Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Them bones, them bones...


"In winter almost all their holidays before dinner are spent in seeing another kind of sport... numerous bands of young men go out to play on the ice... they fit the leg-bones of animals to their feet binding them firmly round their ankles and hold in their hands poles shod of iron, which they strike against the ice and thus impel themselves on it with the swiftness of a bird or a ball from an engine... each lifts his staff to strike the other and the contest ends by one or both falling... sometimes a leg or arm is broken; but theirs is an age that covets glory; youth is fond of victory and practises itself in sham battles that may succeed better in real ones" [William Fitz-Stephen, 1173, London].


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