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Page:Climbing on the Himalaya and Other Mountain Ranges.djvu/29

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5
IN THE HIMALAYA

else but in England — the ' Badminton Library of Sports and Pastimes ' — we find Mr. C. E. Mathews writing : ' I can understand the delight of a severely contested game of tennis or rackets, or the fascina- tion of a hard -fought cricket -match under fair summer skies. Football justly claims many vota- ries, and yachting has been extolled on the ground (amongst others) that it gives the maximum of appetite with the minimum of exertion. I can appreciate a straight ride across country on a good horse, and I know how the pulse beats when the University boats shoot under Barnes bridge with their bows dead level, to the music of a roaring crowd ; and yet there is no sport like mountaineer- ing.' This was written for a book on mountaineering, but it may be truthfully said, without making dis- tinctions between sports of various kinds, all of which have their votaries, that a sport that demands from those who would excel in its pursuit the ut- most efforts, both physical and mental, not for a few hours only, but day after day in sunshine and in storm — a sport whose followers have the whole of the mountain ranges of the world for their play- ground, where the most magnificent scenery Nature can lavish is spread before them, where success means the keenest of pleasure, and defeat is un- attended by feelings of regret ; where friendships are