Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

In this the left hand leads off with the inside straight-arm circle, the right following with the outside. The left keeps half a circle ahead.

13. Wrist Circles. These may be introduced earlier if desired. All the simple wrist circles should be practised with the arms in various positions, first with one hand and then with both. Wrist circles may be substituted for the bent arm circles in all the exercises given above. They may be introduced while the arm is extended to right or left, or with the arm bent so that the hand is close at the shoulder.

When the learner has proceeded thus far, he will be able to devise his own combinations.

All the combination movements described above have been to the right and left, the plane of motion being always parallel to the line toed by the swinger. Combinations of straight-arm circles forward and backward at the side (Nos. 3 and 4 of simple movements) may be readily combined with wrist circles at the side (Fig. 10) and make very

[graphic][merged small]
[graphic]
[ocr errors]

j begins with twflit'i^S,^

outside the arm with both hands, and then one hand executes a forward bent-arm, while the other performs a forward straight-arm circle. At the same time the swinger turns half way around, always toward the hand which is doing the straightarm circle, so that he finishes facing in the opposite direction, the arm describing the bent-arm circle having passed over his head as he turns. Several more wrist circles are then executed, and the gymnast turns back again in the same manner.

An exercise for a heavy club (Fig. 11) is to raise the club from the

[graphic]

Indian Clubs.

starting position, drop it over the head, and let it hang behind the shoulder. Then throw it over as if to strike, describing a forward straight-arm circle, and ending with the club extended horizontally behind the back. The club must then be carried back to the starting-point before repeating. A similar exercise with two clubs is to throw them over the shoulders, return to starting position, make bent-arm circles at the sides, and then a forward straight-arm to the horizontal position behind the back, as before. The clubs are then returned to the startng position. In these exercises, as D the others, the motion of the wo Clubs tjiay be exactly alike, or the right hand may execute one :p5ft of theV»cle while the left is doiJiujthe, ofhqr.

[ocr errors]

Feats of Club Swinging. On Feb. 18, 1886, at Bath, Me., Edward Brown swung a pair of Indian clubs, weighing 8 pounds, ij ounces each, continuously for 6 hours, 20 minutes.

On Jan. 7, 1885, at New Haven, Conn., W. W. Dudley swung 100 separate combinations each 4 times, in 23 minutes, 36 seconds.

Indian clubs are said to have been brought to England from Persia by an officer in the British army, but their origin is not known with certainty.

History. Systematic exercise has long been practised. In ancient Greece it formed part of the education of every boy, and was continued during manhood. The Greek games, which were largely exhibitions of skill in gymnastics, are described in C.P.P. Gymnastics were employed also, as with us, as a cure for disease, and finally they were taken charge of by government officers. Public gymnasiums were erected first in Sparta and then in Athens, where some of them became celebrated as the places in which great philosophers lectured to their pupils.

Among the exercises taught were dancing, leaping, pitching the discus or QUOit, throwing the javelin and bar, riding, swimming, rowing, swinging, climbing, and archery. Gymnasiums in imitation of the Greeks were built also at Rome, but gymnastics never became popular there. In the middle ages gymnastics was represented by knightly exercise, such as the tournament, and among the lower classes by wrestling, running, and archery, but systematic training of the muscles was but little practised. In the 17th century it began again to be popular. The illustration shows a form of vaulting-horse in use at this period. In the 18th century there was a great gymnastic revival in Germany, and in 1810, when Prussia was under the rule of Napoleon, a

[merged small][graphic]

Ancient Vaulting-horse.

associations called Turm/ereine (gymnastic societies), which were soon afterward suppressed by the Prussian government, which feared that they would spread liberal ideas. In 1848 they were reorganized, and now many of them exist in this country, where they have been formed by German emigrants. These societies have done much to make gymnastics popular in the United States, and they were aided by the interest the colleges have taken in the subject.

The finest gymnasiums in the United States are owned by the athletic societies, and the whole history of gymnastics is very closely connected with that of Athletics. The two words are often used to mean almost the same thing.

The only exercises described under Athletics in this book are those which commonly form part of the outdoor or "field" meetings of athletic societies, while in this article we have described those usually practised in a gymnasium, or at home, for the sake of health.

HALEY-OVER, a game of ball played by any number of persons, divided into two opposing parties. The parties stand on opposite sides of a building, and one of the players throws a base-ball over the roof. The players on the other side try to catch the ball, and if any one succeeds he runs around the building and tries to hit one of his opponents with the ball, either by throwing it or running with it in hand. If anyone is hit, he has to join the side of the hitter. If the ball is not caught, it is thrown back over the building in the same way as at first. When a ball has been thrown, those on the throwing side have no means of knowing whether it has been

caught or not until it either appears again over the roof, or in the hand of an opponent, running around the corner, hence every one must be on the lookout. The game lasts until all the players are on one side.

The name Haley-Over is probably from the old word hale, meaning to draw or drag, from the drawing over of the defeated player to the opposite side. The game is much played in some parts of New England.

HALLOWE'EN PARTY, an entertainment given on All Hallows Eve, or Hallowe'en, the night before All Saints' Day (Nov. 1). The amusements of this evening were supposed in ancient times to foretell

[graphic][merged small][merged small]

which were supposed to be prophetic. Any one who is ingenious can cause much amusement by interpreting these shapes. For instance, if one of them looks like a shoe, it may be said that the owner will marry a shoemaker, or is going to have a pair of new shoes, or it may mean a wedding, as an old shoe is often thrown after newly-wedded couples " for good luck." Lead can easily be melted in any coal fire. Great care should be taken in pouring it through the ring or key, or serious burns may result.

3. Snap-dragons. These, which must be prepared before the party, consist of slips of paper with verses written on them. The slips are folded very small, and wrapped in lead or tin foil. They are then placed in a large dish, and covered with water, over which alcohol, or spirits, is poured and set on fire. While it is burning, each person in turn must snatch one of the snapdragons from the dish. The verse he gets is supposed to tell his fortune. This furnishes much fun if the verses are written skilfully. The "dragons " should be placed in an earthen or tin-plate dish. Silver should not be used, as it melts too easily. The dish must be placed in the middle of a bare table, for drops of burning spirits are often splashed about, and great care must be taken that they set nothing on fire. In floating the alcohol on the water it should be poured on the side of the dish and allowed to flow down gently; otherwise the two liquids will mix.

4. Each person takes a greased needle and floats it in a basin of water. This requires some care, but can be done if the needle is put down evenly and gently. The best way is first to lay on the water a bit of very thin tissue-paper and place the needle on it. In a short time the paper will become wet and sink to the bottom, leaving the needle floating on the water. Owing

to a phenomenon called capillarity, the needles behave very curiously. Some run to the edge of the dish and stick there, while some rush together and cling together, avoiding others. The manner in which one person's needle behaves toward another's causes amusement, and may be supposed to be prophetic.

5. Bobbing for Apples. Apples are placed in a tub of water, and each in turn tries to pick one out with his teeth. Sometimes each apj le is inscribed with a name, which is supposed to be that of the future husband or wife of the person who picks it out. Sometimes also each apple bears a letter, and each guest picks out two. The letters are supposed to be the initials of the guest's future husband or wife.

6. On a table are placed three dishes, one of clear water, one of soapy water, and one empty. Each guest is blindfolded, and after the positions of the dishes have been changed so that he does not know which is which, he advances and puts his finger into one. If it be the one of clear water, he will marry happily; if the soapy water, he will marry a widow; and if the empty one, he will not marry at all.

7. Nutshell Boats. These are made by pouring melted wax into halves of walnut-shells, in which are short strings for wicks. Several persons float these boats in a tub of water, after lighting the wicks, and the way in which they ride is supposed to show what the future life of the owner will be.

8. Kaling, Two persons are blindfolded and required to walk to the vegetable garden, where each pulls up the first cabbage-stalk he finds. From the shape of the stalk, the fortune of him who pulls it up is inferred. The dirt clinging to the roots represents wealth.

9. Apple and Candle.—At one end of a stick, about eighteen inches long, is fastened an apple, and at the other end a lighted candle (.Fig. 2). The stick is then suspended from the ceiling by a string fastened at its centre, and swung backward and

i

Fig. a.

forward, while the players, one by one, try to catch the apple in their teeth.

10. The Raisin, A raisin is strung at the middle of a string or thread about a yard long, and two persons take each an end of the string in his mouth. Whoever, by chewing the string, reaches the raisin first, is allowed to eat it.

History. Superstitious persons believed in old times that spirits walked abroad on Hallowe'en, and that they would assist people to know the future by performing the feats, some of which are described above. Nobody believes this now, yet the feats are often performed for amusement on Hallowe'en. In some parts of England it is called "Nut-Crack Night," from the custom of eating nuts on that evening.

HALMA. See Checkers.

HAND-BALL, a game played by two or four persons with a small ball, which they strike with their hands against a wall. The game may be played in a court or room having walls on all four sides, or outof-doors against the wall of a building. In the latter case lines are drawn on the wall and the ground to represent the side walls, and when a ball goes outside these lines it is supposed to have struck a side

wall. A board called the Backboard, or a line representing it, bounds the court on the fourth side, and a line, called the Ace Line, is drawn parallel to the front wall and Back-board half way between them. The two-handed game will be described first. The players toss up for the " first hand, 'and the winner stands inside the Ace Line, while his opponent stands outside of it. The former is called the striker and the latter the player. The striker begins the game by bounding the ball on the ground and then striking it with his hand so that it rebounds from the front wall. This is called a "service." The ball must be served so that it rebounds outside the Ace Line. If it does not, it is said to be a short service. If the striker make three successive short services, or if the ball bound on a side wall before striking the front wall, or if it bound outside the Back-board, it is a " hand-out," and the striker and player change places. If the striker serve the ball properly, it must be struck by the player with his hand, either before it strikes the ground or after the first bound, so that it bounds from the front wall. This is called a " return." If he fail to return it properly, the striker scores one point, called an ace. If he do return it, the striker must bound it again from the front wall, and if he fail, it is a hand-out. After the service, the ball may strike the ground anywhere in the court inside the Blackboard. This goes on till the striker has scored or made a hand-out, when an inning is said to have been played. He and his opponent change places, and the latter becomes striker in his turn After the first inning, an inning ends only when there is a hand-out, and the striker continues to serve after he scores. The player first making 21 aces wins the game. As will be seen by the rules, it is sometimes allowable to strike the ball with the

« ForrigeFortsett »