of leg,
and scientific skill. It is played by high and low, rich and poor, man
and boy; and there is no game, either native or foreign, can compete
with it for manliness, fairness, and healthfulness. Every one should
learn to play it, and all should begin early. How it originated, or who
evolved its beautiful laws and regulations, it is now difficult to
discover. We have nothing like it among the sports of the Greeks and
Romans, and we can only trace it to an old English pastime in the reign
of Edward III., called “club-ball.” Strutt, in his “Pastimes of the
People of England,” gives the following engravings, representing two
specimens of club-ball: the first from a MS. in the Bodleian Library,
dated 1344,--and exhibits a female figure in the act of throwing a
ball to a man, who elevates his bat to strike it. The next specimen
of ball, taken from a drawing more ancient than the former, _i. e._ a
genealogical roll of kings of England to the time of Henry III., in the
Royal Library, presents two players only; and he who is possessed of the
bat holds the ball also, which he either threw into the air, and struck
with his bat as it descended, or cast forcibly upon the ground, and beat
it away when it rebounded. But we should be rather inclined to trace the
game of cricket to trap-ball, which was, no doubt, an improvement upon
the early games played with the bat and ball. This may be traced as far
back as the fourteenth century, and a curious specimen of the manner in
which it was then played is given in a beautiful MS. in the possession
of Francis Douce, Esq. Here are only two players; but the game then
consisted of six or eight of a side, and the size of the bat indicates
the holder to have possessed no great judgment in striking the ball.
There was another game, called “stool-ball,” from which some have
supposed cricket to have been derived; but there is no evidence in
favour of this position, and it seems rather more reasonable to look
upon it as a modification of “trap-ball” than any other game.




The regulation size of the bat, called by Felix the mighty sceptre of
delight, is 38 inches in length, of which 25 inches are taken up by the
pod, or, according to the more modern term, the blade, and 13 by the

No bats are made longer than this, although, of course, they are allowed
to be of various smaller proportions, in order to suite the height of
the player.


We must strongly impress on all young players the great importance of
using a bat in proportion to their strength. If they use a very heavy
bat, they will not be able to move it quickly enough to play the ball
properly, and are apt, in consequence, to get into a sluggish style of
play, which is almost sure to stick to them all their lives. A very
light bat is equally injurious: the batsman sees an easy ball approach,
plays hard at it, when, instead of going right over the head of long-on,
it drops an easy catch into mid-wicket’s hands, in consequence of there
not being enough driving power in the bat to send it further.



The present style of ball, with the exception of some very slight
modifications, seems to have been in use since cricket assumed anything
like its present form. According to the rules of the present day, it
must not be more than 9 inches in circumference, and must not weigh more
than 5¾ or less than 5¼ ounces. Match balls are always treble-seamed,
and are sold at the average price of 7_s._ 6_d._ But for ordinary
practice, a double-seamed ball, at about 6_s._, will be found quite good
enough, and will answer just as well as the more expensive article.


The stumps have undergone more change during the last hundred and fifty
years than any of the accessories to cricket.

At first they were two in number and only 12 inches high. A third stump,
2 feet in length, was laid across them, although, with the exception of
being knocked down by the bowler, it was similar in no respect to the
bails of the present day, as the wicket-keeper was obliged, in order to
stump a person, to place the ball in a large hole dug between the two


In the year 1780 the width between the two stumps was decreased to 6
inches. It was also at this time that a bail was introduced, for it is
almost impossible to dignify the transverse stump, 2 feet long, which
was in use till this date, by that appellation. In 1781 a third stump
was added, and the height of the wickets increased to 22 inches. The
addition of a stump was mainly owing to the fact, that Lumpy, a
celebrated bowler of that day, sent the ball almost three times running
between the two stumps. This was thought so unfair for the bowler, that
it was resolved to increase the number of stumps in order to give him a
better chance.

In 1814 we find that the wickets were increased in height to 26 inches,
and in width to 8 inches, and in 1817 another inch was added to their
length. This, with the exception of dividing the bail into two equal
parts, is the last change that has taken place.


Since the introduction of round-hand bowling, pads or guards have come
into vogue, and at the present time it is really a dangerous feat to
play without them. The first notion of a leg-guard was two thin boards
placed anglewise on the right shin. Since that time improvements have
been effected in them at various times, until they have arrived at their
present state of excellence.


The leg-guard itself is now so well-known as to render any description
of it needless; but as there are two or three fastenings in use, it will
perhaps be as well to state what they are, and also which is the best.
The first consists of three sets of tape, one round the ancle and two
round the knee. These naturally take a great deal of time to fasten
properly, and if one breaks, the pad is rendered useless for some time.
The next is three pieces of elastic, with a catch which fastens almost
instantaneously; but in course of time it loses its elasticity, and the
pad dangles on one leg in a loose and awkward manner. The third, and in
our opinion the best fastening, is two sets of straps, with holes
pierced at very slight intervals. The player can then have his pad as
tight as he pleases, without the chance of the fastenings breaking or
becoming loose, as in the case of the other two. There are several other
guards, such as elbow and private-guards; but they are scarcely ever



These are now made with the palm cut clear away, thus enabling the
batsman to hold the bat in a much firmer manner than he could were the
palm of his hand covered by the glove. As will be seen by referring to
the accompanying cut, the india-rubber is placed differently on the two
hands. This difference will be more particularly noticed on the two
thumbs. The left one, as it is always behind the handle of the bat,
requires no guard; but the back of the left hand being in front of the
bowler, is covered with a semicircle of india-rubber, while the strips
of the india-rubber on the fingers are much longer than those on the
right hand. It may be urged by those who object to the use of batting
gloves, that the ball is likely to fly off them and give a catch. This,
although true, very rarely happens, and besides, if the ball came with
enough force to fly into the air off the glove, is it not very probable
that, without a glove to shield them, the fingers would be broken by the
same collision?



These might be more appropriately termed gauntlets, for they are much
longer than the ordinary gloves, and entirely cover the wrist. Thanks to
the suggestions of the best wicket-keepers of the day, they have now
been greatly improved, and have padding only in those parts where it can
possibly be required. It is absurd to try to keep wicket well without
wearing these gauntlets; therefore let no young cricketer be fool-hardy
enough to attempt the feat. As the right and left hand gloves are
precisely the same, the artist has drawn one glove in two positions, in
order to show the front and back of it.


The following are the laws which govern the game everywhere. They have
been recently revised by the Marylebone Club, usually considered the
highest authority in the game.

1. _The Ball_ must weigh not less than 5½ ounces, nor more than 5¾
ounces. It must measure not less than 9 inches, nor more than 9¼ inches,
in circumference. At the beginning of each innings either party may call
for a new ball.

    [It is, however, not customary to have a new ball at the beginning
    of each innings. One a match is usually considered sufficient.]

2. _The Bat_ must not exceed 4¼ inches in the widest part; it must not
be more than 38 inches in length.

3. _The Stumps_ must be 3 in number, 27 inches out of the ground; the
bails 8 inches in length; the stumps of equal and of sufficient
thickness to prevent the ball from passing through.

4. _The Bowling Crease_ must be in a line with the stumps; 6 feet 8
inches in length; the stumps in the centre; with a return crease at each
end towards the bowler, at right angles.

5. _The Popping Crease_ must be 4 feet from the wicket, and parallel to
it, unlimited in length, but not shorter than the bowling crease;
unlimited in length, so that the batsman may keep out of the way of the
ball when it is thrown in.

6. The wickets must be pitched opposite to each other by the umpires, at
the distance of 22 yards.

7. It shall not be lawful for either party during a match, without the
consent of the other, to alter the ground by rolling, watering,
covering, mowing, or beating, except at the commencement of each
innings, when the ground shall be swept and rolled, unless the side next
going in object to it. This rule is not meant to prevent the striker
from beating the ground with his bat near to the spot where he stands
during the innings, nor to prevent the bowler from filling up holes with
sawdust, &c. when the ground is wet.

8. After rain the wickets may be changed with the consent of both

9. The _Bowler_ shall deliver the ball with one foot on the ground
behind the bowling crease, and within the return crease, and shall bowl
four balls before he change wickets, which he shall be permitted to do
only once in the same innings.

    [In a one day’s match six balls are usually allowed as an over.]

10. The ball must be bowled; if thrown or jerked, the umpire shall call
“no ball.”

11. He may require the striker at the wicket from which he is bowling to
stand on that side of it which he may direct.

12. If the bowler shall toss the ball over the striker’s head, or bowl
it so wide that in the opinion of the umpire it shall not be fairly
within the reach of the batsman, he shall adjudge one run to the party
receiving the innings without an appeal, which shall be put down to the
score of wide balls; such balls shall not be reckoned as one of the four
or six balls: but if the batsman shall by any means bring himself within
reach of the ball, the run shall not be scored.

13. If the bowler deliver a “no ball” or a “wide ball,” the striker
shall be allowed as many runs as he can get, and he shall not be put out
except by running out. In the event of no run being obtained by any
other means, then one run shall be added to the score of “no balls” or
“wide balls,” as the case may be. All runs obtained for “wide balls” to
be scored to “wide balls.” If the ball shall first touch any part of the
striker’s dress or person (except his hands), the umpire shall call “leg

    [If, however, the batsman runs two byes from a wide or a no ball,
    they are scored as two wides only. Many young players are in the
    habit of running a single bye off a wide ball, without ever thinking
    that they endanger their wicket without the slightest possible
    chance of advantage to themselves.]

14. At the beginning of each innings the umpire shall call “play;” from
that time to the end of each innings no trial ball shall be allowed to
any bowler.

    [This rule is very seldom enforced, as a new bowler is almost
    invariably allowed a trial ball, though not on the wicket.]

15. _The Striker is Out_ if either of the bails be struck off, or if a
stump be bowled out of the ground;

16. Or, if the ball, from a stroke of the bat or hand, but not the
wrist, be held before it touches the ground, although it be hugged to
the body of the catcher;

17. Or, if in striking, or at any other time while the ball shall be in
play, both his feet shall be over the popping-crease, and his wicket put
down, except his bat be grounded within it;

18. Or, if in striking at the ball, he hit down his wicket;

19. Or, if under pretence of running or otherwise, either of the
strikers prevent a ball from being caught, the striker of the ball is

20. Or, if the ball be struck, and he wilfully strike it again;

    [This does not prevent the batsman from hitting the ball off his
    wicket when it glides in from not being blocked with sufficient

21. Or, if in running the wicket be struck down by a throw, or by the
hand or arm (with ball in hand), before his bat (in hand) or some part
of his person be grounded over the popping-crease. But if both the bails
be off, a stump must be struck out of the ground;

22. Or, if any part of the striker’s dress knock down the wicket;

23. Or, if the striker touch or take up the ball while at play, unless
at the request of the opposite party;

24. Or, if with any part of his person he stop the ball, which in the
opinion of the umpire at the bowler’s wicket shall have been pitched in
a straight line from it to the striker’s wicket, and would have hit it.

    [On the 15th of April, 1863, the M. C. C. altered this rule as
    follows:--“Or, if the ball hit any part of his person which in the
    opinion of the umpire at the bowler’s wicket shall have been placed
    in a straight line from it to the striker’s wicket.” But at their
    next meeting, discovering that their former proceedings were
    informal, they cancelled their new rule; so that the law remains as

    It is almost impossible for a round-arm bowler, unless he bowl over
    the wicket, to pitch the ball in a straight line.]

25. If the players have crossed each other, he that runs for the wicket
which is put down is out.

26. A ball being caught, no runs shall be reckoned.

27. A striker being run out, that run which he and his partner were
attempting shall not be reckoned.

28. If a lost ball be called, the striker shall be allowed six runs; but
if more than six shall have been run before “lost ball” shall have been
called, then the striker shall have all which have been run.

29. After the ball shall have been finally settled in the
wicket-keeper’s or bowler’s hand, it shall be considered dead; but when
the bowler is about to deliver the ball, if the striker at his wicket go
outside the popping-crease before such actual delivery, the said bowler
may put him out, unless (with reference to the 21st law) his bat in
hand, or some part of his person, be within the popping-crease.

30. The striker shall not retire from his wicket and return to it to
complete his innings after another has been in, without the consent of
the opposite party.

31. No substitute shall in any case be allowed to stand out, or run
between wickets for another person, without the consent of the opposite
party; and in case any person shall be allowed to run for another, the
striker shall be out, if either he or his substitute be off the ground
in manner mentioned in laws 17 and 21, while the ball is in play.

32. In all cases where a substitute shall be allowed, the consent of the
opposite party shall also be obtained as to the person to act as
substitute, and the place in the field which he shall take.

33. If any fieldsman stop the ball with his bat, the ball shall be
considered dead, and the opposite party shall add five runs to their
score; if any be run, they shall have five in all.

34. The ball having been hit, the striker may guard his wicket with his
bat, or with any part of his body except his hands; that the 23rd law
may not be infringed.

35. The wicket-keeper shall not take the ball for the purpose of
stumping until it has passed the wicket; he shall not move until the
ball be out of the bowler’s hand; he shall not by any noise incommode
the striker; and if any part of his person be over or before the wicket,
although the ball hit it, the striker shall not be out.

36. The umpires are the sole judges of fair or unfair play; and all
disputes shall be determined by them, each at his own wicket; but in
case of a catch, which the umpire at the wicket bowled from cannot see
sufficiently to decide upon, he may apply to the other umpire, whose
opinion shall be conclusive.

37. The umpires in all matches shall pitch fair wickets; and the parties
shall toss up for choice of innings. The umpires shall change wickets
after each party has had one innings.

38. They shall allow two minutes for each striker to come in, and ten
minutes between each innings. When the umpire shall call “play,” the
party refusing to play shall lose the match.

39. They are not to order a striker out unless appealed to by the

40. But if one of the bowler’s feet be not on the ground behind the
bowling-crease, and within the return-crease, when he shall deliver the
ball, the umpire at his wicket, unasked, must call “no ball.”

41. If either the strikers run a short run, the umpire must call “one

    [The run is of course not scored.]

42. No umpire shall be allowed to bet.

43. No umpire is to be changed during a match, without the consent of
both parties, except in case of violation of the 42nd law; then either
party may dismiss the transgressor.

44. After the delivery of four or six balls the umpire must call “over,”
but not until the ball shall be finally settled in the wicket-keeper’s
or bowler’s hand; the ball shall then be considered dead; nevertheless,
if an idea be entertained that either of the strikers is out, a question
may be put previously to, but not after, the delivery of the next ball.

45. The umpire must take especial care to call “no ball” instantly upon
delivery; “wide ball” as soon as it shall pass the striker.

46. The players who go in second shall follow their innings, if they
have obtained eighty runs less than their antagonists, except in all
matches limited to only one day’s play, when the number shall be limited
to sixty instead of eighty.

47. When one of the strikers shall have been put out, the use of the bat
shall not be allowed to any person until the next striker shall come in.

    NOTE.--The Committee of the Marylebone Club think it desirable that,
    previously to the commencement of a match, one of each side should
    be declared the manager of it; and that the new laws with respect to
    substitutes may be carried out in a spirit of fairness and mutual
    concession, it is their wish that such substitutes be allowed in all
    reasonable cases, and that the umpire should inquire if it is done
    with the consent of the manager of the opposite side.

    Complaints having been made that it is the practice of some players
    when at the wicket to make holes in the ground for a footing, the
    Committee are of opinion that the umpires should be empowered to
    prevent it.


1. When there shall be less than five players on a side, bounds shall be
placed 22 yards each in a line from the off and leg-stump.

2. The ball must be hit before the bounds to entitle the striker to a
run, which run cannot be obtained unless he touch the bowling-stump or
crease in a line with his bat, or some part of his person, or go beyond
them, returning to the popping-crease, as at double wicket, according to
the 21st law.

3. When the striker shall hit the ball, one of his feet must be on the
ground, and behind the popping-crease, otherwise the umpire shall call
“no hit.”

4. When there shall be less than five players on a side, neither byes
nor overthrows shall be allowed, nor shall the striker be caught out
behind the wicket, nor stumped out.

5. The fieldsman must return the ball so that it shall cross the play
between the wicket and the bowling-stump, or between the bowling-stump
and the bounds; the striker may run till the ball be so returned.

6. After the striker shall have made one run, if he starts again he must
touch the bowling-stump, and turn before the ball cross the play, to
entitle him to another.

7. The striker shall be entitled to three runs for lost ball, and the
same number for ball stopped with bat, with reference to the 28th and
33rd laws of double wicket.

8. When there shall be more than four players on a side, there shall be
no bounds. All hits, byes, and overthrows shall then be allowed.

9. The bowler is subject to the same laws as at double wicket.

10. Not more than one minute shall be allowed between each ball.


The first point to be considered in batting is the sort of bat to be
used. Many young cricketers cramp their play by using a bat much too
heavy for them. Now, it stands to reason that one should be able to have
a complete mastery over the weapon one wields. A bat weighing about two
pounds will be found quite heavy enough for most schoolboys. It may,
however, be urged that the heaviest bats drive the farthest, and that
many of the old-fashioned players made some of their famous hits with
them; but it must also be borne in mind that those were the days of
underhand bowling, and that at the present time cutting and leg-hitting,
in consequence of the swift round-arm bowling, are infinitely more
prevalent than forward drives, and that in many cases the position of
field-on is done away with altogether. Therefore let us beg young
players to use a light bat, one that feels almost as a whip in their
hands, and one with which they can play back as quickly as is
necessitated by the speed of the bowling.

And now a few words with regard to guard. Of course, in many instances,
the distance from the wickets depends considerably upon the pace and
pitch of the bowling, but as a rule the safest guard is about four
inches from the popping-crease. This block not only gives you a better
chance of stopping shooters, but also enables you to play forward
better, since you can cover more ground than if your block were nearer
the wicket. A leg hit can also be made sooner, and consequently squarer,
and with a good long block there is less chance of hitting your wicket
in playing back, and more chance of stopping a full-pitched ball before
it touches the ground.

The left foot should be at right angle to the wickets, and the other
parallel with them. Free hitters keep their hands at the upper part of
the handle of the bat, whilst some players, who have a reputation for
steadiness, hold it with the hands three or four inches apart. The
former position enables a player to hit much sooner, and also to have a
much longer reach. The advantages of the position are readily discovered
when there is a chance of a cut or a leg-hit.

The batsman should stand quite erect, endeavouring to make the most of
his height. Before the ball is delivered, the bat should be raised, with
the full face presented to the bowler, and covering as much of the
wicket as possible.

The moment the bowler is about to deliver the ball, raise your bat
slightly from the block, keeping it almost straight to him. If you hold
it, as some players do, still on the block-hole until the ball
approaches, you are almost sure to be too late for the ball; and
although, if it be straight, you may keep it off your wicket, yet it is
a hundred chances to one that you will miss all the leg balls, or those
which come to the off-side.

Play, too, as low as possible. It is much better to hit a ball well
along the ground for two, than to send one high into the air, although
you get four or five for it. Sooner or later you will lose your wicket,
for the ball is sure at some time to be caught by long-on or long-off.

Assuming that the player has taken up his position at the wicket, we
must now fully impress upon him _the importance of not being in a hurry
to score_. In fact, nothing is so injurious as making runs in the first
over. The best maxim to be observed is, play steadily until you can
understand the bowling. It is astonishing how much confidence you gain
after you have played a dozen balls or so. Then, when you have, as it
were, taken the measure of your opponent, lunge out, as soon as you get
a chance, and show the field your favourite drive, and prepare to make a

In writing the last sentence, we are reminded of the many mishaps and
even serious accidents that have occurred on the cricket-field in
consequence of the careless manner in which some players run. They rush
between the wickets, watching the course of the ball rather than the
wicket towards which they are going; occasionally they run too far and
lose time, or else do not run far enough and lose runs; or, what is even
worse, a collision takes place between the two batsmen, and one is run
out, if not seriously injured by the bat or body of his comrade. The
simplest plan, therefore, is always to run on the right side, _to keep
the bat in the right hand, and to watch the wicket towards which you are

It has often been remarked that the most difficult balls to play are
shooters, and those that are well pitched up and just take the bail off.
Indeed, some shooters are almost sure to take a wicket; the moment,
therefore, that a ball shoots, drop the bat back close to the stumps,
and chop down upon the ball. Stopping a shooter is always a sign of good
play, and often at Lord’s produces more applause than a hit which scores
two or three runs. Some players, like Parr and Carpenter, can stop
shooters so well, that although they only chop down upon them, yet the
force of the stroke often drives the ball far enough to obtain a run.

How happens it that so many players miss the cut, although they attempt
this stroke at almost every ball that rises to the off? As a rule, young
players hit too soon, and if they touch the ball, in most cases they
give either point or cover-point an easy catch; others hit in time, but
play with a horizontal bat, the face of which is presented to the
bowler. The ball then rises in many instances either to slip or
long-slip, with the usual result. In cutting, the batsman should wait
until the ball has almost passed the wicket, and then drop down upon it,
with the face of the bat almost towards the ground. This keeps the ball
down and drives it in the direction required. In cutting, the left foot
acts as a pivot, and the right foot is drawn back. The advantage of
taking a long block is here shown, as occasionally this leg knocks down
the wicket; and if the block is near the stumps, they are easily struck
by the bat itself.

In leg-hitting, on the contrary, the right acts as a pivot, and the left
is thrown forwards. The sooner the hit is made the squarer the ball
goes, and, as a rule, the greater distance also. Since then, in swift
bowling, long-on is generally done away with, a leg ball that is hit in
front of long leg is safe to obtain more runs than if hit much behind
the wicket.

A very common habit among young players is to strike at wide balls. Many
and many a time have we seen a batsman rush out to a wide off-ball, and
send it into point’s or cover’s hands, thus depriving himself of his
innings and his side of a run. Before we conclude this somewhat
desultory chapter, we must urge upon everybody the importance of wearing
both gloves and leg-guards when playing against swift bowling. The many
dangerous accidents that have happened in consequence of the legs and
hands having no protection, should induce every person to guard himself
as much as possible. One can stand up to the wicket much better, and
have far more confidence, when one knows that a blow from the ball upon
the legs is likely to produce no ill effect. The absence of pads causes
many players to run away from the ball, and if the ball turns, the
off-stump in most cases will soon be prostrate.

Be careful, too, in running, that you ground your bat on the
popping-crease. Nothing is so tantalizing to a player as to lose a run
through the carelessness of his companion, who in his excitement runs an
inch or so short of the proper distance.

The moment the ball has left the bowler at your wicket, walk a yard or
two; you may by this means steal many a run that it would be impossible
to obtain if you were at your own wicket when the ball was hit.

Never, if you can possibly avoid it, hit a ball on the wrong side. How
disgusting it is to see a big awkward player swipe a ball right round to
the off-side which he should have drawn or played to mid-wicket on!

[Illustration: THE LEG HIT.]

Do not run away from the ball. If you do, you can never get a good leg
hit; besides, you naturally expose your wicket, and if the ball turns in
(as it often will do), you will find it almost impossible to be back in
time to save your off-stump.

As a rule, play forward whenever you can; but be sure you don’t run out
of your ground to hit unless you feel perfectly confident of your

Waiting for the ball is always a dangerous experiment, and will often
result in your playing back so far that you upset your own wickets when
in the act of achieving a most scientific cut.

Be careful to keep one foot steadily planted within the popping-crease;
it is sometimes impossible to help being bowled or caught, but the worst
player in the world can always prevent the wicket-keeper stumping him.

Mind, too, that the bat ought to strike the ball, and not the ball the

Be always cautious of straight balls, however tempting they may appear.
Remember that if you miss them, you are safe to lose your wicket;
therefore always treat them with the respect that they deserve.

Balls, too, that come about five inches above the bails should generally
be allowed to pass, for unless you are well skilled in the art of
hitting down, you are sure to give a catch.

And now a word or two with regard to the three leg hits--the draw, the
forward, and the backward leg hit.

When a ball seems pitched at the leg stump, hold your bat straight, as
it were, for a block; but the moment the bat meets the ball, turn the
face of it a trifle round towards you, and the ball will then slip off
between your legs and the stumps. This is called the draw.

This play, however, requires a great deal of practice, and should very
rarely be attempted by inexperienced players.

The forward leg hit is made in the following manner:--When a ball is
pitched rather wide on the near side, advance the left foot in front of
the wicket, turn half round, and hit down upon the ball as hard as you

When the ball is pitched inside the near stump, step back with the right
foot, and with an upright bat play it off the wicket. The ball will fly
rapidly along the ground, and usually between leg and long-stop.

Recollect, the sooner you hit at a leg ball the squarer it goes.

The cut is the most difficult of all, and can only be accomplished when
the ball rises a little wide of the off-bail. Even then you are very
likely to play either too soon or too late at it, and it is very rare
indeed that a player makes a really good legitimate cut.

When you see the ball about to rise a foot away from off-bail, draw the
right leg backwards, and, with a horizontal bat, give the ball something
between a pat and a push, between point and short-slip.

This is very far from being a scientific definition of this delightful
stroke; but I think, from the plain manner in which I have stated it,
that it will be more likely to be understood.

[Illustration: THE CUT.]

The technical names for the various balls the batsman is likely to
receive are--the full pitch, the tice, the hop, the half volley, the
ground ball, and the shooter.

Leg balls and balls to cut we have already explained.

At first sight, a full pitch would seem one of the easiest balls to
play; but in reality it is not; and many a good batsman, who could play
any number of well-pitched balls, has lost his wicket by playing rashly
or across a toss. Again, if hit carelessly, it is almost sure to be
caught by one of the long-fields; and often, when the batsman tries to
play it down, it hits the top of his bat, and goes into long-stop’s
hands. The best plan (if you are not very tall), when you think it is
too high to take your wicket, is to leave it alone altogether; but when
you feel persuaded that if you miss the ball it will take the stumps,
either play it down, or else hit it where there is no field.

The tice is almost a full pitch. If you have a long reach, go in and
play it forward; if not, however, keep your bat down and block it.
Running in is generally a bad habit, as it is sure to engender a loose
style of play.

The long hop, if straight, should be played very carefully, and with an
upright bat. Those batsmen who have, as it is called, “got their eye
in,” can usually strike at one with impunity; but as the ball is liable
to twist every time it reaches the ground, the young player should be
very careful in striking at it.

A half volley is a ball which rises well from the pitch. Catches are,
however, often the result of hitting right at a half volley.

A ground ball is perhaps better known among our young friends as a
sneak. If played at with a high bat, the wicket is almost sure to fall.
The best plan is to keep the bat well down, and play forward at it. If
the bat is kept in a straight line with the ball, you cannot miss it,
and often by playing it forward you can send it past the bowler.

A shooter is the most difficult ball to play, and if not treated with
proper respect, is sure to take the wicket. The moment the ball shoots,
play back, dropping the bat down on it within an inch of the stumps. You
are by this means very likely to keep it off your wicket, but do not try
to hit it. Left-hand bowling generally turns in from the off; therefore
play forward at it.


Although not of so interesting a character as batting and bowling, yet
fielding is in itself of too much importance to be overlooked, or even
carelessly practised, by anybody who desires to become a cricketer. Many
a match has been lost by loose fielding, and instances without number
have occurred of a man who, after being missed before he has made a run,
has sent his score up to fifty before receiving his dismissal. It is
astonishing how many runs may be saved by careful fielding. Hits which
at first seem good for four, only obtain one through good fielding, and
that even a sharp run.

Quick fielding should be practised by the tyro, before either of the
other two departments of the game. As soon as a boy gets a ball in his
hand, he tries to catch it, or to get a companion to throw it to him;
and thus before he even knows how to handle a bat, many a boy has in him
the elements of a good field. As, however, the fascination of batting
grows upon him, he cares less for the other parts of the game; and thus
it happens that although we have many gentlemen cricketers who bat just
as well as professionals, yet the latter obtain the mastery through
their superior bowling and fielding, which they are obliged to practise
as often as batting, in order to obtain the reputation of good players.
I have, however, heard it stated that no finer fielding can be seen than
that shown in the University match. This is generally admitted; but it
must be borne in mind that the University match is played by young men
whose ages vary from twenty to five-and-twenty, whereas most of the
players are over thirty, and some rapidly approaching to forty, an age
at which the bones are not so lissom as those that have just arrived at
man’s estate.

As a proof of this I may cite the Gentlemen and Players’ match at
Lord’s, a contest (if such it can be called) which is only worth seeing
on account of the excellent bowling and fielding of the professional
players. It is satisfactory to know that it is the opinion of most
judges of the game, that as long as the gentlemen persist in practising
batting only, they will scarcely have a chance against the players.

No advice, however, will produce the same good upon a young player in
the matter of fielding as watching a match in which some of the best
players take part. In this he should bear well in mind the manner in
which the ball is stopped and thrown to the wicket-keeper.

Supposing that our cricketer can stop and catch a ball pretty well, the
next point for him to study is to throw it in carefully. How many men
that should have been run out save their wickets through the bad
throwing of a field, who, either through hurry or nervousness, pitches
the ball over the wicket-keeper’s head, or sends it in so much along the
ground as to render the picking up of it sharply by the wicket-keeper a
matter of impossibility! The best plan is to throw in a catch to the top
of the bails. A long hop occasionally meets with success; but if the
ground is bumpy, and the ball is thrown in from a distance, it is very
possible that it will go over the man’s head.

One of the most prominent failings of a young eleven is the careless
manner in which they back up. Overthrows in a professional eleven are
almost a matter of impossibility, for if the ball passes one field there
is almost sure to be another behind him to stay its progress; whereas,
in some clubs, if there is one man to back up the wicket-keeper, the
ball is considered safe, and as he generally stands within a few yards
of the wicket, he usually misses the ball if it passes the amateur
Lockyer. If, however, it is expedient to throw the ball to the bowler,
and he does not wish to hurt his fingers, an overthrow is sure to
follow, for long-on or long-off scarcely ever thinks it his duty to
stand behind the bowler’s wicket when the ball is thrown in. Overthrows
in themselves are not only annoying, because they are obtained through
no merit of the batsman, but because they always produce a merciless
laugh from the spectators, and occasionally epithets of a not very
complimentary character. It is therefore the captain’s bounden duty to
make his eleven back up well, and not to consider the ball safe unless
two or three people are behind the wicket at which it is thrown.

One naturally imagines that the wicket-keeper’s hands get occasionally
damaged from the sharp throwing to which he is subjected. Whatever he
would do without his thick gauntlets, it is unpleasant to imagine. Care
should on all occasions, therefore, be taken to save his hands, and when
the batsmen are not running, there is no need to throw the ball as hard
as possible at him. The long-stop, who returns the ball to the
wicket-keeper oftener than any other field, should send it in gently
when there is no run, and the wicket-keeper ought, in throwing it to the
bowler, to toss it as quietly as he can, in order not to deaden the
fingers of that important functionary.

Whilst writing about bowler and wicket-keeper, we cannot allow the
opportunity to pass of requesting all players to obey with the utmost
fidelity any order given to them in the field. The wicket-keeper can, by
raising his hand, change the positions of the field unknown to the
batsman, who, hitting a ball to a place which he thinks is not covered,
and finding it suddenly stopped, sees that he must play more carefully
in future.

Two of the most important positions in the field are the mid-wickets and
cover-point, and no player, unless he is a safe catch, and can return
the ball sharply, should ever be placed there. It has been computed that
mid-wicket runs more out than any other field. Anybody who has seen R.
Daft in this place will be surprised at the rapidity with which he picks
up the ball and sends it in. The space that a good cover-point can
command is really astonishing. Players seeing that the ball has passed
point feel sure that it is safe for one, whereas, if cover runs in and
sends it in well to the wicket-keeper, one of the batsmen will probably
have “run out” to his name.

Long-stop should on no account be too close to the wicket. If he takes a
position where he feels sure he can stop one run, he will do much more
service than nearer the stumps. Not only will he be able to stop some
balls which might have gone over his head, but he may stay the progress
of many leg-hits and slipped balls, besides standing a better chance of
a catch.

Catching comes so naturally that we need say little about it. The chief
point to be remembered is to keep the hands well together. Occasionally
one sees--in catching--the ball slip through a man’s hands altogether.
At other times the ball lodges in the hands for an instant, and then
drops to the ground, because the arms were not drawn back with the ball,
but held out to meet it. In catching, the arms should always be drawn
back as the ball comes, as this lessens the force with which the ball
strikes the hands. A good plan, but one which, however, requires much
practice, is to pat the ball up as it comes, and then to catch it. It is
evident that when the ball has thus been sent up, it descends much more
slowly than when it comes direct from the bat.

Even, however, if, in spite of advice and practice, one of the field is
unfortunate enough to miss a catch, the captain should not allow any
unfeeling remarks to be made. The anguish of the unfortunate player is
quite deep enough without being aggravated by growls and sneers from
comrades who may perhaps do the same thing in a few minutes.

The captain should also do all he can to prevent talking in the field.
It is time to do that when a wicket falls, but very unlike a true
cricketer to endeavour to attract the field’s attention just as the
bowler is about to deliver the ball.


We have read in a manual of Cricket that there are four styles of
bowling, and Felix, we believe, in his excellent work on the Bat, states
that there are five modes, all of which are in general use. For the
present purpose, however, we think it will be sufficient if we confine
our remarks to two styles,--

1. Round-arm Bowling.

2. Underhand Bowling.

The former is an innovation upon the latter, and, like all improvements,
met with a great deal of opposition at first, since it was more
difficult to play, and made the innings shorter. Now, however, the
batting seems to have obtained as much mastery over the round-arm
bowling as before it had over the underhand, and it is even probable
that in a few years a new style will be introduced, in order to decrease
the inordinate length which innings assume now-a-days.

The following hints apply to the round-arm bowling:--

The ball should be held with the fingers across the seams, as this
occasionally makes the ball twist, and renders the defence of the
batsman a matter of more difficulty. Many bowlers, however, can never
get what is technically called “a twist on,” whereas others, after an
hour’s practice, can manage to make the ball twist in any direction they

It is also important to take a run of a few yards, increasing the
distance in proportion to the pace. This allows the bowler to get his
arm into swing, and increases the impetus with which the ball is

The bowler should always stand with his body well towards the other
wicket. We have seen a man run almost round the wicket and deliver the
ball without looking at the stumps he is supposed to aim at. Long
practice had enabled him to bowl pretty well, but the absurdity of his
position was so apparent that it provoked a laugh from all who saw it.

It must not be imagined, however, that a bowler should always deliver
the same style of ball. Many a wicket (paradoxical as it may seem) falls
from a ball that is not straight. A batsman who has had a hit to leg for
four, becomes at once anxious to get another. Very often, if a bowler
pitches the ball in a different manner, the batsman endeavours to give
another specimen of his favourite hit, and equally often loses his
wicket. Practise, therefore, change of pace and pitch, as catches are
almost sure at some time to be the result.

Nyren, one of the earliest writers on Cricket, speaks of this plan in
the following manner:--

“When it is difficult to part two batsmen, and either of them has a
favourite hit, I have often succeeded in getting him out by opening the
field where his hit is placed, at the same time hinting to the bowler to
give him a different style of ball. This, with the opening of the field,
has tempted him to plant his favourite hit, and in his anxiety to do so
he has not unfrequently committed an error fatal to him.”

In writing of round-arm bowling let us recommend young bowlers to
practise bowling over the wicket in preference to what is usually termed
round or outside it. The former plan is the only mode that necessitates
straight bowling, since, from the position of the arm, the ball may be
straight all the way, whereas, in the latter, the ball must come in from
the leg side. Again, it will be recollected that in the late discussion
about leg before wicket, many of the best judges gave it as their
opinion that the batsman could not be given out l. b. w. unless the ball
was delivered over the wicket. To these advantages may be added the fact
that a much better view of the opponent’s stumps can be obtained, and
that the distance is also shorter than from the outside of the wicket.

Among the most common faults of young players may be cited a habit of
not pitching the ball far enough. This is mainly owing to a want of
power in the arms, but still a little careful practice will considerably
assist the player. Those nice specimens of bowling known as bailers,
when the bail is knocked off, can only be obtained by a ball that is
well pitched up. Shooters, also, are the result of balls that touch the
ground near the wicket. We may also add that a ball that is pitched
short is easy to play, since it can be seen well, and its coming in
contact with the ground deadens its force and checks its speed.

Another practice which is often condemned is a habit of bowling fast.
Now, it is a great mistake to imagine that fast bowling is the most
difficult to play, as may be ascertained by the fact that our fastest
bowlers by no means take the most wickets, excepting Jackson, whose
bowling, however, is not so successful now as it was at one time. Fast
bowling does not so readily allow accuracy of pitch as a slower style;
besides, a fast bowler soon gets tired, then bowls loosely, and then
gets taken off. Those tips (for they are nothing else) to the slips for
four or five, are more the result of the bowler than the batsman. Let
us, therefore, earnestly recommend young bowlers to begin bowling
slowly, and to increase their pace as they grow older and stronger. Many
a promising bowler has been irretrievably spoilt by beginning to bowl
too fast for his strength, and finding in a short time that he has no
style at all, and that the fruit of his labour is principally found in
the number of byes scored off him.

Particular care must also be taken to avoid bowling over the shoulder.
It is a pity that there is not some more stringent rule than at present
exists with regard to law 10, although in such a case the most
successful bowlers would find their occupation gone; besides, as the
no-balling of a bowler by an umpire usually causes the greatest
unpleasantness in a match, spoiling the amicable feeling which almost
invariably exists in the cricket-field, it is much better to avoid the
head and front of the offending, by practising the best means to prevent
the arm getting over the shoulder. We recollect at school a big sturdy
fellow, who, not content with bowling over his shoulder, delivered the
ball always as fast as he could. His bowling, however, (as might be
expected) was so loose that his services were never called into
requisition at a match; but at practice he occasionally handled the
ball, much to the dread of the batsman he opposed. One day he was
bowling against the present writer in his usual headstrong style, and
actually sent a ball over the wicket-keeper’s head into long-stop’s
hands. This naturally frightened us, as we thought it just possible that
the next might hit us on the chest. A narrow escape we had, for the very
next was pitched so high, that, had we not quickly dropped on the
ground, it would have hit us on the head with such force as probably to
stop cricket with us for ever.

Our remarks on underhand bowling, or slows, must necessarily be brief.
That good slows are effective, particularly against county twenty-twos,
is proved by the analysis of R. C. Tinley’s bowling, and the destructive
power of Mr. V. E. Walker’s slows is well known to most of those who
have played against him.

It is often a good plan to begin with a fast bowler at one end and slows
at the other. The change of pace and delivery is very puzzling to the
batsman, who is compelled to play the two styles on a different plan.
If, however, a slow bowler is hit about much, he should be changed at
once, as the hits from slows generally add up quicker than those from

If change of pitch is advantageous in the swift bowling, it is the very
soul of slows. Full pitches, leg balls, off balls, shooters, all styles
and forms, should be allowed full play. The bowler, too, must dodge
about, and make himself an extra field, going wherever he imagines the
ball will be hit. In writing about slows we cannot pass unmentioned the
great advantage derived from making a ball twist in from the leg. It is
always understood that the leg stump is the hardest to defend, and
consequently the best to attack.

A slow ball is pitched a little wide of the leg, the batsman runs away
from his guard, and, in his imagination, sees the ball hit to square leg
for four. In reality, however, he finds his off-stump knocked down by
this same leg ball at which, in his ignorance, he struck too soon, and
therefore saw it hit his stump before he could be back to stop it.

The positions of the field may be varied according to the opinion of the



The duties of the wicket-keeper are to stop the balls when missed by the
striker, to stump him when off his ground, and to catch the ball, and
knock the wickets down before the striker, when running, can ground his
bat over the popping-crease. Since the introduction of fast bowling this
position has become the most dangerous in the field, and a wicket-keeper
seldom gets through a match without receiving some bruises. He should
always wear pads and gloves. Some people recommend a guard for the
abdomen, but this is scarcely ever used.

The wicket-keeper should, if possible, be captain of his eleven. As he
is behind the striker, he can by a motion of his hand move any of the
field closer or further, unknown to the batsman. This naturally requires
great tact, and is often the means of saving many a run, or of getting a

He should stand in a somewhat stooping position, his left leg well
forward and his hands close together, while his eyes should watch every
movement of the ball. He should be very cautious about taking leg balls,
as, if he gets too near, he is likely to receive a blow from the

As soon as the ball is thrown to him from the long-stop, he ought to
advance two or three yards (provided, in the meantime, the batsmen are
not running), and send it gently into the bowler’s hands.

The moment a hit is made, he should stand on that side of the wicket
farthest from the ball, and wait quietly till it is thrown in. The ball
should be thrown in by one pitch, and not in long hops, as is often the
case among bad players. Above all, he should knock the wicket down as
seldom as possible, but content himself with striking a bail off when he
thinks the batsman is out of his ground.


Stands behind the wicket-keeper, in order to prevent byes.

He must be careful not to be too far away from the wicket, or else
clever players are apt to steal a bye before the ball has reached him.
The moment he gets the ball, he should return it sharply into the
wicket-keeper’s hands, and scarcely ever throw it over to the bowler. He
should assist in backing up short slip, and also endeavour to save runs
on the leg side. When slows are put on in a match, the long-stop is
usually changed to a position about twelve yards behind the bowler’s


Stands in a direct line with the popping-crease, at a distance of about
twelve yards on the off-side, for fast bowling. The faster the bowling,
the sharper he should stand. He should commence at first at the distance
we have just mentioned, and approach when he sees the player about to
strike. A sharp point may often stop a hard hit to cover-point. This
position is, however, rather dangerous in fast bowling, and, at the same
time, one of the most important. For slow bowling, he should come in to
about five yards, and stand at a more acute angle than when the delivery
is very swift.


Stands a few yards behind the wicket on the off-side. As this position
does not entail much running, it is usually allotted to the bowlers. The
balls come in very sharply when the bowling is swift, and the person
occupying this position has to watch the ball very attentively, or he
stands a very good chance of receiving it in his face. It is also his
duty to back up the wicket-keeper, and to take his place at the wicket
when that functionary runs after the ball.


Stands some distance behind point, to prevent a second run. The sharper
the bowling is, the squarer he should stand. He must also be particular
in backing up, as he can prevent many an overthrow.


Performs the same duties, and occupies the same position, with regard to
slip as the last-mentioned field does to point. He should, when he can,
back up long-stop and save a second run.


Stands deep on the on-side. When the bowling is very swift, he can take
the place of mid-wicket on, as a ball in such a case is seldom hit fair,
either on the on or off side. He must be a good catch, a good thrower,
and very swift on his legs.


Occupies the same position as long-on at the other side of the wicket.


Stands about the same distance behind the wicket on the on-side as
long-on does before it. He must possess a quick eye and great agility.
Leg-hits, after touching the ground, usually turn off in quite a
different direction from what one would expect. Leg should therefore try
to get them before they pitch, or else be careful in running to meet


Stand halfway between the long-fields and the striker’s wicket. As many
catches come to these parts of the field, they should be very sharp and
active, and try to prevent the ball going past them.


In very swift bowling the long-on often takes this position. He stands
between point and short-slip, in a direct line with the bowling-crease,
at a distance of about twelve yards.

       *       *       *       *       *

And now, having given the functions of the fieldsmen, we propose to
show, by diagrams, their positions with regard to fast and slow


[Illustration: S. Striker; 1. The Bowler; 2. Wicket-Keeper; 3.
Long-Stop; 4. Short-Slip; 5. Point; 6. Long-Slip; 7. Mid-Wicket on; 8.
Long-off; 9. Cover-Point; 10. Third Man up; 11. Long-Leg; U. Umpire.]


[Illustration: S. Striker; 1. Bowler; 2. Wicket-Keeper; 3. Long-Stop; 4.
Short-Slip; 5. Point; 6. Long-Slip; 7. Long-on; 8. Long-off; 9.
Cover-Point; 10. Mid-Wicket on; 11. Leg; U. Umpire.]


[Illustration: 1. Bowler; 2. Wicket-Keeper; 3. Leg; 4. Short-Slip. 5.
Point; 6. Extra Long-on; 7. Long-on; 8. Long-off; 9. Mid-Wicket off; 10.
Mid-Wicket on; 11. Square-Leg; S. Striker. U. Umpire.]

       *       *       *       *       *

As in very swift bowling the ball is often hit to the off, it will be
seen that in Diagram I. we have placed no less than six out of the
eleven on that side. Mid-wicket on and long-off should be a little
nearer the bowler, and long-slip nearer the long-stop, than represented
in the illustration.

In Diagram II. third man up is made mid-wicket on, while cover-point
comes in nearer than when the bowling was very fast.

In Diagram III., as the bowling is slow, no long-stop is required; he is
therefore sent as an additional field behind the bowler. Short-slip
stands in very close to the wickets.





The mallet, of which in a Croquet set there are eight, varies in length
from 32 to 39 inches. The handle is thin and round, and is fastened into
the head somewhat in the manner of an ordinary mallet used for knocking
in tent pegs. The head slightly resembles in shape a dice-box, inasmuch
as it is narrower in the centre than at the ends. The mallet is the
active agent in the game, just as the bat is at cricket; and as the
mallet is always in the hands of the striker, care should be taken that
it is well planed. Towards the top of the handle a few circular lines
may be cut with advantage, as they give a firmer hold to the hand. At
the bottom of the handle is usually painted a colour, or a number of
lines, corresponding to the marks on one of the balls. Such an
arrangement, although not absolutely necessary--since a player can use
any mallet without interfering with the game--is of advantage in
according to each player the same coloured mallet as his ball; and were
the mallets uncoloured, disputes would probably arise about one which
was a greater favourite than the others. Some people prefer to have the
colour of all the balls painted on their mallets. This is a very good
plan if one is in the habit of playing with inattentive people, who will
not recollect when it is their turn to play. As the hard surface of the
end of the mallet-head coming sharply in contact with a ball often
cracks, chips, or breaks it in two pieces, it has been suggested that a
piece of wash-leather should be let in at each end of the head, in order
to deaden the force of the stroke. We do not, however, recommend the
adoption of this plan, as it is very expensive, and the wash-leather is
not only likely to be soon torn, but in the course of the game may come
out altogether; besides, a Croquet-ball can always be replaced for a
trifling sum, and, if played with carefully, ought to last twelve months
at least.

[Illustration: CROQUET.]



The balls are eight in number, and are generally painted different
colours--blue, pink, black, yellow, brown, orange, red, green. The size
varies from 3 inches to 3⅝ inches in diameter. The balls of some of the
better Croquet games are not entirely covered with paint, but adorned
simply by a band of paint, about half an inch in width, or with lines of
blue and red, varying from one to four in number, as in the
illustration. Balls coloured thus are, however, not so easily
distinguishable as those which are painted all over.



The hoops, ten in number, are made of iron. They are about 16 inches
high, and 12 inches wide; although these dimensions are not of much
importance. In some games the hoops are of bronze, or else are painted a
golden colour. Usually, however, they are of a black, iron tint. The set
with which we generally play is painted white. This plan is in many
respects advantageous, for as the shades of evening close round the
players the contrast between the grass and the hoops becomes less vivid,
and consequently in the excitement of the game a player occasionally
tumbles over a hoop, and probably hurts his legs; when, however, the
hoops are painted white, the play can be continued to a late hour
without the chance of such a casualty as the breaking of one’s shins
against the iron hoops.


The posts, two in number, should be from 24 to 36 inches high. One end
must be sharpened into a point, in order to allow it to stick well in
the ground. One is called the starting, the other the turning post. The
top half is, in the cheaper sets, divided into eight divisions, each of
which is painted according to the colours of the ball. Thus, beginning
from the top, we trace the divisions into the following order:--

  1.  Blue.
  2.  Pink.
  3.  Black.
  4.  Yellow.
  5.  Brown.
  6.  Orange.
  7.  Green.
  8.  Red.

The order of the colours acts as a guide to the players; and since those
on each side play alternately, it follows that in a game of eight, the
dark balls--blue, black, brown, and green--are matched against the light
balls--pink, yellow, orange, and red. The advantage of this arrangement
is plainly manifest, since, during the game, the players, without
referring to the peg, will know that the light colours play alternately
with the dark. We admit, however, that opinion may be divided about the
lightness of red as a colour; and we therefore hope that the
Croquet-makers will change it into white, which is not likely to be
confounded with the yellow, for the latter, in consequence of being in
more frequent use, is sure to become dark in much shorter time than the
former. Some, however, as in the illustration, have red and blue
divisions, marked from one to four, to correspond with the number of
rings painted on the balls.




A set of Croquet-clips--little pieces of tin, coloured according to the
colours of the balls, in order to slip over the hoops, and thus show the
hoop through which the player has next to pass--has been lately
introduced. We do not, however, recommend the use of them, as they are
liable to cause much confusion, and certainly give a great deal of
trouble to those players who adopt them.


A gentleman has invented a marking-board, on which is placed the
position of each player after his stroke is made; but as this requires
an umpire to mark the positions of the balls, we do not think the plan
worth adoption.



In some games a very narrow hoop--scarcely wide enough for the ball to
pass through--has been introduced under the name of tunnel. It certainly
adds to the complication of the game.



Is another novelty, formed by placing two hoops across each other, and
fastening a bell at the point of intersection, which has to be struck by
the ball passing through.



Is one of the best of the recent inventions in Croquet, and is to be
recommended as a great improvement over the unwieldy box, which contains
usually a Croquet set, and which is generally so badly arranged that a
quarter of an hour is occupied in taking out the Croquet implements, and
about double that time in replacing them after the game is over.


Sides are chosen in the usual manner, the captain of one side taking the
first ball and the captain of the other the second; while the remaining
balls are given to the other players in the order in which they are
chosen. Eight persons can play at this game, but any smaller number will
do equally well. If only six or four play, the same number of balls must
be used; but if two play, the game is improved by each player taking two
balls and playing them alternately as usual. If there be an odd number
of players--either three, five, or seven--the players play against each
other, or else one person takes two balls and plays for each side. It
has been suggested that to amuse a large party two games should go on at
once, through the same hoops, one side to begin at the starting-post and
the other at the turning-post. The confusion, however, caused by the
balls getting in each other’s way would quite spoil all chance of good

Assuming that each player has a ball and a mallet, that the hoops are
arranged in either of the three positions given on pages 177, 178, 179,
180, we now come to the mode of playing the game. The object is to drive
the balls through all the hoops, in the direction indicated by the
dotted lines on the diagrams, and to strike the two posts. The side all
of whose members succeed in performing this feat first wins the game.

Now, although this is the chief object of the game, yet the act from
which it derives its title, to wit “Croquet,” is of much greater
importance than would at first be imagined. If a player hit with his
ball any of the others, he is allowed to place his own against the ball
he has struck, and setting his foot upon his own ball, he hits it with
the mallet, and the force of the blow drives the opponent’s ball a
considerable distance in the direction towards which the mallet is
directed. As the player is allowed to croquet either friend or foe, it
is evident that he can do a great deal of damage or service, according
to his inclination, since he is at liberty to drive the ball in any
direction he pleases. (_See_ Rules of the Croquet, page 182.) It must,
however, be borne in mind that no player can croquet or be croqued until
he has been through the first hoop.

The holder of the first ball, placing his ball a mallet’s length in any
direction from the starting-post, endeavours by striking it with the end
of his mallet to drive it through the first hoop. If he succeeds, he
continues his turn, and attempts to send the ball through the second
hoop, and then through the third; for driving the ball through a hoop or
croquing another ball imparts the privilege of an additional stroke.
When he has finished, the second goes on, and the other players follow
in the order in which the balls are marked upon the post. Till a player
has gone through the first hoop he is not allowed to have an extra turn,
if his ball hit that of another. In a short time is palpably shown the
great advantage of the croquet. Often when a player has his ball in a
good position in front of a hoop, another will hit it and drive it to
the other end of the croquet-ground, compelling the croqued ball to take
two or three turns before it can regain its former position.
Occasionally two or three balls lie close to each other, and one is
struck by a ball which was some distance off. The striker is now allowed
to place his ball by the side of the one he has struck, and then, after
croquing it, is almost sure of hitting the two others, since his last
stroke has brought him very near to them.

The player who reaches the turning-post first has great advantages for a
time, for as soon as he touches it he commences his return journey, and
meeting the other players on their road to the farthest point of their
voyage, he is able to croquet them and considerably impede their
progress. While writing about the turning-post, we cannot refrain from
calling attention to a strange rule which appears in a recently-issued
manual of Croquet. In this work it is stated that on touching the post
the striker discontinues playing, and is not allowed for the act the
same privilege that he obtains for passing through a hoop. This
regulation is, we think, so unfair that we cannot allow this work to go
to press without taking the opportunity of recording our protest against
the adoption of the rule in question. It must be evident to anybody who
knows anything about the game that it is a more difficult task to strike
the post than to pass through a hoop. Now, touching the post is a point
in the game, for it is one of the stations that everybody must pass on
the journey; and as for each other point, such as passing a hoop or
croquing, the player is allowed an additional turn, surely it stands to
reason that the same advantage should be accorded to a player who
performs the feat of striking the turning-post. Captain Mayne Reid and
all the other writers on Croquet (with one exception) agree with us in
the view we have taken on this subject, to which we have at some length
drawn attention, in the hope that the author of the obnoxious rule will
think fit to make the necessary alteration.

When a player has passed through all the hoops, he becomes what is
called in the technical language of Croquet a Rover, and is privileged
to rove about over the ground croquing his friends and foes (_see_ page
185). It is therefore obvious that a good player can prove, when thus
situated, of immense advantage to his side, and should on no account hit
the starting or winning post till all on his side have passed through
the last hoop (_see_ page 191). Good players, however, generally content
themselves with passing through all the hoops but two, as it often
happens that if a Rover is tiresome his adversaries unite in their
efforts to drive his ball against the starting-post, and thus kill him.
This, of course, they cannot do until he has passed through all the
hoops. The excitement towards the end of the game is almost
inconceivable; each stroke is watched with the keenest interest.
Gradually one by one the players hit the post, until perhaps only two
remain, and now occurs an opportunity for skilful play. If the two
opponents are good players, they afford a rare treat to the bystanders.
The object of each is first to hit the post, and, failing in that, to
keep as far off his adversary as he can. Both endeavour, at the same
time drawing nearer to the great object in view, to keep the post
between their own and the other ball. At length one plays at the post,
misses it, and sends his ball near his adversary, who first hits it,
next croquets it away, and then strikes the post, while all his side
wave their mallets aloft, and loudly shout “Victory!”

[Illustration: DIAGRAM NO. 1.--This position, which is the simplest of
those we have drawn, is the one which we recommend all young players to
adopt. The space between the hoops and between the hoops and the posts
should be about six feet, although it can be varied in proportion to the
capabilities of the different players. The course of the ball is
indicated by the dotted lines, and the arrows show the direction in
which at starting the ball should travel. Although it may appear rather
a simple matter to go through the two first hoops by one straight
stroke, yet the unfortunate player will soon find out his mistake by
experience, and that, in attempting to pass through the hoops, “Slow and
sure” is the best maxim to adopt.]

[Illustration: DIAGRAM NO. 2.--In this, the second, diagram it will be
seen that the two centre side hoops are done away with, and that one is
placed in the centre of the game instead: but although in the play we
now require one hoop less than in the former diagram, yet the player
will have to pass through the same number of hoops as before, since he
travels twice through the hoop in the centre--once on his way to the
turning-post, and once on his return. This position is necessarily not
so simple as the last one, for now all chance of going through the three
side hoops in one turn is done away with, and few players will be able
to make the passage in less than three turns.]

[Illustration: DIAGRAM NO. 3.--In this the same number of hoops is used
as in the first diagram, but the hoops numbered respectively 4 and 9,
instead of being placed parallel to the others, are now at right-angles
to them: thus, in playing from 3 to 4, one has to keep to the right of
the second ring, and then to pass through it from the outside of the
game--a much more difficult arrangement than either of the other
positions we have described. As the player’s knowledge of Croquet
increases, many other positions will suggest themselves; but those we
have printed are the simplest, and are the diagrams in general use at
the present time.]

[Illustration: DIAGRAM NO. 4.--In this diagram the cage is introduced;
otherwise it is nearly the same as Diagram No. 2.]

The reader is now requested to give his attention to the following
Rules, which we believe will be found to meet all the requisites of the



1. At the commencement of the game the ball is to be placed a mallet’s
length from the starting-post in any direction, and the player
endeavours to drive it through the first hoop.

[As the distance between the first post and the first hoop depends so
much upon the size of the Croquet-ground, the first rule may be altered
to suit the convenience of the players; but if the length is less than a
mallet, the player will probably strike the post with his own mallet.]

2. In striking the ball, the player must stand on one side of the ball,
and not behind it.

3. In striking, the mallet must be about an inch from the ground, and
must not be pushed along it when the stroke is made, except when the
distance between the ball and some other object is too small to admit
the mallet lengthwise.

[Some players wish only one hand to be used in striking. Most of the
large sets, however, are too heavy to allow this rule to be generally
carried out.]

4. The ball must be struck with an end of the mallet, and not by the


5. The balls are to be played in the order in which they are marked upon
the post.

6. If any player play out of his turn, he finishes the stroke; but for
the violation of the last rule he is deprived of the next turn.

[It may perhaps be suggested that a player, seeing a good opportunity
for some effective stroke, would purposely play out of his turn. This we
doubt; for not only would the deprivation of his next turn do him a
great deal of damage, but the chances are that one of the other players
would stop him before he had commenced the stroke.]

7. If a player play with a wrong ball, he has to replace the ball and
lose his next turn.

[This penalty is not enforced against a player if the error be not
discovered before the arrival of his second turn.]

8. If a player by a stroke of his mallet drives his ball through the
next hoop in the order of his course, he is allowed to continue his

9. A player may in one stroke drive his ball through more than one hoop.

10. If a ball, in going through a hoop, strike another ball, the player
can either continue his stroke at the next hoop, or else croquet the
ball that is struck; but he is not allowed two turns for passing through
a hoop, and then hitting a ball.

11. If a ball strike another ball, and then pass through a hoop, the
player can either croquet or continue his stroke, and has not to pass
through the same hoop again.

[From this rule the reader may infer, that if a ball go through its hoop
either by striking another ball or by hitting the sides of the hoop, it
is considered to have passed the hoop.

It has been suggested that a ball is dead directly it croquets another,
and that therefore any stroke it makes after that is of no avail; but as
this not only does away with Rule 11, but prevents any player croquing
two balls in one stroke, we cannot adopt it.]

12. If a ball, instead of playing at its hoop, play at a ball on the
other side of the hoop, and consequently have to be moved by the hand
through its own hoop in order to croquet, it is not considered to have
gone through the hoop, but must return to the proper side of the hoop in
the ordinary manner.

13. A ball is not through a hoop if the handle of the mallet when laid
across the two sides of the hoop from whence the ball came touches the
ball without moving the hoop.

14. If a player strike a ball which he cannot croquet, and by that
stroke go through a hoop, the last stroke holds good, and he has another

15. If a ball, when croqued through its hoop in a wrong direction, roll
back through the hoop, it has not to pass through the same hoop in the
same direction again.


[When the game of Croquet first came into fashion, there was only one
mode of the croquet, which was that usually known as the tight croquet.
Since then other forms, known as the loose and slipping croquet, have
come into fashion, and have met with so much favour that it is
impossible to deny their claims to our attention. In the tight croquet
the player must keep his foot upon his own ball, and is not allowed to
move it while he makes the stroke; but in the loose croquet he need not
even put his foot on his own ball at all, and is able consequently to
drive not only his adversary’s ball, but also his own, in any direction
he pleases. The adoption of this plan, even although it lengthens and
complicates the game, affords so much pleasure to the players
themselves, that it is becoming universally adopted. Some writers,
however, insist that to rovers only should the privilege of the loose
croquet be accorded; whilst others, on the other hand, would allow the
privilege only to those who are not rovers. In fact, so much is to be
said on each side, that the better plan is to allow the players to
choose which of these courses they think fit to adopt. In some places,
in addition to the loose croquet, a practice prevails which is usually
known by the term “taking two off.” Thus if a player croquet a ball, he
is allowed to drive his own ball in any direction he pleases, without
touching the croqued ball. After this he has another stroke, so that he
is enabled to get close to any ball on the ground. This plan seems to us
so highly objectionable, and so thoroughly subversive of all good play,
that we must decline to recommend it. It should also be known that many
of our correspondents object to loose croquet altogether, on the ground
that it tends greatly to prolong the turns, and thus spoils the game, as
people, grown tired of waiting, lose all interest in it, and forget when
their turn comes to play. What expressions more common on the ground
than “Whose turn is it now?”]

16. A player is allowed the privilege of croquing whenever his ball
strikes another, except when by doing so he makes the ball that is
struck hit the winning-post, if it have passed through the hoops.

17. In the tight croquet the player must keep his foot firmly upon his
own ball, and if the stroke move it the ball must afterwards be brought
back to the position it occupied before it was struck.

[Some writers insist that if the croqueur’s ball slip, he loses his
turn. This arrangement is too absurd to be tolerated for an instant.]

18. No ball can croquet, or be croqued, until it has passed through the
first hoop.

[It has been the custom to allow a player to take up his ball, and play,
when his turn comes, from the starting-post again, if he misses the
first hoop. This plan, however, has nothing to recommend it. It would
enable a player who wished to play last to do so at ease by
intentionally missing the hoop, and is obviously so unfair that we have
no wish to adopt it.]

19. No ball (except a rover) can croquet the same ball twice, until it
(the croqueur) has passed through a hoop or touched the post since its
first croquet.

[If, however, the croqueur be a rover, he cannot croquet the same ball
twice in one turn. In either case, however, he is at liberty to strike
the same ball twice, but this act does not allow him the privilege of a
fresh stroke.]

20. A croquet need not necessarily be a distinct stroke. If the striking
ball in its passage hit either a post or a hoop, and then cannon upon a
ball, the privilege holds good; and if, also, one ball strike two or
more others, each of these is croqued in the order in which they were
struck; but the striker has only one additional stroke when he has
croqued the lot, and not one for each ball he has struck.

21. As the moving of the croquing ball in the tight croquet is of itself
illegal, it stands to reason that if this ball during the stroke slip
and touch another ball, the player has not the right to claim the
privilege of the croquet.

[In the loose croquet a player may by his croquing stroke drive his own
ball through a hoop.]

[Illustration: THE TIGHT CROQUET.]

22. A player, after striking a ball, is not necessarily compelled to
croquet it, but is allowed to play in any direction he pleases.

[It must, however, be understood that he must play from the place where
his ball is, and not, since he abnegates the privilege of it, as after a
croquet, from a position touching the ball he has struck.]

23. If a player hit a rover, and by the blow force the other ball
against the winning-post, he cannot croquet the ball, as it is plainly
dead; he however retains the privilege of another turn. As the ball is
dead, it must be moved at once.

24. If a player in the act of croquing do not move the croqued ball at
least 6 inches, he is at liberty to take the stroke over again.

[Of course the croqued ball must be placed in the position it occupied
before it was struck.]

25. If a ball go through a hoop and then croquet a ball, both strokes

26. If a player croquet a ball illegally, both balls must be restored to
their former positions.

27. If a ball hit two or more balls by one stroke, and croquet one, it
is forced to croquet all it has struck, and is not allowed to croquet
one and leave the others alone.


Some writers give certain privileges for passing two hoops at a time,
and for striking the posts--such as placing the ball a mallet’s length
in any direction from its original position. This plan, however, is very
irregular, and affords too great an advantage to one player to be

28. Striking the posts enables the player to have a fresh turn, and is
in all respects equivalent to passing a hoop.

29. A player who, having gone through all the hoops, strikes the
winning-post, is dead; and being out of the game, is not allowed to have
a fresh turn.

30. If either of the posts be struck by a ball that is driven thither by
a croquing or croqued ball, or in passing through the next hoop to it in
the right direction, the stroke holds good.

31. If a ball be moved by a player when it should not have been touched,
it must be restored to its former position, even if the stroke have sent
it against a post or through a hoop.

32. If any ball (or balls) be struck by the ball moved, as in the last
rule, it must be at once replaced in its former position.

33. If a ball, in the tight croquet, slip from under the feet and strike
the turning-post, the stroke does not count.

[By the same rule, if a player in croquing strike the winning-post, the
stroke does not count.]

