The exercises suitable for men of letters are such as put the whole body in motion; these are, tennis, the shuttlecock, billiards, the mall, hunting, skittles, bowling, and even chuck; but these are unfortunately in such discredit in many parts, that persons who are tender of their good name will almost be ashamed to be seen playing them, and will not be convinced that the neglect of these useful amusements, is one of the principal causes contributing to the increase of the disorders.
There don’t seem to be too many writers these days who are ‘tender of their good name,’ and even fewer who are given to playing shuttlecock or skittles. Perhaps W.B. Yeats was on to something when he took up fencing, as Ezra Pound told us in our last post.
An essay on the diseases incident to literary and sedimentary persons with proper rules for preventing their fatal consequences, and instructions for the Cure. By S.A. Tissot M.D. London, 1769