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C o af one were writing of France, there is more interest taken in the playing
of Germany, of Italy, of Rus- than in the fighting. They are verily a na.
pages upon hunting and stances, and what environment our children shooting in France, of which there is still would be born to, and what tasks they a certain amount; upon the students' would be set to do, we could in time do as duelling, and the hunting of the wild boar well with them as with horses and dogs. in Germany; upon big-game shooting in The trouble lies not in heredity, but in the some parts of Russia, and upon bull-fight- haphazard of what awaits them. A horse ing in Spain, would suffice to give an idea is bred to run, or to trot, or to draw heavy of the relative importance of sport in those loads, and we know exactly what we expect countries.
of him twenty years before he is bom. It is very different in England. The With ourselves it is different. Few parents first thing to attract my attention on this know what a son will be called upon to face my latest visit to England, was the an- at the age of twenty-one. Whether there nouncement on all the newspaper bul- will be a war and he must serve his country letins: England's Big Task. I happened in arms; whether family fortunes will be to know that the Prime Minister was seri- on the ebb and he must make money; ously ill, that there was fierce debating in whether a friend will offer him a start in the House of Commons upon the new esti- anything, from a machine-shop to a newsmates for the Navy, and upon the new li- paper office. It is impossible even to train censing bill just brought in by Mr. Asquith, him for a pursuit, or a profession, that is and that there was fighting upon the fron- still in the hazy distance. Civilization is tier of India, with a certain tribe of natives. the great disintegrator. As we become But England's big task had nothing to do rich we dissipate our energies, we think of with these trivial matters. An English our dinners, our horses, our dogs, our cricket eleven was playing in Australia. friends, our books, our clubs, our travelling. The Australian eleven in their second inn- A little strength and power goes to each. ings had made an unexpectedly big score, The peasant, the poor man, must perforce and England's big task was to beat that direct all his powers to one end, and often score!
he becomes master there, while the rich Though England may be fighting some- become weak and small in scattered interwhere in her vast dominions all the time, ests. So families cannot keep their places. she is also playing somewhere all the time. The rough and poor and strong come in Unless the war is a very important one, and take them. Simplicity easily beats out
complexity and dissipation in a few gener- Yale. He was recognized as typical of one ations. Hence the constant redistribution very prominent feature of British civilizaof wealth and power. Until we can over- tion. And so he was. come this ever-present obstacle to the suc- An accepted authority upon all matters cessful breeding of human beings, socialism of sport in England has compiled some it would seem, is an unnecessary philoso- figures as to the investments and expendiphy. Nature beats socialism hollow at her tures upon sport, by the forty odd millions own game.
of inhabitants of Great Britain. His estiThe English common-sense comes to the mates, when they have been criticised, fore again in an attempt to solve this prob- have been criticised mainly because they lem. She is old enough to know from ex- were too low. perience that the world is still ruled by men, His estimates are as follows: and in all probability will be for a long
Spent time to come. She breeds men therefore as
annually strong and simple as she can. In these Fox-hunting .. islands sport is not a dissipation for idlers, Shooting ... 20,335,000 40,640,000 it is a philosophy of life. They believe in it Racing
Fishing . . . . 2,750,000 2,945,000
! Racing . . . . 41,610,000 52,965,000 as a bulwark against effeminacy and decay. Yachting .
28,000,000 15,160,000 A congregational minister makes a speech in which he confesses to “a feeling of bitterB ut even these sums are not the whole humiliation" when he reads that the Prime of the budget, for he adds: Minister is the owner of a Derby winner,
Spent and stands to win or lose thousands of
Invested annually pounds on the race. Lord Roseberry's at
nds on the race Lord Roseberry's at. Coursing . . . $2,600,000 $1,587,000 tention having been called to this speech Polo.
