RACKET
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RACKET

RACKET




      

RACKET


RACKET. A game affording pleasure to the mind and benefit to the constitution. It may be played in a covered or open court, in the latter during the dry season; and there is no game that combines necessities for so much skill, watchfulness, and dexterity, as the placer must be always on the move, standing still is totally out of the question. The game is generally played by two (any even number or a preconcerted match as to skill) on each side. With strong rackets, the ball is struck against a hard wall, and returned at the bound to the same wall, each player endeavouring so to strike it against the wall that his adversary may not be able to return it; he who does not return it, either loses a point (an ace) or has his " hand out." Eleven or fifteen aces is generally the limit of a game. Racket differs from Tennis, q. v. generally a reddish brown with some black about the face, and a black line down the hind part of the neck, and between the shoulders. Stags are common in Europe, Barbary, the north of Asia, and America. In spring they shed their horns, which fall off spontaneously, or on rubbing them gently against the branches of trees. The old stags cast their horns first, which happens about the end of February or beginning of March; but the shedding of the horns is advanced by a mild, and retarded by a severe and long winter. As soon as the stags cast their horns they separate, the young ones only keeping together. They advance into the cultivated country, and remain among brushwood during the summer till their horns are renewed. In this season they walk with their heads low, to prevent their horns from being rubbed against the branches; for they continue to have sensibility till they acquire their full growth. The horns of the oldest stags are not half completed in the middle of May, nor acquire their full length and hardness before the end of July. Those of the younger stags are proportionally later, both in shedding and being renewed. But as soon as they have acquired their full dimensions and solidity, the stags rub them against the trees, to clear them of a skin, with which they are covered. Soon after the stags have polished their horns, they begin to feel the rut. Towards the end of August or beginning of September, they leave the coppice, return to the forest, and search for the hinds. They bellow dreadfully ; their necks and throats swell; they become perfectly restless; they strike their horns against trees and hedges; and seem to be transported with rage, chasing from country to country, till they find the hinds, whom they force into compliance; for the female at first avoids and flies from the male, and never submits till she be fatigued with the pursuit. When two stags approach

Harewood, Harry. A Dictionary of Sports. London: T. Tegg and son, 1835

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