34. If a ball be hit off the ground on a gravel-walk or a flower-bed, it
is to be placed at once 12 inches at right-angles from the limit of the


35. As a rover has passed through all the hoops, he is not allowed to
croquet the same ball twice in one turn.

36. A rover has only the right to play a second time when he croquets
another ball.

37. A ball is dead as soon as it has passed through all the hoops and
struck the two posts.

38. A rover who hits another ball, and then the post, is dead, and
cannot take another turn.

[A rover who croquets another ball against the post is according to Rule
23 allowed another turn; but if a rover, in croquing a ball, lets his
ball slip against the post, he is dead according to the principles of
loose croquet.]

39. The game is finished when all the players on one side have gone
through all the hoops and struck the two posts.

40. A match is the best of three games.

41. A tournament is the best of three matches.


It is almost impossible (as the reader will already have perceived) to
overestimate the great importance that “the croquet” bears upon the
game. A player who devotes all his efforts to pass through the hoops
will find himself soon left behind by those who look upon that
department of the game as merely subservient to the more fascinating
task of driving away a foe, or of helping a friend; and this fact
becomes more and more patent when the number of players is six or eight.
True, when only two play, if one gets a good start, it is a somewhat
difficult matter for the other player to stay his progress; and as this
inevitably takes away half the interest of the game, we recommend a pair
of players to use a couple of balls, since by so doing one can assist
the other, and develop the croquet to great advantage; but then, again,
it is not expedient to devote the whole of one’s energies to produce a
collision between two balls. The player’s first rule should be to pass
through a hoop; if, however, he sees an equal chance of passing through
it after he has gone out of his route to drive an adverse player away,
he should at all times make use of the croquet; for it must be
remembered that keeping an enemy back is almost equivalent to making
progress, and that the game cannot be lost as long as a foe’s ball is
behind one’s own. The art of the tight croquet consists in placing the
striking ball in juxtaposition to that ball which has been croqued, and
then, setting the left foot upon his own ball, the striker hits it
sharply with his mallet, and consequently the other ball is driven by
the power of the stroke to a distance in proportion to the force with
which the ball was struck. In the loose croquet, however, the player
need not place his foot upon the ball at all, but by adopting the
following stroke can drive the two balls forward in the same direction,
or by hitting his own ball with a slanting mallet can drive the balls
away at an angle to each other. The purpose of this feat is either to
aid a friend or to do damage to an enemy. A friend can by croquing send
a partner through the hoop he wishes to pass, or else drive an
enemy--who has obtained a good position, and who feels certain of going
through a hoop at his next turn--exactly in the opposite direction to
that in which he wishes to travel. In order, however, to make this
stroke very effective, great care must be taken with regard to the way
in which the ball is driven. Many thoughtless players think nothing of
driving a foe close to a friend, or, in the hopes of assisting their
side, send a friend in the immediate neighbourhood of a foe--thus
improving the position of the adverse side, and damaging that of their
own. The difference that a few thoughtful players make to a side is
wonderful. Whilst others hit their balls about without ever thinking
that at his next turn a foe will probably croquet them, the careful
players, anticipating the positions of the other bails, place themselves
in a position from which, when their next turn comes, they can either go
through a hoop, or croquet the ball of a more careless player. Thus, if
foe B is behind a hoop through which A has to pass, but requires two
turns for the passage, it would be very absurd if A were to place
himself close to B, in the hope of passing through next time, since B
would be sure to croquet him, and place him in even a worse position
than he occupies in the illustration. A should content himself by
playing to C, for B would not go so far out of his way to croquet him,
and then A could go through the ring the next time he plays.


If A is at the side of a hoop through which he cannot possibly pass in
one turn, he should play behind the ring to the spot marked B, and not
in a line marked A C, or else he would probably go either too far or not
far enough, and be forced to accomplish in three turns what, if he had
gone to B, he could probably have done in two.



Suppose B to be placed in front of the fourth hoop (_see_ Positions of
Hoops, Diagram No. 2), and A, whose turn it is, to be behind No.
2;--many players would just go through No. 2, and then quietly drop down
to No. 3, in the hope of passing through at the next turn. A thoughtful
player, however, would, by driving his ball sharply through hoop No. 2,
obtain a position close to B, and next, taking a second turn for going
through the hoop, would be able to croquet B, and drive him a long way
off his hoop, and then return to a good position behind No. 3.

The following position will show one of the advantages of the loose
croquet. It is the turn of the ball C to play, and he has to go through
the hoop _e_ in the direction _e_ A. In his present position it is
impossible for him to go through the hoop at one turn. If, however, he
croquets D, and then indulges in the loose croquet, he can drive his own
ball to B, and send the other to A. He can then pass through the hoop,
and can croquet D again at the spot A.


We have mentioned this problem more as an example for young players than
because it is a recognised rule. Many such plans, equally advantageous
to follow, will readily present themselves to players in the course of
the game, and in no more forcible manner can they show their good play
than by disregarding the passage of a hoop in order to croquet a foe and
thus spoil his position. It can be easily understood that a player who,
by passing through all the hoops, obtains the title of “Rover,” and may
therefore rove wherever he pleases, has far more power than one whose
flight is fettered by being compelled to pass through the little iron
hoops that dot the Croquet-ground. He can either keep close to a laggard
friend, and aid him by the croquet, or he can take up a position a
little in advance of a forward foe, and delay his progress in a very
unpleasant manner. Suppose that A has just passed through the last hoop
but two, and that B, a rover, has taken up a position close to the hoop,
in such a manner that a portion of it intervenes between him and A. If,
then, the latter play near the hoop, B is sure to croquet him and drive
him away. He is therefore compelled to keep some distance off the hoop
until a friend comes to aid him, unless a change in his position allows
him to croquet B, which, if the latter is a good player, is not likely
to occur. Now, having shown how a rover can worry a foe, let us
demonstrate how he can aid a friend. A is close to the hoop through
which he has to pass, and B, a rover of his own side, is in a line with
him. If B hit A, he will probably drive him off his hoop and spoil his
turn; but if B play to C, a spot halfway between the two hoops, A can go
through his hoop, croquet B at C, drive him to D, and then go through
the next hoop, croquet B at D (for he has been through a hoop since he
last croqued him), drive him to the other side of the next hoop, and so
on. A rover playing with another ball can be of more help to him than
hindrance to a foe; and as it is more important to get the balls of
one’s own side forward than to delay those of a foe, the former plan
should, when feasible, be adopted. Thus it will be seen that a good
rover is of the greatest service to the side, and that the sooner he is
placed _hors de combat_ the better for the opposite side. The rovers on
the other side should therefore do all they can to make the rover’s ball
hit the post by croquing it against it, if possible; for although if all
on his side hit the post before those on the other side the game is won,
yet when the best player, being dead, is able to render no further
assistance, the game often goes against that side. This plan, however,
must be adopted with the greatest precaution and care, and on no account
whatever should a bad player be thus disposed of, since the mere fact of
keeping him in the game is of the highest importance, as his services
are of little avail to his own side, who cannot win as long as one of
their party remains in the game. With these few desultory hints we
conclude this article, which all beginners should study carefully, and
(we hope) with advantage.





    “The rash boy Phaeton his proud chariot drove
    Till he was smitten by almighty Jove:
    Take heed, young driver, while you like him boast,
    You are not ‘spilled’ against an ugly post.”--_Swift._


Our young friends ought to know, not only how to ride, but also how to
drive. From the very earliest times, horse and chariot races were
considered the noblest of sports, and Apollo is represented as driving
the chariot of the sun. The four horses were typical of the four seasons
of the year. Four horses driven abreast was common also to the Olympic
games, and the Hippodrome was the scene of chariot races in which even a
greater number was sometimes used.

It was, indeed, an imposing sight to see the Hippodromic course at the
time of one of these chariot festivals. The place set apart for the
contest was about a mile in length. Over a bar that ran across the
entrance of the lists was placed a brazen dolphin, and upon an altar in
the middle of the barrier stood an eagle of the same metal. By means of
a machine, put in motion by the president of the games, the eagle
suddenly sprang up into the air with its wings extended, so as to be
seen by all spectators; and at the same moment the dolphin sank to the
ground, which was a signal for the cars to arrange themselves in order
for the race. Besides the statue of Hippodamia, and the table on which
were placed the crowns and palm-branches, there were several images and
altars in the course, particularly that of the genius Taraxippus, who,
as his name imports, was said to inspire the horses with a secret
terror, which was increased by the shrill clangour of the trumpets
placed near the boundary, and the deafening shouts and outcries of the

While the chariots were ranged in line ready to start, the horses, whose
ardour it was difficult to restrain, attracted all eyes by their beauty,
as well as for the victories which some of them had already gained.
Pindar speaks of no less than forty chariots engaged at one and the same
time. If we recollect that they had to run twelve times the length of
the Hippodrome, in going and returning, and to steer round a pillar or
goal erected near each extremity, we may imagine what confusion must
have ensued when, upon the signal trumpet being sounded, they started
amid a cloud of dust, crossing and jostling each other, and rushing
forward with such rapidity that the eye could scarcely follow them. At
one of the boundaries a narrow pass was left only for the chariots,
which often baffled the skill of the expertest driver; and there were
upwards of twenty turnings to make round the two pillars; so that at
almost every moment some accident happened, calculated to excite the
pity or insulting laughter of the assembly. In such a number of chariots
at full speed, pushing for precedence in turning round the columns, on
which victory often depended, some were sure to be dashed to pieces,
covering the course with their fragments, and adding to the dangers of
the race. As it was, moreover, exceedingly difficult for the charioteer,
in his unsteady two-wheeled car, to retain his standing attitude, many
were thrown out, when the masterless horses plunged wildly about the
Hippodrome, overturning others who had, perhaps, previously escaped
every danger, and thought themselves sure of winning. To increase the
confusion, and thereby afford better opportunities for the display of
skill and courage, there was reason to believe that some artifice was
employed for the express purpose of frightening the horses when they
reached the statue of Taraxippus. So great sometimes was their
consternation, that, no longer regarding the rein, the whip, or the
voice of their master, they broke loose, or overturned the chariot, and
wounded the driver.

Such is the ancient description given by a Greek writer of the chariot
races of the Hippodrome. We have no coach racing now-a-days, except
omnibus racing in the streets: not a great deal of “coaching.” Now and
then, indeed, we see the “Brighton four-horse,” and start with wonder at
the sight. But still there are necessities for private driving, more
important at the present than at any former period; and we hold driving
to be not only a necessary, but an indispensable accomplishment to every
young gentleman.


A horse fully equipped in harness, attached to a dennet or stanhope, is
one of the most beautiful things to look at in the world: few boys are
trusted to drive a pair; nor have they physical power for the task. We
will therefore confine our attention chiefly to single harness, adding
only a short description of the various kinds of carriages in common
use. If, however, the youthful charioteer can drive a single horse well,
he will find no difficulty in controlling a pair, provided their mouths
are sufficiently tender for his strength to manage. The horse is here
represented harnessed to a light dennet-gig.


May be either a full-sized harness horse, or a galloway, or a pony; the
two last being the best fitted for juvenile driving.



In every case, is composed of the same parts, which consist of three
essential divisions: 1st, the driving, or guiding part; 2d, the drawing
part; and 3d, that for holding up the shafts. The driving part comprises
the bridle and reins. The bridle is made up of a front piece (1), a head
piece (2), two cheek pieces and winkers (3), a nose band (4), and a
throat lash (5). The cheek pieces are buckled to the bit (6) by means of
leather loops, called billets, as also are the driving-reins (7), and
the bearing-rein, which is attached to a separate bit called the bridoon
(a plain snaffle), and then is hooked to the pad-hook. This is now very
generally dispensed with, as shown in the cut at the head of this
article; but for young drivers it is often desirable when they have not
strength to check the fall of a horse. The drawing parts consist of a
padded oval ring fitted to the shoulders, and called the collar (10),
sometimes replaced by a padded strap across the chest called the
breast-strap. On the collar are fastened two iron bars called hames
(12), by means of a strap at the top and bottom (8-11), and these hames
have a ring in the upper part for the reins to pass through, called the
hame terret (9); and nearer the lower part, a strong arm of iron covered
with a coating of brass, silver, or leather, which receives in its eye
the tug of the trace (13.) The trace (17) is a long and strong strap of
double leather, stitched, which runs from the collar to the drawing bar,
and may be lengthened or shortened by a buckle. The part for holding the
gig up consists of a pad or saddle, which is buckled on to the horse by
the belly-band (16), and from which the shaft is suspended by the
back-band and shaft-tug. It is prevented from slipping forward by the
crupper, which is slipped over the tail. Besides these parts, some
horses have in addition a breechen (18-19) which holds the shafts back
in going down hill; and when they are addicted to kicking, a strap is
buckled over their hips to the shaft which is called a kicking-strap.



[Illustration: THE BRITZSCHKA.]

The Dennet-gig, as represented in the last page, is the most common form
for a two-wheeled carriage; but there are also the Stanhope, the
Cabriolet, as here shown, the Tilbury, and the Dog-cart. The various
open four-wheeled carriages are the Britzschka, Barouche, and Phaeton;
and of closed four-wheeled carriages there are the Brougham and Clarence
on elliptic springs, and the chariot and family coach with c springs.
When these two last are made to open, they are called the Landaulet and

[Illustration: NEW BROUGHAM.]

[Illustration: THE FAMILY COACH.]


Before driving, it is necessary that the horse or pony should be “put
to,” which is effected as follows: 1st, slip the shafts through the
tugs, or, if there are hooks, drop them down into them; 2d, put the
traces on to the drawing-bar, either hooking them on, or else slipping
them on to the eyes, and being careful to place the leather stops in
these, to prevent the trace coming off; 3d, buckle the belly-band
sufficiently tight; and 4th, buckle the kicking-strap, or breechen, if
either is used. After this, the reins are taken from the terrets, where
they were previously placed, and the horse is ready.


In driving, the reins are held differently from the mode already
described as used in riding, the fore-finger being first placed between
them, and then both the reins are grasped by all the other fingers, and
the near-side rein is also held firmly against the fore-finger by means
of the thumb. In this way, on an emergency, the near or left rein may be
pulled by itself, by holding it firmly with the thumb, and suffering the
other, or off rein, to slip through the fingers, or _vice versâ_. The
most usual way is to pull the left rein with the left hand, and the
right with the right hand, by hooking one or two fingers over it while
held firmly in the left. In this manner, with the whip also held in the
right hand, the horse is guided or stopped. The young driver should take
care and keep his feet well before him, with his knees as straight and
firm as possible, so that in case of a fall of the horse he may not be
thrown forwards out of the vehicle he is driving. He should also sit
square to his work, with his elbow held easily to his side, and his left
thumb pointing to his horse’s head, by which, as in riding, his elbow is
pretty sure to be properly placed. The bit should not be too firmly
pulled against, but a light and “give and take” kind of handling is the
best, by which the horse is allowed freedom of action, and yet is
checked if he makes a mistake. In meeting other vehicles, the rule is to
keep to your left, and in passing them, to leave them also on your left.
This should be rigidly adhered to for fear of the accidents which would
otherwise constantly happen.


In reference to driving in America, nothing better can be given than the
rules of the English school for driving. In America the rule governing
the side to pass another rider on is the reverse of the English rule. In
America the law is “drive to the right.” In England it is to the left.
The former appears to us to be the “right” one.



Fencing is the art of using the small-sword or rapier. The small-sword
has a straight blade, about thirty-two inches in length, outside the
guard, and is fashioned for _thrusting_ only. Although it is an art of
the greatest antiquity, very great improvements have been made in it
during the last half-century, chiefly by French masters, who excel those
of all other countries. This has been attributed to various causes; by
some to the agility and acknowledged power of rapid physical action
possessed by this nation; by others, to their natural vivacity and
mental quickness. In my opinion, however, a more direct and powerful
cause may be traced in the great encouragement and universal patronage
which it has ever received from every grade of a chivalrous and military
people. Every regiment has its maître d’armes, and every barrack its
fencing-school. Indeed, in so important a light was the proper teaching
of this art held, that one of the French kings (Louis XIV.) granted
letters-patent to twenty eminent masters, who alone were permitted to
teach in Paris. When a vacancy occurred, no interest and no favour could
enable a candidate to obtain this privilege: he had to fence in public
with six of these chosen masters; and if by any of them he was beaten by
two distinct hits, he was considered unqualified to teach in the
capital. Independent of its value as the scientific use of the
sword,--the gentleman’s weapon of defence, _par excellence_,--fencing
stands unrivalled as an _exercise_; and it is in this sense that it will
now be treated. The most eminent physicians which this country have
produced have all, in the most earnest manner, recommended it to the
attention of the young. Thus, Dr. Clive says:--

“Muscular exertion is essential in perfecting the form of the body, and
those exercises which require the exercise of the greatest number of
muscles are the most conducive to this end. Fencing causes more muscles
to act at the same time than most other exercises. It promotes the
expansion of the chest, and improves respiration, whereby the functions
of the most important organs of the body are more perfectly performed.”

Sir Anthony Carlisle uses similar language:--

“According to my judgment, the exercise of fencing tends to promote
bodily health, and the development of athletic powers. It is likewise
apparent, that the attitudes and exertions of fencing are conducive to
the manly forms and muscular energies of the human figure.”

Again, Sir Everard Home, in still stronger terms:--

“Of all the different modes in which the body can be exercised, there is
none, in my judgment, that is capable of giving strength and velocity,
as well as precision, to the action of all the voluntary muscles of the
body in an equal degree as the practice of fencing, and none more
conducive to bodily health.”

I shall give one more extract from another physician of equal eminence,
Dr. Babbington:--

“I am of opinion that, in addition to the amusement which this exercise
(fencing) affords, it is particularly calculated to excite in young
persons a greater degree of energy and circumspection than they might
otherwise possess; and it is obvious that, in respect of health, that
mode of exertion is _superior to all others_, which, while it gives
motion and activity to every part of the body, produces at the same time
corresponding interest in the mind.”

Sir John Sinclair, Dr. Pemberton, &c., speak in terms equally

To avoid all danger in the lessons and practice, foils are substituted
for real swords. Strong wire masks are worn on the face, a well-padded
glove on the hand, and the upper part of the body, at which alone the
thrusts are aimed, is protected by a strong jacket, the right side and
collar of which should be of leather.

The first movement a beginner has to learn is the manner of placing
himself in the position called


It is from this position that all movements are made, whether offensive
or defensive. Let the beginner be placed with his knees straight, his
feet at right angles, heel to heel; the right foot, right side, and face
directed to the master. The body must be held upright and firm, the arms
hanging down by the side, but easily and without constraint; the left
hand holding the foil a few inches beneath its guard. Next let him bring
the right hand across the body, and seize the foil-handle; by a second
movement, bring the foil above the head, the hands separating as they
ascend, until both arms be nearly extended upwards and outwards. Here
pause. This may be called the _first position_ of the Guard.

These movements should be frequently practised, as they accustom the
arms to move independently of the body, flatten the joints of the
shoulders, and give prominence to the chest.


To arrive at the _second position_ of the Guard, the right arm, with the
foil, is brought down to the front, until the right elbow is a little
above and in advance of the waist; the fore-arm and foil sloping
upwards; the point of the foil being the height of the upper part of the
face; then, by a second movement, the learner must sink down, separating
the knees, and stepping forward with the right foot fourteen or sixteen
inches; for, of course, the guard of a tall man will be wider than that
of a short one. However, his own comfort in the position will direct him
as to the distance; and the general rule is, that the knee of the left
leg will jut over the toes of the left foot, and the right leg from
ankle to knee be perpendicular. It is in this position that he will
receive all attacks from an adversary, and from this position will all
his own attacks be made. Also in this position will he


upon an adversary, when beyond hitting distance. The step in the advance
is usually about that of the width of the Guard, although of course
this would vary with circumstances. The step is made by advancing the
right foot the distance I have named; and on its reaching the ground,
the left foot is brought up, and takes its place. To


the reverse of the above movement is made. The left foot takes the lead,
stepping to the rear about as far as the right had stepped to the front;
the right occupying its place on its taking up its new position. The
next movement,


is a very important movement, and is rather difficult to make properly,
and fatiguing to practise. Indeed, the first movements in fencing are
the most trying to the learner; and he must not be discouraged if he
fails to do them correctly at first--practice only will give him this
power. The Longe is that extension of body which accompanies every
attack, and is thus made: The right arm is extended straight from the
shoulder, the arm and blade being on the same level; by a second
movement, the right foot is raised from the ground, and a step made
forward, about eighteen inches in length, while the left remains firmly
planted in its place. At the instant that this step is made, the left
hand is allowed to fall within a few inches of the left thigh, and the
left knee is stiffened back until the leg is perfectly straight.


The thigh of the right leg will now be in a position nearly horizontal;
from the knee downwards, perpendicular. Having executed the Longe, the
next movement to be made is


that is, to return from the position of the Longe to that of the Guard,
and is thus effected: The left arm is nimbly thrown up to its place, the
right arm drawn in, and the left knee re-bent. These movements must be
made at the same time, as it is their _united_ action that enables a
person to recover from so extended a position as the Longe quick enough
to avoid a thrust if his own attack has failed.

These movements must be frequently practised before any others are
attempted--the Guard, the Advance, the Retreat, the Longe, and the
Recover; and when the learner has attained some proficiency in them, he
may begin the more delicate movements of attack and defence. Of these I
will now speak.


It is customary for adversaries, on coming to the Guard, to _Engage_, or
to join blades, on what is called the _inside_, that is, the _right_
side; although there are occasions on which it is advisable to engage on
the _outside_, or on the left; otherwise called the _Quarte_ or _Tierce_

Two men thus opposed to each other will at once perceive that there are
two lines of attack open to them, _i. e._ the line inside and the line
outside the blade--these, and no more. But these may be, and in fencing
are, subdivided into inside above the hand, and inside under the hand,
and the same subdivision for outside. This gives four lines of
attack--or, to speak more simply, gives four openings through which an
adversary may be assailed. Now, to protect each of these assailable
points, are four defensive movements, called


Each opening has its own parade or defence, and each parade will guard
its own opening, and, strictly speaking, no other. The opening inside
above the hand is defended by two parades.


As its name imports, the first and most natural parade is that of
_Prime_. The action of drawing the sword from its sheath is almost
exactly the movement made use of in the parade of Prime.

In this parade, the hand is raised as high as the forehead, so that the
fencer can see his opponent’s face under his wrist. The blade of the
foil is almost horizontal, but the point is rather lowered towards the
ground. As this parade will throw the right side of the body open to the
adversary’s sword, it is good play to disengage from left to right, and
deliver a rapid thrust at the adversary, in order to anticipate him
before he can bring his own sword round for another thrust. His point
will be thrown far out of line, so that he is behind-hand in point of

This is a very useful parade for fencers of short stature, as they can
sometimes get in their blade under their adversary’s arm, after they
have parried his thrust.

The other parade is that of


It is thus formed. On the approach of the point of an adversary’s blade
(and how these approaches are made I will presently explain), the right
hand is moved a few inches--three or four will be enough--across the
body on the inside; the hand being neither depressed nor raised, and the
foil being kept on the same slope as in the Guard. This guards the body
on the inside above the hand, but (and here comes an important law in
fencing) the very movement which has guarded the body on one side has
exposed it on the other: this is the case with all the simple parades.


Suppose, now, that the exposed part _outside above_ the hand were
assailed, then the defence for it is the parade of


It is formed by turning the hand with the nails downwards, and crossing
to the opposite side some six or eight inches; the hand and point at the
same elevation as before: this will guard this opening. If, however, the
attack had been made _under_ instead of over the hand, then the proper
parade would have been _Seconde_.


There is another method of parrying, called _Quarte_, over the arm,
which is executed by making almost the same parade as in Tierce, with
this exception--first, the hand is retained in its original position,
with the nails upwards; and, secondly, the point is not raised above the
eye of the adversary.


It is rather more delicate than tierce, but wants its power and energy.
The Ripostes, or reply thrusts, are made, as they would have been had
the parade been that of Tierce.




is formed by turning the hand in the same position in which it was
turned for Tierce, but the point of the foil slopes as much downwards as
in Tierce it did upwards; the direction and distance for the hand to
traverse being the same. Again, had the attack been delivered at none of
these, but at the _inside under_ the hand, then the proper parade would
have been


which, as its name expresses, is a half-circle, described by a sweep of
the blade traversing the _under_ line. Next comes the parade of


In this parade the hand is held as in Quarte; the hilt of the foil is
kept lower than that of the opponent; the blade is almost horizontal,
the point being only slightly lower than the hilt, and directed towards
the body of the adversary.


Octave is extremely useful when the fencer misses his parade of
Demi-cercle, as there is but a short distance for the point to traverse,
and it generally meets the blade of the adversary before the point can
be properly fixed. Moreover, it brings the point so near the adversary’s
body, that he will not venture to make another thrust until he has
removed the foil.

Thus I have enumerated, and partly explained, the forms and uses of
these four parades: they are called Simple Parades, to distinguish them
from another set of defensive movements, called


I have said and shown that a man standing foil in hand, in the position
of the guard, is exposed in four distinct places to thrusts from an
adversary within longing distance. I have also shown that he has a
defence for each of these exposed places; but if a man has but _one_
defence for each assailable part, then his adversary, knowing beforehand
what the defence must be, would be prepared beforehand to deceive him.
But if he has a reserve--if he has a _second_ defence for each part,
then the adversary cannot tell what the defence will be, until his
attack, false or real, is begun.

To meet this contingency, a second series of defences have been devised,
which are of an entirely different nature from the _Simple_ Parades.

Again, as each of the simple parades is framed to guard only one
opening, it was found desirable that the contre-parades should be of a
more comprehensive character. They are therefore devised so that each is
capable of protecting the entire front. It is evident that this object
could not be attained without the sacrifice of quickness, because a
larger space must be traversed, and therefore more time is occupied with
a contre than a simple parade.

To know one contre-parade is virtually to know all, as they are all
formed on the same plan. They are all full circles in the position of
hand and direction of foil of the different simple parades; or more
clearly speaking, each simple parade has a contre-parade; there are,
therefore, four simple and four contre-parades, which may be thus

  Quarte           Contre de Quarte.
  Tierce           Contre de Tierce.
  Seconde          Contre de Seconde.
  Demi-cercle      Contre de Cercle.

I have said that a contre-parade is a full circle in the position of
hand and direction of blade of its simple; thus, contre de quarte is
made by retaining the hand in the position of quarte, while the foil
describes a circle descending on the inside, and returning by the
outside to the place of its departure. So with all the others, the foil
_following the direction of the simple_ parade, of which it is the
contre. These complete the entire system of defences.

I now come to movements of an opposite nature, namely, the


and shall begin with the most simple of them. I will again suppose two
adversaries standing, _en guard_, within longing distance of each other:
now the most simple movement that the attacking party could make would


to the outside or inside, according to his line of engagement. I have,
in describing the longe, in effect described the straight thrust; it is
but a longe in a straight line, taking care, however, to feel firmly the
adversary’s blade, but taking care also not to press or lean on it
during the delivering of the thrust.

Next in character comes


This attack is made by dropping the point of the foil beneath the
adversary’s blade, and raising it on the opposite side, at the same
time, rising with the arm fully extended; on the completion of the
extension the longe is made and the thrust delivered.


is but a double disengagement, the first being but a feint or false
attack, to induce the adversary to form a parade to cover the part
threatened, for the covering of one part of the body exposes the
opposite: the second disengagement is made to take advantage of this
exposure. The arm is extended halfway on the first, and then wholly on
the second, to be immediately followed by the longe.


This is another variety of attack. Supposing the adversary’s blade to be
firmly joined to yours, when you wished to deliver a _straight thrust_,
there would then be danger of your falling upon his point. This danger
is avoided by giving a slight beat on his blade the instant preceding
your extension of arm, of course to be followed _en suite_ by the longe.

The companion attack to this attack is


The _beat_ here takes the character of the first disengagement in
_one-two_, _i. e._ becomes a _feint_, and is intended to induce the
adversary to return to the place he occupied when the beat was made. You
then immediately pass to the opposite side of his blade in the manner
described in the _disengagement_.

It will be seen that all these movements pass _under_ the adversary’s
blade. However, there are certain situations in the _assault_, as a
fencing bout is called, when an adversary is more assailable _over the
point_ than under the blade; for this purpose there is what the French
call the _coupé sur point_, or


It is thus made: By the action of the hand, and without drawing it back
at all, the foil is raised and brought down on the opposite side of the
adversary’s blade, the arm being extended during its fall to the
horizontal position, on attaining which the longe is delivered.


is on the same principle as the _one-two_ and the _beat and
disengagement_. On the adversary opposing the first movement (the cut)
with a parade, the second movement (the disengagement) is made to the
opposite side, to be followed of course by the longe; the extension of
the arm being divided between the two movements.

These attacks are called simple attacks, because they may be parried by
one or more simple parades, according to the number of movements in the
attack. In fact, every attack can be parried, and every parade can be
deceived: it is the _additional_ movement last made which hits or

Thus, you threaten by a disengagement to the outside; your adversary
bars your way effectually by the parade of _tierce_; you make a second
disengagement to the inside, which is now exposed from the very fact of
the outside being guarded (for both lines of attack cannot be guarded at
the same time), thus converting your attack into _one-two_; but if your
adversary parries quarte on your _second_ movement, your attack would be
warded off. This can be carried much further, but the above will, I
think, be sufficient to explain the nature of simple parades and

To deceive a _contre_-parade, a separate movement, called a _doublé_, or


has been invented; it is very simple in principle, and admirably answers
the purpose. For instance, if you were to threaten your adversary by a
disengagement to the outside, and if, instead of tierce, he parried
_contre de quarte_, the double is then made by your making a _second_
disengagement _to the same side as the first_, for it will be found that
his _contre de quarte_ has replaced the blades in the positions they
occupied previous to your disengagement. You will then have an opening,
and may finish the attack by the longe.

As all the contre-parades are on the same plan and principle, so are all
the doubles. Of course, it is understood that you will make all the
movements of the double _en suite_, and without allowing your
adversary’s blade to overtake yours.


The foregoing movements having been well practised in the lesson, the
next step is that of _all feints_ and _all parades_, and may be
practised either with a master or fellow-pupil. The practice consists of
one pupil standing on the defensive _entirely_, while another assumes
the offensive, and attacks him with _all_ the _feints_ of which he is
master, the other, of course, defending with all his parades. It is
excellent practice, as it accustoms the pupil to think for himself
gradually, he having thus but one set of movements to think about. He is
therefore enabled to make them boldly, without having to encounter
unknown movements from his adversary.

It also enables him to see the extent of his resources, both for attack
and defence. When he can both attack and defend with some presence of
mind, he may then begin


that is, he may encounter an adversary, to attack or defend as occasion
presents. He is then left to his own resources entirely. The following


given by a very eminent fencer and excellent teacher, cannot fail to be
of use:--

“Do not put yourself on the position of the guard within the reach of
your adversary’s thrust, especially at the time of drawing your sword.

“If you are much inferior make no long assaults.

“Do nothing that is useless; every movement should tend to your

“Let your movements be made as much within the line of your adversary’s
body as possible.

“Endeavour both to discover your adversary’s designs, and to conceal
your own.

“Two skilful men, acting together, fight more with their heads than
their hands.

“The smaller you can make the movements with your foil, the quicker will
your point arrive at your adversary’s body.

“Do not endeavour to give many thrusts on the longe, thus running the
risk of receiving one in the interim.

“If your adversary drops his foil by accident, or in consequence of a
smart parade of yours, you should immediately pick it up, and present it
to him politely.

“Always join blades (if possible) previously to another attack, after a
hit is given.”


The principal distinction between the broadsword and the rapier is, that
the latter is formed only for thrusting, while the former is adapted for
cutting also. Indeed, those who use the broadsword are, in my opinion,
too apt to neglect the use of the point, and to give their attention
almost exclusively to the cuts.

The first lesson in the sword exercise is necessarily to know how to
stand. The learner should be instructed to perform the different
movements by word of command, remembering to consider the first parts of
the word as a caution, and not to stir until the _last_ syllable is
uttered. At the last syllable, the movement should be performed smartly.
In giving the word, the instructor always makes a slight pause, in order
to give his pupils time to remember what they must do. For example, the
words Draw Swords, is given thus, Draw . . . . . Swords--the word swords
being spoken smartly, in order that the movement may correspond.


_First Position._--Make the target[3] about fourteen inches in diameter,
and place it on the wall, having its centre about four feet from the
ground. Draw a perpendicular line from the spot at the bottom of the
target to the ground, and continue it on the floor, in order to ensure
the proper position of the heels. The learner stands perfectly upright
opposite the target, with his right side towards it, his heels close
together, his right toe pointing to the target, and his left foot at
right angles with the left. His arms must be clasped behind his back,
his right palm supporting the left elbow, and his left hand grasping the
right arm just above the elbow. In this position, he must bend both
knees and sink down as far as possible. This will not be very far at
first, but he will soon sink down quite easily. See accompanying figure

  [3] For target, see next page.

[Illustration: Fig. 1.]

[Illustration: Fig. 2.]

_Second Position._--This is accomplished by placing the right foot
smartly in front, about sixteen or fourteen inches before the left. See
(2). He must accustom himself to balance himself so perfectly on his
left foot, that he can place the right either before or behind it,
without losing his balance.

_Third Position._--The third position must then be learned. This
consists in stepping well forward with the right foot, until the left
knee is quite straight, and the right knee exactly perpendicularly
placed over the right foot. Great care must be taken to keep the heels
exactly in the same line, and the body perfectly upright. See Figure

[Illustration: Fig. 3.]

These preliminaries having been settled, the learner stands upright
before the target, as in (1). A sword is then put into his hand, and the
target is explained as follows:--



The interior lines represent the cuts. Cut one being directed from No. 1
diagonally through the target, coming out at 4. Cut two is the same,
only from left to right. Three is made upwards diagonally, and four is
the same, only in the opposite direction. Cut five is horizontally
through the target, from right to left, and six from left to right. Cut
seven is perpendicularly downwards. Care must be taken that the cuts are
fairly given with the edge.

The swords drawn on the target represent the guards. The seventh guard
ought, however, not to be made directly across, but must have the point
directly rather forwards and downwards, as a cut 7 glides off the blade,
and can be instantly answered either by a thrust or by cut 1.

The two dark circles represent the places where the thrusts take effect.


The learner begins by taking the sword in his right hand, having its
edge toward the target and its back resting on his shoulder. His right
arm is bent at right angles, and the elbow against his side. The left
hand must rest upon the hip, the thumb being to the rear. At the word--



_Cut 1._--The young swordsman extends his right arm, and makes the cut
clear through the target. When the point has cleared the target,
continue the sweep of the sword, and by a turn of the wrist bring it
with its back on the left shoulder, its edge towards the left. The arm
is then ready for

_Cut 2._--Bring the sword from 2 to 3, continue the movement of the
sword, and turn the wrist so that the point is below the right hip and
the edge towards the ground.

_Cut 3._--Cut through the target diagonally, bringing the sword from No.
3 to No. 2, and bring the sword onwards, so that it rests with the edge
downwards, and point below the left hip. At

_Cut 4._--Cut from 4 to 1, and bring the sword round until its point is
over the right shoulder, and its edge well to the right.

_Cut 5._--At the word Five, make a horizontal cut from 5 to 6, and sweep
the sword round until it rests on the left shoulder, with its edge to
the left, and its point well over the shoulder.

_Cut 6._--Cut horizontally through the target, from 6 to 5, and bring
the sword over the head, with its edge upwards, and its point hanging
over the back. From this position,--

_Cut 7._--Make a downward stroke until the sword reaches the centre of
the target. Arrest it there, and remain with the arm extended, waiting
for the word


_First Point._--Draw back the sword, until the right wrist is against
the right temple, the edge of the sword being upwards. Make a slight
pause, and then thrust smartly forward towards the centre of the target,
raising the right wrist as high as No. 1, and pressing the left shoulder
well back.

[Illustration: FIRST POINT.]

_Second Point._--Turn the wrist round to the left, so that the edge
comes upwards, draw the hand back until it rests on the breast, and give
the point forwards, to the centre of the target, raising the hand as

[Illustration: SECOND POINT.]

_Third Point._--Give the handle of the sword a slight twist in the hand
to the right, so that the edge again comes uppermost, and the guard
rests against the back of the hand. Draw back the hand until it rests
against the right hip, and deliver it forwards towards the spot at the
bottom of the target, raising the wrist as high as the spot in the
centre. The object in raising the wrist is to deceive the eye of the
opponent, who will be more likely to notice the position of your wrist
than of your point. In all the thrusts, the left shoulder should be
rather brought forward before the point is given, and pressed well back
while it is being delivered.

[Illustration: THIRD POINT.]


Wait after the third point has been delivered for the word

_Defend._--At this word draw up the hand smartly, and form the first
guard. Make the other guards in succession as they are named, while the
instructor proves their accuracy by giving the corresponding cuts. The
guards must be learned from the target, by placing the sword in exactly
the same position as those delineated. The guards are these:--

  A First guard.
  B Second.
  C Third.
  D Fourth.
  E Fifth.
  F Sixth.
  G Seventh.

The two spots H and I mark the places towards which the points are made,
H for the first and second point, I for the third.


The parry or parade of a thrust is executed with the back of the sword.
The firmest way of parrying is to hold the sword perpendicular, with its
edge to the right and its hilt about the height of and close to the
right shoulder; then, by sweeping the sword round from left to right,
any thrust within its sweep is thrown wide of the body.

The parry is executed with the wrist and not with the arm, which must
not move.


When the pupil is acquainted with both cuts and guards, he should learn
the hanging guard, a most useful position, as it keeps the body well
hidden under the sword, and at the same time leaves the sword in a good
position to strike or thrust.

It is accomplished in the following way. Step out to the second
position, as in Figure 2, raise the arm until the hand is just over the
right foot, and as high as the head. The edge of the sword is upwards,
and the point is directed downwards and towards the left. The left
shoulder is pressed rather forward, and the neck and chest drawn inward.

In this position, the swordsman is in a position to receive or make an
attack as he may think fit. It is rather fatiguing at first, owing to
the unaccustomed position of the arm and head, but the fatigue is soon
overcome, and then it will be found that there is no attitude which
gives equal advantages.

[Illustration: HANGING GUARD.]

There are two other modes of standing on guard, each possessing their
peculiar advantages. These are, the inside and outside guard. The inside
guard is made as follows:--


Stand in the second position, having the wrist of the right hand nearly
as low as the waist, the hand being exactly over the right foot. The
point of the sword is raised as high as the eyes, and the edge is turned
inwards, as will be seen from the accompanying engraving.

[Illustration: INSIDE GUARD.]


The outside guard is formed in the same manner as the inside, with the
exception that the edge of the sword is turned well outwards.

[Illustration: OUTSIDE GUARD.]

To get to the hanging guard, the words are given as follows:--inside
guard--outside guard--guard.


The swordsman having learned thus far, is taught to combine the three
movements of striking, thrusting, and guarding, by the following

   1. Inside Guard.
   2. Outside Guard.
   3. Guard.
   4. Cut One.
   5. First Guard.
   6. Cut Two.
   7. Second Guard.
   8. Cut Three.
   9. Third Guard.
  10. Cut Four.
  11. Fourth Guard.
  12. Cut Five.
  13. Fifth Guard.
  14. Cut Six.
  15. Sixth Guard.
  16. Cut Seven.
  17. Seventh Guard.
  18. First Point. [Prepare for the point in First Position.] Two.
      [Thrust in Third Position.]
  19. Second Point. [Prepare for it in First Position.] Two. [Thrust in
      Third Position.]
  20. Third Point. [Prepare.] Two. [Thrust.]
  21. Parry. [Prepare to parry in First Position.] Two. [Parry.]
  22. Guard.

The young swordsman must remember that in this, as in all the exercises,
the cuts and points must be given in the third position, as in the
accompanying illustration, which shows the swordsman just as he has
delivered the seventh cut, and is waiting for the next word before he
resumes the first position.

[Illustration: SEVENTH CUT.]

The guards, on the contrary, are given in the first position, as is seen
in the figure on p. 219, which illustrates the seventh guard.

These exercises are always learned with the single-stick, or
basket-hilted cudgel, in order to avoid the dangers which would be
inevitable if the sword were used. But as the single-stick is only an
imitation of the sword, I will give the method of getting the sword out
of the sheath into any position required.


The first word of command is _draw swords_. At the word _draw_, seize
the sheath just below the hilt, with the left hand, and raise the hilt
as high as the hip, at the same time grasping the hilt with the right
hand, turning the edge of the sword to the rear, and drawing it
partially from the sheath, to ensure its easy removal.

[Illustration: SEVENTH GUARD.]

At the word _swords_, draw the blade smartly out of the scabbard,
throwing the point upwards, at the full extent of the arm, the edge
being still to the rear.


The wrist is now smartly lowered until it is level with the chin, the
blade upright, and the edge to the left. This is the position of recover
swords. The elbow must be kept close to the body, as in the cut.

[Illustration: RECOVER SWORDS.]


The wrist is now sharply lowered until the arm hangs at its full length,
the wrist being in the line with the hip, the edge of the sword to the
front, and its back resting in the hollow of the shoulder, the fingers
lightly holding the hilt. The left hand hangs at the side until the word
_inside guard_, when it is placed on the left hip.


At the word _swords_, raise the right hand smartly, until it forms a
right angle at the elbow.


At the word, raise the blade until it is perpendicular, move the hilt to
the hollow of the left shoulder, drop the point of the sword into the
scabbard (which has been grasped by the left hand and slightly raised,)
at the same time turning the edge to the rear. Pause an instant, and
send the sword smartly into the sheath, removing both hands as the hilt
strikes against the mouth of the scabbard: drop them to the side, with
the palms outwards, and stand in the first position.


There are many exercises with the broadsword, called _Practices_. I have
given one of them, which is to be practised alone; but when the pupil
has attained some confidence in the use of his weapon, he must be placed
opposite another pupil, and they must go through them, each taking the
attack and defence in turn.

The young swordsman must be provided with a very stout wire mask, which
defends the face and part of the neck, and which should be worked in a
kind of helmet above, to guard against the disastrous consequences of
receiving the seventh guard. No practices, loose or otherwise, should be
permitted without the masks, as neither party would be able to cut or
thrust with proper confidence.


This is very useful in teaching the point and parry, as well as giving
steadiness on the feet. Two boys are placed opposite each other, at just
such a distance, that when perfectly erect they can touch the hilt of
their adversary’s sword with the point of their own.

The one who gives the first point is called Front Rank, (there may be a
dozen in each rank, each having tried the distance to his right by
extending his sword,) and the one who gives first parry is called Rear

  WORD OF COMMAND.  FRONT RANK.                      REAR RANK.

  Guard.            Hanging Guard.                   Hanging Guard.

  Third Point.      Prepare to give Third Point.     Prepare to Parry.

  Point.           {Give Third Point, and when     } Parry Third Point,
                   {parried spring back to First   } and prepare to
                   {Position, and prepare to parry.} give Third Point.

  Point.           {Parry Third Point, and prepare } Give Third Point,
                   {for Third Point.               } and prepare to
                   {                               } Parry.

  Point, &c. &c.

This should be continued until both are weary. Both swordsmen should
learn to do it more rapidly every time they practise. Next time of going
through it, front rank and rear rank change places, as they must do in
all the practices.


  Guard.                 Hanging Guard.        Hanging Guard.
  Leg.                   Cut Four.             Cut Seven.
  Inside Guard.          Inside Guard.         Inside Guard.
  Leg.                   Cut Six [at Leg].     Cut Six [at Neck].
  Outside Guard.         Outside Guard.        Outside Guard.
  Leg.                   Cut Five [at Leg].    Cut Five [at Neck].
  Guard.                 Hanging Guard.        Hanging Guard.
  Slope Swords.          Slope Swords.         Slope Swords.

In this and the other practices, the cuts must be delivered in the
third position, and the guards in the first. In the third and fourth
practices, the cuts must be given lightly, as many of them are not
intended to be guarded, but merely to show the powers of the sword in
various positions.


  Guard.                 Hanging Guard.        Hanging Guard.
  Head.                  Seventh Cut.          Seventh Guard.
  Head.                  Seventh Guard.        Cut Seven.
  Leg.                   Fourth Cut.           Seventh Guard.
  Leg.                   Seventh Guard.        Fourth Cut.
  Head.                  Seventh Cut.          Seventh Guard.
  Head.                  Seventh Guard.        Seventh Cut.
  Guard.                 Hanging Guard.        Hanging Guard.
  Slope Swords.          Slope Swords.         Slope Swords.

In this and the preceding exercise, the power of shifting the leg is
shown. If two swordsmen attack each other, and No. 1 strikes at the leg
of No. 2, it will be better for No. 2 not to oppose the cut by the third
or fourth guard, but to draw back the leg smartly, and cut six or seven
at the adversary’s head or neck.

In loose play, as it is called, _i. e._ when two parties engage with
swords without following any word of command, but strike and guard as
they can, both players stand in the second position, because they can
either advance or retreat as they choose, and can longe out to the third
position for a thrust or a cut, or spring up to the first position for a
guard with equal ease.

It is often a kind of trap, to put the right leg more forward than
usual, in order to induce the adversary to make a cut at it. When he
does so, the leg is drawn back, the stroke passes harmless, and the
deceived striker gets the stick of his opponent on his head or

We now come to a very complicated exercise, called the


  Draw Swords.           Draw Swords.          Draw Swords.
  Inside Guard.          Inside Guard.         Inside Guard.
  Outside Guard.         Outside Guard.        Outside Guard.
  Guard.                 Hanging Guard.        Hanging Guard.
  Head.                  Seventh Cut.          Seventh Guard.
  Head.                  Seventh Guard.        Seventh Cut.
  Arm.                   Second Cut [at Arm].  Second Guard.
  Head.                  Seventh Guard.        Seventh Cut.
  Head.                  Seventh Cut.          Seventh Guard.
  Arm.                   Second Guard.         Second Cut [at Arm].
  Head.                  Seventh Cut.          Seventh Guard.
  Head.                  Seventh Guard.        Seventh Cut.
  Right Side.            Sixth Cut.            Sixth Guard.
  Head.                  Seventh Guard.        Seventh Cut.
  Head.                  Seventh Cut.          Seventh Guard.
  Right Side.            Sixth Guard.          Sixth Cut.
  Guard.                 Hanging Guard.        Hanging Guard.

This practice is capital exercise, and looks very imposing. All these
practices ought to be so familiar, that the words of command are not
needed, the only word required being First, Second, or Third Practices,
as the case may be.

I remember once, that two of my pupils had attained such a mastery of
their weapons, that we used often to go through the practices with real
swords. On one occasion, we were acting a charade, and my eldest pupil
and myself were enacting the part of two distinguished foreigners
(country unknown) who were to get up a fight. So we began by a little
quarrel, and finally drew our swords and set hard to work at the fifth
practice, which we could do with extreme rapidity, and without the use
of words of command. The spectators were horrified, and the ladies
greatly alarmed; for there seems to be no particular order in that
practice, and an inexperienced eye would certainly fancy that the
combatants were in earnest.


The half of the sword blade next the hilt is called the “fort,” because
it is the strongest place on which the cut of an adversary can be
received. Always parry and guard with the fort of your sword, as, if you
try to guard a cut with the “feeble,” which is the remaining half of the
blade, your guard will be forced, and the cut take effect.


The drawing cut is made best with a curved sword, and is executed by
placing the edge of the sword on the object, and drawing it over it
until it is severed. A good large mangel worzel is capital practice.
Place the root loose on a table, stand at arm’s length from it, lay the
edge of the sword lightly on it, and slice the root by repeatedly
drawing the sword over it. This is very difficult, although it looks
easy enough, and is sure to jar the arm from the wrist to the shoulder
the first time or two, while the sword glides off as if the root were
cased in polished steel. However, a little practice will soon overcome
the difficulty. This cut is much in use among the Sikhs.


Never look at your own sword, but watch the eye and sword wrist of your

Remember that the great point in this exercise, as in fencing, is to
gain time. Endeavour, therefore, to advance your point nearer your
adversary than his is to you.

Begin the assault out of distance, so that neither party can complain of
being taken by surprise.

If the two parties exchange a cut or a thrust at the same moment, the
one who gave his cut or thrust in the third position is victorious.

When a cut or thrust is made, the one who receives it passes his sword,
_i. e._ stick, into his left hand, and his opponent comes to inside

Always spring back to the second position after delivering a cut or

Keep the line of direction carefully, or you will leave an open space
for the adversary to get his sword into.

Last and most important, Don’t lose your temper.



It is impossible to play at this excellent game unless there be a high
wall, free from abutments, and a smooth, dry, paved ground before it.
When this can be procured, a line is drawn on the wall, about 38 inches
from the ground; another line is drawn on the ground, about 10 feet from
the wall, A; and two others are drawn on each side as boundaries, B C.
The instruments used in the play are a ball of tightly-sewn leather and
a fives-bat. It has a long handle, and an oval bowl of wood. The ball is
hard, rebounding, small, and white. The game may be played by two or
four people; in the last case, two on each side. The method of play is
as follows:--The game may be played either single-handed or with
partners. When it is played with partners, the players toss up for
innings. The first player takes the ball, and strikes it against the
wall with his bat _above the line on the wall_, and so that it may fall
_without the line on the ground_. The other then strikes it, and the
players continue to hit it against the wall, either before it comes to
the ground or at the first bounce, until one of them missing it, or
driving it out of bounds, or beneath the wall-line, loses or goes out.
Of course the ball may fall anywhere within the side boundaries, after
being once struck up by the player who is in. The game is usually
fifteen, but is sometimes extended to twenty-five. The game above
described is that known as bat-fives, and differs little from the game
of rackets, except that it may be played in any open court, and that a
differently-shaped bat and a larger ball are employed. Fives was
originally played with the hand, instead of a racket, and in the
fourteenth century was called Hand Tennis in England, and in France,
Palm Play. It is said to have obtained the name of Fives, from ten of
the Earl of Hertford’s servants having played before Queen Elizabeth,
five of a side; but more probably on account of the five fingers of the
hand. This game of “hand-fives” is the one ordinarily played by boys,
and known technically as “fives.” The ball is hit against the wall
entirely by the hand, and no bat of any description is used. The game
may be played by two or more people, and is usually fifteen. Players
with tender hands usually play with an ordinary kid or padded glove,
either of which is quite admissible. There are variations of the game at
different schools, owing to peculiarities in the shape of the courts. At
Eton, for instance, a buttress of the chapel abuts into the court, and
the Eton courts at Oxford are made on a similar plan. But the game as
ordinarily played is that as described above.


Uncertain as to the date of its origin, there is no English game which
is at once so popular and about which so much difference of opinion
exists. All agree as to its manly character, its capabilities for
endurance, activity, hardihood, and strategical skill, but there are
very few who agree entirely as to the rules by which the game should be

In ancient records there is no mention of the game before the reign of
Edward III.; and at that period it seems to have been so popular that by
royal edict it was put down, as being antagonistic to the royal
amusement of archery. But that it flourished, and flourished
considerably, beyond that date, there is no doubt. In many market-towns
of England and Scotland, and notably in that of Kingston-on-Thames, all
business is suspended on Shrove Tuesday, and a great game of foot-ball
is played in the market-place. All is officially conducted, and the
mayor is honoured with the privilege of “kick-off.”

It would seem a pity at first sight that there is no authority like that
of the Marylebone Club to revise the laws of foot-ball and insist upon
their being observed in all places where the game is played. Foot-ball
as now constituted is not, and cannot be, a national game. There are
hardly two schools in England that agree in its first principles, and
that are not continually wrangling and disputing as to how the game
should be played. To touch the ball with the hands is in some eyes a
heresy, and in others an uncommon virtue. Some schools advocate running
with the ball, while others consider such licence as antagonistic to the
proper principles and well-being of the game. And, indeed, looking round
at the various head-quarters of foot-ball in England, it really does
seem a difficult matter to reconcile the games as now played so as to
suit all tastes. Rugby and Eton foot-ball can hardly be looked upon as
the same game.

[Illustration: FOOTBALL.]

We have one set of people advocating the employment of only eleven, or
at most twenty, players on a side, and another maintaining that a
hundred or so on a side matters little. We have one school playing the
game against a brick wall, another using boundaries of canvas, another
dashing the ball about in narrow cloisters, and another marshalling a
little army of players, with regularly organized back and forward
players, reserve forces, vanguard, scouts, runners, all of whom have
their direct influence on the fate and fortunes of the game.

The great essentials for foot-ball are pluck, endurance, and good
temper. Half the disputes at foot-ball which are ascribed to “hacking”
and “shinning” would not have occurred had good temper been observed. No
one “hacks” or “shins” wilfully, except he loses his temper; and a
player in foot-ball, as in other games, who cannot keep his temper is
unfit in every way to enjoy the game. As a match at foot-ball is now
made, two parties, containing any number of competitors, take the field,
and, having tossed up for sides, stand between two goals, placed at a
distance of some eighty yards apart. The party that loses the toss has
the privilege of “kick-off.” The goal is marked by two upright poles,
driven into the ground about ten yards apart. The ball, which used
formerly to be made of a blown bladder, is now made of an inflated
vulcanized india-rubber case, inclosed again in a case of laced and
well-sewn leather. The object of each party is to drive the ball through
the goal of their antagonists. The skill of the players is best employed
in attacking and defending the goals.

In the game of football the fewer the rules, and the simpler those rules
are, the better. The great “bone of contention” with lovers of the game
is, as to whether players should be allowed to touch the ball with their
hands or not. Eton and Westminster players will be arguing for ever that
the game is foot-ball, and not _hand_-ball; while Rugbæans, on the other
hand, will contend that without the use of the hands as well as the feet
the game is robbed of one of its principal charms. In the following
rules a medium course is advocated, as, while nothing looks so bad as to
see a lazy or inactive player, who does not care to follow the ball,
playing fives with it whenever it comes within his reach, it would be
equally absurd to stop a player who catches the ball fairly either on
the full or first bound from running a yard or so with it in his hands,
in order to allow him to get up the necessary impetus for a strong
drop-kick. With regard also to “off-side,” it is essentially necessary
that some clear and definite rules should be laid down. What can
possibly look worse than to see a player, again one of those who are too
indolent to “follow up” the ball, coolly stand in the middle of the
course, or, worse still, at the very door of his neighbour’s goal,
waiting until the ball is kicked up to him, in order that he, fresh and
full of wind as he is, may follow it in to the goal? It is hoped that
the following rules may give general satisfaction, and prevent disputes
and obstacles:--

1. A goal may be obtained by a fair full kick or drop-kick off the hand,
provided the ball goes over the bar which runs between the goal-posts;
or a goal may be obtained by a fair foot-ball “bulley,” which sends the
ball through all obstacles anywhere between the posts.

2. The foot-ball course must be marked by side boundaries. When the ball
is kicked outside these boundaries, a player of either side may kick it
into the course again in a straight line from where it went out.

3. A player who shall not have been behind the last player on his own
side who kicked the ball shall be considered “off his side.”

4. No player who shall be “off his side” shall be allowed to kick the
ball until it shall have touched one of the opposite side, when he
becomes on his side again, and may join in the game.

5. A player who obtains a fair catch of the ball, either full or on the
first bound, may take a short run, in order to obtain a “drop-kick,” or
may kick it at once full off his hands.

6. Any player of the opposite side may use his best endeavours to
prevent a drop or full kick after a fair catch.

7. No “holding” must be allowed at any period of the game.

8. No “shinning” or “hacking” is to be allowed.

9. At the commencement of the game the captains of each side shall
determine mutually how long the game is to last.

10. At the end of the time, no matter in what position the game is, one
of the captains shall cry “no game,” and the game shall immediately



Golfing is played with a club and ball. The club is from three to four
feet long, according to the height and length of arm of the player. It
is curved and massive towards the end, to give strength and weight. This
knob is formed for strength from some very tough wood, as beech, and as
it curves and proceeds upwards is planed off, so as to adapt itself to
the handle, to which it is partly glued and tightly corded down. A want
of due attention to these particulars in the making of it will render
the head liable to split and fly off by either a very hard or indirect
stroke. The face of the club is further secured by a piece of hard bone,
and occasionally of ivory, at least half an inch thick. It is also
loaded with from four to six ounces of lead, according to the will of
the player. The handle is usually bound with cord, list, or velvet, at
the pleasure of the owner. It is, however, to be remembered, that the
form of the club, the materials of which it is made, and the numbers
taken to the golfing ground, vary considerably, according to the
circumstances and habits of the players, the attendant cad or caddie
having usually many varieties, to suit every peculiarity under which the
ball may be placed; for in many clubs it can never be touched by the
hand until holed.

The golf ball is about the size of an egg, and is made very hard. It is
composed of stout leather, which, having been previously soaked in
boiling water, allows of its being first very firmly sewed, and then
turned inside out, leaving a small opening only, by which it is very
forcibly stuffed with feathers. The leather being yet wet, it contracts
into a ball of the dimensions stated, but never gets circular, as that
used in the game of cricket. It is afterwards painted over with several
coats of white paint; in doing which it is requisite that the lead used
should be very pure and exceedingly well ground down, as well as that
each coat laid on should be perfectly dry and hard before another is

The game is played by two or more persons, so that there be an equal
number on each side; but only two balls are used, one belonging to each
party, each party also striking in turn: but if the last striker does
not drive his ball as far as that of his opponent, one of his party must
then strike one, or perhaps two more, and the game is thus marked by
calling out one, two, or three more, as the case may be. If more than
two are playing, the same person does not strike twice in succession: a
miss is considered one. The party who puts the ball into the hole in the
fewest strokes wins the game.

The grounds used for this sport vary in different parts of Scotland.
Some are nearly square, in which case a hole is made in each corner; but
if it be irregular in figure, it is not uncommon to place one at each
angle, so that the party shall traverse the whole surface, and finish at
the spot from whence he started; a quarter of a mile being usually
allowed between each hole. Besides the stick, or club, already
described, there are others, usually carried by an attendant for each
party. These are called, by way of distinction, putters--of which,
however, there are several sorts, one being short, stiff, and heavy,
similar in figure, but longer on the head, for making a steady and
direct stroke when near the hole. Another, formed of iron, instead of
wood, is used for making a hit at a ball when very unfavourably placed,
as in a rut, where the common club would be in danger of breaking. When
a ball falls into a hole or rut, from which it is impossible to strike
it out, the party is allowed, by a special agreement, in some clubs, to
take it out with his hand, and throw it up in a line with the spot,
which is accounted as one, and he then strikes from where it chances to
rest; but, as already observed, this indulgence does not extend to every
Golfing Society.




The study of Gymnastics is of the utmost importance to young persons, as
its object is to call into exercise, and to train to perfection, all the
corporeal or bodily powers. It is the education of the limbs, joints,
and muscles; and includes not only the systematic training of these, but
also assists the sciences of riding, driving, wrestling, rowing,
sailing, skating, swimming, &c.

In the following gymnastic exercises we have determined to introduce
only those more simple and useful feats which may be said to make up the
“Alphabet of the Science,” and all the individual and progressive
exercises are susceptible of being everywhere introduced. They may be
performed in very small spaces, and require no particular preparation,
expense, or place. By attention to the directions any pupil between the
ages of twelve and sixteen may train and exercise himself, and a number
of other children younger than himself; and this excellent study may
thus become a source of amusement and delight.

[Illustration: GYMNASTICS.]


The first gymnasium is said to have been established at Sparta, and some
years afterwards at Athens. In the former city the exercises partook of
a rude military character; but among the Athenians, who were always
disposed to mingle the elements of the beautiful in whatever they
undertook, gymnastics were refined, and the Gymnasia became temples of
the Graces. In each there was a place called Palæstra, in which
wrestling, boxing, running, leaping, throwing the discus, and other
exercises of the kind were taught. Gymnastics were afterwards divided
into two principal branches--the _Palæstræ_, taking its name from the
Palæstra, and the _Orchestræ_. The former embraced the whole class of
athletic exercises; the latter dancing, and the art of gesticulation and

The Gymnasia were spacious edifices, surrounded by gardens and a sacred
grove. Their principal parts were: 1. The Portices, furnished with seats
and side buildings, where the youths met to converse. 2. The Ephebeion,
that part of the edifice where the youth alone exercised. 3. The
Apodyterion, or undressing room to the Conisterium, or small court in
which was kept the yellow kind of sand sprinkled by the wrestlers over
their bodies after being anointed with the aroma, or oil tempered with
wax. 5. The Palæstra properly was the place for wrestling. 6. The
Sphæristerium, where the game of ball was played. 7. Aliterium, where
the wrestlers anointed themselves with oil. 8. The Area or great court,
where running, leaping, and pitching the quoit were performed. 9. The
Xysta, open walks in which the youths exercised themselves in running.
10. The Balanea, or baths. Behind the Xysta lay the Stadium, which, as
its name imports, was the eighth of a mile in length; and in this were
performed all sorts of exercises, in the presence of large numbers of
persons and the chiefs of the state.

To all these branches of gymnastics the Grecian youth applied themselves
with peculiar eagerness, and on quitting the schools devoted to them a
particular portion of their time, since they regarded them as a
preparation for victory in the Olympic and other games, and as the best
possible means for promoting health and ripening the physical powers;
nor could anything be better adapted for those whose heroism was
liberty, and whose first great aims were to be good citizens and the
defenders of their country.

The Romans never made gymnastics a national matter, but considered them
merely as preparatory to the military service; and, though forming a
part of the exhibitions at festivals, they were practised only by a
particular class trained for brutal entertainments, at which large bets
were laid by the spectators, as is still the custom on our own
racecourse: but when all the acquisitions of the human intellect were
lost in the utter corruption of the Roman empire and the irruptions of
wandering nations, the gymnastic art perished.


The commencement of tournaments during the Dark Ages in some degree
revived athletic exercises; but the invention of gunpowder, the use of
the small sword, the rifle, and scientific tactics, by which battles
were gained more by skill than force, kept down the training of the body
for athletic feats. But in the last century, when men broke loose from
the yoke of authority, and education began to be studied, it was found
that physical education had been forgotten. Salzmann, a German
clergyman, invented a system of physical exercises, principally confined
to running, leaping, swimming, climbing, and balancing; and at the
commencement of the present century a German of the name of Volker
established the first gymnasium in London, while Captain Clias, a Swiss,
established one in the Royal Military Asylum; and since then many of the
best schools and colleges have a gymnasium attached to their

It generally happens that the pupils of a gymnasium, after a time, lose
their interest in the exercises. The reason of this appears to be that
little or no difference is made in the exercises of different ages, and
it is natural that an exercise repeated for years should become
wearisome. Gymnastics, therefore, when they are taught, should be
divided into two courses. In the first course we would include walking
and pedestrian excursions, elementary exercises of various tests,
running, leaping in height, in length, in depth, leaping with a pole (in
length and height), vaulting, balancing, exercises on the single and
parallel bars, climbing, throwing, dragging, pushing, lifting, carrying,
wrestling, jumping (1. with the hoop; 2. with the rope), exercises with
the dumb bells, various gymnastic feats or games; and, lastly, swimming,
skating, fencing, riding on horseback, rowing, &c.

Gymnastic exercises may be begun by a boy of about eight years of age,
or may be commenced at any age; but in all cases he should begin gently,
and proceed gradually, without any abrupt transitions. They should be
commenced before breakfast in the morning, or before dinner or supper;
but never immediately after meals: and the pupil should be very careful,
after becoming heated by exercises, of draughts or cold, and especially
refrain from lying on the damp ground, or from standing without his coat
or other garments; and rigidly guard against the dangerous practice of
drinking cold water, which, in many instances, has been known to produce
immediate death.


In all gymnastic exercises walking, running, and jumping deserve the
preference, because they are the most natural movements of man, and
those which he has most frequent occasion to use. This exercise, within
the reach of everybody, ought to be placed among the number of those
which are direct conservators of health, and which have the most
important beneficial effects upon our mental and moral economy. Walking
provokes appetite, assists digestion, accelerates the circulation,
brings the fluids to the skin, strengthens the memory, and gives
cheerfulness to the mind, and in fatiguing the limbs gives repose to the
senses and the brain.

It might be supposed that every one knows how to walk: not so, however;
some persons crawl, some hobble, some shuffle along. Few have the
graceful noble movement that ought to belong to progression, or, however
well formed, preserve a really erect position and an air of becoming
confidence and dignity. To teach walking--that is to say, to teach young
persons to walk properly--we should advise a class of them to unite,
that they may be able to teach themselves, which they may readily do if
they follow the instructions given below.

