Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

ordinarily upon their feet again ero fully as to leave him on the grass, one can say He's down.'

touched it down. The Violets have brought the ball Upon this all the spectators come down to their adversaries' goal-line; round to this goal, for the bully but the goal-keeper receives it, and that follows a 'touch down' is alhis well-directed too sends it far out ways a protracted and interesting into the debateable land again. spectacle. The ball is brought Then it is kicked away to the side, by the umpire, and placed one where it goes out at the bounds; yard in front of the centre of the and when it is brought in again a space marked out by the goal-sticks, bully like that at the commence- and which it is the province of the ment is formed, and the struggle is players in violet to defend. The repeated, till one side gives way, or players in red face their opponents' goes down.

goal, from which they are only a The object of each side is to get a yard distant. The strongest among rouge. A rouge is obtained when them, with his toe against the ball, the ball is kicked over the goal-line, occupies the first place; the others and touched down by a player who form a semicircle, the entire eleven is on the opposing side. So as soon composing it, and the whole being as the ball gets free from the bully wedged together as compactly as at the side, the violets, who have it possible. The players on the other close to the goal-line, which is de- side form a similar semicircle befended by the players in red, rush tween the ball and the goal. The two forward and kick it over. Then semicircles_close up with the ball & race ensues; two players are between. Each side tries its best to abreast. At every second or third overthrow the other players, one to stride one tilts at the other in the push the ball beyond the level of hope of overturning, and thus out- the goal-sticks, and thus win the running him, and being first to game, the other to force the ball touch it down. But the fleet-footed back into the field. The struggle is goal-keeper passes both while they a mighty one, and long continued are making these experiments, and without advantage to either side. having taken up the ball, brings it The beads of perspiration gather on to the goal-line, and kicks it back the foreheads of the players, caps into the middle of the field. All are thrown off, words are but selthe players are after it again, and it dom spoken.

Every muscle is is at the goal-line almost imme- strained in the effort to heave the diately. A fleet runner has all the opponents over. The backs are play to himself this time, and keeps bent down, and originally the playthe ball continually before his own ers' hands are upon their knees; but toe, making a circuitous path to the as the contest goes on they, of goal-line, where he kicks it over, necessity, get moved and interand touches it down; but the um- twined. The shoulders of the forepire will not allow a rouge, as he most men of each party touch, and was not bullied while kicking it; those behind on each side lend their that is, he was not run at or inter- weight and strength. The ball is rupted by any of the opposing

the opposing firmly wedged in among the feet in players whom he outran. So once the centre of this heaving, strugmore it has to be kicked by the gling mass. Spectators move round goal-keeper out into the field; and and round, and watch with bated this time it is got away to the goal- breaths till one side shows signs of line at the opposite end, and after & 'giving. This is the signal to the sharp struggle it is driven across other for a renewed effort-'a long the line, and a rouge is obtained by push, and a strong push, and a the Reds; for while it was still push all together;' for, as in the bounding, a player on that side, opening, bully, the power being who took care not to be behind the nicely balanced, any accident or goal-line when the ball was kicked little loss of position, if taken adthere, ran forward, and having vantage of, will be sure to turn charged the goal-keeper so success- the scale. Such a moment al

ways comes; the extra vigour is meadows below, late in the autumn, always manifested. Sometimes the while the leaves, yellow as butterball is borne through the goal space cups in the soft sunlight, were still amid triumphant cheering, some- upon the elm trees, I saw a pretty times back into the field; but it semi-rural scene. Farm labourers more frequently happens that the were ploughing in adjacent fields, weaker side giving way goes down cattle and sheep were grazing in en masse, the others falling with others.

In the school grounds them. Then the struggle continues some two hundred boys were racing on the ground. Players endeavour after the football, and beyond was to crawl in or out with the ball, London under a canopy of black according to their party. Some smoke. Half hidden by the trees at players creep out of the writhing my back was the church, and around heap utterly exhausted; but after a me the schoolhouses. What charmminute's rest they are down again, ing memories attach to these schools, and the struggle goes on till one which have been the dwelling-places side gives way, and all the players of men to whose words the world rise, declare it was ' very jolly,' and has since listened! look as if they thought so too.

I cannot refuse the invitation to Such was the end of the rouge enter the Fourth Form School, to obtained so suddenly by the Reds; look again at the seat which Byron but they will, if no goals and no occupied when he first indulged his other rouges are obtained, be the taste for poetic composition, How winners at the termination of the intimately his name is associated one hour for which the game at with the school! What Harrovian Eton lasts. It is a capital plan to does not know the spot in the count these ' touches down.' Goals churchyard he loved so much, are proverbially difficult to get, ac- where, in his own words, he used cording to all the systems. Some- 'to sit for hours and hours when a times at Rugby play will last for boy,' and where he once hoped to two or three hours on as many con- have been buried, as his daughter secutive days without either side was? I never asked one who could obtaining a goal, and be drawn at not point out the spot, and was not last; but this would not be the case ready to recite those four melanif touches down counted everywhere choly verses, 'On revisiting Haras they do at Eton.

