Page:Mr. Punch's Book of Sports.djvu/9

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Mr. Punch is nothing if not typical of his fellow countrymen in his interest in sport. If there be any truth in the assertion that Englishmen are neglecting the more serious affairs of life in their devotion to all forms of athletic sports, Mr. Punch would seem to be determined that there shall be no lack of humour in the process; for an immense proportion of his merry pages have been occupied with the humour of sport.

Indeed, there is no kind of open-air pastime which has escaped the kindly attention of our national humorist, and the fact that he never tires of poking good-natured fun at these hobbies of his countrymen, making merry over their misadventures, indicates in some degree that, whatever our social critics may think of the national taste for outdoor games, these must have a humanising influence and make for manliness, when their devotees can thus with good grace look upon themselves in Mr. Punch's mirror, and join in the laughter at their own expense.

But it must not be assumed that Mr. Punch's attitude is one of satirical criticism; on the contrary, his sympathies are with