A company of boys being formed, the eldest, or the one best adapted to
the task, should act as captain, and at the word of command, “Fall in,”
all the boys are to advance on the same line, preserving between each
the distance of about an arm’s length. At the word “Dress” each boy
places his right hand on the left shoulder of the next, extending his
arm at full length, and turning his head to the right. At the word
“Attention” the arms fall down by the side, and the head returns to the
first position. The captain should now place his little regiment in the
following manner:--1. The head up. 2. The shoulders back. 3. The body
erect. 4. The stomach in. 5. The knees straight, the heels on the same
line. 6. The toes turned very slightly outwards. The captain now stands
before his men, and advancing his left foot, his knee straight, and his
toe inclined towards the ground, he counts one, two, placing his boot on
the ground, the toe before the heel; he then directs his pupils to obey
him, and to follow his motions, and says, “March,” when each foot is
advanced simultaneously, till he gives the word “Halt.” He then makes
them advance, wheel to the right and left, in slow time, quick time,
always observing the position of the body, and requiring that they move
all together.


This movement is preparatory to running and jumping. The boys being in
line, the word “On tip-toes” is given: each boy places his hands on his
sides, and waits for the word, “Rise;” when they all gently raise
themselves on their toes, joining their heels together, and keeping the
knees straight, remain in this position till the word “Rest” is given,
when they fall back slightly on their heels, their hands at the same
time falling down by their sides. Proceeding in this manner through a
few courses, with such changes as may present themselves, the pupils
will soon acquire a habit of graceful walking, of the highest
importance to every one who studies a gentlemanly bearing.


Running is both useful and natural; it favours the development of the
chest, dilates the lungs, and, when moderate, is a highly salutary
exercise. To run fast and gracefully one should as it were graze the
ground with the feet, by keeping the legs as straight as possible whilst
moving them forward. During the course the upper part of the body is
inclined a little forward, the arms are as it were glued to the sides,
and turned in at the point of the hips, the hands shut, and the nails
turned inwards. The faults in running are swinging the arms, raising the
legs too high behind, taking too large strides, bending the knees too
much, and in not properly managing their wind. In all running exercises
the young should begin gradually, and never run themselves out of breath
at any time. By careful practice a boy may soon acquire the power of
running a mile in ten minutes; this is called moderate running: in what
is called prompt running a thousand yards in two minutes is thought very
good work, and in quick running 600 yards in a minute is considered
good. The first distance that children, from eight to ten years of age,
may be made to run is about 200 yards; the second, for those more
advanced, 300 yards; and the third, for adults, 400 yards. It is however
most essential, that in running boys should not over-tax their strength
or “wind.” We are not all constituted alike, and a boy who could last
for 200 yards or so might injure himself considerably by racing for a


Of all the corporeal exercises jumping is one of the most useful; and
during our lives very many instances occur of a good jump having done us
essential service. To jump with grace and assurance one should always
fall on the toes, taking care especially to bend the knees on the hips:
the upper part of the body should be inclined forwards, and the arms
extended towards the ground. The hands should serve to break the fall
when jumping from a great height. In jumping we should hold the breath
and never alight on the heels. Boys should exercise themselves in
jumping, by jumping in length, and jumping from a height, with attention
to the above cautions. They may make progressive exercises in _length_
by varying the distance from time to time, and in height by jumping from
a flight of stairs or steps, increasing a step at a time: they will soon
be able to jump in length three yards, and from a height six feet,
without injury.


Leaping is somewhat different to what is called jumping, as the object
is to pass over an obstacle; and, as in jumping, it is of great
importance to draw in the breath, while the hands should be shut, the
arms pendent, to operate after the manner of a fly-wheel or pendulum. It
may be practised by a leaping stand, which can be easily made of two
sticks or stakes sunk in the ground, in which little catches are made at
various distances, on which an even piece may be laid, that may readily
be knocked over, so as to offer no resistance to the jumper, and injure
him by an ugly fall.

The principal exercises in leaping are:--1. The high leap without a run.
2. The high leap with a run. 3. The long leap without a run. 4. And the
long leap with a run. In the first of these the legs and feet are
closed, the knees are bent till the calves nearly touch the thighs, and
the arms are thrown in the direction of the leap, which increases the
impulse. This leap may be practised at the following progressive
heights,--eighteen inches, twenty-four inches, thirty-two inches,
forty-eight inches, which last is perhaps what few lads would attain.

_The high leap with a run._--The run should never exceed twelve paces,
the distance between the point of springing and the obstacle to leap
over to be about three-fifths the height of the obstacle from the
ground; and in making it the leaper should go fairly and straightly over
without veering to the side, and descend on the ball of the foot just
beyond the toes. The heights that may be cleared by the running leap
vary from three to six feet. A good leaper of sixteen years old ought to
leap four feet six inches, and an extraordinarily good leaper five feet.
Adults well trained will leap six, and some have been known to leap
seven feet.

_The long leap without a run._--The long leap may be marked out from
four to eight feet, according to the agility and strength of the leaper;
and the object to be cleared, a small block of wood, which should in
this kind of leap be never more than six inches high, placed midway. In
leaping the body is bent forward, the feet are closed, the arms first
sway forwards, then backwards, and then forwards at the moment of taking
the leap. In this kind of leap ten or twelve feet is considered good

_The long leap with a run._--The run should be on firm level ground. The
body should be inclined forward, and the run consist of about twelve
paces, a small block of wood, as before, being placed mid distance in
the leap. The spring should be principally on the right foot, and the
arms should be thrown forwards at the time of the leap. In descending,
if the leap be a very long one, the leaper should descend principally
upon his toes; if the leap be not very long, he may descend on the balls
of the toes. The leap is considered good if fifteen feet be cleared, but
twenty may be done by a good leaper, and one or two individuals have
fairly reached twenty-three feet.

_Vaulting._--Vaulting is performed by springing over some stationary
body, such as a gate or bar, by the aid of the hands, which bear upon
it. To perform it, the vaulter may approach the bar with a slight run,
and placing his hands upon it, heave himself up and throw his legs
obliquely over it. The legs should be kept close together: while the
body is in suspension over the bar, the right hand supports and guides
it, while the left is free. The vaulter may commence this exercise with
a bar or a stile three feet high, and extend it gradually to six feet.

_Leaping with a Pole._--A great variety of leaps may be practised with a
pole, which should be of a sufficient length, and shod at one end with
iron, so as to take hold of the ground. The leaper should grasp with his
right hand that part of the pole a little below the level of his head,
and with his left that part of it just below the level of his hips; he
should then make a slight run, and, placing the pole on the ground, take
a spring forward, and swing himself slightly round, so that when he
alights the fall may be brought towards the place from which he rose.

The pole is also employed in both long and deep leaps. In both of these
the mode of holding the pole is similar; but in leaping from a height
the pole should be grasped at the level of the knee, and then the
leaper, with a slight circular swing, should descend on the balls of his


This should be firmly fixed at an angle of thirty degrees. The climber
should seize both sides with his hands, and place his feet in the middle
on the soles. This will teach him to hold firm by his hands, and to
cling with his feet. As the climber gets used to this exercise, the
angle of the board may be increased. The young gymnast can ascend when
the plank is perfectly perpendicular. A pole may be mounted in the same


The pole should be about nine inches in diameter, and firmly fixed in
the ground in a perpendicular position. In mounting, the pole is to be
grasped firmly with both hands, the right above the left. The legs are
alternately to grasp the pole in the ascent by means of the great toe,
which is turned towards the pole. In descending, the friction is to be
thrown on the inner part of the thighs, and the hands are left
comparatively free.

Climbing the mast is similar to climbing the pole; but in this exercise
the climber is unable to grasp it with his hands, but holds it in his
arms: the position of the legs is the same as for the pole.


In climbing the rope, it is firmly grasped by the hands, which are
placed one above the other, and so moved alternately. The heels are
crossed over the rope, which is held fast by their pressure, the body
being supported principally by them. In the sailor’s method the rope
passes from the hands round the inside of the thigh, under the
knee-joint, over the outside of the leg, and across the instep. But the
enterprising gymnast will not be satisfied until he can climb the rope
by his hands only, allowing the rest of his body to hang freely


In climbing trees the hands, and feet, and knees, are all to be used;
but the climber should never forget that it is to the hands that he has
to trust. He should carefully look upwards and select the branches for
his hands, and the knobs and other excrescences of the trees for his
feet. He should also mark the best openings for the advance of his body.
He should also be particularly cautious in laying hold of withered
branches, or those that have suffered decay at their junction with the
body of the tree, in consequence of the growth of moss, or through the
effects of wet. In descending, he should be more cautious than in
ascending, and hold fast by his hands. He should rarely slide down by a
branch to the ground, as distances are very ill-calculated from the
branches of a tree.


The valuable and invigorating apparatus which is called the Giant Stride
in some places, and the Flying Steps in others, is to be found in many
schools where an inclosed open-air playground can be secured. Excepting
on a few occasions, or when the charm of novelty induces the boys to
exercise, it is seldom in much favour, and is usually seen idle, with
the ironwork rusting, the beam rotting, and the ropes yielding to

In fact, it really seems as if the masters and teachers were doing their
best to weaken their apparatus, and to cause a severe accident whenever
it breaks down, as such is always the case, sooner or later. The rusty
iron gives way to a harder pull than usual, the ropes snap, or the
upright post breaks off level with the ground, and falls with dreadful
force. We knew of a boy being killed by such an accident, and in
consequence the parents of the other pupils laid the blame on the Giant
Stride itself, instead of on those who allowed it to get into such a
state of decay.

Boys, too, soon get tired of it; they take hold of the ropes, run round
a few times, and then leave it, naturally, seeing no interest in such a
proceeding. But in reality the Giant Stride is a most useful article in
the muscular education, as it exercises at the same time the arms and
legs, is capital for the lungs, and strengthens those invaluable muscles
about the loins which we so sadly neglect, and by reason of whose
weakness many dangerous injuries occur to young and old.

There is something most fascinating in the exercises that can be
achieved on this apparatus; the gymnast seems to be almost endowed with
wings, and in his aërial course hardly touches the ground with his toes,
flying, like feathered Mercury, through the air, and literally basking
in the pure element. The common posture of holding the bars close to the
breast, and then running round the post, is radically false, and
deprives the Giant Stride of all its use, and the greater part of its
pleasure. Being ourselves ardent advocates of this instrument as
affording an amount of healthy exercise not to be obtained by any other
means, we gladly take this opportunity of describing the manufacture and
capabilities of the Giant Stride.

Having fixed upon a suitable spot of level ground, well laid with
gravel, and carefully drained, dig a hole at least seven feet in depth,
and fill about eighteen inches with stones about the size of the fist,
or, to use a homely but expressive simile, as if a sack of potatoes had
been emptied into it. Pound and press the stones well down, and then
pour rough gravel upon them until you have made the surface tolerably
level. The object of these stones is to prevent the water from
accumulating round the post and rotting it.

Now for the post. This should be at least twenty feet long, so as to
leave about fifteen feet projecting when set upright in the hole. The
butt should be left very large, as is done with ordinary wooden
gate-posts, and the whole affair ought to be made of thoroughly seasoned
wood. Unless this is the case, it is sure to rot, and then down it comes
some day, when least expected. Triangular steps should be nailed upon
opposite sides, like those on railway signal-posts, as otherwise the
daily task of removing and replacing the ropes will be very irksome.


Get a blacksmith to make a stout iron pin, such as is shown at _a_,
having a projecting shoulder, to prevent it from entering too far into
the wood. He should also make a strong iron collar to put over the top
of the pole, as is seen at _b_, where the pin is also shown fixed. The
last piece of blacksmith’s work is an iron disc, having a cap or thimble
in the middle, which is intended to receive the iron pin, and to enable
the disc to spin round freely. Four holes are bored through the edge of
the disc, as seen at _c_. Purchase four iron [S] hooks, and the same
number of swivels, and good store of well-made half-inch rope, and the
machine may then be set up.

First char carefully the whole of the butt that is to enter the ground,
and for about six inches above, in order to prevent the wood from being
injured by wet. Place it upright in the hole, testing it by a plumb-line
tied to the top, and fill in the hole with earth, pounding it down
firmly with a heavy rammer. You cannot be too careful about this
process, and the apparatus should not be used until the earth has had
time to settle. While waiting for this operation, cut the rope into
appropriate lengths, and fasten one end of each rope to a swivel, and
the other to the centre of a stout bâton of elm or oak wood, about
eighteen inches long. Unless you are very sure of your powers of
splicing ropes and making “eyes,” let the ropemaker do this for you, as
it is a most important operation, and involves the security of the
gymnast in no slight degree. It is necessary to have swivels, as the
ropes would otherwise become so twisted as to lose their freedom of
play, or even to weaken their structure. These preparations being
completed, mount the post by the steps, taking the cap with you, grease
the pin well with an end of tallow-candle, and slip the cap upon it,
taking care to spin it well in order to assure yourself that all is
right. Hang the swivels to the circular plate by means of the [S] hooks,
one curve of which passes through the hole in the plate, and the other
through the loop in the swivel.

The ropes should be just so long that when they hang loosely along the
pole the cross-bar should be two feet from the ground. As, however, new
ropes stretch in a wonderful manner, it is needful to allow considerably
for this property.

One thing more is needed, and then the whole apparatus will be complete.

Measure the greatest distance which can be reached by the feet of any
one swinging round by the ropes, and about one yard beyond that line
erect a slender pole nearly as high as the central post, having pegs
driven at intervals of four inches. This is intended to aid the learner
in leaping, and the mode by which this object is accomplished is seen in
fig. 1.

[Illustration: FIG. 1.]

Having now everything ready, we first look to all the fastenings, a
precaution which must never be neglected; see that the pin and swivels
are well greased, take the cross-bar of one rope in both hands, and
retire from the post as far as the outstretched arms will permit. Of
course, if there are four performers, each takes his stand exactly
opposite his neighbour. It is better not to exercise alone, on account
of the unequal strain on the post; and it is evident that the opposite
players should be as nearly as possible of similar weights, so as to
balance each other in their course. It may easily be imagined that the
strain upon the base of the post is enormous, there being a leverage of
fifteen feet, and that some precautions are necessary to prevent injury.

Keeping our right sides to the post, and the rope tightly stretched, we
begin to run, throwing as much weight as possible on the rope, and as
little as possible on the feet. As the pace increases, the feet are
taken off the ground, and touch it at longer intervals, until, when at
full speed, they only come to the ground occasionally, just sufficient
to maintain the impetus.

Having kept up this speed as long as is agreeable, we slacken the pace
gradually, and stop. Next time we take care to run the contrary way,
keeping the left side towards the pole. This is done to exercise equally
the muscular system on both sides of the body; and to save time and
space, we will say, once for all, that when any feat is described, it
must be accomplished in either direction with equal ease.

We will now explain the method of leaping, one of the most exciting of
all these exercises.

Set the string to quite a low elevation,--say two feet from the
ground,--stand with your back to it, the cross-bar in your hands, and
run quickly round. When you come about one quarter of the distance, try
to fling yourself into the air, not by jumping with the legs, but by
letting the whole weight depend on the rope, so that the centrifugal
force takes you off your feet. As you touch the ground, take about three
long steps, and at the third step hurl yourself again off the ground,
with the body straight, and the feet extended well behind, and the
impetus will carry you over the string, and land you neatly on the other
side. You will soon learn to increase the height of the jump, until you
can pass over the string at an elevation of ten feet with perfect

Another very pretty, though not so dashing, a feat is to spin round on
your own axis as you run round the course. At first it is needful to
manage this cautiously, as a slip of the foot is sure to disturb your
balance, and send you ignominiously scraping your way over the gravel in
a derogatory and rather painful position. When, however, you have
mastered this art, you can go round revolving the whole time, keeping
your legs straight, feet together, and toes pointed.

There are many modifications of these exercises which I should right
well like to describe; but as our space is limited, we must content
ourselves with two more. At the same time I may say, that if any of the
readers of this book succeed in achieving them, they will bid fair to
attain no mean position in the gymnastic art.

[Illustration: FIG. 2.]

In the first of these exercises the performer never moves hand or foot,
but holds himself straight, stiff, and immovable as an Egyptian statue,
and in the course of his progress round the central post his feet
describe a series of circles, or rather spirals, while his hands merely
move in a circle, and serve as the axis on which the body revolves. This
feat is not very easily made intelligible, but with the help of two
diagrams we hope that our readers will comprehend it. Fig. 2 shows the
method of commencing it. The performer grasps the cross-bar in both
hands at the full stretch of his arms, holds himself quite straight and
stiff, points his toes, and then falls forward, as shown in the
engraving. If he has the strength and nerve to hold himself quite stiff,
though his face comes rather near the ground, the whole body swings off
the ground, the hands being the pivot, and the feet take the course
denoted by the dotted line, the hands retaining their position. It is
possible, by dint of practice, to manage so as to make the entire
circuit of the pole in four such revolutions, and the course of the
performer is shown by the accompanying diagram (fig. 3), where the dark
circle in the centre represents the pole, the dotted line is the course
taken by the hands, and the continuous line the course of the feet.

[Illustration: FIG. 3.]

This is a most elegant and graceful performance, and never fails to
elicit the admiration and applause of the bystanders. There seem to be
no means of propulsion, and the performer appears, to an uninitiated
spectator, to be impelled by a simple act of volition.

The last is the most daring and difficult of all the feats, being
nothing less than passing over the string with the head downwards and
the feet in the air. This need not be attempted by any but a tolerable
gymnast, and is achieved by running at the string in the manner already
described, and just as the body is rising in the swing drawing the hands
smartly to the breast, throwing the feet into the air, and clasping the
rope between them. It is a most dashing feat, and generally takes
spectators entirely by surprise.

We should well have liked a longer disquisition on a favourite subject,
but must now take our leave, merely assuring the reader that the few
exercises which we have described are the keys to the thorough mastery
of the Giant Stride.

As a last caution, let us recommend that the ropes should be taken down
every evening and put in a dry spot, as they are liable to be much
weakened if permitted to hang in the open air. In wet weather the same
precaution should be taken.


These are two pieces of wood, from six to eight feet in length, and
about four inches square, the edges rounded. For lads, they are fixed at
about eighteen inches apart, and supported by two round standards,
firmly fixed in the ground, from three to four feet high, according to
the stature of the boys.

_Balancing._--Being placed between the bars and in the centre, put your
hands right and left on the bars at the same time. After a little jump
upwards, preserve your equilibrium on both wrists, the legs close; this
is called the first position. Then communicate to your body a gentle
movement of balancing from behind, forwards, and continue this for
several times, the body moving as it were upon a pivot. This should be
practised until the body swings freely backwards and forwards.


_To bring both legs over._--From the first position, after a little
movement of balancing, bring both legs, close and at once, over one of
the bars forwards, without touching it or moving your hands from the
place. The same ought to be made backwards, from right to left.


_To jump out._--After having communicated to the body a movement of
balance, the moment at which the legs are raised over the bars, jump
backwards over the right without touching it with the feet or waist;
then perform the same jump forwards. By the vaulting jump you may easily
come between the bars, and also bring your body over both without
touching them otherwise than with your hands.


_To rise and sink down._--Being in equilibrium in the middle of the
bars, place the legs backwards, the heels close to the upper part of the
thigh. From this position, come gently down, till the elbows nearly meet
behind the back, then rise up gently without any impulse or touching the
ground with your feet.

_To kiss the bar behind the hands._--In the same position as before,
bring the body gently down between the bars without touching the ground
with your knees; kiss the bar behind each hand alternately, and then
rise up in the first position.

_Jumping on the Bars._--Keep the knees straight and jump along the bars
backward and forward. Afterwards, do the same with the fingers turned
inside. These will be learned easier, if the young gymnast tries them
first with bent knees.

[Illustration: WALKING ON THE BARS.]

_Walking on the Bars._--Walk on the hands to the end and back again. In
walking backwards, take care to keep the elbows straight, or you will
come down. When this is done with ease, do the same, only keep your
fingers inside the bars.

[Illustration: L.]

L.--Sit on the ground between the bars; take hold of the bars with your
hands and raise your body still in the sitting position, and stay there
as long as you can. When that is learned, jump along the bars in the
same attitude. Keep your knees straight, and don’t mind if your limbs
ache a little.


_The Arm Swing._--Rest the fore arms on the bars, and swing. When tired
of swinging, let the body hang straight, and then rise on the hands. Not
easy at first, but soon done with practice.

_The Roll._--Rest on the fore arms, swing backward, and turn completely
over, catching the bars under the arms. It looks difficult, but is easy
enough, only wanting a little nerve.

_The Janus._--Sit astride the bars, having your hands rather behind. Now
raise the feet, swing through the bars, and come up astride on the other
side. Your arms will then be twisted, and your face will be looking in
the opposite direction. Swing boldly, or the shins will be knocked
against the bars.


_The Sausage._--Kneel on the bars. Stretch the hands as far forward as
possible, and hitch the toes over the bars behind, at the same time
stretching them backwards as far as possible. Now let the body sink
between the bars, being supported by the hands and insteps. Now rise
again. Difficult, but soon learnt.


_To stand on a bar._--Sit astride one of the bars. Place the heel of the
right foot on the bar, hitching the left instep under it. Draw yourself
up by means of the left instep. Take care of your balance. This is a
very useful accomplishment, and may possibly stand the gymnast in good

_The Drop._--Stand on the bars with each foot over one of the posts.
Spring slightly into the air, put the feet together, and come down
stiff, catching yourself by your hands. This should be done over the
posts, as the bars might be broken, were the weight of the faller to
come in the middle.


_The Spring._--Swing at one end, and with a sudden impulse leap to the
other on your hands. Take care of the balance of the body, or you will
come on your back between the bars.


_The Barber’s Curl._--Hang on one end of the bars as in the L. Keep the
knees straight, and turn over slowly, not letting the feet come to the
ground. Stay there while you count ten, and come back the same way.


Let two strong upright posts be firmly fastened into the ground, about
six feet apart, and let a wooden bar be strongly mortised into their
tops. The bar should be made of white deal, about two inches and a half
in diameter. The bar must have no knot in it, or it will break. It
should be so high from the ground that a spring is required to reach it
with the hands. The surface of the bar should be free from all
roughnesses, but not polished.

_The Grasp._--The fingers should be hooked over the pole, keeping the
thumb on the same side as the fingers. Hang as long as possible, first
with both hands, then with each hand by turns.--See p. 244.

_The Walk._--Hang by the hands, and walk by them from one end of the
pole to the other, backwards and forwards. Do not slip. Do it first with
both hands on the same side of the pole, afterwards with a hand at each
side.--See p. 244.

[Illustration: THE GRASP.]

[Illustration: THE WALK.]

[Illustration: BREASTING THE BAR.]

_Breasting the Bar._--Hang by the hands, and draw up the body slowly
until the chest touches the bar. Practise this as often as
possible--knees straight.


_Kicking the Bar._--Hang by the hands and draw up the feet very slowly
until the instep touches the pole. Do it several times. Difficult at
first, but soon learned. Do not kick about, or jerk yourself upward, or
you may strain yourself.


_Swinging._--Hang by the hands and swing backwards and forwards.
Practise this until your heels are considerably above your head each
way. After a while, let go of the pole as you swing back, and catch it
again as you come down. An inch or two at first is enough, but do not be
satisfied until the hands can have a space of eight or ten inches
between themselves and the bar.


_To sit on the Bar._--Hang by the hands, and pass one of your feet
through them, hitching your knee over the bar. Then give a good swing
backwards, and come up sitting on the bar with one leg. Now draw the
other leg over, and do not tumble off.

_Circling the Bar._--Hang by the hands, and curl the body gently over
the bar. If it is too difficult, stop for a minute or two, try something
else, and after an interval try it again. It will be soon learned.

_The true Lover’s Knot._--Grasp the bar; pass the left knee through the
right arm, so as to let the knee rest in the elbow; pass the right knee
over the instep of the left foot; let go with the left hand, and with it
grasp the right foot. You will now be suspended by the right hand, and
will be packed up in a remarkably small space. Take care of the right
wrist, or you will spin round and twist off.

[Illustration: CIRCLING THE BAR.]

[Illustration: TRUE LOVER’S KNOT.]


_Passing through the Arms._--Hang by the hands, and bring the feet
between them, permitting them to pass through until they can nearly
touch the ground; now return in the same way. This cannot be done
properly without practising, as the muscles of the shoulder blades must
be capable of great relaxation, together with great power.

[Illustration: THE GRASSHOPPER.]

[Illustration: HANGING BY THE LEGS.]

_The Grasshopper._--Sit on the pole, grasping it with the fingers to the
front. Slide gradually off, until the small of the back rests against
the pole, while the arms are elevated at the elbows like a grasshopper’s
legs. Now draw yourself up again.

_Hanging by the legs._--This is easy enough, and a capital preservative
against determination of the blood to the brain. First practise it with
both legs over the pole; then take off the left leg and hitch it over
the right instep; then learn to hang by one leg only, while you try to
carry a weight in your hands. When you are perfect and confident, sit on
the pole, and drop off backwards, catching yourself by the legs. This
must be done with a fall like a plummet, or the body will swing, and
probably unhitch the legs from the pole.

[Illustration: THE ARM-CHAIR.]

_The Arm-chair._--Hang on the bar by the arms just below the elbows,
keeping the elbows firmly pressed to the side. The hands should be lower
than the bar, to counteract the swing of the body.

[Illustration: HANGING BY THE FEET.]

_Hanging by the feet._--Hang by the hands, and curl up the body, until
the insteps are well hitched over the bar. Let go the hands cautiously,
and permit the body to hang at full length. The best way to reach the
bar again is to seize one of your legs, and pull yourself up by it.

_To leave the Bar._--Never get on the bar or leave it in a clumsy
manner; there should be art about everything. To leave the bar
effectively is well worth practising. Here are six modes:--

1. Sit on the bar; drop and hang by the legs, at the same time giving
the body a swing forwards which will loosen the hold of the legs. Alight
on the hands, and get gently on the feet. This is rather a brilliant
finish, and not so difficult as it appears.

2. Sit on the bar, place both hands on one side, and vault over.

3. Sit astride, place both hands on the bar in front, bring up both
feet, at the same time springing upright; run along the bar and jump off
the end, or slide down the post if it is too high to jump.

4. Hang by the hands, draw up the body until the chest touches the bar;
spring off backwards by the force of the arms.

5. Hang by the hands, and swing completely round once, letting the
impetus hurl you forward. Take care to cross the feet and come down on
the toes.

6. If you are tired and cannot perform any of these things, merely hang
by the hands, and come round through them, but never merely loose the


There is not a more graceful or more interesting series of exercises
than those performed on the Wooden Horse. They are very useful also, as
they give exceeding pliancy to the limbs, and teach the gymnast how to
take advantage of the weight of each member. They have also the
advantage of requiring some daring, and a spirited lad will always
surpass at these exercises.

The horse is made of a great cylinder of wood mounted on four legs,
which are firmly fastened into the ground--their ends should be charred
as was directed for the Giant Stride.

Nearer one end than the other a piece of stout rough leather is firmly
nailed, to represent the saddle, and two curved pieces of wood bound the
saddle and represent the pommels. The hind pommel should be nearly half
an inch higher than the other. They may be covered with leather also.

On the off side of the horse a pit about a foot deep and four feet
square should be dug and filled with sawdust, while on the near side the
paving should be either very fine gravel, or, if possible, sand.

There should be several horses, adapted to the different sizes of boys
who are to practise on them. When a boy can place his chin on a level
with the saddle, he should change to a higher horse, as the top of the
saddle ought to be on a level with the nose of the gymnast.

_Mounting._--Stand by the horse, place one hand on each pommel, spring
up, so that the body is supported by the hands, while the legs rest
lightly against the horse. Keep the body upright and knees straight.
Down and up again several times. Always come down on the toes.


Now do the same thing; but, in springing up, throw out the right leg
until it is nearly at right angles with the body, then the left.
Afterwards spread both legs as widely as possible.

When this can be done with ease, spring up as before, rest a moment,
then throw the right leg easily over the saddle, removing the right
hand, and there you are.

_Dismounting._--Put the left hand on the fore pommel, right hand on the
saddle, spring off and come to the ground, keeping your right hand still
on the saddle. Be sure in all these exercises to come down on the toes.


_Sustaining the body._--1. Spring up as in mounting, and throw the body
away from the horse, bringing it back again without coming to the

2. Mount, and putting both hands on the front pommel, raise the body as
high as you can. Don’t be afraid of going too high.

3. Do the same, but swing the body backwards and forwards. Hard work,
but capital exercise.

4. Do the same, and slap the soles of your shoes together.

_Knee practice._--1. Put your hands on the pommels, spring up, and lodge
your right knee on the saddle. Down, and then the left knee. Then both
knees. Practise these well.

2. Hands on pommels, leap up and touch the saddle with both toes.

[Illustration: KNEE PRACTICE.]

[Illustration: TOUCH SADDLE.]

[Illustration: JUMPING OFF.]

3. Kneel on the saddle with both knees; now lean well forward and jump
off. Very easy, but requires confidence.

_Swinging practice._--1. Sit behind the saddle, put the left hand on the
front pommel, and the right hand on the other. Raise the body and swing
round the horse, seating yourself on his neck, _before_ the saddle.
Change hands, and swing round until you regain your former position.



2. Put both hands on the front pommel, raise the body, and suddenly
swing boldly upwards, turning round and crossing the legs, so that you
will sit on the saddle with your face to the tail. Keep the hands in
their places, and swing back again in the same manner.

_Miscellaneous Exercises._--Hands on pommels, spring up and put the
right leg through the arms, letting the left hang straight. Withdraw the
right leg, and spring up again, using the left leg, and letting the
right hang down.

Hands on pommels, spring up, and seat yourself like a lady behind the
saddle; spring down to the ground, and seat yourself in a similar manner
before the saddle.

Hands on pommels, spring up, cross your feet, pass them through the
hands, and come to the ground on the opposite side.


Take a short run, place the hands on the pommels, and vault completely
over the horse, keeping the knees straight.


Sit behind the saddle, put both hands on the hind pommel, and throw
yourself off over the horse’s tail.

Hands on pommels, spring up, make the body into an L, let the feet pass
through the hands and rest suspended without touching the saddle. Knees
quite straight.


A good one for a finish.--Take a run, put both hands on the very top of
the pommels, and throw yourself over in a regular somerset. That is not
bad, but you can do better after the somerset has been well learned.


Throw the somerset as before, only do not let go the hands. You will now
be standing with your back to the horse, the spine considerably bent,
and your arms thrown over your head. Wait so for a few seconds, and then
with a powerful effort throw yourself back again, so as to come on the
ground on the same side of the horse from which you started. This is
really difficult, as it requires practice, strength, and confidence, but
it looks so well that it is worth learning. The writer of these few
instructions has often astonished the natives with it, and has lately
repeated it after two years’ absence from any gymnasium.


Let no one despise this exercise. It is worth learning, if only as a
preservation against sea sickness. If any one can stand a twenty-feet
swing for half-an-hour, the sea may toss its worst, for he will come off
unscathed. Now, I do not mean to say that merely sitting on a board and
getting swung by some one else is any great object: far from it. But
there are some very graceful exercises to be managed on the swing. Here
are some:--

1. The way to get into the swing is as follows:--Take one rope in each
hand, just above the seat; walk backwards until the ropes are freely
stretched. Now run sharply forwards, letting the hands glide up the
ropes as far as possible, and the instant that you feel a check, grasp
the rope tightly, and spring into the seat standing. When there, work
easily up by alternately bending and straightening the knees. (See 1.)

[Illustration: _Fig. 1._]

2. When in good swing, slip the feet off the seat (which should not be
more than four inches wide); let the hands slide down the ropes, and
come down sitting. To recover the standing position, reach upwards with
the hands as high as possible, and draw yourself upwards as the swing is
going forwards, when the seat will place itself exactly under your feet.

3. Now for some feats.

Let the swing go very gently. Place both hands at the level of the
shoulders, and suddenly extend them, keeping the arms straight. Take
care, as there will be a violent vibration, and you will be shot out of
the swing before you know where you are. Practise it first while the
swing is still, but do not be satisfied until you can do it while in
strong swing, and without closing the hands, merely letting the palms
rest against the ropes. (See 2.)

[Illustration: _Fig. 2._]

Swing still. Stand up on the seat, and grasp the rope with the hands as
low as possible, without bending the body or the knees. Now lean
forward, making your hands the pivot, and do not be astonished at
finding your heels in the air, and your head downward. To recover
yourself, the body must be bent a little. (See 3.)

[Illustration: _Fig. 3._]

Stand sideways on the seat, grasp one rope with both hands leaning your
back against the other, taking care to have the rope well between the
shoulder blades. Put the inner centre of the left foot against the
opposite rope, and fix the right foot in the same manner against the
left heel. Now let go both hands, and lean well backwards, when you will
be exactly balanced. When you are secure with a quiet swing, practise it
while the swing is moving, until you can lie securely against the rope
while you are moving freely. The balance is entirely kept by the
shoulder blades against the rope, and the arms must be folded in order
to throw the shoulder blades well back. If the gymnast gets alarmed, and
puts his hands out to save himself, the rope slips off his back, and out
he goes. (See 4.)

[Illustration: _Fig. 4._]

While the swing is working, suddenly hang out at one side, supporting
yourself by one hand on the rope, and one foot on the seat. Practise
this on both sides. (See 5.)

[Illustration: _Fig. 5._]

Seize the left rope with both hands, press the feet firmly against the
ropes where they join the seat, and fall out forwards. The ropes will
now cross, and when the swing is in full operation, the curves described
are most elegant. To recover the ordinary position, wait until the swing
is going backwards, and a powerful twist of the body will uncross the
ropes, when the right hand should take hold of the right rope and steady
the swing. (See 6.)

[Illustration: _Fig. 6._]

When the swing is in motion, grasp the ropes as tight as possible, and
raise the feet until they are high in air between the ropes. Take care
of the balance in the back swing, as, if the body is suffered to bend
backwards, the hands will hardly bear the strain. Now slide slowly and
carefully down the ropes until the head rests on the footboard.

To make a telling exit from the swing, two ways may be adopted. First
way:--Get the swing into a firm, steady movement, sit down, and bring
both hands inside the ropes; and just as the swing has passed its
centre, strike the seat away with the hands and you will shoot forward
several yards. Take care to come down on the toes, and to lean well
backwards as you leave the swing, as the impetus will bring you upright
as you touch the ground. (See 7.)

[Illustration: _Fig. 7._]

The second method is, to seat yourself in the same manner, and as the
swing crosses its centre backwards, lean well forwards and strike away
the seat. You will then be hurled backwards, and if your balance is
good, will come to the ground in a very elegant attitude. Be sure to
lean well forward, cross the feet, clasp the hands, and come down on the
toes. (See 8.)

[Illustration: _Fig. 8._]

Great care must be taken to lean well backwards if you shoot out
forwards, and well forwards as you shoot backwards, or in the one case
you will come with your nose on the ground, and in the other you will
find the back of your head rather damaged. So practise with gentle
swings at first, and then increase. I have often done it with the swing
at full speed, and in one instance in a public gymnasium, I shot so far
forward that the spot was marked by a row of iron nails driven into the

In a volume of this nature, it is impossible to give more than a
comparatively slight sketch of any subject. I am sure, however, that if
the reader will master even these short instructions in gymnastic
exercises, he will be able to realize that great blessing, the sound
body, in which only a sound mind can reside. His trained eye will be
accustomed to measure instinctively any obstacle in his way, and the
training of his body will enable him to put forth the full power of his
muscles to overcome the obstacle. Danger will lose half its perils to
him who thus knows how to meet it. A strong rope will be as safe as a
staircase to him; it will be perfectly indifferent to him whether his
head or his heels be uppermost, and he will be enabled by the presence
of mind which such studies engender to think out calmly modes of escape
from danger which would instantly overwhelm those whose bodies are

But even to pass by the question of utility, it is a duty of man to
preserve his body in health, and to develop its powers. Every man would
think himself wrong to neglect the mind; surely then, every man ought no
less to think it wrong to neglect the body, which is made by the same
mighty Hand that implanted the mind within it. Indeed, the neglected
body is sure to injure the mind, and therefore those who improve their
bodies are at the same time improving their minds.

I know one young man, who owes all his health, and probably his life, to
gymnastic exercise. From his earliest childhood he was always ailing,
and through the whole of his childhood was never suffered to sleep
unwatched. When he entered upon manhood, the childish illness changed
into annual fevers, which held their sway until he had been for some
time at one of the Universities.

His medical attendant advised him to take regular exercise, and
recommended the study of gymnastics. He rapidly improved in health and
strength, his fever has not attacked him for eight or nine years, and he
actually led the gymnasium for a whole year.

Were I to have the charge of a school, I should consider the gymnasium
as part of the regular school discipline, and take care that the boys
were exercised as carefully in their bodily as their mental powers.



This play is very interesting, and gives strength to the arm, and
exactness to the eye. In playing it, a square target must be procured,
made of thick wood, about four feet in diameter, and on which should be
marked concentral circles, the same as those of a target in archery.
This should be well supported behind by two stout back pieces, resting
in the ground, so as to prevent the target from being easily overturned.
The circles may be several in number; the centre should be black, and
about six inches in diameter, and count ten; the second circle should be
red, and should count five; and the third should be light blue, and
count three. The other parts of the target to count as may be agreed.
The javelins should consist of poles of ash or fir, about an inch and
half in diameter, and should be five feet six inches in length. They
should have a spike in one end, which should be surrounded with a rim of
iron; the spike should be about two inches long, thick, and strong, so
as to enable it to become fixed in the target without splitting it. The
game may be played by any number of boys, and is commenced as follows:--

One player takes a javelin in his right hand, and walking to a distance
from the target, previously agreed upon by the players, he poises his
javelin, by holding it in the hollow of his hand, between the ball of
the thumb and the fleshy part at the side, and his elbow is at the same
time bent, and his arm elevated so that his hand is a little above his
ear, the javelin being at the same time nicely balanced with the smaller
fingers, touching it so as to direct its course; it is then launched
forward at the target, and, if properly poised, directed and thrown,
will go to it in a direct line. The point at which it strikes the target
is then marked, and then the other players follow in the same way for
twelve times in succession: the person who scores the most marks being
the victor.


The javelin will fly better and straighter if a rotatory movement is
communicated to it by a slight pull of the little finger as it leaves
the hand. When some skill has been obtained in darting, blunt javelins
with padded ends should be procured, and the players should accustom
themselves to avoid, parry, or catch a javelin thrown at them. When they
can do so with certainty, they may storm a fort. The best fort is a
hedge with gaps. The players divide into two parties, one defending and
the other attacking. Each player should be furnished with three javelins
at least, well padded and nicely balanced. The art of catching and
returning a javelin is exceedingly useful in this game. We well remember
an occasion when, on storming a fort, one of our opponents, whose frame
was larger than his soul, had prudently retired into the background
until all our spears were exhausted, but, on seeing us weaponless, he
with great courage ran up to the hedge and hurled his spear, as we were
running forward to pick up a fallen lance. The moment he had thrown the
javelin he ran away as fast as he could, but was overtaken by his own
weapon, which took him in the rear, and toppled him over in beautiful
style. We have only known one accident at this game, and that was caused
by the impetuosity of one of the garrison, who on seeing an enemy
crawling up through the gap, and finding himself without a spear,
snatched up a _bow_ that was lying near, and made a thrust at him, which
sent the sharp horn tip of the bow through his under lip.


Should the intending gymnast possess a strongly-built barn or outhouse,
which is large enough to permit the trapeze to have fair play, and
strong enough to endure the stress of the swinging weight, the ropes can
be suspended from a beam, either belonging to the building or inserted
for the express purpose, and resting at each end on strong brackets. But
as such buildings are very seldom to be obtained, we here give a sketch
of a plan invented, we believe, by Messrs. Snoxell, the well-known
furnishers of gymnasia. Although its structure may appear to be light
and flimsy, it is in reality possessed of strength which renders a
fracture impossible, and is indeed far more fitted to resist the
enormous strain which is laid upon it, than if it were made of massive
beams morticed.


In the first place the upright poles (_a_) do not pass into the ground,
but are supported upon stone slabs, so there is no fear of that terrible
enemy of the gymnasium--rotting wood, which silently decays and suddenly
snaps off level with the surface of the ground. The cross piece (_b_) is
affixed to the uprights by a simple cap, bent at right angles, as is
seen at _f_. The cross piece is permanently secured into the cap, but
the uprights can be slipped in and out without difficulty. At _c_ may be
seen four slender wire ropes, the upper ends of which are fastened to
the uprights, and the lower ends are furnished with hooks. These hooks
are intended to be slipped into the staples (_e_), which are firmly
secured into the ground, just as the old bull-rings were fixed. At _d_
are seen the tightening screws, which are simply turned by hand, and
shorten the wire ropes just as the connecting screws of a railway train
draw the carriages together.

The apparatus is so perfectly simple that it can be set up or taken down
by two boys in five minutes, or by one boy in rather a longer period.
The process is as follows:--

The uprights are slipped into the caps, and the hooks at the ends of the
wire ropes or stays are hitched into the staples of one side, say at
_e_. The uprights are then reared, and their bases set on the stones.
The hooks of the opposite stays are then hitched into the staples at _e
e_, and the screws at _d_ turned until the stays are quite tight and the
uprights are perfectly perpendicular.

It seems rather a complicated process to read about, but it is
remarkably simple when reduced to action. We have mounted and dismounted
one of these ingenious contrivances in a wonderfully short space of
time, and without any assistance.

For practising the feat of passing through the air from one trapeze to
another a double set of apparatus is required; but for most useful
purposes one set is sufficient. The ropes by which the bar is suspended
must be thoroughly stretched before they are attached to the bar, or
there will be no certainty in the swing. Few persons who have not had
practical experience on this subject would imagine how greatly the
length of a rope is increased by the process of stretching, and how
absolutely necessary is this precaution.

The ropes are passed at each end over an iron eye, the upper one of
which is hitched over a hook on the cross bar, and the other receives
the hook which suspends the bar. On looking at the illustration the
reader will notice these hooks just above the bar. They are useful,
because, when needed, a pair of rings can be substituted for the bar,
and permit certain variations in the performances, Still, their presence
or absence is quite optional, and the only remark that need be made is,
that they should be furnished with springs like the fastening of a
breguet chain, so as to guard against the possibility of slipping. The
bar itself must be very heavy, or otherwise it will not have sufficient
weight to keep the cords at full stretch, and in consequence will not
swing truly. Those which were employed by Leotard were iron, with a mere
shell of wood, so as to give a pleasant hold for the hands, and we have
seen them made of iron, coated with leather. The last point that needs
notice is the perch or stand from which the performer launches himself.
This may be fixed at any convenient elevation, and its centre should
exactly coincide with the centre of the bar. Having now the apparatus
ready, let us commence the performance.

Set the bar swinging boldly; ascend the perch quickly, and seize the bar
in both hands. Wait for a moment, until the ropes are fully stretched,
and then launch yourself for a swing. Now there are two ways of doing
everything--a right and a wrong way; and the present instance affords no
exception to the rule. The wrong way--and the usual way--is to fall
forwards from the perch. Now this is quite wrong; and if you act in such
a manner you will bungle your sway, and will not retain sufficient
impetus to enable you to return to the perch.

The right mode of starting is as follows: Stand as seen in the
accompanying illustration--the spine well bent backwards, the body
tolerably stiff, and leaning well against the heavy bar. Now draw
yourself up gently by the arms, as if you were trying to lift your chin
above the bar, and you will find yourself started without any trouble.
Keep the back still bent, and as you descend allow the arms gradually to
assume a perfectly straight position. You will then swing out fairly and
boldly, and by the least possible sway at the end of the swing will
retain sufficient impetus to enable you to resume your stand on the

Even in this there is an art. If you merely allow yourself to swing back
as you swing forward, you will be disagreeably reminded of your error,
by hitting the back of the leg smartly against the edge of the perch. In
order to avoid this misfortune, draw up the legs sharply just before you
reach the end of the return swing, and you will find them come down on
the perch with perfect ease.

If you are using the rings instead of the bar, you can vary this part
of the performance by turning round in the air, and crossing the ropes
so that you alight on the perch with your back towards the trapèze,
though it is necessary to give a sharp twist as your foot touches the
perch, and so to turn in the direction in which you started.


Take notice that the arms are always at full length during the swing,
and that the illustrations which represent the performer swinging with
bent arms are entirely erroneous. There is another fault into which the
artists mostly fall. Thinking that they are obtaining pictorial effect,
they represent the ropes which sustain the bar as forming an angle with
the arms of the performer, whereas the arms, body, and ropes are, or
ought to be, all in the same line.

The real attitude in the trapèze is given in the accompanying
illustration, wherein it will be seen that the ropes, the arms, and the
body are all in the same line; and, indeed, a little reflection will
prove that they must be so. Note the position and action, or rather the
non-action of the body, and be careful to imitate it. During the swing,
let the body and limbs hang at full length, and be sure to keep the feet
nearly together, and the toes pointed. The illustrations are all wrong
in this respect. They always _will_ show the performer in an attitude
which the draughtsman is pleased to think a graceful one; but it is
inexpressibly graceless and ridiculous in the eyes of a gymnast.


When you have accomplished the swing and return satisfactorily, you may
advance another step. Swing off as usual; and, when you have reached the
extremity of the swing, you will find yourself balanced for a moment
motionless, the attraction of gravitation being balanced by the impetus
of the swing. Just at this important point, shift your hold on the bar,
and change sides, as you would do if the bar were hanging quietly.

You will then face the spot whence you started, and in landing on the
perch you must be careful to give yourself a twist as you place your
feet on the perch, and with a slight exertion of the arms you will draw
yourself upright without difficulty, and without running the risk of
falling off the perch again--a frequent and ignominious misfortune.

It will now be time to practise the descent from the swinging trapèze to
the ground. Begin by sitting on the bar, grasping it with the hands, and
falling off backwards, taking care to come to the ground with pointed
toes and crossed feet. The reason of this precaution is that, if the
feet are crossed, the knees are separated, and that when the body
yields--as it must do when it touches the earth--there is no danger of
hitting the chin against the knee, and thereby receiving a momentary
shock to the brain by the teeth striking together.

When you can manage the “fall-back,” as it is called, with tolerable
ease and certainty, seize the bar with the hands, set it swinging,
keeping your face to the perch, and when you are nearly at the full
extent of the swing loosen your hold, and allow yourself to come to the
ground. Be very careful to point the toes, as has already been
described, and continue the practice until you can stand on the perch,
launch yourself backwards, and fly off at the highest point of the

Always leave the bar while you are swinging _backwards_, because the
attitude of the body is then such as to insure your coming to the ground
in the correct position; whereas, if you do so while swinging forward,
you are nearly certain to overbalance yourself, and either fall on your
nose, or go staggering along in a very ignominious style.

The next process is to start as usual, raise yourself in a sitting
position on the bar, and ask some one to remove the perch. Fall back as
before, only, instead of coming on the ground, hang by the legs, and
accustom yourself to swing in this attitude. When you can accomplish
that feat without difficulty, and feel no nervousness at your strange
position, remove one leg from the bar and hang by the other. Practise
this with both feet. It is not nearly so difficult as it looks, and is
an important feat to perform, because it gives such perfect presence of

The next feat looks positively awful, but, as usual in gymnastic
performances, is perfectly easy, requiring no skill at all and only a
little courage. Sit on the bar when it is still, and do the “fall-back.”
But, instead of allowing the feet to pass between the ropes, spread the
legs as far apart as possible, and bend up the feet rigidly. The
consequence is, that the insteps hitch in the ropes, slide down them,
and the body becomes suspended by the feet, which are firmly hitched
between the ropes and the bar, as seen in the accompanying illustration.


If you possess a second trapèze, you may now proceed to the beautiful
series of performances which are achieved upon them.

Let them at first be set moderately near each other, so that when the
bar of the first trapèze is at full swing, it passes within a yard or
four feet of the second. Start off as usual, and just as you are well on
the rise, after passing through the upright, loose your hold of the bar,
and you will pass through the air towards the second bar which you catch

If you perform the feat nicely, you will have so much impetus to spare
that you will be carried along on the second bar, and may either attempt
to return or quietly drop to the ground at the end of the swing. If you
prefer the latter course, be sure to turn through your arms and come
down on your toes.

You will find that the return to the perch, simple as it looks, is by
far the most difficult feat that has yet been mentioned. Make but the
least mistake and failure is certain. If you do not catch the bar
exactly at the right moment, you lose your impetus, and if you do not
seize it exactly in the right place you do not swing truly between the
uprights, and consequently cannot land on the spot at which you aim.

The method of performing this feat is as follows: Swing off the perch,
pass to the second bar, and while at the full extent of the swing,
change sides, and give yourself a slight impulse with the feet. You will
now meet the first bar swinging towards you, and if you can seize it
just at the right moment, you will find yourself with sufficient impetus
to reach the perch. If not, swing once more, give yourself a hearty
impulse with the legs and try it again. Failure is certain at first, but
after a little practice the feat becomes easy.

Here we must protest against the totally erroneous ideas of artists
respecting the attitude of the body while the performer passes from one
bar to another. We think that without an exception they all represent
him as shooting horizontally through the air, with his hands stretched
out, and with one leg bent and the other straight. Now, if any one will
watch a performer on the trapèze, he will see that the attitude is
nearly perpendicular, and that any other position is really absurd and


In the accompanying illustration, we have given a sketch of the real
attitude of the performer, wherein it will be seen that the body is
nearly perpendicular, and that the arms are kept bent, with the hands
close to the shoulders, ready to be darted out in a moment when the
trapèze swings within distance.

We are the more particular in giving these illustrations, because they
are needed in order to correct the very false notions which are
prevalent respecting this beautiful exercise. Parents especially are apt
to form their judgments from the illustrations which are seen upon
advertising bills and in illustrated journals, and thinking that the
exercise must be attended with great danger, do not like to give their
permission for their sons to learn it.

Let our readers be assured that there is no more danger in this
beautiful exercise than in jumping over a chair--perhaps not quite so
much--while the manner in which it develops the muscular powers of the
arms, shoulders, and loins, is unapproachable by any other system.

One caution is, however, needful. Take care that every loop and splice
be perfectly secure, look over the whole of the apparatus daily, and
never venture upon the trapèze until you have ascertained that nothing
is likely to give way. If you perceive the slightest feeling of
insecurity, the whole enjoyment of the exercise is lost, and no benefit
can be expected from it.


_The book._--Fix a book between the toes of the feet, and, by a jerk,
throw it over the head.

_The chalk line._--Draw a line with chalk on the floor; against this
place the toes of both feet; then kneel down, and rise up again without
leaving the line, or using the hands.

_Stepping through._--Take a small piece of cane about a foot long, and
holding it between the hands, leap through it. Afterwards take a
tobacco-pipe, and perform the same feat without breaking; after this,
join the hands together, and leap through them, which is not very
difficult of accomplishment.

_Armless._--Lying upon the back with the arms across the chest, the
attempt must be made to rise on the feet again.

_Hop against the wall._--Stand with one toe close against the wall,
about two feet from the ground, and turn the other over it, without
removing the toe from the wall.

_Stoop if you can._--One boy having placed his heels against the wall,
another must place near his toes a shilling, and tell him he may have it
if he can pick it up. This he will find to be impossible for him to do
while his heels touch the wall, as there is no room for his back to
balance the other parts of his body.

_The spring from the wall._--Placing yourself at a proper distance from
the wall with your face opposite to it, throw yourself forward until you
support yourself by one hand. Then spring back into your former
position. Begin this feat at a short distance from the wall, and
increase the distance by degrees. The “athlete” will, in a short time,
be able to stand at nearly the length of his body from the wall. This
feat is sometimes called the palm spring, but the palm has really
nothing to do with it. The thumb spring is similar, but dangerous, and
many have sprained their thumbs in attempting it.


_The long reach._--This is a somewhat difficult feat, and requires great
caution in its performance. A line is chalked on the floor, at which the
toes must be placed, and from which they are not to remove. The left
hand is then to be thrown forward in a long reach until the body
descends upon it, without any part touching the floor in its descent;
the right hand is now to be stretched out as far forward as possible,
and with a piece of chalk, a mark is made on the floor at its fullest
extent, the body being sustained by the left hand during the operation.
The boy should now recover the upright position on his legs, by
springing back from the left hand without touching the floor in any way.
The length reached, and the perfection with which the body recovers
itself, distinguishes the winner of the game.


_The stooping stretch._--In this feat a line is drawn on the floor, at
which the outer edge of the left foot is placed, and behind this, at a
short distance, the right heel. Taking a piece of chalk in the left
hand, the youngster passes it between the legs, and under the bend of
the left knee, chalking the floor with it as far forward as he can. He
then recovers his position without moving his feet from the line at
which they had been fixed.


_The chair feat._--Place three chairs in the situation indicated in the
cut (p. 264), and lay down upon them, the head resting on one, the heels
upon another, and the lower part of the body on the third or middle
chair, which should be much lighter than the others. Then, by stiffening
the body and limbs, and throwing up the chest into a state of rigidity,
it will not be difficult for a boy to remove the middle chair, and to
pass it quite over on the other side of him.


_The poker feat._--Take a common poker and hold it the lower end
downwards, in the manner shown in the cut, _i. e._ by the fingers,
thumb, and ball of the palm. Then, by the mere motion of the fingers and
thumb, and the fulcrum of the palm, work the poker upwards till you
raise it through the whole length to that part of it which goes into the
fire. This trick depends mainly upon the strength of the muscles of the
hand and fingers, combined with a certain knack to be acquired by


_The stick feat, or from hand to mouth._--Take a piece of stick of the
length of the fore arm, measuring from the elbow to the end of the
middle finger. Hold it in the hand horizontally before you, the knuckles
being down and the nails upwards, and the elbow being on a line with the
hand. Then raise the left end of the stick from the breast to the mouth,
without any other movement of the hand than the arm at the wrist. This
is a difficult feat, but may be easily acquired by practice.



_Walking on stilts._--Among the Swiss, and in several districts in the
South of France, walking on stilts is not only an amusing, but a useful
practice, as by means of these crane-like legs men and women transform
themselves into the order of “Waders,” emulating the long-legged storks
and herons, and can cross over marshes and flooded grounds without
wetting their feet. Stilts are easily made, being nothing but a pair of
poles, with a wooden step at the sides for the feet to stand on. The
poles are kept in their proper place by the hands. A little practice
will soon render a youth “easy on his stilts,” and they may be made an
amusing and healthy exercise.


In all the general principles, hockey bears a great resemblance to
foot-ball, the game consisting in driving a ball through a goal. The
ball, however, is of much smaller dimensions, even where a ball, and not
a bung, is used; and it is impelled, not by the foot, but by certain
sticks, or clubs, called hockeys, or hookeys, because the end with which
the ball is struck is more or less hooked.

The shape and dimensions of the hockey-stick are entirely arbitrary,
being left to the peculiar taste of the owners. Some like their hockeys
to be sharply hooked, while others prefer them merely bent over at the
end. Some players like a very thick, heavy stick, which can be put down
in front of the ball in order to neutralize the blows of the opposite
side, while others can play best with a slight and springy weapon, that
can be used with one hand, and is employed to tap the ball away just as
an opponent is about to strike, and to coax it, as it were, towards the
goal through the mass of adverse sticks.


The four sticks shown in the engraving are very good samples of the
forms best adapted for use. Fig. 1 is much in favour with some players,
and is therefore given; but for our own part we never could play to our
satisfaction with it, the large and deep curve deceiving the eye and
causing the player to let the ball pass through the hook, besides
running the risk of entanglement in the opponent’s stick.

Fig. 2 is usually a favourite, but the angle of the head with the handle
is arranged according to the fancy of the player. Some like the head to
be made of horn, backed with lead like a golf-stick; but this formation
is hardly necessary, costing a rather large sum, and not conveying
correspondent advantages.

Fig. 3 is a queer and eccentric form, which is not suitable to every
player on account of its weight and generally large proportions. We
have, however, seen it employed with extraordinary effect by a player
who was accustomed to drive his opponents into a state of considerable
excitement by his faculty of stopping the ball with this overgrown
weapon, and then planting it so firmly that all the opposing sticks
could not get at the ball in spite of their battering. In this way he
would save many a game that had well-nigh been given up as hopeless, and
by thus checking the ball on its way to the goal, would give time for
his own side to come up and turn the tables. The great hooked end of
this club was bound with very strong iron wire.

The same player was equally successful with a stick the exact reverse of
the preceding, and represented as fig. 4. This was a very slight ashen
stick, with a small, but rather heavy head, so that when shaken it would
bend and spring like whalebone. This little stick was used for darting
among the struggles and clatter of contending weapons, and giving the
ball just a wee pat now and then at critical moments, so as to edge it a
little nearer the goal, and at the same time to knock it away just as
the blow of the opponent descended.


The ball used for this game is sometimes an ordinary cask bung. As this
would speedily be knocked to pieces, it is generally quilted with
string, as shown in the illustration, for the better preserving its
integrity. Sooner or later, however, it goes to pieces, for the string
is sure to be cut or worn through, and the cork soon gives way. Balls,
too, are apt to get their jackets knocked off, and if struck hard will
sometimes fly in the face of a player, who cannot avoid it at so short a
distance, and do no small damage. A hollow india-rubber ball is very
good; but the best that we have yet seen, was a common globular
india-rubber bottle, such as can be procured at any stationer’s, with
the neck cut off, and partly filled up by leaving a strip of the neck
and securing it by the proper varnish.

It made a capital ball. Nothing could hurt it, and it could hurt no one.
We have had it driven into our face at two yards’ distance, and felt
little the worse for it five minutes afterwards. It would not roll very
far by itself, but required to be edged carefully by the sticks; it
never could get cut against flints, or spoiled by thorns or splinters;
it was big enough to be easily seen if knocked into a ditch or over a
hedge, and if struck into water it would not sink but come to the
surface at once, bobbing about as if to draw attention to its presence.
It remained in constant action for two years to our knowledge, had been
employed for several seasons before we made its acquaintance, and for
aught we know may be in use now. In fact, if it were only kept out of
the way of a fire or an ostrich, we know nothing that would hurt the
ball except burning or swallowing. Even in the latter case we fancy that
the ostrich would be the sufferer rather than the ball.

Having now described the instruments, we will proceed to the method of
playing the game.

As has already been mentioned, this game is in principle similar to
foot-ball. Two goals are set up, at a convenient distance from and
exactly opposite to each other, as in foot-ball. The same goals indeed
will answer as for that game, only the cross pole should be lashed to
the uprights at a much lower elevation, say three feet six inches or
four feet from the ground, and the uprights should be within six feet of
each other. Very good and simple goals can be made by taking long
osiers, willow branches or brambles, pointing the two ends, bending them
over and sticking the pointed extremities into the earth, so as to make
an arch. A peg is driven exactly half-way between the goals, goal-lines
are drawn as at foot-ball, and the ground is then laid out.

The players, having previously chosen their sides, arrange themselves
between the goals, facing each other, and always having their left sides
towards the enemy’s goal and their right towards their own. The ball is
then thrown in the air, so as to fall on or near the wooden peg, and
each party try with their sticks to drive it through the goal of the

The rules of this fine game are few and simple.

1. The game is won by the ball passing through the enemy’s goal.

2. The ball must be struck through the goal with the stick, not thrown
or kicked.

3. Each player shall strike from right to left, and any player
infringing this rule is liable to the penalty of a blow on the shins
from any of the opposite side.

4. Each player shall remain on his own side, and if he crosses to that
of the opponents is liable to the same penalty.

5. No player shall raise the head of his stick higher than his shoulder,
on pain of the same penalty.

6. The ball may be stopped with the stick, or with any part of the
person, provided that the intervening player is on his own side.

7. If the ball be kicked or thrown through the goal, or if struck beyond
the goal-lines, it is to be fetched by the junior player of the side who
struck the last blow, and gently thrown towards the centre peg.

8. Any player wilfully striking another, except when inflicting the
penalty contained in rules 3, 4, and 5, is immediately to be excluded
from the game.

By means of these rules, the game of hockey is shorn of the danger
consequent on the loose and unrestrained play that is sometimes seen,
the sticks brandished in all directions, and the two sides so intermixed
that it is hardly possible to discriminate between them. Many a person
has been seriously damaged by such undisciplined play, and teeth have
been struck out, or even eyes lost in the contest. By strict adherence,
however, to the above rules, there is no fear of incurring any
injuries, and this really fine game is rendered as safe as it is

As a general rule, a good player seldom if ever strikes the ball with
any violence, but keeps it well in hand, trundling it along rather than
knocking it forcibly, and endeavouring, if he finds it likely to pass
out of his control, to strike it gently towards another of his own side,
who may keep it in its course towards the enemy’s goal.

A bad player, on the contrary, rushes about without any definite
purpose, shouts continually at the top of his voice, brandishes his
stick to the danger of other persons’ eyes and the detriment of his own
hands, which are sure to be painfully blistered in half an hour, and
exhausts his strength and breath so early in the game, that he fails
just at the critical moment, and sees the ball driven past him without
being able to check it.

As a parting word of advice, let us recommend to our readers to play
this game as quietly as they can contrive to do, and as a golden rule,
always to keep the head of the hockey-stick close to the ground.

Above all, keep your temper intact, and don’t lose it even if one of
your own side should make some stupid mistake, and lose you a winning
game. Take especial care to keep strictly to the rules, and if your
opponent should break them and render himself liable to the penalty, be
merciful to his shins, and inflict the punishment as a warning to deter
from future transgression, and not as a spiteful opportunity for giving
a blow which cannot be returned.


This game is not easily played without what is called a racket ground,
which consists of a large space of ground, a parallelogram, of not less
than fifty yards long, by twenty-five broad. Where such an advantage
presents itself, the game may be easily attempted. Sometimes the high
dead wall of a garden may be made into a racket wall, by fixing up some
boards and net-work along the top, supposing there is space enough
below, when the game may be played in a small way. The wall should be
painted black, and the ground be divided into four equal divisions,
which should be distinctly marked either by chipping a groove in it by a
spade, or by chalk. It is very essential, however, that the flooring of
the court should be paved. These divisions are, two close to the wall,
as A and B, and two in front of them, as C and D, which divisions are
occupied by those who play the game. The wall should be marked by a
broad line of white paint at forty-two inches from the ground, and above
this line every ball must strike. The ball is, according to law, only to
weigh one ounce, and is either white, or made so from time to time by
dipping into a bag of chalk, that it may be the better seen against the
black wall by the players. The ball is made of pure white and
tightly-sewn leather. The bat used to propel the ball is of a legal
make, and its lower end of a spoon form, over which is placed a strong
net-work of silk-wire, or catgut. The bat is called a racket.


_How the game is played._--Rackets is a very simple game, and may be
played either by two or more players. When it is played by four persons,
one stands in each of the compartments, A, B, C, D; those near the wall
being called in-hand, and those furthest from it out-hand players. When
two play, each player takes two of the divisions, and the one who takes
the A first from the wall is called in-hand player, and the other
out-hand player. Having determined by lot who is to begin the game, the
in-hand player nearest the wall strikes his ball against it; if it
strikes under the line, goes over the wall, does not rebound into the
out-hand spaces, or goes beyond the racket ground, the striker is out,
and the out-hand player takes his place; but if the player is more
successful, and the ball rebounds into the out-hand spaces, and hopping
from the ground is sent back to the wall again, to rebound into one of
the in spaces, the game goes on. In a close-court game the “server” who
serves the ball properly above the line but not accurately into his
adversary’s court is allowed three trials before his “hand” is out. The
play of the game is, that the in-player should send the ball in such a
manner against the wall that, on its rebound, the opposite party, or
player, shall be able to pick it up or hit it. Whenever this happens, he
who struck the ball counts one point, or an ace, and the play is
continued until one player or party scores eleven, or, as is sometimes
and now more frequently played, fifteen.

