Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 48.djvu/193

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181
THE ANATOMY OF SPEED SKATING.

leagues on ice while his friend went one and a half on the best horse.

It has had among its devotees no less a man than Goethe, the great German poet, who sought by this means to drive away his persistent sleeplessness and bring back his youthful vigor. One clear, cold morning in December he is said to have jumped from his bed, strapped on his skates, and to have sallied out, reciting the following like one inspired: "Penetrated with the gayety that

PSM V48 D193 J K McCulloch in skating position.jpg

Fig. 1.—J. K. McCulloch in Skating Position.

gives the feeling of health, I go to scour afar the glistening crystal,... How brilliant is the ice that night has spread on the waters!"

It is also said of him that when he and Klopstock the poet met for the first time—one in his prime and the other in the decline of life—the subject of conversation was not poetry, literature, or æsthetics, as we would suppose, but was entirely devoted to skating.