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happiness of the garden of Eden. A dis- sand cricket and foot-ball clubs alone, the proportionate number of these people are members of which come from all classes of inhabitants of the British Isles. There are society. Hands from the factories, clerks many fortunate results due to their pre- in small shops, tradespeople, and the lesser dominating animal characteristics, but there professional men, all take a hand. All are also disagreeable features of that same through the English provinces there are no temperament, that even the most friendly distinctions of class at their games. critic may not overlook. The intense love This rather heavy, muscular people keep of sport is founded upon this virile tem- their health, and their heads, and their happerament, which must, of course, have its piness, by this almost universal participabad side. Fortunately for them they have tion in some form of sport. It is their way been the nation who have undertaken, and, of letting off steam, which every individual be it said, accomplished, some of the great- and every nation must have for safety's est feats of conquering and governing, that sake, in some form or other. If one comthe world has known. These adventures puted the amount of wealth and territory over-seas, and their untiring devotion to brought to acknowledge the British flag by sport at home, have subdued and kept travellers, explorers, sportsmen, by advenwithin bounds the animal side of them, turous botanists, fishermen and the like, the though it has, and does still, crop out at two hundred odd millions spent for sport times in evil practices.
annually would seem a small sum indeed. A people of this type, somewhat indiffer- Newspapers of the most conservative bias ent to intellectual interests of any kind, are devote columns every morning to the doings almost driven to exercise in some form, and of the sportsmen. Cricket, foot-ball, racing, their climate is a still further incentive. hunting, in all their details, are chronicled
Possibly the greatest foe to an orderly and discussed, and advertised, with the and useful life is monotony. The human same seriousness, as are speeches in parliamind, and the human body, wear out easily ment, dispatches from the seat of war, and if they are subjected day in and day out, to international diplomatic affairs. The classic a steady repetition of the same thing. The races, such as the Derby, the Oaks, the brain worker must change from his mathe- Grand National, are the theme of long newsmatics to a novel, or from history to the paper articles months and months before study of a new language, or he finds his they take place; and the betting odds mind getting rusty. The man who goes against this and that horse are published from house to office and back again, seeing each morning six months or more before he the same faces, doing the same duties, con- is to run, as regularly as the stock-market ning over the same figures; or the teacher quotations. going over and over again the same tasks; If the King's horse, or the Prime Minisor the judge hearing every day the same ter's horse wins the Derby, or any one of the round of quarrels, definitions and criti- great classic races, the owner, as he leads cisms, grow restless and tired. No one of the horse back to the paddock, is received these may recognize that monotony is at the with tumultuous cheering. This is true of bottom of his troubles, but the drip, drip, any owner fortunate enough to win such a drip, wears the stone away. Drink, dissi- race, but for the King, or a popular statespation, wickedness of various kinds are put man, the ovation is almost frenzied. There, down to various causes—to disappoint- at any rate, the whole population is unaniment, to failure, to lack of self-control—but mous to a man; a good sportsman is uniin reality, back of all these is monotony. versally popular. These failures and shipwrecks could not Prowess at any sport is counted upon as stand the deadly strain of such a life, and a telling factor in the availability of a candid not realize that change was the medi- didate for office. A candidate for parliacine they needed. For the great mass of men, mentary honors, lets it be known as widely to go away, to travel, to change the whole as possible, that he is an old “Blue," of environment of life, is impossible. Just here either Oxford or Cambridge; or that he has is where sport comes in in our artificial civi- played for England at cricket or foot-ball, lization to help us out. In Great Britain, or won honors in some one or other of for example, there are some thirty thou- their many games, or been an adventurous traveller, or a great hunter or fisherman. The very speech of the Englishman These things help his candidacy, if not savours of sport. “He did it off his own more, quite as much as any qualities of in- bat.” “He put his money on the wrong tellect, unless he be a statesman who has horse.” “This is a painful game.” “Let already won his spurs.
us," or "we had better change the bowling.” The stranger, whether American or other “I don't think he can go the distance." "It foreigner, is at a loss to understand much of is an odds on chance," or about anything the workings of the political, and social life the Englishman is apt to express his feelof England until he has become thoroughly ings in the words of the bookmaker and imbued with the idea, that sport is a much say: “Oh, I should call it a three to one," more serious, and much more widely dis- or“a five to one,” or “a six to four chance." tributed interest here, than anywhere else “It isn't cricket,” or “it isn't playing the in the world. In England, some form of game” refers to any underhand or not quite sport is either the reminiscence or the avo- straight conduct. These and countless cation of practically every man who has other expressions serve to express distincbeen, or is physically capable of playing a tions and differences even of a subtle kind. game, or taking part in some form of field If you have hunted in Ireland for a winter sports.