This capital game, so conducive to health and affording such excellent
exercise, may be played either in an open court--that is, a court with
only one wall, against which the game is played--or in a closed court
which is surrounded by four walls. Sometimes a compromise is made by the
employment of the ordinary high front wall, and a smaller back wall,
omitting the side walls altogether. The closed court game is the best
and far the most scientific, but the great expense necessary for
erecting a proper court compels many to content themselves with an
ordinary old-fashioned open court game, for there seems little doubt
that the open court game is the oldest and the one which in old days was
held in highest favour.



    “Fleet as the wind, he shoots along the plain,
    And knows no check, nor heeds the curbing rein;
    His fiery eyeballs, formidably bright,
    Dart a fierce glory, and a glowing light;
    Proud with excess of life he paws the ground,
    Tears up the turf, and spurns the sand around.”--_Blacklock._

A boy on horseback is a king on his throne; he feels more than “boy” the
moment he gets astride of anything in the shape of a nag. Boys have an
instinct for riding, an impulse they cannot resist, like the instinct
for eating, breathing or moving. In his earliest days, in the very
“boyhood of being,” “Ride a-cock horse to Banbury Cross” is a ditty of
infinite delight, and long before the days of corderoys the equestrian
exercise of “Grandfather’s Stick” affords him “joy ineffable.” Then
comes the noble game of Hippas, or the wooden “Bucephalus,” on which he
feels greater than Alexander; and last, though very little, yet still
not _least_, the “pet Shetland,” which adds to the bliss of being
mounted, a positive progressive locomotion, and the “greater than
Alexander” is made greater still. Considering, therefore, that all boys
love riding, it is for us to tell them how they may “mount the fiery
Pegasus,” and ride with elegance and safety,

    “To witch the world with noble horsemanship.”

[Illustration: RIDING.]


The horse is one of the most beautiful and graceful animals in nature,
and perhaps the most useful to man, though in this respect it would be
difficult to say which of the four or five domesticated quadrupeds bears
the palm. During life, the horse and the dog would each contest the
point; while in relative value after death, the bullock, sheep, and
swine, are fairly entitled to an equal share with them. But there is
something very captivating in the appearance of the horse, whether used
for the purposes of war, or for racing, or for hunting, or road-work;
and in all these several capacities the readers of this book may
possibly admire him, though it is chiefly as the riding-horse, or hack,
that he usually attracts their notice.

In the animal kingdom, the horse belongs to the division VERTEBRATA, and
class MAMMALIA, he having a back-bone composed of vertebræ, and his
young being suckled. His broad and undivided hoof places him among the
_ungulata_; and lastly, his teeth are as follows, viz. six front teeth,
above and below, called “nippers;” two canine in each jaw, called
“tusks;” and the remainder, consisting of grinders, having flat surfaces
opposed to each other, with rough ridges on them, by which the grass,
hay, and corn are rubbed or ground down to a fine pulp, adapted to the
stomach. These teeth are moved or rolled on each other by a peculiar
action of the muscles of the jaw, so as to aid the process.


By means of the gradual wearing down of the front teeth, or nippers, the
age of the horse may be known. Each of the nippers has a hollow in its
upper surface, which is very deep and black when the tooth first rises
above the gum, and is gradually effaced by the friction caused by the
cropping of the grass, or by biting at the manger, or other kinds of
rubbing; but as these vary a good deal according to circumstances, so
the precise degree of wearing away will also be liable to fluctuations;
and the rules laid down only approximate to the truth, without positive
accuracy as to a few months. There are also two sets of teeth; a milk
set, which first rise, beginning at once after birth, and a permanent
set, which replace the milk-teeth as they fall out. The milk-teeth come
up two at a time, but all are up by the end of the first year. The
permanent teeth, also, make their appearance by twos, the first pair
showing themselves in the place of the two middle milk-teeth in the
third year, and being generally level with the other milk-teeth by the
end of the fourth year, by which time the next pair have fallen out, and
the permanent teeth have shown themselves in their places. At five years
of age the horse has lost all his nippers, and his corner permanent
teeth have nearly completed their growth. The tusks are also above the
gums. The centre nippers are now much worn, and the next are becoming
slightly so. At six years old the “mark” in the centre nippers is quite
gone; at seven years of age this disappears from the next pair, and at
eight from the corner nippers; after which, none but a professed judge
is likely to make out the age of the horse by an inspection of his
mouth; and, indeed, at all times the tyro is liable to be deceived by
the frauds of the low horse-dealer, who cuts off the top of the teeth,
and then scoops out a hollow with a gouge; after which a hot iron gives
the black surface which in the natural state is presented to the eye.
This trick is called “bishoping.”


The natural paces of the horse are the walk, trot, and the gallop; to
them are added by man the canter, and sometimes the amble and the run.
In the walk, each leg is taken up and put down separately, one after the
other, the print of the hind foot in good walkers generally extending a
few inches beyond that of the fore foot. The order in which the feet
touch the ground is as follows: 1st, the off fore foot; 2d, the near
hind foot; 3d, the near fore foot; and 4th, the off hind foot.




The gallop consists of a succession of leaps, during a great part of
which all the feet are off the ground. As the feet come to the ground
they strike it in regular succession; but the exact order will depend
upon the lead, which may be either with the off or near fore leg. When
in action and the horse is leading with the off fore foot (which if
well broken he would do), the off hind and near fore feet touch the
ground simultaneously next the near hind foot, and lastly, the off fore
foot which he leads with. In the trot, the two legs of opposite sides
are moved exactly together, and touch the ground at the same moment;
whilst in the amble the two legs of _each side_ move together, and the
horse is supported for the instant upon the half of his usual and
regular foundation. To counteract this deficiency in the centre of
gravity, the body is balanced from side to side in a waddling manner.


The left side is called the “near side,” the right the “off.” Four
inches make “a hand.” The upper part of the horse’s neck is called his
“crest;” the bony ridge in front of the saddle the “withers,” the part
between the saddle and the tail the “croup;” the bony points, one on
each side the bosom, the “shoulder points;” and the line between these
and the back of the withers, corresponding with the shoulder blade, is
the “line of the shoulder.” The body between the hip and shoulder line
is called the “middle piece.” In the fore legs, the two divisions are
called the “arm” and “cannon;” above which is the “elbow-joint,” and
between them the “knee-joint.” In the hind leg, the two parts are called
the “thigh” and “cannon;” and the joints are the “stifle” and “hock.”
Below these, in both the hind and fore legs, are the upper and lower
“pasterns,” then the “coronet,” or ring between the leg and foot, and
lastly, “the hoof.”


It is a common observation of the horseman that the horse can go in all
forms; and this is borne out by the fact, that he does occasionally do
so; but nevertheless, it is well known, that among a large number it
will be found that those whose form is most in accordance with the shape
considered the best by good judges, will turn out the best movers. In
technical language, the horse whose “points” are the best will be the
best horse. These points are considered to be: a neat head well set on a
lean wiry neck, the latter with a very gentle curve, whose convexity
looks upwards (the opposite form to this makes the “ewe neck”);
moderately high withers; a sloping shoulder, wide in the blade, which
should be well furnished with muscles; strong muscular loins; a croup
not too straight nor too drooping, with the tail set on with an elegant
sweep; ribs well rounded, and carried back near to the hips, so as to
make the horse what is called “well ribbed;” circumference or girth of
good dimensions, indicating plenty of “bellows’ room;” thighs and arms
muscular; hocks and knees bony and large, without being diseased; cannon
bones large and flat, with the suspensory ligament and tendon large,
strong, and clearly defined; fetlock joints strong, but not round and
inflamed. The eye should be full, clear, and free from specks; and the
ears should be moderately small and erect; the feet should be round, and
not contracted at the heels, with a well-formed frog.


Besides the several kinds of horses suitable for grown people, those for
boys are the galloway, the cob, and the pony. The first of these may be
considered either a small horse or a large pony, and is usually about
fourteen hands high; and though strong and capable of carrying weight,
yet of a moderately light and active make. He is so called from the
district where he was originally bred in large numbers. The cob is a
thick and very strong pony, or galloway, frequently made to look still
more so by cutting his tail and mane short, called “hogging” them,


Correctly speaking, a pony is understood to be under thirteen hands in
height, a galloway between thirteen and fourteen and a half, anything
over that a horse.

Many ponies are now bred almost of pure Arabian blood, and they are well
suited for lads who have mastered the early difficulties connected with
keeping the seat under all ordinary circumstances; but as they are
generally very high-spirited, they are scarcely suited for the beginner,
and he had better content himself with an animal of more plebeian
pedigree and sluggish temperament.


Required by the young amateur, are either a pad or saddle, according to
his age, together with a bridle and a whip or stick. Spurs are seldom
desirable for any but the accomplished rider, as they are apt to
irritate the pony if not used with discretion, and it is rather
difficult to put an old head upon young shoulders. If the learner is
very young, a pad which is made without any tree affords a better hold
for the knees than a regular saddle, and will also enable him to ride
without stirrups, which feat he will hardly manage on an ordinary smooth
saddle. The stirrups are of the following form, but are often, for boys,
made much lighter. They ought always to be used with strong stirrup
leathers, and these should be attached to the saddle by spring-bars,
which release the stirrups in case of the leg being entangled in them
after a fall. The groom should always remove the leathers after the
ride, and replace them on the opposite side of the saddle, by which
means their tendency to hang as shown at (_a_), is rectified, and they
assume the position indicated by the one marked (_b_), both representing
the left, or near, side.



The bridle is either a single or a double-reined one, according to the
mouth of the pony ridden. A single-reined bridle is usually a snaffle,
it being very improper to allow any one to ride with a curb alone,
unless he has very steady and light hands. The snaffle bit is merely a
jointed bar of iron (5 5) in the accompanying sketch, but when used
alone it has a light cross-bar as well as the ring there shown, in order
to prevent the bit being pulled through the mouth. This, however, in the
double-reined bridle is omitted, since it would interfere with the
action of the curb. Snaffles are either smooth or twisted, and are made
of all sizes, the smallest being only adapted for occasional use, and
not for the hands of the learner, who should have a large smooth one.
The curb-bit consists of three parts; the mouthpiece (1), which usually
has a bend in it called the port, for the purpose of pressing against
the roof of the mouth; secondly, of the cheek-piece (2), which has a
ring (3) at the lower end for the attachment of the rein, and another at
the upper end for the head-piece of the bridle; and thirdly, the
curb-chain (4). This chain is pressed against the outside of the lower
jaw, by the upper arm of the curb used as a lever, and it should be
hooked up sufficiently tight to act upon it by pulling the rein, whilst
at the same time it should be loose enough to prevent its fretting the
jaw. This delicacy of adjustment requires some little practice, and the
young rider should always ask his teacher to show him the proper mode of
applying the curb-chain. Sometimes a martingale is needed, in order to
keep the pony’s head down, but generally the young rider is better
without it, if he will keep his hands well down, and avoid all jerking
of the mouth.



The rider, even at the earliest age, should first examine the girths and
the bridle, and see if they are properly adjusted; for though when
leaving home he may be able to depend upon a steady and experienced
groom, yet, after putting up at strange stables, he is liable to be led
into an accident by careless servants, and therefore it is better to get
into the habit of always inspecting these essentials to safety and
comfort. If there is an attendant groom, he should hold the rein with
his right hand, standing by the off shoulder of the horse, so as with
his left hand to hold the stirrup iron for the rider’s right foot as he
throws it over the horse’s back. The next thing to be done is for the
rider to stand at the shoulder of the pony with his left side towards
that part. He then lays hold of the reins with his left hand, drawing
them up so short as to feel the mouth, and at the same time twisting a
lock of the mane in his fingers so as to steady the hand. Next, the left
foot is placed in the stirrup when the accompanying attitude is
presented, exactly as here shown. At this moment a spring is given from
the right foot, the right hand reaches the cantle of the saddle, and the
body is raised till the right leg is brought up to the level of the
left, when the slightest imaginable pause is made, and then the right
leg is thrown over the back of the pony, keeping the toe down and heel
elevated, or with the spur on mischief may happen, while the right hand
leaves its hold, and the body falls into its position in the centre of
the saddle; after which, the right foot has only to be placed in the
stirrup to complete the act of mounting.



Is exactly the reverse of the last process, and requires, first, the
reins to be shortened and held in the left hand with a lock of the mane;
secondly, the right leg is taken out of the stirrup, and is thrown over
the back of the horse until it is brought down to the level of the other
leg. After this, if the pony is of a small size, suitable to that of the
rider, the body is gently lowered to the ground, and the left leg is
liberated from the stirrup; but if the horse is too high for this, the
foot is taken out of the stirrup by raising the body by means of the
hands on the pommel and cantle of the saddle, and then the body is
lowered to the ground by their assistance.



Is of great importance to the comfort of the rider, and also to his
appearance, for unless they are held properly, the body is sure to be
awkwardly balanced. When the single rein is used, the best position is
to place the middle, ring, and little fingers between the two reins, and
then to turn both over the fore-finger, where they are tightly held by
the thumb. In all cases the thumb ought to point towards the horse’s
ears, by which the elbow is sure to be kept in its place close to the
side, and a good command of the reins is insured. If a double-reined
bridle is employed, the middle finger separates the two snaffle reins,
and the little one those attached to the curb, all being turned over the
fore-finger, and firmly held by the thumb. In both cases the ends of the
reins are turned over the left, or near, side of the pony’s shoulder.
When it is intended to turn the horse to the left, it is only necessary
to raise the thumb towards the chest of the rider; and on the contrary,
when the desire is to turn him to the right, the little finger is turned
downwards and backwards towards the fork. In many well-broken ponies the
mere moving of the whole hand to the right or left is sufficient, which,
by pressing the reins against the neck, indicates the wish of the rider,
and is promptly responded to by the handy pony. This action, however, is
objected to by some good horsemen, though, in my opinion, most
erroneously, as it is capable of being made highly effective in



Should always be square to the front, without either shoulder being in
advance; the loins moderately arched inwards without stiffness; the
elbows close to the side, but held easily; the knees placed upon the
padded part of the flat _in front_ of the stirrup-leathers; toes turned
very slightly outwards, and the foot resting on the stirrup, the inside
of which should be opposite the ball of the great toe, and the outside
corresponding with the little toe. In hunting, however, it may be placed
“home,” that is, with the stirrup close to the instep. The heel should
be well lowered as far as possible beneath the level of the toe, which
gives a firm seat. But the great point is to obtain a good grasp of the
saddle by the knees, which should be always ready to lay hold like a
vice, without however constantly tiring the muscles by such an effort.
The left hand is now to be held very slightly above the pommel of the
saddle, and the right easily by the side of it, with the whip held in a
slanting position, as at page 273, in which however both hands are much
too high above the withers. In order to show the effect of an incorrect
mode of holding the reins, the rider has only to place his hands with
the knuckles in a horizontal position, and the elbow is sure to be
turned out in a most awkward manner.


Is effected by the reins, heels, voice, and whip, variously used
according to his disposition and temper. Some require only the most
gentle usage, which in fact is almost always the most efficacious,
especially by young people, for whom the horse and dog seem to have an
especial affection, and to be always more ready to obey them than might
be expected, when their want of strength to enforce their wishes is
considered. The young rider will therefore generally find it to his own
interest, as well as that of the noble animal he bestrides, to use his
whip and heel as little as possible, and to effect his object solely by
his voice and the gentlest pressure of the bit. In this way the most
high-couraged horses are kept in order by young lads in the racing
stables, and the amateur will do well to follow their example. It is
astonishing how fond horses and dogs are of being talked to by their
juvenile masters, and it is right to gratify their love of society by so
doing on all occasions. The reins serve, as already explained, to turn
to the right or left, or by drawing tight to stop the horse, and on the
contrary, by relaxing them to cause him to proceed, aided if necessary
by the voice, heel, or whip. When it is desired that the right leg
should lead in the canter or gallop, the left rein is pulled and the
left leg pressed against the flank, by which means the body of the pony
is made to present the right side obliquely forwards, and by consequence
the right leg leads off. On the other hand, if it is wished to lead with
the left leg, or to change from the right, the right rein is pulled, the
right leg pressed to the side, and then the left shoulder looks forwards
and the left leg leads off.


When it is wished to make the pony walk, he must be quieted down by
soothing him with the voice if he has been excited by the gallop or
trot; and then, by sitting very quietly in the saddle, and loosing the
reins as much as will allow the head to nod in unison with the action of
the body and legs, the walk is generally at once fallen into, and there
is no farther difficulty except to prevent a stumble. A tight rein is
not desirable in this pace, since it prevents that liberty of action
which is required, and leads to a short walk, or very often a jog-trot;
and yet there should be such a gentle hold, or preparation for a hold
rather, as will suffice to check the mouth in case of a mistake. This is
a very difficult art to acquire, and is only learnt by long practice;
but as few ponies fall at this pace, great liberty may generally be
allowed to their mouths. Besides this, little is necessary, more than to
sit steadily, _but not stiffly_, in the saddle, and not to sway about
more than is sufficient to avoid the appearance of having swallowed a


Are effected by rather different methods, but both require a very steady
hand, and a quiet treatment. In order to cause the pony to trot, the
reins are taken rather short in the hand, and the mouth is held somewhat
firmly, but taking great care not to jerk it. The animal is then
slightly stimulated by the voice, and the body, if necessary, rises from
the saddle, as in the trot, so as to indicate what is wanted. This
seldom fails to effect the purpose, and the horse at once breaks into a
trot; or, if very irritable, he may be compelled to do so by laying hold
of an ear and twisting it, to avoid which he drops his head, and trots
as a natural consequence. The canter is also an acquired pace, and for
its due performance a curb-bridle is required. In order to make the pony
begin this pace, the left rein is pulled, and the rider’s left leg
pressed against the side, by which the horse’s right leg is made to lead
off, this being the most usual, and certainly the most comfortable
“lead” for the rider. The hands must make a very gentle and steady pull
on the curb-rein, and the body generally must be very quiet in the
saddle, whilst, at the same time, a very gentle stimulus is given by
the voice, which must be repeated at short intervals, or the canter will
be changed to a trot, or walk, both of which are preferred to it by most
ponies and horses. Young riders should avoid cantering long upon one
leg, as it leads to inflammation of the joints, and they should either
change the lead or alter the pace to a trot or walk.



Requires little instruction, practice being the main agent in effecting
a good seat during this pace. The seat is either close to the saddle,
with the body inclining backwards (p. 275), or standing in the stirrups,
in which position the knees and calves only touch the saddle, and the
body is bent forwards over the withers (p. 273). It should be the
endeavour of the rider, while he bends his shoulders forwards, to throw
his loins well back, so as to avoid straining the horse’s fore-quarters,
by bearing too much weight upon them. This is done by the hold of the
knees on the saddle, and by keeping the feet back, also by rounding the
loins backwards, and thus throwing the centre of gravity as far as
possible behind the stirrup leathers. The object of standing in the
stirrups is to save the horse when at his full gallop, as in racing, or
in hunting, when he is going over ploughed ground or up hill. In either
of these cases, this attitude allows the horse to exert himself without
feeling the weight of the rider impede his movements more than can be


Is only an extra exertion added to the ordinary spring of the gallop,
the attitude being exactly the same. It is best learnt by beginning with
small ditches, which the rider is soon able to clear without difficulty.
He may next try sheep-hurdles, or very low stiles; but the latter being
strong and firmly fixed, are dangerous to the rider, unless the pony is
very sure of clearing them. A leaping-bar, if procurable, should always
be adopted in preference to either, as a fall over it is not attended
with any bad consequences. The groom should place it at the lowest
notch, and the pony then may be suffered to clear it at a moderate
gallop; after which, if the young rider is able to sit pretty closely,
he may be indulged with a higher notch, and gradually it may be raised
until the limits of the pony’s powers are reached. In riding at a bar,
the learner should lay hold of a snaffle-rein in each hand, taking care
to keep them close together, by the right rein being held also in the
left hand. The pony is then to be urged to a smart canter or hand
gallop, and held straight to the bar in this way, so that he is obliged
to leap; or if disliking the act, being urged by the whip down the
shoulder, or the spur, or the groom’s voice and whip behind. Young
riders, however, should never be put upon a bad or reluctant leaper, but
should be taught upon one which is fond of the amusement. At the moment
of rising into the air for the leap the reins are relaxed, but should
not be left quite loose; while the pony is in the air the body becomes
upright, and as he descends it leans well back, until, after a high
leap, it almost touches the croup. During this period the reins should
be suffered to remain nearly loose, the hand barely feeling the mouth;
but as the pony reaches the ground a stronger hold is taken, in order to
guard against a mistake, which might require the aid of the rider to
prevent a fall. It is not that he can keep the animal up, but that he
checks him, and makes him exert himself in a double degree. There are
various kinds of leaping; as the flying leap, the standing leap, the
leap in hand, &c. The flying leap is merely one taken at a fast pace,
and when the rider can maintain a good seat in the gallop, it is the
easiest of all to sit. The standing leap is effected from a state of
quiescence, and is much more difficult to sit, because the horse rises
and falls more suddenly and abruptly. Between the two is the slow or
steady leap, which is only effected safely by the clever hunter or
well-broken pony; but when perfect it is almost as smooth as a
rocking-horse. This is the mode in which the young rider should be
taught to leap. Leaping in hand is necessary for most ponies in the
hunting field, which would otherwise never be able to compete with
full-sized hunters in the way they do. The young hunter, when he meets
with a gate or other strong fence, which he knows is too much for the
powers of his pony, at once gets off and leads him over by the rein; and
when well taught, these little creatures will often tilt themselves over
high timber, &c. in a marvellously clever manner, so that I have known
them in this way obtain a good place in long and severe runs. If,
therefore, my readers are allowed to partake in this exciting sport
during their Christmas holidays, they should teach their ponies to leap
in hand, or they will be sure to be thrown out.



The chief vices which are met with among ponies are--1st, Obstinate
Stopping; 2d, Stumbling from Carelessness; 3d, Rearing; 4th, Kicking;
5th, Shying; and 6th, Running Away.


_Obstinate Stopping_, which in its worst forms is called “jibbing,” is a
very troublesome vice, and even in the saddle is sometimes attended with
danger, whilst in driving it is so to a dreadful degree.

The rider should never attempt to force his pony forward with the whip
or spur, which only aggravates the bad-tempered brute; but should
patiently sit quiet in the saddle, and keep his temper, until the pony
chooses to move forward again. In this way sometimes very vicious
animals are cured when they find that their stable is not the sooner
reached by their device; on the other hand, if the whip is used, the
pony, especially if of Welsh breed, is very apt to lie down and roll his
rider in the dirt, or even sometimes to bolt into a river, or pond, and
leave him in danger of his life. My young friends will therefore
remember my advice when being mounted upon an obstinate pony, and having
lost their tempers, they have proceeded to use their whips, and are
bemired or half drowned in consequence.

_Stumbling_ is more a defect of conformation than a vice; but
nevertheless, it greatly depends upon a want of spirit to keep up a
steady action of the fore legs. It often happens that a pony trots along
for a mile or two safely enough; but after going that distance he
becomes lazy and careless, and trips with one foot and then with the
other, a sure prelude to such a fall as the following, which would be a
very bad one, and sufficient to cut both knees to the bone, and to cause
serious damage to the rider. The only way to avoid such accidents is to
keep the pony at a steady pace, fast enough to keep him alive, but not
enough so to tire him. Loose stones and broken ground should be avoided,
and a careful hold should be kept upon the mouth, without being so tight
as to gag it. When a stumble actually takes place, the body should be
well thrown back and the mouth forcibly jerked, so as to make the pony
exert himself to keep his legs. An unsafe animal of this kind is,
however, wholly unfit for young riders, and they should never be allowed
to ride one.


_Rearing_ is a very dangerous vice, and not very common among ponies
after they are once broken in. If the rider should, however, be placed
upon a rearer, he should be careful to avoid hanging upon the bit when
he rises in the air, but on the contrary should loose the reins
entirely, and clasp the neck, if the pony should rise very high in the
air. The accompanying sketch shows this vice in a very trifling degree,
and in such a case the seat thus represented is sufficiently forward to
prevent accidents.


The rider will, however, observe that the reins are quite loose. It
often happens that this vice is produced by too tight and severe a curb
in a tender mouth, and that upon changing the bit, or letting out the
curb chain, the tendency to rise is entirely gone. Whenever, therefore,
the young rider finds his pony inclined to rear, let him look well to
his bit, and at once drop the curb rein if he has one. If, however, he
has only a snaffle, he may rest assured that it is a regular habit, and
at once make up his mind either to battle with it or to change his pony.


_Kicking_ is much more common among ponies than rearing, and very many
of these little animals are given to practise it. It is perhaps partly
owing to the teasing of their young masters that it is so common; but
whatever the cause, there can be no doubt that it is too prevalent among
them. Sometimes it exists as a regular attempt to unhorse the rider,
which is a very troublesome habit, and one very difficult to break,
because it so often succeeds that the pony is tempted to try again. When
this vice is met with, the rider should do all in his power to keep his
pony’s head up, by jerking the bit, and at the same time he should sit
well back, with his feet well forwards, with heels down, and trust to
his knees in holding on. When kicking is only the result of high spirits
and “freshness,” the best remedy is a smart gallop, which soon stops all
these pranks, and makes the most riotous animal quiet.

_Shying_ is also very common among ponies, and in them is often the
result of cunning, which leads them to pretend a greater degree of
shyness than they really possess. The best mode of treatment is to take
as little notice as possible of the shying, but carefully to make the
pony pass the object at which he is looking, without regarding how this
is effected. The whip should seldom be used at all, and never _after_
the object is passed.

_Bolting, or Running Away_, is often the result of want of exercise, but
sometimes it is a systematic vice. A powerful bit and a steady seat,
with good hands, are the best means of grappling with this habit, which
is sometimes a very dangerous one. If the pony really runs away, the
rider should not pull dead at his mouth, but should relax his hold for a
short time, and then take a sharp pull, which is often effectual. A good
gallop until he is tired will often cure a runaway for the rest of his
life. There are a variety of bits intended expressly to counteract this
vice, such as the Hanoverian Pelham, the curb with a high port, &c.; but
nothing is perfectly effectual where there is a determination to run
away. A nose-band has lately been invented for the purpose, which
answers better than anything hitherto brought out; it consists of a long
nose-band which crosses behind the jaw and then hooks on to the bit in
the same way as the ordinary curb-chain. When the rein is pulled hard,
this nose-band is drawn tight round the jaw, by which the mouth is
closed, and the port is pressed strongly against the roof of the mouth,
causing a great degree of pain, sufficient to stop most horses. This
powerful remedy, which has been named the Bucephalus nose-band, should
not lightly be used; but in the case of a runaway horse, or pony, it is
the only really efficacious one.



    “A boat, a boat, is the toy for me,
    To rollic about in on river and sea;
    To be a child of the breeze and the gale,
    And like a wild bird on the deep to sail,
                This is the life for me!”--_Procter._


The sea service is the glory of Old England, notwithstanding all the
glorious land service of ancient and modern days. A country having
nearly ten thousand miles of sea-coast, with numerous ports, harbours,
estuaries, river mouths, and capacious bays, must ever be a maritime
nation, and look for its supremacy to the sea--to her sons being
amphibious; and nothing is better calculated to develop the inherent
instinct for sea duties than the amusements of boating, of rowing, of
sailing, and other aquatic sports. Every young gentleman in England
should know how to manage a boat, and to sail a cutter; and it will be
our duty to initiate him into the methods of doing so.

The origin of ships must be traced to the ark of Noah; but this was not
a sailing or a rowing vessel, but simply a large floating house or
receptacle for Noah and his family, and the various types of animated
nature. The first navigators were the Phœnicians, who sailed in various
seas. They were succeeded by the ships of Carthage, Egypt, Venice,
Genoa, Holland, and Portugal. The Saxons under Alfred, and the Danes
under Canute, had formidable navies. Alfred, who ascended the throne in
872, commenced the first English fleet in person, and is said to have
suggested a variety of improvements in the structure, as well as greatly
to have increased the size of the vessels, some of the largest of which
carried sixty oars. After the death of Alfred, the naval power of
England seems to have lain dormant; and this, no doubt, tempted the
Norman invasion in 1066, under William the Bastard, who sailed for the
coast of England with a fleet of 900 vessels; and so sensible was he of
the importance of the naval service, that he gave certain privileges to
certain towns on the sea-coast, which were from their number called the
Cinque Ports. Richard I. fitted out large fleets; and his successor,
John, asserted the exclusive right of the English nation to the dominion
of the seas. The reign of Edward I. was also distinguished for successes
at sea. Henry VII., on gaining the throne, in 1485, put the navy into a
respectable condition; and a large ship, called the “Great Harry,” which
may properly be termed the first _ship_ of the British navy, was built
at a cost of 14,000_l._ The discovery of America, about the period of
the accession of Henry VIII., gave a new stimulus to our navy, and many
ships were then built of large tonnage, some of a thousand tons. But
Queen Elizabeth, deeply impressed with the maxim, that “whosoever
commands the sea, commands the trade of the world,” and that “whosoever
commands the trade, commands the riches of the world,” and consequently
the world itself, so encouraged and restored the marine, that she may be
called the “Restorer of the naval power of England;” and, in a few years
after, the invasion of the Spanish Armada put our naval power to the
proof. Charles I., the great and courageous Cromwell, and even the
pleasure-loving Charles II., were all impressed with the great
advantages of a formidable navy; and in the reign of Anne, fifty-two
French ships, containing more than 3,000 guns, were captured. And during
the reign of George III. the naval superiority was placed by a series of
glorious successes beyond all dispute; and it is to be hoped that the
reign of our beloved Queen Victoria, who is herself a sailor, and full
of every generous aspiration that belongs to a British Tar, will,
notwithstanding the “mistakes of the Admiralty,” prove that England
still retains the sovereignty of the ocean, and on that element she will
defy the world.


The Egyptian vessels are the earliest of which any well-authenticated
graphic illustration has been preserved. We here give a view of one of
their earliest sailing vessels. The celebrated Egyptian vessel called
the “Isis” is said to have been in length 180 feet, in breadth 45 feet,
and in height, from the upper edge of the deck to the bottom of the
well, 43 feet. The well-known ship of Hiero, king of Syracuse, was
nearly 400 tons burden.




They were in length about 125 feet, and in breadth 10 feet. Their first
requisite was swiftness, and no part of the side was left vacant where
an oar could be put out; hence they had often three banks of oars, one
above the other. In most ancient ships, there was placed at the prow an
image called “the sign.” The part of the vessel that cut the water was
called the “goose.” At the stern, which generally resembled a shield,
was set or some way delineated a representation of the deity to whose
tutelary favour the ship was committed, and to which daily prayer and
sacrifice were offered. War ships were chiefly rowed with oars, that
they might be able to tack about. The first long ships were rowed with
fifty oars, but afterwards a larger number was used. In the more perfect
condition of ancient navigation, there were some ships that had as many
as five tiers of oars, and three hundred rowers. Two large holes at the
prow of the vessel, occasionally used for oars, were called the ship’s
“eyes;” and a wooden projection at the prow, covered with brass, was
called a “beak;” and pieces of wood placed on each side of the prow of a
vessel, to ward off the force of the enemy’s beak, were called the
ship’s “ears.” Over these vessels were certain raised platforms, and on
their forecastles were towers on which the soldiers stood, whose shields
were usually hung upon the railings which begirt the ship. The sides of
the prow were called “cheeks.” The anchors at first used were often
large stones, or even bags of sand; afterwards, however, the ancient
ships carried anchors with one, two, and four flukes. The larger anchor
was called the “sacred anchor,” and reserved for the most trying
occasions. Among the ancients, ships were usually termed “horses,” which
explains many ancient fables. The elder Pliny, for instance, tells us of
a boy who was carried by water some miles every day on the back of a
dolphin to school; the vessel, in all probability, having a dolphin at
the prow. Arion, the famous musician of Lesbos, having made great wealth
in foreign parts by his profession, was returning home by ship, when the
sailors resolved to kill him, and seize upon his riches. Playing once
again, at his last request, a favourite tune, he leaped into the sea. A
dolphin, attracted by his melody, received him safely on its back, and
carried him again to the coast where Periander lived. Arion, doubtless,
escaped by a boat, the fore-part of which consisted of a dolphin.

Having thus given the young reader a notion of ancient boats and ships,
we shall now proceed to make him acquainted with the modern practices of
rowing, boating, sailing, &c.


A _Boat_ is properly a vessel propelled by oars. In a more extensive
sense the word is applied to other small vessels, which differ in
construction and name, according to the services in which they are
employed. Thus they are light or strong, sharp or flat-bottomed, open or
decked, according as they are intended for swiftness or burden, deep or
shallow water, &c.

The _Barge_ is a long, light, narrow boat, employed in harbours, and
unfit for sea. The _Long Boat_ is the largest boat belonging to a ship,
generally furnished with two sails, and is employed for cruising short
distances, bringing the cargo and bales on board, &c.

The _Launch_ is more flat-bottomed than the long boat, which it has
generally superseded. The _Pinnace_ resembles the barge, but is smaller.
The _Cutters_ of a ship are broader and deeper than the barge or
pinnace, and are employed in carrying light articles, single passengers,
&c. on board.

_Yawls_ are used for similar purposes to the barge and pinnace. A _Gig_
is a long, narrow boat, used for expedition, and rowed with six or eight
oars. The _Jolly Boat_ is smaller than a yawl, and is used for going on
shore. A merchant ship seldom has more than two boats,--a long boat and
a yawl.

A _Wherry_ is a light, sharp boat, used in a river or harbour for
transporting passengers. A _Punt_ is a flat-bottomed boat, chiefly used
for fishing on a fresh water river. A _Skiff_ is a small sharp-nosed
boat, used in rivers. A _Dingy_ is a very small stiff boat used by
yachts. A _Yacht_ is a pleasure sailing-boat. A _Lugger_ is a boat
which is furnished with sails of a peculiar cut. A _Funny_ is a small
light boat used in river rowing, and made with her bow and stern nearly



Rowing boats consist of the bows (1); the stem, or entrance (2); the
stern (8), where are the rudder and the lines for steering; the rowlocks
(3), for giving purchase to the oars; and the thwarts, or seats (4). At
the bottom are the foot-boards (5), which are easily removed, in order
to bail out any water which may leak into the boat. Besides these parts
there is a board placed across the boat for the feet of the rower,
called a stretcher. The whole boat is composed of one or more planks,
called streaks, nailed upon a light oak framework, called the timbers,
or ribs; and the upper streak, upon which the rowlocks are placed, is
called the wale-streak. Boats with two rowlocks opposite each other are
called sculling boats, and are propelled by a pair of light oars called
sculls, the art being called “sculling.” When a boat is fitted with a
pair of rowlocks not opposite each other, it is called a pair-oared
boat. If with two in the middle opposite each other, and two others, one
before and the other behind, but not opposite each other, it is called a
_randan_. When a boat has four rowlocks, none of which are opposite one
another, it is called a four-oared boat, and so on up to ten oars, which
is the utmost limit in common use for any kind of boat but the pleasure
barge, which sometimes has twenty-four oars, as in the City barges of
London. The rowlock nearest the bow is called the bow rowlock, or No. 1;
the next No. 2, and so on; and the oars used in them receive the same
number, the one nearest the stern being called the “stroke oar.” The
rowlocks in river and sea boats are somewhat different in shape though
identical in principle, both consisting of a square space of about the
breadth of a man’s hand, and both lying on the wale-streak; but in river
boats being generally bounded before and behind by a flat piece of oak
or ash called, respectively, the thowl-pin and stopper; whilst in sea
boats they are merely common round wooden pins dropped into holes made
in the wale-streak, but still receiving the same names. The thowl-pin is
for the purpose of pulling the oar against, whilst the stopper prevents
the oar from slipping forwards when the rower is pushing it in that
direction after the stroke.



A scull is a small oar used with one hand, and requiring a pair, as in
the case of oars, one being placed in the rowlock on each side the boat,
and the pair being used by one person with his right and left hands.
Oars are used by both hands, and a pair-oared boat consequently requires
two oarsmen; a four-oared boat four, and so on. Both sculls and oars
consist of the same parts, except that the handle of the _oar_ is made
long enough for both hands, as at (_b_). In every case there is a
rounded handle (_a b_), a loom, square in form, and extending from the
handle to the button, or about one-third of the length of the oar; and
beyond the button is the blade, which is first nearly round, and then
gradually widens, until it assumes the form best adapted for laying hold
of the water, which is now found to be broad rather than long, as was
formerly thought to be desirable. The button is a piece of leather
nailed on to prevent the oar from slipping through the rowlock, but only
used in river rowing, as it is not adapted for the rough work which is
often met with in sea rowing.


This is necessarily less elegant than river rowing, because of the rough
nature of the element on which the exercise is pursued. The oar must be
held firmly in the hands, the inside hand being placed at (_b_), and the
outside at (_a_), and both hands grasping the oar between the thumbs and
fingers. The whole art consists in the crew moving backwards and
forwards together, called “swinging,” and laying hold of the water as
well as they can, taking care to avoid pulling in the air with great
force when there is a trough or interval between two waves, and on the
other hand equally avoiding a heavy wave, which has a tendency to dash
the oar out of the hand. All this requires practice in the rowers, and
also in the steersman, called the coxswain, who should watch for the
high waves, and warn his men when a heavy one is coming. He should also
take care to cross the roll of the sea as much as possible, so as to
avoid being struck on the side of the boat called “the counter,” which
would either swamp her, or else knock the oars out of the rowlocks. In
this kind of rowing, the “feathering” of the oar, to be presently
described, is not attempted, on account of the roughness of the water,
but it merely is pulled steadily, but strongly, backwards, and is then
pushed forwards in the rowlocks.


The art of river rowing is capable of a high degree of elegance, and few
sights are more pleasing to a lover of graceful forms than that of a
crew of fine lads, or young men, rowing well together and in good style.
To do this requires great practice, and attention to a few essential
points, which I will here endeavour to describe.


The rower should, as far as possible, take some good oarsman for his
model, and endeavour to imitate him in every respect, which is the only
mode of acquiring a good style. Description is useful in putting the
learner in the way of acquiring what is to be taught, but it is not
all-sufficient for the purpose. In the first place, the learner should
place himself square on the seat, with his feet straight before him, and
the toes slightly turned out. The knees may either be kept together, in
the Newcastle or Clasper style, or separated considerably, as practised
generally in England, the latter being in my opinion the better mode, as
it allows the body to come more forward over the knees. The feet are to
be placed firmly against the stretcher, which is to be let out or
shortened, to suit the length of the individual; and one foot may be
placed in the strap which is generally attached to the stretcher in
modern boats. The oar is then taken in hand, raising it by the handle,
and then either at once placing it in the rowlock, or else first
dropping it flat on the water, and then raising the handle it may gently
be lowered to its place. The outside hand is placed upon the handle at
(_a_), with the thumb as well as the fingers above it, while the other
hand firmly grasps it lower down at (_b_), keeping the nut towards the
person. The arms are now quickly thrust forward till they are quite
straight at the elbows, _after which_ the back follows them by bending
forward at the hips, carefully avoiding any roundness of the shoulders.
When the hands have reached their full stretch they are raised, and the
blade quietly and neatly dropped into the water; immediately after
which, and with the water just covering the blade, the body is brought
back with a graceful yet powerful action, till it reaches a part a
little behind the perpendicular of the back of the seat, when the hands
are brought back to the ribs, the elbows gliding close by the hips; and
at the last moment, as the hand touches the rib, the wrist of the inside
hand is depressed, the knuckles being at the same time brought against
the chest, and the oar is made to rotate in the rowlock, which is called
“feathering” it, and by which it is brought cleanly out of the water.
The next action is to push the oar rapidly forward again, first however
restoring it to its original position in the rowlock, which is effected
by raising the wrist, and then darting the arms forward till the elbows
are quite straight, which brings the rower to where we started from in
the description. In “backing water” the reverse of these actions takes
place. The oar is first reversed in the rowlock, and then it is _pushed_
through the water with as much power as is needed, and _pulled_ through
the air. When the oars on one side are pulled, and those on the other
are backed, the boat is made to turn on its own water. “Holding water”
is effected by the oars being held in the position of backing without
moving them.


1st. To straighten the arms before bending the body forward; 2d, to drop
the oar cleanly into the water; 3d, to draw it straight through at the
same depth; 4th, to feather neatly, and without bringing the oar out
before doing so; 5th, to use the back and shoulders freely, keeping the
arms as straight as possible; and 6th, to keep the eyes fixed upon the
rower before them, avoiding looking out of the boat, by which means the
body is almost sure to swing backwards and forwards in a straight line.


Every boat without a rudder is manœuvred in the water, either by pulling
both sides alike, in which case it progresses in a straight line, or by
reversing the action of the oars, equally on both sides, pushing them
through the water instead of pulling them, and called backing water,
when the boat recedes; or by pulling one side only, on which the boat
describes a segment of a circle, which is made smaller by pulling one
oar, and backing the other. By means of a rudder the boat is made to
take a certain course, independent of the rowers, called “steering,” the
chief art in which consists in keeping the rudder as still as possible,
by holding the lines “taut,” and avoiding pulling them from one side to
the other more than is absolutely necessary. Some steersmen think it
necessary to swing backwards and forwards with a great effort, but this
is quite useless, and the more still they keep the better. Every
coxswain should know the course of the stream or tide; and when meeting
other boats he should, if he is going down stream, give them the side
nearest the shore, so as to allow them the advantage of the slack water,
which is quite prejudicial to him. When a crew are steered by a
competent coxswain, they ought to be perfectly obedient to his commands,
rowing exactly as he tells them. His orders are communicated by the
following words, viz. when desiring his crew to row he says, “Pull all;”
or if wishing any one oar to be pulled, he says “Pull bow,” or “Pull,
No. 3,” or 4, &c. as the case may be. If they are to stop rowing, he
says “Easy all,” or for any one oar, “Easy bow,” or No. 2. The same kind
of order is conveyed when “backing” or “holding water” is desired; the
only variation, as before, being between confining his order to any one
or more oars, or extending it to all. In this way all the evolutions
practicable on the water are managed, and the coxswain has complete
control over the boat, being able to cause her to be rowed slowly or
quickly, or to be stopped, backed, or turned on her own centre.


Is of the utmost importance to the success of a boat when she is manned
by a crew; and they should all endeavour to attain the same style as the
“stroke-oar,” who should be the best in the boat, and as free from
faults as possible. In a four or eight-oared boat, every one of the crew
would do well to imitate his stroke by rowing with him occasionally in a
pair-oared boat, or else, if this is not practicable, by pulling behind
a waterman who rows in the same style as the stroke-oar. In this way an
uniform kind of rowing is attained, and the boat is propelled equally by
all at the same time. The great object is for all to lay hold of the
water at the same moment, and pull their oars through it and out with
the same power and at the same time; this is called “keeping stroke.”
“Keeping time” means, all “feathering” the oar together, by which the
peculiar click of the oars in the rowlocks is made exactly at the same
instant. When this is not done precisely together, the “time” is
defective, and the ear at once detects the error; but even when the
“time” is ever so good, the want of keeping stroke is fatal to the speed
of any boat, however good the individuals may be.


Do not be over anxious to avoid “catching crabs,” which is an event
likely to occur in early practice; and should it happen, throw the oar
quickly upwards out of the rowlock, and no mischief will ensue. The
young rower should be at once shown how to free his oar in this way, and
then he may pull with that freedom from restraint which is necessary to
produce a good style. Do not stand on the seats, or lean out of the
boat, and never attempt any practical jokes on the water, as it is a
dangerous element to trifle with.




    “The tar’s a jolly tar, that can hand, reef and steer,
      That can nimbly cast-off and belay;
    Who in darkest of nights finds each halliard and gear,
      And dead reckoning knows well, and leeway:
    But the tar to please me must more jolly be,
      He must laugh at the waves as they roar.”--_Dibdin._

It would be very difficult to trace to its origin the art of sailing.
Perhaps the curled leaf passing over the water, with one end erect,
might have given to observant man the first notion of a sail. It has
been supposed that the _Nautila_, _Argonaut_, or sailor-fish, was
suggestive of the first sailing-vessel; but long before the Argonaut had
been noticed, sails of some kind or other had no doubt been common. A
man could not stand in the simplest boat without perceiving that the
wind exerted a power upon him and his boat; and therefore the idea of a
sail must have been identical with the first launching of the rudest
boat. The _science_ of sailing, however, has grown up gradually through
a succession of ages, and has now reached a perfection of which the
ancients had no idea.

We will first speak of the various kinds of vessels, which are
distinguished principally by the number of masts, and the number and
shape of their sails.

A _Sloop_ is properly a vessel with one mast, having her sails, with the
exception of her topsails, set in the plane of her length, which is
technically called “set fore and aft.” Her topsail is a square sail,
rigged at right angles to the plane of her length. The bowsprit is
generally elevated from the bows, inclining slightly to the deck. The
term “sloop” is now usually applied to a man-of-war, ship-rigged, and
carrying less than 18 guns.


A _Cutter_ differs from a sloop in being without a square sail, and in
having her bowsprit horizontal; her mast at the same time “raking” aft.
Her topsail is fore and aft, and triangular in shape.

A _Brig_ is a square-rigged vessel, with two masts.


A _Schooner_ is a two-masted vessel, with fore and aft topsails, which
are called gaff-topsails. Sometimes she has a square fore-topsail and


A _Brigantine_ is something between a schooner and a brig, and is worked
either with oars (called sweeps) or sails.

[Illustration: DUTCH GALLEOT.]

A _Dutch Galleot_ is rigged like a schooner, but of a broader and more
Chinese build, her bottom being nearly flat.

A _Billy-boy_ is rigged sometimes like a sloop, and sometimes like a
schooner; but her bottom is nearly flat, and she draws but little water.

A _Smack_ is a small vessel with one mast like a cutter, used
principally for fishing.

A _Canoe_ is a boat used by savages, usually made of a trunk of a tree,


A _Felucca_ has two triangular sails, is used in the Mediterranean, and
is particularly swift. It can also use oars in calm weather.


A _Junk_ is a Chinese vessel, used either for war or merchandise, is
built very heavily.

A _Proa_ is used by the natives of the Ladrone Islands, and is
remarkable for its swiftness and sailing close to the wind. The lee-side
is quite straight, and the weather-side is convex, like a common boat.
Both head and stern are equally sharp; and in working her there is no
necessity to tack or turn at any time. Besides this peculiarity of
construction, the proa has on her lee-side what is called an
“out-rigger,” which is made of two poles, extending about 10 feet from
her side, having at their extremity a piece of solid wood. This prevents
her from having any lee-way. She will sail with a good wind twenty miles
an hour.


The natives of the Society Islands use a canoe, averaging in length from
ten to forty feet. It is made of a trunk of a tree, hollowed out; and is
just wide enough for a person to sit down. It will carry from one to as
many as thirty persons. It also has an outrigger, like a proa. When a
native leaves one island to go to another, he joins two large canoes
together, and builds on them a small hut, which will hold all his
family. This is the most convenient way to travel in a canoe, for it is
difficult to see anything but one’s knees when sitting down in the
ordinary manner. These canoes carry a square sail in the fore-part.

We will now speak of the vessels we have most to do with--viz. yachts.


Speed, safety, and accommodation are the three first qualities of a
yacht. She ought to be pleasing to the eye when afloat, of such a
breadth as to carry her canvass with ease, and at the same time so
sharp in her bow and well-shapen astern as to displace her weight of
water smoothly and gradually, while she leaves it in the same way.


Yachts are of various kinds, according to their size. If more than
eighty tons burden, the schooner is most suitable; for, as the spars are
more numerous, they are proportionally lighter. The schooner, as has
been before observed, has two masts--the foremast and mainmast; the one
bearing the sail called the boom-foresail, and the other a mainsail. She
has two or more headsails, called staysail, fore-staysail, and jib. Her
topsails are either square or fore and aft.

The _Cutter_ has one mast and four sails--viz. mainsail, maintopsail,
foresail, and jib. Some smaller craft have larger jibs, and no foresail.

The _Dandy-rigged Yacht_ differs from a cutter, in having no boom for
her mainsail, which can consequently be brailed up by a rope passing
round it. She has a mizen-mast standing in the stern, which sets a sail
called a mizen, and which is stretched on a horizontal spar, projecting
over the stern. This style of rig is more safe for a yacht, as the boom
in ordinary cutters is liable to sweep persons overboard; and the sail
can be taken in quicker by brailing it up than by lowering it down.


The _Hatteener_ has only two sails, a fore and a main sail, of a
triangular shape. Each has a spar standing from the deck to the peak of
the sail, and a boom at the bottom, like a cutter. This rig, from
setting more canvass abaft, is well adapted for narrow waters.



One of the most handy rigs for a young sailor is a triangular mainsail
and foresail rig, on a good-sized open boat. She should be at least
twenty feet long, and five feet on her beam. The foresail is carried
over the stem for about a foot, by means of an iron bowsprit, which
ships and unships on the nose of the boat. Her mainsail has a spar
reaching from the lower part of the mast to the upper corner of the
sail; a rope is fastened in the middle of this spar, and passes through
a block on the mast, by which the sail is hoisted. The advantages of
this rig are, that it can be easily managed, while under it the boat is
much safer than under most other kinds of rig; for, should a squall
arise, the yachtsman has only to let fly his foresheet and put his helm
alee, and the boat will right immediately. With this rig, a boat stands
very well to windward, and may be easily brought about.


But the vessel with which we have most to do in our directions for
sailing is the Cutter Yacht, which stands closer to the wind than any
other kind of European boat; and of which we propose, in the first
instance, to give a general description.


The first step in the construction of the hull is laying down the keel
or backbone of the vessel; which is done by fixing a strong piece of
wood, generally oak, upon blocks, that the rest of the timber may be
securely added; the stem is then joined to the fore-post, nearly at
right angles, slanting a little forward as it ascends; and the
stern-post to its after or hinder part, sloping upwards and backwards.
The timbers and ribs are next cut out of solid wood, and placed
transversely on the keel, their width varying according to the lines of
a plan previously drawn out,--being, of course, farthest apart at the
beam; these, as well as the planks of larger craft, are made to bend
into the required shape by being steamed and bolted in while hot. The
skeleton being completed, her planks are then secured by copper or iron
nails to the timbers, and riveted. The deck is made of narrow planks,
running fore and aft. From the level of the deck, her sides are raised
by upright timbers, called “stancheons,” cased over by the bulwarks, and
surmounted by a rail called the “gunwale.” Some yachts are only
half-decked, the after-part being left open and fitted with seats; but,
in order to prevent the water from getting in, a portion of deck, called
water-ways, is left at each side; which opposes a further barrier by its
terminating on the inner edge in a high crest or combing. The stepping
the mast requires great care, since the good or bad sailing of the boat
depends very greatly upon it. If we divide the length of a good yacht
into three parts, the point at which the foremost part joins the middle
part will be the widest part, and there will be nearly the place for the
cutter’s mast. But the American builders have departed from this rule in
the construction of their celebrated yacht, “The America,” whose model,
after all the study and ingenuity that have been applied to
yacht-building, seems to resemble the simple yet beautiful model which
nature has given us in the duck. The bow of this vessel rises very
gradually for some distance along the keel, like the breast of the duck;
and, further imitating the same model, her beam or widest part is abaft,
or further back than the centre. This superior vessel will sail nearly
four points off the wind, and will probably work an entire change in
the present style of yacht-building. We have now glanced at all the
principal parts of the hull, except that all-important part, the rudder;
which swings by a hinge from the stern-post, and is moved by a handle
fixed to its upper part, bearing the name of “a tiller,” and which is
used to steer the boat. Before proceeding with our instructions for
sailing a yacht, it will be necessary to describe the action of the
rudder; as the art of steering is the nicest and most important branch
of seamanship.



The rudder is a flat board, with a pole rising up on the side, which is
fastened to the vessel; on the top of which is fixed the tiller. In
large vessels, there are two ropes fastened to the tiller, which are
carried through blocks on each side of the vessel; then brought back
through blocks fastened on the mizenmast, and passed round a wheel, by
which means a greater command is obtained over the rudder. When the
tiller is moved to the right (starboard), the rudder, of course, is
forced in the water to the left (port). As the vessel moves on, the
water presses against the rudder on the port side, and thus forces her
stern to the starboard side, and her bow to the port. When the tiller is
moved to the left, it of course produces a contrary effect. If the ship
is moving backwards, then, by moving the tiller to the right, the bow is
also turned to the right; for the water presses against the rudder
behind it on the left side, and thus pushes the stern to the left. In
steering, care must be taken not to steer too much,--that is, not to
move the rudder too violently or more than is necessary,--as this
materially stops her way.

[Illustration: CUTTER AT ANCHOR.]

We here present the young yachtsman with a cutter at anchor, with her
ropes and spars numbered; and which ought to be thoroughly known, as
well as the uses to which they are applied in sailing a yacht:--

   1. Stem.
   2. Stern.
   3. Tiller.
   4. Anchor.
   5. Cable.
   6. Bowsprit.
   7. Bobstay.
   8. Mast.
   9. Topmast.
  10. Truck.
  11. Vane and Spindle.
  12. Cross-trees.
  13. Trussle-trees.
  14. Gaff.
  15. Boom.
  16. Topmast-shroud.
  17. Topmast-backstay.
  18. Topmast-stay.
  19. Runner and Tackle.
  20. Traveller for Jib.
  21. Forestay.
  22. Topping Lift.
  23. Lift Blocks.
  24. Mainsheet.
  25. Peak Halliards.
  28. Foresheet.
  29. Signal Halliards.
  30. Companion.
  31. Forecastle.
  32. Rudder.


The _Mast_ (8) is a spar set nearly upright, inclining a little aft, to
support yards and sails. In a yacht, it is kept in its place by two
shrouds on each side, made of strong rope, and fastened to the sides of
the vessel.

The _Bowsprit_ (6) is a spar carried out from the forepart of a yacht,
secured at its inner end between two strong posts piercing the deck,
called “the bitts.” It is kept in its place by the bobstay (7), which is
fastened to the stem, and by a shroud on each side secured to the bow.

The _Boom_ (15) is that spar which sets out the mainsail below, and is
attached at one end to the mast by a swivel cable, called the
“goose-neck,” and is eased off or hauled in at the other by the
mainsheet (24), which is a rope passing from the end of the boom through
a block on the side of the vessel.

The _Gaff_ (14) sets out the mainsail above, and slides up and down the
mast by means of a crescent end, which embraces it. The sides of this
curve are called “horns.”

The _Topmast_ (9) stands above the mast, and is made to slide up and
down. On it a topsail (_i. e._ a gaff-topsail) is set in light winds;
but both sail and mast are generally lowered in squally weather. It is
kept steady by a backstay (17) on each side of the foretopmast-stay. The
latter is brought down to the bowsprit.


_Ropes._--There are various ropes to hoist and lower sails, called
haulyards (pronounced halliards). There are also other ropes of great
importance, especially those called the sheets, which are to haul in the
sails, and make them stand to the wind. In a yacht, the mainsail has
sometimes a sheet each side; and sometimes only one sheet reeved through
double blocks, which travel on an iron rod, called “a horse,” from side
to side. The jib has two sheets, the starboard and port (right and
left). The foresail has the same, except in some instances, when it has
but one sheet working on a traveller, like the mainsail. The topsail has
only one, which is rove through a sheave at the end of the gaff and a
block at the throat of the gaff, and then down to a cleat or fastening
place on the deck. Signal haulyards are for hauling up the colours, and
pass through a small sheave, in the truck (10), at the end of the
topmast. The ensign haulyards are reeved through a small block at the
peak end, and lead down to the boom. The other ropes on board a yacht
are for the support of the spars, and are called “standing rigging,”
while those used for the sails are called “running rigging.”



If the reader has paid attention to our instructions, he ought now to be
pretty well conversant with build, rigging, spars, and sails of a yacht;
the next thing, therefore, is to explain the actual practical sailing of
a yacht. The number of hands must depend on the tonnage of the boat and
the number of sails. It is best to have a steersman, and one hand for
each sail. Our yacht is now lying at anchor, or moorings, which consists
of a chain and buoy, fastened to a heavy anchor sunk in the bed of the
river. Having got on board, by means of the little boat called a
“dingy,” we first unloose the fore and mainsail, and forestaysail; haul
out the jib on the bowsprit, ready for hoisting; hoist the colours, with
the name of the yacht or club to which she belongs, to the gaff-end; and
stand by to hoist the canvass. We will suppose it just past high water,
the yacht swinging ebb, and the wind up stream; we shall, therefore,
have tide with us, and the wind against us. We now hoist the throat and
peak halliards, till the former is well up block to block; then, by
hauling at the peak-halliards till the after part of the sail is taut
(tight), the mainsail is set, and she swings head to wind. The next
thing is to hoist the forestaysail and the jib, which must be well
purchased up, and the sheet well hauled in, before we can get her on the
wind, _i. e._ sail close up to the wind. The ropes must now be coiled
up, and hung on the cleat belonging to each. Our canvass being now up,
we may cast off, slack out the mainsail, haul in jibsheet on the
contrary tack to which we intend to sail, and we are under weigh.

We have already told the reader that “starboard” means right, and “port”
means left. Formerly, the word “larboard” was used for left; but, owing
to the similarity between the two words starboard and larboard, the word
port was substituted for the latter. A boat is said to be on the
starboard tack, when the wind is blowing from the starboard side; the
port side is then called the lee side, and the starboard the weather
side. She is on the port tack when the wind blows from the port side,
which is then called the weather side, and the starboard the lee side.
When in steering she is brought nearer the wind, she is said to “luff;”
and when further from it, to “bear away.” When the helm is put so as to
cause the boat to luff, the helm is “put up;” when it causes the boat to
bear away, it is “put down,” or a-lee.

Proceeding to our cruise, we must haul the jib-sheet well in, put the
helm up, and sail close to the wind; as, the wind being against us, we
shall have to “beat up,” that is, sail in a zigzag direction. In
sailing close to the wind, we must always take care _not to sail too
close, but always keep the canvass quite full_. Upon the skill of the
steersman, mainly depend the motions of the boat; he must endeavour to
attain the happy medium of keeping the boat close to the wind, and yet
not allowing the canvass to shake. The practised yachtsman feels with
his helm every variation of the wind, and meets it with a turn to port
or starboard; but the young sailor would do well to watch the colour at
the masthead, and, by keeping it in a line with the gaff, he will not
steer very wildly. We are now getting near the opposite bank from whence
we started, and must therefore tack. If the boat is quick in stays (_i.
e._ will go round quickly), and the bottom is not muddy, and is deep
enough for the boat, we may go pretty close to the bank before we tack;
but if she is a slow tub, we must begin in good time. First, we must see
that all the canvass is quite full; then the mainsail must be hauled to
the middle of the boat, or amidships, and the helm put gradually down.
When she is head to wind, let fly the jibsheet; if she is on the
starboard tack, haul in the port foresheet taut, which is called backing
the foresail; the wind, by blowing on the foresail, assists the boat
round. When she begins to fill on the other tack, cast off the port (now
the weather) foresheet, and haul in the leesheet and also the jibsheet,
and trim the mainsail (_i. e._ let go, or haul in, the mainsheet),
according to the direction of the wind. If when the boat is in stays, or
head to wind, she moves neither way, put the helm amidships; if she
moves back, put the helm the contrary way to what you had it before,
resuming its former position when she moves on again. When the wind gets
more on our beam (_i. e._ blows directly across us), we may slack out
the canvass a little; the more aft it blows, so much more we must square
our sails. There is a heavy cloud in the wind’s eye, that admonishes us
that a squall is brewing, and the dark ripple of the water to windward
tells us that it will soon be here. Keep her well full, that as the
squall strikes her she may have good way on; and luff into the wind as
soon as the squall begins: and if she does not right at once, let go jib
and foresheets; if that fails, cast off the mainsheet, and send a hand
to stand by the fore and jib halliards, which must be let go when the
squall becomes violent. We must now reef the mainsail; to effect
this, allow plenty of room for driving to leeward; set taut the
“topping-lift,” a rope which hoists up the end of the boom; lower the
halliards; hook at the end of the boom an earring which is higher up in
the sail, and tie up the reef-points; then, having set up our mainsail,
hoisted a smaller jib, and drawn in the foresheet, we are under sail

We must take care always to observe the rules of sailing, when meeting
with another yacht. Whichever boat is running free must make way for one
close hauled; for a boat when close hauled cannot conveniently alter her
course, but when she is running free she is always able to move to which
side she pleases. As we get into wider water, we shall find more swell,
that impedes the boat to windward; but, if the waves be long enough,
there is a way of easing her over them, by putting down the helm
slightly, just before the highest of them strikes her bow; thus, by
stopping the boat’s way, she strikes the sea with less violence.


Our destination outward bound being in sight, we must prepare to bring
up. The anchor must be got on deck; the cable passed through the
hawsehole, and shackled or fastened to the anchor, with its stock made
ready and secured; then suspended over the bowsprit shrouds, and made
ready to let go. Lower the head-sails, put down the helm till she is
head to wind, and when she is fairly stopped we may drop the anchor.


The mainsail may now be triced up, with the peak lowered, and with the
helm to one quarter or the other, according as the tide sets; we may
then hope to lie securely as long as we choose.


In getting under weigh once more, first haul the cable short; get all
the canvass ready to set up; weigh anchor, and, as the wind is fair, set
the head sails first and the mainsail afterwards; the peak should not be
too high in running, nor the back of the mainsail fast, but raised
slightly to let the wind into the head sails. The tide is now against
us; we must, therefore, keep out of the strength of it as much as


In rounding the next point we shall jib, or jibe, one of the most
difficult manœuvres in sailing; for in doing so there is danger of
broaching-to, so as to run on shore; of being swept overboard by the
boom as it passes from side to side; and of carrying away or snapping
the boom itself. To avoid these mischances, give the shore a wide berth;
take in the mainsheet, keeping its coils clear for running out; trice up
the tack of the mainsail, and if the breeze is strong, lower the peak;
you may then put your helm to the opposite side to which the boom
swings, and, on the instant the mainsail has traversed to the other
side, change your helm to the reverse and meet her;--this prevents the
broaching-to which would otherwise occur.


We are still against the tide, and our moorings are in sight. To bring
her up handsomely calls for more skill than even handling her well. Our
object now must be to lay her still at the moorings from whence we
started, and at the same time to have enough way to reach them. In our
present case it will be best to round her to about an hundred yards
short of the moorings, and, when head to wind, lower the mainsail,
leaving the head sails standing--this with putting up the helm will
bring her head round again--then take in the jib, and, if she has way
enough, the foresail also; and with the opposing tide we may steer our
craft so steadily to the buoy as to take it on board with ease.

Having informed the young sailor of what is necessary to be done on
board, we will now impress on his mind a few useful nautical terms and
maxims, which may lead to the preservation of life and limb.



The ancients, whose only guides over the trackless waters were the
heavenly bodies, so often obscured by clouds, could not venture far from
shore. It is the compass which has enabled us to steer boldly across the
deep. The directive power of the loadstone has been long known to the
Chinese, and it was brought over to Europe about the year 1260. The
communication of the magnetic power to steel and suspending it on a
pivot, is undoubtedly an European invention. The compass is composed of
a magnetic needle suspended freely on a pivot, and supporting a card
marked with the thirty-two points of direction into which the horizon is
divided, and which are thence called the points of the compass. The
needle always points nearly north, and the direction of the boat may be
easily seen by looking at the card. The whole apparatus on board a ship
is enclosed in a box with a glass cover, to allow the card to be seen
without being disturbed by the wind. This box is also sometimes
suspended, to prevent the needle being affected by the motion of the
vessel. The whole is then placed at the binnacle, in sight of the
helmsman. In the inside of that part of the compass-box which is
directly in a line with the bow, is a clear black stroke, called the
lubber line, which the helmsman uses to keep his course; that is, he
must always keep the point of the card which indicates her course
pointing at the lubber line. Every young yachtsman must learn to box the
compass; that is, to repeat all its points in order.


