What is so very interesting in Jones treatise is the emphasis, all the way through, on the position of the head. In his description of the Dutch Rolling, a movement on both feet, on Running and, the Spiral Line, we come to what he calls the more masterly parts of the art after a run of about thirty yards, throw yourself with great force on the outside edge, the knee bent the arms in the same position as an archer drawing his bow, the right leg raised as high as you can with ease, so that as you look over the left shoulder you may see the (free) foot, then raise the body, drop the left hand on the hip and advance the right higher than the head, keeping your eyes fixed upon it; this attitude has a pretty effect at the conclusion of the spiral.
I shall here conclude, by saying, those who can perform all the manoeuvres mentioned in this treatise, will have no occasion for any further instructions.
So much for skating by elegant gentlemen in an age of elegance, by a very limited and privileged few. Among this august and graceful company was Johann Wolfgang von Goethe who was passionately fond of skating, and loved to declaim Klopstocks poems Der Eislauf and Die Kunst Tialfs Tialfe was the young companion of Thor of whom in the Edda it is said that: in running upon skates he would dispute the prize with any of the countries. In 1820 he himself wrote a poem Die Eisbahn, and in Aus Meinem Leben he refers to skating as:
An exercise which brings us into contact with the freshest childhood, summons the youth to the full enjoyment of his suppleness, and is fitted to keep off a stagnant old age.
There is a delightful painting of Goethe skating at Frankfurt-handsome and graceful,
the Great Charmer-by Raab. While on the subject of poetry it is interesting to note that the Saxon King Harold in the poem called his Complaint says:
I know how to perform eight exercises, I fight with courage; I keep a firm seat on horseback; I am skilled in swimming; I glide along the ice on skates; I excel in darting the lance; I am dexterous at the oar; and yet a Russian maid disdains me.