you come away convinced that most of the It is the only country in the world which stock phrases in conversation are invented supports not only a number of weekly and by the horses. The universal use of “fit" monthly periodicals devoted to sport, but to express one's condition, and of "feed" also two, if not more, daily journals ex- for eat, are constant reminders of that clusively given over to the chronicling of habitation, dearest of all to the hearts of racing and game playing. The Sportsman so many Englishmen, the Stable. is a recognized and well-edited daily paper, I have never forgotten the slovenly to be found at every club and in many grooms, the staring coats of the horses, the houses. The betting odds, present and bad smells, and the generally unkempt approspective, the official starting prices, ap- pearance of the stables of the King of pear daily, as well as columns of news deal- Spain in Madrid. They spoil their chiling with the exercise from day to day and dren in the Latin countries and neglect the comparative merits of all horses in their horses; while in England the stables training.
are in many cases better and more comThe King breeds and races horses, and fortably furnished than the nurseries. As is the conspicuous and, be it said, a long a result, both the English children and the way the most popular, person present at all English horses are superior! There is a the great race meetings. The Prince of kindness which is cruel and a harshness Wales is one of the half-dozen best shots which is kind. This nation of sportsmen in England, and I am not far wrong in make this subtle distinction unerringly. saying that his prowess as a shot does Why, one asks. They are not philosophers, more to endear him to Englishmen than No. They think little of the intricacies any other ability he may have. The and niceties of living, and discuss such matSpeaker of the House of Commons fences, ters even less. It is God's air, and life on and shoots, and rides to hounds. Lord the land, and wholesome bodies which Brassey is a yachtsman of reputation, who guide them aright in such matters. It is has devoted himself to the service of the only of late, when the population is shifting Navy as an editor, and has ruled a distant from the land to the towns, that they seem colony with distinction. Lord Onslow is to be losing the sterling qualities that are an authority on harness horses, and a big their heritage. They are the last race of game shooter of long experience, as well all to be fuddled and disturbed by new as a valuable servant of the state; and so religions, new theories of government, new one might go on with an interminable list solutions of the problem of existence; in of distinguished Englishmen who are as short, that effervesence of semi-education well known for their prowess at some form which is posing as the interpreter of God of sport as for their ability, uprightness and and man all over the democratic world. self-sacrifice as political servants of their We in America are so much older, so much country:
more weary than they are, and it is with some regret that one sees nowadays that ball and foot-ball teams and varsity eights, England and the English are not as boyish not one of the players had a father and as they were. The greatest Englishman grandfather, who had both distinguished of letters now living, Rudyard Kipling, themselves along those lines, and there writes of:
were, with two noticeable exceptions that I
recall, almost none whose fathers, even, had “The flannelled fools at the wickets. “The muddied oafs at the goals."
been experts at these games
Though we Americans believe, or preHe is much too sure an interpreter of all tend to believe, with Cicero, that every things English to mean that quite as it man begins his own ancestry, one is forced stands. His writing is the incarnation in to admit that a game with a long ancestry words of ever youthful England. Like of tradition, will differ in all probability other wise men, he is incensed sometimes from a game with little or none. It must be that his countrymen play so much. If I admitted, too, that a boy whose father and were an Englishman I should pray God grandfather, whose uncles and brothers, all that my countrymen might never play less play some game, or take an interest in some so long as they played the game. It is the form of sport, will grow up to look at the men in the closets, not the men in the fields question very differently, from one whose and on the seas, who breed sorrow, sus- relatives take little or no serious interest in picion and envy; and the Englishman is not any game. Englishmen practically never so dull as it might appear when he pins his realize that sport lacks entirely this atmosfaith to the outdoor man. He is not far phere of almost sacred tradition in America, wrong in his belief that: Ceux qui man- while on the other hand, few Americans quent de probité dans les plaisirs n'en ont understand the very serious and unassailqu'une feinte dans les affaires.
able position of sport in England. . Englishmen look upon sport as a part of It is only two centuries and a half ago character, as well as a physical developing that the settlers of New England ran away factor in civilization; while the interest of from sport in England, to found a commonthe majority of Americans is confined to the wealth, where one of the names for the devil excitement expected from a contest. Many was diversion, and another amusement. It Americans look upon the international was said of these people, the Puritans, that yachting and other contests, almost as they believed hell to be a place where every though they were serious battles, and are one must mind his own business. At a time elated or depressed accordingly; while the when English parsons and school-masters English take these matters much more were some of them playing cricket on Suncalmly, and, while eager to win, welcome day afternoons, and others of them hunting these contests as being good for the sports two or three days a week in the season, and games themselves, and bear always in their representatives in America, who should mind that the genuine sportsman:
have attempted to imitate such enjoyments,
would have been ridden out of their parSets his heart upon the goal Not upon the prize.
ishes on rails, or confined in a mad-house.