1. Never leave anything in the gangway, and keep the decks clear.

2. Coil up all ropes; and have a place for everything, and everything in
its place.

3. Take care that in tacking or jibing the boom does not knock you

4. Stand clear of ropes’ ends and blocks flying about, when you are
tacking, and the sails shaking.

5. Keep a good look out ahead, and also for squalls, which may generally
be observed to windward.

6. Always obey the orders of the steersman promptly.

7. Keep all your standing rigging taut.

8. When the boat is on the wind, sit on the weather side.

9. Should the boat capsize, keep yourself clear of the rigging, and swim

The young yachtsman should on no account attempt to take command of a
boat till he is thoroughly experienced, and should never go in one
without having at least one experienced hand on board; he should also
always have his eyes open to what is going on, and be ever ready to lend
assistance with the greatest promptitude. Quickness and agility are the
characteristics of a sailor; without these, numerous would be the losses
at sea. The casting off or belaying a rope quickly, is often attended
with the most important consequences, in which the losing or saving of
life may be concerned; and we would therefore advise all who are emulous
of being sailors, to be attentive to their duties, quick in their
evolutions, and steady in all their doings.


_Aback_, the situation of the sails when the wind presses their surfaces
against the mast.

_Abaft_, towards the stern; _e.g._, abaft the mainmast, behind the

_About_, on the other tack; going about, tacking.

_Abreast_, alongside of.

_Adrift_, broken from moorings.

_Afloat_, on the surface of the water.

_Ahead_, in the direction of the vessel’s head.

_Amidships_, in the middle of the vessel.

_Apeak_, when the cable is hove taut, so as to bring the vessel nearly
over the anchor.

_Astern_, in the direction of her stern.

_Avast_, an order to stop.

_Athwart_, across--as “thwart hawse.”

_Backstays_, ropes running from topmast and top-gallantmast to her

_Ballast_, heavy materials placed in the bottom of the boat, to bring
her low in the water.

_Beacon_, a post or buoy placed over a shallow bank, to warn vessels.

_Bearings_, the widest part of the vessel below the upper deck. The
bearings of an object is its direction according to the points of the

_Belay, to_; to make a rope fast.

_Bend, to_; is to make a sail fast to the yard, or a cable to the

_Berth_, the place where the vessel lies; a man’s sleeping place on

_Bulwarks_, the woodworks of a vessel above deck; also the wooden
partition between cabins.

_Bunting_, the woollen stuff of which ships’ colours are made.

_Buoy_, a floating cask or piece of wood.

_Cabin_, the after part of the vessel in which the officers live.

_Capstan_, a machine placed perpendicularly on deck, round which the
cable is passed, in order to hoist the anchor. It is moved round with
bars of wood stuck into it, which are called handspikes or capstanbars.

_Cathead_, large pieces of wood over the bow, having sheaves within
them, by which the anchor is hoisted or lowered.

_Cleat_, pieces of wood on which ropes are belayed.

_Combings_, raised woodwork round the hatches, to prevent the water
going down to the hold.

_Companion_, ladder leading down to the state cabins.

_Davits_, rods of timber or iron, with sheaves or blocks at their ends,
projecting over a vessel’s side or stern, to hoist boats up to.

_Draught_, the depth of water which a vessel requires to float her.

_Feather, to_; to lift the blade of the oar horizontally as it comes out
of the water.

_Fenders_, pieces of wood or rope hanging over the side of a boat, to
keep it from chafing.

_Fathom_, six feet.

_Flat_, a sheet is said to be hauled flat, when it is hauled down close.

_Fore and Aft_, lengthwise with the vessel.

_Forecastle_, the part of the vessel before the foremast.

_Foul Anchor_, when the cable has a turn round the anchor.

_Gaff_, a spar to which the head of a fore and aft sail is bent.

_Gage_, depth of water in a vessel--this water is called “bilge water.”

_Gangway_, that part of a vessel’s side through which people pass in and
out of the vessel.

_Gaskets_, pieces of rope or plaited stuff, used to fasten the sail to
the yard when it is furled.

_Give way, to_; to row more forcibly.

_Grapnel_, a small anchor with several claws, generally four, used to
secure boats.

_Gunwale_, (pron. _Gun’el_,) the upper rail of a boat or vessel.

_Gybe_, or _Jibe, to_; to shift over the boom of a fore-and-aft sail.

_Halliards_, ropes used for hoisting or lowering yards and sails.

_Hatchway_, an opening of the deck.

_Hatches_, the coverings of hatchways.

_Hawser_, a large rope.

_Helm_, the steering apparatus.

_Hold water, to_; to stop the progress of a boat, by keeping the oars in
the water.

_Jib_, a triangular headsail.

_Jib-boom_, a spar rigged out beyond the bowsprit.

_Jurymast_, a temporary mast rigged in the place of a lost one.

_Lee Board_, a board fitted to the lee side of flat-bottomed boats, to
prevent their drifting to leeward.

_Log_, a journal of the proceedings of a vessel; also a line with a
triangular piece of board, called the log ship, which is cast overboard
to ascertain the ship’s rate of sailing.

_Luff, to_; to steer the boat nearer the wind.

_Lurch_, the sudden rolling of a vessel to one side.

_Marling-spike_, an iron pin sharpened at one end, to separate the
strands of a rope.

_Martingale_, or _Dolphin-striker_, a short perpendicular spar under the
bowsprit’s end.

_Miss stays_, to fail going about.

_Oakum_, pieces of yarn picked to pieces, used for caulking.

_Overhaul, to_; when a rope is passed through two blocks, in order to
make a tackle, the rope which is hauled on is called the fall; if one of
the blocks gets loose, the act of hauling on the rope between the
blocks, in order to separate them, is called overhauling.

_Painter_, a rope attached to the bow of a boat.

_Pendant_, a long narrow flag at the mast-head.

_Quarter_, that part of the vessel between the stern and the main

_Ratlines_ (pron. _Rat’lin’s_,) ropes fastened across the shrouds, like
the steps of a ladder.

_Scud, to_; to drive along before a gale with no sail, or only enough to
keep her ahead of the sea. Also, low thin clouds flying swiftly before
the wind.

_Spanker_, or _Driver_, the after sail of a ship or bark. It is fore and
aft sail set with a boom and gaff.

_Splice, to_; to join two ropes together by entwining their strands; a
rope is generally formed of three strands twisted together.

_Spring, to_; to split a mast.

_Stays_, large ropes leading from the masthead forward.

_Staysail_, a sail hoisted on a stay.

_Steerage_, the part of the between decks just before the after cabin.

_Stretcher_, pieces of wood placed across a boat’s bottom for the rowers
to put their feet against.

_Surge_, large swelling waves breaking over rocks.

_Taut_, tight.

_Throat_, the inner edge of the gaff which embraces the mast.

_Unbend, to_; to untie.

_Unmoor, to_; to heave up one anchor, or to unfasten the ship from her

_Vane_, a piece of bunting flying at the masthead to show the direction
of the wind.

_Waist_, the part of the upper deck between the quarterdeck and

_Wake_, the path that a ship leaves behind her in the water.

_Wear, to_; to come round on the other side of the wind without backing.

[Illustration: Let A B be the vessel, G the direction of the wind; A B
is sailing in the direction B C, and wants to change her course to A D;
if she tacks, she traverses the direction C H D; if she wears, she goes
off from the wind in the direction C E D.]




Skating is one of the finest gymnastic exercises, by which man, as
Klopstock says, “like the Homeric gods, strides with winged feet over
the sea transmuted into solid ground.” It is one of the healthiest
exercises, bringing the body into action by a great variety of motions.
The art is mentioned in the Edda, written eight hundred years ago, in
which the god Uller is represented as distinguished by beauty, arrows,
and _skates_.

[Illustration: SKATING.]

It is not known at what period skating was introduced into England, but
there are indications of it in the thirteenth century, for Fitz Stephen,
in his History of London, says, that it was in that time customary, when
the ice was sufficiently strong, for the young citizens of London to
fasten the leg-bones of animals under the soles of the feet by tying
them round the ancles, and then taking a pole shod with iron into their
hands, they pushed themselves forward by striking it against the ice,
and moved with a celerity equal to a bird flying through the air or an
arrow from a cross-bow.

Fitz Stephen describes another kind of diversion on the ice in these
words, which may be acceptable to the young reader. He says: “Others
make a seat of ice as large as a millstone, and having placed one of
their companions on it, they draw him along, when it sometimes happens
that moving in slippery places they all fall down together, which is
rare sport, provided no harm be engendered.” Ibral mentions, that in his
time it was customary to use sledges, which being extended from the
centre by means of a strong rope, those who are seated on them are moved
round with great rapidity.

The use of the modern skate is supposed to have been brought from
Holland, and for many years skating has been exercised with much
elegance in England and in Scotland. Somehow or other, we do not of late
years have those severe frosts which enable the skater to practise his
art with vigour; but there is now a skating club in London who
anticipate trips to Holland during the winter months, where the art may
be practised in all its perfection.

In early days we were “prodigiously,” as Dominie Sampson would say, fond
of the sport. Our first attempts were made during the great frost in
1813-14, which lasted eleven weeks, and during which time there was a
fair on the Thames, and skating was practised in a most delightful
manner. One of the finest and most beautiful skaters of that period was
Robert Fergusson, a Scotchman, who had been a “gentleman of means,” in
the early part of his life, but having shot, horsed, tandem’d, dog’d,
and skated away his substance, was so reduced as to become a teacher of
his favourite art, and near the water works of old London Bridge, on the
west side, he pitched his tent during the frost, inviting “gentlemen,”
who could afford a “crown” to become his pupils in the art of “Land
flying,” as he termed it. He boasted of having taught the Prince of
Wales, and he sported the three ostrich feathers and “Ich dien” over his
canvas. To him in youthful ardour we repaired, and the substance of his
teachings we subjoin for the special benefit of our young friends.

The first maxim of Fergusson to his pupils was, “Throw fear to the
dogs;” the next, “Put on your skates securely;” and the third, “Keep
your balance:” and premising this as a “start,” I shall now describe the
various kinds of skates, and the methods of using them.


There are various kinds of skates. Some, such as the Dutch skates, are
very large and somewhat cumbersome, but very safe for those who skate
with heavy loads on their shoulders, as they do in Holland, Denmark, and
Russia. In these the iron often projects above six inches from the wood,
and curls up towards the shin-bone above a foot, that the skater may
glide the more easily over the hillocks of snow common to large expanses
of ice.


Some skates are what are called fluted, that is, they have a groove
running along the centre of the iron, which are the best for beginners,
as they take a better hold of the ice. The plain skates have no such
groove, and are better adapted for those who have partially acquired the
art, as with them the utmost velocity and elegance of movement may be

  [4] Fluted skates, however, are dangerous for any but those of light
      weight, as the cut ice is apt to “ball” in the groove, and so to
      throw the wearer, if he leans on one side.

The iron of the skate, which lies under the foot, is called its _blade_;
this varies in different kinds of skates, and the practised professor of
skating will choose a high or a low bladed skate, according to the
nature of the ice; but the beginner should never use a skate whose blade
is more than three quarters of an inch in depth and a quarter of an inch
in breadth, for when the blades are deeper than this, the balance of the
body is not so easily preserved, and the ancles are liable to be
sprained or twisted.


In putting on the skate, the “youngster” should kneel on one knee and
fasten the skate on the foot of the other leg. If he should have a high
laced boot, called in the eastern counties a “high-low,” he will find
such an excellent support to the whole machinery. Or if he can provide
himself with a “skate boot,” in which the skate and shoe are all of a
piece, he will do better. Such skates were invented in the great frost
about seven years ago, but just as they were coming in the frost went
out; but they can still be procured. At all events, the skater should
bear in mind that the skate must be fastened securely and firmly to the
foot, by being well fastened to the heel and sole of the boot by means
of the screw and points, and well, but not clumsily, strapped round the
ancle, exactly so tight as to confine the foot without hurting it or
impeding the motions of the ancle joints. There is a new skate now in
use by the London Skating Club, called the elastic skate, or spring
skate, in which a spring is introduced at the bottom of the foot, which
keeps it fast in every part. Skates are also now made of gutta percha,
and these are well worthy the notice of the young skater.



Having risen to the perpendicular, the learner should first ascertain,
by moving his feet about on the ice, whether the skates are firmly and
comfortably fixed on his feet. He should then walk a little on them,
supporting himself by a light pole about six feet in length, having an
iron spike at its end. Having in this manner got a little used to the
feel of the skate on his foot, he should then endeavour to throw away
all fear and strike out slowly with the right foot, leaning on the
inside edge of the skate, and making the pressure greatest at that part
of the skate opposite the ball of the great toe, at the same time
bending slightly forward. When the skate has moved about a yard forward
in this manner, the left foot should be brought to the ice in precisely
similar manner. The figure represents the skater starting and proceeding
on the inside edge.


Having practised on the inside edge for some days, to get used to the
skates, the learner may afterwards attempt the “outside edge,” which is
nothing more than throwing themselves upon the outer edge of the skate,
and making the balance of the body bend to that side which will
necessarily enable them to form a semicircle. In this much assistance
will be derived by placing a bag of lead shot in the pocket next to the
foot employed in making the outside stroke, which will produce an
artificial poise of the body at first very useful. At the commencement
of the outside stroke the knee of the employed leg should be a little
bent, and gradually brought to a rectilineal position when the stroke is
completed. The best method of getting to the “outside edge” is to form
the circle inwards--say with the right foot and with considerable force;
in the course of this, place the left foot down in front of the right,
and lean powerfully on the outside of the left heel. A little practice
and confidence in his balance will enable the student to lift his right
foot, and hang it behind while he proceeds to cut outside with his
_left_ foot. Let him then stop, and begin the inward circle with the
left foot, and slip down the outer edge of the right heel in the same

The young skater has now learned to balance himself, and can venture to
strike out at once to the right, on the heel of the right foot, keeping
the left suspended behind, with its toe closely pointed to the heel of
the right. As he advances, the left must be brought past the inside of
the right with a slight jerk; this slight jerk produces an opposing
balancing motion of the body; the right foot then quickly poises, first
on the outside of the heel, and then on the inside of its toe, and by
placing the left foot down before it, and striking outside to the left,
giving at the same time a slight push with the inside of the right toe,
he passes from right to left. Having learned this much, the skater will
proceed to change from left to right, and then from right to left again,
without any trouble. To skate “outside edge” properly, the toe of the
suspended foot must be pointed close to the ice behind the other, and
kept there until the foot be regained, when it must be brought sharply
round to the change. The skater must keep himself erect, leaning most on
the heel.

This mode of skating having been acquired, an endless variety of
figures, devices, and modes of movement may be practised; such as “the
roll,” the figure of 3, of 6, or of 8, “the spread-eagle,” “the
mercury,” “the backward outside edge,” “the circle,” “the waltz,” “the
minuet,” “the pirouette,” “the quadrille,” &c.

The first step towards figure skating is the


which is performed in the manner already prescribed in the directions on
the “outside edge.” To perform it gracefully, the skater should bring
his left shoulder forward, throw his right arm back, look over that
shoulder, and boldly incline his body to that side, proceeding
alternately, with ease, grace, and deliberation. When he wishes to stop,
he should bring both his feet together, and stop gradually; or he may
stop suddenly, by pressing on the heels of his skates, taking care not
to throw his toes up too much, or he will cut “all-fours.”


is so called from the motion being used in Holland by the travelling and
trading classes in their common avocation. The figures it presents on
the ice are small segments of very large circles; which enables the
skater to diverge but very slightly from the right line of his course,
and consequently accelerates his progress.




This is composed by merely finishing the great circles, of which the
above segments form a part. To produce it, when the skater comes to the
finish of the stroke on the right foot, he should throw the left quite
across it, which will make him bear hard on the outside of the right
skate, from which he must immediately strike. By completing the circle
in this manner on each leg, the figure subjoined is performed.



This is performed principally on the inside edge backwards. The head of
the 3 is formed of half a small circle on the heel of the outside edge;
but when the circle is nearly completed, the skater leans suddenly
forward, and rests on the same toe inside, and a backward motion is
produced, which develops the tail of the 3. The right legged figure is
that of the 3 in its natural position, and the figure made by the left
leg is the same figure reversed; as per example. In these evolutions,
the motion is not, strictly speaking, backwards, but rather sideways, as
his face and body are always in the direction of his motions.


By the “back roll,” as it is termed, the skater moves from one foot to
the other alternately. His face is turned towards the left shoulder. The
inside of the left skate bears on the ice, and the skater immediately
strikes from it to the outside back of the other, by pressing it into
the ice as forcibly as he can at the toe. The “back cross roll” is
performed in a similar manner, the stroke being from the outside,
instead of the inside of the skate.


The above motions combine the elements of skating, and having acquired
these, the learner may perform an infinite variety of movements, such as
“the cornua ammonis,” “the Dutch maze,” “the fish,” “the kite,” “the
true lovers’ knot,” &c.; with any other devices his imagination may
suggest. He may also engage in the quadrille or waltz, and exhibit his
person in every variety of graceful form, at the same time that he
exercises every muscle of the body.


1. Let your dress fit closely, but at the same time be of sufficient
ease to ensure freedom of motion. Neither skirts to coats nor full
trowsers should be worn.

2. Let flannel be worn next the skin by the delicate, and an extra
under-garment by the robust. Let the chest be well defended against the
cold. A piece of brown paper laid between the waistcoat and shirt is one
of the best chest protectors.

3. Be careful in venturing upon the ice, unless it be sufficiently
strong to bear the weight of the number that flock to it; and watch for
the increase of numbers, that you may retire before danger ensues.

4. Avoid rough and very smooth ice, and look carefully out for
obstructions thereon; such as small twigs of trees, stones, or
“hobbles;” as well as for rotten ice, cracks where the ice has risen
higher on one side than the other, or holes. Should you suddenly come
upon rotten ice, do not stop, but pass over it as rapidly as possible.
Should you fall down upon it, roll lengthwise towards the firmer part,
without attempting to stand or walk upon it.

5. Should the skater fall into a hole, he should extend his pole or
stick across it, and hold on to it till assistance arrives: should he
have no stick, he may extend his arms horizontally across the edges of
the ice, till a rope can be thrown to him.

6. After an unlucky immersion in the water, the unfortunate skater
should immediately take off his skates, and, if able, run home as
quickly as he can. He should then pull off all his wet clothes, take a
tablespoonful of brandy in a glass of hot water, rub himself thoroughly
with dry towels, and go to bed.



What can be jollier or more enjoyable than sliding for an hour upon a
crisp wintry morning, when the snow is lying three inches deep on the
ground? You may say what you please about the pleasures of skating, but
if you talk for an hour you’ll never convince us that there’s more fun
in it than in sliding. We confess we gaze with admiration at a man
twisting about on the ice like a teetotum on a ricketty tea-tray, and
that when, like a crab, he goes backwards or waltzes round on one foot,
while the other is gracefully poised in the air, we feel a pleasure in
looking at him; but then, after watching a party of skaters for a short
time, we begin to wonder how it is that they all look so solemn, as if
each man were engaged on such an important task that he could not speak
a word to his neighbour, and then we come to the conclusion that there
is more display than real jolly pleasure in skating, and that the
highly-trained skater goes through his evolutions rather in the hope of
affording satisfaction to the spectators than of deriving enjoyment
himself, for we defy any jolly-tempered fellow to feel jovial on a
winter morning in company without laughing and shouting with glee at any
person he comes across.

Therefore, when on turning from the mystic movements of a troup of
skaters to a party of sliders, we hear them laugh and shout at each
other, “now, then, keep the pot boiling,” and other choice sentences,
and when we see a broad grin of pleasure plainly depicted on their rosy
faces, we cannot but think that the enjoyment of sliding shows itself in
a far more demonstrative manner than skating, and that more pleasure is
derived from looking at a crowd of merry urchins going gaily down a
slide than in seeing quadrilles danced, or names cut on the ice, by a
band of skilled _pâtineurs_.

We also like sliding on account of its simplicity. All that its devotees
require is a good sharp frost. What care they for ice? The hobnails in
London boys’ boots soon produce a shiny slippery surface, and in a short
time a respectable slide is made out of the drippings from a water-can,
which a servant may have filled at the pump the day before.

There are, we are sure, few English lads who do not know how to slide.
It seems to come as a matter of course to most boys; but still, lest
there be some benighted youth to whom the pleasures of the slide are
still unknown, we must insert a few hints on the subject.

Take a sharp run of about ten yards, and as soon as you feel that you
are upon the slide, push the sole of the left foot as far along as you
can, making the weight of the body rest almost upon it. You will then
slide away, the right foot following without any effort on your part. We
say advisedly do not push your foot until you feel well upon the slide,
for if you are not very careful about this point you will endeavour to
slide on that part of the earth which is not slippery, and although the
momentum may impel you as far as the slippery portion, yet your progress
will not be very great, as the force which was required to carry you
along the whole length of the slide is partly wasted by the resistance
which, at the start-off, the hard earth offers to your foot. Then, we
have seen many boys in their first attempts to slide, place the heel
upon the slide before the toe. The consequence is that they either fall
over, or else only slip along a few yards, for a moment’s reflection
will show that much greater force can be exerted by pushing the sole
along than is exerted when the heel takes its place, and in the latter
case, instead of the weight of the body assisting one’s progress, it
probably causes the youthful tyro to fall backwards upon Mother Earth,
and to wonder how it happens that he does not get on so well at first as
other boys.

And now surmising that the slider is proficient in the first rudiments
of the art, let us enumerate a few of the feats which a slider may
perform while on the glassy track.

Foremost amongst these stands the postman’s knock, in which a boy slides
upon one foot only, while with the other he gives double taps quickly
upon the ice, in imitation of the noise made by the red-coated messenger
at our street doors. This, however, should not be attempted until the
performer is well on the slide, or the result will probably be that
he’ll measure his length upon the ground. This is also known as
“knocking at the cobbler’s door.”

Then comes the “carambole,” which consists in the slider sinking down
two or three times during his journey, and rising as he reaches its
termination; unless, however, he is very careful the weight of his body
will drag him down altogether, and he will continue his journey on
another portion of his frame, rather than on his feet. But the best
accomplishment to be performed on a slide is the game known as
“turnpikes.” Two stones or bricks are placed on the slide, with
sufficient distance between them for a boy’s foot to pass through. The
turnpike, thus roughly made, is to be kept by one of the party. Off
start the sliders, taking care to pass through the pike, without
displacing or even touching its walls. Woe betide the unlucky wight
whose foot infringes this rule! He is instantly turned off the slide,
and has to wait until some other incautious player commits a like
offence, and is thus compelled to take his place.

Such are a few of the feats performed by adepts in this graceful art.
Most lads, however, will be able to invent many more for themselves, and
numerous are the sports that can be indulged in.




Swimming is the most useful of all athletic accomplishments, as by it
human life is frequently saved which might have been sacrificed. It is
also useful in the development of muscular strength, as well as highly
beneficial to the nervous system, and repairs the vital functions when
falling into decline. In places near the sea or rivers, to know how to
swim is an indispensable accomplishment. The ancients, particularly the
Greeks, held the art in such high estimation as to bestow rewards upon
the most perfect swimmers.

From the little familiarity with immersion in water which the
inhabitants of our over-grown towns and cities possess, a very great
proportion of the English population are but little acquainted with the
art of swimming, and with the mode in which they should conduct
themselves when risk of drowning presents itself. The English, above all
other persons, should be good swimmers, exposed as they are by their
insular situation, and commercial pursuits, and disposition to visit
other lands, so frequently to perils by sea; yet, while most towns on
the Continent abound in baths and swimming-schools, in British towns
they are still few in number.

Most animals have a natural aptitude for swimming, not found in man; for
they will at once swim when even first thrown into the water; but it
must be noticed that the motions they then employ much more resemble
their ordinary movements of progression than those made use of by men
under similar circumstances.

The children of many uncivilized nations, especially in warm climates,
frequent the water from an early age, and seem almost to swim by
instinct. The remarkable powers of endurance, agility, and strength
manifested while in the water by many individuals of savage tribes are
well known,--powers which often enable them to come off victorious in
struggles with some of the fiercest inhabitants of those rivers and

The art of swimming is by no means difficult of attainment, and several
authors have supplied directions to facilitate its acquisition. Above
all things, self-confidence (not rashness leading into danger) is
required; and, when this is possessed, all difficulty soon ceases. Dr.
Franklin, himself an expert swimmer, recommends that at first a
familiarity with the buoyant power of water should be gained; and to
acquire this, he directs the learner, after advancing into the water
breast high, to turn round, so as to bring his face to the shore: he is
then to let an egg fall in the water, which, being white, will be seen
at the bottom. His object must now be, by diving down with his eyes
open, to reach and bring up the egg. He will easily perceive that there
is no danger in this experiment, as the water gets shallower, of course,
towards the shore, and because whenever he likes, by depressing his
feet, he can raise his head again above water.

The thing that will most strike beginners will be the great difficulty
they experience in forcing themselves through the water to reach the
egg, in consequence of the great resistance the water itself offers to
their progress: and this is indeed the practical lesson derivable from
the experiment; for the learner becomes aware of the very great
sustaining or supporting power of water, and hence has confidence. This
sustaining power of water is shown under many circumstances: thus, a
stone which on land requires two men to remove it, might in water be
easily carried by one. A man might walk without harm on broken glass in
deep water, because his weight is supported by the water. This knowledge
of fluid support constitutes the groundwork of all efforts in swimming,
or in self-preservation from drowning.

Should a person accidentally fall into the water, provided he retained
his presence of mind, a knowledge of the above facts would save him
probably from a “watery grave.” The body being but very slightly heavier
than the volume of water it displaces, will, with a very slight motion
of the hands under water, float. When the chest is thoroughly inflated
with air, it is lighter than water, and floats naturally, having half
the head above water; so that the person exposed to danger has only to
turn upon his back, in order that that half, consisting of his face,
with the mouth and nostrils, be above the water line.

But to float thus upon the water, the greatest care must be taken not
to elevate the arms or other parts above its surface; and it is in
remembering this caution, that presence of mind in the time of dangers
confers so much benefit; for, in the moment of terror, a person thrown
into the water almost instinctively stretches out his hands aloft to
grasp at some object, thereby depriving himself of a means of proceeding
which would frequently keep him afloat until succour arrived. By
elevating any part of the body in this way, we remove it from the
support afforded by the water, and thus render sinking inevitable.

Dr. Arnot, in allusion to this subject, says that many persons are
drowned who might be saved, for the following reasons:--

1. From their believing that their constant exertions are necessary to
preserve the body from sinking, and their hence assuming the position of
a swimmer, with the face downwards, in which the whole head must be kept
out of the water, in order to enable them to breathe; whereas, when
lying on the back, only the face need be above the water.

2. From the groundless fear that water entering by the ears may drown as
if it entered by the mouth or nose, and their employing exertions to
prevent this.

3. The keeping of the hands above water, already alluded to.

4. Neglecting to take the opportunity of the intervals of the waves
passing over the head, to renew the air in their chest by an

5. Their not knowing the importance of keeping the chest as full of air
as possible, which has nearly the same effect as tying a bladder full of
air around the neck would have.

But although floating in water is sufficient to preserve from immediate
danger, this will not alone enable us to swim. To swim, does not mean
simply to float, but to progress; and progression by this means depends,
like the flight of birds, upon the law in Mechanics of every action
being followed by a corresponding reaction, but in an opposite
direction; and thus, as the reaction of the air compressed by the
downward action of the bird’s wing, causes it to mount aloft in
proportion to the force it communicates by that motion; so the backward
stroke communicated by the simultaneous movement of the hands and feet
of the swimmer, causes his forward progress in the water. When once
familiarised with the support derived from the water itself, he soon
learns to make the stroke correctly, especially if aided and supported
by some more experienced friend,--a far better assistant than corks and


It is presumed that most young lads who go to bathe will take the
opportunity of learning to swim. In crowded cities there are but few
places in which the youngster can learn the art; but in the country
there are many rivers, ponds, canals, or lakes, where both bathing and
swimming may be indulged in without annoyance. The best kind of place
for bathing is on a shelving gravelly shore, on which the water
gradually deepens, and where no awkward sweep of current may take the
bather off his legs. The spot should also be free from holes, weeds, and
hard stones; and a muddy bottom is to be avoided by all means. Should
the banks of such a spot be shaded by a few trees, and should there be
close by an open space for a run on the grass after the bathe, so much
the better; and the young learner will then have the chief inducement to
venture the sudden dip or head-long plunge.

The best time of the day for bathing or swimming is either before
breakfast, between the hours of six and eight in the summer-time, or
between eleven and twelve o’clock in the forenoon. Delicate persons
should not bathe early in the morning; and it would be always well to
munch a biscuit before early bathing at all times. No one should ever
think of entering the water on a full stomach, or immediately after
dinner, and never when over-heated and exhausted by fatigue. He should
also avoid entering it when cold, or with a headache. Before bathing, it
is best to take a moderate walk of about a mile, and, while the system
is in a glow, to undress quickly and plunge in. It is bad to walk till
you get hot, then to sit down and cool, and afterwards to enter the
water; many have lost their lives by this. It is also very wrong to
enter the water during rain, as the clothes are often wetted or damp,
which gives the bather cold.


Having stripped the body, the bather should select the best place on the
bank for going down to the stream; and then, proceeding cautiously but
quickly, wade up to his breasts, turn his head to the shore, and dip. He
then technically, as the boys say, gets his pinch over. Should he not be
man enough to proceed in this way, he should, as soon as he gets his
feet wet, splash some water over his head, and go into the water more
gradually, and try the rapid rush and dip when he gets bolder. He must
not attempt to swim or strike out till he can master the feat of going
into the water up to his arm-pits, and till he feels himself confident
and void of timidity.


Many aids have been used for the benefit of young swimmers: corks and
bladders fastened under the arms are the common ones; but they offer
dangerous temptations for bathers to go out of their depth, and then
should cramp, cold, or any other accident occur, the event may be fatal.
Besides, these aids often slip about from one place to the other. We
remember, in our younger days, of the “corks” slipping to the hips, and
of seeing a young friend, now an old man, suspended in the water with
his head downwards; while collapsing of bladders and of air-jackets is
by no means uncommon. The best aid to a young swimmer is a judicious
friend, himself a good swimmer, who will hold up his head, when he
strikes off, by the “tip of the finger to the tip of the chin,” and who
at the same time will show him how to strike off, and how to manage his
hands and feet. It is not a bad plan to put out a spar from a boat, to
which a rope is attached, which the young learner may make use of by
affixing it to a belt round his body under his arms, which will afford
him support while he learns to strike his legs in the water. The rope
may also be held in the hand of a friend, by the side of the boat, and
the learner may strike off hands and feet as the boat proceeds. The
plank is a dangerous aid, from its tendency to slip about, and to take
the swimmer out of his depth; and, although it has many advantages, is
very unsafe. The safest plan of all is, as we have before stated, for
the learner to advance gradually up to his arm-pits in the water, and
then, turning about, to strike slowly out towards the shore, taking care
to keep his legs well up from the bottom. Rigid perseverance in this
course will in a very short time enable the youngster to feel himself
afloat, and moving at “all fours,”--a delight equal to that experienced
by the child who first feels that he can walk from chair to chair.



In striking off, the learner, having turned himself to the shore, as
before recommended, should fall towards the water gently, keeping his
head and neck perfectly upright, his breast advancing forward, his chest
inflated; then, withdrawing the legs from the bottom, and stretching
them out, strike the arms forward in unison with the legs. The back can
scarcely be too much hollowed, or the head too much thrown back, as
those who do otherwise will swim with their feet too near the surface,
instead of allowing them to be about a foot-and-half deep in the water.
The hands should be placed just in front of the breast, the fingers
pointing forward and kept close together, with the thumbs to the edge
of the fore-fingers: the hands must be made rather concave on the
inside, though not so much as to diminish the size. In the stroke of the
hands, they should be carried forward to the utmost extent, taking care
that they do not touch the surface of the water; they should next be
swept to the side, at a distance from, but as low as, the hips; and
should then be drawn up again, by bringing the arms towards the side,
bending the elbows upwards and the wrists downwards, so as to let the
hands hang down while the arms are raising them to the first attitude.


The legs, which should be moved alternately with the hands, must be
drawn up with the knees inwards, and the soles of the feet inclined
outwards; and they should then be thrown backwards, as widely apart from
each other as possible. These motions of the hands and legs may be
practised out of the water; and whilst exercising the legs, which can
only be done one at a time, the learner may rest one hand on the back of
a chair to steady himself, while he moves the opposite leg. When in the
water, the learner must take care to draw in his breath at the instant
that his hands, descending to his hips, cause his head to rise above the
surface of the water; and he should exhale his breath at the moment his
body is propelled forward through the action of the legs. If he does not
attend precisely to these rules, he must invariably have a downward
motion, and, as the boys say, swim furthest where it is deepest.



There are two kinds of plunging; that belonging to shallow, and that
belonging to deep water. In shallow-water plunging, the learner should
fling himself as far forward as possible into the stream at a very
oblique angle; and when he touches the water, he should raise his head,
keep his back hollow, and stretch his hands forward. In the deep-water
plunge, his body is to descend at a greater angle; his arms are to be
stretched out, his hands closed and pointed, and his body bent, so that
his nose almost touches his toes.


Diving is one of the greatest amusements connected with swimming. There
are many kinds; the two most common and easiest and necessary modes of
going below the surface, are--

  1. The feet-foremost jump.
  2. The head-foremost jump.

In the first, the legs, arms, and head are to be kept perfectly rigid
and stiff. The pupil must not allow fear, or the strange sensation felt
in the bowels in leaping from considerable heights, to induce him to
spread the arms or legs, or to bend his body.

In the second mode, or head-foremost plunge,--which is the safest mode
for persons who are heavily built about the chest and shoulders, if they
have to enter the water from heights,--the head is drawn down upon the
chest, the arms stretched forward, and hands closed to a point; and as
soon as the swimmer feels that he has left the bank, his knees, which
till then were bent, are to be stiffened. The diver must avoid striking
on the belly--the general consequence of fear; and turning over so as to
come down on his back or side--the consequence of pushing with the feet.
When he has gone as deep as he wishes, the arms are to be raised and
pressed downwards.


When under the water, the swimmer may either move in the usual way, or
keep his hands stretched before him, which will enable him to cut the
water more easily, and greatly relieve his chest. If he observes that he
approaches too near the surface of the water, he must press the palms of
his hands upwards. If he wishes to dive to the bottom, he must turn the
palms of his hands upwards, striking with them repeatedly and rapidly
whilst the feet are reposing; and when he has obtained a perpendicular
position, he should stretch out his hands like feelers, and make the
usual movement with his feet, then he will descend with great rapidity
to the bottom. It is well to accustom the eyes to open themselves under
the water, at least in those beds of water that admit the light, as it
will enable the swimmer to ascertain the depth of water he is in.


In this, the body is turned either on the left or right side, while the
feet perform their usual motions. The _arm from under_ the shoulder
stretches itself out quickly, at the same time that the feet are
striking. The other arm strikes at the same time with the impelling of
the feet. The hand of the latter arm begins its stroke on a level with
the head. While the hand is again brought forward in a flat position,
and the feet are contracted, the stretched-out hand is, while working,
drawn back towards the breast, but not so much impelling as sustaining.
As swimming on the side presents to the water a smaller surface than on
the waist, when rapidity is required, the former is often preferable to
the latter.



This is twofold: 1. _In the direction of the feet._ The body is placed
in a horizontal position, the feet are stretched out stiffly, and the
heels and toes are kept in contact; then the body is to be somewhat
curved at the seat, the hands are to be stretched flatly forward over
the body, and, slowly striking in small circles, the loins are somewhat
drawn up at each stroke. 2. _In the direction of the head._ The body is
placed horizontally, but somewhat curved in the seat, the head in its
natural position, the arms are kept close to the body, with the elbows
inclined inwards, and the hands describe small circles from the back to
the front, at about a foot-and-half from the hips. These modes serve to
exercise and strengthen the arms in an extraordinary degree without in
the least fatiguing the breast.


The body is laid horizontally on the back, the head is bent backwards as
much as possible, the arms are stretched out over the head in the
direction of the body, the feet are left to their natural position; if
they sink, the loins must be kept as low as possible. In this position,
the person, who is specifically lighter than water, remains, and may
float at pleasure. The lungs should be kept inflated, that the breast
may be distended and the circumference of the body augmented. In order
not to sink while in the act of taking breath, which the greater
specific weight of the body would effect, the breath must be quickly
expelled, and as quickly drawn in again, and then retained as long as
possible; for, as the back is in a flat position, the sinking, on
account of the resistance of the water, does not take place so rapidly
but the quick respiration will restore the equilibrium before the water
reaches the nose.


This is a perpendicular position of the swimmer, and is of great use to
enable him to save a person from drowning. It is in general thought to
be extremely difficult, but it is very easy. There are two ways of
performing the action: in the first the hands are compressed against the
hips, and the feet describe their usual circle; the other mode consists
in not contracting both legs at the same time, but one after the other,
so that while the one remains contracted the other describes a circle.
In this mode, however, the legs must not be stretched out, but the
thighs are placed in a distended position, and curved as if in a
half-sitting posture.



The swimmer lays himself flat upon his waist, draws his feet as close as
possible under the body, stretches his hands forwards, and, with both
feet and hands beating the water violently at the same time, raises
himself out of the water. In this manner one may succeed in throwing
oneself out of the water as high as the hips. This exercise is very
useful, for saving oneself by catching a rope or any other object that
hangs from above the surface of the water, or from any perpendicular



In this the swimmer turns upon his back in the water by the combined
motion of the arm and leg, and extending his body, his head being in a
line with it, so that the back and upper part of the head may be
immersed, while the face and breast are out of the water. The hands
should be placed on the thighs straight down, and the legs moved as in
forward swimming, taking care that the knees do not rise above the
surface in striking them out. Sometimes the hands are used after the
motion of a wing or fan, by which a slight progression is also made at
the same time that the surface of the body is well lifted out of the


In the thrust the swimmer lies horizontally upon his waist, and makes
the common motions in swimming. He then simply stretches one arm
forwards, as in swimming on the side, but remains lying upon the waist,
and, in a widely described circle, he carries the other hand, which is
working under the breast, towards the hip. As soon as the arm has
completed this motion, it is lifted from the water in a stretched
position, and thrown forward in the greatest horizontal level, and is
then sunk with the hand flat into the water; while the swimmer thus
stretches forth the arm, he, with the other hand stretched as wide as
possible, describes a small circle in order to sustain the body; after
this he brings his hand in a largely described circle rapidly to the
hip, lifts the arm out of the water, and _thrusts_ it forward. During
the describing of the larger circle the feet make their movements. To
make the thrust beautifully, a considerable degree of practice is
required. This mode of swimming is useful where a great degree of
rapidity is required for a short distance.


In the performance of this the arm is thrust forwards, backwards, and
again forwards without dipping into the water; in the meantime the
stretched-forth arm describes two circles before it begins the larger



In this motion each hand and foot is used alternately as a dog uses them
when swimming, as the term implies. The hands are alternately drawn
towards the chin in a compressed form, and then expanded and slightly
hollowed, with fingers close, and as they strike the water the feet are
likewise drawn towards the belly, and struck backwards with a kind of
kick. This mode of swimming is of use to relieve the swimmer from time
to time when going a distance.


The swimmer lays himself on his back and contracts himself so that the
knees are brought almost to the chin, and while one of the hands keeps
the equilibrium by describing circles, the other continues working. Thus
the body is kept turning round more or less rapidly.


In the _forward wheel_ the hands are put as far backwards as possible,
and so pressed against the water that the head is impelled under the
surface, and the feet, by a pressure of the hands in a contrary
direction, are rapidly flung above the head, which in this manner is
rapidly brought again to the surface.

In the _backward wheel_ the swimmer lies upon his back, he contracts
himself, the hands, stretched forward as far as possible, describe
rapidly small circles, the feet rise, and as the point of equilibrium
has been brought as near as possible to the feet, the head sinks and the
feet are thrown over.


The learner to do this swims on one side, keeps his feet somewhat deeply
_sunk_, while the arm which in the meantime ought to work is kept
quiet--and might even be taken out of the water. It is a good practice
of strength to carry, first under and then over the water, a weight of
four or eight pounds.



In this process, the right hand is lifted out of the water from behind,
swung forwards through the air with a kind of circular sweep to the
extent of its reach forward, then dropped into the water edgeways, and
immediately turned, with the palm a little hollowed, downwards, the body
being at the same time thrown a little on one side, and the right leg
struck out backwards to its full extent. The hand descends towards the
thigh, and then passes upwards through the water in a kind of curve
towards the surface. The left hand and leg perform a similar movement
alternately with the right, and the measure of progression attained by
these combined similar movements is very considerable.



When the swimmer has obtained ease and confidence in the water, he will
find many things easy which before he deemed impossible. Balancing is
one of these. To perform it he has only, when out of his depth, to fall
gently back with his chin elevated to a line passing exactly through
the centre of his body from the chin to the toes, then, folding his arms
and remaining perfectly motionless, he may suspend himself
perpendicularly: but if he should extend his arms backwards, and pass
them gradually beyond his head, his toes, tips of his knees, abdomen,
and part of his chest, with the whole of his face will appear, and he
will be balanced and float horizontally without the slightest motion.



The cramp generally proceeds from acidity of the bowels, arising from a
bad state of the stomach, or from the effects of the cold water on the
muscular system. Some persons are very subject to it on slight
occasions, and such persons will do well never to go out of their depth.
But should a tolerable swimmer be seized with the cramp, he should not
be frightened, but the moment the cramp is felt in the foot or leg,
strike out that foot or leg with the heel elongated, and the toes drawn
upwards towards the shin-bone, never minding any little pain it may
occasion, as he need not fear breaking a bone, muscle, or tendon. Should
this not succeed, he should throw himself on his back, and float
quietly, and paddle himself gently to the shore. He may also swim with
his hands like a dog, and practise any of the motions of the upper part
of the body for keeping his head above water till assistance arrives.


Above all things the good swimmer should be anxious to save life, and to
rescue those who are in danger, _without himself becoming the victim, as
it often happens_. The following rules are highly important to be
observed. The swimmer must avoid approaching the drowning person in
front, in order that he may not be grasped by him; for whatever a
drowning person seizes, he holds with convulsive force, and it is no
easy matter to get disentangled from his grasp; therefore he should
seize him from behind, and let go of him immediately if the other turns
towards him. His best way is to impel him before him to the shore, or to
draw him behind; if the space to be passed be too great, he should seize
him by the foot and drag him, turning him on his back. If the drowning
person should seize him, there is no alternative for the swimmer than to
drop him at once to the bottom of the water, and there to wrestle with
his antagonist; the drowning man, by a kind of instinct to regain the
surface, when drawn down to the bottom, usually quits his prey,
particularly if the diver attacks him there with all his power.

For two swimmers the labour is easier, because they can mutually relieve
each other. If the drowning person has still some presence of mind
remaining, they will then seize him one under _one arm, and the other
under the other_, and without any great effort in treading water, bring
him along with his head above water, while they enjoin him to keep
himself stretched out and as much as possible without motion.


1. _The Float._--In this sport one swimmer lays himself horizontally on
the back, with the feet stretched out, the hands pressed close to the
body, and the head raised forward. The other swimmer takes hold of him
by the extremity of the feet, and, swimming with one hand, impels him
forward. The first remains motionless.

2. _The Plank._--One swimmer lays himself horizontally as before,
another lays hold of him with both his hands, immediately above the
ancle, and pulls him obliquely into the water, while he extends himself
and impels himself forward; thus both the swimmers drop rapidly the one
over the other.

3. _The Pickaback Spring._--One swimmer treads the water, the other
swims near him behind, places his hands upon the shoulders of the first,
and presses him down. He then leaves his hold, and puts his feet upon
his shoulders, and, flinging himself out of the water, pushes the first
towards the bottom. Now he treads water, and the first performs the part
of the second, and so on.

4. _The Shove._--Two swimmers place themselves horizontally on their
backs, the legs are strongly extended, and the soles of the feet bear
against each other; each impels forward with all his power, and he who
succeeds in pushing back the other is the conqueror.

5. _The Wrestle._--Two swimmers place themselves opposite to each other,
tread water and hold their right hands in the air; the question is, who
shall first force his opponent under the water by pressure. Only the
head of the adversary is to be touched, and that only by pressure.


This system has been introduced into many of the naval and military
colleges on the Continent, and has for its distinguishing characteristic
the swimming in an upright position. The first object is to teach the
pupil how to float in an upright posture. He is taught the use of his
legs and arms for balancing the body in water, and then to imitate as
much as possible the movement of the limbs upon land. He then pays great
attention to the movements of the head, the smallest inclination of
which on either side instantly operates on the whole body. He next
learns the method of using his arms and legs; and for this purpose is
directed to stretch his arms laterally on each side, and then, by
placing one foot forward and the other backward, he is enabled to float
easily and progress slowly. The same circular sweep of the hands and the
action of the legs are next practised, and the feet should be struck
downwards and a little forwards, when the movement of the arms is the
reverse of the old methods of swimming. The young swimmer who has gone
through the various courses laid down by us, will easily comprehend the
principle of Bernardi’s system, and as easily carry it out if he will
take the trouble. It is much less fatiguing than the old plan, and can
be carried on for a longer period, and is of invaluable service to
troops who may have to cross rivers or dykes, and to all who may be
exposed to the various accidents of flood and field.


The best of all methods for teaching swimming is that originally
introduced by General Pfuel into the Prussian swimming-schools. By this
method a person may be made a very good swimmer in a very short time.
The apparatus for teaching consists of a hempen girdle five inches in
width, of a rope from five to six fathoms in length, of a pole eight
feet long, and a horizontal rail fixed about three-and-a-half feet above
the platform, on which the teacher stands, to rest the pole on.

The depth of the water in the place chosen for swimming should, if
possible, be not less than eight feet, and the clearest and calmest
water should be selected. The pupil wears drawers, fastened by a band
above the hips and covering about half the thighs. He is now placed near
the horizontal rail, his hands resting upon it, while the teacher shows
him the motion which he will have to make with his legs in the water.
This he does by guiding the motion of one leg while the pupil rests, on
the other. This motion we shall explain presently.

The swimming girdle, about five inches wide, is now placed round the
pupil’s breast, so that its upper edge rests on the chest, without
getting tight. The teacher takes the rope, which is fastened to the ring
of the girdle, in his hand, and directs the pupil to leap into the
water, keeping the legs straight and close together, and the arms close
to the body, and, what is very important, to breathe out through the
nose as soon as his head rises above the water, instead of breathing in
first, as every man naturally does after a suspension of breath. The
object of this is to prevent the water from getting into the throat,
which produces an unpleasant feeling of choking and headache. This
expiration soon becomes perfectly natural to the swimmers.

The pupil is next invited to leap. He is drawn up immediately by the
rope, pulled to the ladder, and allowed to gain confidence gradually.
The rope is now fastened by a noose to the end of the pole, the other
end of it being kept in the hand of the teacher; the pole is rested on
the horizontal rail, and the pupil stretches himself horizontally on the
water, where he remains, supported by the pole. Next the arms are
extended stiffly forward, the hands clasped, the chin touches the water;
the legs are also stiffly stretched out, the heels being together, the
feet turned out, and the toes drawn up. This horizontal position is
important, and must be executed correctly. No limb is permitted to be

The movement of the limbs is now taught; that of the legs is taught
first. The teacher first says, loudly and slowly, “One;” when the legs
are slowly drawn under the body; at the same time the knees are
separated to the greatest possible distance, the spine is bent
downwards, and the toe kept outwards. The teacher then says briskly,
“Two;” upon which the legs are stiffly stretched out with a moderate
degree of quickness, while the heels are separated, and the legs
describe the widest possible angle, the toes being contracted and kept
outwards. The teacher then says quickly, “Three;” upon which the legs,
with the knees held stiffly, are quickly brought together, and thus the
original position is again obtained.

The point at which the motions “two” and “three” join are the most
important, because it is the object to receive as large and compact a
wedge of water between the legs as possible; so that when the legs are
brought together their action upon this wedge may urge the body forward.
In ordinary cases of swimming, the hands are not used to propel, but
merely to assist in keeping on the surface. By degrees, therefore, “two”
and “three” are counted in quick succession, and the pupil is taught to
extend the legs as widely as possible. After some time, what was done
under the heads “two” and “three” is done when “two” is called out. When
the teacher sees that the pupil is able to propel himself with ease,
which he frequently acquires the power of doing in the first lesson, and
that he performs the motions already mentioned with regularity, he
teaches the motions of the hands, which must not be allowed to sink, as
they are much disposed to do while the motion of the legs is practised.

The motion of the hands consists of two parts. When the teacher says
“One,” the hands, which were held with the palms together, are opened,
laid horizontally an inch or two under water, and the arms are extended
till they form an angle of 90°; then the elbow is bent, and the hands
are brought up to the chin, having described an arch downward and
upward; the lower part of the thumb touches the chin, the palms being
together. When the teacher says “Two,” the arms are quickly stretched
forward, and thus the original horizontal position is regained. The
legs remain stiffly extended during the motion of the hands. If the
motion of the hands is carefully and correctly performed, the legs and
arms are moved together; so that while the teacher says “One,” the pupil
performs the first motion of the hands and legs; when he says “Two,” the
second and third motions of the feet, and the second of the hands.

As soon as the teacher perceives that the pupil begins to support
himself, he slackens the rope a little, and instantly straightens it if
the pupil is about to sink. When the pupil can swim about ten strokes in
succession, he is released from the pole, but not from the rope. When he
can swim about fifty strokes, he is released from the rope too; but the
teacher remains near him with a long pole until he can swim 150 strokes
in succession, so that, should he sink, the pole is immediately held out
to him. After this he may swim in the area of the school, under the
superintendence of the teacher, until he proves that he can swim
half-an-hour in succession, so that, should he sink, the pole is
immediately held out to him; he is then considered fit to be left to

Such are the outlines of the German plan of swimming; and, much as we
dislike the German educational quackery, we are still obliged to confess
that schools for swimming might be, and ought to be, established in this
country in unison with the above system. No well-conducted
boarding-school ought to be without a swimming-school; and the hints
above given will be exceedingly useful to the swimmer who has to teach
himself, as well as to the gymnastic tutor who has to teach others the
art; and we conclude by earnestly recommending the accomplishment of
swimming to our young readers.



It is impossible that any one can indulge to any extent either in
pedestrianism or rowing without going into some sort of training,
however slight it may be. Before either can be thoroughly enjoyed, it is
essential that the body should be brought into condition, and the
constitution prepared for the severe tests to which it is sure to be
put. Until this has been satisfactorily accomplished (and it cannot be
done without much perseverance and self-denial) success at regattas or
in athletic sports is quite out of the question, and the most serious
results will attend any attempt to take part in such proceedings.
Courage and determination to win a race, whether on land or water, are
qualities very much to be admired, yet they are entirely after
considerations; the first and chief endeavour must be to reduce the
superfluous fat without weakening the system, to secure soundness in
wind and limb--in short, thoroughly to prepare the body, so that it may
be equal to the emergencies that may hereafter present themselves.

Training should not, however, be begun hastily. Before it is commenced,
care should be taken to get the stomach into condition for the dieting
it will have to undergo. These preliminary proceedings will be more or
less prolonged, according to the habits of life of the patient. If a boy
has been given to drinking large quantities of beer, eating indigestible
things, or smoking, he does not commence under such favourable
circumstances as those who have not so indulged themselves. Probably he
has injured his digestion and interfered, however slightly, with his
liver; a state of things that he can readily appreciate by the
restlessness of his night’s rest, and a furred tongue, and unpleasant
taste in his mouth in the morning. The first thing he must do is
gradually to lessen his quantity of beer daily, till he can leave it off
altogether if necessary, to eschew the pastry-cook’s and fruiterer’s,
and consign his pipe to the dust-hole. When once he has made up his mind
to go in for a system of training, he should commence by taking a mild
aperient dose, such as some salts and senna, or a rhubarb pill, the
latter followed in the morning, if necessary, by a black dose. He must
avoid going to the extreme, and purging himself too violently--the
medicine is solely intended to clear the stomach preparatory to its new
treatment--and having gone thus far he may, without any fear, put
himself upon the diet which shall presently be set out. He who has been
wise enough to satisfy himself with very little beer, and still less of
raspberry puff or unripe greengages, and has refrained altogether from
tobacco, which to young people is simply poison, may, unless of weak or
sickly constitution, begin to train without any preliminary
preparations. If his heart and soul are really in the contest for which
he desires to get himself into condition, and he possesses a small
amount of strength of mind, he will soon become accustomed to the daily
routine of food and exercise. It is no use beginning, and then yielding
to the temptation for this or that nice thing; when once the ordeal has
been commenced, it must be carried out strictly and accurately, or it
may as well be abandoned altogether. For the desired state of body can
only be arrived at by one means, namely, a large amount of self-denial
and close adherence to the prescribed diet.

There is of course some slight difference in the systems of training to
be pursued for rowing and pedestrianism; at the same time, in the chief
and important points precisely the same course has to be taken. If a boy
has a walking or running race in view, he must remember this, that he
has to suit his daily exercise according to the distance of the
competition in which he is going to take part. For short races he need
do little more than keep his digestion and wind in good order, taking
care to have say a couple of hours’ good exercise in the course of the
day. We would here venture to correct a grave mistake made very often by
young runners, who think that by continual practising and “spurting”
they learn to improve their pace. They can adopt no better means for
defeating their own end than this, as it will tend far more to diminish
their pace than to improve it. On the other hand, if they have a long
course of several miles to get over, speed is not so much a matter of
importance as endurance, and this latter quality can only be obtained by
accustoming the body to long and severe exercise. For young persons,
however, it is extremely injudicious to attempt too great distances, and
we would advise that two miles, and no more, be made the outside limit.
Longer spins than this are seldom, if ever, tried in ordinary amateur

Accordingly as the match that is to be contested is in running or
walking, so must the day’s exercise be regulated. Avoid, if for the
former, taking too much running practice, and that never for a greater
distance than that of the race in which you are to take part. Good
sharp, brisk walking is more serviceable than anything else in getting
the body into order. And now, presuming that a boy is in sound health,
with good lungs and no unpleasant thumpings about his heart, let us see
how he should regulate his training. Six o’clock to get out of bed and
commence the day. No one who intends to train himself really seriously
will wish to lie longer. Then a cold tub with a big sponge and lots of
water, followed by a severe rubbing with a rough Turkish towel, that
leaves you all a-glow. Dress as quickly as you can, and go out for half
an hour’s walk, or run, as you feel inclined. Be sure, however, not to
fatigue yourself, and see that you come in to breakfast, say at
half-past seven, with a good appetite. Those who can eat porridge will
find it a capital thing to commence breakfast with, followed by the lean
portion of a broiled chop or steak, with bread at least two days old.
Tea we believe to be undesirable, and a pint of really sound bitter beer
will be found to agree much better.

There is no need to bind yourself down to a stipulated quantity of food;
eat what you feel to require, and no more. After breakfast get as much
rest as you can, say for a couple of hours; then take yourself off for a
couple of hours’ walking or running, getting back to dinner by about two
o’clock. The programme for this meal is simple enough: a joint of roast
meat, either mutton or beef, a potato, and sometimes a little
cauliflower, or brocoli, just to make a change, bread as before, and
another pint of bitter beer. The liquids are the things in which the
strictest care must be taken, and the daily quantity regulated. Poultry
is sometimes introduced, but we hardly think it good--in fact, as far as
you can, stick to the good plain joint, or chop, or steak, with bread
and beer, and you will be astonished how you will find your condition
improved. After dinner rest again for two or three hours, and then about
six o’clock take yourself off for another hour’s exercise, on your
return from which you will no doubt be fully prepared with an appetite
for supper. This meal should always be a light one, as it is bad at all
times, and especially in training, to go to bed on a full stomach.
Unless you feel you absolutely require it, do not take any meat;
otherwise, a chop is the least objectionable, and a half-pint of beer.
Never, under any circumstances, exceed three pints of beer a day.
Butter, spices, peppers, and sauces should on no account be taken, and,
as we said before, so we again repeat, smoking must be abjured. If the
directions given are followed out, defeat will not be occasioned through
any error in the system of preparation.



Scientific Pursuits:




Acoustics is the science relating to sound and hearing. Sound is heard
when any shock or impulse is given to the air, or to any other body
which is in contact directly or indirectly with the ear.


Noises are made by the cracks of whips, the beating of hammers, the
creak of a file or saw, or the hubbub of a multitude. But when a bell is
struck, the bow of a violin drawn across the strings, or the wetted
finger turned round a musical glass, we have what are properly called


Sounds are propagated on all bodies much after the manner that waves are
in water, with a velocity of 1,142 feet in a second. Sounds in liquids
and in solids are more rapid than in air. Two stones rubbed together may
be heard in water at half a mile; solid bodies convey sounds to great
distances, and pipes may be made to convey the voice over every part of
the house.


Take a long piece of wood, such as the handle of a hair broom, and
placing a watch at one end, apply your ear to the other, and the
tickings will be distinctly heard.


Touch a bell when it is sounding, and the noise ceases; the same may be
done to a musical string with the same results. Hold a musical
pitch-fork to the lips, when it is made to sound, and a quivering motion
will be felt from its vibrations. These experiments show that sound is
produced by the quick motions and vibrations of different bodies.


Cover the mouth of a wine glass, having a foot-stalk, with a thin sheet
of membrane, over which scatter a layer of fine sand. The vibrations
excited in the air by the sound of a musical instrument, held within a
few inches of the membrane, will cause the sand on its surface to form
regular lines and figures with astonishing celerity, which vary with the
sound produced.


This instrument consists of a long narrow box of very thin deal, about
six inches deep, with a circle in the middle of the upper side of an
inch and a half in diameter, in which are to be drilled small holes. On
this side seven, ten, or more strings of very fine catgut are stretched
over bridges at each end like the bridges of a fiddle, and screwed up or
relaxed with screw pins. The strings must all be tuned to one and the
same note,[5] and the instrument should be placed in a window partly
open, in which the width is exactly equal to the length of the harp,
with the sash just raised to give the air admission. When the air blows
upon these strings with different degrees of force, it will excite
different tones of sound. Sometimes the blast brings out all the tones
in full concert, and sometimes it sinks them to the softest murmurs.

  [5] D is a good note for it. The upper string may be tuned to the
      upper D, and the two lower to the lower D and D D. The “harmonics”
      are the sounds produced.

A colossal imitation of the instrument just described was invented at
Milan in 1786, by the Abbate Gattoni. He stretched seven strong iron
wires, tuned to the notes of the gamut, from the top of a tower sixty
feet high, to the house of a Signor Moscate, who was interested in the
success of the experiment; and this apparatus, called the “giant’s
harp,” in blowing weather yielded lengthened peals of harmonious music.
In a storm this music was heard at a greater distance.



The facility with which the voice circulates through tubes was known to
the ancients, and no doubt has afforded the priests of all religions
means of deception to the ignorant and credulous. But of late days the
light of science dispels all such wicked deceptions. A very clever
machine was produced at Paris several years ago, and afterwards
exhibited in London under the name of the “Invisible Girl,” since the
apparatus was so constructed that the voice of a female at a distance
was heard as if it originated from a hollow globe, not more than a foot
in diameter. It consisted of a wooden frame something like a tent
bedstead, formed by four pillars _a a a a_, connected by upper cross
rails _b b_, and similar rails below, while it terminated above in four
bent wires _c c_, proceeding at right angles of the frame, and meeting
in a central point. The hollow copper ball _d_, with four trumpets _t
t_, crossing from it at right angles, hung in the centre of the frame,
being connected with the wires alone by four narrow ribbons _r r_. The
questions were proposed close to the open mouth of one of these
trumpets, and the reply was returned from the same orifice. The means
used in the deception were as follow: a pipe or tube was attached to one
of the hollow pillars, and carried into another apartment, in which a
female was placed; and this tube having been carried up the leg or
pillar of the instrument to the cross-rails, had an aperture exactly
opposite two of the trumpet mouths; so that what was spoken was
immediately answered through a very simple mode of communication.


This is an art by no means very difficult of acquirement, if the young
reader will take the pains. It is produced by a reflection of sound
within the mouth, the voice being brought to the lowest possible place
in the larynx. When the art is acquired by practice, the voice may be
made to appear as if coming from any part of a room, from up a chimney,
or from the depths of a cellar. The celebrated Dr. Wolcott, better known
as Peter Pindar, used to amuse his friends in a remarkable manner with
this art. He would represent his landlady as demanding payment of her
rent, and hold a colloquy with her, which would at last rise to terms of
reproach and fury, and end by a noise as if the landlady had been kicked
down stairs. The marvellous powers of Matthews, Le Lagg, Alexander, and,
lastly, Mr. Love, are familiar to most persons. To learn the art, the
young practitioner must have the power of enunciating well, and that
without motion of the lips,--of disguising the voice, so as to imitate
other sounds,--and of adapting the degree to the apparent source of the
sound. By practice this art is attainable by any person whose organs of
speech are completely and fully developed.





The art of sailing or navigating a body through the air is called
aëronautics. In remote ages, Icarus is said to have risen so high in the
air that the sun melted his wings, and he fell into the Ægean sea, and
was drowned; and there is reason to believe, from some figures that have
recently been discovered on Egyptian and Assyrian monuments, that the
ancients possessed means of rising in the air with which we are not now

The air-balloon, as now constructed, is a bag of silk of large
dimensions, usually cut in gores, and is, when expanded by gas, of a
pear-shape. It ascends in the atmosphere because its whole bulk is much
lighter than the air would be in the space it occupies. It is, in fact,
a vessel filled with a fluid which will float on another fluid lighter
than itself.


The best shape for an air-balloon, or rather a gas-balloon, is that of a
pegtop. And in preparing the gores proceed as follows: Get some close
texture silk, and cut it into a form resembling a narrow pear with a
very thin stalk. Fourteen of these pieces will be found to be the best
number; and, of course, the breadths of each piece must be measured
accordingly. When sewing them together, it will be of advantage to coat
the parts that overlap with a layer of varnish, as this will save much
trouble afterwards, and hold the silk firmer in its place during the
stitching. The threads must be placed very regularly, or the balloon
will be drawn out of shape, and it will be found useful if the gores are
covered with an interior coating of varnish before they are finally sewn
together. Take care not to have the varnish too thick. To the upper part
of the balloon there should be a valve opening inwards, to which a
string should be fastened, passing through a hole made in a small piece
of wood fixed in the lower part of the balloon, so that the aeronaut may
open the valve when he wishes to descend; and this should be imitated on
a small scale, so that the young aëronaut may be perfectly familiar with
the construction of a balloon. The gores are to be covered with a
varnish of India-rubber dissolved in a mixture of turpentine and
naphtha. Over the whole of the upper part should be a net-work, which
should come down to the middle with various cords, proceeding from it to
the circumference of a circle about two feet below the balloon. The
circle may be made of wood, or of several pieces of slender cane bound
together. The meshes should be small at top, against which part of the
balloon the inflammable air exerts the greatest force, and increase in
size as they recede from the top.


The car is made of wicker-work; it is usually covered with leather, and
is well varnished or painted. It is suspended by ropes proceeding from
the net which goes over the balloon. Balloons of this kind cannot be
made smaller than six feet in diameter, of oiled silk, as the weight of
the material is too great for the air to buoy it up. They may be made
smaller of thin slips of bladder, or other membrane glued together, or
of thin gutta-percha cloth, which is now extensively used for this
purpose; with this they may be made a foot in diameter, and will rise


Procure a large stone bottle which will hold a gallon of water, into
this put a pound of iron filings, or granulated zinc, with two quarts of
water, and add to this by degrees one pint of sulphuric acid. Then take
a tube, either of glass or metal, and introduce one end of it through a
cork, which place in the bottle, then put the other end into the neck of
the balloon, and the gas will rise into the body of it. When quite full
withdraw the tube, and tie the neck of the balloon with strong cord very
tightly. If freed it will now rise in the air.



Cut the gores, according to the forms already given, from well-woven
tissue paper, paste the gores nicely together, and look well over the
surface of the paper for any small hole or slit, over which paste a
piece of paper, and let it dry. Pass a wire round the neck of the
balloon, and have two cross pieces at its diameter a little bent, so
that a piece of soft cotton dipped in spirits of wine may be laid on
them. When all is prepared let some one hold the balloon from its top by
means of a stick, while you dip the cotton in spirits of wine till it is
thoroughly saturated, place it under the balloon and set fire to it, but
be very careful you do not set fire to the balloon. When the air is
sufficiently heated within, the balloon will indicate a desire to rise,
and when it pulls very hard, let it go, and it will ascend to a great
height in the air, and at night present a very beautiful appearance.