Coaching ... 1,451,250 1,188,975
552,500 by a political opponent, he replies as follows: “Sir, I am desired by Lord Rose- Golf (there are some seven hundred and berry to thank you for your letter and its fifty Golf Links in Great Britain) counts enclosure. He will offer no opinion on the for $2,625,000 invested in laying out of latter, for these matters should be dealt links, building club-houses, purchase of with according to the good taste, Christian clubs, bags, etc., etc., and $3,627,750 charity, and knowledge of facts possessed annual expenditures for labor, up-keep of by each person who touches on them.” club-houses, and for caddies, professionals, The letter is signed by the Prime Minis- and other necessary expenses, including ter's secretary. Lord Roseberry is one of travelling. the most accomplished Englishmen of the
Spent day. He considers it lacking in Christian
Invested annually charity to abuse him for owning and breed. Rowing . . . . $1,420,000 $2,871,500
Football and a great race horse. D.4. probably Cricket ... 53,815,000 58,560,000 more than eight out of ten of his countrymen. From top to bottom of English so- These figures have not been seriously quesciety, from the Prime Minister to the tioned, except to add to their totals, so that Yorkshire foot-baller, sport is almost as we may conclude that some $233,066,250 much a part of national existence, as eating are invested permanently, and $223,887,and drinking.
725 spent annually for sport. There is, in Harvard University, not many years ago, short, an investment in sport of some five conferred the honorary degree of Master of dollars and twenty-five cents for each man, Arts, upon a young Englishman, 'who de- woman, and child in the United Kingdom, votes a good deal of his time to studying and a slightly smaller sum spent each year and furthering the interest in wholesome for sport. When aggregate investments sport. It was Mr. Lehman, a graduate of and expenditures, reach such figures as Cambridge University, England, who re- these, we may be sure that the people who ceived this distinguished mark of his ac- tax themselves thus heavily have, or beceptability to the powers that be at Har- lieve they have, satisfied themselves that vard, and this in spite of the fact that the there is a valuable equivalent of some kind, crews he coached were woefully beaten by that justifies the expenditure.
The London County Council give in their to the State of something over $925,000 report an analysis of the athletic games per annum. played during the past twelvemonth in In a territory of some 19,000,000 acres in parks and open spaces of London. The Scotland, 3,481,000 acres are preserved and following table is of interest:
devoted to deer forests alone.
It is not to be wondered at then, that Games
Places Grounds Games England has been described by one of to play provided played
her more irascible sons, who was probably Bowls . . . . . . 15 74 24,749 Cricket .
not interested in sport, as: "the paradise
28,904 Croquet . . . . . 22
1,535 of the rich, the purgatory of the poor, and Foot-ball . . . . . 35
16,228 the hell of the wise." Hockey . . . . . 23 39 2,246 We are not convinced that the writer of Lacrosse . . . . . 5 7 120 Lawn Tennis . .. 40
this description is right. The bookish man
476 102,649 Quoits . . . . . . 20 36 1 2,063 is probably disheartened by the size of the
sport budget of his country, and by the Travel by train or motor anywhere in Eng- enormous amount of time and energy thus land and you see games being played- expended. On the other hand, when we particularly if it be a Saturday–from one examine the results, and gather together end of the country to the other. The open the threads of what Englishmen have acspaces of England seem to be given over to complished all over the world, nobody but men and some women batting, kicking, or a blind man can conceal from himself, that hitting a ball. The attendance at games certain virile qualities of character have, on a Saturday is very large. Even in these thus far in the world's progress, dominated days of distress in the ship-building and the more intellectual and philosophical cotton industries, when the problem of the traits. unemployed is a serious one, there is no Not only are muscles and sinews lack of sixpences and shillings to gain entry strengthened and hardened, but the temto the foot-ball games. Even at the begin- per and the will are trained as well. The ning of the foot-ball season the gate receipts man who learns to spar, for example, not show an attendance of more than 200,000 only schools his eye and his hands and his people. When the big and final games feet to respond quickly when called upon, take place I have calculated that out of the but he learns also, and what is far more male adult population of England and important, to keep his temper under conWales on a great foot-ball Saturday one in trol, and to take a pounding cheerfully; and every twenty-seven is in attendance at a if a man can translate these lessons to serve game of some sort, and this leans to the in the larger affairs of life, where temper is error of being too few, rather than too often tempted, and where poundings are many.
meted out to all of us with even imparThe domestic exports of the United tiality, he has learned a valuable lesson. As Kingdom in 1905 were slightly over thirty- Stevenson puts it: “our business in this eight dollars per head, while the expendi- world is not to succeed, but to continue to ture and investment for sport is about ten fail in good spirits.” dollars per head, or a little more than one- Every sport has the valuable effect of fourth as much. Excluding troops and ex- diverting both mind and body. A sharp penditure on troops serving outside the gallop, a round of golf, a week's yachting, United Kingdom, England only spent the a day's shooting or fishing, changes the paltry sum of $75,000,000 on her army in current of one's thoughts, and rests the 1907, and the cost of her naval armament mind as well as the body. All the benefits in the same year was only $167,500,000, to be had from sport group themselves both together considerably less than was under these two heads, of training and spent for sport. The capital value of diversion. The lad at his rowing, his the sporting rents advertised by a single foot-ball, his cricket, or his tennis, needs firm of land agents one season not long the training more than the diversion; while ago, reckoning the letting value at four his father, riding, shooting, golfing, or per cent., amounted to $43,750,000. The yachting, needs the diversion more than licenses to kill game bring in a revenue the training.
The first settlers in America, indeed all these same high qualities in the more comthe inhabitants thereof, until very recently, plicated emergencies of daily life. There is needed no sports for their training or their a German proverb which runs: “when the diversion. Building roads, and bridges, devil cannot go himself he sends an old and houses, and railroads, and canals, and woman.” There is just enough truth in the defending the same from their savage old woman argument against rough games neighbors were enough. Civilization in and sports, to lead one to believe that the those rough years was hard training devil sends it. The nation which presides enough, and every citizen was obliged to over the destinies of one-fifth of the inplay the game whether he liked it or not. habitants of the globe, spends over two But increased prosperity, and above all, hundred millions annually for sport, and steam and electricity, not only in America has invested something more than that bebut in Europe, have done away with the sides. necessity for constant physical exercise, or Perhaps there is no severer test of a for daily deeds of daring. The best of man's all-round abilities than his power to mankind, however, know intuitively that govern wisely; at any rate the governing luxury is the most insidious of all foes. If races of to-day are races of sportsmen. we are no longer obliged to ride, or to walk, The peoples who are inheriting the earth in order to see our friends or to attend to to-day are the peoples who play games, our business, then we turn to and make a perhaps because their contests make them business of riding, walking, shooting, fish- meek! France with her violent attempts in ing, climbing mountains and hunting wild the last hundred years to reduce all life to game, in order to keep alive in us the a philosophical system, has a decreasing hardier virtues, which, in the beginning, birth-rate, and has become of second-rate made our forefathers capable of winning a importance as a world power. In fact, place for us in the world. As the necessity every fresh compilation of statistics helps for self-defence and great exertion to pro- to show that this declining birth-rate is not vide food lessen, field sports become more a passing phase. The latest figures availpopular.
able for Paris, those for 1907, show that an It is often said as an objection to this actual shrinkage of the population is a fact. argument, that a man can learn self-control In spite of the fact that the marriage rate and show high courage just as well by do- has been on an ascending scale for the last ing his duty, whatever and wherever it twenty-five years, and that the death-rate happens to be. It is not necessary that we has had, on the whole, a tendency to lower, should have wars, or rough games, like the population does not increase. Last year foot-ball or polo to steady the nerves of there were 50,811 births against 50,499 men, to give them courage, and to teach deaths, a margin of only 312 to the good. them to take care of themselves. The con- But even this is not accurate, since some 30 troversies and temptations and hard tasks per cent. of babies born in Paris are sent of daily life are enough. This is true in a away to the country to be nursed. Their way. Taking care of a peevish child who births appear in the Paris registers, but if is ill, is a tremendous test of patience and they die in infancy, their deaths are recorded gentleness. Bearing the frowns of fortune in the provincial commune where the death with cheerfulness and in silence, shows takes place. Thus Paris escapes having to courage. Keeping oneself well in hand record nearly one-third of the infant morthrough the various worries of daily life, tality which might reasonably be expected in business, profession, or in the home, is in the