SPORTS AND GAMES,
RULES AND DIRECTIONS
PRINCIPAL RECRBATIVE AIUBEMrNT OP SOUTH.
BY UNCLE JOHN,
ArTHOB or "oTH I TTL sor's owx ooxK" rTO. 8T.,
GEORGE S. APPLETON, 164 CHESTNUT STREET. I
D. APPLETON & CO., 200 BROADWAY.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1850, by
GEORGE S. APPLETON,
in the Clerk's Offlee of the District Court of the United States, in and for the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
THE boy's library is not considered complete without a
Book of Sports. The little fellows like to have a printed
authority for the laws of the game; and they take delight in
reading descriptions of those games and amusements which
. afford them recreation in the intervals of labour and study.
Our little volume describes the most popular amusements,
andwill undoubtedly suggest to most of its juvenile readers
some sports with which they were previously unacquainted.
We have confined ourselves to those sports which prevail in
our own country-those which all may participate in, with-
out inconvenience; believing it to be quite superfluous to
give any account of those which are wholly foreign and un-
practised by American boys.
And if our efforts have been instrumental in instructing,
improving, or amusing any of our youthful readers, we need
scarcely affirm, that it will prove a source of real and un-
mixed gratification to their well-wisher and friend,
The Regiment of Soldiers 10
Chip Halfpenny 10
Hockey or Shinney 10
Masters and Men .11
The Graces 12
The Bandilor 12
Cup and Ball 18
Nine Holes 18
Golf, or Cambuca 17
Stool Ball 18
Trap, Bat, Bnd Ball 19
Rounders w 20
Pall Mall 21
Hop Scotch 28
Blindmau's Buff 25
Shadow Buff 26
Buff with the Wand .26
Hunt the Slipper 27
Hunt the Whistle 28
Puss in the Corner .29
Thread the Needle 29
The Huntsman 80
The Game of the Key 81
The Two Hats 82
Penances for Forfeits 84
Schimmel, or the Bell and
Dibs .. 88
The Game of Fingers 89
Dumb Motions 40
Drawing the Oven .41
Hopping Bases 42
French and English 48
Tag or Touch 48
Hunt the Hare 44
Baste the Bear 44
Hide and Seek 44
Duck Stone 45
Saddle my Nag .. 47
Prisoner's Base 49
Rushing Bases 51
Stag Out 51
Fly the Garter 54
Duck and Drake 55
King of the Castle 56
Dropping the Handkerchief 56
Hop, Step, and Jump 57
Casting the Ball 57
Two to One .57
Long Rope 58
The Snow Statue 58
Snow and Ice Houses 60
Follow my Leader 61
Walk! my Lady, Walk! 62
The Swing 62
The Pulley 63
"Jack! Jack! show a Light" 64
The High Leap 66
The Long Leap 66
The High Leap with the Pole 66
The Long Leap with the Pole 66
The Deep Leap with the Pole 67
Lifting at Arm's length 67
The Rope 67
The Javelin 67
The Long Chalk 68
The Hand Spring 68
Spring from the Thumb 68
The Stooping Reach. 69
The Triumph 69
The Feat with the Finger 70
The Feat with the Poker 70
Kneeling Down 70
To remove a Chair from
under you without falling 71
Breast to Mouth 71
Walking on Stilts 71
The Belt, Pouch, &c.
The Ascham .77
Distance or High Shooting 80
Clout Shooting 80
Stringing the Bow 81
Articles requisite for
Salt Water Angling
To begin to learn to Swim 88
To return back again in
To float or swim with the
face toward the sky 90
How to turn in the Water 90
The Turn called Ringing the
Another way of Turning 91
To swim backwards 92
To turn one's self lying along 92
To make a Circle 98
To turn, being in an upright
To advance Swimming with
the hands joined together 94
To swim on your Side 94
To swim on the Face holding
both hands still 95
To carry the left Leg in the
right Hand .. 95
To swim like a Dog 95
To Beat the Water 96
To keep one Foot at liberty 97
To show both Feet out of
the Water 97
Suspension by the Chin 98
To tread Water 98
Changing Hand and Foot 99
To creep 99
To sit in the Water 100
To swim holding up your
The Leap of the Goat 100
To Dive 101
The Perpendicular Descent 101
To swim under Water 102
To come to the top of the
Water after Diving 108
To make a Circle 108
Construction of the Skate 105
Dress of the Skater 107
Preliminary and General
The ordinary Run 110
The Forward Roll 111
Figure of Three 118
Inside Edge backwards 114
The Boat 120
Pulling with the Oar 128
To back Water 124
What to Remember. 127
What to Avoid 127
Sea Rowing 180
Terms used in Boating 182
A Few Final Remarks 188
The Horse 185
The Saddle 186
The Stirrups 187
What to Remember
SLEIGHT OF HAND, MAGIC,
ENIGMAS, RIDDLES, &o.
Geographical Play 180
Capping Verses 182
To Polish Shells 185
Noise in Shells 187
How to grow an Oak in a
Hyacinth Glass 187
Glass from Straw 188
To extract the Perfume of
Vegetable Skeletons 189
Rosin Gas 190
To write Black with Water 192
BOOK OF SPORTS AND GAMES.
HAvrIN provided yourselves with marbles, called bonees,
let the one agreeing to commence the game, roll his marble
a short distance. His adversary then shoots at it, and so
on in rotation until one or other wins it, by striking the
marble the number of times agreed upon.
This is played with any kind of marble. The one
agreeing to commence, shoots his marble as far as he likes.
His opponent then shoots in his turn, endeavouring to strike
the one first shot, or shoot it so close that he can touch
both at a span; if he can, he wins; and so on in succession,
until one or other wins.
MINOR o PORTS.
THE REGIMENT OF SOLDIERS.
According to the number of players, let each put down
two or three marbles, and having placed them in a straight
line, draw another line about two yards from where the
marbles are, to play from, which is done by shooting at them
in rotation; and allthe marbles knocked off the line become
the property of the player.
To play at this, you must provide yourself with a small
wooden spoon, as well as your top. Draw a line, on which
place the two halfpence. The first player then spins his
top, and taking it up in his spoon, tries to chip his half-
penny towards the goal or winning place; his opponent
then does the same, and so on till one or other wins.
HOCKEY, OR SHINNEY.
It will be necessary in this game, to provide yourselves
with a vine stick having a hook at one end, and also a ball;
or a good sized bung, is the best to play with. The players
must be equal in point of numbers, on each side. The bung
is then placed in the centre of the playground, and the
party winning the right of striking first, attempts to strike
it to touch his opponent's goal, and he must be well backed
by his party to enable him, if possible, to succeed. This
game affords excellent amusement and sport when the game
MASTERS AND MEN.
is played by skaters, but they must be good ones, or it is
dangerous. This is called in Scotland, &c., shinney, from
the players striking each others' shins, in trying to knock
the bung from between their legs; but this I trust my
young readers will not attempt, as it invariably produces
much ill feeling, which should not exist between little boys.
I SPY I.
This game is best played where there are a number of
convenient places to hide. Sides are chosen, and one party
goes out to hide while the other remains at "home." One
of the players who are out hiding, calls "uwaringz," and
then quickly hides himself. The other party at home, then
sallies out to find them, but if two of the hiding party can
reach home before one has been discovered, they cry out
"all home," and then go and hide again. The seekers
must find two of the opposition before they are entitled to
go out and hide.
MASTERS AND MEN.
This is a game that admits of great variety, and will
afford as much amusement to the spectators as to the players.
In fact, if properly played, they may well be called juvenile
charades. The party is divided into two; one to be called
the masters, and the other the men. The latter, who com-
mence the game by agreement, must try nd keep the mue
ters out of work as long as they can. The men must make
a choice of some trade they can easily imitate, such as a
carpenter, mason, doctor, &c., and one of them must tell
the masters the first and last letters of the trade; and
endeavour to depict the actions of men employed in the
trade chosen. If the masters guess the proper answer, they
take the place of the men. If after some time they do not,
they begin a new trade.
This game is played by any number of persons standing
apart from each other, and requires two wands, and a hoop
covered with leather, which may be procured at any toy
shop. The wands are held firmly in each hand, and the
hoop is placed on them. The wands must then be crossed,
and sharply drawn asunder, trying to drive the hoop, so that
another with whom you are playing may catch it.
This toy is made of wood, somewhat in the shape of a
ship's pulley, with a string wound round the centre. To
bring this into action, the end of the string must be held
between the finger and thumb, allowing the bandilor to fall;
the string will then unwind itself, and on checking its fall,
will instantly rewind itself. This is a nice plaything, and
may be easily procured.
CUP AND BALL.
This toy must be procured at some toy shop. They are
made of wood and ivory; the latter is the best, as it is not
so liable to chip or splinter. You must hold the stem of it
between the finger and thumb of the right hand, and jerk
the ball upwards to enable you to catch it in the cup, turning
the ball round in the jerk. When you have attained some
proficiency in catching it in the cup, you can then endeavour
to catch it on the pointed end, or stem, though it will require
some practice to accomplish this.
This game is played as well with leaden bullets as with
marbles. They are to be bowled along a level course, at a
board having arches cut in it, with numbers marked over
each arch; viz., supposing there are eight arches, they may
be numbered thus, 2 0 5 1 0 4 3 0. If the bowler strikes
the side of the arch, he loses his marble, but receives as
many from the owner of the board as the number over the
arch through which his marble passes.
This game is played in a clear space of ground, having a
high wall painted black, and the ground divided into four
equal parts with chalk, two divisions near the wall, and two
behind them. The latter are occupied by the out players.
At the height of forty inches from the ground, a broad line
is drawn with chalk on the wall, and the ball must strike the
wall above this line. can be played by either two or
four players. When two play, each must cover two com-
partments; but when four are playing, each player takes
one of the divisions. Those occupying the divisions nearest
the wall, are called in hand" players; those in the others,
"out hand" players. The ball must not weigh more than
one ounce, and as the eye cannot well follow it in the game
unless it is rendered discernible by being frequently rolled
in white .chalk, it should be changed often for that purpose,
as it then forms a strong contrast to the black wall played
against. The ball is driven forward against the wall, with
a racket, formed of a strong catgut net work. The rules
are as follow:-After deciding who begins the game, it is
bmmenced by the "in hand" party striking the ball
against the wall; if it strikes under the line, or goes over
the wall, or does not rebound into the "out hands" spaces,
or goes beyond the bounds of the racket ground, the striker
is "out," and the "out hand" takes his place. Should
none of these occur, when the ball has rebounded into the
out-spaces, and risen from the ground, it is driven back to
the wall again, to rebound into one of the in-spaces, and
so on alternately. The art consists in driving the ball in
such a manner against the wall, that in its rebound, your
opponents shall be unable to pick it up or hit it; when this
occurs, the one who struck the ball counts one point, and
the game is so continued, until one side scores eleven or
fifteen as agreed upon.
Sometimes called hand tennis, or palm play, from being
once played with the naked hand, afterwards with a lined
glove, or cords bound round the hand. Fives can be played
singly or with partners. A wall should be selected with a
good level hard piece of ground before it. A line is then
drawn on the wall three feet from the ground; another on
the ground two yards from the wall; and another describ-
ing three sides of a square, of which the wall makes the
fourth, to mark the bounds. The winner of the choice of
commencing, begins by dapping his ball on the ground,
striking it against the wall above the line drawn, so that it
may rebound far enough to fall outside the line on the
ground. The other player then strikes it in the same man-
ner before it has touched the ground more than once. The
first player then prepares to strike it as it rebounds, and
the game is thus continued until one of the players fails to
lift the ball before it has rebounded from the ground more
than once, strikes it below the mark, or drives it out of
bounds. If the player does either of these, he loses his
innings; if the other, then the in-player scores one on each
occasion towards the game, which is fifteen. The rules are
the same when partners are playing, each side keeping up
the ball alternately, and the partners taking it in turns for
innings as the other side goes out. After the ball is first
played out at the commencement, it is not necessary to make
the ball rebound beyond the ground line, which is used only
to make the player who is in give out the ball fairly, when
he first takes the innings, or plays out the ball after he has
won a point.
This game was formerly much in repute in England,
until the reign of Edward the Third, when it was succeeded
by the more delightful amusement of archery, the practice
of which was enforced by a public edict, as foot-ball was
found to impede the progress of the latter accomplishment,
and its being properly learned. The game should be played
in a large field, having at each end a boundary mark or
home for the contending armies, which may consist of any
number equally divided; and is played with a bladder filled
with wind, or an India rubber ball covered with seal skin.
The ball is placed in the centre of the field, and the con-
tending parties endeavour to kick it into their opponent's
boundary. The party which first succeeds in doing this,
wins the game. This is a game that will afford excellent
amusement, and is highly conducive to health.
GOLF, OR CAMBUCA.
GOLF, OR CAMBUCA,
So called in the reign of Edward the Third, from a crooked
club or bandy-bat used in playing. In Scotland it is much
practised, and is sometimes called bandy-ball.
This game may be played by any number, each player
being provided with a bandy made of ash, four feet and a
half long, with a curve or hook affixed to the bottom, made
of horn, and backed with lead. The ball should be small,
made of feathers covered with leather, and very hard. The
game consists in driving the ball into holes made in the
ground at certain distances one from the other, and he who
succeeds in doing so in the fewest number of strokes wins
the game. Between the first and last holes a space of two
miles may intervene; the number of holes between which
are optional. The ball must be driven into each hole and
not beyond it. There is a golf club in London composed
of Scotchmen, who meet once a year to play a grand match.
They appear in Highland costume, which forms a very
The number of players must be even, and divided into
pairs, and when the game commences, each pair become
individual opponents. They should be well matched as to
size and strength. Two poles are fixed in the ground ten
feet apart, and opposite them two more (the same distance
apart) about two hundred and fifty paces off. The umpire,
who does not take a part in the game, then throws up a
ball, and whoever can catch it, and carry it through his
opponent's goal, wins the game. The point of the game
consists in the holder of the ball retaining it long enough;
for his antagonist endeavours to possess himself of the ball,
and impede the holder's progress. The law of the game is
that they may hurl the ball from one player to another, but
two must not attack one, nor can the holder of the ball hurl
it to any of his party who may be nearer his opponent's
goal than himself.
Is played by two persons, one taking his place in front of
a stool placed upon the ground, the other taking his place
at a distance. The latter tosses the ball, endeavouring to
strike the stool, and it is the business of the other to beat
it away with his hand to prevent this; and he reckons one
to the game for every time he strikes the ball away. If on
the other hand, the stool should be struck, the players
change places; the one winning the game who drives the
ball away from the stool the greatest number of times.
This game may be played by several persons placing stools
in the form of a circle, a single player to each stool; when
the ball has been struck, each one changes his place, running
from stool to stool, and if the feeder recovers the ball in
TRAP, BAT, AND BALL.
time to strike any of the players before he arrives at the
stool to which he is running, they change places, and the
one touched becomes feeder until he succeeds in striking
TRAP, BAT, AND BALL.
A boundary is placed at given distances on each side of
the trap, through which the ball must pass, and a line is
fixed fifteen or twenty feet from the trap, and eight or ten
feet high, over which the striker must send the ball, or'he
is out. The game may be played by any number. The
one who is to commence places his ball in the spoon of the
trap; he then touches the tongue, and as the ball rises he
strikes it. The other players endeavour to catch it, and
the one who succeeds before the ball has struck the ground
becomes the batman. If the ball is not caught, the player
into whose hands it comes, bowls it at the trap from the
place where he picked it up. If he hits the trap, the striker
is out, and he takes his place.. If he misses it the batsman
scores one towards the game. The tongue of the trap
should not be struck too violently; and it is well to catch
the ball with your left hand once or twice before calling
"play," and striking it. This will enable you to judge
what is the best position to stand in, so as to strike the ball
in a direction where there is the least chance of its being
caught. By allowing the ball to rise to its greatest height
it will enable you to take a good aim at it as it is falling.
This and the above game rank next to cricket for amuse-
ment, and being healthy and invigorating exercises. It is
played with a round stick two feet in length, and a hard
bench ball. Four or five stones or posts are placed in the
form of a circle, one of which is called the "home" and the
others "bases." After partners on each side have been
chosen and the innings determined, the out players are
scattered over the field, one taking his place as "feeder" in
front of home, and one behind to return the ball to the
feeder. The in player who commences then strikes at the
ball. If he succeeds he runs from base to base, and another
takes up the bat. If any strike at a ball and miss it, they
are out; or if any are struck with the ball while running
from base to base, they are out; and the feeder may pre-
tend to toss the ball, to induce a player to leave a base he
is standing at, to obtain a chance of striking him and put-
ting him out. Each in player takes the bat in rotation as
he arrives at home. If all are out but two or three, and
those are at the bases, and one be not able to reach home
before the home is crowned by the ball, all are out, or if one
of the strikers sends his ball so that it is caught, all his
party are out. If all are out but two, the best player is
allowed, with the consent of the others, to have two feeds
or hits for the rounder, and if he gets home without being
struck, or the home being crowned, all his party are in
again, and continue as before; if not, the opposite party
The Mall in St. James's Park derived its name from this
game being constantly practised there during the reign of
Charles the Second, by Charles himself, and his courtiers,
but of late years it is scarcely heard of. The game is
played with a piece of box and a mallet in an alley having
an iron arch at each end, and he who drives the ball through
the arch in the fewest number of strokes wins the game.
An iron hob or pin is driven into the ground, to within
four or five inches of the head; and at a distance of 14,
16, 20, or more yards, according to the age and strength
of the players, L second pin is driven in, in a similar man-
ner, and those who are contending in the game stand at
one of the pins, and each throws an equal number of quoits
to the other pin. The player who rings his quoit, or puts
it nearest to the pin, scores one point to the game; but if
A. puts a quoit nearest the pin, and B. places one second,
and A. then places the remainder of his quoits nearest the
pin after B., he still scores only one, as by B. putting his
one quoit second, it prevents the other quoits being reck-
oned; but if B. does not succeed in placing a quoit to cut
out those of A., cach of A.'s quoits counts as one. By
having two pins the players can proceed from one to the
other to determine the state of the game, and play on to
each pin. This game is much practised in England, seve-
ral grand quoit matches coming off annually. As an exer-
cise, it is highly conducive to health. Strutt, in his Sports
and Pastimes, says, that "the quoit seems evidently to
have derived its origin from the ancient Discus."
May be played by sides of two or three each, or single
players. Two balls are taken by each player, and the one
who commences casts a smaller ball, frequently painted
white, and called a jack, to any distance that suits him.
He then delivers a ball towards the jack, each player follow-
ing his example until all the balls are used; one of each
side delivering a ball alternately. The position of the balls
is then examined, and the one lying nearest to the jack
scores one to the player, and if his other ball (or presuming
the game is played with partners, either of their balls),
should be nearer the jack than any ball delivered by his or
their opponents, then they can score as many more towards
the game as they have balls thus placed. The game should
be played upon a closely shorn grass lawn, perfectly smooth
and level. The balls played with are not perfectly round,
being what is called biassed, having some mark at the thick
end, which end must be held towards the bowler's left
hand. The aim of the player is to drive his opponent's
ball away from the jack, or the latter away from the former,
and at the same time place his ball as near the jack as he
The terms used in the game are, to bowl wide," which
is when the bias is good, or is not strong enough; "narrow,"
when it is too strong; "finely bowled," when the ball
passes close to the jack; "yard over," is when the jack is
moved; "over bows," when the ball passes beyond the
jack. A ball is sometimes placed by a player purposely
within his reach to obstruct the one who follows him, and is
called "laid at hand;" placing the nearest ball to the jack,
is called "bowl best at jack;" "drawing a cast," is to win
by bowling nearest the jack, without touching a ball. A
ball "rubs" when retarded in its motion by some impedi-
ment; and is "gone" when it passes far beyond the jack;
a "lurch" is when one side scores eleven before their oppo-
nents have scored five, and is game.
Draw on the ground a figure resembling a window arched
at the top. The beds are formed in the following manner.
At the end farthest from the arch a line is drawn from side
to side, which is bed 1. Another like it, divided in the
centre, forms beds 2 and 3 Bed 4 is like the first. The
next bed must be wider, with a cross drawn diagonally from
corner to corner, for beds 5, 6, 7, and 8. Bed 9 is like the
first, and 10 and 11 are like 2 and 3. Bed 12, at the arch,
is called the cat's head. The one who commences throws
an oyster shell into No. 1, he then hops into that bed, and
with the foot on which he falls, drives it out. He then
throws it into 2, steps into 1, hops into 2, drives the shell
from 2 to 1, and then from 1 out of the figure. The shell
is now thrown into 3, and the player steps into 1, jumps
astride into 2 and 3, one foot in each base, springs on one
foot into 3, drives the shell into 2, from 2 to 1, and out as
'before. He now throws the shell into 4, steps into 1, jumps
astride 2 and 3, and alights upon one foot in No. 4, picks up
the shell, and placing it on the front of his foot off the ground,
jerks it upwards with a motion of the leg, and catches it in
his hand. He then jumps back, repeating the same jumps
as when he advanced. He throws the shell now into 5,
and passing through the beds as before, alights on one foot
in No. 5, drives the shell into 4, catches it, and returns as
before. He now throws the' shell into 6, drives it to 5, and
then to 4, catches it and returns. When he is in 7, after
jumping astride 6 and 7, he drives the shell into 6, 5, and
4; then out as usual. From 8 to 7, 6, 5, and 4, consecu-
tively, returning as at first. In 9 he catches the shell from
his foot, and returns as from 4. In 10 he drives it to 9.
In 11, after jumping astride, he drives it into 10, then
into 9, catching it and returning as before. He now
throws the shell into the cat's head, on arriving at which,
he catches the shell three times from his foot, and then
drives it with the foot he stands on, through all the beds,
returning as usual out.
Consists in one person having a handkerchief bound over
his eyes, so as to completely blind him; and thus blindfold,
he is called "Buff," and chases the other players either by
the sound of their footsteps, or their subdued merriment,
as they scramble away in all directions, endeavouring to
avoid being caught by him; when he succeeds in catching
a player, and guesses his name rightly, the player caught
must in turn be blindfold, and the game be recommended.
In some places, it is customary for one of the players to
inquire of Buff (before the game begins) "How many
horses has your father got ?" to which inquiry puff responds
"Three." "What colours are they Black, white, and
gray." The questioner then desires Buff to "turn round
three times, and catch whom you may," which request he
complies with, by trying to capture one of the players. It
is often played by merely turming the blindfold hero round
and round, without questioning him, and then beginning.
The handkerchief must be tied on fairly, so as to allow no
means for Buff to see; and whenever he approaches any-
thing that may hurt him, he should be warned, as by the
cry of "table," "chair," &c.
Shadow buff differs very materially from blindman's
buff, but it is equally amusing. A sheet or table-cloth
should be fastened neatly up at one end of the room, so
that it hang free from wrinkles. Buff (not blindfold) seats
himself on a low stool with his face to the sheet; a table,
on which is a lighted candle, should be placed about four
or five feet behind him, this being the only light in the
room. Buff's play-fellows next pass in succession, between
the candle and him, distorting their features in as grotesque
a manner as possible, hopping, limping, dressing themselves
in bonnets, shawls, cloaks, or other disguises, and perform-
ing various antics, so as to make their shadows very unlike
themselves. Buff must then try to guess to whom the
shadows belong; and if he guess correctly, the player
whose shadow he recognizes, takes his place. Buff is al-
lowed only one guess for each person, and must not turn
his head either to the right or left, to see who passes.
BUFF WITH THE WAND.
The several players join hands, and form a circle around
Buff, who stands in the middle, blindfold, and bearing a
long wand or stick. The players then sing some chorus,
and dance once round, when they stop, and Buff stretches
forth his wand, which the person touched must take by the
end. Buff then cries out three times, and the player caught
answers in a counterfeit voice; but, if Buff guess his name
rightly, they change places. Should, however, Buff guess
wrong, the wand is released, and he continues to guess
until he names some one correctly. Sometimes Buff pays
a forfeit on each failure, as does each player on being caught
This is a west-country sport, and may be played in a
large apartment, or out-of-doors; if the latter, within a
rope ring. A player has a bell fastened to his elbow, or
holds one in his hand, which he keeps jingling, and whence
he is called the jingler: he endeavours to avoid the several
other players, who are blindfold, and who strive to capture
him; the jingler may jump from and shun the others as he
best may; whilst they follow the sound of the bell, and,
not being able to see, tumble against, and over each other,
thus affording great amusement to the spectators. Whoever
catches the jingler within an agreed time, generally twenty
minutes or half an hour, wins the prize; but if after this
time the jingler be not caught, he is accounted the winner.
HUNT THE SLIPPER.
This old-fashioned pastime need scarcely be described.
Several boys seat themselves in a circle on the ground, and
another, who stands within the ring, gives a slipper to one
of the players, by whom it is secretly handed to one of his
neighbours; it is then passed round from one sitter to an-
other, so as to completely perplex the "hunter," (or player
standing in the middle), in his endeavours to find the slipper,
and who must continue his search until successful; the
player in whose possession it is found, must in his turn
" hunt the slipper," whilst the former hunter joins the sit-
ters. Sometimes, to mislead the hunter, a player raps the
slipper on the ground, and instantly passes it on.
HUNT THE WHISTLE.
To a whistle should be attached a piece of string, and a
bent pin for a hook. The players seat themselves on the
floor in a circle, as for the Slipper, except one lad who has
never before seen the game, and is to be the hunter. He
conceals his face in a player's lap, whilst another hooks the
whistle on to his jacket, then blows it, and dexterously lets it
fall so that another player may as quickly pick it up, and blow
it. The hunter naturally turns towards the player whence
the whistling proceeds, but no sooner is it heard in one
place than it is repeated in another; and thus the hunter
is perplexed to find the possessor of the whistle, although
it be hanging at his own back.
_~~~__~~_ M M_~_~~ ~._. _, I~'
THREAD THE NEEDLE.
PUSS IN THE CORNER.
Four players take their stations in the four corners of a
room, and a fifth called Puss" places himself in the mid-
dle of it; the players in the corners then change their posi-
tions in a regular succession, and the Puss endeavours to
gain one of the vacant corners before the successor can reach
it; if he can do so, the player left out becomes Puss.
THREAD THE NEEDLE.
A number of boys all join hands, and the game is begun
by the outside players at each end of the line holding the
following dialogue: "How many miles to Babylon?"
"Threescore and ten." Can I get there by candlelight ?"
"Yes, and back again." "Then open the gates without
more ado, and let the king and his men pass through." The
player and the one next to him at the end of the line oppo-
site the last speaker then raise their joined hands as high
as they can, to allow the speaker to run under, and the
whole line follow him, still holding hands. This should be
done, if possible, without breaking the line by letting the
hands go, and is styled "threading the needle." When
all the boys have passed through, the dialogue is repeated,
except that the player who before replied, now asks the
question, and runs between the opposite players, the others
following as before.
This game is one of the liveliest winter's evening pas-
times that can be imagined: it may be played by any num-
ber of persons above four. One of the players is styled
the huntsman," and the others must be called after the
different parts of the dress or accoutrements of a sportsman;
thus, one is the coat, another the hat, whilst the shot, shot-
belt, powder, powder-flask, dog, and gun, and every other
appurtenance belonging to a huntsman, has its representative.
As many chairs as there are players, excluding the "hunts-
man," should next be ranged in two rows, back to back,
and all the players must then seat themselves; and, being
thus prepared, the "huntsman" walks round the sitters,
and calls out the assumed name of one of them; for instance,
"Gun !" when that player immediately gets up, and takes
hold of the coat-skirts of the "huntsman," who continues
his walk, and calls out all the others, one by one; each
must take hold of the skirts of the player before him, and
when they are all summoned, the huntsman sets off running
round the chairs as fast as he can, the other players holding
on and running after him. When he has run round two
or three times, he shouts out "Bang !" and immediately
sits down on one of the chairs, leaving his followers to
scramble to the other seats as they best can. Of course,
one must be left standing, there being one chair less than
the number of players, and the player so left must pay a
THE GAME OF THE KEY.
forfeit. The game is continued until all have paid three
forfeits, when they are cried, and the punishments or pe-
nances declared. The huntsman is not changed throughout
the game, unless he gets tired of his post.
THE GAME OF THE KEY.
This game may be played by any number of persons,
who should all, except one, seat themselves on chairs
placed in a circle, and he should stand in the centre of the
ring. Each sitter must next take hold, with his left hand,
of the right wrist of the person sitting on his left, being
careful not to obstruct the grasp by holding the hands.
When all have, in this manner, joined hands, they should
begin moving them from left to right, making a circular
motion, and touching each others' hands, as if for the pur-
pose of taking something from them. The player in the
centre then presents a key to one of the sitters, and turns
his back, so as to allow it to be privately passed to another,
who hands it to a third; and thus the key is quickly handed
round the ring from one player to the other; which task is
easily accomplished, on account of the continued motion
of the hands of all the players. Meanwhile, the player in
the centre, after the key has reached the third or fourth
player, should watch its progress narrowly, and endeavour
to seize it in its passage. If he succeed, the person in
whose hand it is found, after paying a forfeit, must take his
place in the centre, and give and hunt the key in his turn;
should the seeker fail in discovering the key in his first
attempt, he must continue his search until he succeeds.
When a player has paid three forfeits, he is out.
THE TWO HATS.
This is a Neapolitan game, and from the contradictory
nature of its words and actions, resembles the child's pas-
time of "the rule of contrary." The rules are that, if
three mistakes be made by the person who responds to the
inquiries of the player bringing the hats found and whom,
for distinction's sake, we will call the Questioner,-he must
pay three forfeits, and be out of the game; when the ques-
tioner desires the respondent to be seated, the latter must
stand up; when he begs him to put his hat on, he must
take it off; when he requests him to stand, he must sit;
and in every point, the respondent must do the reverse of
what the questioner tells him. The questioner may sit down,
stand up, put his hat on, or take it off, without desiring the
respondent to do so, or giving him the least intimation of
his intention; the latter must, therefore, be always on his
guard, so as to act instantly to the contrary, else he incurs
a forfeit. These rules being settled, the game is simply
this:---a player places a hat on his head, takes another in
his hand, and gives it to one of the company; he then be-
THE TWO HATS.
gins conversing with him, endeavouring both by words and
actions to puzzle him, and cause him to forfeit. The fol-
lowing is a specimen of a dialogue, and the accompanying
movements of the hats, in which A. is the questioner, B.
A. (taking his hat off) A very beautiful evening, sir.
B. (putting his hat on.) Yes, indeed, a most lovely one.
A. (putting his hat on and sitting down, B. instantly
taking his off and getting up.) Pray be seated, sir; I really
cannot think of sitting while you stand; (gets up, and B.
sits down.) Have you been out of town this year? (takes
off his hat.)
B. (putting his on.) I have not yet, but I think I shall
before (A. sits down and B. gets up) the beauty of the sea-
son has entirely passed away, venture a few miles out of
A. (putting his hat on.) I beg ten thousand pardons,
you are standing while I am sitting; pardon me, your hat
is on, you must pay a forfeit.
It generally happens, that before the dialogue has been
carried thus far, the respondent has incurred three forfeits,
and is, of course, out; the questioner then goes in succes-
sion to the others, and the same scene is repeated by each;
the conversation, it is almost needless to add, should be va-
ried as much as possible, and the more absurd the better.
PENANCES FOR FORFEITS.
As the three foregoing games end with crying the forfeits
incurred in them, and as there are many other games for
long winter evenings, which our limits compel us to omit,
ending in the same manner, we subjoin a few penances (of
Neapolitan origin), to be imposed on those who have been
unfortunate enough to incur them.
1. THE KNIGHT OF THE RUEFUL COUNTENANCE. The
player whose forfeit is cried, is called the Knight of the
rueful countenance:" he must take a lighted candle in his
hand, and select some other player to be his squire Sancho
Panza, who takes hold of his arm, and they then both go
round to all the ladies in the company. It is the squire's
office to kiss the hand of each lady, and after each kiss to
wipe the knight's mouth with a handkerchief, which he holds
in his hand for the purpose. The knight must carry the
candle throughout the penance.
2. THE COUNTRY TABLE. In this penance the owner
of the forfeit selects some one to be secretary, then kneels
down upon his hands and knees on the floor, to represent
the table, and his secretary takes his stand beside him. One
of the company next dictates to the secretary, who should
move his hand on the back of the kneeling player, as if he
were writing a letter; the dictator must call out "comma !"
when he wishes that stop to be made, which the secretary
responds to by making a motion with his finger on the
PENANCES FOR FORFEITS.
" country table," resembling that stop; a "semicolon" by
giving a knock with his fist on the table and making a comma;
a colon," by giving two knocks; and a "full stop," by one.
For the sake of losing as little time as possible in one forfeit,
it is not necessary to request more than the points or stops
to be made on the country table."
3. JOURNEY TO ROME. The person whose forfeit is
called, must go round to every individual in the company
to tell them that he is going on a journey to Rome, and to
assure them if they have any message or article to send to
his Holiness the Pope, he will feel great pleasure in taking
it. Every one must give something to the traveller, no
matter how cumbrous it may be, or awkward to carry
(indeed, the more inconvenient the articles are, the more it
increases the merriment), until he is literally overloaded
with presents. When he has gathered from all, he walks
to a corner of the room, puts the articles down, and so his
4. THE CUSHION. The owner of the forfeit takes a
cushion, and gives it to one of the company, who then kneels
down on the floor, holds the cushion a little before him, and
requests the bringer to kneel down on it; as the latter
attempts to kneel, the former slides the cushion away, so
that the unlucky wight kneels on the carpet instead; should
he, however, be fortunate enough to kneel on the cushion
at once, he takes it to the next player; but if not, he must
continue his attempts until he is successful. The cushion
is to be given to every one in the room in rotation, and the
kneeling penance above described repeated before each.
5. THE STATUE OF LOVE. The player who owns the
forfeit cried, takes a candle in his hand, and is led by an-
other to one end of the room, where he must stand and rep-
resent the Statue of Love; one of the players now walks
up, and requests him to fetch some lady, whose name he
whispers in Love's ear; the statue, still holding the candle,
proceeds to execute his commission, and brings the lady
with him; she in turn desires him to fetch some gentleman,
and so it continues till all have been summoned. The
players brought up by Love, must not return to their seats,
but stand in a group round Love's standing-place, until he
has brought the last person in the company, when they hiss
him most vigorously, and the forfeit terminates.
SCHIMMEL, OR THE BELL AND HAMMER.
To play this amusing game requires five cards of figures,
viz. a white horse, an inn, a bell, a hammer, and a bell and
hammer; eight little ivory cubes, marked on one side only;
six numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, &c., and the .other two marked,
one with a bell, and the other with a hammer; a box for
throwing the dice; a hammer for disposing of the cards by
auction, and a proportionate number of counters for the
players. The game may be played by as many persons as
The counters are then to be distributed by one of the
party who has the office of cashier; their value having been
previously determined upon by the players. This being
done, twelve are to be deposited by each player in the pool.
The cashier then disposes of the five cards, separately, to
the highest bidders, the produce being also placed in the
pool. The bidders are not bound to confine themselves to
the number of counters dealt out to them at the beginning
of the game; should they exceed it, they may pay the
remainder of the debt by instalments, out of their receipts
in the course of the game.
Each person is at liberty to purchase as many cards as
he may think proper.
The dice are to be thrown by the players alternately,
beginning with the holder of the White Horse; any one
being allowed to dispose of his throw to the highest bidder.
When all blanks are thrown, each of the players pays one
to the holder of the White Horse, and he pays one to the
Inn. If with the blanks, the Bell, or Hammer, or the Bell
and Hammer together, are thrown, the possessor of the card
so thrown pays one to the White Horse.
When numbers accompany the Bell, Hammer, or Bell and
Hammer, the cashier is to pay counters, to the amount of
numbers thrown, to the holder of such card, from the pool;
but if numbers be thrown unaccompanied, the cashier then
pays to the thrower.
When the pool is nearly empty, there arises an advantage
to the Inn, for if a player throws a figure greater than the
quantity contained in the pool, he pays the overplus to the
Inn, thus: suppose 4 are in the pool, if the player throw
10, he is to pay 6 to the Inn; and if 2 be thrown, those 2
are paid to him from the pool, and so on till a figure is
thrown which clears the pool, and concludes the game.
If all blanks be thrown after the Inn begins to receive,
the players pay nothing, but the owner of the White Horse
pays one to the Inn; should the Bell, &c., be thrown with
the blanks, the holder of that card pays one to the Inn; and
if numbers accompany the Bell, &c., the holder of that card
must pay to the Inn the number thrown above those remain-
ing in the pool.
The Dibs are five of the small cramp or trotter bones of
sheep, with which various feats are performed. First, the
player extends his first and middle finger, and having placed
on the back of them a Dib, he throws it up, and catches it
in his hand, or on the inside or back of his fingers; and then
increases the number of Dibs to two, three, four, and five,
which are thrown up separately or together. A single Dib
is then held between each of the fingers and thumb of the
left hand, whence they are thrown in regular succession to
the right hand; and the modes of jerking and picking up
the Dibs may be amusingly varied. The order of the game
THE GAME OF FINGERS.
is, that as soon as one player fails in the feat he attempts,
another player takes up the Dibs.
THE GAME OF FINGERS.
This game, also called Mora, is of great antiquty; its
invention being ascribed to Helen, who, it is said, was
accustomed to play at Mora with Paris, the son of Priam.
The game may be played by two or four persons, and
usually consists of six points; but this is settled by the
players, who then present as many fingers as they choose,
calling aloud some particular number; and, if either of the
numbers thus mentioned agree with the amount of fingers
presented, he who named it counts one toward his game, by
holding up a finger of the left hand, or sometimes a fist or
elbow. But neither player is permitted to count it; on the
contrary, both numbers are incorrect. When a player
exclaims "all!" he must display his open hand; and the
point is won if his rival, at the same time, exhibit all his
Dumb Mora is played as above, but with this exception:
that instead of calling the numbers, the players, before they
commence the game, agree by what mode they shall desig.
nate odd and even; after which, whoever utters a syllable,
incurs a forfeit. Should any difficulty arise during the pro-
gress of the game, but no words are allowed to be spoken,
but the required explanation must be given and received
This dramatic game exercises considerably more ingenuity
than its name implies. It is played by sides, who toss up
for innings. The winning side retire to some distance, and
choose some trade or professional employment, which may
be acted, or represented by Dumb Motions." They then
advance to the other side, and one of them calls out the first
and last letter of the name of the trade they are about to
represent. Thus, suppose it to be B--- r, (Bricklayer);
some of the players imitate with their hands the spreading
of mortar and laying of bricks; another appears to carry
on his shoulder the hod, &c. Or, if the letters be S--- n,
(Stonemason), some appear to be chipping stone, and others
sit as if they were sawing stone: the more mechanical the
trade the better. Each of the opposite side then guesses
within a few minutes, and if neither be correct, the trade
is named by the "in" party, who choose another trade.
But, should the trade be rightly guessed, the sides change
places. Should either of the side misrepresent the trade,
or speak during the work, or name the letters incorrectly,
the whole side are out, and a workman is not unfrequently
thrown off his guard, by the opposite party asking him a
question, which, if he answer, he is at fault. Sometimes,
the working side are called men, and those who guess are
DRAWING THE OVEN.
This is a Christmas sport, and is played as follows: An
apple is fixed upon one end of a short stick, to the other
extremity of which is fastened a lighted candle. A string
is then tied to the middle of the stick, by which it is sus-
pended from the ceiling at such a height that the young
people may catch or "bob" at it with their mouths, their
hands being tied behind their backs.
Is another Christmas pastime. A dish of raisins being
prepared, some heated brandy or spirits of wine is poured
over the fruit, and then set on fire, the other lights in the
room being extinguished. The young folks then stand round
the dish to pluck out the lighted raisins, and eat them as
hastily as they can, but rarely without warming their hands
and mouths. The blue flames of the burning spirit, and
the singular and spectral appearance which they give to the
faces of the busy crowd, are a source of considerable mer-
DRAWING THE OVEN.
Let any number of boys seat themselves, one behind the
other on the ground, and clasp each other round the waist;
two players should then take hold of the foremost sitter,
by both his hands, and endeavour to detach him from the
line, by pulling away vigorously. When they have suc-
ceeded in doing this, they take hold of the second sitter in
the same manner, and so continue "drawing the oven,"
until they have drawn all the players from the ground.
This game is also called "Jack, Jack, the bread burns."
Sides are chosen, and each player has his opponent; and
the parties enter their bases formed by a line drawn the
length of the ground. Each player then folds his arms, hops
on one leg, and strives to get into the opposite base; which
should he do, the vanquished one must retire from the game.
The victor in this instance may then return to aid his own
party; and the game is won by those who, whilst hopping,
take entire possession of the enemy's base. Should any
player drop the leg, he is out of the game.
One player takes his station at a spot called the home,"
while the others go to seek out various hiding-places in which
to ensconce themselves; when all are ready, one of them
calls out "Whoop !" on which the player at the "home"
instantly goes in search of the hiders, and endeavours to
touch one of them, as they all run back to "home;" if he
can do so, the one caught takes his post at the home, and
he joins the out-players.
TAG OR TOUCH.
FRENCH AND ENGLISH.
This is an exceedingly lively and amusing game: it is
played by two parties, as nearly equal in numbers and
strength as can be mustered; one party take hold of one
end of a strong rope, whilst their antagonists take hold of
the other; each party then strive to pull the other over a
line chalked or marked on the ground for the purpose, and
those who are so pulled over, being made prisoners, lose
TAG OR TOUCH.
Any number of boys can play at this game, which is an
exceedingly spirited one. One of the players undertakes
to be "Tag," or "Touch," and endeavours to touch one of
the others as they are running about in all directions, try-
ing to avoid him as much as possible; if he can touch one,
the player caught becomes Touch, and in his turn strives
to touch one of his fellow-players. "ToucH IRON" and
"TOUCH WOOD" are frequently called; and when the boys
can touch either iron or wood, Touch has no power over
them; but the moment they quit either, they may be
"touched;" and sometimes a Touch makes prisoners.
In this sport, when Touch is following one player, another
runs across his path, between him and the party pursued;
upon which Touch must immediately run after the one who
crossed, until some other crossing between them, must, in
his turn, be followed; and so it continues changing, until
Touch catches one, who takes, of course, the office of Touch,
and the game is continued as before.
HUNT THE HARE.
One boy is chosen "Hare," and runs out, when, his com-
rades having given him "law," that is, time to run a cer-
tain distance, they then give chase and endeavour to catch
Hare before he returns home.
BASTE THE BEAR.
The players toss up for the first Bear, who kneels on the
ground within a marked circle; each selects his own master,
whose office it is to hold him by a rope, and use his utmost
efforts to touch one of the other players, as they try to
"baste" the Bear with their handkerchiefs knotted and
twisted very tightly. If the Bear's master can touch one
of the assailants without dragging the Bear out of the ring
or letting the rope fall, the boy touched becomes Bear,
selects his keeper as before mentioned, and the sport is
HIDE AND SEEK.
In this game one of the players hides a handkerchief, or
any little article which can be easily secreted, and then
desires the other players to find it; the successful seeker,
in his turn, hiding the same thing next time. When the
seekers approach the place of concealment, the player who
hides the article must answer their questions, whether "they
burn;" and on the contrary, when they wander from it, he
should tell them that they "freeze." The Greeks had a
pastime similar to our Hide and Seek: a boy seated him-
self in the midst of his comrades, and closed his eyes, or
was blindfolded by the hand of another, whilst the rest
concealed themselves; and he who was first found by him
after he was permitted to rise, took his place. There is
another kind of Hide and Seek, called also Whoop and
Hide; where one party of boys remain at home," while
the others go out and hide themselves; when they are hid,
one of them cries Whoop," as a signal for those at home
to seek after them. If the hidden can escape the vigilance
of the seeker, and reach home unseen, they go out to hide
again; but so many of them as are caught, on the contrary,
become seekers, and those who catch them have the privi-
lege of hiding themselves.
This game cannot be played by fewer than three boys;
and if the number be eight or ten, its interest and liveliness
are increased. It should not, however, be played roughly
or carelessly, as the players, through negligence, may injure
each other from the weight of the stones, and the force with
which they must be cast. A large smooth and flat-topped
stone is placed on the ground, and at about six or eight
yards distance is marked "home." Each player next pro-
vides himself with a pebble stone somewhat larger than a
cricket-ball; and the game is begun by "pinking" for
" duck," i. e. by all standing at the home," and throwing
their pebbles in succession at the large stone; and the
player whose pebble falls or rolls furthest from the large
one, becomes Duck, and must place his stone on it. The
other players next cast their pebbles at it singly, from the
" home," and then hasten to pick up their pebbles, so as to
throw again; but, if Duck can touch either of them before
he reaches home," and should Duck's own pebble not be
knocked off the large stone, then the thrower thus touched
becomes Duck; but, if he be quick, he may call out
" Double duck" before Duck is able to kick his own pebble
off the. large stone, or cry out Feign double duck," in
which case both the "ducks" are to be placed on the stone
together. Sometimes, the "duck" remains on the stone
after four or five have thrown at it, when they allow their
pebbles to rest, but in attempting to pick them up, Duck
may touch either of the throwers; till, at length, another
player knocks Duck's pebble from off the large stone; and
SADDLE MY NAG.
as no one can be touched until it has been replaced, the
several players gain time to pick up their pebbles, and reach
"home" for safety. Should all the players have thrown
without being able to knock the duck" off, it is frequently
proposed by one, or more, to Duck, to take either a
heelerr," a "sling," or a "jump," towards "home," in
order that they may have a chance of reaching it. The
" heeler" is performed by kicking the stone backward toward
"home;" the "sling," by putting the stone on the middle
of the right foot, and slinging it in the direction of home;"
and the "jump," by placing the stone between the feet,
and holding it there, while a jump is taken, and the stone
let fall, so that it may roll forward; if the stone be so far
from "home," that one sling, jump, or heeler will not
suffice, two, or more of each may be taken, provided Duck
allows it; but if the player does not reach "home" in the
number of slings, &c., agreed on, he becomes Duck.
SADDLE MY NAG.
Two leaders should toss up for choice of sides, and each
having selected six or eight partners, they should toss again
for innings; the loser must then place himself quite upright,
with his face to a wall, against which he rests his hands,
and one of his partners should next stoop down, and put
his head against his leader's skirts; another partner also
bends, and places his head against the skirts of the second
player, and the rest of the partners must take their places
in the same manner, one behind the other; when thus
ranged they are called Nags." One of the winning party
next runs, and placing his hands on the back of the last
Nag, cries Warning," endeavours to spring on to the back
of the first, or at least to clear as many Nags as he can, so
as to leave room for those following him to leap on the backs
of the other Nags, until they are all fairly astride. If any
of the Nags sink under the weight, or in trying to support
themselves, touch the ground either with their hands or
knees,-or if the riders can keep their seats without touch-
ing the ground, whilst their leader counts twenty,-the
riders resume their innings, and begin again; but should
there not be sufficient space for all to leap on, or they are
unable to keep their seats on the backs of the Nags, they
lose their innings, and become Nags in their turn. The
Nags may also cry "Weak horse !" when, if the riders do
not instantly dismount, they must become Nags.
Is played by two boys, pretty nearly equal in size and
strength; while a third is appointed umpire, to see that the
rules are correctly followed, and no unfair advantage taken.
One player then gives a back, that is, stooping down, as in
leap-frog, and resting his head against a wall; the other
player then springs on his back, and holding up as many
fingers as he pleases, calls out "Buck, Buck, how many
horns do I hold up ?" Buck endeavours to guess the pro-
bable number; if his guess be incorrect, the rider gets down,
leaps on again, holds up his fingers, and repeats the question
as before; and so continues, until Buck names the right
number, when the rider must take the place of Buck, and
Buck in turn jump on his back. It is, of course, unneces-
sary to hold up the same number of fingers every time the
question is asked. Buck is usually blindfolded to prevent
foul play, but this precaution is not requisite.
Is a very lively and amusing game, and is played as follows:
Two captains being appointed, they cleep" for partners,
i. e. they advance towards each other, by bringing, alter-
nately, the heel of one foot to the toe of the other, until at
last there be not room for one of them to put his foot down
between the toe of his opponent and his own; this player
has the first choice of partners. The best number for this
game is seven or eight players on each side, although it may
be played with either more or less. The bases are then
drawn at one end of the ground, and are divided by a line,
on each side of which the players stand. At some distance
are marked the prisons, generally in corners of the ground;
the prison of one party facing the base of its opponents, and
lying crosswise from the base of its own party.
-711-~*.1 8 ~ I ~ `- -- ~ --:-W I~P-SI~ lAII
The game is begun by a player from one side running
out between the bases and the prisons, when he is quickly
followed by one of the opposite party, who endeavours to
catch him; a partner of the first player next dashes out to
capture the second, and so on, both sides sending out as
many of their partners as they please, to touch or take their
opponents. But a player must not touch any one who
started after him, although the latter may, if he can, touch
him before he gets back to his own base; but if a player
has taken a prisoner, he cannot be touched in making his
way back to his base again. A player can touch only one
of his opponents each time he leaves his base; and every
prisoner must be taken to the prison of the opposite party,
where he remains till one of his own partners can manage
to touch him; and this may be aided by the several pri-
soners holding each other by the hand in an extended line,
so as to reduce the distance from the base. The player
coming to rescue the captive must also have started from
his base after the other has been taken ; and the released
prisoner and his companion are not allowed to touch any
one, or to be touched, as they return home. The victors
are those who can contrive, at the same period, to make all
their opponents prisoners. Or, instead of the prisoners
being rescued, they are drafted into the enemy's base, and
the game is terminated by all the players thus passing to
Prisoner's Base is mentioned in proclamations in the
reign of Edward III.; and Shakspeare speaks of "the
country base." The game was formerly played by men,
especially in Cheshire, and the adjoining counties.
Draw two bases, with a wide space between them. All
the players then station themselves in one base, except one
boy, to be King Caesar," by choice or otherwise, and he
places himself midway between the bases. The men then
attempt to run from one base to the other, and the King
strives to catch them; and whenever he takes one, he claps
him on the head and cries thrice, "Crown thee, King
Caesar!" and he must thenceforth assist his Majesty in
catching the rest of the men, each of whom must, as he is
taken, join the royal party; the last man captured being
King for the next game. The crowning must be distinctly
pronounced thrice, else the captive can be demanded by his
A line should be drawn on the ground, at a little distance
from a wall, to form "the bounds," and within which one
of the players, as the "stag," stations himself; he then
springs out, with his hands clasped firmly together, and en-
deavours to touch one of the other players, who all run
from him. Should he succeed in touching one, he rides on
his back home to the "bounds," and the player thus
touched becomes Stag.
Any number may play at this game. A base should be
drawn at about four feet from a wall, within which one of
the players takes his station, and after calling out, "Warn-
ing, once; warning, twice; warning, thrice; a bushel of
wheat, a bushel of rye; when the cock crows out jump I.
Cock-a-doodle-doo !"-he jumps out and runs after the
others; if he touch one, they both return to the bounds
where they unite hands, and after crying "Warning!
only, rush out again, and each strives to touch an opponent;
if they can achieve this, they all return and join hands as
before; the next time they sally forth, the outside players
only try to touch; of course, every one they touch returns
to "bounds" with them, and joins the line. Should the
out-players attack, break the line, and put the party to
the rout, which it is always their object to do, the discom-
fited players must scamper back to "bounds;" this the
out-players endeavour to prevent by capturing them, which,
if they can accomplish, the captives are compelled to carry
their captors back to bounds. After a player has sallied
from the bounds, and has touched one of the out-players, he
should run home with all speed, to avoid being caught by
their opponents. When three players have been touched,
the one who began the game may join the out party.
For this amusement a stout plank should be laid across a
felled tree or a dwarf wall; it must be very nicely balanced
if the players be of the same weight, but if one be heavier
than the other, the end on which he intends to sit, should
be the shortest. Two players then take their seats on the
plank, one at each end, whilst a third stations himself on
the middle of it; the name of this player is, in some places,
"Jack o' both Sides," and in others "Pudding." As the
players by turns make slight springs from their toes, they
are each alternately elevated and depressed; and it is the
duty of Pudding to assist these movements by bearing all
his weight on the foot on the highest end of the plank, be-
yond the centre of the tree or wall on which it rests.
A see-saw is one of the earliest lessons in mechanics.
The cross plank is the lever, or first mechanical power; and
its supporter, the felled tree, is the fulcrum, or prop by
which the lever is sustained. A reckoning-stone is a natural
This game will be best understood by supposing that eight
boys are playing at it: seven of them stand in a row, about
eighteen feet apart, with their sides to the leapers, hands
on their knees, body doubled, and head bent down. The
eighth player then takes a short run, and, placing his
hands on the back of the first player, leaps over him;
then over the second, and, in like manner, over all the
other players, one after the other; he then places him-
self down in the line, in the proper position, and at the
right distance from the last player; the first over whom he
jumped, rises immediately he has passed, and follows him
over the second, third, &c., who all rise in succession, and
leap in their turn; and after they have successively jumped
over the last players, they place themselves down in the
line, as before described; and the game continues. Some
players stand with their backs to the leapers, instead of
their sides; the mode is optional, although in some places
it is usual to compel those who can jump over the head,
to do so.
FLY THE GARTER.
Chalk or make a line, or "the garter," on the ground;
on this line one of the players must place himself and bend
down as in leap-frog, while the other players in rotation
leap over him; the last one, as he flies over, calling out
"f Foot it if he should fail in giving this notice, he is out,
and must take the other boy's place at the garter: the boy,
immediately the word is given, rises, and places his right
DUCK AND DRAKE.
heel close to the middle of the left foot, he next moves the
left forwards and places that heel close up to the toes of his
right foot, and bends down as before; this movement is
called a "step," and is repeated three times. The other
players should fly from the garter each time a step is made,
and the last player must invariably call out Foot it," as
he leaps over. After making the three steps," the player
giving the back takes a short run; and, from the spot
where he made his last step, he jumps as far forwards as he
possibly can, and bends down again; the others jump
from the garter, and then fly over. Should any of the
players be unable to jump easily over the one giving the
back, and rather slide down upon, or ride on him, the player
so failing must take the other's place at the garter, and the
game be recommended; if, also, through the impetus
acquired in taking the jump from the garter, a player should
happen to place his hands on the back of the player bending
down, and then withdraw them in order to take the spring
over, he is out, and must take his turn at the garter. Some-
times, the boy giving the back takes a hop, step, and a
jump after he has footed it three times; the other players
doing the same, and then flying over.
DUCK AND DRAKE
Is played by shying" bits of slate, or tile, the flat shells
of oysters, or thin smooth stones, on the surface of a pond.
Whatever is used should be "shied" so that it may merely
touch the surface of the water, otherwise it will not rebound
several times, which it is the aim of the player to make it
do; if it rebound once, it is a Dick;" if twice, a Duck;"
if thrice, a Dick, Duck, and Drake;" and that player wins
the game whose slate or shell rebounds the oftenest.
KING OF THE CASTLE.
One player stations himself on a mound of earth, or emi-
nence, and styles himself "King of the Castle:" from this
station his playmates endeavour singly to pull or push him
off, whilst he exerts his utmost efforts to repel them, and
maintain his position. Whichever player dethrones the
king, takes his place.
DROPPING THE HANDKERCHIEF.
A tolerably large ring should be formed by several boys
joining hands: when all are ready, another boy who stands
out, walks round outside the ring, drops a handkerchief
behind one of the players, and immediately runs off; he is
instantly followed by the boy behind whom he dropped the
handkerchief, and who must track him in all his winding
in and out, under the raised arms of the boys in the ring,
and indeed wherever he runs; should the pursuer touch the
pursued, the former takes the handkerchief in his turn, and
the latter joins hands in the circle. If the boy who dropped
/ TWO TO ONE.
the handkerchief be enabled to elude his follower by passing
through and about the-ring, the latter walks round again,
and drops it behind some other player.
HOP, STEP, AND JUMP,
Is a trial as to which of the players can go over the greatest
space of ground in a hop, step, and a jump, made one after
the other, without stopping. They may be commenced either
with a short run, or else standing, at the option of the
CASTING THE BALL.
Casting the wooden ball is an excellent recreation. A
bowl similar in pattern to those used in skittle-alleys-not
those used for nine-pins-should be procured; it must not,
however, be so large nor so heavy as the bowls used by men,
neither should the finger-holes be so wide apart; and the
size and weight should always be adapted to the size of the
person using it. In casting the ball, put your thumb in one
of the holes, and your middle or forefinger in another, and
then throw it underhanded either to a mark, or at random
to a distance.
TWO TO ONE.
Two to One is a capital exercise with a common skipping-
rope. It is done by skipping in the usual way for a short
time, and then increasing the rapidity of your movements,
and leaping tolerably high; at the same time, endeavouring
to swing the rope round so quickly, as to pass it twice under
your feet whilst leaping: practise this until you are profi-
cient, and then try to pass the rope three times under your
feet instead of twice.
The rope is held each end by a boy, and turned pretty
regularly; and, when the line is at its highest, one, two, or
more boys step forward between the holders, and jump up
as the rope descends, so as to let it pass under their feet like
the common skipping-rope. The leapers should keep time
with the turns of the rope; and, if it touch either of them,
he must change places with one of the holders. Another
game may be played by holding a long skipping-rope at
one end in the outside hand, making a step or two towards
the other player, with his help" at the other end swinging
it round, and then skipping over it.
THE SNOW STATUE.
Making a snow statue forms a capital amusement when
the fields put on their winter's robe of purest white," and
the icicles hang glistening from the eaves. In order to amass
snow enough for the purpose, it should be swept up into one
spot, or, to insure the snow being clean, a large snow-ball
should be made, and rolled about until it becomes huge and
THE SNOW STATUE.
unwieldy. The material being thus provided, the statue
should be rounded and shaped as neatly as possible; and,
if the young artists possess ingenuity enough to make their
work look something like a man, and not a heap of snow,
so much the better. The modellers now, by common con-
sent, withdraw to a stated distance and begin to pelt their
handy-work with snow-balls, until the gigantic figure falls,
feature by feature, amidst the shouts of the joyous throng.
A lively game is likewise afforded by one party building
a fortification of snow, behind which they post themselves;
and, having provided themselves with snow-balls, they repel
the attacks of another party from without, who endeavour
to drive them from the work, by pelting them vigorously
with snow-balls; the besieged, of course, returning the
shower of balls. These balls should not, however, be pressed
too tight, else they may be so hard as to render the mimic
siege a dangerous one.
Sir Walter Scott relates of Napoleon Buonaparte, that
when at school in Brienne, he, one winter's day, engaged
his companions in the play-ground in constructing a fortress
out of the snow, regularly defended by ditches and bas-
tions, according to the rules of fortification. It was attacked
and defended by the students, who divided into parties for
the purpose, until the battle became so keen that their supe-
riors thought it proper to proclaim a truce.
SNOW AND ICE HOUSES.
The building of houses with snow, which boys sometimes
practise as a pastime in this country, is a matter of neces-
sity in the Arctic regions. Sir John Ross tells us that in
the newly discovered peninsula of Boothia, the poor Esqui-
maux build villages of snow huts, having the appearance
of inverted basins, and lit by windows of clear ice. They
are built with wedge-shaped blocks of snow, the joints being
also fitted in with snow; and so rapidly is this done, that
a house is often roofed within an hour; and a tent is scarcely
built in less time. The Esquimaux children have also a toy
architecture of their own, and build houses with equal dex-
We read, too, of mansions being built entirely of ice, in
some northern countries. Such was the magnificent ice-
palace of the Empress Anne, which was erected at St.
Petersburg, in January, 1740. It was 56 feet in length,
and 21 feet high; it was built of the most transparent ice,
cut from the Neva in large blocks, which were squared with
rule and compass; and water being poured between the
blocks, it froze and served as cement or mortar. The inte-
rior was completely fitted up; a bed-room had a suite of
furniture entirely in ice. On the outside of the palace
were cannons and mortars from which iron balls were fired.
The whole fabric lasted about ten weeks, and then melted
away. In the same year, a winter of unusual severity, a
German carved in ice at the gate of Holstein, in Lubeck, a
lion seven feet long, surrounded by a bulwark of ice, on
which were placed five cannons, a soldier, and a sentry-box,
all of ice.
FOLLOW MY LEADER.
A spirited boy should be chosen as Leader, and the other
players must follow him in a line: he commences the game
by jumping, running, hopping, or getting over any obstacle
that may present itself, and then continues his course,
scrambling over everything, and varying his actions as
much as possible; all his followers must strictly follow
"the lead:" thus, if he jump over a ditch, they must clear
it; if over a gate, they must do that also; and in every-
thing follow or imitate him as closely as possible. If any
player fail in performing the task, he must take his place
behind all the rest, until some other player makes a blunder,
and in his turn goes last.
This pastime consists in one boy endeavouring to pull
another from the shoulders of a third player, who carries
him as on horseback: if he pull his opponent off, he takes
his place. This game should not be played on rough or
stony ground, but upon soft turf.
WALK! MY LADY, WALK!
This game may be played by any number of boys, who
all tie large knots in one corner of their pocket-handker-
chiefs, and then toss up a halfpenny, to see who shall be
"My Lady;" the loser is the one to whom the part falls,
and he must be blindfolded and stand a little on one side,
while the others go in succession to a spot marked on the
ground, and jerk their handkerchiefs between their legs, as
far behind them as they possibly can, and in whatever direc-
tion they please. When all the boys have done this, My
Lady is conducted to the place marked on the ground, and
desired to "Walk! my Lady, Walk !" which she, or he rather,
complies with by advancing until he treads on one of the
'kerchiefs, when instantly the other players pick up their
handkerchiefs and compel the unlucky owner of the one
trodden upon by the Lady, to run the gauntlet of a good
drubbing from the knotted end of theirs; after which he
becomes the Lady, and the game continues as before.
To a timber beam, or the stout limb of a tree, fasten twv
strong ropes of equal lengths, and at the ends of them tie a
seat as firmly as possible. A player takes his place on the
seat, and motion is then given to the swing by another
player pulling a rope attached to the back of the seat. In
putting up the swing, care should be taken that the ropes,
and whatever they are fastened to, are strong enough, and
that there is nothing in the way which might be the means
of causing mischief to the swinger.
Fasten a pulley to a horizontal beam of wood, by a staple,
or to the strong branch of a tree; pass a rope through it,
and at each end of the rope tie a cross piece of wood; two
boys must take firm hold of these pieces, one should lie
down on his back, and let the other pull him up by sinking
himself as he elevates his playmate; in his turn, he is
raised in the same manner by his companion, and the sport
is thus kept on, each rising and sinking alternately, some-
what after the fashion of see-saw.
Sliding on the ice appears to have always been a favourite
pastime among young persons in cold climates. It would
be useless to insert any instructions for its practice;
for a few falls on the ice will be far more impressive
than all the lectures contained in the pages of drowsy
A kind of sledge, consisting of a circular seat, with a
strong rope affixed to it, may be sometimes seen upon the
ice; and the rider having seated himself, is drawn about by
his companions, or whirled round with great velocity until
he is unseated.
64 MINOR SPORTS.
"JACK! JACK! SHOW A LIGHT!"
This game can only be played in the dusk of evening,
when all the surrounding objects are nearly lost in the deep-
ening gloom. The players divide into two parties, and
toss up for innings, which being gained, the winners start
off to hide themselves, or get so far away that the others
cannot see them-the losers remaining at the "home."
One of the hiding party is provided with a flint and steel,
which, as soon as they are all ready, he strikes, and the
sparks guide the seekers in the direction they must take to
capture the others ere they reach "home;" if they cannot
touch more than two of the boys, the hiders resume their
innings, and the game continues as before. It is usual,
however, for the boys at the home" to call odt "Jack,
Jack! show a light!" before the possessor of the flint and
steel does so. When one party is captured, the flint and
steel must be given up to the captors, that they may carry
on the game.
PRIOR to commencing a course of Gymnastics, the body
should be in good health, and partially trained by exercises
in walking, running, and jumping.
The head should be kept up, the body erect, but not stiff,
resting upon the ball of the foot, not on the toe or heel,
the shoulders thrown back, and the arms allowed to move
freely by the side.
The arms should be kept nearly still, the elbows to the sides
of the body, bringing the closed hands in front on the chest,
and the legs must not be raised too high.
The knees should be bent so that the calves of the leg may
touch the thigh. The fall should be on the toes, and never
on the heels. The arms should swing forward when taking
a spring, the body kept forward, the breath held, and in
THE LONG CHALK.
Mark a line upon the ground, to which the toes of both
feet must be placed, neither of which must move beyond
it. Either hand is then thrown forward on the floor, as
far, and no farther, as will enable you with a spring to
regain your former upright position, not scraping the floor
with the hand, nor disturbing the position of your feet.
After you have ascertained by practice the distance you can
fall and regain your original position, take a piece of chalk,
and make a mark as far in front of you as you can with
your disengaged hand, without altering the position of the
feet, or using both hands in rising.
THE HAND SPRING.
This feat is performed by throwing yourself forward
against a wall, resting upon the palm of the hand with the
fingers upward, the feet being placed at a distance from the
wall, which will enable you to recover an upright position;
for according to the distance you stand from the wall, the
more or less difficult will the feat be found. This feat
should be well practised before commencing the
SPRING FROM THE THUMB,
Which is performed by resting the body upon the thumb,
the inside of which is placed against the edge of a table,
taking care that it rests against something, or else you may
get a fall by driving the table before you. By continual
practice you may extend the distance you stand from the
THE STOOPING REACH.
By practising this feat considerable agility may be
acquired. A line should be drawn upon the floor against
which the other side of the right foot must be placed, and
the heel of the left foot placed at a short distance behind
the right foot touching the line. The right hand must be
passed under the knee of the right leg, and with a piece of
chalk mark a line as far in advance of the other line as you
can, and then immediately recover your position without
moving your feet or touching the ground with your hands.
The knee and body may project over the line chalked, but
the feet must be kept in their original position. In this
feat there is no spring to assist you in rising, as the chalk
is held between the fore-finger and thumb.
So called from the difficulty of accomplishing this feat with-
out a great deal of practice. The palms of the hands must
be placed together behind you, with the thumbs nearest the
back, and the fingers downwards; and then keeping the
palms as much as possible together, turn the hands, keeping
the tops of the fingers close to the back, until they are
placed between the shoulders, with the thumbs outward,
the tops of the fingers towaids the head, and the palms
touching one another.
THE FEAT WITH THE FINGERS
Is done by placing your arms horizontally close to and
across your chest; the fore-fingers of each hand pressing
one against the other. When in this position, another per-
son may endeavour to separate them, which he will fail to
do if they are held properly, as he must use only regular
force, and not jerk them suddenly.
THE FEAT WITH THE POKER.
A common fire poker must be held between the fingers
and thumb, which by the motion of the fingers and thumb
you must endeavour to work upwards, the poker remaining
perpendicular the whole time. This is a much more diffi-
cult feat than it would appear at first, as it requires not only
considerable strength of finger, but also knack, which can-
not be acquired without practice, and when first attempted,
will be found very difficult.
Is an exercise of some difficulty, and is done by placing the
toes against a line chalked on the floor, and kneeling down
and springing up again without making use of the hands,
or moving the toes from the chalk line.
BREAST TO MOUTH.
TO REMOVE A CHAIR FROM UNDER YOU WITHOUT
The body is placed upon three chairs, the centre one of
which should be lighter than the others, the head resting
upon one, and the heels upon the other. The body must
be stiffened, and the chest thrown up, keeping the shoulders
down. You then disengage the middle chair, and move it
over your body until you deposit it on the opposite side.
This is one of the feats which at first is found very difficult,
but which by practice may be overcome, provided the chair
you have to lift is not too heavy for your strength.
BREAST TO MOUTH.
The distance from the outside of the elbow to the tip of
the second finger, is measured on a cane or stick. You
must then grasp the stick with the right hand, the middle
finger being placed over the mark. The stick must be held
horizontally before you, with the elbow close to the side,
and you must then endeavour to raise the left end of the stick
to your mouth, without changing your position or moving
WALKING ON STILTS
Is a habit acquired in early life by the shepherds of t e
south of France; for by these additional legs the feet are
kept from the burning sand in summer, and from the water
72 GYMNASTIC EXERCISES.
which covers the sandy plains in winter; and by gaining
this elevation, they acquire such an increased sphere of
vision over the sandy plains, as enables them to see their
sheep at a greater distance than they could from the ground.
Stilts are made with two poles, and at any distance from
their ends, a piece of wood, flat on the upper surface for the
foot to rest on, and is fastened by a strap attached to it, and
another a little above the knee. Stilts made high enough
to be used as supports for the hands are better than those
cut off just above the knee joint.
THE laws of Cricket, as played by men in England and
the United States, appear to us too complicated for little
boys. That kind of cricket which is actually played in this
country is a very simple game, and sufficiently amusing
without complicated regulations.
The Wicket is a long rod placed on low supports. Two
wickets are placed at a distance proportioned to the strength
of the juvenile arms and hands that are destined to roll the
ball. Sides are chosen, and a toss-up for the first in. The
side that is in places two of its number to guard the wickets
with their bats, who change positions at each hit, the rest
waiting for their turn. When a wicket is knocked down,
the player who guarded is out, or if his ball is caught by
one of the opposite side before touching the ground, he is
out, and another of his side takes his place, till all but one
are out, in this manner. Then the opposite side is in; and
the side that is out takes its turn, two rolling, and the rest
at various posts waiting to catch the ball or go after it when
struck, and return it to one of the two rollers.
This is the simple Cricket of the country boys, and a
most delightful exercise it affords.
ALTHOUGH no longer useful as a military exercise, Archery
is still much in vogue, keeping up the associations of a
brilliant antiquity. So lately as the year 1753, targets
were erected during the Easter and Whitsuntide holidays
in Finsbury Fields, when the best shooter was styled Cap-
tain," for the ensuing year, and the second, "Lieutenant."
For the purposes of war, the bow has been superseded by
fire-arms, as it is by no means so certain of aim, for moisture
and the prevalence of wind are almost fatal to the use of
this instrument, besides that its range is comparatively limit-
ed. In many parts of South America the bow is still
used, and is eight feet and a half in length, the arrows be-
ing about six feet and a quarter in length. The natives use
this apparently unwieldy instrument with great skill.
The archer must choose a bow adapted to his height and 4
strength, as by selecting one suited to a stronger person, he
will find this delightful exercise become a toil, and he will
oe prevented hitting the mark. The bow is flat outside,
called the back, and the inside part, called the belly, is
round. This part is bent inward. If the bow be pulled
the reverse way it will break. It is always to be strung
with the round part inward, however it may be bent when
Arrows must always be in length and height propor-
tioned to the bow with which they are intended to be used.
They vary according to the fancy of the archer, and are
used either blunt or sharp; some are made to taper from
the pile to the feathers, and some vice versd; and some are
made thickest in the centre; but those first mentioned are
the most to be preferred. The notches that fit to the string
of the bow should be cased with horn, and they must fit
with great exactness, not being too tight nor too loose.
S Three turkey or gray goose feathers are affixed to arrows;
one of these, generally of a different colour from the other
two, and called the cock feather, must be placed uppermost
on the string.
To prevent the string from being weakened by friction,
that part of it which receives the notch of the arrow is
whipped with silk; if this should come off, it must be re-
whipped at once, or the string in all probability will break,
and frequently the bow at the same time. A string should
never be permitted to remain twisted or ravelled; it must
be thrown on one side and re-twisted and waxed, before it
is used again. In stringing the bow, the string must
always be from the centre of the bow proportionate to its
length; for instance, a bow five feet long should have the
string about five inches from the centre.
The quiver is usually made of wood or leather, sometimes
tin, and is seldom worn except in roving.
The tassel is used for cleaning the arrow from dirt, which
when it enters the ground may adhere to it; for if it were
allowed to remain, it would render the course of the arrow
untrue, and also impede its flight. So that it may be always
at hand, it is suspended on the left side of the archer.
The glove has three finger stalls, which should not pro-
ject over the tops, nor cover the first joint. It has also a
back thong, and a wrist-strap to fasten it, and is worn on
the right hand, and its purpose is to prevent the fingers
from being hurt by the string.
The brace is to afford protection to the left arm from
being injured by the string, for without this, in all proba-
bility the archer would be prevented shooting for any length
of time. It is made of stout leather, having a very smooth
surface, which should be kept continually greased, that the
string may meet with no impediment in gliding over it.
It frequently happens that the archer's arm is considerably
and dangerously bruised by the bow string, by not paying
proper and careful attention to the above rule.
THE BELT, POUCH, AND GREASE-BOX.
The belt buckles round the waist, the pouch being sus-
pended on the right side, and the grease-box from the
middle. The grease-box contains a composition for greasing
the finger of the shooting gloves, and the brace when occa-
sion may require it. The pouch is intended to hold the
arrows required for immediate use in target shooting.
The Ascham is a case, containing compartments and
drawers for the reception of all the necessary accoutrements
of the archer.
Butts are artificial mounds of turf, built according to the
fancy of the archer. They are generally made about seven
feet high, eight feet wide, and three feet thick. In the
centre of the butt a circular piece of card-board is placed
for a mark, varying in diameter according to the distance
the archer shoots; for sixty yards, it should be six inches
in diameter, and for eighty yards, eight inches; and so on
in proportion. He who places the most arrows in the card-
board is the winner; and those shot outside the mark are
Two targets are invariably placed opposite each other, in
order to avoid a waste of time in going to fetch the arrows,
and returning to a particular spot to shoot from. Targets
are made of various dimensions, depending upon distance.
They are usually four feet and a half in diameter for 100
yards, and so on in proportion to a less distance. The shot
in the gold or centre wins. Each circle (gold, red inner,
white and black) has a proportionate value, viz., 10, 8, 6,
4, and the outer white, 1. Some targets are made with a
facing of canvas sewn on straw used for the purpose; but
they are generally fixed, being too heavy for the archer to
carry about: others are made of mill-board for roving, being
portable but not so durable. The arrow must be extracted
from the ground in the same direction as it entered, and held
as near the pile as possible, for by not properly attending
to these instructions you will probably break a great many
The position should be erect, firm, and partly side-ways,
the face turned towards the mark, but no part of the front
of the body; the heels must be a few inches apart, and the
head bent forward. The bow is held in the left hand, in a
perpendicular position, with the wrist bent inwards, the
arrow to be brought towards the right ear, not towards the
eye. The arrow must be drawn from the pouch by the
middle, and carried over the left side of the bow, under the
string, and the notch placed in the string with the dark
feather uppermost. While lifting the bow with the left
hand, the right should be engaged in drawing the string,
using the first two fingers only, and not the thumb. Take
the aim when the arrow is three parts drawn; and when it
reaches the head, it should be let fly, or else the bow may
snap. Bad attitudes in archery are extremely inelegant,
and even ridiculous, and also will be found to impede the
archer's success; therefore, your first study must be to
acquire an easy and proper position.
Roving will be found a very pleasant exercise, and by
some is preferred to target-shooting. The mark should be
some conspicuous object, such as a bush or tree. If an arrow
is within two bows' length of the mark, whatever it may
be, then it counts one, seven or ten being the game. The
one shooting nearest, has the privilege of fixing the next
mark. Blunt-headed arrows are the best for this style of
shooting, as it will be found difficult to extract the sharp-
headed ones, if firmly driven into a tree, without breaking
them or cutting the wood away around the arrows. They
are not restricted to space, but may rove from field to field,
taking care to see that there is no one near the mark they
shoot at, for fear of some accident, particularly when using
DISTANCE, OR FLIGHT SHOOTING.
Flight shooting does not require any particular aim, and
therefore does not improve a young archer wishing to excel
as a marksman. It consists merely in shooting to as great
a distance as possible, and of course the one shooting farthest
scores one, seven or ten being the game, as agreed upon.
This kind of shooting has a very injurious effect upon the
bow, rendering it more liable to be broken than at any other
kind of shooting with the long bow.
When butts or targets cannot be set up near home, clout
shooting may be practised. The clout is sometimes made
STRINGING THE BOW.
of paste-board, and sometimes of white cloth fastened upon
a stick. All arrows that fall within two bows' length of the
mark, score one, and seven or ten is the game.
STRINGING THE BOW.
This is a very difficult operation, and requires a good
deal of practice to perform it well. In order to make the
following directions more simple, it may be well to state,
that the upper end of the bow is the one which has the
long bone, and the other with the short bone is called the
lower end, and the middle of the bow is generally called the
Turn the flat side of the bow towards your body, and
take the upper end of it in your left hand, placing the other
end on the ground, against the inside of the right foot.
Having put the eye of the bowstring above your left hand,
catch the bow by the handle and pull it up with consider-
able force, at the same time move the left hand upwards,
till the eye of the string is placed completely into the nock.
For the sake of enabling you with greater ease to move up
the eye of the bowstring, you should press the wrist of the
loft hand firmly against the bow, as that will allow you to
work the fingers gradually upwards. You will easily observe
the advantages of this; for, when the string tightens, as
the eye approaches the nock, you will find it necessary to
use every stratagem in addition to your whole strength.
In unstringing the bow, you place the same end on the
ground as you did when stringing it: but as you now want
to undo what you did before, you must reverse the position
of the bow by turning the string upwards: you then slacken-
the string, by pressing the hand against the bow till you
are enabled to lift the eye out of the nock, which you can
easily accomplish with the thumb.
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THERE appears to be some enduring charm connected
with this delightful summer sport, for we find, that many
pursue it with as much enthusiasm in a "good old age," as
ever they did in their "boyish days." This amusement is
in fact such a universal favourite, that there is no particular
age or class that can be said to follow it, as is the case with
many other sports; for it is enjoyed equally by the old and
the young, by the professional man and the man of business;
by the military man and by the statesman; and each, as he
has the time and opportunity, studies it with more careful
attention. And yet we cannot help wondering why angling
should be so eagerly pursued by those of all ages and profes-
sions, when we remember that it demands a greater amount of
patience and perseverance than is required in the pursuit of
any other sport. We have heard many reasons given for this;
but as it would occupy too much space to enumerate them
all here, we shall give only the general conclusion at which
we ourselves have arrived, viz., there is so much variety
connected with it, from first to last, that many different dis-
positions find something in it to attract them. Some will
take as much delight in arranging the flies in their pocket-
book, as others do when enjoying the sport on the banks
of a river; while others find their pleasure in adjusting the
hooks on the line, and otherwise preparing the rod. Our
young friends will find full directions given in the following
Your first care will be to provide yourself with good
rods, lines, floats, and hooks, as almost every fishing station
requires something different. A rod of bamboo (with three
or four tops of different lengths) about eight or ten feet in
length will be found the most serviceable, and it is neces-
sary that it should be fine and taper, with rings for a run-
ning line. This description of rod is the best you can get
for punt-fishing, care being taken to choose it light and
elastic. Hickory rods may be procured very cheap, and
are quite good enough for little boys." Fly rods are much
lighter and more elastic, and should spring well from the
butt-end to the top.
The rod must be kept where it will not get damp, as that
will rot it; nor must it be kept in too dry a place, for that
will crack it. In putting your rod together in warm weather,
do not wet the joints too much, or else you will find it
difficult to separate them, as they will stick if you wait till
they dry; and in using force to get them asunder you may
strain your rod.
The best lines are those commonly called "gut" and
"hair;" the latter for fine clear water: they should be
chosen round and even: other lines are made of plaited
silk. Always purchase them at a shop, until you have
gained sufficient experience to make them yourself. This
will also apply to
In choosing them, see that the barb is of a good length,
the points sharp, and that the gut or hair is round and even.
They are numbered for convenience, to distinguish them
or the fish they are intended to take.
Cork or reed are the best for a running stream, duck
quills, or porcupine, for pond fishing. Small shot are the
best to poise the float, as it is better to have a greater num-
ber of shot in preference to a few large ones.
The lob-worm is a good bait for salmon, trout, perch,
chub, and eels; and is to be found with the dew-worm in
loamy soils, or fallow fields newly ploughed. Gilt tails, or
brandlings, and red worms are to be found in old dung-hills,
hot-beds, &c., and are good bait for tench, perch, bream,
and gudgeon, when well scoured, which is done by placing
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them in moss for a few hours. The oak-worm, cabbage-
worm, canker-worm, and colewort-worm are to be found on
the leaves of trees, plants, &c., and are good bait for chub,
trout, roach, dace, or tench. Maggots or gentles are readily
taken by all kinds of fish; they must be kept in wheat bran
to scour them. Minnows, dace, bleak, perch, &c., are good
bait for pike. Greaves are a good bait for barbel, roach,
chub, and dace. The wasp grub, and the grasshopper, are
eagerly taken by almost any fish in clear streams about
ARTICLES REQUISITE FOR ANGLERS.
Hooks of various sizes; floats; lines; caps, for floats;
split shot; gentle box; worm bags; a plummet, for taking
the depth; landing net; clearing ring; disgorger; winches
for running line; pan, for live bait, &c. The lines should
be four yards long.
SALT WATER ANGLING.
At the mouths of rivers flowing up from the sea, piers,
&c., whiting, plaice, turbot, &c., may be taken. Bait with
shrimps, gentles, or red worms at the mouth of rivers; and
when angling from a boat or pier, &c., a raw crab, a piece
of whiting, or two or three red worms. The tackle neces-
sary will be a strong rod, good line leaded, large hook, and
For bottom fishing care should be taken properly to
plumb the depth without disturbing the water. When the
water is not deep, keep as far from it as you can. The use
of fine tackle will enable you the sooner to become proficient.
Do not lose your patience if you do not at once meet with
the success you anticipated, or if your tackle breaks, but
endeavour to repair it. In close weather, or with a gentle
rain, fish will bite best; also with a gentle wind from the
south-west. Fish will seldom bite with a north wind,
except in sheltered places. Keep the sun in your face, if
possible, as your shadow will frighten the fish. If you
should hook a good fish, keep your rod bent, or he will
break your line, or his hold. Never attempt to land a
large fish by laying hold of the line, but always have a land-
ing net prepared. In the morning early, or after five in
the evening, are the best parts of the day for angling. Al-
ways keep your tackle neat and clean, and they will be
ready when required. Take care to be well clad, and wear
thick-soled shoes, or you may take cold. If you should fish
in company with any one, let there be a distance of forty
yards between you. Fish as close to the bank as you can.
Patience in this, as in every pursuit of life, is particularly
essential, for with perseverance, success must eventually
THE many advantages of swimming are too generally
appreciated, to require that we should enter here into any
lengthened recommendation of the art. It may be sufficient
to draw attention to the fact, that those who cannot swim,
invariably express great regret for not having learned:
while those who can, always speak of it with evident feelings
of pleasure and satisfaction. These facts are sufficient
proof of the high and universal estimation in which it is
held, and we would earnestly advise our young friends, not
to lose any opportunity of acquiring an art, the practice of
which is so conducive to the health and vigour of the body,
and is frequently the means of saving not only our own lives,
but the lives of others.
TO BEGIN TO LEARN TO SWIM,
To put yourself in a right posture for swimming, lie
down gently on your face, keep your head and neck upright,
your breast advancing forward, and your back bending;
withdraw your legs from the bottom, and immediately stretch
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TO RETURN BACK AGAIN IN SWIMMING. 89
them out in imitation of a frog, strike out your arms for-
ward, and spread them open, then draw them in again to-
wards your breast; strike forward, make use first of your
feet, then of your hands, as many strokes as you can, and
you will find this way easy and pleasant. I have been used
to persuade those whom I have taught to swim, not at all to
fear lying along the water when they know the bottom.
It will sometimes happen that you will drink down some
water, but that ought not to discourage you; nor need you
fancy to yourself that you are not as capable of learning and
swimming as well as others, for the same thing happens
almost to all beginners; besides, it is common, at first
learning, in lying along the water to sink down, and be
almost stifled in holding one's breath. It is usual at first,
for these reasons, to administer sundry helps: as, to hold
up their chins, or give them a bundle of corks, or bladders,
which are the best helps for young beginners.
Take special care that the water is not higher than your
breast, nor shallower than up to near your waist.
TO RETURN BACK AGAIN IN SWIMMING.
To turn back, you must turn the palm of your right
hand outward from you, and strike out the arm the same
way, and do exactly the contrary with your left hand and
arm, striking that inwards the contrary way, embracing, as
it were, the water on that side.
TO FLOAT OR SWIM WITH THE FACE TOWARD THE
When you are upright in the water, lie down on your
back very gently, elevate your breast above the surface of
the water, and in the mean while keep your body always
extended in the same right-line, your hands lying on your
stomach, striking out and drawing in your legs successively,
and govern yourself accordingly. The best way to begin
will be by the assistance of some one's hand, or a bundle of
corks, or bladders; you have nothing to do but to lie down
gently, and take especial care that you do not, through fear,
put down one of your legs to feel for the bottom, for you
need not fear sinking, but such a motion of the foot is the
way to make you do so.
HOW TO TURN IN THE WATER.
To turn easily you must incline your head and body to
the side you would turn to, and at the same time move and
turn your legs after the same manner, as you would do to
turn the same way on land; this hinders and stops the
motion of your body forwards all at once.
If you will turn to the left, you must turn the thumb of
your right hand towards the bottom, and with the palm
open, but somewhat bent, drive off the water forward from
that side, and at the same time, with the left hand open,
and fingers close, drive the water on that side backwards,
and at once turn your body and face to the left. If you
would turn to the right, you must do just the same thing
THE TURN CALLED RINGING THE BELLS.
If you swim on your face, you must at once draw in your
feet, and strike them forwards, as you did before backwards,
at the same time striking out your hands backwards, and
putting your body in an upright posture.
If you swim on your back, you must at once draw in your
legs towards your back, and striking them down towards
the bottom, cast your body forward till you are turned on
the face: but you must take heed that you have water
sufficient, and that there are no weeds at the bottom, which
have sometimes proved fatal to the best swimmers.
ANOTHER WAY OF TURNING.
If you swim on your face, and would turn to the left,
you must extend your right hand and arm as far out before
you as you can, and turn your face, breast, and whole body
to the left, lifting up your right hand towards the top of the
water, and you will find yourself on your back; and from
your back you may turn again on your face, and so on as
often as you please. That these changes of posture may
be performed with speed and agility, you must take care to
keep your legs close together, and your arms stretched out
before your breast, but not separated from one another.
TO SWIM BACKWARDS.
When lying on the back you push yourself onward with
your feet and legs; but to do the contrary, and advance for-
ward, you must, lying always on the back, keep the body
extended at full length in a straight line, the breast inflated,
so that that part of the back which is between the shoulders
must be concave (or hollow,) and sunk down in the water,
the hands on the stomach. Being, I say, in this posture,
you must lift up your legs one after another, and draw
them back with all the force you can towards your back,
letting them fall into the water, for thus you will return to
the place whence you came.
TO TURN ONE'S SELF LYING ALONG.
It seems at first sight, that to turn one's self, and turn
one's self lying along, were the same thing; but to turn
lying along, you must keep yourself in a posture extended
and lying on the back, the top of your arms close to your
sides, turning the lowest joint of your right hand outwards;
the legs at a distance from one another, at least a foot, or
thereabouts. The soles of your feet turned towards the
bottom of the water. In this posture you may turn as you
please towards the right or left side. This may be service-
able in several circumstances; for it often happens, that a
person swimming on his back, may be forced against a
bank, or among weeds; wherefore a ready way of turning