These are easily made by cutting a piece of paper in a circular form,
and placing threads round the edges, which may be made to converge to a
point, at which a cork may be placed as a balance. They ascend by the
air getting under them, and are frequently blown to a great distance.




In the eleventh century, and during the reign of King Henry the First,
surnamed Beauclerk, or the fine scholar, there appeared for the first
time in certain books, professing to teach the art making of gold, the
words chemistry, chemist, derived from the Greek χημεία. Seven hundred
years and more have passed away, and that which was only the pursuit of
a shadow called alchemy, has resulted in the acquisition of a great and
noble science, now and again called chemistry. When we go to the French
Exposition, we shall doubtless pass by much that is worthy of notice,
and bring away with us only a general impression of the wonders it
contains. So it is with the great edifice Chemistry; we may, in these
brief pages, peep in at the open door, but should we desire to go beyond
the threshold, there are numerous guides, such as Roscoe, Wilson, and
Fownes, who will conduct us through the mazes of the interior, and
explain in elementary language the beautiful processes which have become
so useful to mankind.

Chemistry is one of the most comprehensive of all the sciences, and at
the same time one which comes home to us in the most ordinary of our
daily avocations. Most of the arts of life are indebted to it for their
very existence, and nearly all have been, from time to time, improved by
the application of its principles.

Chemistry is, in fact, the science which treats of the composition of
all material bodies, and of the means of forming them into new
combinations, and reducing them to their _ultimate elements_, as they
are termed, that is, bodies which we are unable to split up, as it were,
or separate into other bodies. To take a common substance as an
illustration; water, by a great number of processes, can be separated
into two other substances, called oxygen and hydrogen, in the proportion
by weight of 8 parts of the first to 1 of the second; but no power that
we at present possess can separate the oxygen and hydrogen into any
other bodies; they are therefore called ultimate elements, or
undecomposable bodies.

Again, sulphate of magnesia (common Epsom salts) can be very easily
separated into two other substances,--sulphuric acid and magnesia; and
in this instance, both these substances can again be sub-divided--the
acid into sulphur and oxygen, and the magnesia into a metallic body
called magnesium and oxygen; but sulphur, oxygen, and magnesium are
incapable of further division, and are therefore called _ultimate

These ultimate elements amount to 64 in number, according to the present
state of our knowledge, and may be arranged in various ways; the
simplest plan, perhaps, is dividing them into Non-metallic and Metallic

The Non-metallic elements are:--1. Oxygen. 2. Hydrogen. 3. Nitrogen. 4.
Chlorine. 5. Iodine. 6. Bromine. 7. Fluorine. 8. Carbon. 9. Sulphur. 10.
Selenium. 11. Tellurium. 12. Silicon. 13. Boron. 14. Phosphorus. The
last-named element is the connecting link with the metals through
arsenic, which phosphorus closely resembles in its chemical properties.

The Metallic elements may be sub-divided into the metals of the
alkalies, the metals of the alkaline earths, the metals of the earths,
and the other metals sometimes called metals proper.

1st. The metallic bases of the alkalies:--potassium, sodium, lithium,
ammonium, cæsium, rubidium.

2d. The metallic bases of the alkaline earths:--calcium, strontium,

3d. The metallic bases of the earths:--aluminium, glucinum, zirconium,
thorium, yttrium, erbium, cerium, lanthanum, didymium.

4th. The metals proper, the most important of which are:--platinum,
gold, silver, mercury, copper, iron, tin, lead, nickel, zinc, bismuth,
antimony, manganese, cobalt, arsenic.

Now, from these elementary bodies, united together in various
proportions, is formed the infinite variety of substances around us,
whether animal, vegetable, or mineral; in fact, a few only are generally
employed;--in the case of animals and vegetables, oxygen, hydrogen,
carbon, nitrogen, with occasionally some sulphur, calcium, phosphorus,
and silicon, suffice for building up the beautiful forms of animated
nature; while the fabric of our globe itself consists for the most part
of the earths; silex, _i. e._ flint or crystal; lime, in the shape of
chalk, marble, or limestone, such as our flagstones are composed of;
slate and granite, which are compounds of aluminium, silica, and small
quantities of oxide of iron, and sometimes a little potash, &c.; and
through their masses are projected irregular streams--veins as they are
termed--of the metals, either in a pure state, as is the case sometimes
with gold, silver, platinum, mercury, and perhaps one or two others; or
combined with one of the non-metallic elements, or with one another.

Late calculations have determined the composition of the earth’s solid
crust in 100 parts by weight to be

  Oxygen        44·0  to   48·7
  Silicon       22·8   „   36·2
  Aluminium      9·9   „    6·1
  Iron           9·9   „    2·4
  Calcium        6·6   „    0·9
  Magnesium      2·7   „    0·1
  Sodium         2·4   „    2·5
  Potassium      1·7   „    3·1
               -----      -----
               100·       100·
               =====      =====

All these combinations are effected by certain powers, termed _forces_;
those which cause the union of the elements are called the forces of
attraction; those causing their separation, the forces of repulsion.

The force of attraction when exerted between masses of matter, is termed
gravitation; when it unites particles of matter of a similar kind and
produces masses, it is called the attraction of cohesion; when the
particles united are of a dissimilar character, it is then termed
chemical or elective affinity. For example, the crystals of Epsom salts
are formed from minute particles of the salt, united into a larger or
smaller mass by the attraction of cohesion, while the _elements_ of
which each particle consists, namely, the sulphur, oxygen, and
magnesium, are united by the attraction of chemical affinity.

Cohesion thus unites particles of a similar kind; chemical affinity, of
a dissimilar nature. It is to cohesion that the existence of _masses_ of
matter is owing, and its power increases as the squares of the distances
diminish, in an inverse ratio to the squares of the distances of the
particles on which it acts.

The power exerted by cohesion may be exhibited in various ways. This is
one: Procure two discs of glass about three inches in diameter, their
surfaces being ground extremely smooth; fix each into a square piece of
wood, taking care that they are placed accurately in the centre; then
put them together, by sliding their edges very carefully over each
other, so as to avoid any air getting between them, and you will find a
great force necessary to separate them. A hook should be fixed into the
centre of each piece of wood, so that they may be suspended, and a
weight hung to the lower one. It is almost impossible for any one to
separate them by merely pulling them with both hands; a weight of many
pounds is required for that purpose. In like manner two freshly-cut
surfaces of caoutchouc will, on being squeezed together, cohere so
perfectly, that it is difficult to tear them asunder, and it is in this
way that tubes of caoutchouc may be rapidly prepared for experiments,
where little or no pressure is exerted.

Chemical affinity is sometimes called _elective_, or the effect of
_choice_, as if one substance exerted a kind of _preference_ for
another, and chose to be united to it rather than to that with which it
was previously combined; thus, if you pour some vinegar, which is a weak
acetic acid, upon some pearlash (a combination of potash and carbonic
acid), or some carbonate of soda (a combination of the same acid with
soda), a violent effervescence will take place, occasioned by the escape
of the carbonic acid, displaced in consequence of the potash or soda
preferring the acetic acid, and forming a compound called an acetate.
Then, if some sulphuric acid be poured on this new compound, the acetic
acid will in its turn be displaced by the greater attachment of either
of the bases, as they are termed, for the sulphuric acid. Again, if into
a solution of blue vitriol (a combination of sulphuric acid with oxide
of copper) the bright blade of a knife be introduced, the knife will
speedily be covered with a coat of copper, deposited in consequence of
the acid _preferring_ the iron, of which the knife is made, a quantity
of it being dissolved in exact proportion to the quantity of copper


It is on the same principle that a very beautiful preparation, called a
silver-tree, or a lead-tree, may be formed thus:--Fill a wide bottle,
capable of holding from half a pint to a pint, with a tolerably strong
solution of nitrate of silver (lunar caustic), or acetate of lead, in
pure distilled water; then attach a small piece of zinc by a string to
the cork or stopper of the bottle, so that the zinc shall hang about the
middle of the bottle, and set it by where it may be quite undisturbed;
in a short time, brilliant plates of silver or lead, as the case may be,
will be seen to collect around the piece of zinc, assuming more or less
of the crystalline form. This at first is a case of elective affinity;
the acid with which the silver or lead was united _prefers_ the zinc to
either of those metals and in consequence discards them in order to
attach the zinc to itself, subsequently a voltaic current is set up
between the two metals, and the process will continue until almost the
whole of the zinc is taken up, or nearly the whole of the silver or lead

Again, many animal and vegetable substances consist for the most part of
carbon or charcoal, united with oxygen and hydrogen in the proportion
which forms water. Now oil of vitriol (strong sulphuric acid) has so
powerful an affinity, or so great a _thirst_ for water, that it will
abstract it from almost any body in which it exists; if you then pour
some of this acid on a lump of sugar, or place a chip of wood in it, the
sugar or wood will speedily become quite black, or be _charred_, as it
is called, in consequence of the oxygen and hydrogen being removed by
the sulphuric acid, and only the carbon, or charcoal, left.

When Cleopatra dissolved pearls of wondrous value in vinegar, she was
exhibiting unwittingly an instance of chemical elective affinity; the
pearl being simply carbonate of lime, which was decomposed by the
greater affinity or fondness of lime for its new acquaintance (the
acetic acid of the vinegar) than for the carbonic acid, with which it
had been united all its life,--an example of inconstancy in strong
contrast with the conduct of its owner, who chose death rather than
become the mistress of her lover’s conqueror.


The three permanent gaseous elements are oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen.

The compound gases are very numerous, some being combustible, and others
supporters of combustion.

Gases are for the most part transparent and colourless, with a few
exceptions, and of course, like the air of the atmosphere, invisible.
They are little affected by the attraction of cohesion, but rather, on
the contrary, the particles composing them have a constant tendency to
separate from each other, so that their force of expansion is only
limited by the pressure under which they may be kept, and the
temperature they may be exposed to. They have a tendency to _penetrate_
each other, as it were; for instance, if you take a jar of heavy gas,
such as carbonic gas, set it with its mouth upwards, then invert over it
another jar containing hydrogen, a gas nearly twenty-two times lighter;
in a very short time the two gases will have become thoroughly mixed,
the heavy carbonic acid having risen, and the light hydrogen fallen,
until the gases are thoroughly mixed, each jar containing an equal
quantity of each gas.


This gas, so named from two Greek words signifying the maker of acid,
was discovered by Dr. Priestly in 1774. He obtained it by heating the
red oxide of mercury in a glass retort, when the gas escaped in
considerable quantities. In the ensuing year Scheele obtained it by a
variety of methods, and a few years afterwards Lavoisier discovered that
it was contained in atmospheric air, where it exists in the proportion
of about one-fifth, the remaining four-fifths being almost entirely

Oxygen gas may be obtained for the purpose of experiment, by heating to
redness the black oxide of manganese in an iron bottle, to the mouth of
which a flexible tube is attached to convey away the gas as fast as it
is liberated from the manganese. The first portions should be allowed to
escape, being mixed with the air in the tubes and bottle, and the
remainder may be collected in a gasometer, or in glass jars inverted
over water.

Another method to obtain the gas, and one to be used only in the absence
of other ingredients, is to mix in a retort some of this same oxide of
manganese with about half its weight of strong sulphuric acid, and apply
heat to the retort, when the gas will come over in considerable
quantities; the first portions must be allowed to escape as before.[6]
If the gas is required _very_ pure, a small quantity of the salt called
chlorate of potassa may be heated in a retort, and oxygen gas will be
evolved, and may be collected as before. If you have an iron bottle, the
first mode is by far the cheapest, as the heat of a bright fire is
sufficient for the operation, and a large quantity of gas is obtained in
a short time from a very inexpensive material. The most rapid and
convenient process of all is to heat a mixture of two parts chlorate of
potash, and one of powdered black oxide of manganese, in a common clean
oil flask, to which a cork and bent tube has been adapted. Care must be
taken not to mistake sulphide of antimony for black oxide of manganese,
as very serious accidents have arisen from this cause.

  [6] Some _boiling_ water should be added to the mass left in the
      retort directly the gas has ceased to come away, or it will adhere
      to the glass so firmly, that the retort will certainly be spoilt.

Oxygen is largely distributed over our globe, both in its uncombined
state, and in union with other substances. Besides forming one-fifth of
the atmosphere, it forms eight-ninths by weight of all the water in the
ocean, rivers, and springs on the face of the whole earth. It also, in
combination with various metals, forms the various earths and minerals
of which the crust of the earth consists, so that it is the most
abundant and widely distributed substance in nature, and in combination
with other elements, forms nearly half the weight of the solid earth.

In its uncombined state it is a colourless gas, somewhat heavier than
atmospheric air, without taste or smell. It is a powerful supporter of
combustion, and is absolutely necessary for the support of animal life,
which cannot exist for any time without a free supply of this gas, which
is constantly consumed in the act of breathing, and is replaced by an
equivalent portion of carbonic acid gas. The want of oxygen is partly
the cause of the oppression felt in crowded rooms, where the air cannot
be renewed so fast as is required for the number of persons who are
constantly consuming the oxygen; and if an animal be confined under a
glass jar inverted over water, it will presently die, just for the same
reason that burning tapers are extinguished under similar circumstances.

If a jet of this gas be thrown upon a piece of charcoal, sulphur, or
almost any combustible body in a state of ignition, it will make it burn
with great vividness and rapidity. For a complete series of experiments
with oxygen see “The Boy’s Play-book of Science.”


But by far the most intense heat, and most brilliant light, may be
produced by introducing a piece of phosphorus into a jar of oxygen. The
phosphorus may be placed in a small copper cup, with a long handle of
thick wire passing through a hole in a cork that fits the jar. The
phosphorus must first be ignited; and, as soon as it is introduced into
the oxygen, it gives out a light so brilliant that no eye can bear it,
and the whole jar appears filled with an intensely luminous atmosphere.
It is well to dilute the oxygen with about one-fourth part of common air
to moderate the intense heat which is nearly certain to break the jar if
pure oxygen is used.



If a piece of charcoal, which is pure carbon or nearly so, be ignited,
and introduced into a jar containing oxygen or common atmospheric air,
the product will be carbonic gas only, of which we shall speak
presently. As most combustible bodies contain both carbon and hydrogen,
the result of their combination is carbonic acid and water. This is the
case with the gas used for illumination; and in order to prevent the
water so produced from spoiling goods in shops, various plans have been
devised for carrying off the water when in the state of steam. This is
generally accomplished by suspending over the burners glass bells,
communicating with tubes opening into the chimney, or passing outside
the house.

To show that oxygen, or some equivalent, is necessary for the support
of combustion, fix two or three pieces of wax-taper on flat pieces of
cork, and set them floating on water in a soup-plate, light them, and
invert over them a glass jar; as they burn, the heat produced may
perhaps at first expand the air so as to force a small quantity out of
the jar, but the water will soon rise in the jar, and continue to do so
until the tapers expire, when you will find that a considerable portion
of the air has disappeared, and what remains will no longer support
flame; that is, the oxygen has been converted partly into water, and
partly into carbonic acid gas, by uniting with the carbon and hydrogen,
of which the taper consists, and the remaining air is principally
nitrogen, with some carbonic acid; the presence of the latter may be
proved by decanting some of the remaining air into a bottle, and then
shaking some lime-water with it, which will absorb the carbonic acid and
form chalk, rendering the water quite turbid.


This gas is, as its name implies, the producer of nitre, or at least
forms a portion of the nitric acid contained in nitre. It is rather
lighter than atmospheric air, colourless, transparent, incapable of
supporting animal life, on which account it is sometimes called
azote--an objectionable name, as it is not a poison like many other
gases, but destroys life only in the absence of oxygen. This gas
extinguishes all burning bodies plunged into it, and does not itself
burn. It exists largely in nature, for four-fifths of the atmosphere
consists of nitrogen gas. It is also an important constituent of animal
bodies, and is found in the vegetable world.

Nitrogen may be most easily obtained for experiment by setting fire to
some phosphorus contained in a porcelain or metallic cup, placed under a
gas jar full of air, and resting on the shelf of the pneumatic trough,
or in a soup-plate filled with water.

Nitrogen combines in five different proportions with oxygen, producing
five distinct chemical compounds, named respectively nitrous oxide,
nitric oxide, nitric tri-oxide, nitric tetr-oxide, nitric pent-oxide,
which last, united with water, forms nitric acid, now called hydric
nitrate, as nitrous acid is termed hydric nitrite.


Nitrous oxide gas is generally known by the name of “laughing gas,” from
the jolly sensations experienced on inhaling it. It may be procured by
distilling in a glass retort a salt called nitrate of ammonia, which
yields the gas in considerable quantities, and it should be kept
standing in jars over water for some hours before it is used. It should
be transferred into a silk air-tight bag, furnished with a stopcock and
mouthpiece, from which the gas may be breathed; a little practice is
required to do this easily, and more resolution to desist when the gas
begins to produce its effects, as it appears to fascinate the
experimenter, and actual force is often necessary to remove the bag from
the mouth. The effects produced vary according to the temperament of the
person inhaling it; they are, however, always of a highly pleasurable
nature, muscular action being generally greatly exalted, compelling the
individual to race round the apartment and execute leaps and pirouettes
perfectly astounding. Some persons shout and sing, and I have seen one
expend his superfluous animation in twisting his features into such
ludicrous grimaces as would be the envy of the candidates at a grinning
match, and beat them all out of the field. Sir H. Davy was the
discoverer of this gas, and of its peculiar effects on the nervous
system, and a full account of it may be found in his “Researches on
Nitrous Oxide Gas.”

This gas is heavier than air, and supports combustion nearly as
energetically as oxygen, as may be shown by introducing a piece of
ignited phosphorus into a jar of this gas. It will not, however, support
the life of small animals, such as mice, which introduced into it die
very quickly.



The next compound of nitrogen with oxygen, when one proportion of
nitrogen unites with two of oxygen, is termed nit_ric_ oxide gas. It may
be easily procured by heating in a retort some copper turnings in dilute
nitric acid. It is colourless and transparent, and has the property of
combining with oxygen to form other compounds.


Into a jar of this gas standing over water pass some oxygen gas. The jar
will be filled with red fumes, which will be rapidly absorbed by the
water. If atmospheric air be used instead of oxygen, there will remain
in the jar the nitrogen of the air, amounting to four-fifths of the air

This gas is destructive to animal life, in consequence of its property
of uniting with the oxygen in the lungs, and producing the highly
corrosive nitrous acid gas. It will, however, support the combustion of
a few substances, phosphorus for instance, provided it is sufficiently
heated before being plunged into the gas.

We pass over the third and fourth compounds of nitrogen with oxygen, as
they are not calculated for amusing experiments. Nitric acid is easily
prepared on the small scale, by gradually heating equal parts by weight
of nitric and sulphuric acid in a retort to which a receiver has been
adapted. The receiver, which may be a clean oil flask, should be kept
cool with wetted blotting paper.

Nitrogen combines with chlorine and iodine, forming detonating
compounds, the former being so extremely dangerous that it will be
better to pass it by.

The compound with iodine, called iodide of nitrogen, may very easily be
made by pouring strong solution of ammonia (a compound of nitrogen and
hydrogen) upon some iodine in a phial, shaking them well together, and
after letting them stand for a few hours, pouring off the fluid; the
black powder remaining in the phial is the explosive compound, the
iodide of nitrogen. When dry, it is very apt to detonate spontaneously;
it should therefore be shaken out of the phial while _wet_, and spread
in very small quantities on separate pieces of blotting paper, which
should be kept apart from each other. When thoroughly dry, the slightest
touch with the point of a feather, shaking the paper on which it rests,
or even opening too rapidly the door of a closet where it has been put
to dry, will cause it to explode, producing a quantity of
violet-coloured fumes. The explosion is somewhat violent, producing a
sharp cracking noise; and the greatest care should be taken in
experimenting with it.


As has been already mentioned, nitrogen is the principal constituent of
the air of the atmosphere which surrounds our globe, extending to a
height of about forty-five miles above it, and playing a most important
part in the economy of nature, inorganic as well as organic.

This atmospheric air consists by volume of nearly four-fifths of
nitrogen, and rather more than one-fifth of oxygen, viz. seventy-nine of
the former to twenty-one of the latter, or twenty-three parts by weight
of oxygen and seventy-seven of nitrogen; it generally contains also a
variable proportion of the vapour of water, and a very small quantity of
carbonic acid gas, being only about four volumes to 10,000 of air. Its
constituent parts are easily separated, as it is a mechanical mixture
and not a chemical compound, though the mixture by diffusion is so
complete that chemists have not been able to ascertain any difference in
the composition of air taken from all parts of the world, and from
different heights, up to the highest point which has to this time been

The atmosphere presses on the surface of the globe, and every being on
it, with a force of about fifteen pounds to every square inch of
surface, but as it presses equally in all directions, upwards as well as
downwards, its weight cannot be perceived unless the pressure be removed
from one surface by some artificial means.

Atmospheric air contains, besides the oxygen and nitrogen, its principal
constituents, a small proportion of carbonic acid gas, as has been
mentioned, and this may be shown by filling a tube about half full of
lime-water, and shaking it with the air contained in the other half,
when it will become slightly turbid from the insoluble carbonate of lime

When we consider that every living animal is constantly consuming
oxygen, and replacing it by carbonic acid gas, and that all burning
bodies, fires in our dwellings, furnaces, artificial lights of all
kinds, act in the same way in abstracting the oxygen from the air, and
replacing it by immense quantities of carbonic acid gas, which is a
poison to all animals who breathe, or attempt to breathe it, we must
wonder what becomes of this irrespirable gas, as it is found to exist in
the air in quantities so minute, and by what means the oxygen is
restored, and the air again made fit for respiration. This is effected
by one of those laws which the wisdom of the Creator has impressed upon
matter, by which one part of creation as it were balances another, and
all proceeds in an endless circle of change. This carbonic acid, which
is so poisonous to animal life, is the food of the vegetable world,
plants having the power of taking up the carbonic acid into their pores;
converting the carbon into their own substance, and rejecting the
oxygen, which is again respired by animals, &c. In the same way, all
animal refuse is the food of vegetables, and is used under the name of

The atmosphere contains also a variable quantity of vapour of water,
invisible as long as it is in the state of vapour, but it may be
rendered obvious by bringing any very cold body into warm air, when the
vapour will condense on the cold body in the form of small drops of
water. A tumbler of fresh-pumped water brought into a crowded room, is
almost immediately covered with moisture, and it may also be seen on
bottles of wine which have been put into ice before coming to table.
Fogs are occasioned by the condensation of vapour produced by mixing a
current of warm air with a colder air. The banks of Newfoundland are
notorious for dense fogs, occasioned by the warm air brought from the
south by the great Gulf stream, mixing with the cold air from the Arctic
regions, and thus precipitating the vapour in a visible form, rendering
everything but itself invisible. The famous London fogs depend upon the
same precipitation of the vapour of water, with the addition of the
smoke from the numerous sea-coal fires, which give it that interesting
yellow tinge for which it is so remarkable.

Aqueous vapour appears to impart a transparency to air, and permits
objects to be seen more distinctly in proportion to its quantity; hence,
when distant hills appear nearer, and objects upon them more distinct
than usual, rain may be expected, the air being fully charged with
vapour ready to be deposited on the slightest cause.



Hydrogen gas is the lightest substance known, being fifteen times
lighter than atmospheric air. It is colourless and transparent,
incapable of supporting combustion or respiration, but is itself
combustible. Hydrogen, as its name implies (being derived from two Greek
words, signifying the generator of water), is a constituent of water in
the proportion of one-ninth by weight, and is always obtained by
decomposing that fluid, by presenting to it some body to take up its
other ingredient, oxygen, and so set the hydrogen at liberty. If the
steam of water be passed through a red-hot gun barrel, containing iron
filings, the water is decomposed, the iron taking the oxygen, and the
hydrogen comes over in torrents; but as every one has not a gun barrel
and furnace to heat it, the usual mode is to employ dilute sulphuric
acid, and iron filings, or zinc, in small pieces, and it may be
collected over water by means of a bent tube issuing from the bottle in
which it is formed. It is so light that it was used to fill balloons
before coal gas was to be had, and if you procure a light air-tight bag
of silk, or thin membrane such as a turkey’s crop, and fill it with the
gas, it will ascend rapidly, and dance about the ceiling of a room.


1. Attach a tobacco-pipe to a bladder filled with this gas, and blow
some soap-bubbles with it; they will rise very rapidly, and if a lighted
taper be applied to them they burn.

If you mix in a soda water bottle one-third of oxygen with two-thirds of
hydrogen, and apply flame, the mixture will explode with a sharp report.
Great care must be taken in all experiments with the mixed gases. To
avoid danger the gases are placed in separate india-rubber bags, and are
only brought together at the jet. This is an expensive apparatus, and
should only be used by experienced persons.


2. If a jar of this gas be held with its mouth _downwards_, and a
lighted taper passed up well into the jar, the taper will be
extinguished, and the gas take fire, and burn quietly at the mouth of
the jar; if mixed with oxygen or atmospheric air, it will explode.


Hold over the jet of hydrogen issuing from a small tube, hollow
cylinders of glass or earthenware, Florence flasks, or hollow glass
balls, and musical sounds will be produced, which were supposed to
depend on some peculiar property of hydrogen gas, until Mr. Faraday
tried flame from coal gas, olefiant gas, and even the vapour of ether,
when the sounds were still produced, and he attributed them to a
continuous explosion, or series of explosions, produced by the union of
oxygen with the hydrogen of the flames.


With oxygen, hydrogen unites to form the important compound water, which
exists not only in the obvious form of oceans, rivers, lakes, rains,
dews, &c. &c. but is found intimately combined with many substances,
giving them some of their peculiar properties. Many crystals have a
definite proportion of water combined with them, and on losing this
water they lose their crystalline form. Many acids also cannot exist as
acids without water. The slaking of lime depends upon the union of water
with the lime, the dry powder resulting from the process being a
_hydrate_ of lime, the water having become _solidified_, and in passing
from the fluid to the solid state gives out its latent caloric,
producing the heat observed during the process. When a large quantity
of lime, a barge-load for instance, has got wetted by accident, the heat
evolved has been sufficient to set fire to the barge.

At the temperature of 32° of Fahrenheit’s thermometer, water loses its
fluid form, and becomes ice. As it solidifies, it starts into beautiful
crystals, which unite and cross each other at determinate angles. Ice is
lighter than the water on which it floats, forming a protection to the
water beneath, and preventing it from being frozen so rapidly; else, if
the ice were _heavier_ than water, and consequently sank as soon as
formed, each portion of water would be frozen in its turn, until rivers
became solid throughout, and every living creature in them must be
destroyed. Now, the temperature of the water under the ice is seldom
much below 40°, and if care be taken to break holes at intervals to
allow access to the air, the fish and other aquatic animals seldom
suffer even in our coldest winters.

Although it is impossible to raise ice even one degree above 32° without
thawing, it is not difficult to reduce water many degrees below that
point without freezing it.


In order to obtain both the constituents of water in a separate state,
it must be decomposed by galvanism, each pole of a battery terminating
in a separate tube containing water, when the result will be that at the
positive pole oxygen gas will be evolved, and hydrogen at the negative,
the latter being double the quantity of the former. Now, if you mix the
gases thus obtained, introduce them into a vessel called a “Eudiometer,”
and pass an electric spark through them from a Leyden phial, a sudden
flash will be seen, and the gases will entirely disappear, being again
converted into water. If you have a mercurial trough, and perform this
experiment over mercury, the inside of the eudiometer will exhibit
minute drops of water. Thus you have proved both by _analysis_ and
_synthesis_, that water consists of oxygen and hydrogen, in the
proportion of one volume of the former to two of the latter.


Take some perfectly pure distilled water, filter it, surround it with a
mixture of light snow, or powdered ice, and salt, taking care to keep it
perfectly still, a thermometer having been previously placed in it. The
mercury will gradually sink many degrees below the freezing point 32°
(it has been reduced as low as 4°), the water still remaining fluid;
when all at once, either from shaking the table, or simply because the
reduction can be carried no further, it suddenly starts into ice, and
the thermometer jumps up at once to 32°, where it remains until the
whole is frozen, when the temperature gradually sinks to that of the
surrounding medium.

Now if you remove the glass of ice from the freezing mixture into the
apartment, and watch the thermometer, you will find it gradually rise to
32°, and there remain until all the ice is melted, when it will
gradually acquire the temperature of the room. The reason of this is,
that the water in passing from the solid to the fluid form absorbs, and
in passing from the fluid to the solid form gives out caloric, so
maintaining the temperature at 32°, the point at which the change of
form takes place, until it is completed.

Between the temperature of 32° and 212°, water exists in a fluid form,
under ordinary circumstances; but at the latter point it assumes the
form of vapour or steam, and acquires many of the properties of gases,
being indefinitely expansible by heat, the force increasing as the
temperature is raised, provided the steam be confined, until it becomes
irresistible,--witness the frequent explosions of steam-engines even in
this country; and in America, where the engines are worked at a high
pressure, accidents are of daily occurrence.

The temperature at which water boils is modified by the pressure applied
to it. Thus, as you ascend a mountain, and so pass through a portion of
the atmosphere, water boils at a lower temperature, until at great
heights it boils at so low a heat, that good tea cannot be made because
it is impossible to heat the water sufficiently. Under the exhausted
receiver of an air-pump, water boils at about 140°.


Another gaseous element, sometimes called a supporter of combustion, is
named chlorine, from a Greek word signifying yellowish green.

This gas was formerly called “oxymuriatic acid,” being supposed to be a
compound of oxygen and muriatic acid gases, until Sir H. Davy, in a
series of masterly experiments carried on during the years 1808-9-10 and
11, proved that it contained no oxygen or muriatic acid, and that it was
in fact a simple or undecompounded substance, and changed its name to
chlorine, which name was, after some discussion, accepted by the
scientific world, and is still in use.

This gas may be obtained for experiment, by gently heating in a retort a
mixture of muriatic or hydrochloric acid, hydrochloride, as it is now
called, with some black oxide of manganese: the muriatic acid, a
compound of chlorine and hydrogen, is decomposed, and so is the oxide of
manganese, giving out some of its oxygen, which takes the hydrogen from
the muriatic acid to form water, while the chlorine gas, with which the
hydrogen had been united, is set at liberty, and may be collected in
jars over water.


Chlorine gas is transparent, of a greenish yellow colour, has a peculiar
disagreeable taste and smell, and if breathed even in small quantities,
occasions a sensation of suffocation, of tightness in the chest, and
violent coughing, attended with great prostration. I have been compelled
to retire to bed from having upset a bottle containing some of this gas.
It destroys most vegetable colours when moist, and is in fact the agent
now universally employed for bleaching purposes.

It has also the power of combining with and destroying all noxious
smells, and is invaluable as a purifier of foul rooms, and destroyer of
infection. For these latter purposes it is used in combination with
lime, either in substance or solution, under the name of “Chloride of

Sir W. Burnett has lately discovered that the chloride of zinc answers
the same purposes as the chloride of lime, and has the advantage of
being itself destitute of smell, and his fluid is frequently substituted
for the other.

Chlorine gas is a powerful supporter of combustion, many of the metals
taking fire spontaneously when introduced in a fine state of division
into the gas.


1. Into a jar of chlorine gas introduce a few sheets of copper leaf,
sold under the name of Dutch foil, when it will burn with a dull red

2. If some metallic antimony in a state of powder be poured into a jar
of this gas, it will take fire as it falls, and burn with a bright white

3. A small piece of the metal potassium may be introduced, and will also
take fire.

4. A piece of phosphorus will also generally take fire spontaneously
when introduced into this gas. In all these cases direct compounds of
the substances with chlorine are produced, called chlorides.

5. If a lighted taper be plunged quickly into the gas, it will continue
to burn with a dull light, giving off a very large quantity of smoke,
being in fact the carbon of the wax taper, with which the chlorine does
not unite; while the other constituent of the taper, the hydrogen, forms
muriatic acid by union with the chlorine.

6. This substance has the property of destroying most vegetable colours,
and is used in large quantities for bleaching calico, linen, and the
rags of which paper is made. It is a curious fact that it shows this
property only when water is present, for if a piece of coloured cloth is
introduced dry into a jar of the gas, also dry, no effect will be
produced--wet the cloth, and reintroduce it, and in a very short time
its colour will be discharged.

7. Introduce a quantity of the infusion of the common red cabbage, which
is of a beautiful blue colour, into a jar of this gas, and it will
instantly become nearly as pale as water, retaining a slight tinge of
yellow. A solution of sulphate of indigo can always be obtained, and
answers well for this experiment.


With chlorine, hydrogen forms a compound called muriatic, or
hydrochloric acid gas. It cannot easily be formed by the direct union of
its elements, but is procured from some compound in which it exists
ready formed. Common salt (chloride of sodium) is generally employed;
and when acted on by strong sulphuric acid (or oil of vitriol), the gas
is disengaged in abundance. It must be collected over mercury, for water
absorbs it, forming the liquid muriatic, or hydrochloric acid.

A lighted taper plunged into this gas is instantly extinguished. It is
very dangerous to animal life if respired. It has the property of
destroying animal effluvia, and was once employed to purify the
cathedral of Dijon, which was so filled with putrid emanations from the
bodies buried in it, that it had been closed for some time. It perfectly
succeeded, but it is so destructive to all metallic substances that it
is not used now, for the chlorides of lime and zinc have since been
discovered to act more effectually than the muriatic acid gas, without
its inconvenience.

The compounds of hydrogen with iodine are passed over.

With nitrogen, hydrogen unites and forms one of the most extraordinary
compounds in the whole range of chemistry,--the gas called ammonia. This
is the only gas possessing what are called alkaline properties; _i. e._
it changes the blue colour of certain vegetables to green, yellow to
deep brown, and unites with the acids to form neutral compounds, just as
the other alkalies, potash and soda, which are oxides of metals. It may
be procured in abundance by heating the hydrochlorate of ammonia, or sal
ammoniac, as it is usually called, with quick-lime, which takes the
hydrochloric acid, and sets free this remarkable gas. It must be
received over mercury, as it is absorbed to almost any extent by water,
forming the fluid sold as “spirits of hartshorn” in the shops.

This gas is colourless and transparent, lighter than atmospheric air,
and will not support combustion; it has a very pungent but not
disagreeable smell. Under certain circumstances it is combustible.


1. Take a bottle containing chlorine gas, and invert over its mouth
another filled with ammoniacal gas; then if the bottles be held in the
hand (guarded by a pair of gloves), and suddenly turned, so that the
chlorine be uppermost, the two gases will unite so rapidly that a white
flame fills the bottles for an instant.

2. Substitute for the chlorine of the last experiment a bottle of
carbonic or hydrochloric acid gas; in either case the gases disappear,
and a light white powder settles on the sides of the bottles, being the
carbonate or hydrochlorate of ammonia, according to the acid used.

Carbonate of ammonia is the substance sold for “smelling salts;” and the
hydrochlorate, or muriate of ammonia, is the salt called “sal ammoniac,”
whence the alkaline gas was first obtained, and from which it got its
name of ammonia. The salt itself was so called, because it was formerly
brought from the deserts near the ruins of the temple of Jupiter Ammon.

This salt is, as has been shown, a compound of muriatic acid gas and
ammoniacal gas, containing therefore only _three_ simple
elements--hydrogen, chlorine, and nitrogen, all gases, and known only in
the gaseous state, its symbol being NH₄Cl; yet they by union form a
solid body, resembling in all essential qualities the salts of potash
and soda, which are oxides of known metals. Moreover, if some mercury be
placed in a solution of this salt, and subjected to the action of
galvanism, the _negative_ pole being applied to the mercury, and the
positive to the sal ammoniac, the mercury presently loses its fluidity,
increases greatly in size, and in fact presents the same appearance as
when it is mixed with some metal, forming what is called an “amalgam.”
When the battery ceases to act, a succession of white films forms on the
surface of the amalgam, and the mercury soon returns to its original
state. How is this to be explained? Some chemists have supposed that
there must be a _base_ united to the mercury, and have named this
hypothetical substance “ammonium,” to correspond to potassium and
sodium, the bases of potash and soda, which resemble ammonia in so many
properties. But what is this ammonium? and how is it formed? for
hydrogen and nitrogen are simple elementary bodies. Are _all_ metals
compounds of gases? and are there but a few elements instead of the 64
now enumerated? This, however, is a difficult question, not fitted for
discussion here.

Carbonate of ammonia may be obtained by mixing together powdered chalk
(which is a carbonate of lime) and muriate of ammonia, and heating the
mixture in close vessels, when the salt in question will rise in fumes,
and be condensed in a mass in the upper part of the vessel. It is,
however, so largely produced in other manufactures, particularly in
gas-works, that there is no necessity to resort to the more expensive
and direct method. It is the well-known “smelling salts.”

The only other salt of ammonia worth our notice here is the nitrate,
from the destructive distillation of which is obtained the nitrous
oxide, or laughing gas, already mentioned.


On the coasts of certain islands belonging to the Duke of Argyll, vast
quantities of sea-weed are occasionally torn up from their ocean beds
and deposited on the shores. This weed, after being partially dried by
exposure to the sun and air, is burnt in a shallow pit; the ashes are
then collected, and form the commercial raw material called kelp, from
which iodine is procured by a gradual series of processes.


Iodine has a beautiful metallic lustre, with a bluish black colour, and
should be kept in a well-stoppered bottle. A small quantity placed in a
clear flask and heated, affords a magnificent violet vapour, which may
be poured from the flask into another glass vessel, when it condenses
again into crystalline plates. The colour of the vapour originates the
name of this element, so called from the Greek Ἰώδης, violet-coloured.
If a little iodine be placed in contact with a thin slice of phosphorus,
the latter takes fire almost immediately.


So called from the Greek βρόμος, a bad odour, is most intimately allied
with chlorine and iodine; like these elements it belongs to the sea, and
is a constituent of sea-water. Bromine is a very heavy fluid, and should
be preserved by keeping it covered with water in a stoppered-bottle.

Experiments with liquid bromine are not recommended, as all the most
interesting ones can be performed with the vapour, which is easily
procured by letting fall a few drops of bromine into a warm dry bottle.


Pounded antimony sprinkled into the vapour takes fire immediately.

A thin slice of phosphorus placed in a deflagrating ladle and placed
into the vapour of bromine ignites very quickly.

A solution of sulphate of indigo, or an infusion of red cabbage, are
easily bleached by being shaken violently with the vapour of bromine.


In many parts of England, especially in Devonshire, Cornwall, and above
all in Derbyshire, is found a very beautiful mineral, known by the name
of Fluor Spar, Derbyshire Spar, and called by the miners Blue John, to
distinguish it from another mineral found, in the same locality, called
_Black Jack_. It occurs in very regular and frequently large crystals in
the form of cubes, and occasionally in octoëdra. It is a compound of
calcium with fluorine, and is very abundant in certain fossil bones.
This element, in combination with hydrogen and called hydrofluoric acid,
acts so energetically upon all substances containing silica, that it
cannot be preserved in vessels of glass or porcelain--very few of the
metals are capable of resisting its action, lead being nearly the only
common metal possessed of this power. Gutta percha may also be employed
for vessels to hold it.

This property of dissolving silica, has caused this acid to be used for
engraving on glass.


Mix one part of powdered fluor-spar, quite pure, with two parts of oil
of vitriol, in a saucer, and apply a gentle heat, when the acid will be
disengaged in the form of vapour. Prepare a piece of glass after the
manner of engraving on copper, by coating it with a thin covering of
wax, placing a paper over the wax, and then drawing any design with a
sharp-pointed instrument, when, on removing the paper, the wax-coating
will be found to be removed wherever the instrument has passed over it.
Now invert, this glass over the fumes of the acid for half an hour or
so, and then heat the glass so as to soften the coating, and wipe it
off; the design will then appear “bitten in” as the term is, that is,
the acid will have dissolved the glass wherever it was not protected by
the wax, and will exhibit the design indelibly fixed on the glass.

This acid requires the greatest care in handling, for it is extremely
corrosive, producing very troublesome ulcers if it comes in contact with
the skin; even the fumes will produce smarting if the skin is long
exposed to them.


The next substance in our list of elementary bodies is named carbon.

The purest form of carbon is the precious stone called diamond, which
consists entirely of carbon in a crystallized form. The French chemist
Lavoisier was the first who proved the combustibility of the diamond;
and Sir H. Davy found that when once set on fire it would continue to
burn in oxygen gas air, and that the product of the combustion was
carbonic acid gas, exactly equal in quantity to the gas produced by
burning an equal weight of pure charcoal, the most common form of

Plumbago, or “black-lead,” as it is very improperly called, is also
nearly pure carbon, a very small quantity of iron being united with it.

By far the greater part of all vegetable, and a very large portion of
animal bodies consists of carbon; and in the state of carbonic acid in
combination with lime and some other earths, it forms nearly the half of
all the chalk, marble, and limestone of our hills; so that it is, in one
shape or other, one of the most widely diffused bodies in nature.

Carbon forms two gaseous compounds with oxygen; the first, called
carbonic oxide, is easily obtained by boiling oxalic acid with its own
bulk of sulphuric acid, in a flask to which a cork and bent tube is
attached. The gas comes over in large quantities, and must be collected
in a gas jar, or the pneumatic trough. It is inflammable, and burns with
a lambent blue flame.

The other compound, carbonic acid, is transparent, colourless, much
heavier than atmospheric air, has an agreeable taste, has the power of
irritating the mucous membrane of the nose, (as any one can tell who has
drunk soda-water), without possessing any particular odour, is absorbed
by water, does not support respiration, and extinguishes flame.

Carbonic acid gas may be obtained with the greatest facility by pouring
some muriatic or sulphuric acid, diluted with about six parts of water,
upon some pieces of marble or limestone in a bottle with a tube
attached, when the gas comes over in torrents. It may be collected over



1. To show the great comparative weight of this gas, place a lighted
taper at the bottom of a tall glass jar, then take a jar full of
carbonic acid gas, and pour it as you would pour water into the jar
containing the lighted taper; you will soon find the taper will be
extinguished as effectually as if you had poured water on it, and the
smoke of the taper will float on the surface of the gas in very
beautiful wavy forms.

2. Heat a piece of the metal potassium in a metal spoon (platinum is
best), and if introduced in a state of ignition into the gas, it will
continue burning brilliantly, producing a quantity of dense smoke, which
is the carbon from the carbonic acid, the potassium having seized the
oxygen and being converted by it into potash.

3. If a mouse, bird, or other small animal, be placed in a jar of this
gas, it becomes insensible almost immediately, but if speedily removed
it will occasionally recover.

4. Shake up some water with some of this gas in a bottle; the greater
part of the gas will be absorbed by the water, which acquires a
sparkling appearance and a pleasant sharp taste; with the addition of a
little soda this becomes the well-known beverage called soda-water, so
famous for removing the morning headaches caused by “_that salmon_”
having disagreed at yesterday’s dinner.

It is the presence of this gas which renders it so dangerous to descend
into deep wells, for by its great weight it collects at the bottom, and
instantly suffocates any unfortunate person who incautiously subjects
himself to it. Hence it is prudent always to let down a lighted candle
before any one descends into a well, or other deep excavation, and if
the candle is extinguished, it is necessary to throw down several pails
of water, lime-water if possible, and again to try the candle, which
must burn freely before it is safe for any one to descend.

It is this same gas under the name of “choke-damp,” which proves so
dangerous to miners, particularly after an explosion of “fire-damp,” for
it is the principal product of the explosion, and it is by no means an
easy matter to dislodge it.

Carbonic acid gas has been condensed into the fluid form by causing it
to be disengaged under great pressure; the fluid acid has the appearance
of water. When the pressure is removed, as by allowing some of the fluid
acid to escape from the vessel in which it has been condensed, it
instantly reassumes the gaseous form, and in so doing absorbs so much
latent caloric that a portion of the acid is actually solidified, and
appears in the shape of _snow_, which may be collected and preserved for
a short time. After a lecture by Mr. Addams before the Ashmolean Society
of Oxford, I carried a kind of _snowball_ of carbonic acid for a
distance of 500 or 600 yards, and placed it in a saucer in a room. It
evaporated very rapidly, and left no residue, not even a mark where it
had lain. It was too _cold_ to be touched by the naked hand without

Carbonic acid and lime are mutually tests for each other. If a jar
containing a little lime-water be put into a jar of this gas, it
speedily becomes turbid, the gas uniting with the lime, and producing
chalk (the carbonate of lime), which is insoluble in water.

This gas is produced in large quantities by the respiration of animals,
as may be proved by respiring through a tube immersed in lime-water,
when the water will be instantly rendered turbid from the formation of


To the combination of these elements in various proportions, and with
the occasional addition of other substances, we are indebted for all, or
nearly all, our means of obtaining light and heat. Coal, wood, spirit,
oil, and all the varieties of fats, are composed principally of carbon
and hydrogen, and may easily be converted into the gas with which our
houses and streets are lighted, which is nearly pure carburetted

The two chief definite gaseous compounds of these two elements are the
light carburetted hydrogen, and the heavy carburetted hydrogen, or
olefiant gas. The first is easily procured by stirring the bottom of
stagnant water on a hot summer’s day, and collecting the bubbles in a
bottle filled with water and inverted over the place where the bubbles
rise. This gas burns with a yellowish flame, and when mixed with a
certain proportion of air, or oxygen gas, explodes with great violence
on the application of a flame. It is the much dreaded fire-damp
generated so profusely in some coal-mines, and causing such fearful
destruction to life and property when accidentally inflamed.

The other compound, the heavy carburetted hydrogen, forms part of the
gas used for illumination; and, in fact, whatever substance is employed
for artificial light, whether oil, tallow, wax, &c. &c. it is converted
into this gas by heat, and then furnishes the light by its own

This gas has some very curious properties, and may be obtained nearly
pure by mixing in a retort, _very carefully_, one part of spirits of
wine and four of sulphuric acid. A lamp must be placed under the retort,
when the gas will be speedily disengaged, and come over in great
abundance; it may be collected over water.

This gas is transparent, colourless, will not support combustion, but is
itself inflammable, burning with a brilliant white light, and being
converted into carbonic acid and water. If mixed with three or four
times its bulk of oxygen, or with common atmospheric air in much larger
proportions, it explodes with great violence.

This gas is sometimes called “olefiant gas,” from the property it has of
forming an oily substance when mixed with chlorine.



Into a jar standing over water half full of this gas, pass an equal
quantity of chlorine gas. The gases will speedily unite and form an
oily-looking liquid, which may be collected from the sides of the jar as
it trickles down. By continually supplying the jar with the two gases as
they combine, a considerable quantity of this substance may be
collected. Care should be taken that the olefiant gas is rather in

The substance produced is insoluble in water, with which it should be
washed by shaking them together in a tube, and has a pleasant sweetish
taste and aromatic smell, somewhat resembling ether.


The gas so universally employed for the purposes of illumination is a
mixture of the carburetted and the bi-carburetted hydrogen, with minute
portions of other gases scarcely worth mentioning. It is procured by
submitting coals to a red heat in iron retorts, having a tube passing
from one end, along which passes all the fluid and gaseous matter
separated from the coal, namely, gas tar, ammoniacal liquor, and various
gases, carburetted hydrogen, carbonic acid, sulphuretted hydrogen, &c.
&c. The tar and ammoniacal liquor remain in the vessel in which the
tubes from the retorts terminate, and the gaseous productions are
conveyed through water and lime to separate the impurities; the
remaining gas, now fit for use, passes into large iron vessels, called
gasometers, inverted over water (like the jars in a pneumatic trough),
whence it is sent through pipes and distributed where required. What
remains in the retorts is called coke. It consists principally of
charcoal, mixed with the earthy and metallic particles contained in the


If you possess an iron bottle, fill it with powdered coal, and attach a
flexible tube to it, and put it in the fire: as soon as it becomes red
hot, large quantities of smoke will escape from the end of the tube,
being the gas mixed with all its impurities. By passing it through water
(if mixed with lime it will be better), the gas may be collected in jars
standing over water, and submitted to experiment. If you do not possess
a bottle, take a tobacco-pipe with a large bowl, (a “churchwarden” for
example); fill the bowl with small coal, cover it with clay or putty,
and when dry put it into the fire, and the gas will soon appear at the
other end of the pipe, when it may be lighted, or the gas may be
collected over water, as in the former experiment.

The light carburetted hydrogen contained in this gas is given off
spontaneously in some coal-mines, and as it forms explosive mixtures
with atmospheric air, the mines where it abounds could not be worked
except at the greatest risk until about the beginning of the present
century, when Sir H. Davy, while prosecuting some researches on the
nature of flame, found that flame would not pass through metallic tubes,
and he gradually reduced the length of the tubes, until he found fine
iron wire gauze formed an effectual barrier against the passage of
flame. He then thought that if the light in a lantern were surrounded
with this gauze, it might safely be used in an inflammable atmosphere,
where a naked light would instantly cause an explosion. Upon submitting
the lamp to experiment, he found that by passing coal gas by degrees
into a vessel in which one of his lamps was suspended, the flame first
became much larger, and then was extinguished, the cylinder of gauze
being filled with a pale flame, and though the gauze sometimes became
red-hot, it did not ignite the gas outside. As the supply of coal gas
was diminished, the wick of the lamp was rekindled, and all went on as
at first. A coil of platinum wire was afterwards suspended in the lamps,
which becomes intensely heated by the burning gas, and gives out
sufficient light to enable the miner to see to work. As long as the
gauze is perfect it is almost impossible for the external air to be
kindled by the wick of the lamp, but the miners are so careless that
they will often remove the gauze to get a better light, to look for a
tool, or some cause equally trivial, and many lives have been lost in
consequence of such carelessness.

The effect of fine wire gauze in preventing the passage of flame may be
shown by bringing a piece of the gauze gradually over the flame of a
spirit-lamp, until it nearly touches the wick, when the flame will be
nearly extinguished, but the vapour of the spirit passes through, and
may be lighted on the upper side of the gauze, which will thus have a
flame on either side, though totally unconnected with each other. The
flame from a gas-burner will answer as well as the spirit-lamp.

Nearly all the fluids, and solids also, used for procuring artificial
light, such as naphtha, various oils, tallow, wax, spermaceti, spirits
of wine, ether, &c. &c. are compounds of carbon and hydrogen in
different proportions, with the occasional addition of some other
elements, especially oxygen and hydrogen, in the proportions to form
water; as a general rule, those bodies containing the greatest
proportion of carbon give the most light, though not necessarily the
most heat.


The next body we have to notice is phosphorus, a most remarkable
substance, procured from the earthy part of bones by a process not worth
detailing here. It should be _always_ kept under water, and the naked
fingers should not be allowed even to touch it, for the smallest piece
getting under the nail will inflame the first time the hand comes near
the fire, and produce a sore very painful and difficult to heal. It
should be cut under water by a knife or scissors, and removed with a
pair of forceps. Its combustible properties have been frequently
mentioned. It has also the property of shining in the dark, so that if
you write on a wall with a solution of phosphorus in oil, the letters
will appear luminous in the dark--there is no danger, excepting from the
greasiness of the oil.

Of the compounds of phosphorus with oxygen we have nothing to do here,
but it forms with hydrogen a very curious gaseous compound, which takes
fire spontaneously on the contact of air, or almost any gas containing


It may be procured in either of two ways, according to the purpose for
which it is wanted. The simplest way is to put a lump or two of
phosphuret of lime into a saucer, about two inches in depth, containing
some very diluted hydrochloric acid; bubbles of gas will speedily arise,
and bursting on the surface of the fluid will burn with a slight
explosion, and a circular wreath of smoke will rise into the atmosphere,
enlarging as it rises, and wreathing itself round and round in the most
elegant forms. Care must be taken that the phosphuret is _fresh_, and
has been kept in a well-closed bottle, or the experiment will fail. The
apartment must be free from draughts. If you desire to collect the gas,
another method must be employed.


Fill a small retort _quite full_, neck and all, of a solution of caustic
potash, drop five or six pieces of phosphorus into it, place the finger
on the end of the retort, and immerse it in a basin also containing a
_hot_ solution of potash, remove the finger, and on applying the heat of
a lamp to the retort, the gas will soon be disengaged rapidly, and drive
out the fluid in the retort; it then escapes into the air, when it
inflames with the same appearances as before described. Or it may be
collected in gas jars filled with the potash solution, and held over the
mouth of the retort. The object in using _hot_ solution of potash in the
basin is, that when the gas ceases to be given off, and the heat of the
lamp is withdrawn, the hot fluid may gradually fill the vacuum which
will form in the retort, and so prevent its being broken.

This gas is transparent and invisible, like most other gases. It is very
poisonous if inhaled. If kept for any time, it loses its property of
spontaneous inflammation, and must therefore be made at the time it is


Sulphur, or brimstone, as it is frequently called, is sold in the form
of sticks, or _roll_ brimstone, or in fine powder called flowers of

It is capable of showing electric phenomena when rubbed, giving out
slight sparks, and first attracting and then repelling light bodies,
such as small pieces of paper, &c. It is so bad a conductor of heat,
that if grasped suddenly in a hot hand, it will crack and split into
pieces just as glass does when suddenly heated or cooled--of course I am
speaking of the roll brimstone. Water has no effect on it, as may be
seen in the pans placed for pet dogs to drink out of, where the same
piece of brimstone lies for years entirely unaltered, though it is
supposed to prevent the dogs from having the mange!

Sulphur is largely used in the arts, principally in the manufacture of
gunpowder, and fireworks of various kinds.

It combines with hydrogen, and forms a gaseous compound called
sulphuretted hydrogen, which is almost the most poisonous of all the
gases. It fortunately has so abominable smell, that due notice is given
of its presence. Rotten eggs, a dirty gun-barrel, cabbage water, putrid
animal and vegetable matter, &c. are indebted to this gas for their
inviting odour; and it is found in certain mineral springs, as at
Harrogate, where the water contains a considerable quantity of this gas,
and is found useful in many diseases of the skin. It is also given off
in a gaseous form by some volcanoes.

This gas may be obtained by pouring dilute hydrochloric acid upon a
metallic sulphuret, such as that called crude antimony, being a native
sulphuret of that metal. The gas may be kept for a short time over
water. It is colourless and transparent, inflammable, but quite
irrespirable, a small bird dying instantly when placed in air containing
only 1/1500th of this gas. Its most remarkable property perhaps is the
effect it has on certain metallic oxides, and other metallic salts,
blackening them instantly. White paint is easily stained by this gas,
and it will darken the colour of a metal in a solution, especially of
lead, even when diluted with 20,000 times its weight of water. By way of
experiment, slips of riband, silk, or even paper, may be wetted with
various metallic solutions, such as silver, mercury, lead, &c. or words
may be written with the solutions, and on holding them over a stream of
this gas they will be instantly darkened.

If this gas be collected in the pneumatic trough, which is usually
painted _white_, you will have the pleasure of seeing the colour changed
to a very dark brown, when your experiments are finished. With this very
limited description of some of the non-metallic elements and their
combinations, we must, for want of space, take leave of this division of
chemistry; “the beginning of which is pleasure, its progress knowledge,
its objects truth and utility.”--(_Davy._)


We have a few words to say about a class of bodies called metals, which
are of the utmost importance to mankind, and indeed without some of
them, especially iron, few of the arts of civilized life could exist.

Fifty substances are now included in the list of metals; some of them,
however, are only _supposed_ to exist, such as _ammonium_, the supposed
base of ammonia; and very many are to be viewed rather in the light of
chemical curiosities, as from their great rarity they are too expensive
for use, even if possessed of valuable properties of which others might
be destitute.

Several metals have been known from the earliest period of which we have
any record; such were iron, gold, silver, copper, lead, tin, mercury,
and probably zinc, or at least its ores; for brass, which is an alloy of
copper and zinc, is frequently mentioned in the early part of the Old
Testament. In the sixteenth century others were discovered, such as
antimony and bismuth. In the last century, cobalt, arsenic, platinum,
nickel, manganese, and chromium, together with several unimportant
metals, were discovered by various philosophers; while in the present
century, Dr. Wollaston discovered rhodium, the hardest and nearly the
most indestructible of all the metals; and a few years later, Sir
Humphry Davy found that the alkalies, potash, and soda, with many of the
earths as they were called, had each a metal for its base, to which he
gave the Latin name of the alkali or earth, with the termination _um_,
as potassi_um_, the base of potassa, sodi_um_ of soda, calci_um_ of calx
(lime), &c.

Until Sir H. Davy’s discovery of the metals of the alkalies, great
specific gravity was regarded as one of the most striking
characteristics of a metal, the lightest of them being much heavier than
the heaviest earth; but potassium is very much lighter than water, and
not much heavier than spirits of wine. The other metals vary from a
specific gravity of nearly twenty-one--or twenty-one times heavier than
an equal bulk of water--that of platinum, to somewhat less than seven,
which is the specific gravity of antimony.

When pure, they all have a lustre, differing indeed among themselves,
but so peculiar that it is called the metallic lustre, for instance,
gold and copper are yellow and red--nearly all the others white, but of
a different shade; still there is no mistaking their metallic character,
no other substances at all equalling them in this respect. They are also
opaque, although some, like gold, when reduced to thin films, allow
light to pass through them. They are all good conductors of heat and
electricity, though some possess that property to a greater extent than

Many of them are what is called malleable, that is, may be extended or
spread out by rolling, or beating them with a hammer; and ductile, or
have the property of being drawn out into wire. Gold, silver, copper,
and iron, are the most remarkable in this respect.

All the metals are fusible, but some require very different degrees of
heat to render them fluid,--platinum requiring the heat of the
oxy-hydrogen blowpipe, while tin melts in the flame of a candle, and
mercury is fluid at all temperatures in this climate, but becomes solid
at 40° Fahr. below 0,--a temperature occasionally experienced in the
Arctic regions, where the mercurial thermometer is useless, the mercury
becoming solid.

They are all excellent conductors of heat and electricity, and have the
property of reflecting light and forming mirrors; for looking-glasses
owe their power of reflecting objects principally to what is called the
“silvering;” that is, a mixture of mercury and tin spread over the back
of the glass, which being transparent, allows the image reflected from
the metal to pass through it.

The following classification is most instructive, because it suggests to
the young student that there must be identical properties in the metals
thus placed together:--

_Class 1._ Ammonium, cæsium, lithium, potassium, sodium.

_Class 2._ Calcium, barium, strontium.

_Class 3._ Aluminium, cerium, didymium, erbium, glucinium, lanthanum,
thorium, yttrium, zirconium.

_Class 4._ Zinc class: cadmium, magnesium, zinc.

_Class 5._ Iron class: cobalt, chromium, indium, iron, manganese,
nickel, uranium.

_Class 6._ Tin class: niobium, tantalum, tin, titanium.

_Class 7._ Tungsten class: molybdenum, tungsten, vanadium.

_Class 8._ Arsenic class: antimony, arsenic, bismuth.

_Class 9._ Lead class: lead, thallium.

_Class 10._ Silver class: copper, mercury, silver.

_Class 11._ Gold class: gold, iridium, osmium, palladium, platinum,
rhodium, ruthenium.


Potassium was discovered by Sir H. Davy in the beginning of the present
century, while acting upon potash with the enormous galvanic battery of
the Royal Institution, consisting of 2,000 pairs of 4-inch plates. It is
a brilliant white metal, so soft as to be easily cut with a penknife,
and so light as to swim upon water, on which it acts with great energy,
uniting with the oxygen, and liberating the hydrogen, which takes fire
as it escapes.


Trace some continuous lines on paper with a camel’s-hair brush dipped in
water, and place a piece of potassium about the size of a pea on one of
the lines, and it will follow the course of the pencil, taking fire as
it runs, and burning with a purplish light. The paper will be found
covered with a solution of ordinary potash. If turmeric paper be used,
the course of the potassium will be marked with a deep brown
colour.--_Corollary._ Hence, if you touch potassium with _wet_ fingers
you will burn them!

If a small piece of the metal be placed on a piece of ice, it will
instantly take fire, and form a deep hole, which will be found to
contain a solution of potash.

In consequence of its great affinity for oxygen, potassium must be kept
in some fluid destitute of that element, such as naphtha.

_Caution!_--As the globules of potassium after conversion into potash,
when thrown on ice or water burst, strewing small particles of caustic
hot potash in every direction, the greatest care should be taken to
keep at a sufficient distance whilst performing the above experiment.

Saltpetre, or nitre, is a compound of this metal (or rather its oxide)
with nitric acid. It is one of the ingredients of gunpowder, and has the
property of quickening the combustion of all combustible bodies.

Mix some chlorate of potash with lump sugar, both being powdered, and
drop on the mixture a little strong sulphuric acid, and it will
instantly burst into flame. This experiment also requires caution.

Want of space precludes us from considering the individual metals and
their compounds in detail; it must suffice to describe some experiments
showing some of their properties.

The different affinities of the metals for oxygen may be exhibited in
various ways. The silver or zinc tree has already been described, page


1. Into a solution of nitrate of silver in distilled water immerse a
clean plate or slip of copper. The solution, which was colourless, will
soon begin to assume a greenish tint, and the piece of copper will be
covered with a coating of a light grey colour, which is the silver
formerly united to the nitric acid, which has been displaced by the
greater affinity or _liking_ of the oxygen and acid for the copper.

2. When the copper is no longer coated, but remains clean and bright
when immersed in the fluid, all the silver has been deposited, and the
glass now contains a solution of _copper_.

Place a piece of clean iron in the solution, and it will almost
instantly be coated with a film of _copper_, and this will continue
until the whole of that metal is removed, and its place filled by an
equivalent quantity of _iron_, so that nitrate of _iron_ is found in the
liquid. The oxygen and nitric acid remain unaltered in quantity or
quality during these changes, being merely transferred from one metal to

A piece of zinc will displace the iron in like manner, leaving a
solution of nitrate of zinc.

Nearly all the colours used in the arts are produced by metals and their
combinations; indeed, one is named _chromium_, from a Greek word
signifying colour, on account of the beautiful tints obtained from its
various combinations with oxygen and the other metals. All the various
tints of green, orange, yellow, and red, are obtained from this metal.

Solutions of most of the metallic salts give precipitates with solutions
of alkalies and their salts, as well as with many other substances, such
as what are usually called prussiate of potash, hydro-sulphuret of
ammonia, &c.; and the colours differ according to the metal employed,
and so small a quantity is required to produce the colour that the
solutions before mixing may be nearly colourless.


1. To a solution of sulphate of iron add a drop or two of a solution of
prussiate of potash, and a blue colour will be produced.

2. Substitute sulphate of copper for iron, and the colour will be a rich

3. Another blue, of quite a different tint, may be produced by letting a
few drops of a solution of ammonia fall into one of sulphate of
copper--a precipitate of a light blue falls down, which is dissolved by
an additional quantity of the ammonia, and forms a transparent solution
of the most splendid rich blue colour.

4. Into a solution of sulphate of iron let fall a few drops of a strong
infusion of galls, and the colour will become a bluish-black--in fact,
_ink_. A little _tea_ will answer as well as the infusion of galls. This
is the reason why certain stuffs formerly in general use for dressing
gowns for gentlemen were so objectionable; for as they were indebted to
a salt of iron for their colour, buff as it was called, a drop of tea
accidentally spilt produced all the effect of a drop of ink.

5. Put into a largish test tube two or three small pieces of granulated
zinc, fill it about one-third full of water, put in a few grains of
iodine and boil the water, which will at first acquire a dark purple
colour, gradually fading as the iodine combines with the zinc. Add a
little more iodine from time to time, until the zinc is nearly all
dissolved. If a few drops of this solution be added to an equally
colourless solution of corrosive sublimate (a salt of mercury) a
precipitate will take place of a splendid scarlet colour, brighter if
possible than vermilion, which is also a preparation of mercury.


Some of the metals assume certain definite forms in returning from the
fluid to the solid state. Bismuth shows this property more readily than
most others.


Melt a pound or two of bismuth in an iron ladle over the fire; remove it
as soon as the whole is fluid; and when the surface has become solid
break a hole in it, and pour out the still fluid metal from the
interior; what remains will exhibit beautifully formed crystals of a
cubic shape.

Sulphur may be crystallized in the same manner, but its fumes when
heated are so very unpleasant that few would wish to encounter them.

One of the most remarkable facts in chemistry, a science abounding in
wonders, is the circumstance, that the mere contact of hydrogen, the
_lightest_ body known, with the metal platinum, the heaviest, when in a
state of minute division, called spongy platinum, produces an intense
heat, sufficient to inflame the hydrogen: of course this experiment
must be made in the presence of atmospheric air or oxygen.

Time and space (or rather the want of them) compel us to conclude with a
few experiments of a miscellaneous character.


Prepare separately, saturated solutions of sulphate of magnesia (Epsom
salts) and carbonate of potash. On mixing them the result will be nearly

  [7] Saturated solutions are made by adding the salt to _boiling_ water
      until it will take up no more, letting it stand till cold and then
      pouring off the liquid.

Solutions of muriate of lime and carbonate of potash will answer as


Rub together in a Wedgewood mortar a small quantity of sulphate of soda
and acetate of lead, and as they mix they will become liquid.

Carbonate of ammonia and sulphate of copper, previously reduced to
powder separately, will also, when mixed, become liquid, and acquire a
most splendid blue colour.

The greater number of salts have a tendency to assume regular forms, or
become _crystallised_, when passing from the fluid to the solid state;
and the size and regularity of the crystals depends in a great measure
on the slow or rapid escape of the fluid in which they were dissolved.
Sugar is a capital example of this property; the ordinary loaf-sugar
being rapidly boiled down, as it is called: while to make sugar-candy,
which is nothing but sugar in a crystallized form, the solution is
allowed to evaporate slowly, and as it cools it forms into those
beautiful crystals termed sugar-candy. The threads found in the centre
of some of the crystals are merely placed for the purpose of hastening
the formation of the crystals.


1. Make a strong solution of alum, or of sulphate of copper, or blue
vitriol, and place in them rough and irregular pieces of clinker from
stoves, or wire-baskets, and set them by in a cool place, where they
will be free from dust, and in a few days crystals of the several salts
will deposit themselves on the baskets, &c.; they should then be taken
out of the solutions, and dried, when they form very pretty ornaments
for a room.

2. Fill a Florence flask up to the neck with a strong solution of
sulphate of soda, or Glauber’s salt, boil it, and tie the mouth over
with a piece of moistened bladder while boiling, and set it by in a
place where it cannot be disturbed. After twenty-four hours it will
probably still remain fluid. Pierce the bladder covering with a
penknife, and the entrance of the air will cause the whole mass
instantly to crystallize, and the flask will become quite warm from the
latent caloric, of which we have spoken before, given out by the salt in
passing from the fluid to the solid state. It is better to prepare two
or three flasks at the same time, to provide against accidents, for the
least shake will often cause crystallization to take place before the
proper time.


Make a strong infusion of the leaves of the red cabbage, which will be
of a beautiful _blue_ colour; drop into it a few drops of dilute
sulphuric acid, and the colour will change to a bright red; add some
solution of carbonate of potash, or soda, and the red colour will
gradually give way to the original blue; continue adding the alkaline
solution, and the fluid will assume a bright _green_ colour. Now resume
the acid, and as it is dropped in, the colour will again change from
green to blue, and from blue to red. Now this simple experiment
illustrates three points: first, that acids change the colour of most
vegetable blues and greens to red; second, that alkalies change most
blues and reds to green; and third, that when the acid and alkali are
united together, they both lose their property of changing colour, and
become what is called a _neutral_ salt, _i. e._ a compound possessing
the properties of _neither_ of its constituents.



No branch of science is more capable of affording amusement, combined
with instruction, than electricity, and there are few sciences in which
the experiments are more easily performed. We would therefore especially
recommend it to our young friends.

The term electricity is derived from the Greek word _electron_,
signifying amber, because electrical attraction was first discovered
from its being noticed that when amber was rubbed into a certain degree
of warmth, it had the power of attracting small bodies to itself.

Electricity therefore primarily treats of the phenomena and effects
produced by the friction or rubbing together of certain bodies called
electrics. These consist of glass, amber, resinous matters, silks, hair,
wool, feathers, various vegetable substances, and atmospheric air, and
the electricity so obtained is usually called Frictional Electricity, to
distinguish it from that produced by chemical action, and called Voltaic


To show the nature of electrical action, rub a piece of sealing-wax or
amber upon the coat-sleeve, and it will attract light bodies, such as
straws or small pieces of paper. If a clean glass tube be rubbed several
times through a silken or leather cloth, and presented to any small
substances, it will immediately attract and then repel them; and if a
poker suspended by a dry silk string be presented to its upper end, then
the lower end of the poker will exhibit the same phenomena as the tube
itself, which shows that the opposite electrical condition may be
induced upon other bodies by the mere neighbourhood and approach of
another electrified body, and the effect so produced is called induced


When an electrified conductor is supported by non-conductors, so that
the electric fluid cannot pass from the conductor to the earth, it is
said to be insulated: thus the human body is a conductor of
electricity--but if a person standing on a glass stool (as represented
in the drawing) be charged with electricity, the electric fluid cannot
pass from him to the earth, and he is said to be _insulated_; and if he
be touched by another person standing on the ground, sparks will be
exhibited at the point of contact, where also the person touching will
feel a pricking sensation.




In order to illustrate certain remarkable facts in this science of an
amusing character, attention must be directed to the figure A B, which
is a metal stand; C is a small piece of cork or pith, which is suspended
from the hook by a dry silken thread. Having rubbed an electric, as a
dry rod of glass, and presented it to C, the ball will be
instantaneously attracted to the glass and will adhere to it. After they
remain in contact for a few seconds, if the glass be withdrawn without
being touched by the fingers, and again presented to the ball, the
latter will be _repelled_ instead of attracted, as in the first
instance. By being touched with the finger, the ball can be deprived of
its electricity, and if after this has been done we present a piece of
sealing-wax in the place of the glass formerly employed, the very same
phenomena will take place. On the first application the ball will be
_attracted_, and on the second _repelled_.[8]

  [8] For a more complete account of this interesting science we would
      refer the young reader to “The Boy’s Playbook on Science,” or, if
      more advanced, to “Noad’s Manual of Electricity.”

Before the young reader can perform any very important experiments with
electricity, he must become possessed of an ELECTRICAL MACHINE, which is
an instrument contrived for the purpose of rubbing together the surfaces
of glass and leather. They generally consist of a cylinder, or plate of
glass, and a piece of silk or leather for it to rub against, covered
with an amalgam, the method of preparing which we shall hereafter



It is very easy to make a glass machine of the cylindrical form, if the
maker cannot afford to buy one. First procure a common wine bottle of
good dimensions, and thickish glass. Drill a hole through its bottom,
with a file moistened with dilute sulphuric acid. A blacksmith, if
supplied with the acid, would undertake to do this part of the work.
Through this hole and the mouth pass a spindle, as represented in the
cut. The end of B should be squared to fix a handle on, and the spindle
should be fixed firmly in the bottle. The bottle is then to be fixed in
a frame in the following manner: the end of the spindle C passes through
a hole at B; and the other end at C has the handle for turning the


Next make a cushion of wash-leather stuffed with wool, and fastened to
the top of a frame of the following figure. This frame is to be of such
a height that the cushion shall press against the sides of the bottle,
and a piece of black silk is sewn on to the top of the cushion, and
hangs over the bottle D. The cushion should be smeared with an amalgam,
formed by melting together in the bowl of a tobacco-pipe one part of tin
with two of zinc; to which, while fluid, should be added six parts of
mercury. These should be stirred about till quite cold, and then reduced
to a fine powder in a mortar, and mixed with a sufficient quantity of
lard to form a thickish paste. When all is done, the machine is

[Illustration: CUSHION.]


The electricity being generated by the friction produced between the
rubber and the bottle from the motion imparted by the handle, it is
necessary to draw it off for use. This is performed by what is called a
conductor. This is made by covering a cylinder of turned wood six inches
long and two and a half inches in diameter, and nicely rounded at the
ends, with tinfoil, which is then mounted on a stand on a glass rod.
When used, it is to be placed in the direction of the length. In it some
pins are inserted, with the points outside, in a line even with, and
about half an inch from, the bottle, and it should be of such a height
as to come just below the silk apron. When it is wished to charge a
Leyden jar, it is to be placed at the round end of the conductor. By
these simple means a great variety of pleasing experiments may be
performed; but to show the various phenomena connected with this
interesting study, we shall now describe an electrical machine of the
newest construction, and perform our experiments with it.



Formerly the electrical machine was made in the form of a cylinder, but
now it consists of a plate A, as seen in the engraving. The plate is
turned by the handle F through the rubber B B, which diffuses the
excitement over the glass. The points or balls at each side of the plate
carry off a constant stream of positive electricity to the prime
conductor C. Negative electricity is generated by insulating the
conductor to which the cushion is attached, and continuing the prime
conductor with the ground, so as to carry off the fluid collected from
the plate.


If the person who works the machine be supported on a stool having glass
legs, and connected with the conductor by means of a glass rod, the
electricity will pass from the conductor to him, and as it cannot get
away, owing to the glass on which he stands being a non-conductor, any
person on touching him can draw the electricity from him, which will
exhibit itself in small sparks as it passes to the person who touches
him. If touched on the nose, sparks of fire will issue from it.



A most useful piece of electrical apparatus is called the Leyden jar,
here represented. It is employed for the purpose of obtaining a quantity
of electricity, which may be applied to any substance. It consists of a
glass jar, coated both inside and without, four-fifths of the way up,
with tinfoil. A knob rises through a wooden top communicating with the
inside of the jar. When it is wished to charge the jar, this knob is
applied to the prime conductor of the electrical machine when in action,
and a quantity of electricity being given off, the jar will remain
charged with it till a connexion is made, by some good conductor of
electricity, between the knob and the outside tinfoil. A piece of brass
chain must hang from the stem that carries the knob, and connect it with
the interior of the jar.



If several of these jars be united, a large quantity of electricity can
be collected; but, in arranging them, all the interior coatings must be
made to communicate by metallic rods, and a similar union must be
effected among the exterior coatings. When thus arranged, the whole
series may be charged as if they formed but one jar.


For the purpose of making a direct communication between the inner or
outer coatings of a jar or battery, by which a discharge is effected, an
instrument called a discharging rod is employed. It consists of two bent
metallic rods, terminating at one end by brass balls, and connected at
another by a joint which is fixed to the end of a glass handle, and
which, acting like a pair of compasses, allows of the balls being
separated at certain distances. When opened to the proper degree, one of
the balls is made to touch the exterior coating, and the other ball is
then brought into contact with the knob of the jar, when a discharge is
effected; while the glass handle secures the person holding it from the
effects of the shock.



Get two round pieces of wood, A B, and coat them with tinfoil; or two
pieces of metal plate; attach one of them to the prime conductor by a
chain, and let it hang about two or three inches from the knob. Place
some pith-balls upon the bottom piece of wood B, and bring it under the
other. Immediately this is done, and the upper piece is charged with
electricity from the machine, the pith-balls will jump up and down, and
from one to the other with great rapidity. If some of the pith be formed
into little figures, they will also dance and leap about in the most
grotesque manner. The same may be made to dance by merely holding the
inside of a dry glass tumbler to the prime conductor for a few minutes,
while the machine is in action, and then if this be placed over them
they will jump about, to the astonishment of the spectators, as the
cause of their motions is not quite so apparent.


This amusing experiment is performed by means of the electrical stool.
Let any lady challenge a gentleman not acquainted with the experiment to
favour her with a salute. The lady thereupon mounts the glass stool, and
takes hold of a chain connected with the prime conductor. The machine
being then put in motion the gentleman approaches the lady, and
immediately he attempts to imprint the seal of soft affection upon her
coral lips, a spark will fly in his face, which generally deters him
from his rash and wicked intention.



Bells may be made to ring by electricity in the following manner. Let
three small bells be suspended from a brass wire, D D, and supported by
a glass pillar A, passing through bell B to the bell E. The electrical
apparatus being attached to the knob F, the electricity passes down the
wires D D to the bells, which are then positively electrified and
attract the clappers C C, that are negatively so, in consequence of
being insulated by the silken strings, which are not conductors. The
bells therefore attract the clappers till they are charged, when they
strike against the centre bell to discharge themselves, and thus a peal
is rung on the bells until the electricity is driven off.


This may be shown in a variety of ways. The subjoined machine will
exhibit the principle upon which many ingenious toys may be made by the
young philosopher. In the figure A is a wooden board or stand, B B B B,
four pillars of glass, gutta-percha, or sealing-wax, having fine wires,
C C, stretched above. On these rest the rotatory wire or wheel F, having
its points turned the reverse ways. By means of a chain attached to the
conductor, and to the instrument at B, the electricity passes over the
pillar B, up the wire C into the wheel, and off at the points, which
causes it to be turned round on an inclined plane till it reaches the



While a person is on the electrical stool, if he be charged with much

    “Each hair will stand on end,
    Like quills upon the fretful porcupine.”


A wooden head--not your own, but a real wooden head--with a wig of
streaming hair, and a handsome face to correspond, may be made in the
following form, with a wire in the neck to support it by, and fixed in
the conductor of an electrical machine. When this is put in motion the
hair will rise up, as in the figure, in a manner to astonish even the



To show the manner in which thunderclouds perform their operations in
the air, A A is a wooden stand, on which are erected two uprights, B B;
C C are two small pulleys, over which a silken cord can pull easily; E
is another silken line stretched across from one upright to another; on
these silken cords two pieces of thin cardboard covered with tinfoil,
and cut so as to represent clouds, are to be fixed horizontally, and
made to communicate, by means of thin wires F and G, one with the
_inside_, and the other with the _outside_, of a charged jar, D. Now, by
pulling the loop of the silk line, the clouds will be brought near the
cloud 2; continue this slowly, until the clouds (which are furnished
with two small brass balls) are within an inch of each other, when a
beautiful flash, strongly resembling lightning in miniature, will pass
from one cloud to the other, restoring electrical equilibrium.



If the jar D be put behind the stand, and the cloud 2 removed, a vessel
communicating by means of a wire with the outside of the jar may be swum
in water under the remaining cloud; the mast being made of two pieces,
and but slightly joined together, with a hollow space in one half of the
mast, into which the ends of the conductor pass, but do not touch,
leaving an interval of about a quarter of an inch between them. The
hollow is then filled with gun-cotton, and closed with cork. When the
cloud is passed over the vessel, the mast will be struck and shattered
to pieces. A strip of tinfoil, arranged with pins over the hollow part
of the mast, will show how a continuous conductor will convey the
discharge safely away.


This apparatus is capable of affording much amusement. A is a stand of
wood, B is a common Leyden jar, out of which proceed the wires H H--one
terminating in ball F, the other in the ball D--to which are attached a
number of pith birds by silken strings; E is a shelf for the birds to
rest upon; C is the sportsman; G his gun.


To put this operation in motion the Leyden jar is to be charged with
electricity by affixing a chain to the bottom part of it, and connecting
it with an electrical machine in the usual manner, or by applying it to
a prime conductor, when the birds will fly off the knob to which they
are fixed in consequence of their being repelled. If the sportsman and
gun be then turned, so that the end of his gun shall touch the knob F,
an electric spark will pass from one to the other, a report will be
heard, and the birds will fall down as if shot, in consequence of the
electricity having been taken from the Leyden jar. There should be a
communication between the sportsman and the jar formed of tinfoil, or
some metal, as shown by the dotted line on the stand.

Such are a few of many numerous experiments which may be made by the
young experimenter, who is fond of science and has any ingenuity; but
should he like to amuse himself with an electrifying machine of little
cost, he may warm a sheet of brown paper, and then rub it briskly on a
teatray with india-rubber; on raising the paper in a dark room, he will
see many pretty electrical sparks.

The back of a black tom cat is sometimes recommended as a cheap
electrical machine; but as the wishes of the animal have to be
consulted, perhaps it is wiser to leave the cat alone.



                “To play with fire
    They say is dangerous; what is it then
    To shake hands with the lightning, and to sport
    With thunder?”--TYLER.

Galvanism, or electricity of quantity, in contradistinction to
frictional electricity, called electricity of intensity, owes its name
to the experiments on animal irritability made in 1790 by M. Galvani, a
professor of anatomy at Bologna. These experiments were suggested by the
following circumstances.


It happened that the wife of Galvani, who was consumptive, was advised
to take as an article of food some soup made of the flesh of frogs.
Several of these creatures were killed and skinned, and were lying on
the table in the laboratory close to an electrical machine, with which a
pupil of the professor was making experiments. While the machine was in
action, he chanced to touch the bare nerve of the leg of one of the
frogs with the blade of the knife that he had in his hand, when suddenly
the whole limb was thrown into violent convulsions. Galvani was not
present when this occurred; but being informed of it, he immediately set
himself to investigate the cause. He found that it was only when a spark
was drawn from the prime conductor, and when the knife or any other good
conductor was in contact with the nerve, that the contracting took
place; and after a time he discovered that the effect was independent of
the electrical machine, and might be equally well produced by making a
metallic communication between the outside muscle and the crural nerve.


If the young experimenter will obtain a piece of zinc of the size of
half a crown and place it on the top of his tongue, and place a
half-crown underneath it, and bring the edges of the half-crown and zinc
in contact in front of his tongue, he will notice a peculiar sensation
in the nerves of this organ, and some taste will be imparted to his
mouth at the moment of contact.



If we take two plates of different kinds of metal, platinum (or copper)
and zinc, for example, and immerse them in pure water, having wires
attached to them above, then if the wire of each is brought into contact
in another vessel of water, a galvanic circle will be formed, the water
will be slowly decomposed, its oxygen will be fixed on the zinc wire,
and at the same time a current of electricity will be transmitted
through the liquid to the platina or copper wire, on the end of which
the other element of water, namely, the hydrogen, will make its
appearance in the form of minute gas bubbles. The electrical current
passes back again into the zinc at the points of its contact with the
platina, and thus a continued current is kept up, and hence it is called
a galvanic circle. The moment the circuit is broken by separating the
wires the current ceases, but is again renewed by making them touch
either in or out of the water. If a small quantity of sulphuric acid be
added to the water, the phenomenon will be more apparent. The end of the
wire attached to the piece of platinum or copper is called the positive
pole of the battery, and that of the wire attached to the zinc the
negative pole.

The current of electricity here generated will be extremely feeble; but
this can be easily increased by multiplying the glasses and the number
of the pieces of metal. If we take six such glasses instead of one,
partially fill them with dilute sulphuric acid, and put a piece of zinc
and copper into each, connecting them by means of copper wire from glass
to glass through the whole series, a stronger current of electricity
will be the result. The experimenter must be careful not to let the wire
and zinc touch each other at the bottom of the tumblers, and must also
remember that the copper of glass 1 is connected with the zinc of glass
2, and so on.



To effect this, make a connexion between the poles of the above or any
excited battery with the two ends of a wire formed into a spiral coil,
by bending common bonnet-wire closely round a cylinder, or tube, of
about an inch in diameter; into this coil introduce a needle or piece of
steel wire, laying it lengthways down the circles of the coil. In a few
minutes after the electric fluid has passed through the spiral wire, and
consequently round the needle or wire, the latter will be found to be
strongly magnetized, and to possess all the properties of a magnet.


If a galvanic current, or any electric current, be made to pass along a
wire under which, and in a line with it, a compass is placed, it will be
found that the needle will no longer point north and south, but will
take a direction nearly across the current, and point almost east and


Put a teaspoonful of sulphate of soda into a cup, and dissolve it in hot
water; pour a little cabbage blue into the solution, and put a portion
into two glasses, connecting them by a piece of linen or cotton cloth
previously moistened in the same solution. On putting one of the wires
of the galvanic pole into each glass, the acid accumulates in the one,
turning the blue to a red, and the alkali in the other, rendering it
green. If the wires be now reversed, the acid accumulates eventually in
the glass where the alkali appeared, while the alkali passes to the
glass where the acid was.


If the ends of the wires of a small galvanic battery are connected with
a proper electro-magnetic coil, which may now be purchased at a very
cheap rate, and the wires from the coil be placed in separate basins of
water, then, on dipping the fingers of each hand in the basin, a smart
shock will be felt, with a particular aching accompanied with trembling.
With a strong battery and larger coil this effect is felt as high as the
shoulders. The shock will also be felt by simply holding the wires of a
powerful galvanic battery, one in each hand, provided the hands be
moistened with salt and water. Several persons may receive the shock
from the battery and coil together by joining hands.


The electro-galvanic current has in no case been more interestingly
employed than in the process of electrotyping. It consists of a mode of
obtaining the copy of coins, medals, engraved plates, and other objects,
which may be easily illustrated.



Take an earthen jar and a porous tube; fill the tube with ten parts of
water and one of sulphuric acid; put it into the jar, into which pour as
much of a solution of sulphate of copper (blue vitriol) as will fill
three parts of it; place in the tube a piece of zinc, to which a copper
wire is soldered and bent round, so that one end be immersed in the
sulphate of copper; and a deposit of the copper will be immediately
formed upon the wire. If there be plenty of acid and water, so as to
allow of the action enduring for a long time, this process will go on
till it has deposited all the copper. This is the principle upon which
electrotyping proceeds,--a principle referable to electro-chemical

The diagram represents an outer vessel of wood, glass, or earthenware,
capable of holding a pint of liquid, within which there is suspended a
short lamp-glass A, the one end being open, and the other, B, closed
with a diaphragm of plaster of Paris; C is a small bag of crystals of
sulphate of copper, to keep up the strength of the solution; Z is the
zinc, and M the metal.


Never place the original medal in the apparatus, or the deposited copper
may adhere so tightly to it that the removal destroys the beauty of the
medal. Having taken an impression in sealing-wax, cover the latter with
black-lead, and attach a wire so that it is in contact with the
black-lead. To the wire and cast thus arranged a piece of sheet or cast
zinc, amalgamated with mercury, must be attached, and we are at once
furnished with the materials for the battery, as the object to be copied
supplies the place of the copper. The medal must always be placed
horizontally. Now let the apparatus be charged with the solution, by
pouring into the outer vessel a portion of the coppery solution, so that
it will stand about an inch above the medal; then pour in the glass the
dilute acid to the same height as the former; now introduce the zinc
into the acid, and the object to be copied into the solution of copper,
which will immediately be deposited on the medal, and when of a
sufficient thickness may be taken off.



The chief agent in causing the repulsion or separation of the particles
of bodies from each other is heat, or more correctly _caloric_, by which
is understood the unknown _cause_ of the effect called heat.
Philosophers are not agreed upon the nature of this wonderful agent. It
pervades all nature, is the cause of nearly all the changes that take
place both in organic and inorganic matter, and has great influence in
the meteorological phenomena which we observe in the atmosphere that
surrounds our planet. It appears to be intimately connected with light,
electricity, and magnetism,--subjects which the genius of Faraday and
others have investigated, and by their discoveries brought us nearer to
the knowledge of the real nature of these most wonderful forces.

Caloric, then, exists in all bodies, and has a constant tendency to
equalize itself, as far at least as its outward manifestation, called
temperature, is concerned; for if a _hot_ body be brought near colder
ones, it will give up heat to them, until by its loss and their gain
they all become of the same temperature; and this proceeds more or less
rapidly, according as the original difference of temperature was greater
or less. Some other circumstances also influence this equalization. The
converse will take place on introducing a cold body among warmer ones,
when heat will be abstracted from all the bodies within reach of its
influence, until it has absorbed sufficient caloric to bring its own
temperature to an equality with theirs. This is the true explanation of
the apparent production of _cold_. When, for instance, an iceberg comes
across a ship’s course, it appears to _give out_ cold, whereas, it has
abstracted the heat from the air and sea in its neighbourhood, and they
in turn act upon the ship and everything in it, until one common
temperature is produced in all the neighbouring bodies.

It does not follow that the bodies thus equalized in temperature contain
equal quantities of caloric; far from it. Each body requires a
particular quantity of caloric to raise its temperature through a
certain number of degrees; and such quantity is called its _specific_
caloric. A pound of water, for instance, will take just twice as much
caloric as a pound of olive oil, to raise its temperature through the
same number of degrees; the _specific_ caloric of water is therefore
double that of oil. Mix any quantity of oil at 60° of temperature with
an equal weight of water at 90°, and you will find the temperature of
the mixture to be nearly 80°, instead of only 74° or 75°, showing that
while the water has lost only 10° of caloric, the mixture has risen 20°.
If the oil be at 90°, and the water at 60°, the resulting temperature
will be only 70°, or thereabouts, instead of 75°, the mean; thus, here
the hot oil has lost 20°, while the mixture has risen only 10°; the
water, then, contains at the same temperature _twice_ as much caloric as
the oil; its specific caloric is _double_ that of the oil. This mean
temperature does result when equal weights of the _same_ body at
different temperatures are mixed together.

The sensations called heat and cold are by no means accurate measures of
the real temperature of any substances, for many causes influence these
sensations, some belonging to the substances themselves, others to the
state of our organs at the time. Every one has remarked that metals in a
warm room feel warmer, and in a cold room colder than wooden articles,
and these again than woollen or cotton articles of dress or furniture;
this arises from metals being what is termed better _conductors_ of heat
than wood, and this better than wool, &c., that is, they give out or
absorb caloric more rapidly than these last. Some philosophers, wishing
to ascertain how much heat the human body could endure, had a room
heated with stoves, every crevice being carefully stopped, until the
temperature rose so high that a beefsteak placed on the table was
sufficiently cooked to be eaten. They were dressed in flannel, and could
with impunity touch the carpets, curtains, &c., in the room; but the
iron handles, fire-irons, and all metallic substances, burnt their
fingers; and one who wore silver spectacles was obliged to remove them
to save his nose. The fallacy of our sensations may be easily shown by
taking two basins, placing in one some water at 100°, in another some
water at as low a temperature as can easily be procured--hold the right
hand in one, the left in the other, for a few minutes, and then mix
them, and place both hands in the mixture; it will feel quite _cold_ to
the hand that had been in the hotter water, and _hot_ to the other.

In order to arrive at a correct estimate of the temperature of bodies,
instruments are made use of called thermometers, or measurers of heat,
which show increase or diminution of temperature by the rising or
falling of a column of some fluid in a tube of glass, one end of which
is expanded into a bulb, and the other hermetically sealed. This effect
is produced by the expansion or swelling of the fluid as caloric is
added to, and its contraction when caloric is abstracted from it.
Coloured spirits of wine, or quicksilver, are the most usual
thermometric fluids, and the tube containing them is fixed to a wooden
or metallic frame, on which certain divisions are marked, called

That in general use in England is called Fahrenheit’s, from the name of
the person who first introduced that particular scale. In this
thermometer, the point at which the mercury in the tube stands when
plunged into melting ice, is marked 32°, and the distance between that
point, and the point to which the mercury rises in boiling water, is
divided into 180 equal parts, called degrees; so that water is said to
boil at 212° = 180° + 32°. There are two other scales of temperature
used in different parts of the world, but it is not worth while to
notice them here.

Not only do different bodies at the same degree of temperature contain
very different quantities of caloric, but this also is the case with the
same body in different forms. Ice, water, and steam, are three forms of
the same body, but ice at 32° contains much less caloric than water at
the same temperature, and water at 212° contains much less caloric than
steam (or water in a state of vapour) at that temperature.

Place in a jar any given quantity of snow, or small pieces of ice, at
32°, and in another the same weight of water at 32°, pour on each an
equal weight of water at 172°, and you will find that in the first case
the ice will be melted, but the temperature will remain at 32° or
thereabouts, while the temperature of the water in the other vessel will
have risen to 100° or thereabouts, being as near as possible the half of
the excess of the temperature of the hot water, 140° over that of the
cold, namely 70° added to 32°, the original temperature. Now, what has
become of the heat which was added to the ice, and is apparently
lost?--it is _absorbed_ by the ice in its passage to the fluid state; so
that water may be said to be a compound of ice and caloric.

Again, take 10 ounces of water at about 50°, and add 1 oz. of water at
212°, and the temperature of the mixture will be about 66°; then
condense some steam at 212°, into another 10 oz. of water until it has
become 11 oz., and you will find the temperature will be nearly 212°.
Why does the ounce of steam at 212° raise the temperature of the water
so much higher than the ounce of water at the same temperature?
Obviously because it contains hidden in its substance a vast quantity of
caloric, not to be detected by the thermometer; in fact, that steam is a
compound of _water_ and caloric, as water is a compound of _ice_ and
caloric; and this caloric which exists, more or less, in all bodies
without producing any obvious effect, is called _latent_ caloric, from
the Latin verb _lateo_, to lie hid. The quantity of caloric thus
absorbed as it were by various bodies, differs for each body, and for
the same body in different forms, as mentioned above.


As a general rule, all bodies, whether solid, liquid, or gaseous, are
expanded by caloric. This may be shown by experiments in each form of

Have a small iron rod made, which when cold just passes through a hole
in a plate of metal; heat it, and it will no longer pass; after a time
the rod will return to its former temperature, and then will go through
the hole as before. The rod increases in length as well as width; if you
have a gauge divided into 1/100 of an inch, and place the rod in it when
cold, noting its position, on heating it will extend to a greater length
in the gauge, returning to its former place when cool.

The effect of caloric in causing fluids to expand is actually employed
as a measure of quantity in the thermometer, the rise of the fluid in
the tube when heated depending on the increased bulk of the fluid
occasioned by the addition of caloric. The same fact is to be noticed
every day when the cook fills the kettle, and places it on the fire. As
the water becomes warmer it expands, that is, takes up more room than it
did before, and the water escapes by slow degrees, increasing as the
heat increases, up to the point of boiling, when a sudden commotion
takes place from the condensation of a portion of the water into steam.

But it is in the form of vapour or gas, (which by the bye is not the
same thing,[9]) that the expansive force of caloric is most obvious. The
gigantic powers of the steam-engine depend entirely on the tendency of
vapour to expand on the addition of caloric; and this force of
expansion appears to have no limit; boilers made of iron plates an inch
or even more in thickness, and the buildings or ships containing them,
having been torn to pieces and scattered in all directions by the
expansive power of steam. Take a bladder, and fill it about half full of
air, and tie the neck securely; upon holding it to the fire it will
swell out, and become quite tense from the expansion of the contained

  [9] It may be well to state here, that by _vapour_ is generally
      understood the aërial form of a substance usually existing in a
      solid or fluid form at ordinary temperatures; as the vapour of
      iodine, a solid; of mercury, water, spirits, and other fluids:
      while the term _gas_ is applied to those bodies usually known in
      the aërial state; thus oxygen, nitrogen, carbonic acid, hydrogen,
      &c. &c., are called gases. It is, however, but an arbitrary
      distinction; for many of these gases have, by the combined
      influence of cold and powerful pressure, been converted into
      fluids, and even solids--carbonic acid gas for instance!

The principal source of caloric is the sun, whose beams, diffused
through all nature by the refractive property of the atmosphere, are the
source of vitality both to vegetables and animals, and when concentrated
by a large convex lens, produce the most intense heat, sufficient to
light a piece of diamond, and melt platinum. Caloric is also produced or
evolved by combustion, by friction, percussion, chemical combination,
electricity, and galvanism.

The evolution of heat by friction may be witnessed daily in a thousand
instances. Lucifer matches are lighted by rubbing the highly inflammable
substances with which they are tipped against a piece of sand-paper.
Nearly all savage people procure fire by rubbing a piece of hard wood
violently against a softer piece. The axle-trees of steam-engines, and
even of carriages, have been known to be so heated by friction as to
endanger burning the carriage; and it is very usual to be obliged to
pour a quantity of cold water on the iron axle of the carriages of an
express train after an hour of constant and rapid work. If you merely
rub the blade of a knife rapidly on a piece of wood, it will become hot
enough to burn your hand.

Percussion is merely a more energetic kind of friction, and is often
resorted to by the blacksmith to light his furnace. He places a nail or
other piece of soft iron on his anvil, and beats it rapidly with the
hammer, when it becomes actually red hot. The production of sparks by
striking flint against steel, or two pieces of flint one against the
other, are familiar instances of heat produced by percussion.

One of the most powerful means of producing heat is the process of

Combustion, as the word imports, is the _burning together_ of two or
more substances, a chemical union of oxygen generally with carbon and
hydrogen in some shape or other. In our ordinary fires we burn coal, a
hydro-carbon as it is called; and the gas which is now so universally
used for the purpose of illumination, is a compound of the same
bodies--so wax, tallow, oil of various kinds, both of animal and
vegetable origin, are all hydro-carbons.

On the application of a sufficient heat, and a free access of
atmospheric air, or of some other gas containing oxygen in a certain
state of combination, these bodies take fire, and continue to burn
either with flame, or a red or even white heat without flame, until they
are consumed; that is, until they have entered into new combinations
with the oxygen, and are converted into carbonic acid and water, the
carbon forming the first product, the hydrogen the other.


The following experiment shows the production of heat by chemical action
alone. Bruise some fresh prepared crystals of nitrate of copper, spread
them over a piece of tin-foil, sprinkle them with a little water; then
fold up the foil tightly as rapidly as possible, and in a minute or two
it will become red-hot, the tin apparently burning away. This heat is
produced by the energetic action of the tin on the nitrate of copper,
taking away its oxygen in order to unite with the nitric acid, for
which, as well as for the oxygen, the tin has a much greater affinity
than the copper has.

Combustion without flame may be shown in a very elegant and agreeable
manner, by making a coil of platinum wire by twisting it round the stem
of a tobacco-pipe, or any cylindrical body, for a dozen times or so,
leaving about an inch straight, which should be inserted into the wick
of a spirit-lamp; light the lamp, and after it has burnt for a minute or
two extinguish the flame quickly; the wire will soon become red hot,
and, if kept from draughts of air, will continue to burn until all the
spirit is consumed. Spongy platinum, as it is called, answers rather
better than wire, and has been employed in the formation of fumigators
for the drawing-room, in which, instead of pure spirit, some perfume,
such as lavender water, is used; by its combustion an agreeable odour is
diffused through the apartment. These little lamps were much in vogue a
few years ago, but are now nearly out of fashion.

Experiments on combustion might be multiplied almost to any amount, but
the above will be sufficient for the present. When we come to treat of
the properties of the gases and some other substances, we shall have
occasion to recur to this subject.

The production of caloric by chemical combination may be exhibited by
mixing carefully one part of oil of vitriol with two of water, when
sufficient heat will be produced to boil some water in a thin and narrow
tube, which may be used as a rod to stir the mixture.

The production of heat by electric and galvanic agency belongs to
another subject. I will content myself with saying here, that these
forces afford the most powerful aid in decomposing and uniting various
bodies, and that it was by the immense power of a battery of 2,000 pairs
of plates, belonging to the Royal Institution in London, that Sir H.
Davy discovered the metallic bases of the alkalies and earths.


The science of Hydraulics comprehends the laws which regulate
non-elastic fluids in motion, and especially water, &c.


Water can only be set in motion by two causes--the pressure of the
atmosphere, or its own gravity. The principal law concerning fluids is,
that they always preserve their own level. Hence water can be
distributed over a town from any reservoir that is higher than the
houses to be supplied; and the same principle will enable us to form
fountains in a garden, or other place. Should any of our young friends
wish to form a fountain, or jet d’eau, they may, by bringing a pipe from
T, a water-tank, which should be at the upper part of the house, convey
the water down to the garden. Then by leading it through the earth,
underneath the path or grass-plot, and turning it to a perpendicular
position, the water will spring out, and rise nearly as high as the
level of that in the tank. The part of the pipe at B should have a
turnkey, so that the water may be let on or shut off at pleasure.



The syphon B is a bent tube, having one leg shorter than the other. It
acts by the pressure of the atmosphere. In order to make a syphon act,
it is necessary first to fill both legs quite full of the fluid; and
then the shorter leg must be placed in the vessel to be emptied.
Immediately upon withdrawing the finger from the longer leg, the liquor
will flow. Any young person may form a syphon by a small piece of leaden
pipe, bent into the form above.



The action of the common pump is as follows: When the handle A is
raised, the piston-rod B descends, and brings the piston-valve, called
the sucker, or bucket, to another valve, C, which is fixed, and opens
inwards towards the piston. When the handle is drawn down, the piston is
raised, and, as it is air-tight, a vacuum is produced between the two
valves; the air in the barrel of the pump, betwixt the lower valve and
the water, then forces open the lower valve, and rushes through to fill
up this vacuum; and the air in the pump being less dense than the
external atmosphere, the water is forced a short way up the barrel. When
the piston again descends to the lower valve, the air between them is
again forced out by forcing open the upper valve; and when the piston is
raised, a vacuum is again produced, and the air below the lower valve
rushes up, and the water in consequence is again raised a little
further. This operation continues until the water rises above the lower
valve; at every stroke afterwards, the water passes through the valve of
the descending piston, and is raised by it, on its ascent, until it
issues out of the spout.



Make a little figure of cork, in the shape of a dancing mountebank,
sailor, &c. In this figure place a small hollow cone, made of thin leaf
brass. When this figure is placed upon any jet d’eau, such as that of
the fountain recommended to be constructed, it will be suspended on the
top of the water, and perform a great variety of amusing motions. If a
hollow ball of very thin copper, of an inch in diameter, be placed on a
similar jet, it will remain suspended, turning round and spreading the
water all about it.



may easily be constructed. Purchase a yard of small leaden pipe, and
twist it round a pole, as in the following figure, A; place a handle at
its upper end, B, and let its lower end rest in the water. Between the
last turn of the pipe and the orifice place a paddle-wheel, C. Now,
should the water be that of a running stream, the force of the stream
will turn the pipe, and the water will rise in it till it empties itself
into the trough at D. Should the water have no motion, the turning of
the handle at B will elevate the water from the lower to the higher



The attractive power of the loadstone has been known from a very remote
period. The natural magnet appears native in a grey iron ore in
octahedral crystals, composed of 168 parts of iron, and 64 parts of
oxygen, Fe₃O₄. Its properties seem to have been studied in Europe during
the dark ages, and a directive power is alluded to by Cardinal James de
Vitri, who flourished about the year 1200, who observed, that it was
indispensable to those who travel much by sea.

In modern times, the history as well as the nature of the magnet has
engaged remarkable attention; and it has been determined beyond all
dispute that the magnet was used by the Chinese under the name of the
_tche-chy_ (directing-stone) about 2604 years before Christ. It passed
from them to the Arabs, and was first used in Europe after the Crusades;
and Ludi Vestomanus asserts, that about the year 1500 he saw a pilot in
the East Indies direct his course by a magnetic needle like those now in


The most remarkable theories have been invented to account for the
phenomena of magnetism. Halley imagined magnetic globes to be moving to
and fro in the interior of the earth. Barlow’s theory, which refers the
whole to electrical currents, is the most rational. Dr. Faraday, for
whose kindness to us in early days we always feel grateful, in a series
of very curious experiments, has succeeded in identifying magnetism with
galvanism, by directing galvanic currents at right angles to the
direction of powerful magnets. And its connexion with this and the
common species of electricity has deprived it of all its conjuring
powers, and reduced it to the well-defined action of electrical bodies.

It is not for us to write either a history of this interesting subject,
or to treat it as a science to be acquired; but as it embodies a great
number of most instructive and amusing experiments, we think it proper
to introduce it here.


This may be done by stroking a piece of hard steel with a natural or
artificial magnet. Take a common sewing-needle and pass the north pole
of a magnet from the eye to the point, pressing it gently in so doing.
After reaching the end of the needle the magnet must not be passed back
again towards the eye, but must be lifted up and applied again to that
end, the friction being always in the same direction. After repeating
this for a few times the needle will become magnetised, and attract iron
filings, &c.


Hold it in the left hand in a position slightly inclined from the
perpendicular, the lower end pointing to the north, and then strike it
smartly several times with a large iron hammer, and it will be found to
possess the powers of a magnet, although but slightly.


Suspend two short pieces of iron wire, N S, N S, so that they will hang
in contact in a vertical position. If the north pole of a magnet N be
now brought to a moderate distance between the wires, they will recede
from each other, as in figure 1.

[Illustration: _Fig. 2_ _Fig 1._]

The ends S S being made south poles by induction from the north pole N,
will repel each other, and so will the north poles N N. This separation
of the wires will increase as the magnet approaches them, but there will
be a particular distance at which the attractive force of N overcomes
the repulsive force of the poles S S, and causes the wires to converge,
as in figure 2; the north poles N N still exhibiting their mutual


Each magnet has its poles, north and south--the north or south poles of
one magnet, repel the north and south pole of another. If a magnet, as
in the following figure, be dipped in some iron filings, they will be
immediately attracted to one end. Supposing this to be the north pole,
each of the ends of the filings, not in contact with the magnet, will
become north poles, while the ends in contact will by induction become
south poles. Both will have a tendency to repel each other, and the
filings will stand on the magnet as in the figure.




The best method of proving this is to take a magnet or a piece of steel
rendered magnetic, and to place it on a piece of cork by laying it in a
groove cut to receive it. If the cork be placed in the centre of a basin
of water, and allowed to swim freely on its surface, so that it is not
attracted by the sides of the basin, it will be found to turn its north
pole to the north, and its south pole to the south, the same as the
mariner’s compass. If you fix two magnets in two pieces of cork, and
place them also in a basin of water, and they are in a parallel position
with the same poles together, that is, north to north, and south to
south, they will mutually repel each other; but if the contrary poles
point to one another, as north to south, they will be attracted.



Fish are to be purchased at the toy-shops, by which the young
“magnétique” may perform this experiment; they are made hollow, and will
float on the water. In the mouth of each should be inserted a piece of
magnetic wire. The angling rod is like any other rod, and has a silken
thread for a line, and an iron hook also strongly magnetised. To catch
the fish it is only necessary to put the hook in contact with the noses
of the fish, and they will be taken without any of the baits mentioned
in the former part of this work.



The figure of a swan should be cut in cork, and within its beak a small
strongly magnetised piece of steel should be placed. The swan should
then be covered with a coating of white wax, and fashioned further into
the shape of a swan, and glass beads may be placed in its head for eyes.
This should be placed in a small tub or large basin of water, and to
make it swim about, you should place in a white stick about nine inches
long a magnetic bar, on which the north and south poles are marked. If
you wish to bring the swan towards you, present to him the north pole of
the wand, if you wish it to retire, present the south pole, and thus you
may direct the swan to any part you desire.


Place a magnet on a stand to raise it a little above the table; then
bring a small sewing-needle containing a thread, within a little of the
magnet, keeping hold of the thread to prevent the needle from attaching
itself to the magnet. The needle in endeavouring to fly to the magnet,
and being prevented by the thread, will remain curiously suspended in
the air, reminding us of the fable of Mahomed’s coffin.



Take an iron poker and tongs, or two bars of iron, the larger and the
older the better, and fixing the poker upright, hold to it with the left
hand near the top P by a silk thread, a bar of soft steel about three
inches long, one fourth of an inch broad, and one twentieth thick; mark
one end, and let this end be downwards. Then grasping the tongs T with
the right hand a little below the middle, and keeping them nearly in a
vertical line, let the bar B be rubbed with the lower end L of the
tongs, from the marked end of the bar to its upper end about ten times
of each side of it. By this means the bar B will receive as much
magnetism as will enable it to lift a small key at the marked end; and
this end of the bar being suspended by its middle, or made to rest on a
joint, will turn to the north, and is called its north pole, the
unmarked end being the south pole. This is the method recommended by Mr.
Caxton, in his process, which he regarded superior to those in former
use, and of which a more detailed account will be found in his
interesting volume.



The form of a horse-shoe is generally given to magnetised bars, when
both poles are wanted to act together, which frequently happens in
various experiments, such as for lifting weights by the force of
magnetic attraction, and for magnetising steel bars by the process of
double touch, for which they are exceedingly convenient. The following
is the method of making a powerful magnetic battery of the horse-shoe
form. Twelve bars or plates of steel are to be taken, and having been
previously bent to the required form, that is, the horse-shoe shape,
they are then bound together by means of rivets at their ends; before
being finally fastened they are each separately magnetised, and
afterwards finally united.

Horse-shoe magnets should have a short bar of soft iron adapted to
connect the two poles, and should never be laid by without such a piece
of iron adhering to them. Bar magnets should be kept in pairs with their
poles turned in contrary directions, and they should be kept from rust.
Both kinds of magnets have their power not only preserved but increased,
by keeping them surrounded with a mass of dry filings of soft iron, each
particle of which will re-act by its induced magnetism upon the point of
the magnet to which it adheres, and maintain in that point its primitive
magnetic state.



Let M be a magnet and K a key, held horizontally near one of its poles,
or near its lower edge. Then if another piece of iron, such as a small
nail, be applied to the other end of the key, the nail will hang from
the key, and will continue to do so while the magnet is slowly
withdrawn; but when it has been removed beyond a certain distance, the
nail will drop from the key, because the magnetism induced in the key
becomes at that distance too weak to support the weight of the nail.
That this is the real cause of its falling off may be proved by taking a
still lighter fragment of iron, such as a piece of very slender wire,
and applying it to the key. The magnetism of the key will still be
sufficiently strong to support the wire, though it cannot the nail, and
it will continue to support it even when the magnet is yet further
removed; at length, however, it drops off.


The identity of magnetism with electricity alluded to in a former
paragraph, has led to the formation of a new science under the above
name, and to some of the interesting experiments connected with it, we
shall briefly allude for the amusement of the young reader.



The same influence which affects the magnetic needle already described,
will also communicate magnetism to soft iron. If a bar of that metal
bent, as in the drawing, be surrounded with a common bonnet wire, or a
copper wire prevented from touching the iron by a winding of cotton or
thread, and then if a current of voltaic electricity be sent through the
wire, the bar becomes a powerful magnet, and will continue so as long as
the connexion with the battery is preserved. On breaking the contact,
the magnetism disappears. This experiment may be easily made by the
young reader with a horse-shoe magnet, surrounded by several coils of
wire. P is the positive, and N the negative pole.


The mariner’s compass is an artificial magnet fitted in a proper box,
and consists of three parts--1, the box; 2, the card or fly; and 3, the
needle. The box is suspended in a square wooden case, by means of two
concentric brass circles called gimbals, so fixed by brazen axes to the
two boxes, that the inner one, or compass-box, retains a horizontal
position in all motions of the ship. The card is a circular piece of
paper which is fastened upon the needle, and moves with it. The outer
edge of the card is divided into thirty-two points, as shown in the
engraving, called points of the compass. The needle is a slender bar of
hardened steel, having a hollow agate cup in the centre, which moves
upon the point of a pivot made of brass.



The magnetic needle does not point exactly north and south, but the
north pole of the needle takes a direction to the west of the true
north. It is constantly changing, and varies at different parts of the
earth, and at different times of the day.


Another remarkable and evident manifestation of the influence of the
magnetism of the earth upon the needle is the inclination or dip of the
latter, which is a deviation from its horizontal place in a downward
direction in northern regions of its north, and in southern regions of
its south pole. In balancing the needle on the card, on account of this
dipping, a small weight or moveable piece of brass is placed on one end
of the needle, by the shifting of which either nearer to or further from
the centre, the needle will always be balanced.


Pocket compasses are to be bought for five or six shillings, and may be
used in many ways. In travelling over mountains or a wide extended moor,
they are indispensably necessary; and no one should go a tour into
Wales, Scotland, or the lakes without such a companion, and it will be a
very useful and amusing exercise for any young person to take the
bearings of his own or some particular locality, and make out what may
be called a bearing card. This he may easily do in the following manner.
Supposing he wishes, for instance, to take the bearings of his own
house, he has nothing to do but to set his pocket compass upon a map of
the district,--a county map will do very well, unless his house stands
on the verge of a county, then two county maps will be necessary. He
must make the north of the map exactly coincide with the north, as
indicated by his compass, and having fixed his map in this situation, he
should take a ruler and piece of paper, and dot down the exact bearings
of each important town, or place, or village, around him. Let him
suppose himself, for instance, in the town of Cambridge, and laying down
his map as indicated by the compass, north to north and south to south,
he will find the following places due north, Wilberton, Wentworth;
Little Wilbraham, Teversham, due east; Duxford and Chesterfield, south;
Coton and St. Neots in Huntingdonshire, west. The other points of the
compass may be filled up in the same manner. Should therefore our young
friend be upon any elevated situation near his own dwelling, or upon any
other elevated spot from which the bearings have been taken, he will be
able to inform his young friends that such and such a place lies in such
a direction, that this place lies due north, the other north-west, a
third south-east, the fourth south-west, &c. &c.



Fire-irons which have rested in an upright position in a room during the
summer months are often highly magnetic.

Iron bars standing erect, such as the gratings of a prison cell, or the
iron railings before houses, are often magnetic.

The great iron-clad ships, which have now replaced the wooden walls of
Old England, are powerfully magnetic, and therefore affect the compass
by which the vessel is steered; ingenious arrangements are therefore
made to correct the effect of the local attraction, so that the
man-of-war may be steered correctly.

Magnetism may be made to pass through a deal board; to exhibit which,
lay a needle on the smooth part above, and run a magnet along the under
side, and the needle will be found to follow the course of the magnet. A
magnet dipped into boiling water loses part of its magnetism, which
however returns upon its cooling.

A sudden blow given to a magnet often destroys its magnetic power.




“These are machinations comical.”--FORD.

There is no subject of such importance as Mechanics, as its principles
are founded upon the properties of matter and the laws of motion; and in
knowing something of these, the tyro will lay the foundation of all
substantial knowledge.

The properties of matter are the following: Solidity (or
Impenetrability), Divisibility, Mobility, Elasticity, Brittleness,
Malleability, Ductility, and Tenacity.

The laws of motion are as follow:--

1. Every body continues in a state of rest or of uniform rectilineal
motion, unless affected by some extraneous force.

2. The change of motion is always proportionate to the impelling force.

3. Action and reaction are always equal and contrary.


In shooting at “taw,” if the marble be struck “plump,” as it is called,
it moves forward exactly in the same line of direction; but if struck
sideways, it will move in an oblique direction, and its course will be
in a line situated between the direction of its former motion and that
of the force impressed. This is called the resolution of forces.


The centre of gravity in a body is that part about which all the other
parts equally balance each other. In balancing a stick upon the finger,
or upon the chin, it is necessary only to keep the chin or finger
exactly under the point which is called the centre of gravity.



Cut out the figure of a horse, and having fixed a curved iron wire to
the under part of its body, place a small ball of lead upon it. Place
the hind legs of the horse on the table, and it will rock to and fro. If
the ball be removed, the horse would immediately tumble, because
unsupported, the centre of gravity being in the front of the prop; but
upon the ball being replaced, the centre of gravity immediately changes
its position, and is brought under the prop, and the horse is again in


The feet of the figure rest on a curved pivot, which is sustained by two
loaded balls below; for the weight of these balls being much greater
than that of the figure, their effect is to bring the centre of gravity
of the whole beneath the point on which it rests; consequently the
equilibrium will resist any slight force to disturb it.



It is pretty well known to most boys, that if a tumbler of water be
placed within a broad wooden hoop, the whole may be whirled round
without falling, owing to the centrifugal force. On the same principle,
if a small carriage be placed on an iron band or rail, it will ascend
the curve, become inverted, and descend again, without falling.



Procure a coffee-canister, and loading it at F with a piece of lead,
which may be fixed in with solder, the position of the centre of gravity
is thus altered. If a cylinder so constructed be placed on an inclined
plane, and the loaded part above, it will roll up-hill without



Procure a piece of wood, about nine inches in length and about half an
inch in thickness, and thrust into its upper end the blades of two
penknives, on either side one. Place the other end upon the tip of the
fore-finger, and it will keep its place without falling.



Construct out of the pith of the elder a little mandarin; then provide a
base for it to sit in, like a kettle-drum. Into this put some heavy
substance, such as half a leaden bullet; fasten the figure to this, and
in whatever position it may be placed, it will, when left to itself,
immediately return to its upright position.



Take a bottle, with a cork in its neck, and place in it, in a
perpendicular position, a middle-sized needle. Fix a shilling into
another cork, by cutting a nick in it; and stick into the same cork two
small table-forks, opposite each other, with the handles inclining
outwards and downwards. If the rim of the shilling be now poised on the
point of the needle, it may easily be made to spin round without
falling, as the centre of gravity is below the centre of suspension.



If you stick through a pea, or small ball of pith, two pins at right
angles, and defend the points with pieces of sealingwax, it may be kept
in equilibrio at a short distance from the end of a straight tube, by
means of a current of breath from the mouth, which imparts a rotatory
motion to the pea.[10]

  [10] The pins are only used to hold the pea steady before it is blown
       from the pipe, as the pea alone will dance quite as well.


Cut a piece of pasteboard into the following shape, and describe on it
a spiral line; cut this out with a penknife, and then suspend it on a
large skewer or pin, as seen in the engraving. If the whole be now
placed on a warm stove, or over the flame of a candle or lamp, it will
revolve with considerable velocity. The card, after being cut into the
spiral, may be made to represent a snake or dragon, and when in motion
will produce a very pleasing effect.




Place three glasses, A A A, in the form of a triangle, and arrange three
knives upon them, as shown in the figure,--the blade of No. 1 over that
of No. 2, and that over No. 3, which rests on No. 1. The bridge so made
will be self-supported.



Place three tobacco-pipes in the position shown in the engraving, the
mouth of the bowls downwards, and the lower end of the stems upon the
stem just by the bowls. This tripod, if carefully put together, will
support considerably more than a pot of “Lockwood’s home-brewed,”
equally celebrated with the trick.


At any time of the year or hour of the day there are few pursuits more
interesting, and at the same time instructive, than the study of Nature
by means of the microscope.

This instrument has revolutionized science, solved many problems that
had wearied the souls of older naturalists, and even in its simplest
form is beyond all value to those who love Nature and the objects which
they see around them. The microscope opens a new world to us. When the
first telescope was directed to the heavens, and unlocked the mysteries
of the skies, when it crumbled into dust all the theories of the past
centuries, and told mankind that the planets were not merely instruments
of fortune-telling, whose voices were intelligible to a chosen few, but
orbs far vaster than our own; even then the new world of thought into
which man entered was no wider than that which is displayed by the
poorest lens that possesses the power of magnifying.

All of us must admire the more than awful grandeur of that universe
whereof we form so infinitesimal a part, wherein the stars are scattered
as the sand on the sea-shore, and every star a sun, the centre of a
system of orbs too distant for the eye of man to perceive. Looking at
our nearest planet, and observing on her face vast mountain-chains,
ravines into which the light of the sun can never penetrate, and
volcanoes whose craters are so wide that they would take in the whole of
London, the whole of Birmingham, and all the country between them, we
can judge by analogy of the unseen wonders which must exist in the world
beyond our ken.

But to him who can read Nature rightly, the microscope is a teacher as
grand as its sister instrument, and the awful magnificence of Nature is
as evident in a midge’s wing as in the more patent glories of the sun,
moon, and stars. In the following pages we hope to put the readers of
this book in the way to read their microscope rightly--possibly to make
it--and to show that much can be done with small means when “there’s a
will,” and to indicate to them that objects of no small interest can be
found without stirring from the room in which we sit, or even from the
table on which our microscope is placed.

Some of our readers may say, when they read the heading of this paper,
that they should like a microscope very much, but that they have no
money to buy it, and that their parents cannot afford one.

This is just the feeling which we used to have when a boy, for in those
days microscopes were microscopes indeed, and you had your choice
between a little instrument, with a series of brass cups, having glasses
in them, which magnified slightly but defined clearly, or a great
composition of brass and iron, looking like a rocket-tube, with an
eye-piece at one end and a glass shot at the other. In was very costly,
very imposing, and magnified very highly; but it strained the eyes
painfully, had no defining capacities, and made all the objects look as
if they were seen through a thick fog. Practically, therefore, the
former was the only instrument that was available.

A still more useful instrument, however, was that which can always be
obtained for a few shillings, and which is now made wonderfully cheap
and wonderfully good; we mean the double or treble pocket-lens. So we
say, if you cannot afford a really good microscope, do not waste your
money upon inferior and pretentious instruments, but get a sound

It has a thousand advantages. It is portable, and is even more useful in
the fields than in the house. It defines very clearly, and needs little
trouble in manipulation. We need not say how difficult is the task of
getting a complicated instrument to define properly, how impossible with
a bad one. The object and the glass can be held in any light,--a matter
of no small consideration when examining anything new, and trying to
make out its structure. It is not easily put out of order, and if
treated with the most ordinary care, will last for a lifetime.

You can push it under water, and it will magnify as well as in the air;
and if you are wandering on the river-side, you can lie down on the
bank, dip the upper part of your head into the water, together with the
glass, and watch carefully the subaquatic objects without removing them.
The water will not hurt the eye in the least, though a non-swimmer may
perhaps find a little difficulty in his first attempt. It makes a good
burning-glass, should fire be needed, and no other means of procuring a
spark be at hand. It can be used so as to show the principle of a camera
obscura, and to illustrate the manner in which photographic portraits
are taken. It can be made into an admirable dissecting microscope, and
needs scarcely any practice in the manipulation. These are some of its
advantages, and there are many others which need not be mentioned.

Even if you should be able to procure a good microscope, get a
pocket-lens as well, for you will want them both, and we may say that
the most practised microscopists, and those who are possessors of the
most elaborate instruments, are the very men who are most certain to
have a pocket-lens about them, and to use it most frequently. Practise
well with the pocket-lens before you meddle with the compound
microscope. You will waste no time, but will rather gain by it; for you
will be learning the rudiments of a new science, and laying a solid
foundation on which to build. Whenever we see a lad take out his
pocket-lens in a business-like way, use it skilfully, and put it back
with a mechanical facility that tells of constant practice, we know that
there is a lad who has learned the chief lesson of a
naturalist,--namely, the art of observing. We speak highly of the
pocket-lens, because we think highly of it and owe much to it.

One or two practical remarks on the proper handling of the pocket-lens
may be of use. Do not always employ the same eye in looking through the
lens, but use the eyes alternately. There is always a temptation to
employ the same eye, which thus receives a kind of training in vision;
but it is a temptation always to be resisted. With some persons the
right eye is most in favour, and with others the left; and when the
favourite eye gets all the work, it too frequently suffers. Whether you
look with the right or the left eye, _keep both eyes open_.

It is a pitiful sight to see a human face all screwed up into a corner,
the lids of the unused eye convulsively squeezed together, and the mouth
slanting upwards, as if in sympathy with the eye. Not only does the
human face become repulsively mean and portentously ugly by such action,
but the sight of the eye is seriously strained, and sometimes impaired
for life. At first the beginner will find a little difficulty in
restricting his vision to one eye while the other remains open, just as
a beginner on the pianoforte feels himself puzzled when he tries to make
his right hand go one way and his left hand another; but in either case
a little practice and plenty of perseverance are sure to overcome all
obstacles, and in a wonderfully short time the difficulty will not only
be overcome, but forgotten.

We speak here with some feeling, because, while engaged on a work on the
microscope, we were necessarily obliged to work much at night, and
inadvertently employed the left eye more than the right; the consequence
of which imprudence was that we have been obliged ever since that time
to give the left eye perfect rest, as far as artificial vision goes,
and, except when looking through a binocular instrument, we have not
ventured to use it either to a microscope or telescope. The vision
accommodates itself to circumstances with wonderful ease, and the
observer learns the curious art of cutting off all communication between
the unused eye and the brain; so that, although the objects around may
imprint themselves upon the retina, the mind is as totally unconscious
of them as if they had no existence.

If possible, always examine an object _without removing it_, as thereby
you see it as it is, without altering any of the conditions with which
it is surrounded. Should this not be practicable, take the object to be
viewed in the left hand and the lens in the right. Place the wrists of
the two hands together, and then you will find that one supports the
other, and that the lens can be held in the proper focus without the
least difficulty. After you have used the lens for some little time, you
will learn to hit upon the right focus almost to a hair’s breadth,--so
as to lose no time, a matter of some importance when a living creature
is to be examined, especially if it be in motion.

As to the selection of objects, none is necessary. Look at everything;
and the uglier and more unpromising it is, let it be the closer
examined. We do not merely use our aids to vision for the sake of seeing
beautiful things, though the microscopist sees more beauty in a day than
others will see in a year. We want to see how the world and its
constituent parts are made; and though admiration will not be wanting,
yet it does not, or ought not, to hold the first place. Always have a
motive for looking at every object, and if you have none, try to make
one. One of our friends, known by name at least to most of my readers,
struck out, some years ago, a most curious train of thought while
looking at an object which is seen daily by thousands of human beings,
and will probably soon give the public the benefit of it. We have seen
the object hundreds of times, but the ideas which it suggested did not
happen to occur to us.


We are now about to suggest a very simple piece of mechanism, by which
the pocket-lens can be converted into a microscope that will serve for
dissection and many other purposes. The accompanying sketch is taken
from an instrument of our own manufacture. It is of very rough make, and
by an old Indian officer would be contemptuously termed “cutcha.”
Measured, however, by its performance, it is quite as satisfactory as
those instruments which are made by professed opticians, and which the
same old Indian would class under the honoured title of “pucka.”

Melt three or four pounds of lead in an iron ladle, and make a mould,
consisting of a hollow hemisphere of paper or cardboard, through the
centre of which an iron rod has been passed. The hollow of the paper
should resemble an ordinary saucer. Pour the lead into the saucer, and
let it cool. The paper mould will be scorched by the heat and rendered
useless, but an outer coating of lead will be cool and hard before the
paper is quite destroyed. The rod and leaden stand will now appear as in
the illustration. Next take a piece of stout brass wire and a wine-cork;
twist the wire round the cork several times; cut off one end close to
the cork; sharpen the other, and turn it up as seen in the engraving.

Bore a hole through the cork, just large enough to allow the upright rod
to slip through it, and there is the “stand” of your microscope. Now
take your pocket-lens, and get an optician to bore a hole through one
end of it, just large enough to receive the upturned end of the wire;
slip the lens on the wire, and the microscope is complete.

The cork, though grasping the upright stem with tolerable firmness, can
be slid up and down so as to insure the correct focus, and can be pushed
aside whenever the object has to be viewed with the naked eye and must
not be removed from its place. This instrument is a capital one for
dissecting purposes, and will answer quite as well as those expensive
affairs that are to be purchased in the shops. If, however, our readers
would like to possess a real and well-made instrument, he cannot do
better than get one of Ross’s Dissecting Microscopes, which are very
steady, and, as may be seen, can be adjusted to almost any position. A
rack-and-pinion movement for elevating or lowering the sliding pillar
would be useful.


If the object be transparent, and requires to be seen by transmitted
light, the following plan will answer:--Take a thin piece of wood, cut
or punch a round hole out of the middle, and support it on four legs.
Wires or wooden pegs fixed in corks will answer the purpose well, and if
the corks be glued to the corners of the board, the legs can be inserted
or removed at pleasure. The wood of which cigar-boxes are made will
answer the purpose very well. Its dimensions should be about three
inches in length by two in width. Now buy one of the doll’s
looking-glasses that are sold for a penny, and put it under the stand.
Lay a flat piece of glass over the hole, place the object upon it, and
direct the light through it by means of the mirror below. If such a
mirror cannot be obtained, it is easy enough to make one, by mounting a
piece of looking-glass in a cork frame, and making it swing on pivots,
like the glasses of our dressing-rooms.

The young microscopist must remember that when he is examining any
object by transmitted light, he must arrange it as flatly as possible on
the glass. In many cases, a still neater manipulation is required,--as,
for example, when the petals of flowers are under examination. Thin
glass is to be purchased at any optician’s, and if cut in squares,
instead of circles, is very much cheaper, and quite as useful for all
practical purposes. Lay the petal on the glass plate, place a piece of
the thin glass upon it, and press it gently while examining it. If it
still remains thick and dull, put a drop of pure water on the petal, and
replace the thin glass, when the structure will almost invariably be

Everything depends on the proper management of the object and the
arrangement of the light. Some opaque objects can be seen best by direct
light, and others by transmitted light. If a leaf be examined,
particularly if it be a thick and heavy one, like that of the ivy, the
upper and lower membranes must be stripped apart,--a task which is
easily performed by tearing a small slit, and then ripping it smartly
across. A pair of forceps will be required for this and other delicate
work, and may be obtained at a cheap rate. Care must be taken to keep
the points exactly even, and if at any time one of them appears to be
shorter than the other, they should be rubbed on a hone until they are
brought perfectly level.


