My Lord,

No one who has had the pleasure of seeing your Lordship upon the ice, will ask why I was ambitious to prefix your name to the following Treatise I have often considered it as a blunder in many of our best authors, that they have dedicated their works to men, who though conspicuous for their rank and fortunes, were however wholey unacquainted with the subjects which were in this manner put under their protection. If any one should affect to despise the reputation of excelling in this amusement; I would wish them to consider, that merit is due to excellence of every kind; that the ancients paid the highest regard to strength and activity; the faculties of the mind generally improving those of the body.
Could we trace all great men through every period of their lives, we should find in the early part of them, that they discovered in their juvenile diversions the sparks of those qualities for which they became eminent when called to more serious and important occupations. Caesar or Alexander, would have dreaded as much, when they were boys, to have been outdone in swimming, running or leaping, etc., as they would afterwards in the loss of a battle; and whenever, you, my Lord, shall be called forth to those employment's which your birth and abilities demand, I may venture to prophesy that you will appear as remarkable.
I have the honour to subscribe myself, My Lord, Your Lordships
Most obedient obliged humble servant, Robert Jones.

In such terms does the author dedicate his work to an elegant gentleman, in an age of elegance on a subject considered to be an elegant and genteel accomplishment.
Origins of Skating
The Serpentine, Hyde Park, London. By Dicky Doyle 1850
Part 4
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