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The Friend Of Man
by [?]

Well, each one of us must let go those properties which his own stick can do best without. For myself I insist on this–my stick must be good for hitting and good to hit with. A stick, we are agreed, is something to have in the hand when walking. But there are times when we sit down; and if our journey shall have taken us to the beach, our stick must at once be propped in the sand while from a suitable distance we throw stones at it. However beautiful the sea, its beauty can only be appreciated properly in this fashion. Scenery must not be taken at a gulp; we must absorb it unconsciously. With the mind gently exercised as to whether we scored a two on the band or a one just below it, and with the muscles of the arm at stretch, we are in a state ideally receptive of beauty.

And, for my other essential of a country stick, it must be possible to grasp it by the wrong end and hit a ball with it. So it must have no ferrule, and the handle must be heavy and straight. In this way was golf born; its creator roamed the fields after his picnic lunch, knocking along the cork from his bottle. At first he took seventy-nine from the gate in one field to the oak tree in the next; afterwards fifty-four. Then suddenly he saw the game. We cannot say that he w;is no lover of Nature. The desire to knock a ball about, to play silly games with a stick, comes upon a man most keenly when he is happy; let it be ascribed that he is happy to the streams and the hedges and the sunlight through the trees. And so let my stick have a handle heavy and straight, and let there be no ferrule on the end. Be sure that I have an old golf ball in my pocket.

In London one is not so particular. Chiefly we want a stick for leaning on when we are talking to an acquaintance suddenly met. After the initial “Hulloa!” and the discovery that we have nothing else of importance to say, the situation is distinctly eased by the remembrance of our stick. It gives us a support moral and physical, such as is supplied in a drawing-room by a cigarette. For this purpose size and shape are immaterial. Yet this much is essential–it must not be too slippery, or in our nervousness we may drop it altogether. My ebony stick with the polished ivory top–

But I have already decided that my ebony stick is out of place with the everyday hat. It stands in its corner waiting for the opera season, I must get another stick for rough work.