Page:Mr. Punch's Book of Sports.djvu/148

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Mr. Punch's Book of Sports

scrimmage, they scattered, with the kicks of their legs, my fainting compatriots, who fell lamed and wounded in all directions, I said to myself, this "Foote-Balle" is not a pastime, it is an encounter of wild beasts, "un vrai carnage" fit to be played, not by civilised sporting gentlemen, but by cannibals.

But let me explain that it is not the kick to which I object, for is not le coup de pied the national defence of France? Indeed, in your own fist contest in "Le Boxe-Match," is not to deliver a kick in the jaw of your antagonist considered a meritorious coup, showing great skill in the boxeman? And do not our own garçons de college kick a confrère when he is "down," and point to the circumstance with a legitimate pride and satisfaction? No, it is not le coup de pied which makes horrible "Le Foote-Balle," but the conspiracy organised of the kicksmen —Les Demidos (the 'alfbacks), Les En Avants (the Forwards), and the "Goal-keepers" —all to kick the leathern bag of wind at once, and so produce a murderous mêlée in which arms, legs, ribs, thighs, necks, and spines are all broken together, and may be heard