« PreviousContinue »
The Dutch are very skilful skaters. I have often seen in Friesland and Groningen, two hundred persons, ladies and gentlemen, linked together, and skating away with a quickness that the eye can scarcely perceive it- In a few seconds they are out of sight.
To skate twenty miles in an hour is not unfrequent among the Netherlanders. In 1821, a Lincolnshire man, for a wager of a hundred guineas, skated one mile within two seconds of three minutes.
It is certainly far better to warm the blood in the winter by active exercise, than to be wrapt up, and linger the whole day near the fireside, and complain of a bad
Breathe the good cold of the free air, which will prevent you getting a bad cold. The English have a proverb, to avoid cold. We have to expose ourselves to it.
There is nothing more dangerous than those deceiving complaints, colds-a consumption in embryo. Keep it away-learn to be a child of nature. You will not only prolong your life, but the future generation, your offspring, the emblem of yourselves, will bless you for your sagacity.
Those parents, says Dr. Combe, act most erroneously, who, in their apprehensive anxiety for the protection of their delicate children, scrupulously prohibit them from every kind of exercise which requires the least effort, and shut them up from the open air during winter, with the false hope of thereby warding off colds, and protecting their
lungs. I have seen the greatest delicacy of constitution thus engendred. Such a conduct is found to be as ill adapted as possible to the end in view, and utterly at variance with the laws of animal economy.
Horse-back exercise is an exercise most salutary and agrcoable, innocent and useful. Its effects on the system depends on the gait of the horso. Pacing makes but a alight impression: it is somewhat stronger when riding on a gallop. Trotting is the most active, but very fatiguing, on account of excessive concussion, and successive flexion and extension of thetrunk. Even the brain becomes sensitive to its commotions, which manifests itself by headache.
In the course of time, and through habit, no inconvenience is felt; and it will contribute greatly to the improveinent of health.
It is proper for convalescents, for weak persons, valetudinarians, or cachectic people, etc.
We do not consider it a suitable exercise for the consumptive, for which it has been generally recommended. Ladies on Horse-back.
The nearest approach to manliness that is allowable for a female to make conformably with the preservation of her feminine character for grace and delicacy, is when riding on horse-back. She sits with an air of dignity, with an occasional inclination forward; and the easy curve of the bridle arm, contrasting with the pendant position
of the whip arm, prevents her from appearing stiff or constrained. And then her hat and feathers-her worked collar, and braided coat studded with small buttons, gives an air of out-door adventure, made wonderfully interesting by her sparkling eye, and the rich carnation of her cheek, while her falling ringlets shade the deep suffusion of her temples. Let us suppose a fair companion thus mounted and equipped, adding to the charm of appearance the additional fascination of a ready smile and playful remark, and who shall resist her power? No drawing-room belle, in all the decorations of lace and gauze, pearl and diamonds, can look half so lively or enchanting.
The beneficial effects to females of riding on horseback, are of a very decided character. In all those ailments indicated by the vague epithets of nervousness, without pain or much fever, where there is palpitation, tremors, paleness of complexion, sick-headache, deficient or irregular appetite, and the many disturbances associated with indigestion, this kind of exercise will do more good than all the drugs.
But there is one condition of indispensible performance for the accomplishment of the desired end: it is, that the rider shall not be so tied or buckled up as at all to impede the free expansion of her chest, and movement in every direction of her arm. She is not expected, nay, she is expressly forbidden to sit on her horse unyielding and unbending as when in a drawing-room or at the dinner
table. Such a position is as ungraceful as it is adverse to the healthful enjoyment of equestrian exercise.
Riding in a carriage is a kind of exercise which is particularly adapted to feeble persons, and to those of an advanced age.
DRUGS, AND THEIR ABUSES.
It becomes fashionable, in our days, to hear, occasionally, a sombre harangue delivered on diet. Lecturers have arisen who have perambulated the country, proclaiming, without reason, their dogmas to multitudes of greedy listeners, prescribing to them rules of eating and drinking, and setting to them limits, beyond which they are forbidden to pass. Books (on eatable-philosophy,) have been written, fraught with precepts of abstinence, (a starvation system,) and urging upon the robust and healthy a regimen fit only for a community of starved ghosts. Many, yea, a vastly greater number than would at once be believed, have had their heath, their constitutions undermined; and from being hale and hearty, have become pale faced, weak, and emaciated. I have met with a good many of these priests of starvation, Grahamites, in the state of New York. Beans, roots, potatoes, and bran bread, is all they want. "Man wants but little here below; and indeed they look as if they would not want it long."
I think it makes very little difference what a man eats or drinks. Appetite is the best guide in matters of diet Nature has given to man a discriminating taste-a relish for her bounties, of which there is an ample supply P