Imagens das páginas

immediately a ball is delivered, to calculate and ascertain to a nicety what twist it will take, according to the delivery of the different bowlers.

In the old-fashioned underhand bowling, when the ball left the hand of a fast bowler, it had imparted to it a rotatory motion, the axis of rotation, like that of a carriage-wheel, being parallel to the horizon, and, upon reaching the ground (provided always, its axis was not altered by any unevenness of the turf) would retain this progressive action, perhaps even a little increased by its contact with the earth, and, although arrested in its progress towards the wicket by a well-faced bat, would, upon falling to the ground (provided, again, the axis of rotation was not altered) continue to advance, and hit the wicket, to the surprise and mortification of the batsman.

The knowledge of this principle of progressive motion, consequent upon certain impulse, would have made him suspicious of the threatening event ; and being something prepared, he would have guarded against the possibility of what we have just stated, and not rail against bad luck. I need scarcely waste the time of many of my indulgent readers, by reminding them of another exemplification of this law of progressive motion, which is of such value in the game of Billiards, where one ball, after having imparted to another the greater share of its motion, still retains (after the contact) so much of this rotatory principle as to follow its companion almost to the end of its journey.

Superfluous as these observations may appear to some who may take the trouble to wade through this treatise, yet, I trust, I am not too elaborate in the exposition of these useful truths. To the beginner, as well as to the more advanced practitioner, this fact is evident, that, however dexterous and accomplished he may become by habitual practice, (minus the hints herein suggested), yet he shall become so much the more so by a right understanding of those laws upon which he is regulating his pleasurable exercise. That the science of batting deserves any consideration at all, is met by the fact, that it promises the probability of long and well-earned scores. I do not presume to reduce batting to a certainty; fortunately for the bowlers, and for the general interest of the game, this cannot be done. My attempt is merely to prove that we may treat the subject with the same courtesy as any other scientific or skilful inquiry, and not ascribe to bad luck all that happens to the chance-surrounded batsman. Perfection is a qualification which, morally or physically considered, is a very dangerous topic of controversy; yet, with due deference to the “ Bats” of bygone days, I think we may say

comparatively” that at no period of the cricketing age was ever perfection so great. Veteran Bats ! observe well that I use the word “comparatively;" for, although the difficulties of the present style of batting are greatly increased by the increased height of the stumps, and by the extraordinary liberty given to some of the bowlers, who approach so near the limits of propriety as often to advance to the wicket, doubtful whether or not their bowling will be considered by the umpire to come under the denomination of really a fairly-delivered ball, yet we must not forget, taking the game as it stood in your days, to ascribe every proper honour to you for the splendid feats which you performed

I must not detain you, my indulgent Readers, with any more introductory matter, lest I occasion a distaste for the intrinsic object of our debate; and, therefore, with sincere hope that the following remarks, suggestions, hints, or otherwise, may prove useful, if not amusing, I humbly subscribe myself your well-wisher to enjoy health, strength, courage, activity, patience, and perseverance, to secure the inexpressible delight of attaining the wished-for proficiency. It is to be accomplished equally by the Peer as the Peasant. And, last, and not least, to enjoy in either character the gratification of associating with your fellow-mortals in the manly sport, teaching one another the grand moral lesson of bearing alike with becoming grace the victory or defeat, as it may be variously distributed in this friendly warfare. Go forth, my

book, and good speed go with thee! Secure but one approving smile, and that shall cheer thee onward in thy wayward flight.




Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
But not expressed in fancy ; rich, not gaudy:
For the apparel oft proclaims the man.—SHAKSPEARE.

S the greatest possible freedom of limb is necessary to the accomplishment of a good Cricketer, so it is essential that we study a little the dress. I propose, therefore, to devote this

Chapter to the consideration of those things, with which it is as well to be supplied, viz. bats, balls, stumps, net, shoes, gloves, paddings, flannel vests, &c. &c.

