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The School of Recreation (1684 edition) Or, The Gentlemans Tutor, to those Most Ingenious Exercises of Hunting, Racing, Hawking, Riding, Cock-fighting, Fowling, Fishing   By:

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Or, The Gentlemans TUTOR,

To those Most Ingenious Exercises


Hunting. } { Fishing. Racing. } { Shooting. Hawking. } { Bowling. Riding. } { Tennis. Cock Fighting. } { Ringing. Fowling. } { Billiards.

By R. H.

London , Printed for H. Rodes , next door to the Bear Tavern near Bride Lane in Fleet Street , 1684.


Man, the Abridgement of the Creation, or the Compendium of all Gods Works, having divested himself by Sin of that Original Innocence and Angelical State of Life wherein his Creator had placed him, and thereby Subjected his collapsed Nature to the Malediction of God, In the sweat of thy Face thou shalt eat thy Bread , &c. It pleased however the Almighty to continue and confirm that Original grand Charter he had at first granted him, of being Lord of the Creatures : Hereby intimating, That tho man is now Born to Trouble, Labour and Cares , as the Sparks fly upward ; yet God has not deprived him of any Comfort or Felicity, which the Earth or Creatures of it can afford; but has invested him with a superior Authority and Dominion over the Beast of the Feild, the Fowl of the Air, and the Fish of the Sea . Thus it comes to pass, that every Creature payes a Duty and a Subjection , (as it were) to man, as to their Master ; and notwithstanding the Ferocity and Salvageness of their Natures, become tame and submissive to the Empire of Man. They court his Favour and mutely supplicate his Friendship and Confederacy, for the subduing the Enemies of their several Species : They readily obey his Precepts, and ravisht with his Service willingly execute his Commands. And thus by this prime Priviledg from God, Man is allowed the Liberty of subduing the Creature, and recreating his Mind by Hunting, Fowling, Fishing and the like; and by observing the Natural Instincts of every Species, the innate Enmity and Cunning of every Creature, may glorify the Immense Wisdom of his Creator.

And as the Liberty of Recreation in lawful Exercises is thus Naturall , so is it highly Necessary and Useful too. Recreation keeps up the strength and Alacrity of the bodily Forces, without which the Soul cannot work: I mean those brisk and violent Exercises, which the Following sheets specifie. They cause the Body to transpire plentiful sweats, and exhale those black and fuliginous Vapours which too much oppress some men, and remove the Obstructions which hinder the Circulation of Nature. Brisk Exercises render a man Active, Vigorous, Strong, and Hardy, and attenuate and disperse that Stagnation of humors, Benummedness and Dulness, which Idleness contracts: Nay, (as one excellently observes) divers bodily Infirmities, Diseases and Undecencies are hereby regulated and amended: Riding was used by the great Drusus for the Strengthening his weak and small Thighs and Legs; and by his late Majesty , especially after Dinner; and is also good for the Head: Shooting in a long Bow for the Breast and Arms; and helps Squinting: Bowling for the Reins, Stone, Gravel, &c.

Nor are the several other Games commonly practised, less Commendable , were they used with a modest and prudent Care: I recomend them as useful as the other, were a right use made of them. I would not have them made a Trade , instead of a Divertisement . But especially those that are managed by Skill , and not Fortune, may be Learned, for these acquaint a man with Numbring , and quicken the Fancy and Memory, and recreate the Mind.

And as Recreation is thus natural and necessary, so is it Commendable too, and recommended by the Practises of all Ages; as well sacred as prophane Histories plainly testifying the Truth of it... Continue reading book >>

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