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MR. VANDERVELL, in the foregoing preface, has described how it came to pass that we had agreed to assist each other in preparing the following pages for the press. I wish to add that all I know of the higher branch of figure-skating I owe almost entirely to him. Years before he knew me I had often watched his elaborate movements, and gone away with a feeling of depression, arising from the idea that, without the knowledge as to how he had arrived at such results, it was impossible to rival him. However, I worked away at these new difficulties in skating, most perseveringly, generally on a quiet pond by myself, and was eventually rewarded by gradually acquiring some of those feats in which a high degree of dexterity is indispensable. My manuscript, therefore, to a great extent consisted of the description of the figures developed by him, and the manner in which I had acquired the facility of doing them. Consequently, I trust there may be many who will be assisted by the practical directions given in this work.

In consequence of a severe accident that befell Mr. Vandervell within a few days of placing the MSS. in the hands of our publishers, the whole

labour of correcting and preparing the following pages for the press has devolved on me.

Our preparations having been so very far advanced (owing to our anxiety to place the work before the skating public this season) as to render any delay impossible, I had no choice in the matter, and was obliged to devote every moment I could possibly spare from graver pursuits to eliminating errors which became more apparent as sheet after sheet came from the printer's, and many of which arose from the difficulty of blending our respective MSS. into one work.

I trust, therefore, that our readers will take into consideration the short time I have had to complete my task, and whenever errors are apparent look on them with kind indulgence.

T. MAXWELL WITHAM.

TABLE OF CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.

A GLANCE AT THE ORIGIN AND HISTORY OF SKATING.

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Antiquity of skating-Period at which the exercise originated
-Snow shoes-Figure-skating unknown in Russia-Bone
skates-Allusions to skating in the Runic poetry-Descrip-
tion of ancient bone skates-Origin of the word "skate ❞—
Observations on skating from Saturday Review-Observa-
tions on difference between style of English and American
skating-Derivation of the art-The inventors of figures
used in skating - Best skating witnessed in England--
Winter of 1860-1861-Number of good figure-skaters few
-Ignorance of writers on skating matters--The London
Skating Club-Its formation and constitution-Remarks on
the formation of skating clubs-The Paris Skating Club-
Skating in the Fen country-In the Bois de Boulogne-in
Vienna

CHAPTER II.

THE THEORY OF SKATING.

PAGE

I-35

Dr. Arnott writing on the subject-Motion-Centre of gravity
-Curve of skate-iron-Width of iron-Skate-makers-Soft-
ness of skate-iron-Polish of skate-iron-Difficulty of skating

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against the wind-How motion on skates is attained-Size
of circle and velocity-Popular difference of outside and
inside edges-One edge only in theory-Proof thereof—
Inside and outside conventional terms-Difference in inside
and outside edges-Suggestion for rendering inside as beau-
tiful as outside edge-Opinion of "Cyclos "-Inside easier
than outside edge-The reason thereof-The Times on
the quickest way of learning to skate-Country skaters
inferior to those of town-No figure-skaters amongst the
lower classes-Advantages of beginning to learn young—
Never too late to learn-Advantage of " training" for
skating

36-57

CHAPTER III.

GENERAL DIRECTIONS.

Definition of "skating”—Origin of term "figure-skating”—Ad-
vantages derived from combined movements-Advantages of
mechanical skates-Place of teaching-Advantage of per-
severing practice-Artificial support-Dress of the skater-
The boots-The skate-Form and curve of the iron-Care
of skates

CHAPTER IV.

GENERAL PRACTICAL DIRECTIONS.

PAGE

58-83

Definition of the edges-Formula for remembering edges, turns,
and serpentines-Striking-Means of striking-Instruction
for acquiring proper attitudes while skating the four edges—
Position of unemployed leg-and arm-Advantages of
practising attitudes with mechanical skates-Rigidity of
ankle, &c. necessary when on an edge-Vertical momentum
-Horizontal momentum-Speed of figure-skating-Neces-
sity of large curves in learning-The part of the skate-iron

taking weight of body in forward and backward turns-
Double practice on left foot Necessity of observing
good skaters-Summary of points constituting a first-class
skater.

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CHAPTER V.

-

ICE.

CHAPTER VI.

Difference of ice-When frozen at a low or a high temperature
-Snow ice-At what thickness bearable-Strength of ice
in Montreal-Directions for finding bearable ice early-The
places most likely to find it-Skating after thaw-Early and
late frost-Keeping ice in good order-Position for skater
if ice be weak-The accident in Regent's Park-Signs of
breaking-up of ice-Substitutes for ice-Mechanical skates.
with wheels--Haines, the champion skater
100-109

FIRST STEPS.

CHAPTER VII.

PAGE

Directions for skating straight forward-The inside edge for-
wards-The 8 from inside edge forwards-How to stop
-Difference between square and rounded heels-How to
stop with rounded heels-The turn on both feet-The inside
edge backwards The 8 from the inside edge back-
wards-Observations on the sideways attitude in inside
edges..

II0-122

THE OUTSIDE EDGE.

84-99

Instruction how to acquire it-The 8 from the outside edge-
Origin of the term "rolling"-The outside edge backwards

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