Constitutions differ in most men. Climate and the ordinary customs and exercises regulate the dress and costumes of most nations. In our sports, each seems to have appropriated for itself the dress most suitable for the required exercise. The huntsman, the sportsman, the Cricketer, and all who engage


any of the athletic exercises where much activity is required, have the appropriate uniforms, not without a due regard to comfort. The neglect of these matters has often exposed the precipitate and hardy youth to the dangerous consequences attending the great changes to which we are subject

in this unsettled climate. I may be excused, therefore, if I am a little particular upon this head.

In the first place, I strongly recommend a cap made of chequered woollen: it is light and cool to the head, absorbs perspiration, and (which is not an insignificant fact) is not likely to blow off and hit the wicket. An under flannel vest, or thin Jersey, I hold to be exceedingly useful in preventing the too fast evaporation of the heat of the body. For the same reason, a cotton shirt is better than a linen one; but the sleeves being large, many a man has lost his wicket by the ball glancing off the folds; to say nothing of the annoying decisions of careless umpires, and even of those who are ever watchful to do their duty with the strictest regard to honesty. The best plan is to have a Jersey not too tight in fit, with a shirt collar made to button on the top. A cotton neckcloth may not look quite so dressy, but it is much better than a silk one, because silk is a non-conductor of heat, and does not absorb

perspiration. The attention to this last-named fact is really worthy your strictest regard. There is all the difference between carelessness and prudence; and although, in my recommendations of dress, I do not wish to be understood as giving directions for the proper cultivation of hot-house plants, yet, without a due regard to the above considerations of health, your enjoyment in this exercise will be greatly curtailed, if not wholly suppressed.

The trousers should be made of flannel, well shrunk before it is made up, having six loops round the waistband, through which an Indian-rubber belt may pass, and help to do the duty of braces, which must be exploded whilst in the active exercise of hitting. Any socks or stockings are better than silk or cotton. Worsted is soft to the feet and less liable to chafe.

Take care to have the spikes of your shoes put in properly. The two under the bend of the foot should be nearer the top of the sole than is now the custom to put them, and the one in advance should be between and close under the division of the first and second toes. A grand secret of comfort is to have spikes put into shoes which you have worn for some time.

Always, whether at practice or whilst engaged in matches, wear paddings ; for the uncertainty and the irregularity of the present system of throwing bowling is something dangerous ; and one violent blow in the beginning of the season may incapacitate or discourage you for the rest of the year. False pride will actuate many to discard this means of preventing pain; but this pseudo fortitude will pay dearly for its obstinacy. The padding which I recommend as most becoming in its appearance, and most effective in its intentions, is to have longitudinal sockets, made (inside the legs of the trousers) of linen, half an inch apart, extending from two inches above the kneepan down to the lower part of the trousers. Long slips of Indian rubber, half an inch thick, can always be inserted therein, and taken out as they go or come from the wash. And here let me strongly urge that your practice be conducted as much like match-playing as possible. Heedless hitting off careless bowling is worse than no practice at all; it is like shutting your eyes at Billiards, and hitting hard for the chances of the table. Lest I should not be rightly understood about the directions for the trousers, those of the right-handed hitter would require the sockets to be placed so as to defend the outside of the knee-pan of the left leg, the calf and outward ankle-bone, the inside of the knee-pan of the right leg, the shin-bone and the inner ankle. The trousers of the left-handed hitter would of course require the opposite to this.

Provide yourself with a box large enough to contain two bats, two or three balls, stumps, and a complete change of dress. It should have a small tillbox, to hold your watch and jewellery. And do not forget to have a phial of sweet oil at hand: of all the things that I have ever used, this has been the best. Some rub the bruise with vinegar and brandy; others use the first thing that comes to hand; but oil, oil is the “sovereign’st thing on earth for an outward bruise.”

The way to ensure good practice is to hire professional bowlers, or club together and get a Catapulta, the nature and description of which I shall give in the latter part of this work. The way to secure much practice off either, is to procure a large net, about twenty yards long and six feet in height, strong enough to resist a powerful blow. It will save expense, time, and trouble. If you employ a professional bowler, it is encouraging to him to put

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