These should be made of steel; but the young microscopist will find that
a second pair made of brass, and much rougher in finish, are invaluable
aids as he takes his walks into the country. By their aid he can pick up
minute objects, draw insects out of crevices without damaging them, and
pluck the tiniest flowers without harming their petals. They can be
carried in the waistcoat pocket, and the cost is sixpence. Any lad who
knows how to handle solder can make a pair for himself in a few minutes.

A penknife with one blade kept scrupulously sharp is essential, and we
have found an old lancet of the greatest service. Lancets have gone so
much out of fashion, that the second-hand instrument shops abound with
them. We did not allow our own lancet to be shut up, but removed the
blade from the tortoise-shell handle, and fixed it upon a wooden handle,
about four inches in length, so that it looked very clumsy, but was
extremely useful.

Two pairs of scissors are needful,--one very fine, and the other
moderately strong. Both pairs, however, must have very short blades and
very long handles, and the scissors such as ladies use are of very
little use, the short handles causing the fingers of the right hand to
shade the object. As to the fine pair, it is hardly possible to have
the handles too long or the blades too short; for if the points can be
separated a quarter of an inch, nothing more is needed. If a pair of
bent scissors can also be obtained, they are extremely pleasant to work
with, and save much trouble.


For arranging the objects under the microscope, there are no instruments
equal to those which are here engraved. They are nothing more than
ordinary needles stuck into the handles of camel’s-hair brushes. The
uppermost is made of the largest-sized darning-needle, and is useful for
making little holes, and similar purposes. The two next instruments are
the most generally useful, and several of each should be always at hand.
Nos. 4 and 5 are for special purposes; the former for holding tissues
aside, and the latter for lifting them up. The needles must not be
longer than those in the illustration, as they would otherwise be too
springy, and apt to tear the object instead of pulling or pushing it.

The bending is readily done in the flame of a spirit-lamp, or even of a
common candle; but in the latter case the needle is always covered with
soot, which must be wiped off before its shape can be seen. The
elasticity of the needles is lost by the operation, but is easily
restored by heating them red-hot, and plunging them immediately into
cold water. The end of the handle should be wrapped with thread, in
order to prevent it from splitting.

Pill-boxes of various sizes are of very great service to the
microscopist. We always have them arranged in “nests,” _i. e._ six or
seven inside each other, so that space is greatly economized, as long as
they are not in absolute use. All delicate objects should be placed in
separate boxes, and the predaceous insects must be treated in the same
manner, or they will certainly destroy one another, or, at all events,
inflict such injuries as will make them useless for microscopic


When the insects are to be killed on the spot, we employ another and a
very simple plan.

We take one of the old-fashioned wooden lucifer-match boxes, bore a hole
in the lid, and push through the hole a swan-quill or the barrel of one
of the swan-quill steel pens. A glass tube is still better, but is too
fragile. Beeswax is tightly worked into the junction of the tube with
the wood, so as to make it as nearly air-tight as possible. A cork
stopper is then cut to fit the tube. The accompanying illustration will
show the box completed. When this is finished, we take the
smallest-sized pill-box, bore a number of holes in it with a red-hot
needle, place a little piece of solid ammonia within it, and inclose it
in the lucifer-box. Its effects are almost instantaneous; for scarcely
has the insect touched the bottom of the box before it is helpless, and
in a very few moments it is quite dead, so powerful is ammonia towards
insects. The reader will of course understand that the pill-boxes must
never have been used for pills, and that the match-box must be carefully
cleaned before employing it in the microscopic service. Moreover, any
boxes that have been used for lepidopterous insects become useless,
inasmuch as the scales always fall from the wings, and cling to the
sides of the box, so as to mix with succeeding objects, and very much
puzzle the observer.

Aquatic and marine objects require bottles, and, as a general rule,
these bottles ought always to have wide mouths. Indeed, if there be no
shoulder at all, their purpose will be better served, as a small object
is very apt to be caught under the shoulder, and to give much trouble
before it can be removed without injury. Wide and short test-tubes
answer admirably for collecting; and it will always be advisable to have
a few small test-tubes ready fitted with corks, for the purpose of
isolating those specimens which might receive or cause injury by being
mixed with others.

To remove minute objects from one vessel into another is a very easy
process. Take a glass tube, mark off a portion about eight inches in
length, cut a little notch with a file, and bend it smartly, when it
will break neatly across, without leaving points or having the
regularity of its ends injured by gaps. Turn each end round and round in
the flame of the spirit-lamp, and you have an ordinary “pipette.” The
object of placing the ends of the tube in the flame is to render the
edges quite smooth and rounded.

Now mark off the same length of tube, and place the marked portion in
the flame, taking care to warm it well first, lest the sudden heat
should crack the glass. Keep it continually turning between the fingers,
and when it is quite soft, and of a fine red heat, draw the hands
smartly apart, and you will produce a couple of tubes tapering to very
fine points. Break off the tapering portions at any convenient point,
round the edges as before, and you will then have pipettes suitable for
small objects. As there are many specimens, especially the smaller
animalculæ, which have a habit of retiring into the remotest corner, it
is necessary to bend another pipette, so as to follow them. For our own
part, we prefer the pipette to be bent nearly to a right angle.

The mode of using these simple instruments is as follows:--Place the
forefinger or thumb firmly on the large end, and push the point under
water. When the opening is close to the sought-for object, lift the
finger suddenly, and admit the air into the tube. The water will
immediately rush in at the lower end, and if the orifice has been
properly directed, will carry the object into the tube. The finger is
again applied to the mouth of the tube, and the object can be then
carried off.

As with the pocket-lens almost every object is to be viewed by means of
direct light, the young observer will find himself much aided by a
suitable background. Any small object, such as a minute insect, a seed,
or a hair, becomes very indistinct if held up against the light, or even
when viewed against a broken background of trees, houses, or herbage.
The simplest plan of securing a proper background is to take a disc of
ivory, bone, or even of white cardboard, and to blacken one side of it.
The black paint which is used for this purpose must be without gloss,
and have what is called a “dead” surface. Ink answers very well for the
purpose, and so does ivory-black; but Indian ink is too glossy to be

To procure specimens from the water is a matter of some difficulty if
managed badly, but easy enough when the collector knows his business. It
is of course needful to attach the collecting vessel to the end of a
rod, and to plunge it into the spots which look most favourable. Now
even so simple a matter as this requires some little care, if the young
microscopist really wishes to obtain the best specimens. A common
walking-stick will answer most purposes; but the most efficient rod for
the purpose is one of the common walking-stick fishing-rods without the
top joint, as it can be carried without attracting attention, and can be
lengthened at will by adding the different joints.


Many methods have been proposed by which the vessel is to be attached to
the rod; but that which I am about to describe is certainly the simplest
and most effective that I have tried. Get a piece of gutta-percha
tubing, just large enough to be slipped on the end of the rod or stick;
mark off an inch or so, and cut the tube nearly through, as at _a_ in
Fig. 1. Now cut it away longitudinally, so that a long tongue of
gutta-percha is left, as at _b_, and the instrument is completed.

Its application is as simple as its structure. Bend the tongue over, so
as to form a loop, and push the end through the short tube. Slip the
neck of the bottle into the loop, and draw the tongue until it is
tolerably tight. Push the end of the stick into the tube, taking care to
hold the tongue firmly in its place, and the vessel will then be
fastened at right angles to the stick.

The whole arrangement can be seen in Fig. 2, where _a_ represents the
gutta-percha tube, _b_ the tongue, _c_ the stick, and _d_ the vessel.

The method of collecting by means of this instrument is as
follows:--Immerse the vessel in the water, with the mouth downwards, so
that no water may enter. Push it gently towards the spot which is to be
investigated, move it about a little, so as to cause a disturbance, and
then turn the vessel with its mouth upwards. Water will instantly rush
in, carrying with it the objects which are to be examined. The contents
of the vessel may then be transferred to the large bottle, and another
dip made. Confervoid growths, especially those which accumulate in a
kind of scum on the surface, should be obtained very quietly, without
previous disturbance of the water.

After the pond or stream or ditch has been well searched, the bottle
should be roughly examined, by means of a pocket-lens, and the contents
sorted into the smaller tubes, as has already been mentioned. This
precaution is especially needful when any of the minute crustacea called
Entomostraca are captured, as they are most voracious beings, and will
make sad havoc among other specimens, unless they are placed in separate
bottles. They are mostly large enough to be detected with the naked eye,
and look something like little fleas, as they move along.

As the Entomostraca cast their shells repeatedly during their lives,
some species performing this operation every two days, a beautiful
series of objects can be obtained by gathering the cast shells, and
preparing them for the microscope, according to the directions that will
be found in the following pages. These shells are peculiarly valuable,
as they retain the chief external characteristics of the creature to
which they belonged, the limbs, plumes, and even the delicate bristles
being preserved entire. It is in the power of the microscopist to retard
or hasten the change of shell, heat and light aiding development, and
cold and darkness retarding it. The remarkable “ephippium,” or saddle,
which is found on the backs of the Daphnia, the Moina, and other
Entomostraca, and which is used as a receptacle for eggs, should be
searched for and preserved.

A very thin and very flat bottle is a most useful assistance in
detecting the character of any unknown object, especially if it be
living. Such a bottle may easily be made by heating one of the small
test-tubes in the spirit-lamp until it is of a glowing red heat, and
then pressing the sides together. Some little neatness is required in
this process, as an unskilful operator is apt to press the sides
unequally, and to leave a bulging projection at the end.

Should a higher power be required than is furnished by the pocket-lens,
a “Coddington” lens is the very best that can be obtained. In general
shape it resembles the well-known “Stanhope” lens; but the latter is so
very inferior an article, that it ought never to be purchased. The two
glasses can easily be distinguished by the shape of the ends; those of
the Coddington being alike, while in the Stanhope one is much more
convex than the other.

At first the young observer generally finds some difficulty in arranging
this lens, so as to hit off the focus exactly; but if he adopts the
following plan, he will soon handle a Coddington as easily as an
ordinary pocket-lens. The object should be held in the left hand and the
glass in the right. Let the wrists be placed firmly against each other,
and the lens brought as close as possible to the object, without quite
touching it. Now bring the eye to the lens, taking care not to disturb
the arrangement, and then gradually draw the object away from the lens.
The moment that the proper focus is obtained the object will be seen
with beautiful clearness, and by drawing the object from the lens,
instead of approaching the lens to the object, there is no danger of
injuring the one or the other by contact.

The great advantages of the Coddington are the exceeding clearness with
which it shows the object, the perfect definition of every line, its
achromatic character, and its freedom from colours, and the flatness of
the “field;” so that the circumference is defined as perfectly as the
centre. It can now be obtained very cheaply at any of our microscopical
opticians, and should always be mounted on a tolerably long handle.


We have already described the simpler forms of magnifying instruments,
together with the best method of using them. We now purpose to describe
the more complicated instrument called the compound microscope, and
hints will be given as to the best method of making preparations for it.

The great distinction between the simple and compound microscope is,
that whereas the former instrument magnifies the object, the latter
magnifies the magnified image of the object. In the least elaborate form
of this instrument there are two glasses, one at each end of a tube, the
small glass magnifying the object, and being therefore called the
“object glass,” while the other, which magnifies the image of the
object, is placed next to the eye, and is therefore termed the
“eye-glass.” In practice, however, this arrangement is found to be so
extremely defective, that the instrument was quite useless, except as an
experimental toy; for the two enemies of the optician, chromatic and
spherical aberration, prevailed so exceedingly, that every object
appeared as if surrounded with prismatic colours, and every line was
blurred and indistinct.

In this uncertain state the compound microscope remained for many years,
its superb capabilities being scarcely recognised. The chief fault was
thought to be in the material of which the object-glass was made, and
for a long series of years all experiments were conducted with a view to
an improvement in this respect. When, however, the diamond had been
employed as an object-glass, and had failed equally with those of less
costly material, attention was directed to the right point--namely, the
arrangement of the different glasses,--and at length opticians succeeded
in obtaining a pitch of excellence which can be almost termed
perfection. It would be impossible to describe the method which is
employed for this purpose, and it must suffice to say that the principle
is that of playing off one defect against another, and so making them
mutually correct their errors.

The magnifying powers of the compound microscope can be very great, and
it is therefore necessary that extreme care should be taken in its
manipulation. It will be possible for a clumsy person to do more damage
to a good instrument in three minutes than can be repaired in as many

Before proceeding to the management of the microscope and the
construction of the “slides,” we will briefly describe one or two chief
forms of the compound microscope.


The accompanying illustration represents the simplest form of the
compound microscope as at present made. It consists of a stand and a
sliding tube, in which are set the glasses which magnify the object and
its image. At the top is the tube, which is capable of being slid up and
down in the shoulder of the stand, so as to obtain the proper focus.
Above is seen the eye-glass; and the object-glass is shown at the bottom
of the tube. Below the object-glass is the “stage” on which the object
to be magnified is laid; and lowest of all is a mirror, which serves to
reflect the light upwards through the object, and which can be turned by
means of the knobs at the sides. The object-glass is composed of two
pieces, which can readily be separated. If both are used, sufficient
magnifying power is gained to show the scales on a butterfly’s wing and
similar minute objects; while, if one is removed, the object is not
magnified to so great an extent, but a larger portion can be seen, and
the definition is clearer. The cost of this instrument, together with a
few accessories, is half-a-guinea.

There is another microscope constructed on the same principle, which is
a very superior instrument, though it does not at first sight present
any remarkable difference. It possesses, however, four times the
magnifying power of that which has just been mentioned. Instead of two
magnifiers, there are four, and several subsidiary articles are sent
with it,--such as a condenser, a live box, an aquatic box, and half a
dozen slides ready prepared. This instrument costs one sovereign.


But if the reader can by any possibility afford it, let us advise him in
the strongest terms to devote three guineas to the purpose, and get a
really good instrument. For this small sum a microscope may now be
obtained which could not have been purchased for twenty times three
guineas only a few years ago. One of these beautiful instruments is seen
in the accompanying illustration; in which may be seen the tube, with
its eye-piece and object-glass, and the stand, containing the stage and
the mirror. The arrangement, however, is very different; for the focus
is not obtained by sliding the tube up and down, but by turning the
large milled heads which we see on a level with the stage, and which
raise or depress the tube by means of a rack and pinion. As an extremely
high power can be used with this instrument, a still finer adjustment is
required, so as to obtain a very accurate focus. This is seen on the
front of the tube. The reader will notice that the microscope can be
inclined backwards, for it is so made that it can be set to any angle
which may best suit the observer. The value of this arrangement is very
great, as it permits the observer to sit at his ease in a chair, without
being forced to crane his neck over the microscope, and look
perpendicularly down. Another advantage attending this arrangement is
that the secretions which lubricate the eye do not interrupt the vision,
as is apt to be the case when looking directly downwards.

The mirror, too, can be turned in any direction, and its distance from
the stage lessened or increased by means of a draw-tube. Three different
powers are supplied with this microscope, together with a live-box,
dissecting and stage forceps, &c.; and the whole is made so as to admit
of additional apparatus. The microscope fits into a neat square box, in
which is plenty of room for various articles which will presently be
described. These three microscopes can be obtained from Messrs. Baker,
244, High Holborn; and we mention them, not because we wish to make any
invidious distinctions between the many excellent opticians who now make
microscopes, but because we happen to have used Messrs. Baker’s
instruments for some years, and can bear practical testimony to their

Another three-guinea microscope ought, however, to be mentioned. It is
the Society of Arts microscope, which is made by Messrs. Field,
opticians, of Birmingham. In form it closely resembles the instrument
which has just been mentioned, but differs in some of the details, as it
possesses a “diaphragm-plate” under the stage for regulating the
admission of light, and, instead of three object-glasses and one
eye-piece, has two object-glasses and two eye-pieces. Dr. Carpenter
mentions that, up to 1861, no less than eighteen hundred of these
microscopes had been sold. To this instrument the medal of the Society
of Arts was awarded.

Either of these microscopes affords all that an ordinary observer is
likely to need; and if he adds a few articles of supplementary
apparatus, he will find himself possessed of a microscope that will
serve all purposes except scientific controversy.

Presuming that the reader has supplied himself with one or other of the
compound microscopes, we will proceed to show the method of using them.

The manipulation of a compound microscope is not so easy as it looks.
The possessor of a really good instrument may fail hopelessly in his
attempts to see a single object. Now, there are three essential points
which a microscopist must attend to,--namely, the correct focus, the
proper light, and the preparation of the object. Of these the focus is
of course the most important, and can be best obtained as follows:--

Lay the object on the stage of the microscope, so as to get its centre
exactly under the centre of the object-glass, and illuminate it as you
best can. Put on the _lowest_ power, and, without looking through the
tube, lower the object-glass until it nearly touches the object. Now
look through the tube, and raise the object-glass gradually from the
object, until the right focus is obtained. The reason for taking these
precautions is, that if you look through the tube and lower it upon the
object, you will in all probability push the glass against the object,
and damage either the one or the other. When you have thus learned the
focus of the lowest power, add another, and repeat the process; and so
on until you have made out the focus of each object-glass. If you have
more than one eye-piece, try them both with each object-glass.

The proper light is our next point, and upon it rests the chief beauty
of the effect. The light which will suit one object will not suit
another, and even the same object should be examined under every variety
of light. Some objects are best shown when the light is thrown _upon_
them from above, and others when it is thrown _through_ them from below.
Again, the direction of the light is of vast importance; for it will
easily be seen that an oblique light will exhibit minute projections by
throwing a shadow on one side and brilliancy on the other, while a
vertical illumination would fail to show them. On the same principle,
one object will be shown better with the light in front, and another
when it is on one side.


One of the most effective means of attaining this object is by using the
“bull’s-eye condenser,” which is sometimes fixed to the stage, but is
usually detached, as represented in the illustration. As the upright
stem is telescopic, the glass can be raised to a considerable height,
while the joint and sliding-rod permit the lens to be applied at any
angle which promises the most brilliant light.

As for the kind of light that is employed, there is nothing which equals
that of a white cloud; but as such clouds are rare, and are at the best
extremely transient, and can only be seen by day, various artificial
methods of illumination have been invented. Novices generally think that
when the sky is bright and blue they will be very successful in their
illumination, and feel grievously disappointed at finding that they
obtained much more light from the clouds, whose disappearance they had
anxiously been watching. Finding that the blue sky gives scarcely any
light at all, they rush to the other extreme, turn the mirror towards
the sun, and pour such a blaze of light upon the object, that the eye is
blinded by the scintillating refulgence, and the object is often
injured, because the mirror is capable of reflecting heat as well as

In the daytime there is nothing better than the “white-cloud
illuminator,” which is made easily enough by means of plaster of Paris.
A sheet of thin white paper fastened against a window-pane is also
useful; and the simple plan of dabbing the glass with putty will have a
beneficial effect in softening the light, when the window has a southern
aspect. In default of these conveniences, it will be often sufficient to
fix a piece of white letter-paper over the mirror, or even to dull its
surface with wax. At all events, he who aspires to be a true
microscopist must be ready with expedients, and if he finds himself in a
difficulty, he must summarily invent a method of obviating it.

At night a lamp is necessary; candles are useless, because they have two
faults--they flicker, and they become lower as they burn. The latter
defect can be cured by using a candle-lamp, but no arrangement will cure
the flame of flickering; it is peculiarly trying to the eyes, and
destructive of accurate definition. An ordinary moderator lamp answers
pretty well, and a small one is even better for the microscopist than
one of large dimensions. The chief drawback to the moderator lamp is,
that the flame cannot be elevated or lowered, so that the only way to
procure a light at a higher elevation, is to stand the lamp on a block
of wood or a book. Small lamps are, however, made expressly for the
microscope, and, if possible, should be procured, and used for no other
purpose, and intrusted to no other hands.

If you want a really brilliant, clear, white light, you must trim the
lamp yourself. A small piece of pale blue or neutral-tint glass,
interposed between the lamp and the microscope, has a wonderful effect
in diminishing the yellow hue which belongs more or less to all
artificial lights which are produced by the combustion of oil or fat. We
have no doubt but that in a few years we shall be rid of the clumsy and
dirty machines that we call lamps, and have substituted for them the
pure brilliancy of the electric light.

Whatever lamp you use, a shade is absolutely necessary, in order to
defend the eyes. Let me here warn my young readers, that they cannot be
too careful of their eyes. In the exuberance of youthful strength and
health we are too apt to treat our eyes as unceremoniously as our
digestion, and in later years we awake to unavailing repentance.


Many shades can be purchased; but it is far better to make your own
after the shape here exhibited. They are not pretty to look at, but
they save the eyes better than any other form, and whether for reading,
writing, or microscopic work, you should use no other. The peculiar
merit of them consists in the fact that the light is thrown on the spot
where it is wanted, and is cut off from everything except that spot.

Another point which calls for extreme attention is the perfect
cleanliness of the glasses. It is astonishing how a tiny dust-mote, or
the least condensation of damp, will diminish the powers of the
microscope, and how often the instrument is blamed for indistinctness,
when the real fault lies in the carelessness of the operator. Even when
the greatest care is taken, dust is sure to settle on the glasses,
especially on the eye-piece, and before using the microscope the glasses
ought to be carefully examined. Never wipe them with an ordinary
handkerchief, but get a piece of new wash-leather; beat it well until no
dust issues from it, and then put it into a box, with a tightly-fitting
cover. Use this, and nothing else, for cleaning the glasses, and you
will avoid those horrid scratches with which the eye-glass and
object-glass of careless operators are always disfigured.

Moisture is very apt to condense on the glasses and to ruin their
clearness. If the microscope be brought from a cold into a warm room,
the glasses will be instantly covered with moisture, just as the outside
of a tumbler of cold water is always covered with fine dew when brought
into a warm room. The microscope should therefore be kept at least an
hour in the room wherein it is to be used, so that the instrument and
the atmosphere may be of the same temperature. You should make the
microscope a trifle warmer than the surrounding atmosphere, and so avoid
all danger of condensation. When changing the object-glass or eye-piece,
always keep the hand as far away from the glass as possible, and
manipulate with the tip of the forefinger and thumb. The human skin
always gives out so much exhalation, that even when the hand is cold the
glasses will be dimmed; and it is a peculiarity of such moisture, that
it adheres to the glasses with great pertinacity, and does not evaporate
like the dew which is condensed from the atmosphere.

In order to insure perfect success in this important particular, the
young microscopist will do well to get the optician from whom he
purchased his instrument to explain its construction, and to give him a
lesson or two in the art of taking it to pieces and putting it together
again; for unless each glass can be separately cleaned, no one can be
quite sure that the instrument will perform as it ought to do. The best
method of ascertaining whether it is quite clean is to throw the light
upwards by means of the mirror, and then to turn the eye-piece slowly
round. If any dust or moisture has collected either upon the eye-glass
or the “field-glass,” which forms the second lens of the eye-piece, it
will be immediately detected. Turning the object-glass will in a similar
manner detect impurities upon its surface.

We will now proceed to the manner in which objects are examined.
Suppose, for example, that we take a buttercup-leaf, because it can be
found at almost any time of the year. Place a piece of glass on the
stage, lay the leaf on it, put on the lowest power, set the focus, and
then look at the leaf. You will probably be disappointed, and see
nothing but a confused mass of undulating dark green, like a green
carpet thrown carelessly on the ground, and seen in the dim twilight.

Two points are now needed; the first being to get the leaf flat, so as
to avoid the undulation, and the second being to throw a proper light
upon it.

Take out the leaf, and, instead of laying it entire under the
microscope, select the flattest part, and cut it out with scissors. A
piece the size of a silver penny will be amply large enough. Lay this
piece on the glass, get the focus afresh, and then look through the
microscope. The leaf will now appear much more regular, and will be seen
as a rough surface, mottled with white and traversed by pink and green
ridges, which are the large and small nervures. By means of a mirror or
the condenser throw a brighter light upon it, and it will be seen to be
covered with a slight roughness, the nature of which cannot be clearly
ascertained; then add the next highest power, and try if the structure
of that roughness can be made out. Curiously enough, although the
magnifying power has been more than doubled, the roughness has much the
same appearance as before; so that we must try another plan, and look at
the leaf edgeways.

Take the piece of leaf in the stage-forceps, but _do not touch it with
your hand_; fix the forceps on the stage and turn the leaf so that it
presents its edge to the object glass. Get your focus, and you will now
see the cut edge of the leaf, and will at once distinguish its
structure. On either side may be seen the upper and lower cuticle, and
in the centre the soft green substance, or “parenchyma,” as it is
called. From the cuticle project a number of short hairs, and when the
focus is accurately obtained, the cause of the roughness will be seen in
a vast number of minute projections, which are, in fact, identical in
structure with the hairs, though not so well developed. The
under-cuticle of the leaf is much more interesting than the upper.


Now change the illumination, and, instead of throwing the light upon the
object from above, turn the mirror so as to direct it through the object
from below. No apparent result will follow, because the leaf is so thick
and opaque that the light cannot pass through it. Hold the leaf
horizontally, and, by means of the stage-forceps, rip it smartly across,
and if you do this rightly, you will find that the two cuticles are
partly separated, so as to allow either to be examined separately. At
first the leaf will most probably be torn along one of the large
nervures, so that the cuticles are not perfectly separated. Never mind
failure, but try again; and you are sure, after a few efforts, to hit
upon the right method of tearing the leaf.


One of the most useful capabilities of the “live-box” is now shown. As
may be seen by the figure and section, it consists of an inner tube with
a thick glass, and an outer tube with a thin glass. The outer tube can
be taken off, water or any other substance laid on the thick glass, and
then the outer tube or cover is slid down upon it until the object is
pressed flatly between the two glasses. When you have succeeded in
getting a convenient slip of the leaf, lay it on the thick glass of the
inner tube, and put a drop of water on it. Put on the cover, and push it
down until the piece of leaf is pressed flat, without being squeezed.
Now look through the microscope, and you will see a beautiful sight,
showing how much there is in a despised leaf, which we daily tread under


The cells of which the cuticle is chiefly composed are seen in many a
waving outline, while at their points of junction are placed the
remarkable contrivances called “stomata,” or mouths, which are the
apertures through which the atmosphere is enabled to penetrate into the
interior of the leaf. The two semilunar cells at the sides of the
opening may be considered as lips, which open and close according as the
plant needs the air or not. The numerous dots which are seen upon the
leaf are of a vivid green colour, and it is to their presence that the
leaf owes its hue.

We have given these details because they are applicable to the
examination of all leaves and petals, and show the young observer the
method which is to be adopted when looking for the first time at a
strange object.


If the microscopist should follow up his work properly, and make
sketches of every object which he places under the microscope, he cannot
do better than use the camera-lucida, a neat little instrument, which is
fitted into the eye-piece of the microscope. Dr. Beale’s neutral glass
is as efficacious in careful hands, and only costs a fourth of the sum.
This instrument cannot be applied to the ten and twenty shilling
microscopes, as it requires that the tube should be perfectly
horizontal. The method of using it is simple enough.

After fixing the object and getting the right focus, set the instrument
horizontally, and arrange the light so that the object is well
illuminated, and its lines quite clear and well defined. Now remove the
cap of the eye-piece, and fix the camera-lucida in its stead. Lay a
drawing-pad on the table under the camera-lucida, look through the
square opening (or, if you use Mr. Beale’s glass, look through the
neutral glass), and you will see the object apparently projected on the
paper. We say apparently, because in reality the image is not thrown on
the paper at all, but on the camera, and the eye refers it to the paper,
as being the nearest object. In fact, the principle on which this
camera-lucida is arranged is exactly that of the Polytechnic ghost,
which appears to be in one place, whereas it is in another.

Now take a pencil, cut it to a very fine point, and trace the outline of
the object on the paper. At first you will think this to be an
impracticable task, for the point of the pencil will totally vanish.
Soon, however, the eye will so adjust itself as to see the pencil and
the object perfectly well, and by a little practice the observer will be
able to sketch every object as rapidly and firmly as if he were copying
a drawing, by means of tracing-paper. The neutral glass is perhaps to be
preferred to the camera-lucida, as it is learned more easily, and gives
less trouble than that instrument. Its cost is five shillings.

After you have practised yourself well in the handling of the
microscope, your ambition will take another step, and lead you to the
preparation of permanent objects. In order to set yourself up with the
needful apparatus, you will have to disburse about five shillings. A
small spirit-lamp will cost eighteenpence, and a small bottle of Canada
balsam, another of asphalte varnish, and another of Dean’s gelatine,
will make about eighteenpence or two shillings more. A few pence will
purchase a sheet or two of ornamental paper, and a few more a flat plate
of brass or copper, about five inches by three. The rest of the five
shillings may be expended in “slides” and thin glass, cut square.

Slides are merely slips of glass, three inches in length by one in
width, and the thin glass is used for laying upon the objects and
defending them from dust. We advise the square glass, because it
scarcely costs one quarter as much as the round glass, and is equally
effective when properly managed. There are several methods of “putting
up” preparations--namely, dry, in Canada balsam, in gelatine, and in
cells. We will take them in their order.

The simplest plan is, of course, the “dry” mode. Suppose that you want
to preserve a tiny piece of down, or the scales from a butterfly’s wing.
First wash all the slides and glasses well, by dipping them into a
strong solution of soda, and then into hot water, in order to get rid of
grease, taking care never to touch them with the hand, but to take them
out of the water with the forceps. This can be done at any time, and the
glasses carefully wrapped up and placed in a box ready for use.

You now select one of the slides, and lay the object exactly in its
centre. If very minute objects are used, they must be examined in order
to see whether they are properly disposed. The next process is, to take
one of the thin glasses with the microscope, and lay it very carefully
over the object. Then cut a piece of ornamental paper, about two inches
long and seven-eighths of an inch in width; cut or punch a circular
piece out of its centre, damp it well, and cover the wrong side
slightly, but completely, with paste. Lay it on the slide, so that the
centre of the hole shall coincide with that of the object, work it down
neatly with the fingers, and it will hold the square piece of thin
glass, which is technically called the “cover,” in its place. Watch it
occasionally as it dries, and be ready to press down any part of the
paper that may start up. Write, with ink, the name of the object on the
end of the slide.

When you have made a dozen or two of these preparations, it will be
time to letter and index them. On each slide paste a slip of white
paper, and on the paper write a brief notice of the object, thus--

  |    SCALES.    |
  |               |
  | D. HEAD MOTH. |

Then scratch with a bit of flint, or with a writing-diamond, if you have
one, a number on the end of the slide, and have a note-book with a
corresponding number opposite to which you enter the description at a
fuller length, thus:--

    18--Scales of Death’s Head Moth (_Acherontia Atropos_), from centre
    of under-surface of right fore wing. Dry. June 4, 1864. +

The cross signifies that you prepared the object yourself, and the
reason for adding the date is, that in after years you will have a
valuable guide as to the durability of your preparations. If the
specimen has been purchased or presented, always add the name of the
seller or donor, as well as the date. These precautions may seem to be
needlessly minute, but we have so often seen whole sets of valuable
preparations rendered useless for want of ticketing, that we cannot too
strongly impress on our readers the necessity for the note-book as well
as the label, the one acting as a check upon the other. When the label
has been affixed, and the details transferred to the note-book, the ink
may be washed off the end of the slide.

There is another convenient method of putting up the elytra of beetles,
parts of various insects, mosses, minute shells, and similar objects.
Take a common pill-box of the smallest size, and cut a little cylinder
of cork, that will nearly, but not quite, equal the height of the box,
and fasten one end to the bottom of the box with glue. Now blacken the
interior of the box and the cork cylinder. Put a little drop of Canada
balsam, Arabian cement, or gum Arabic on the top of the cylinder; put
the object on it, press it into its place, and, when the cement is hard,
the preparation is complete. The cover of the box serves to keep the
object from dust.

Now we come to the Canada balsam, a substance which produces beautiful
effects when rightly handled, but is most aggravating to the learner,
causing alternate irascibility and depression of spirits. Many objects,
such as the antennæ and feet of insects, will not show their full beauty
unless they are mounted in Canada balsam. The method of doing so is as
follows:--A week or two beforehand put the objects into ether or spirits
of turpentine, and allow them to remain there until wanted. Pile up some
old books, or take a couple of convenient wooden blocks; lay your brass
plate upon them; light the spirit-lamp, and put it under the plate so as
to heat it. Lay two or three slides on the plate, and all then can be
heated at the same time.

Warm the bottle of Canada balsam, and with a glass rod take out a very
little drop, and put it exactly in the middle of the slide. In order to
insure this point, I always put a dot of ink on the wrong side of the
slide. Stir it about with one of the needles mentioned on page 428, and
if any bubbles rise, break them. When the balsam is quite soft and
liquid, take one of the objects out of the bottle and put it into the
balsam, exactly over the black dot. Now add a little more balsam, so as
to cover it, and let it lie for a few moments. Take one of the glass
covers, put a very little balsam on its centre, and lay it neatly over
the object, pressing it down gradually and equally. Unless this be done,
the object will not remain in the centre, but will shoot out on one
side, and the whole operation must be begun _de novo_. Remove it from
the hot plate and lay it on a cool surface, still continuing the
pressure until the balsam has begun to harden. Lay a little leaden
weight--a pistol-bullet partly flattened is excellent for the
purpose--and on the cover write the name of the object, as already
mentioned, and then proceed to prepare another slide.

Twenty such slides may be prepared in the course of a morning, and when
they are finished they should be laid carefully in a cold place, where
they will be free from dust. In a week or so the balsam will be quite
hard, and then the slide may be completed. Take an old knife, which
should be kept for this special purpose; heat the blade in the
spirit-lamp, and then run it along the edges of the slide, so as to take
off the superfluous balsam which has escaped from beneath the cover.
This must be done very quickly, or the balsam inside the cover will be
heated by the knife, and the preparation spoiled. When this is done, cut
the ornamental paper, as already described, number and label the slide,
wash off the ink, and then the preparation is complete. Some objects are
very troublesome to prepare, and require to be soaked in turpentine and
boiled repeatedly in the balsam before they are completely penetrated
with it.

Objects which are put up in Deane’s gelatine are managed after a similar
fashion, save that the gelatine is to be heated by placing the bottle in
hot water, and that the turpentine is not needed. Vegetable structures
show beautifully when thus prepared. To remove the superfluous gelatine
use a _wet_ and not a hot knife.

Cells are very difficult to manage, and the novice had better not
attempt to make them, but is hereby advised to purchase them ready made.
Suppose that the young microscopist has dissected the digestive organs
of a bee, and wishes to preserve it in spirit; his best plan will be to
use a cell for the purpose. Let him buy a cell of sufficient depth,
float the preparation into it, fill it up with spirit, put the cover
loosely on, and leave it for a week, occasionally raising the cover and
stirring the preparation with a needle, in order to get rid of any
air-bubbles that may have been entangled in the tissues.

Then let him wipe the edges of the cell very dry, put on a slight layer
of gold-size or asphalte varnish--the former is preferable--fill up the
cell a “bumper,” and lay the cover very gently upon it, beginning at one
end and gently lowering it. With blotting-paper the liquid that escapes
must be removed, the edges dried afresh, a flattened bullet placed on
the cover, and with a very small camel’s-hair brush the slightest
possible coating of size painted round the edge of the cell. When it has
hardened another may be given, and so on, until a thick hard wall of
size has been built up round the edges and made the cover completely

We presume that the reader does not intend to use his microscope merely
as a toy, but that he desires to gain some insight into the works of
Nature, and is therefore willing to set to work in a systematic manner.

It is now known that both animal and vegetable structures are built up
by means of certain minute particles, technically called CELLS, and that
in every part of a plant or of an animal can be recognised the
constituents of which it is formed. We will, therefore, begin with the

[Illustration: CELL, STRAWBERRY.]

Some of the lowest plants, such as the minute algæ that inhabit the
water, afford excellent examples of the simple vegetable cell; but as
these plants are not readily procured by a beginner, we will select some
familiar object wherein the cells may be found. If any soft and pulpy
fruit be taken when it is quite ripe, and submitted to the microscope,
the vegetable cell will be seen in a tolerably perfect form. The three
rounded objects shown in the accompanying illustration are cells from
the strawberry, specimens of which can easily be seen, if a very thin
slice be cut with a razor or lancet, the latter being the preferable
instrument. Be careful to dip the blade in water before cutting the
fruit, and to float the slice from the blade to the glass slide by
placing them both under water. Unless this precaution be taken, the
section will not be flat, but will be crumpled up, and the cells will
not be properly seen.

Within each of these cells may be seen a small rounded object, which is
technically called the “nucleus;” and in some cases a smaller nucleus,
called the “nucleolus,” may be observed within the nucleus itself. The
increase of cells mostly takes place by a process of division. A line
passes across the nucleus, which presently separates into two distinct
parts, each of which recedes from the other, causing the cell to enlarge
and alter its shape. Presently a line is seen across the cell itself,
and in due time the cell is also divided into two parts, each having its
own nucleus.

In the present instance the cell is totally spherical, because the fruit
from which it was taken was soft, and allowed the constituent cells to
expand. When, however, the vegetable substance becomes hard, the cells
are pressed closely together, and their shapes are very much altered.
Sometimes, when the cells are of nearly the same size, and the pressure
is equal on every side, the cells form regular twelve-sided figures,
called “dodecahedra,” which, when that occurs, show a six-sided outline.
A very thin slice of raw potato will show the twelve-sided cells
beautifully, and has the further advantage of exhibiting the starch
globules with which the cells are filled. Here is a figure of a potato
cell, which presents a six-sided outline, just like that of a bee’s
waxen dwelling, and which is crowded with the beautiful globules of
starch. If the reader likes to make a few dozen balls of clay, and to
squeeze them together in a mass, he will find that the central balls
will have lost their globular shape, and assumed a more or less regular
twelve-sided form, very much like that of the potato cells.

[Illustration: CELL, POTATO.]

[Illustration: STELLATE TISSUE.]

Sometimes the cells run out longitudinally into cylinders, and attain
the really enormous length of three inches; sometimes they become
flattened, as the skin or epidermis of many plants; and oftentimes they
push out their sides into arms or rays, like stars, and form the tissue
which is technically called “stellate.” Here is a specimen of stellate
tissue taken from the pith of the common rush, wherein the rays are seen
to be very regular: generally, however, the rays are extremely
irregular, and require some little practice to detect them. Stellate
tissue may be seen in the white portion of orange-peel, in the thick
fleshy substance of many aquatic plants, in certain leaf-stalks, and in
many similar objects.

We will now see how the soft cells which form the pulpy fruit of the
strawberry can be changed into the hard timber of the oak or iron-wood

[Illustration: RINGED STRUCTURE.]

Wherever a cell is destined to form part of a _permanent_ tissue, it is
strengthened by receiving certain additions to its walls. These
additions are technically known as “secondary deposit,” and are made in
various ways. Sometimes they extend in a thin layer over the whole
cell-wall, leaving a number of little holes, which are called “pits,”
and earning the name of “pitted structures.” Very frequently the
secondary deposit is arranged in a series of rings, an example of which
is given in the accompanying illustration. This object is taken from the
mistletoe. Good examples of the ringed structures may be seen in the
anthers of many plants, and in the leaf-stem of the common rhubarb, an
example of which is shown in the next illustration. Another very common
form of secondary deposit is the spiral, which is generally used where
strength and elasticity are united. Two examples of the spiral form are
given in the illustration; the first taken from the lily, and the second
from the “rhizome,” or subterranean stem of the water-lily.


Another beautiful form of secondary deposit is seen in the fern root. If
the root be cut longitudinally, and the dark hard fibre dissolved
carefully out with nitric acid, the deposit will seem to have assumed
the shape of a winding staircase, and is then called “scalariform,” or
ladder-shaped. Similar structures may be found in asparagus.

[Illustration: WOOD-CELLS.]

The reader will see that the hardness of the structure depends entirely
on the amount of secondary deposit, and we accordingly find that when
the wood is hard and fit to be worked with tools the cells are almost
wholly filled with the secondary deposit. In this state they are called
“wood-cells.” Examples of these cells may be seen in the accompanying
illustration. In the first example, which is taken from the elder-tree,
four cells are shown in order to display the manner in which their
pointed ends are arranged. (The reader must remember that in all
wood-cells the ends are pointed.) In the next example, which is taken
from the chrysanthemum, the pitted structure is still retained; but in
the last figure, which is drawn from the lime-tree, the entire cell is
filled with secondary structure. The reader must understand that we can
only give the veriest outline of the subject, and profess to do nothing
more than indicate the method of observation, leaving the pupil to work
out the details by himself.

[Illustration: HAIR OF LAVENDER.]

Another curious development of the plant-cells is the formation of
HAIRS. These objects alone afford an inexhaustible field for the
microscopist, and any one who chooses to work out the subject will find
himself repaid if he makes a good series of preparations. In their
primary forms the hairs are seen merely as little projections on the
epidermis, whether of the stem, leaf, or petal, and by degrees assume
their varied and beautiful forms. In order to show the singular forms
which hairs sometimes assume, an illustration is here given of the hairs
of the lavender leaf. This is one of the hairs that give the leaf its
silvery gloss. It consists of an upright stem, from the top of which a
number of forked branches shoot out horizontally, much like an open
umbrella held upright. The object of this remarkable form is, that the
delicate vessels in which the perfume is held should escape injury. If
the reader will refer to the second figure, which represents a much
magnified view of the edge of the leaf, he will see the globular
perfume-gland standing under the shelter of the branching hairs.

The following plants afford valuable examples of hair:--Arabis, marvel
of Peru, sowthistle, tobacco, southernwood, hollyhock, snapdragon, pansy
(in throat of flower), deutzia (under-side of leaf), verbena, alyssum,
tradescantia, borage, cowhage, and many others. The beautiful effect
produced by the petals of flowers is caused by the imperfect hairs with
which their surfaces are studded.

The POLLEN of plants is always worth observing, and some specimens are
of remarkably beautiful shapes. Take that of althæa, crocus, cactus,
heath, violet, daisy, lily, snowdrop, wallflower, willow-herb (a very
beautiful form), hollyhock, periwinkle, primrose, &c. Put some up in
Deane’s gelatine, and dry some, besides examining them all when fresh.

The microscopist ought to examine the structures of WOOD by making
sections in the directions transverse and longitudinal. A razor will
answer very well for the purpose, and the wood should always be soaked
inside, and the razor wetted before the section is made. It is often
useful to make diagonal sections of several woods, especially those of
the pine and juniper. All the forest trees should be examined, and their
roots and bark should not be omitted. Cut sections of coconut-shell,
vegetable ivory, sugar-cane (a most beautiful object when mounted
opaque), bamboo, butcher’s broom, &c.

MOSSES are beautiful objects, and can always be found. Examine
particularly the fruit or seed-vessel, and note the structure of its
different parts. Put these on a slide, and breathe on them, noting at
the same time any change which may take place.

The SPORE CASES of ferns are extremely beautiful, and should be
carefully examined. The little brown dots or streaks that are seen on
the under surface of the fronds are called “sori,” and contain a large
but variable number of the sporanges. These consist of stalked sacs or
cases, and differ much in shape, according to the species of fern. If
the fern be fresh from which the sorus is taken, the sporanges may be
seen writhing and twisting like so many serpents, and sometimes it
happens that one of the sporanges bursts, and suddenly covers the field
of the microscope with minute black dots. These dots are the spores or
seeds of the fern, and when magnified with a very high power, they are
seen to be variously shaped. One of the most remarkable spores is that
of the equisetum, or mare’s tail of the water. This spore looks like a
ball with something coiled round it. As soon as the spore is discharged
from its case, four threads are seen to uncoil themselves from around
it, and by their elasticity to cause the spore to jump about as if
alive. These fibres are technically named elasters, and are
prolongations of the outer coat of the spore.

FUNGI of all kinds should be examined. There is never any difficulty in
finding fungi, though the autumn is the best time of year for this
purpose. “Mould,” as it is popularly called, is a form assumed by many
species of fungus, which, though objectionable to the careful housewife,
are full of interest to the microscopist. The well-known mushroom and
toadstools are the highest of the fungi. The black spots on leaves are
fungi, mostly belonging to the genus puccinia, and the best specimens
are generally found on the wild rose or bramble. The black “smut” of
wheat is another fungus, very pretty under the microscope, but very
obnoxious to the farmer; and the “bunt” also belongs to the same vast
tribe of plants, four thousand species of which are now known to exist.

The young observer should also look for the beautiful crystals which
exist in many vegetable cells. The RAPHIDES, as these crystals are
called, are of various forms, mostly shaped like curved needles, but
often assuming very pretty and regular outlines. Raphides are
plentifully found in the bulb of the onion, in the rhubarb, the lily,
the iris, &c. They are best mounted as opaque objects and, if the reader
can procure a binocular microscope, he will see the form of the
raphides better than with the single-tube instrument.

SEEDS of different plants should be carefully examined, especially those
of small dimensions, which often exhibit some wonderful beauties of
structure. The winged seed of various plants, such as the thistle, the
dandelion, the valerian, and the willow-herb, are extremely interesting
objects; while those of the yellow snapdragon, the mullein, the Robin
Hood, and the bur-seed, are remarkably beautiful in form, though they
have no parachute, as the feathery appendage is called.

Leaving dry land, we will devote a short time to the water. Let the
reader take with him the simple collecting apparatus mentioned on page
430, and secure specimens of the water from different ponds, ditches,
and streams. For collecting the larger objects a little net, which can
be purchased cheap, is of very great use. It is easily made by any
tinman, and if the young microscopist knows the use of solder, as all
experimental philosophers ought to do, he can put it together in a few
minutes. It is formed of a strip of zinc bent into the requisite form,
and with a socket, to which a handle can be attached. A piece of coarse
muslin, or, rather, fine “net,” is then stretched over the bottom, and
the apparatus is complete.

In the water is sure to be found one of the lowest forms of vegetable
life--namely, the “confervoid algæ.” Look for these in bright, clear
pools, placing the collecting bottle near any greenish film collected
around the stems of plants, or spread over the stones on the bed of the
pool. If this film be very carefully taken up, it will produce many
interesting forms of vegetable life. One of the most remarkable of these
vegetables is that which is called “volvox globator,” a figure of which
is here given.

[Illustration: VOLVOX.]

This wonderful object is about as large as the head of a very small pin,
so that it is visible to the naked eye, and looks like a tiny globule
passing through the water. When it is placed under a lens of moderate
power, say of an inch focus, it exhibits some very strange
peculiarities. It continually revolves, and by its revolution is able to
enjoy a moderate degree of locomotion, though without any apparent
object. Small dark spots are also seen upon it.

If a half-inch lens be now used, the structure of the volvox begins to
be exhibited. The whole surface is covered with a network of very fine
fibres, having a spot at the intersection of each mesh. On applying a
still higher power, say the four-tenths of an inch, the structure is
further elucidated, and the dots on the surface are seen to consist of
greenish bodies, each furnished with a pair of delicate fibres,
technically named cilia, which are constantly vibrating, and cause the
revolution of the general mass. The dark spots are now seen to be the
young plants in different stages of progress. From six to ten of these
are inclosed within the parent, and when the latter has reached its full
age, the membrane bursts asunder, and the little volvoces are liberated.

[Illustration: CLOSTERIUM.]

Another interesting form is the closterium, a genus which is sure to
produce several good examples. We may mention that the ponds in
Blackheath are very rich in these curious vegetables, and a very
considerable series of confervoids may be obtained from them. The
closteria are easily recognised by their resemblance to the Australian

As our space is rapidly waning, we must leave the vegetable, and proceed
to the animal kingdom.

As is the case with vegetables, the animal structure is composed of
cells, though they cannot be so easily traced as in the examples which
we have already noticed. The young observer may readily perceive the
animal cell, in its largest and simplest form, by placing a little of
the yolk of egg under the microscope. CARTILAGE, or gristle, is easily
seen to be composed of cells. The nails of the fingers afford good
objects for the microscopist in search of animal cells. If a thin
section be placed under the microscope, none but an experienced observer
will be able to make out the presence of cells at all; but if the
section be soaked in “liquor potassæ,” the cells immediately swell up,
and their shape is at once made plain. Take the BONE of a young chicken
or rabbit, and make a thin section that embraces both the bone and
cartilage, and there will then be a beautiful object for the
microscopist, showing how the cartilage is changed by degrees into bone.

[Illustration: BONE, TRANSVERSE.]

Sections of bone should also be made, both transverse and longitudinal.

The BLOOD is another object which must be carefully examined. The
“corpuscles” which give the colouring matter to the blood are cells of
different size, according to the creature from which they are taken. The
dimensions of the animal exercise no apparent influence on the
corpuscles, for those of “proteus anguinus,” a little creature not
larger than a lamprey, are many times larger than those of the ox. In
the accompanying illustration is shown a series of specimens, in order
to show the great difference in their shape and size, all being drawn to
scale and magnified by the same lens. The circular corpuscles in the
left-hand upper corner are those of man; immediately below is a single
corpuscle from the pigeon. The great central corpuscle is taken from the
proteus; the two in the lower right-hand corner are from the frog, one
of these being viewed edgeways; and of the remaining two, that on the
left hand belongs to the tortoise, and that on the right to a fish.

[Illustration: BLOOD CORPUSCLES.]

The insect tribes are an inexhaustible source of objects for the
microscopist, who may find that even a single fly will give him
employment for many months. The scales from the butterfly’s wing, the
wonderful compound eyes with which insects are gifted, the structure of
their feet, and their entire anatomy, are always at the service of any
microscopist who really cares for his work. It would, of course, be
impossible to give even a list of the interesting portions of the
different insects; so one or two examples must suffice us.

[Illustration: ANTENNÆ OF FLY.]

Take the ANTENNÆ of the insect tribes, and see how beautifully they are
formed, how graceful is the shape, and how elaborate the structure. A
low power will be useful for exhibiting their general shape and outline,
but it is not until we know how to use the higher powers that the real
beauty of these curious organs is seen. In the accompanying illustration
is given part of an antenna of the common blue-bottle fly, in order to
show the remarkable cavities which exist within the antennæ, and which
are thought by some anatomists to be organs of hearing, and by others to
be organs of smell.

[Illustration: WINGS OF BEE.]

The WINGS of insects are also most remarkable, and possess many
peculiarities of structure which cannot be detected without the aid of a
microscope. Take, for example, the wings of any hymenopterous insect,
say those of a humble-bee, and see how beautiful is the structure which
causes the four wings to be united into two when the insect is about to
fly. In the illustration may be seen a pair of these wings, together
with the row of hooks which bind them together. A still more magnified
representation of the hooks is placed near the wings.

It is now ascertained that the wings of insects are connected with the
breathing apparatus, and that the respiration of the insect extends even
to the very tips of these singular organs, which are not modifications
of existing limbs, as in the birds, but additional structures. The
circulation of insects may often be seen by placing a portion of a
transparent wing under a moderately high power. We have often seen it in
the wing of the great water-beetle. A series of very beautiful
preparations may be made in order to show the distinction between the
wings of different insects; and as the orders of insects are founded
upon their wings, there ought to be at least one example of each order.
The proboscis of insects is always worthy of careful examination.

As to the breathing apparatus itself, the best mode of examining it is
to open a caterpillar, remove a part of the large breathing tube which
runs along each side, and place it under the microscope. It should
always be taken so as to include one of the spiracles, or
breathing-holes. An example of a breathing-tube, taken from a silk-worm,
is given in the illustration.


HAIRS of animals are very curious and interesting objects. They should
be mounted in three modes--namely, dry transparent, dry opaque, and in
Canada balsam, transparent. Be sure to procure some hair of the bat, the
sheep, the mouse, the deer, the mole, and any of the weasel tribe. Many
insects have very beautiful hair, but the most lovely hair in the animal
kingdom is that which is obtained from the sea-mouse. Fish scales should
also be procured, and specimens should be taken from the lateral line.

MOLLUSCS of all kinds afford many beautiful objects, and the observer
should be very careful to examine the wonderful tongue-ribbon of the
snail, the slug, the periwinkle, the whelk, and other similar molluscs.
If meant to be examined by polarized light, the tongue-ribbon should be
mounted in Canada balsam.

CRYSTALS should always form part of a collection. Take those of common
salt, nitre, sugar, chlorate of potash, salicine, &c.; indeed, anything
that will crystallize should be prepared and mounted, as such objects
will often be most useful when examining unknown substances.

[Illustration: BIRD’S-HEAD PROCESS.]

[Illustration: NOCTILUCA.]

[Illustration: PEDICILLARIÆ.]

ZOOPHYTES must of course find a place in the cabinet, and the young
microscopist ought to put up a few specimens of the “bird’s-head”
processes which are found in the bugularia and other inhabitants of the
sea. The pretty noctiluca, to which is mostly owing the phosphorescence
of the sea, should be preserved, and the extraordinary appendages to the
skin of certain star-fish and sea urchins should be examined. These are
called pedicillariæ, and a sketch of them is given in the illustration.



    “’Seeing is believing,’ so the sages say,
    To prove this false, hear me, my friends, I pray,
    And very soon you all will be agreeing,
    That nought is so deceptive as our _seeing_.”--MARTIN.

Optics is the science of _light_ and _vision_. Concerning the nature of
light, two theories are at present very ably maintained by their
respective advocates. One is termed the Newtonian theory, and the other
the Huygenean. The Newtonian theory considers light to consist of
inconceivably small bodies emanating from the sun, or any other luminous
body. The Huygenean conceives it to consist in the undulations of a
highly elastic and subtle fluid, propagated round luminous centres in
spherical waves, like those arising in a placid lake when a stone is
dropped into the water.


Light follows the same laws as gravity, and its intensity or degree
decreases as the square of the distance from the luminous body
increases. Thus, at the distance of two yards from a candle we shall
have four times less light than we should have, were it only one yard
from it, and so on in the same proportion.



Bodies which suffer the rays of light to pass through them, such as air,
water, or glass, are called refracting media. When rays of light enter
these, they do not proceed in straight lines, but are said to be
refracted, or bent out of their course, as seen in the drawing. The ray
of light proceeding from B through the glass L G is bent from the point
C, instead of passing in the direction of the dotted line. But if the
ray F C falls perpendicularly on the glass, there is no refraction, and
it proceeds in a direct line to K; hence refraction only takes place
when rays fall obliquely or aslant on the media.



If a coin be placed in a basin, so that on standing at a certain
distance it be just hid from the eye of an observer by the rim or edge
of the basin, and then water be poured in by a second person, the first
keeping his position; as the water rises the coin will become visible,
and will appear to have moved from the side to the middle of the basin.



The multiplying glass is a semicircular piece of glass cut into facets
or distinct surfaces; and in looking through it we have an illustration
of the laws of refraction, for if a small object, such as a fly, be
placed at D, an eye at E will see as many flies as there are surfaces or
facets on the glass.



Transparent bodies, such as glass, may be made of such form as to cause
all the rays which pass through them from any given point to meet in any
other given point beyond them, or which will disperse them from the
given point. These are called lenses, and have different names according
to their form. 1. Is called the plano-convex lens. 2. Plano-concave. 3.
Double convex. 4. Double concave. 5. A meniscus, so called from its
resembling the crescent moon.



The prism is a triangular solid of glass, and by it the young optician
may decompose a ray of light into its primitive and supplementary
colours, for a ray of light is of a compound nature. By the prism the
ray A is divided into its three primitive colours, blue, red, and
yellow; and their four supplementary ones, violet, indigo, green, and
orange. The best way to perform this experiment is to cut a small slit
in a window-shutter, on which the sun shines at some period of the day,
and directly opposite the hole place a prism P; a beam of light in
passing through it will then be decomposed, and if let fall upon a sheet
of white paper, or against a white wall, the seven colours of the
rainbow will be observed.



The beam of light passing through the prism is decomposed, and the
spaces occupied by the colours are in the following proportions:--red,
6; orange, 4; yellow, 7; green, 8; blue, 8; indigo, 6; violet, 11. Now,
if you paste a sheet of white paper on a circular piece of board about
six inches in diameter, and divide it with a pencil into fifty parts,
and paint colours in them in the proportions given above, painting them
dark in the centre parts, and gradually fainter at the edges, till they
blend with the one adjoining. If the board be then fixed to an axle, and
made to revolve quickly, the colours will no longer appear separate and
distinct, but becoming gradually less visible they will ultimately
appear _white_, giving this appearance to the whole surface of the



The human eye is a camera obscura, for on the back of it on the retina
every object in a landscape is beautifully depicted in miniature. This
may be proved by the


Procure a fresh bullock’s eye from the butcher, and carefully thin the
outer coat of it behind: take care not to cut it, for if this should be
done the vitreous humour will escape, and the experiment cannot be
performed. Having so prepared the eye, if the pupil of it be directed to
any bright objects, they will appear distinctly delineated on the back
part precisely as objects appear in the instrument we are about to
describe. The effect will be heightened if the eye is viewed in a dark
room with a small hole in the shutter, but in every case the appearance
will be very striking.



This is a very pleasing and instructive optical apparatus, and may be
purchased for four or five shillings. But it may be easily made by the
young optician. Procure an oblong box, about two feet long, twelve
inches wide, and eight high. In one end of this a tube must be fitted
containing a lens, and be made to slide backwards and forwards so as to
suit the focus. Within the box should be a plain mirror reclining
backwards from the tube at an angle of forty-five degrees. At the top of
the box is a square of unpolished glass, upon which from beneath the
picture will be thrown, and may be seen by raising the lid A. To use the
camera place the tube with the lens on it opposite to the object, and
having adjusted the focus, the image will be thrown upon the
ground-glass as above stated, where it may be easily copied by a pencil
or in colours.


The form of a camera obscura used in a public exhibition is as
follows:--D D is a large wooden box stained black in the inside, and
capable of containing from one to eight persons. A B is a sliding piece,
having a sloping mirror C, and a double convex lens F, which may with
the mirror C be slid up or down so as to accommodate the lens to near
and distant objects. When the rays proceeding from an object without
fall upon the mirror, they are reflected upon the lens F, and brought to
fall on the bottom of the box, or upon a table placed horizontally to
receive them, which may be seen by the spectator whose eye is at E.



This instrument consists of a glass prism, C, D, D, E, having four sides
covered. The sides C, D, being exposed to the object to be delineated,
rays pass through the glass and fall on the sloping side D, E; from this
they are reflected to the top, and finally pass out of the prism to the
eye;[11] now from the direction at which the rays enter the eye, it
receives them as if coming from an image at A, B, and if a sheet of
paper be placed below the instrument, a perfect delineation of the
object may be traced with a pencil. This is a very useful instrument to
young draughtsmen.

  [11] The eye is to be applied to the little circular hole seen on the
       upper surface.



This is one of the most pleasing of all optical instruments, and it is
used to produce enlarged pictures of objects, which being painted on a
glass in various colours are thrown upon a screen or white sheet placed
against the wall of a large room. It consists of a sort of tin-box,
within which is a lamp, the light of which (strongly reflected by the
reflector T,) passes through a great plano-convex lens E fixed in the
front. This strongly illuminates the objects which are painted on the
slides or slips of glass, and placed before the lens in an inverted
position, and the rays passing through them and the lens F, fall on a
sheet, or other white surface, placed to receive the image. The glasses
on which the figures are drawn are inverted, in order that the images of
them may be erect.


The slides containing the objects usually shown in a magic lantern, are
to be bought at opticians with the lantern, and can be procured cheaper
and better in this way than by any attempt at manufacturing them.
Should, however, the young optician wish to make a few slides of objects
of particular interest to himself, he may proceed as follows:--


Draw first on paper the figures you wish to paint, lay it on the table,
and cover it over with a piece of glass of the above shape; now draw the
outlines with a fine camel’s hair pencil in black paint mixed with
varnish, and when this is dry, fill up the other parts with the proper
colours, shading with bistre also mixed with varnish. The transparent
colours are alone to be used in this kind of painting.


The room for the exhibition ought to be large, and of an oblong shape.
At one end of it suspend a large sheet so as to cover the whole of the
wall. The company being all seated, darken the room, and placing the
lantern with its tube in the direction of the sheet, introduce one of
the slides into the slit, taking care to invert the figures; then adjust
the focus of the glasses in the tube by drawing it in or out as
required, and a perfect representation of the object will appear.


Most extraordinary effects may be produced by means of the magic
lantern; one of the most effective of which is a


This is effected by having two slides painted, one with the tempest as
approaching on one side, and continuing in intensity till it reaches the
other. Another slide has ships painted on it, and while the lantern is
in use, that containing the ships is dexterously drawn before the other,
and represents _ships in the storm_.


The effects of sunrise, moonlight, starlight, &c., may be imitated, also
by means of double slides, and figures may be introduced sometimes of
_fearful_ proportions.


Heads may be made to nod, faces to laugh; eyes may be made to roll,
teeth to gnash; crocodiles may be made to swallow tigers; combats may be
represented; but one of the most instructive uses of the slides is to
make them illustrative of astronomy, and to show the rotation of the
seasons, the cause of eclipses, the mountains in the moon, spots on the
sun, and the various motions of the planetary bodies, and their


Between the phantasmagoria and the magic lantern there is this
difference: in common magic lanterns the figures are painted on
transparent glass, consequently the image on the screen is a circle of
light having figures upon it; but in the phantasmagoria all the glass is
made opaque, except the figures, which, being painted in transparent
colours, the light shines through them, and no light can come upon the
screen except that which passes through the figure, as is here


There is no sheet to receive the picture, but the representation is
thrown on a thin screen of silk or muslin placed between _the spectators
and the lantern_. The images are made to appear approaching and receding
by removing it further from the screen, or bringing it nearer to it.
This is a great advantage over the ordinary arrangements of the magic
lantern, and by it the most astonishing effects are often produced.


The dissolving views, by which one landscape or scene appears to pass
into the other while the scene is changing, are produced by using two
magic lanterns placed side by side, and that can be a little inclined
towards each other when necessary, so as to mix together the rays of
light proceeding from the lenses of each, which produces that confusion
of images, in which one view melts as it were into the other, which
gradually becomes clear and distinct; the principle being the gradual
extinction of one picture, and the production of another.



The magic lantern, or phantasmagoria, may be used in a number of
marvellous ways, but in none more striking than in raising an apparent
spectre. Let an open box, A B, about three feet long, a foot and a half
broad, and two feet high, be prepared. At one end of this place a small
swing dressing-glass, and at the other let a magic lantern be fixed with
its lenses in a direction towards the glass. A glass should now be made
to slide up and down in the groove C D, to which a cord and pulley
should be attached, the end of the cord coming to the part of the box
marked A. On this glass the most hideous spectre that can be imagined
may be painted, but in a squat or contracted position, and when all is
done, the lid of the box must be prepared by raising a kind of gable at
the end of the box B, and in its lower part at E an oval hole should be
cut sufficiently large to suffer the rays of light reflected from the
glass to pass through them. On the top of the box at F place a
chafing-dish, upon which put some burning charcoal. Now light the lamp G
in the lantern, sprinkle some powdered camphor or white incense on the
charcoal, adjust the slide on which the spectre is painted, and the
image will be thrown upon the smoke. In performing this feat the room
must be darkened, and the box should be placed on a high table, that the
hole through which the light comes may not be noticed.


This word is derived from two Greek words, one of which signifies
_wonder_, and the other _to turn_. It is a very pretty philosophical
toy, and is founded upon the principle in optics, that an impression
made upon the retina of the eye lasts for a short interval after the
object which produced it has been withdrawn. The impression which the
mind receives lasts for about the eighth part of a second, as may be
easily shown by whirling round a lighted stick, which if made to
complete the circle within that period, will exhibit not a fiery point,
but a fiery circle in the air.


Cut a piece of cardboard of the size of a penny piece, and paint on one
side a bird, and on the other a cage; fasten two pieces of thread one on
each side at opposite points of the card, so that the card can be made
to revolve by twirling the threads with the finger and thumb: while the
toy is in its revolution, the bird will be seen within the cage. A bat
may in the same manner be painted on one side of the card, and a
cricketer upon the other, which will exhibit the same phenomenon,
arising from the same principle.



The above-named figure is a Thaumatrope, as much as the one we are about
to describe, although the term Phantasmascope is generally applied to
the latter instrument; which consists of a disc of darkened tin-plate,
with a slit or narrow opening in it, about two inches in length. It is
fixed upon a stand, and the slit placed upwards, so that it may easily
be looked through. Another disc of pasteboard, about a foot in diameter,
is now prepared and fixed on a similar stand, but with this difference,
that it is made to revolve round an axis in the centre. On this
pasteboard disc, paint in colours a number of frogs in relative and
progressive positions of leaping; make betwe