Оf the Spiral Line.
IN the preceding part of this work, I have endeavoured to lay down proper inſtrućtions, for plain ſkating, and graceful rolling; and ſhall now treat of the more masterly parts of this art, which cannot be attained by thoſe who are not naturally aćtive, and poffested of fome genius.
It is rather difficult to form a ſpiral line, and at firſt learning is generally at tended with fome falls, owing to the great inclination of the body; but more frequently to the skates having a dull edge.
To form a large ſpiral line, take a run about thirty yards; and when you begin the line, throw yourſelf with great force on the left leg on the oufide edge, the knee bent, and the body inclining forwards as much as postible; the arms muſt be held in the fame poſition as an archer is deſcribed drawing his bow; the right leg raiſed behind as high as you can with eaſe, with the knee bent fo much, that, as you look over the left fhoulder, you may fee the foot; as you proceed gradually, raifethe body, and drop the right leg, fo that, when you finiſh the line, the body may be upright, and the legs brought to gether; then take a fmall roll on the right leg; but before you begin, drop the left hand on the hip, and advance the right higher than the head, keeping your eyes fixed upon it at the fame time; this attitude has a pretty effećt at the concluſion of the fpiral line.
Of the Infide Circle.
The infide circle is the largeſt manoeuvre on the skates : it is neceſfary to be learned, becauſe it teaches the method of turning out the toes; without which many other movements could not be done: the circle is thus performed; firſt take a run; then ſpring off on both legs, on the infide edges, with the right foot firſt, turning yourſelf to the left; let the feet be in a line with the body, and the distance from heel to heel about eighteen inches; the feet muſt be turned fo much out, that the skates may make but one track on the ice; bear full on the right foot, but raife the heel of the left skate a little, to prevent its catching in the ice, and tripping you up; at firſt fetting off, ftoop, bend the knees, and look to the right: but as you go on, raife yourſelf ſlowly, and ftraighten the knees till you come quite upright; the heels muft be gradually brought together, and the head turned by degrees to the left: the hands may be diſpoſed of any way, ſo that they are kept ftill; it is to be obſerved, that the larger you intend the circle, the longer you muſt look to the right; and the leſs the circle, the fooner you muſt look to the left.
If you would form a ſcroll or fpiral line, instead of a circle, you muft, at fetting off, place the left foot, fo that it may cut a track about four inches behind the right; and when you have gone a little way, bring the head to the left, and look down at the left foot: by this method you may cut a compleat fcroll; at coming near the end of it, fhrink in the body, and raife the fhoulders, which will give you a fhort and fudden turn. The circle and ſcroll may be done equally as well to the right, by reverfing all the motions.
Of the Outſide Circle.
I have feen but few who were capable of making this circle: the reafon of which is, that it is both difficult and ftraining; but if once learned, you will then have fuch command of your skates, that hardly any jerk, or irregular motion, will throw you off your balance.
As the performing of this circle is difficult, and requires much praćtice, it is better at firſt not to attempt to make it either compleat or large: but begin by throwing yourſelf on both feet, on the outſide edges, with the right foot firſt; let the force be juſt fufficient to carry you a few yards, at the fame time making a full face to the left: both feet muſt be turned out fo much that the toes may be a little farther back than the heels; let the ſpace between the heels be about two feet; look to the right, quite over the ſhoulder; ftoop, and bend the knees; keep on the outfide edges, but raiſe the left heel a little; the left foot muſt not run in the fame track with the right, but muſt be two or three inches advanced; the beſt poſition for the arms is, to hang them in an eaſy manner before you; if, after making fome tryals, you can move a few yards on the outſide curve, you may then attempt to make a large circle; which may be done by takinga run, to accelerate the motion.
A fcroll may be cut, inſtead of a circle, by looking more over the right ſhoulder, and advancing the left foot farther than in making the circle.
Of the Flying Mercury.
After any one is master of the preceding manoeuvres, he will find all the others to be very eaſy: as for example, to perform the attitude of a flying Mercury, is nothing more than the ſpiral line, except that the arms are not employed in the fame manner; the figure in Plate III, repreſents the attitude on the right leg, and almoft at the concluſion of the ſtroke; but at the beginning the body muſt lean forwards pretty much, with the right hand pointing to the ice, and flowly raiſed with the body, till you are quite upright; when you would finiſh the ſtroke, bring down the left leg, and throw it fuddenly up before you, at the fame time bearing on the right heel; by which means you may fpin round two or three times, in order to conclude the ſpiral line, which ſhould always be formed when in the attitude of Mercury.
Of the Fencing Poſition.
This poſition, though pleafing to the eye, is fomewhat difficult to perform; the manner of doing it is this: when you have taken a fufficient run to increaſe the velocity of the body, throw your feet in a right line on the flat of both skates, with the right foot firſt; raiſe the left heel a little up, but tread flat on the right foot; the right arm muſt be held out nearly in a line with the ſhoulder, and the eyes fixed on the fingers of that hand: the body muſt be held as up right as poffible, the breaft held out, and the head back: all theſe poſitions muft be well obſerved; otherwife it will be impoffible to move in a right line, or to keep your balance. This attitude is repreſented by the figure in the fourth Plate.
Of the Salutation.
This is a manoeuvre that cannot be exhibited, unleſs the performers skate equally well, and are maſters of the infide circle, and rolling.
Suppoſe two skaters standing oppofite each other, at about twenty feet afunder; then let them both make a fweep on their right legs, till they come near enough together to join their right hands, keeping them no longer joined than while they pafs one another; when they muft immediately turn themſelves on their right feet, and ſtrike off with an infide circle to the left, drawing their right legs in the fame manner as in making a bow at the beginning of a minuet: at commencing the circle, the hat muſt be pulled off, and held down during the bow, which may be made according to fancy; at the concluſion of the bow, both muft turn fuddenly round on the left leg, which may be eaſily done by throwing the right leg up to the left; when, turning, the hats muft be put on: by thus turning round, they will come face to face, as at firſt fetting off.
Of the serpentine Line.
The ſerpentine line may be made either on one leg, or both; the method of forming it on one leg is this: take a ſhort run, to affift your motion; then ſtrike off on the right leg, holding the right arm out in a line with the ſhoulder, the left leg up behind as in common rolling: the left arm may hang down at the fide; at firſt fetting out, make a curve to the right, but make it as ftraight as you can; when you have gone a few yards, turn your head to the left, and bear on the infide edge; bring the left foot forward, and turn the right arm to the left: keep in this poſition till you choofe to go again to the right, which may be done by changing the attitude to the fame as at firſt fetting off. By this method a ferpentine line may be formed, as long as you can continue your courſe on one leg.
To form a ferpentine line on both legs, fet off in the fame manner as in making the infide circle; then change to the poſition for the outfide circle; thus changing from one to the other, a ferpentine line may be formed, more or leſs curyed, according to the fancy.
N. B. The arms muſt be held in the famemanneras in the fencingattitude.
Theſe manæuvres plainly prove what I before faid, that the perfećtion of every art depends upon its firſt principles; for in theſe are uſed almost all the pofitions before taught.
Of travelling Backwards.
To travel backwards, is rather a whimſical movement than either neceffary or pleaſant: but as there may be fome who wiſh to attempt it, I will lay down the plaineſt instructions for it in my power. To make a ftroke on the left leg, turrí in the toe of the right foot; and prefs on the infide edge, to force yourſelf backwards; and lean forwards as much as you can; the fame method must be followed for the other foot: this movement requires a great deal of praćtice; but when once you have the method of making the ftrokes, you will be able to go at a great rate.
To cut the Figure of a Heart on one Leg.
This is a pleafing manæuvre, and but lately known; it is difficult, though graceful if well done; the method is as follows: firſt fet off, with a fweep on the outfide, on the right leg; and when you think you have formed half the figure of a heart, which you will almoſt naturally do in common rolling, turn yourſelf fud denly half round; then throw your felf on the infide edge, and by looking to the right you will move backwards. This motion muſt be continued till you come to the place where you began the heart; it would be rather difficult to defcribe in what manner thearms ſhould be uſed, nor is it neceffary, becauſe thoſe who are fuch proficients as to attempt this manoeuvre, will certaintly know how to employ them.
There are many other movements performed on skates, befides thoſe I have treated of; but, as they are neither graceful nor pleaſing, I ſhall here conclude, by ſaying, thoſe who can perform all the manoeuvres mentioned in this treatife, will have no occaſion for any further inſtrućtions.