row. There, too, are to be seen, A few minutes pass in inaction cut by their own hands, the poet's after one of these struggles at Eton, name, and 'R. Peel,' and 'H. but the ball is soon rolling again, Temple, and many another since and another rouge is being fought famous in the world's history. I for; or it is kicked over the heads am glad that the Harrovians honour of the spectators at the side, and these marks of men who have lived brought just within the line where there, and that they have taken a new bully is formed, and the old means to prevent their being erased fight is fought over again.

to make room for others, as it is the St. Andrew's is one of the grand customary fate of names written on football days at Eton, when there school desks, famous trees, and anare matches at the Wall' and in cient ruins to be. the ‘Field,' and when the collegians How often Sir Robert Peel and who have left Eton for Cambridge Viscount Palmerston must have and Oxford return to their old play- run up and down this steep hillplace for a match at their favourite side! Were they football players ? pastime.

I have never heard that the Prime
Minister distinguished himself in

kicking the ball; but we all know CHAPTER III.

that it is narrated by an historian FOOTBALL AT HARROW.

that a certain Archbishop of Canter

bury was considered to have been Looking down the London side of highly complimented when it was the hill at Harrow on to the level stated that he was a learned prelate and an excellent player at football. ject. The game begins by a player Is there at this moment among kicking the ball off from the centre. those boys intent only upon the I have seen it driven with the aid of way the ball goes a future laureate, the wind nearly the whole of the a Palmerston, or a Peel? What are seventy-six yards between that point the destinies awaiting them? The and the base. All is running and disappointments through which they kicking in the Harrow game. Shinwill have to struggle, the difficulties ning and tripping up are forbidden. that will beset them, and how will When the ball is driven out at the they all die? These questions al- side lines it is promptly kicked in ways intrude themselves upon my again. When kicked into the air it attention when I look from the hill may be caught; and if the player at Harrow down upon the play- cries Three yards, all the others ground, and see the two or three must clear away from him, and hundred happy scholars, and hear allow him to have a free kick at it. their laughter and cheers. I have When near the bases this is very known many people who, at the valuable; and a good player genesight of numbers of young people, rally makes a base from it. The could not avoid similar specula- effect of the rule is to keep the ball tions.

as much as possible on the ground. They vanish when I get to the If a catch is made so near to an playground and mingle with the opponent's base that the player who players. Who could look at their makes it can jump the distance, he glowing faces, radiant with good- is allowed to do so. But this is of humoured excitement, and think of very rare occurrence; and the game difficulties they would not surmount at Harrow is only to be won by a as they did those of the game, or true kick, which sends the ball flyof death, with such unlimited health ing between the posts. and strength, youth, and manly There is less violence and less beauty around?

variety in this than in either of the The Harrow football is simpler other games; but, played as the than that of Eton, and much more Harrovians play it, it is a charming 80 than the Rugby game. It has game for the winter months, when not half the diversity of either. cricket is out of the question, when There are neither scrummages nor rowing has not the charm it has in bullies. What are called the goals spring and summer, and when, in at the other schools are here de- brief, almost all other English opennominated ' Bases. They are twelve air pastimes are rendered impossible feet wide. There is no cross-bar, by our climate. and the ball may be kicked to any During the present season footheight, so that it is clearly within ball has again become popular. It the space marked out. The ground is becoming familiar to all our subis one hundred and fifty yards long urban common lands; and the clubs and one hundred yards broad. The that make use of these have formed games begin at 2*15, and continue an association, and made a new set till 3'45. Only bases count, and of rules for the game, which are the sides obtaining most of these very like those which regulate the win. The matches between the play at Harrow; but under every Harrovians and past members of form in which it is played the game the school from the universities are is attractive. It is, in fact, a thogreat contests.

roughly English pastime, particuBefore the game begins each cap- larly adapted to the proclivities of tain places one of his best men at our race, and precisely that kind of the base; umpires are appointed on sport which will best counteract the each side, and they follow the game, effect of our sedentary desk and and have to see that every player office work, as it does the bookwork keeps on his right side, and to pre- of the students at the universities vent any one kicking the ball who and schools. has infringed the rule on this sub

J. D. C.

[ocr errors]




GIVE a complete history of the De la Poles would require more than one bulky volume. Coming over with William the Conqueror, the family was one of the first to take firm root in our country, to shake off its Norman prejudices, and to become thoroughly English. Under the early Plantage nets it had sturdy branches in Middlesex, Oxford, and Devon; and some of its members, going with Edward I. into Wales, fought so well that they received a large grant of land in Montgomery by way of recompense. But it was not by fighting alone that they became rich and famous, or won honour for their country. In 1297-a year before Edward's accession to the throne—we find it recorded that William de la Pole, and some other merchants of Totnes, received a sum of 12l. 98. std. for cloths sold by them to the Crown at the fair of St. Giles, at Winchester; and later in the same year it appears that the wools of one William de la Pole, a merchant of Rouen, were detained at Ipswich to prevent their being taken to Flanders; while in 1272 we have reference to a Nicholas de la Pole, as one of the authorized collectors and

receivers of the goods of the Flemish merchants in England. Whatever his relation to this Nicholas, it can hardly be doubted that William, the merchant of Rouen, was also the merchant of Totnes, belonging to both places, because he travelled from one to the other, after the fashion of all the great dealers of his day, buying and selling goods. This same man, also, we may with safety assume to have been the William de la Pole who settled, a few years later, in the newlyfounded town of Ravensrod, at the south-eastern extremity of Yorkshire.