In America to-day it would be difficult to Let me put it even more clearly, by saying find a clergyman over sixty years of age that the proportion of the spectators at who had been a distinguished athlete in his Lord's on the days of the University or Pub- college days; in England even the stranger lic School cricket matches, who have them- can count such by the score. selves played the game, is very much larger This ancestry of sport marks the differthan the proportion of spectators present at ence in the way we Americans look at a base-ball, or foot-ball game between Har- sport, and it also marks the very great difvard and Yale. Or again, out of the Eton ference in the auspices under which we and Harrow "elevens," the fathers of practise it. In America boys play with twenty, and possibly the grandfathers of boys almost exclusively; even a profesfifteen, of the boy players, have themselves sional coach for the crew, or the ball nine, been cricketers, some of them even of suf- is a source of much discussion and dissenficient prowess to be on their school eleven. sion. English schools have not one, but sevOf the last year's Harvard and Yale base- eral professionals, and what is most important of all, English boys play their demnation became disgust. Americans games, a good part of the time at least, could not help feeling, about these underwith men. Old Carthusians, old Etonians, bred and unsportsmanlike people, as one old Wykehamists, go back to play their would feel should his own son go to visit school eleven, or their school foot-ball team; at a friend's house, and behave like a viold University men play the youngsters; cious stable-boy, and thus throw discredit country gentlemen have house parties of upon his home. Here was a most unhappy cricketers and polo players; and the writer example of the result of leaving the whole had the pleasure to play against a team, at domain of sports and pastimes quite too a certain country house, where the host of much in the hands of professionals and unfifty kept wicket, and captained an eleven, developed boys. On the other hand, the no member of which was under thirty-five; visit of a Harvard crew to England two and it is with mingled feelings of pleasure years ago, to row against Cambridge, made and pain that he recalls that they won. This every American proud that he was so well fact alone, of the participation of the adult represented, and marked the great stride and middle-aged element so generally in that the genuine sportsmen has made in English sport, accounts for the wide dif- America. They were good sportsmen, ference in the way in which sport is re- good fellows, and gentlemen, and it was garded and the way in which games are worth while to have them come three thouplayed. Where boys and youths are accus- sand miles and suffer defeat, if only to show tomed to play their games, cricket more par- the Britisher, something first rate of our ticularly, with grown men, it introduces an own breeding. element of sobriety, courtesy and reticence It is true that to some extent in these latin their play and behavior, which are lack- ter days, the college contests and their aring to some extent among boys and youths rangements have had the great advantage, who play exclusively among themselves. of the superintendence of an advisory board Games played in such auspicious surround- of college officials, and college graduates, ings assume their relative place and receive but even then one must realize the differtheir proper value, for men do not feel de- ence between advice from the outside, and feat so keenly, nor do they look upon such the more forcible influence of example by victories as the greatest of all achievements. actual participation in the games themMen play for the game's sake, while boys selves, by older men. It is just therein that are apt to play exclusively to win. In Eng- the English games and players have an adland games and sports receive their status vantage over our own. The masters at the and character from men; in America it is public schools in England play with the the boys who give our games their status boys every day; during their holidays, and character.
these same boys play with their elder brothIn England, as a result of this, there is a ers, with their fathers and their fathers' very large and mature public, thoroughly friends, and I recall one instance of a conversant with the rules, precedents, and grandfather who plays cricket with his sons traditions of their games and sports; and the and grandsons, and no doubt there are English press following this lead, differs many more. Only the other day a certain from the American press in its comments, family composed of grandfather, father, criticisms, and descriptions in much the sons, and one daughter, challenged their same degree that the English players differ local golf club to a match of eight a side, and from the American players; that is, in their won. In America, with the exception of a sobriety, courtesy and reticence.
few of our boys' boarding schools, mod. All good Americans were at one in con- elled somewhat upon the lines of the Eng. demning the blatant and puerile excuses lish public schools, there is almost no active and accusations of a portion-happily, a participation in the boys' games by older small and easily recognized portion-of the men. American press, in regard to the defeat of The results of this difference between the the Cornell crew at Henley a few years ago. English and American method are many And when there was added to this, letters and manifold. Seldom a year passes with to the newspapers from trainer, and par- us, but there is friction, discussion and even ents, and the boys themselves, the con- displays of puerile bad temper about the arrangements for, and the carrying out of, would noile the Iwn in the He art our intercollegiate games. Harvard will of losintalment not play Yale at foot-ball; or Prine olon n e man whit, iw that I did that declines to play Harvard at base ball, the games na lud in Anna h Wal dengan smaller colleges grumble at the arrang ditimuli, a mia dha fund Wohne dhenden ments made by the larger udleges, and they are the in tingli bi wonten uit