City's death roll. Whether it be the a constant schooling of the nerves. Riding lack of the sporting instinct or not, there is a horse over a five-barred gate, or across no gainsaying this proof of lack of breeding a water-jump, is a test of horsemanship, power. And when it is added that only rebut before these can be successfully nego- cently France was obliged to dismiss her tiated it is necessary to have some training Secretary of Foreign Affairs at the demand at simpler feats of riding. It is the same of the German Emperor, her situation as with these other matters. He who has a world power becomes pathetically inlearned self-control, fair-play, and good tem- ferior. per at his games, finds it easier to exercise The traveller in Spain has seen that the salient characteristics of the race are over- business, and there is nothing more degradweening personal pride, untrustworthi- ing than to give all one's time and energy ness and cruelty. The sordid stealing on to the lighter, or to the physical side of life. all sides by Russians during the war with That is not training nor diversion, but Japan needs no repetition here. The Chi- merely a debauchery of brutality. Society nese despise unnecessary physical exercise, is good, sport is good, novel reading is good and can scarcely be driven to fight, and as a diversion or a rest from more serious they are no more capable of defending their matters, but any one of them taken up as country than an enormous cheese to pre- a business, as a vocation, makes but a sad vent itself being eaten. On the other hand, return to its devotee. Sport as a profession, Japan is a nation of athletes whose prowess I quite agree, breeds more bullies, boasthas only lately been discovered, and they ers and tricksters, than anything else I can are the more dangerous accordingly. In- name. deed, it is an open question whether Eng- Sport, too, even in the hands of amateurs land's hypocritical and short-sightedly sel- may produce these same vulgar qualities. fish alliance with these varnished savages England has suffered severely along these has not done more to menace Saxon civili- lines, because here sport has so many more zation, both in Europe and in America, participants. The gentleman sharpers, than any diplomatic step that has been welshers, and blacklegs, at racing, pigeon taken for centuries.
shooting, and cards, are too largely reWe have seen something of the origins of cruited from the English. Only within the the English race in another chapter, and we last few years a turf scandal involving two have seen, too, something of their almost gentlemen of high rank and another of no universal desire to be let alone, and to be rank, either socially or morally, disclosed a governed only up to that point where indi- degree of infamous chicanery unworthy of vidual freedom is least interfered with. a Chinese gambling hell. Race horses have Their love of the land, and their outdoor been poisoned, pigeon shots have sold life, have prevailed through all the centuries themselves to the book-makers and so on. since they became possessed of what is now This indeed is the grave danger to sport Great Britain.
among a people whose tastes are predomiThere is a rational philosophy back of nantly physical. An hundred years ago this interest in sport. Only a race of you might have seen in a certain English strong men, fighting men, can keep them- village, the village idiot taken out on fair selves free from enemies abroad and ene- days, and chained to a stake on the village mies at home, as they have done, and con- green, that he might have an airing, there, in quer the world to boot. Sport is merely all probability, to be teased by the local artificial work, artificial adventure, artificial loafers. A subscription for Tom Sayers, colonizing, artificial war. It is shooting at the prize-fighter, was headed by Lord Pala mark because there are no enemies to merston, and subscribed to by most of the shoot at; it is keeping the muscles hard and members of the House of Commons of the the nerves steady, and the head, heart and day. Prize-fighting, cock-fighting, bull- and body under control, by a subterfuge, now bear-baiting, rat-hunting, dog-fighting, that the real necessity has passed. And fights between men and dogs, and the like, though there are, perhaps, higher and bet- were favorite pastimes not only of the ter tests of patience and self control and masses, but also of the gentry, not an huncourage than are required at foot-ball, dred years ago. hunting, or golf, there is certainly no bet- The great Prime Minister of the early ter preparation to bear those tests, than days of Queen Victoria, Lord Melbourne, the schooling one gets by playing these remarked that he liked the Order of the games.
Garter, because “there is no damned merit There is, of course, another side to this connected with it!” question, that no one can afford to over- There are people in the world who are of look. There is a marked difference be- a very coarse-grained moral fibre, of a very tween a game played for training or diver- animal make-up, people who do not realize sion, and a game played as a business and that it was not the absence of costume, but for a salary. That is no longer sport but the presence of innocence, which made the