Ravensrod has a curious history. Originally an island, formed by the gradual heaping-up of sand and stones, and separated from the mainland by more than a mile of sea, it was for a long time used only by the fishermen of those parts for drying their nets. By degrees, however, a narrow shingly road, the breadth of a bow-shot, was cast up through the joint action of the sea on the east and the Humber on the western side; and as soon as this road was completed, the inhabitants of the neighbouring towns, especially of Ravenser, an ancient port and manor on the Humber, determined to make use of it. In this way was founded the town of Odd, called Odd juxta Ravenser, and after a while, Ravenser-odd, or Ravensrod. Its convenience as a landing-place, and, at first, its freedom from civic interference, soon made it an important márt. In 1276, the people of Grimsby, on the other side of the river, complained to the king of the great damage it was doing to their trade, their loss in a year being more than 100l. Of this complaint no notice appears to have been taken by the Crown. But the people of Ravensrod used it in an unlooked-for way. With unseemly zeal they made it a practice-so, at least, said their enemies -to go out in boats, intercept the trading ships and fishing-smacks, and urge them to stop at Ravensrod, asserting, for instance, that while trade was there so brisk, that 40s. could easily be obtained for å last of herrings, the people of Grimsby would not be able to pay them balf as much.

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

This persecution of the Grimsby- that their goods should be seized, men, however, did not last long, if the common sailors left hanging to indeed it was every really practised. the mast-head, and the masters only In 1361 a great flood came and com- kept alive on account of the money pelled all the inhabitants to take that would be paid for their release. refuge in the neighbouring villages. These things were bad enough Spurn Head lighthouse now marks under the vigorous rule of Edward I. the site of Ravensrod, while of They were much worse during the Ravenser there remains no trace at disastrous period of Edward II.'s all.

misgovernment. And it was, doubtAt least fifty years before the less, for greater security that the time of the flood, William de la brothers De la Pole, soon after their Pole had done with Ravensrod. father's death, removed a distance Having lived and prospered in it of twenty miles, to the fortified and for a little while, he died in or be- rapidly growing town of Hull. fore 1311, leaving a widow, Elena, They could not have settled in a who soon married again—her second better place. husband being John Rottenherring, In the history of Hull, originally a famous merchant of Hull - and called Wyke-upon-Hull, are well three sons, Richard, William, and illustrated the growth and chaThomas, who carried · on their racter of an English commercial father's work with notable success. town during the middle ages. Of the youngest of these three we Owned by the monks of Meaux, who know very little indeed, and about themselves made shrewd tradesthe private history of the other two men, and who knew well how to we also have but scanty information. encourage trade in others, it had But their public life and work are been a thriving mart since 1198, very clearly decipherable from the and doubtless from a much earlier scattered records of the time. As date. The Exchequer Rolls of the far as commerce is concerned, they thirteenth century show that its were the greatest men of the four- exports, consisting chiefly of wool, teenth century; if not the first of a rough sheepskins, and prepared long and noble line of merchant leather, were in some years half as princes, at any rate the first whose great as those of London. All history has come down to us, and through that time it was a favourite whose deeds are known to have resort of the great wool merchants, been rewarded with the public abottone-third of them being foreignapproval of their country.

ers, especially Flemings and FlorenRichard was born somewhere tines. Perhaps it was at the suggesnear the year 1280, William a few tion of these Italian merchants, great years later. They learnt to be money-lenders, and therefore men adventurous of life

very useful to the king, that Edward I. amid the stirring incidents of took it under his especial protecEdward I.'s reign, often, doubtless, tion. Bo that as it may, Edward crossing with their father, in the bought it of the monks of Meaux in largest and swiftest of his ships, to 1293, and conferred on it a civic the coast towns of Flanders and charter in 1296. Henceforth, with France, there to meet the richest the new name of Kingston-uponmerchants in the world, and treat Hull, it prospered more than ever. with them for the selling of English With John Rottenherring, stepfather wool and leather, and the taking of the brothers De la Pole, for its in exchange of foreign wine and most influential citizen, it received timber. Those short journeys were each year some fresh benefit either full of peril. At any moment there from the Crown or from the enterwas the risk of being met unawares by prise of private individuals. The French or Scottish pirates, and then nave and chancel of the noble church --unless they were strong enough of Holy Trinity had been set up in to defeat their assailants, or fleet 1270, and its splendid tower was enough to be saved by flight—they now in course of erection, to be could expect no pleasanter fate than completed in 1312. The Augustine VOL. V.-NO. XXVIII.

and money

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »