The Baldwin Library
qp L /
i j "
-. _-_-_ 4 t
-- __.., ..j.
^._--- -. -. i i i i. .... .. ... i. i iii. i iim ni ^ -..,
a 1 .
L I' '-...-.- .. .. 'I j
'*, ., ..
OC a' WOOD p
.. . . ... E
r. .'t -
CRSB LOSWO h.t. TUONR &LCU
n?;r I' L
BOY'S OWN BOOK:
^ Cnmplae ^nq lopahib
SPORTS AND PASTIMES;
ATHLETIC, SCIENTIFIC, AND RECREATIVE.
2 fi l e b e bF ti o n ,
THOROUGHLY REVISED AND CONSIDERABLY ENLARGED.
A playground is an emblem of the world;
Its gamesome boys are men in miniature;
The most important action of the man
May find its parody 'mong childhood's sports;
And life itself, when longest, happiest
In boyhood's brief and jocund holiday.
CROSBY LOCKWOOD AND CO.,
7, STATIONERS'-HALL COURT, LUDGATE HILL.
C : ^ -------- --- r -- _": :
POPULAR ENCYCLOPADIA of the Sports and Pastimes of
Boyhood and Youth-a companion for all holidays- a
A/ friend at all seasons-a competent adviser upon every-
,&r /thing connected with the diversions of Country and Town;
y of Land and Water; of the Play-ground, the Drawing-room,
S> ^the Laboratory, and the Garden-is a desirable addition to
( every boy's library. Such a work is the BOY's OWN BooK,
( If imitation be-as it has been aptly pronounced-the
highest form of compliment, the proprietors of the BoY's
If OWN BOOK have ample reason for congratulation; for it
would be difficult to find any work that has had so many
imitators. Originally produced more than a quarter of a
century ago, it has long since attained the dignity of a standard work;
and, having passed through scores of editions, to the delight and instruction
of myriads of readers, it still holds its proud position as the recognized
authority upon everything pertaining to the amusements of English boys,
at home and abroad. This extraordinary success has naturally stimu-
lated to fresh exertions; as new editions have been called for, the value of
the book has been increased by successive improvements and additions.
The Publishers have now, once more, the pleasure of presenting the
work in a greatly enlarged and, it is believed, much improved form.
While nothing of consequence has been omitted from this new edition,
additions of a very marked and extensive character have been made to
its pages, and it may safely be said that it now, more fully than ever,
deserves the title of "the Justinian of the Playground," so happily be-
stowed upon it by one of its critics. Every article has been either
thoroughly revised or entirely re-written.
The Minor Indoor and Outdoor sports have been extended, and among
the Athletic Amusements will be found the new rules of Cricket; descrip-
tions of the modern methods of playing Football; full directions for
playing the fashionable games of Croquet and Troco; the old English
games of Hockey, Rackets, Fives, Tennis, Bowls, Quoits, etc.; the Italian
game of Pallone ; the Scottish sports of Curling and Golf; the modern
system of Scientific Gymnastics ; Broadsword and Singlestick; Boxing and
Wrestling; Riding, Driving, etc.
Under the head of Athletic Sports must also be included five subjects of
rising importance, viz. :-Lawn Tennis, Badminton, American Base Ball,
the Canadian Game of La Crosse, and Bicycling. All of these are very
fully and elaborately treated and illustrated.
To the pages on Aquatic Sports have been added remarks on Sea
Fishing, and instructions in Canoeing; while the article on Rowing has
been further embellished by several new woodcuts.
An entirely new section, devoted to Drawing-room Games, has been
introduced, in which will be found full directions for the arrangement of
Acting and Pantomime Charades, Proverbs, Tableaux Vivants, Bouts Rimes,
Definitions, and other favourite entertainments.
The chapters on Games of Skill-hitherto represented only by Chess and
Draughts (both of which subjects are now re-written and improved)-have
been increased by the addition of Billiards, Bagatelle, Dominoes, Back-
gammon, Solitaire, and many other home amusements.
The section devoted to Domestic Natural History has been augmented
by a chapter on Dogs, an account of the Aquarium, and instructions on the
best methods of Indoor Gardening, the preparation of Seaweeds, Shells, etc.;
with numerous suggestions as to the management of Home Pets.
In the Scientific Department will be found a copious guide to Practical
Photography; while the several chapters on Chemistry, Electricity, Optics,
etc., are enriched by many new and interesting facts and experiments;
articles are now first introduced on the philosophy and uses of the Micro-
scope and the Telescope; and careful and elaborate instructions are afforded
to the amateur Pyrotechnist.
The young Conjuror will find, in the pages descriptive of Legerdemain
and Prestidigitation, accounts of the most striking and remarkable of the
modern feats and deceptions-including the Rope Trick, the Ghost Illusion,
the Indian Basket Trick, the Japanese Butterflies, the Talking Head, etc.;
as well as very comprehensive additions to the Card Tricks. Those who are
fond of Paradoxes and Puzzles will also doubtless discover much to amuse
their leisure and exercise their ingenuity.
The only omission, of any extent, is that of the Riddles which have
appeared in former editions. It was thought that this subject-being one
which is amply provided for in minor works entirely devoted to it-might
well give way to make room for the many and important additions noted
above; especially as a mere selection only, and not a complete collection,
of these ephemera could have been given.
It may be added that the labours of the Editors and Contributors have
been largely supplemented by those of the Artist. The introduction of
new subjects having necessitated an entire reconstruction of the text-
which has been reset in new and beautiful type-more than a hundred new
engravings have been inserted, to the permanent improvement and increased
value, we venture to say, of the BoY's OWN BOOK. In short, neither labour
nor expense has been spared ; it having been the ambition of the publishers
to render the work, in every respect, deserving of its great reputation and
On viewing the entire plan of the BoY's OWN BOOK, as at present
arranged, it will be found that a wider field than has been taken cannot well
be imagined. It embraces the amusements of all minds, and of all
seasons-in winter and in summer-at home and abroad. The robust and
the delicate-the contemplative and the ingenious-have each their tastes
provided for. The sports and exercises of outdoor enjoyment-the pastimes
of a winter's fireside-and the recreations of science, are copiously detailed
in our pages, which have been printed in a close type, that we might be
enabled to compress a whole library of sportful lore in the brief compass of
one handy volume. We have attempted to please seniors and juniors-to
unite the suffrages of grey-beard Wisdom and blooming Adolescence; no
easy task! but we have succeeded; the MNOR-ity has given us a MAJORITY ;
and we boldly make our appearance at the bar of public opinion, assured that
a host of advocates, appreciating our industry and our motives, would each
cheerfully undertake, on our behalf, the task of
GAMES WITH MARBLES .................. 3 SPORTS OF AGILITY AND SPEED ...... 21
GAMES WITH TOPS ....................... 11 n MISCELLANEOUS OUT-DOOR SPORTS... 36
GAMES WITH BALLS ..................... 14 IN-DOOR SPORTS .............................. 41
THE INDIAN BALL GAME .............. 21 SPORTS WITH TOYS ........................ 46
M INOR GAMES............ ..................... 59 FORFEITS .............................. ........ 75
SHADOW PANTOMIMES .................... 67 ACTING CHARADES........................... 77
BOUTS RIMES ..................*.................. 70 ACTING PROVERBS ........................... 88
DEFINITIONS ................ ................... 73 TABLEAUX VIVNTS ............................ 95
CRICKET ...... ............. ....................... 101 L3A CROSSE ...................o...S............ 165
GOLF ............... .......... ................... 127 BOWLS, QUOITS, ETC........................ 170
SHINTY .................... ................... 130 FENCING4...... ... ................ ......... 177
FOOTBALL ....................................... 131 BROADSWORD AND SINGLE-STICK ...... 195
CROQUET.......................................... 138 ARCHERY ....................................... 201
TROCO ............................................. 145 R ID NG ...............O .... ...... ............... 209
H OCKEY .. ........................................ 146 DRIVING .......................................... 223
RACKETS AND FIVES ........................ 147 BICYCLING ......... .........g............... 232
TENNIS AND PALLONE ............... ..... 149 GYMNASTICS ................... ........*.. *0.... 242
"LAWN TENNIS ................................. 151 DUMB BELLS AND INDIAN CLUBS ... 253
BADMINTON ................................. 156 BOXING AND WRESTLING ............... 258
BASE BALL .............................. 159
uq tir i pnrts.
ANGLING ......................... 263 SAILING ...........g .. ...* .................... 307
SEA FISHING ......... ................ ....... 266 SKATING .......................................... 319
SWIMMING ....................................... 283 IN-DOOR SKATING ........................... 325
R OW ING e ........ ...... ......................... 298 SLIDIN G .......................................... 326
CANOEING ........................ & 304 CURLING........................ ........................ 327
jre M htnralist.
SINGING BIRDS ......... ........ ........ ... 329 DOGS ...................... ......................... 404
TALKING BIRDS ............................ 353 CATS................................... 413
DOMESTIC FOWLS ........................... 361 SQUIRRELS .................................... 414
TURKEYS .............................. 370 WHITE MICE................................. 416
GUINEA FOWL ................................ 372 SELKWORMVS ................. .............. .. 418
G EESE .......................................... 373 B EES ............................................. 422
DUCKS ...................................... 374 GOLD AND SILVER FISH .................. 428
PIGEONS ...................... ................... 377 AQUARIUM ............ ............... .............. 430
RABBITS .......................................... 392 GARDENING ............... .................... 434
GUINEA PIGS ................................. 402 IN-DOOR GARDENING(...................... 447
}ripntifir irrrr inis.
ARITHMETICAL AMUSEMENTS ......... 451 ACOUSTICS AND PNEUMATICS............ 523
M AGNETISM ................................... 465 OPTICS ......................................... 528
ELECTRICITY .............................474 THE MICROSCOPE ......... ..... 547
GALVANISM AND ELECTRO-MAGNETISM 481 THE TELESCOPE ............................. 555
CHEMISTRY ................................... 494 PHOTOGRAPHY ............. ............. ...... 557
FIREWORKS ................................... 511 THE STEREOSCOPE........................... 575
AEROSTATIC AMUSEMENTS ............... 519 MISCELLANEA .............................. 578
Onm s nf kill.
CBESS............................................. 583 Fox AND GEESE ............................. 627
DRAUGHTS ..................................... 607 AGOg, OR THE QUEEN'S GUARDS ... 627
BACKGAMMON ................................. 618 M INOR GAMES............................... 630
DOMINOES .................................... 22 BAGATEL... ............................ ........ 632
SOLITAIRE .... ... ............................... 625 BILLIARDS ................................ .... 635
SIMPLE DECEPTIONS AND EASY TRICKS 649 FEATS WITH SPECIAL APPARATUS, ETC. 679
TRICKS WITH MONEY ................... 657 PARADOXES AND PUZZLES ............... 697
TRICKS WITH CARDS...................... 663 DEAF AND DUMB ALPHABET ............ 709
ii -- P r-
GAMES 'WITH MARBLES.
."..-,"~--~~-_-___._-----.---------_ s7-: 3 -U-----+-
,- SPORTS WT..1. To s.
A 4 1j _-_-_-_
i f"^t~TS O A!I*IT Y
*'-. i -h ',
-p OXJTI)OOI I INDOOr(l srII 01U IIII 4.II
4, F)OtIY VXrt I~c`'.
SfB lith e boyh ood is th e h holiday of lifo;
The joyous spirits then impart a zest
To tops and marbles which rnan's graver toys
Though bought at golden prices, ever lack.
S LL work and no play, says the proverb, makes Jack a
dull boy; and the Latin poet Horace tells us that
"we must not expect a sound mind in a weak
body. In our day these truths are universally accepted, and all who
S have the care of youth acknowledge the value of recreation as a good
introduction to study. As there are games for all seasons, so there
Share games for all ages; and we cannot do better in our "Boy's Own
Book" than begin- at the beginning, and say what we have to say about
minor outdoor and in-door sports, before we describe the grand ball
Games of Cricket, Croquet, and Football, or initiate the reader into the
mysteries of Archery, Gymnastics, and Fencing.
What paterfamilias but remembers the days when "Peg in the Ring,"
"Follow my Leader," "Prisoners' Base," and "Leap Frog," formed the chief business
Mytrre f rhry ynatc, n enig
Whtptefmlisbt eebestedaswen"Pg nte ig"
FolwmyLae,"1 rsoes Bs, nd1 ep rg" omdth he bsns
2 MINOR SPORTS.
of his life ? And now, while writing about these minor sports, we are carried back in
imagination to the days when we flew our kites upon the breezy downs, or joined with
our class-mates in a game at "Increase Pound." How well we remember that cheerful
parlour, in which, during the Christmas holidays, when mincemeat, plum-puddings,
and young parties were most abundant, we bore a part in the exhilirating and harmless
fire-side sports of the season. Our occupation revives the memory of that dilapidated
ruin-the court of that mouldering castle, with a tall and stately elm rising from one
of its corners, and the outward sides of its walls bedecked with ivy, apparently ages
old, the constant home and nestling-place of innumerable birds-the scene of our chief
exploits at "Fives ;" the garden-walk where our school-swing was erected, between
two gigantic sister pear trees; and, in brief, of all those places where we played the
games that were the delight of our holidays; when a sportive bout at Saddle my
Nag was, in itself, an ample recompence for the last two hours of study, employed in
working an intricate question in arithmetic, composing a theme on some difficult
subject, rendering a portion of the Iliad into Latin hexameters, or a passage of Pope
into French prose.
We are surely bringing no disgrace on our boyhood by avowing that we dearly
enjoyed the sports of the play-ground. The line of a talented writer, A dunce at syntax.
but a dab at taw," has, by a thoughtless few, been converted into a proverb; and those
who were most eminent for their activity and love of the usual amusements of youth
out of school, have thus been unjustly stigmatized as inattentive students. We have
generally found the reverse to be the fact. Indeed, we have often remarked, that the lads
who led the sports in the play-ground, stood high in their classes in the school-room.
"There is a time for all things," is a trite, but, in this case, an applicable observation:
the scholastic discipline wisely allots certain hours in the day for recreation; they
should be employed in healthful and agreeable pastime, so as to prepare the boy to
return with mental vigour to his books: study should give a relish to sport, and sport
a zest to study. But while we recommend that the school-room should be forgotten
in the play-ground, we would impress on our young readers the necessity of forgetting
the play-ground in the school-room.
In the Minor Sports which follow we have endeavoured to make our explanations
as plain and simple as we can; always remembering that boys prefer rather to be told
how to do a thing than to be wearied with details as to its origin or introduction.
"GAMES WITH MARBLES.
2- --- -- = r '----' ,.
-T seems most probable that the
original games at marbles were
played with round pebbles or the bouldered stones of the sea-
shore; but by the assistance of art, perfect spheres have now taken
the place of the rude toys of the early players. The best marbles
are really made of marble, whence their name; but inferior kinds
) are produced of glazed pottery ware; and lately marbles of glass
have been extensively sold. These glass marbles are very pretty to
J look at, being variously marked and coloured; but they will not
Stand such hard knocks and severe wear as the real Dutch alleys.
The Dutch were for many years the chief producers of marbles,
\ and even now do a large trade in them. The greater number of the
SDutch marbles are made of a hard stone or marble, found near
Coburg, in Saxony. This stone is first broken with hammers into
small cubical fragments, which are then placed, a couple of hundred or
so at a time, in a mill somewhat resembling a flour-mill. The lower stone,
which is fixed and at rest, has several concentric circular grooves; the upper stone,
which is of the same size as the lower one, is made to revolve by water or wind
power, and the cubical pieces are gradually introduced between the two. Small
4 MINOR SPORTS.
streams of water are passed through the furrows of the lower stone, and the pressure
of the upper stone on the little pieces rolls them over and over in all directions,
reducing their rough surfaces, and in about fifteen or twenty minutes turns them out
of the mill perfectly round and smooth.
A game at marbles is healthful and exciting, and requires a considerable degree
of skill. Dr. Johns on says, "Whatever you would do, however trifling in itself, strive
to do it well;" and even to shoot a marble with precision, and to hit your mark
cleverly, much practice is necessary. When one marble, from a clever player, hits
another, it is with a sharp, cracking sound, coming quickly upon the ear;" unlike
the dribble, which sounds dull and heavy. "At an academy near London, the son of
the master was quite blind, and consequently could not play at marbles with his
father's pupils. Still his ear was so acute, that he was always called upon as umpire,
when any difficulty arose as to the probability of the player (from distance or position)
hitting the shot; and when it was properly done, would exclaim, A fair shot, that :
and his decision was never questioned."
A small circle is drawn on the ground within which one player builds a pyramid,
by placing three marbles triangularly, and
S a fourth in the centre, on the top of them.
Any other player may then shoot at the
pyramid, at an agreed distance, by giving
for each time of shooting, to the one who
^ '^- ~ keeps the pyramid, a marble. If the shooter
strike the pyramid with his taw, as many
of the marbles composing the pyramid as
Smay be driven out of the circle, belong to
<.-- the shooter, and the pyramid is constantly
"to be kept up complete by its owner. This
is a good in-door game; variety and additional interest may be given to it by each
player taking the office of pyramid-keeper at stated intervals.
Three small holes are dug, about a yard and a half asunder; a line is drawn
about two yards from the first hole, from which the players begin the game. Chance
decides who shall have the first shoot; the object is to drive the marble into the first
hole; if this be done, the player shoots again, at the distance of a span, toward the
second. If, however, he miss the hole, the second player begins, and each shoots,
alternately, as the other misses. After having shot the marble into a hole, the player
is allowed, if his adversary's marble be near, to drive it, with his own, as far as he
san, and, if he strike it, to shoot again. The game is won by the player who gets
first into the last hole, in the following order:-first hole, second, third-second, first
-second, third. A clever player will sometimes shoot away all his adversaries'
MINOR SPORTS. 5
marbles without proceeding beyond the first or second hole; and in this way win the
game. Before you can kill a taw," that is, shoot at another marble, you must make
your first hole.
This game, in some parts of England, is called Nio-holes. It has various names,
and is sometimes played with iron bullets instead of marbles. The marbles are bowled
at a board set upright, resembling a bridge with nine small vches, all of them
S2 4 O 2 a
numbered; if the marble strike against the sides of the arches, it becomes the pro-
perty of the boy to whom the board belongs; but if it go through any one of them,
the bowler claims a number equal to the number upon the arch it passed through.
We have seen the boards in this game marked above some of the arches with nihils,
in this order :-5, 0, 1, 2, 0, 3, 0, 4, 0. In some places, where there are no nihils on
the board, and the numbers go beyond five, the bowler not only loses his marble, if it
strike against the sides of the arches, but also gives the board-keeper a marble each
time he bowls. The taw is sometimes shot instead of bowled, which makes the game
more difficult and interesting.
This game is played with large marbles, called bonces. One player pitches his
marble some distance from the starting-place, and his opponent takes aim at it, and
endeavours to strike it. The other player then aims at the marble of his adversary,
and so the game is continued, each player throwing by turns. When either succeeds
in striking the once of his opponent, he receives a forfeit of one or more marbles
from him, as may be agreed on. The bonce must be pitched underhand, and not
thrown or jerked.
EGGS IN THE BUSH.
A good in-door game, and played by two, thus :-One holds, in his closed hand, a
certain number of marbles, and the other guesses; should he guess right he wins
them, but if he be over or under, he has to pay so many as will make up or leave the
exact number: for example-should A, the player, have eight in his hand, and the
other, B, guess three, B will have to give A five to make up the eight; or should B
guess ten, he will have to give A two, that being the number more than he held. The
fun of the game is making the closed hand appear great or small, in opposition to the
number concealed in it. The players hold the "Eggs in the Bush," and guess
alternately. This amusing game may be played with nuts, buttons, etc.
6 MINOR SPORTS.
Any number may play at this game, which, perhaps, requires little skill, much
depending on chance, and also on the inequalities of the ground upon which it is
played. A gentle slope should be chosen, as likely to render the game most interest-
ing. The first player throws a marble sharply against a wall, so that it rebounds to
a distance not exceeding Lwo yards; the second player throws another marble against
the wall, endeavoLlng to make it rebound, so as to strike the first, which, if it does,
he wins; ne misses it his marble is left on the ground, and the next player tries
his .-11 in the same way. The game thus proceeds until a marble is hit, which
"entitles the hitter to all the marbles that may be on the ground. Much excitement is
often created whilst watching the ziz-zag course of a marble that has been played, all
wondering if it will touch this or that, going now within a hair's-breadth of one, and
yet not touching it; almost realizing the anticipations of its owner, and then, at last,
slowly stopping, uselessly, at the termination of its devious journey, there to remain
as a mark for the next player's shot. The game is also played with buttons.
HANDERS, OR TIPSHARES.
A hole about three inches wide is to be made in the ground near a wall; a line or
garter is then drawn at about eight feet from it. The game, when played by two, is
as follows :-It is first agreed upon what number of marbles shall be played; and each
player is to stake the same number at every throw, which they are to have alternately.
Suppose the number to be three each: the thrower will then have six marbles, which
he is to hold in his hand, and endeavour to pitch, at one throw, from the garter into
the hole-his object being, that an even number shall fall in, say two, four, or six;
he then wins them all. Should an odd number fall in, as one, three, or five, he loses
all, and his opponent takes them up: the game then continues, each player staking
more marbles. If more than two are playing, the number of marbles to be thrown
each time is decided as before, and then turns are to be settled by chance, or otherwise.
Suppose there are six players, A, B, C, D, E, F, there must be the like number of
games played, to give all an equal chance, as will be readily perceived by considering
the rules. After turns are settled, A, or the first player, takes all the marbles in his
hand, pitches them at one throw from the garter to the hole, and keeps all that fall in;
B takes up what remain, and throws in the same manner, keeping all he pitches in; so
follow C, D, E, F; but it frequently happens that there are none left for the latter ones
to go with; the consequence is that they become the first players of the next game,
and this renders all fair. This game is sometimes called "Tipshares," but is little
known about London by that name. It is also played with buttons.
SPANS AND SNOPS.
This is a very simple game. One player first shoots his marble, the second then
endeavours to strike or snop it, or otherwise to shoot his own within a span of it.
If he miss or do not shoot within the span, the first player, from the spot where his
marble rests, in like manner, shoots at that of the second; and so on, until a snop or
MINOR SPORTS. 7
span is made, when the marble snopped or spanned is taken, and the game begun
anew by the winner. This game is also played with buttons.
ODD AND EVEN.
This amusing little game is very easily played. One boy takes a certain number
of marbles, nuts, or buttons, from his bag, and conceals them in his closed hand. His
opponent then guesses "odd" or "even"; and if his guess is right, he receives one
marble from the player, and if wrong, he pays one, each player taking his turn to
SHOOT IN THE RING, OR RING-TAW.
Here we have the real game of marbles, the scientific game; the game of Ring-
taw, as it was called in the olden times. Besides a knowledge of the rules, there
needs much dexterity and tact; for example,-if, in playing this game, your marble
should roll near to a wall or fence, you are compelled, not having room to kneel behind
it, to shoot or fillip it from the knee; and should your marble touch the wall, or what-
ever obstructed it, you must then send it from the hip: both operations being very
difficult of execution to an unpractised player. There is also the knuckle-down, which
you are bound to do, if called upon by those with whom you are playing: to knuckle-
down, the middle joint of the fore-finger must touch the ground when you shoot, and
the hand must remain in that position after the shot has left it; this is obviously just,
as it prevents the player pushing his marble nearer to the ring previous to delivering
it from his hand.
Some years ago, a Blue at Christ's Hospital possessed such power and dexterity
in filliping a marble, that he undertook to stand on the pavement opposite Burlington
House, in Piccadilly, and fire at, and hit, thirty times running, fair fillips, one of the
stone balls on the wall in front of the building,-a perpendicular height of about
twenty-five feet. He accomplished his task, and returned to Newgate Street, accom-
panied by a numerous train of brother Blues, the acknowledged Prince of Marble
Players. The feelings of the Duke of Wellington, after the glorious battle of Waterloo
must have been insignificant compared with those of this young hero of the marbles;
yet, it must be confessed, they both gained their laurels by the firing of shots.
The rules of Ring-taw vary in different places; but the following are the most
general :-A circle is drawn, into which each player places as many marbles as may
be agreed on. A line, called the offing, is then drawn at some distance, from which
each in turn shoots at the ring. Shooting a marble out of the ring entitles the shooter
to go on again, and thus the ring may be sometimes cleared by a good player before
his companion or companions have a chance. After the first fire the players return no
more to the offing, but shoot, when their turn comes, from the place where their marbles
rested on the last occasion. Every marble struck out of the ring is won by the striking
party; but if the taw at any time remain in the ring, the player is not only out, but
if he have, previously, in the course of the game, struck out any marbles, he must put
them in the ring again; and if one player strike with his taw the taw of another, the
8 MINOR SPORTS.
player whose taw is so struck is out; and if he have, previously, shot any marbles out of
the circle, he must hand them over to the party by whose taw his has been so struck.
This capital game differs from Shoot in the Ring in the following particulars :-If,
previously to any marble or shot being struck out of the ring or pound, the taw of one
of the players be struck by the taw of another (except that of his partner), or in case he
shoot his taw within the pound, in either case he puts a marble in the ring, and, before
either of the others play, shoots from the offing and continues in the game but, if the
first of these events occur after one or more shots have been struck out of the pound,
if he have previously, during that game, obtained any shots- himself, he hands them
over to the party who has struck him, and also puts a shot in as before, previously to
his shooting from the offing; but if he have previously obtained no shots during the
game, he is put out of the game entirely, or "killed," by his taw being so struck; and
again, if after a shot or shots have been struck out of the pound, his taw get within it
(on the line is nothing), he puts his shots, if he have obtained any, with an additional
one, into the pound, and shoots from the offing; but if he have not obtained a shot or
shots after his taw so remains within the ring, or gets fat," as it is called, he is
killed," and stands out for the remainder of the game. At this game, when there is
only one marble left in the ring, the taw may then remain inside it, without being
"ffat." The players seldom put more than one marble each in the ring at first.
A dozen or more marbles are placed in a ring, in which the player spins a teetotum,
and as many marbles as are spun out of the ring by the teetotum become the property
of the spinner. Another way to play this game is to set the teetotum spinning, and
than, whoever succeeds in shooting at it while it is going round, receives from the rest
MINOR SPORTS. 9
of the players as many marbles as the figures show on the teetotum when it is knocked
over and lies dead. This capital game may be played on a floor or table, as well as
upon the ground.
PICKING THE PLUMS.
In this game a line is drawn along the ground, and on this line each player places
an equal number of marbles, thus-
^X)___J-Q -M .9 11 Q. ^-_^CL_.
The players then determine at what distance to mark the hob, or starting place; this
is generally made about six feet from the line. Next they take a chance for the order
of play, which is usually determined by odd or even, or shooting a marble at the
line, the nearest taking the first go, and the -next nearest the second, and so on,
according to the number of players. The first then shoots at the line from the hob,
and if he succeed in knocking away a marble, he goes on again, till he fail. The next
player does likewise, and he who succeeds in taking the largest number in the fewest
shots, wins the game. Picking the Plums is greatly improved by the next player
naming the marble to be picked out by the shooter. Sometimes bonces are used in
this game, and the player's marble remains at the place to which it rolls till it is his
turn to play again; meanwhile, a player who has succeeded in picking out a plum, has
the privilege of shooting to a distance any other player's marble within six feet of the
line; and from the place where the marble stops, its owner must play when his turn
This is a favourite game in France. Instead of the marbles being placed in a line,
as in Picking the Plums, they are arranged in a square
And it is the object of the several players to shoot them out
of the lines, from the outworks. When a player's marble
remains within the lines, he cannot go on till it has been
shot out by an antagonist; but no player can "take a
life," that is, shoot out a marble, till he has released his
antagonist. So long, however, as the player can go on
taking lives, the lives are no impediment to him, for he
shoots from the place where his marble rests, whether
within or beyond the lines.
Each player places two or more marbles in a small ring. It is then the object
of the player to stand over the ring, and holding his taw between his finger
and thumb, near to his eye, let it drop among the mass; and as many marbles
as he forces outside the ring he claims as his own. But if he fail to force out a
marble, and his taw remain in the ring, it must be left there as part of the common
10 MINOR SPORTS.
HOW TO SHOOT THE MARBLE.
Most boys know how to hold the marble when they want to shoot it away to a
distance, or strike it against another. It is not considered the right thing to merely
bowl it, or snap it off between the fingers. It should be placed between the point of the
forefinger and the first joint of the bent thumb, thus :-
The marble is then propelled from the thumb with
considerable force. It requires some practice to do this
neatly and well; but many boys can shoot a marble
a dozen yards with such precision as to make certain
of hitting another marble nine times out of ten. Take /
a good aim, keeping your eye on the marble to be
struck, and not on the one between your finger and thumb and then, with a little
practice, you will soon know how to
.6 - .^ ,- ,, ,.. . -
G^GAMES WITH T OPS.
'IS HIS is an excellent amusement. The top is easily set up by twirling
& git with both hands on a smooth surface, and
Supplying the whip with gentleness at first, in-
S5 l creasing the vigour of the blows as the top gets
^ 8 firm on its pointed end. There is a local variety
of the whip-top, known as the Colchester top, of
which an engraving is presented in the margin. Its construction
is most simple, and for spinning it is said to excel the tops made in the common form.
The principal games with whip-tops are races and 1" encounters :" in the former,
the object is to flog the top to a certain distance first; in the latter, the tops are
whipped against each other until one is knocked down. The best material for a whip,
at this capital sport, is a dried eel-skin; it far surpasses cord or leather thongs. In
Lancashire whip-tops are made with an iron toe or point, which gives them weight
and steadiness, and renders them less liable to fall.
12 MINOR SPORTS.
Humming-tops of various sizes are to be bought at the toy-shops; very little art
is necessary to use them. After the string is wound about the upright piece, one end
of it is taken in one hand, and the handle of the fork-piece in the other; the string
is pulled strongly with one hand, while the other is thrust forth firmly in an opposite
direction, and the top is set up. A moderate length of string only is necessary, as a
long string operates as an impediment. The humming is loud, and the length of the
spin is in proportion to the strength and quickness with which the top is delivered.
It perhaps never entered into the heads of any of our young readers to inquire what
it is that causes the humming. We will tell them; the rotary motion, or spinning of
the top, causes the air which is in it and that which surrounds it, to be agitated; and
by its rushing in at the hole, and being partially thrown out again at every revolution
or turn, the humming sound is produced.
The more sonorous the wood, the more pleasing the sound. Cocoa-tree wood is
considered the best; when buying your top, by blowing into the hole, you can try its
effect. Various metal tops have been lately introduced, some of which will spin for
five minutes or more. They require no separate handle, and a length of damp catgut
or whipcord is the best string.
PEG IN THE RING.
In London, peg-tops are principally used for the purpose of being spun, and taken
up to sleep," as it is called, in wooden spoons, but elsewhere regular games at peg-
top are played, in which the victors carry off capital steel pegs as trophies of their
prowess at the sport. A circle, about a yard in diameter, is first drawn on a hard
smooth piece of ground, round which stand the players. One volunteers to commence
by casting his top in the circle; and the others are at liberty to cast theirs at it,
while it remains in the ring; but as soon as it either spins, or rolls out, the owner
takes it up, and pegs at those which are still inside. If a player does not cast his
top within the ring, or attempts to take it out before it is down, or fails in spinning
when he throws, or should a top neither roll nor spin out, in either case it is con-
sidered "dead," and must be placed in the centre of the ring for the others to peg at.
There is no order in this game, the object of the player being either to split the top
of his companions, and thereby gain the peg as his trophy, or, by striking them suffi-
ciently hard, to drive them beyond the boundaries of the circle, when their owners play
with them as before. Sometimes half-a-dozen dead tops are driven out of the ring by
one cast without any of them being damaged, and if they are made of good boxwood,
they will not readily split. A top with a rather long peg is best at this game, as it
is more calculated to swerve out of the ring after it is spun; a top that sleeps after it
is cast, runs the greatest danger, and those that sleep most are heavy-bodied tops
with short, blunt pegs. The cord should be wound round nearly three parts of the
peg, as well as the top, and a button at the end of the string is better than a loop.
Some players wet the end of the string a little before winding it round the top. After
the string is wound round, the top should be held above the head, the string-button
MINOR SPORTS. 13
being close to the hand, between the little finger and the next, the peg pointing to the
wrist. The top should be thrown smartly to the ground in a curved line, with a sort
of catch at the string as it leaves the top. This, which is called the "over-hand
spin," is the most admired. There is also the under-hand," or chimney-sweep's"
way of spinning a top. This is done by throwing it forward in a
straight line, and quickly withdrawing the string. By this means
some players can spin the top in the air, and catch it in the hand.
The Spanish peg-top, of which we give a cut in the margin, is made
of mahogany, and tapered off gradually to the peg, which is short,
thick, and rounded, and not pointed as our tops are. Spanish tops -
spin nearly upright, and for thrice the usual time. It is unnecessary
to throw them with any degree of force; they spin best when set up under-handed;
so that for playing on flooring or pavement they are superior to those made in the
English fashion; although, for the same reason, they are totally unfit for "Peg in
This game is played with a peg-top and spoon, though sometimes the hand is used
instead of a spoon. A line is drawn on the ground, and a goal agreed upon, at forty
or fifty yards distant. Two small stones, or pebbles, are placed on the line, and the
player who begins, spins his top on the ground, then takes it up in the spoon, and
aims at his pebble with the peg, in order to chip it forward towards the goal. As long
as the top continues alive, he may keep taking it off the ground into his spoon, and
continue chipping; but as soon as the top is dead, he must leave his stone where it
stopped, until the other player has had his spin and chipped at the other pebble. The
first player then commences chipping from where his stone was left, and so on alter-
nately; he whose pebble first arrives at the goal wins the game. When partners play
the second chips the pebble from where the first left it, and the third from where the
second leaves it, and so on, if more in number-the partners to go one from each side
in rotation. Sometimes, when only two play, it is agreed to chip away as fast as you
can. Buttons may be used instead of pebbles.
GAMES WITH BALLS.
HE games with balls are numerous and excellent. Cricket, Croquet,
Golf, Tennis, and Football are sports of such importance as to
claim a separate place in our work, but the minor games with
"Balls our young reader will find under the present head.
TRAP, BAT, AND BALL.
SThis game is by many considered to rank next to Cricket. The
ball being much smaller than a cricket ball, is more difficult to catch. The bat
generally used by all except very young players, is flat, about one inch thick, and
In placing the trap for play, it is best to sink the heel a little in the ground. The
following are the laws of the game :-Two boundaries are rormed, equally placed, and
at an agreed distance on each side of the trap,
between which it is necessary the ball should pass
when struck by the batsman; and if it fall outside
either of them he is out. The game is played by
any number, either singly or by choosing sides.
The innings are tossed up for, and the player who
is to commence, places the ball in the hollow of the
trap, strikes the trigger with the bat, and, as the
ball leaps from the trap, strikes it as far as he can.
One of the other players endeavours to catch it;
if he does so before it reaches the ground, or if the
striker miss the ball when he aims at it, or hits the
"trigger more than twice without striking the ball,
-or makes an offer (the trigger to be touched but
once), he is out, and the next in order takes his
place. Should the ball be fairly struck and not caught, an out-player runs after it
and throws it up to the trap from the place where he stopped it. If he hit the trap
with the ball, the player is out; but if he miss it, the striker goes on again and
counts one point toward game, which may be any number decided on, or which may
be won by the side making the largest score. There is also a practice, in some places,
when the bowler has sent in the ball, of the striker's guessing the number of bat's
lengths it is from the trap: if he guess within the real number, he reckons tha;-
number toward his game; but if he guess more than there really are, he loses his
innings. The game may be played with one, two, or more innings on either side.
MINOR SPORTS. 15
In playing, do not strike the trigger too forcibly, but sufficiently so to raise the ball
about a foot and a-half from the trap, and catch it in your hand once or twice instead
of striking, before you call play." This will enable you to judge better where you
should stand, so as to strike the ball with greater force, and to observe in which direc-
tion you should send it with the least chance of its being caught. Players frequently
miss the ball by being in too great a hurry to strike; remember also, that the ball
should be allowed to rise to its greatest height, and struck as it is falling.
NORTHERN-SPELL; OR, NURR AND SPELL."
Northern-spell is played with a trap, a ball, and either a bat or stout stick, but the
latter is most commonly used. This pastime does not require the attendance of either
of the parties in the field to catch or stop the ball, for the contest between them is
simply who shall strike it to the greatest distance in a given number of strokes; the
length of each stroke is measured before the ball is returned, by means of a cord made
fast at one end, near the trap, the other end being stretched into the field by a person
stationed there for that purpose, who adjusts it to the ball, wherever it may be; the
cord is divided into yards, which are properly numbered in succession, so that the
person at the bottom of the ground can easily ascertain the distance of each stroke by
the number of the yards, which he calls to the players, who place it to their account,
and the ball is thrown back. This pastime possesses but little variety, and is by no
means so amusing to the bystanders as Tra-, Bat, and Ball.
This capital game with bat and ball is very generally admired. The bat used
is a smooth, round stick, about two feet in length. The players are divided into
two equal parties, and chance decides which shall have the first
innings. Five stones or posts, called bases, are placed from
twelve to twenty yards asunder, as a, b, c, d, and the fifth (e) has j
a circle drawn round it for "home," as shown in the margin. The
out-players are scattered about the field, except one, called the d a
feeder, who places himself at f, from whence he tosses the ball
gently towards one of the in-players standing at home," another
out-player being stationed behind home to return the ball to the
feeder. The in-player then strikes at the ball with his stick, and should he succeed
in hitting it, he immediately runs to the base a, while another in-player takes up the bat,
and is served or fed with the ball; however, he need not stop at a, if he thinks he
can reach another base, b, c, or d, or even home again, without being struck with the
ball by the feeder or any of the out-players. Should he be so struck, he is out. The
in-player is also out if he miss striking the ball, or if the ball, when struck, falls
behind home, or is caught by any of the out-players. An in-player stopping at a
base should keep his eye on the feeder, and when he sees him toss the ball to a striker,
he should immediately run for the next base. Feeder is allowed to pretend to toss
the ball in order to tempt a player to leave his base, and hit him with the ball as he
16 MINOR SPORTS.
runs, thus putting him out of the game. As the in-players arrive at home, after
passing through the other bases, they take the bat in rotation until they are all out.
When all are out but one, this last player claims two fair hits for the rounder;" or
if two players remain one may resign, and the other take the rounder," thus :-He
stands at the home, and the feeder tosses the ball to him; if it does not appear to
suit him, he need not strike at it, and the feeder must toss the ball to him as often
as he requires, provided he does not strike at it. He need not run the first time he
strikes at the ball, should he not send it a sufficient distance; but the second time, if
he hit the ball, he must run round all the bases in rotation without being struck by
the ball, and before it shall have been grounded in the circle, or "home." Should he
accomplish this feat, the players on his side go in again, and begin the game as at
first; if not, the opposite side take their places. Of course, if he miss the ball whilst
striking at it the second time, the rounder is lost. If at any time the number of the
side should have greatly diminished, and these happen to be all at the several
bases, and no one left at the home to strike, then, should the feeder or any player
of the opposite side run to the home and ground the ball in the ring, the in-players
are put out, and the feeder's party go in. If he miss the ring in throwing, and any
player from either of the bases get regularly home, the in-players continue the game
A game similar to Rounders is popular in the United States, where it is known as
the 3Ball Game."
This game is played with three bases only by any number of players. One takes
the place of feeder, and remains so until he puts one of the others out by catching his
ball as it leaves his bat, or by striking him with the ball while he is running from
base to base, as at Rounders. There are no sides at Feeder, the players taking the
post of feeder as they are respectively put out; and thus the game goes on.
STRIKE UP AND LAY DOWN.
This is a very simple but not unamusing game with a stick and ball, for two or
more players. He who begins it throws up the ball, as from the trap in Trap-bat, and
strikes at it as it falls. If he succeed in hitting it away, he lays down his stick on the
ground, for the out-players to throw the ball in to. If the ball, so thrown back, hit
the bat, or if the ball when struck by the batsman is caught by a fielder, or if the
batsman in taking aim miss the ball, he is out, and the next in rotation takes his place.
Sometimes two misses are allowed among young players. The ball used in this game,
as well as in Rounders and Feeder, is a small hard one, similar to that used in
Tennis and Rackets.
NINE-HOLES, OR EGG-HAT.
Near a wall where the ground is level dig nine or a less number of holes, according
to the number of players, large enough for a ball to be bowled in without difficulty.
Number them, and let each player be allotted a number, by chance or choice, as it may
be agreed. A line is drawn about five yards from the holes, at which one of the
MINOR SPORTS. l2
players places himself, and bowls the ball into one of the holes. The player to whom
the hole into which the ball is bowled belongs, picks it up as quickly as he can, and
endeavours to strike one of the others with it (the latter all run off as soon as they
perceive that the ball is not for themselves); if the thrower miss his aim, he loses a
point, and is called a fiver," and it is his turn to bowl; if, however, he strike another,
he loses nothing; but the party so struck, in case he fail to hit another with the ball,
becomes a fiver," and it is his turn to bowl. Five or six may be struck in succession,
and the ball may be kept up, no matter how long, until a miss be made, when the
party so missing loses a point and bowls. It is also allowed for one player to accept
the ball from another, and run the risk of striking a third: thus, if A stand close
behind B, and C have the ball in front of B, A may signify by motions that he will
take the ball, which is then thrown towards him by C; he catches it, and endeavours
to strike B before he can run away; if he miss he loses a point, and bowls. The
second bowling is conducted precisely as the first; but he who bowls three times
without passing the ball into a hole loses a point, and if he have lost one before,
becomes "a tenner;" he must still go on, until he succeed in putting the ball into a
hole; it is his own fault if he bowl into that which belongs to himself. A party who
misses his aim a second time becomes a "tenner," he who loses a third point a
fifteener," and when four points are lost the party stands out. The game goes on
until all the players are out but one; the latter wins the game.
This game is sometimes called Egg-Hat," on account of the players using their
caps instead of digging holes; the ball, in this case, is tossed into the caps instead of
being bowled into the holes.
This is the simplest of all the ball games. Instead of bowling the ball into holes,
it is thrown in the air, and the name of the player for whom it is intended called out
by the thrower. If it be caught before it has twice touched the ground by the player
so called on, he loses no point, but throws it up again, and calls upon whom he pleases
to catch it. If it be not caught in due time, he whose name is called must endeavour
to strike one of the others with it; if he miss he loses a point, and has his throw up.
The remainder of the game, the number of points, and the losers' punishment, are all
precisely as in Nine-holes; of the two it is the better game.
This is Catch-ball played by four players, who throw the ball from one to the other,
varying the order of the throw as may suit their fancy, and delivering the ball high
or low, swift or slow, as the case may be. When played in sides, the party making
the smallest number of misses in a given number of balls wins, the only stipulation
being, that every fair ball shall reach the catcher before it touches the ground.
THE DAYS OF THE WEEK.
This lively game is played by six or seven players, who severally call themselves
Monday, Tuesday, etc. The first player tosses the ball against a high wall, and calls
18 MINOR SPORTS.
upon any player to catch it on its rebound by crying the day of the week which he
represents. If the player named, say Wednesday, succeed in catching the ball, he
throws it up again and calls another player; the fun consisting in calling a player who
is distant, and so creating much merriment.
Originally this game was played with a distended bladder, but now an India-rubber
ball is used instead. The object of the players is to toss the ball from hand to hand
without allowing it to reach the ground. Though there is little in the description of
the game it is very lively and amusing.
When the ball is heavy it is usual to protect the arm with a leather gauntlet,
as in the ancient Italian game of Pallone, described further on. In France this
amusement is as popular among school-boys as Football is with us; and we see no
reason why it should not be practised with advantage by English lads, especially as
large India-rubber balls are now commonly sold in the toy-shops. The illustration
here given will better explain how the game is played than almost any amount of
Another kind of Balloon-ball is made of India-rubber distended to such a degree of
tenuity, or thinness, as to be capable of being kept up in the air by a mere touch.
Some time since balloon-balls, filled with hydrogen gas, were sold in London, but their
danger caused them to be discountenanced, and they have therefore ceased to be so
Pall Mall, or Mall, was a fashionable game in the time of the Stuarts, and
from it the beautiful street of clubhouses at the West-end of London and the fine
MINOR SPORTS. 19
avenue of trees in St. James's Park take their names. The object in Pall Mall, or
Pale-maille, is (or was, for the game is now superseded by Croquet) to drive a
wooden ball through two or more arches placed on the ground at a distance from each
other, with a mallet-
headed stick. It was
sometimes played by per-
sons on horseback. Fre-
quent mention is made :
by the writers of the r ik
seventeenth century, of
Charles 11. having amused
himself with his courtiers -
in the park, while Nell ,
Gwynne looked on from
the garden, the back wall
of which faced the Mall.
Her house, No. 79, is now
in the occupation of the
Society for the Propaga-
tion of the Gospel. As
played in France, the
game of Pall Mall is com-
paratively simple. Three
iron arches are set up in a line, about a yard apart, and a ball is placed just
beyond the most distant one. It is the object of the player to strike his own ball
straight through the three arches in such a way as to hit the ball at the end. If he
fail to do this, the next player goes on; but he has the privilege of either playing
right through the arches or of playing his ball on to the ball that lies in his way, and
striking it to a distance. In either case, the player who first succeeds in striking his
ball fairly through the arches and hitting the ball beyond wins the game. Croquet
balls and hoops may be used at Pall Mall.
Another way of playing this game is to strike the ball through a distant hoop in a
certain number of blows with a mallet or hockey-stick, and the player who accom-
plishes the task in the smallest number of blows wins.
This old English sport is seldom played now-a-days; but it is worth describing. A
stool is set upon the ground and one of the players takes his place before it, while the
rest stand at a distance previously agreed on. One of the latter tosses the ball towards
the stool, with the intention of striking it, but this the player at the stool endeavours
to prevent by beating it away with his hand. For every ball so struck away he counts
one for game, which may be twenty or more points. But if the player miss the ball,
And it strike the stool, he is out," and the thrower of the ball takes his place. He is
20 MINOR SPORTS.
also out" if either of the players catch the ball after being struck back with his hand.
He who first makes the required number of points wins the game.
This is a more extended form of Stool-ball. It was formerly played by both
sexes, as may be seen from a verse of a song by D'Urfey, in his play of Don Quixote,"
written in 1694-
"Down in a vale on a summer's day,
All the lads and lasses met to be merry;
A match for kisses at stool-ball to play."
A number of stools are set up in a circle on the green, at a distance of half a dozen
yards from each other, a player standing beside each stool. A feeder throws the ball
towards one of the stools, and the player endeavours to strike it back with his hand.
After the ball is struck the players change places, running from stool to stool; and if
he who threw the ball can regain it in time and strike any one of the players before he
reaches the stool to which he is running, he takes his place, and the player struck
becomes the feeder ; and so on as long as the players choose to continue the merry game.
Is a very ancient game, and may be traced back to the time of the Romans. It is
usually played as follows :-
Any even number of players is divided into pairs, matching in height, strength, etc.,
and as each pair is formed, the two players walk away, and when the game begins
become individual antagonists, especially watching the movements of each other only,
during the play. When all the pairs are formed, two bushes or poles are fixed
in the ground, eight or ten feet asunder, and directly opposite to them, about two
hundred paces off, two more, the same distance apart: these are termed the goals.
Some indifferent person then throws up a ball, and whoever can catch it, and carry it
through his adversary's goal, wins the game. The difficulty consists in the party
possessed of the ball retaining it long enough for that purpose, which his antagonist
uses all his efforts to prevent, by striving to get the ball himself, as well as to impede
the other's progress. The holder of the ball strives to keep his antagonist off by thrust-
ing out his closed fist against his breast: this is called butting. According to the laws
of the game, they must hurl, player to player, and not two attack one; nor is the
holder of the ball allowed to throw it to one of his own party, who may be nearer the
goal than himself.
You must not confound Bowling with Bowls, as the latter is played upon village
greens; for the instruments with which the games are played are distinct in size and
shape, as also is the object of the two amusements. Bowling, as played on the New-
castle Town Moor, and in the fields of Northumberland, consists simply in the capacity
to bowl a small round heavy ball a certain distance, within prescribed limits, in a
larger or smaller number of throws or bowls. The ball, or bowl, varies much in weight,
MINOR SPORTS. 21
according to the taste of the players-some weighing as much as three pounds, and
others as little as three ounces. The ball is usually made of potsherd-or potshare"
as the miners generally call it-the crucible in which glass is melted. Winstone is
also used by some, but for ordinary play, a Cricket or Croquet ball will answer very
well. The Croquet balls, known as Nicholson's Patent, which are made of gutta-percha
and cocoa-nut fibre, answer capitally for this game, as well as for Hurling, Stool-ball,
and Pall-mall. The game is played in the following way :-The players, unre-
stricted in number, agree upon the distance to be bowled in the match, which generally
takes place in a field or open space. The leader begins by bowling his ball out into
the field as far as he can, and then the other players follow alternately; and he who
reaches the required distance in the shortest number of throws, wins the game. Now
although this may appear a very simple sort of amusement, where many join in it,
much pleasurable excitement is caused. At his first throw, the players may make an
" upward cast," or a ground bowl;" but after that, the ball must always be bowled
underhand, not thrown or pitched. Each player goes on from the spot at which his
ball stops, no matter what the condition of the ground; and when the latter is wet and
sloppy, this is sometimes productive of much fun. In Northumberland, a piece of tape,
or a straight stick called a "trig," is used to mark the spot on which the ball rests, and
the player is compelled to place one foot on the trig when he makes his throw.
But if the ball should happen to fall into a ditch or canal-and this is not unlikely, as
"a mile is not an unfrequent distance for a north-country match-the player may demand
"a fresh throw from his last trig ;" and if upon any occasion, the thrower fail to stride
the trig," a new throw may be demanded by any player on the opposite side. The
purpose of the trig is to prevent the player taking a run at his throw. In balls
made of potsherd, it is usual to have a small indent for the thumb of the thrower.
But this is not necessary with a Cricket or Croquet ball. The game has lately been
played in Victoria Park and Hampstead Heath, and is therefore likely to become as
popular in the South of England as it is in the North.
THE INDIAN BALL GAME.
This is a very celebrated game among many of the tribes of North American
Indians; it is played by two parties, each player having two bats, or rather net-sticks,
with which he endeavours to throw the ball beyond certain bounds. Mr. Catlin, who
resided for a long time among the aborigines of America, was present at many of these
Each party had their goal, or "bye," made with two tall, upright posts, six feet
apart, set firm in the ground, with a pole across the top. These goals were about
forty or fifty yards distant from each other, and at a point just half-way between was
another small stake ; here was the ball thrown up, at a given signal, to be struggled for
by the players.
The bats, or net-sticks, which they use, are bent m an oblong hoop at the end, with
a web of small thongs of leather tied across to prevent the ball from falling to the
ground. The players hold one of these in each hand, and by leaping into the air, they
22 MINOR SPORTS.
catch the ball between the two settings, and throw it from them without touching it
with their hands. The object of the game is to throw the ball home," that is, between
the upright poles of one of the goals; and each time this is accomplished, the player
counts one to the game, the number of which varies.
A BALL-PLAYER OF THE CHOCTAW NATION OF INDIANS.
This pleasant and healthy amusement is played by the Indians in sides or parties
of several men. Two leaders begin, and choose their several players, and upon great
occasions many hundreds assemble to see and join in the sport. Soon after dark on
the previous evening there is a dance, in which the women assist. As soon as the
ball is thrown up on the following morning, the struggle commences, and scores of
active young fellows are presently engaged; the old men, the squaws, and the children
sitting in a circle looking on. A pause takes place after each ball is hit home, and fifty
or a hundred fairly-carried balls wins the game.
This game has lately been revived in the United States under the title of Ball
Play;" and has become very popular, both sexes engaging in the contest.
| SPORTS OF AGILITY, STRENGTH, AND SPEED. 0
_- -- /1g_
HIS is a most excellent out-door pastime. It should be played in
o a field or play-ground, and the more there are engaged in it, pro-
vided they be of the same height and agility, the better is the
sport. We will suppose a dozen at play:-Let eleven of them
stand in a row about six yards apart, all with their faces in one
Sa direction, arms folded, or their hands resting on their knees, their
elbows in, and their heads bent forward, so that the chin of each
rests on his breast, the right foot a little advanced, the back a
little bent, the shoulders rounded, and the body firm. The hind-
most begins the sport, by taking a short run, placing his hands on the shoulders of the
nearest player, springing with his feet at the same time, and leaping over his head, as
represented in the cut. Having cleared the first, he goes on to the second, third, fourth,
fifth, etc., in succession, and as speedily as possible. When he has gone over the last,
he goes to the proper distance, and places himself in position for all the players to leap
over him in their turn. The first over whom he passed, follows him over the second,
third, fourth, etc., and when he has gone over, the one who began the game places
himself in like manner for the others to jump over him. The third follows the second,
and so on until the parties are tired.
Leap-Frog is sometimes played in a different manner, thus :-One places himself
with his hands on his knees, his body nearly doubled, and his side, instead of his back,
turned towards the leapers, who, with a short run, take their leap at some distance
from the lad who is to be vaulted over; he who takes his leap the furthest off is
24 MINOR SPORTS.
reckoned the best player. This, it may be readily imagined, is by no means so lively
as the Leap-Frog just described.
FLY THE GARTER.
This game may be played by any number. A line, called "the garter," is marked
on the ground, at which one of the players "makes a back," with his side to the line.
In doing so, he should be careful to keep his head well in, so as to let his chin rest upon
his breast, or he is likely to get struck by the knees of the other players. Before com-
mencing, it is agreed how many feet are to be considered the fly." The last one who
goes over the back cries Foot it," and the one down then moves on a foot distance,
which is measured by placing the heel of the right foot to the side of the left, moving
the left foot to the toe of the right, and then shifting the right foot, so as to resume his
original position. If the distance named is too great for any of the players to fly, the
one so failing takes his place at the garter; or should the last player omit to cry Foot
it," he is down. Should all succeed in flying the number of feet agreed on, the player
making the back takes a jump from his last position, and then resumes his place, as
back, at the spot where he alights; each of the other players then jump from the garter,
and fly over the back in rotation; and so the game proceeds till some one fails to
go clear over the back. If any player, either in the fly or jump, starts from inside the
garter, or places his hands on the back and removes them before going over, he is
down. The game then commences again as before.
Why this game is so called we do not know, for it is not peculiar to Spain. But as
it has been lately played in the Parks and other places in London, we must needs
describe it. One player goes down in the usual
way, and as the first jumper passes over his
back, he must leave a handkerchief, a cap, or
some light article behind him. If this article
drops from the back of the stooper before the
player is fairly over, then the latter takes his
place; but if it remain, it is the business of the
next jumper to seize and remove the article as
SS he vaults over, and so the game goes on, each
jumper alternately placing and removing the cap
or handkerchief, and becoming the horse when-
ever he fails.
Another way of playing Spanish Fly is
for each jumper to roll up his handkerchief
"like an eel, and leave it on the back of the
nag as he flies over his back. Thus when all have passed over and left their
handkerchiefs, they jump back from the other side, each taking his own property as
he makes the jump. If any player fail to take his own eel, he is condemned to
go down; but, as the taking of a wrong eel by a jumper necessarily causes
MINOR SPORTS. 25
another to have one which is not his own, the two decide by a long jump as to which
is to go down.
Another way is to jump over with one hand, and place his handkerchief with the
other, and then when he has jumped over, he is obliged to jump back again, without
removing his feet from the place where he alighted, and take up the handkerchief in
LAST MAN'S JUMP.
This is played in a somewhat similar manner to Fly the Garter. The difference is,
that instead of the one who is down moving the length of a foot, he goes to the spot
where the last player, who is called the cutter," alighted at. The best player is
generally chosen by him for the cutter, so that he may, by manceuvring, or jumping a
good distance, cause another to be down, and so relieve him. The one who goes first
has the privilege of taking a jump, a hop, and jump-or a hop, step, and jump-
between the garter and the back, before going over; but whichever he does, the others
must follow, except the cutter, who is allowed to run to the back, so as to enable him
to take a better spring. If the distance get too great for the first player to go over the
back with a hop, step, and jump, he is of course down; but if not, it falls to the lot of
the first one who fails. The rules of the game, as regards touching the garter with
your feet, or the back with your hands, are the same as in Fly the Garter.
STANDING JUMPS AND RUNNING FLIES.
These are simply experiments as to the distance from which a player can vault
over the back of another without falling on the other side; in the one case the jump
being made with a previous run, and the other by standing close to the man who is
THE JUMPING ROPE.
A long rope is swung round by a player at each end of it; when it moves tolerably
regular, one, two, or even more boys, step in between those who hold the rope, suffer-
ing it to pass over their heads as it rises, and leaping up so that it goes under their
feet when it touches the ground, precisely as in the case of a common skipping-rope.
The principal difficulty in this sport is, to run between the players at the proper
moment, that is, just as the rope is at its highest elevation, so as to be ready to jump
over when, in its circuit, it comes toward the feet. Due time must be kept in the
leaps, so that they may perfectly accord with the motion of the rope.
There is another mode of playing with the long skipping-rope, namely, by the
player at one end of it advancing a step or two toward the other, keeping the hand
which holds the rope on the outside, and then, with the assistance of the player at the
other end, turning the rope round, and skipping over it in its circuit.
HOP, STEP, AND JUMP.
This is a sport of emulation; the object is to ascertain which of the players can go
over the greatest space of ground in a hop, a step, and a jump, performed in succession,
and which may be taken either standing or with a run, as may be agreed.
26 MINOR SPORTS.
JUMP, LITTLE NAG-TAIL!
This game is played with six or eight on each side. The leaders of each party
decide who shall have the first innings, and the losing players then place themselves
thus :-One stands almost upright, with his hands resting against some solid and firm
support-say a tree or a house. A second player places his head against the first, a
third against the second, and so on till all are ranged. They must either cross their
arms on their breasts, lean them on their knees, or hold by the trowsers of the one
before them. One of the winning players now begins by running and placing his
hands upon the back of the outer player, and leaping as far forward on the range as
he can, in order to give space for his partners behind, who follow in succession, until
all the nags are saddled. If they can all remain on, without touching the ground,
while the leader counts twenty, or repeats three times the words Jump, little Nag-
tail, one, two, three," adding, the last time, "Off, off, off;" or if any of the other
party sink beneath the weight, or touch the ground to support themselves,-the riders
keep their innings and go on again. If, on the contrary, they cannot keep their seats
unmoved, they lose, and the others take their places. When the nags cry Weak
horse!" the rider must dismount, and the game begins afresh; should they not do so
immediately they must take the place of the nags. Each rider ought to call "Warning !"
before he springs to mount.
A line is drawn tne length of the ground, sides are chosen, player by player, alter-
nately, who afterwards become opponents in pairs. Each side take possession of their
respective bases. The game begins by the players chosen to oppose each other, fold-
ing their arms, and hopping on one leg. In this way each attempts to enter the oppo-
site base, his opponent trying to prevent him, by pushing against him with folded
arms. If he succeed, the one he conquers must give up, and leave the game. The
MINOR SPORTS. 27
conqueror may then go back and assist others of his own party. The game is won by
those who remain hopping, and take possession of their adversaries' base. Dropping
the foot on the ground during the game, renders the player unable to take further part
JACK, JACK, THE BREAD BURNS!
The players seat themselves in a line, each clasping the waist of the player before
him. When all are united, two others, called Master" and Man Jack," enter into
conversation about the loaves in the oven, meaning the boys who are linked together.
The Master tells Jack not to let the bread burn, or it will stick together. He then
walks away, but Jack, being a careless fellow, begins to talk to a third, called the
Pieman. The seated players then commence hissing, to signify that the bread burns,
upon which the Master returns, and desires Jack to assist him drawing the batch. Jack
grasps his master from behind round the waist, the Master lays hold of the hands of
th-e first seated, and the two pull until they separate him from the grasp of the player
behind. They then take the second in the same manner, and so on until they have
thus drawn the whole line. This simple, but rather rough game, is known in some parts
of the country as Drawing the Oven." It was played by Grecian boys two thousand
years ago; so that, if it be not particularly elegant, it has at least the recommendation
Prisoners' Base is truly a capital game for cold weather. The best number to play
at it is six or eight on each side, but there is no
objection to more or fewer players. The choice Prison 2 Prison .
Prison 2. Prison 1.
of partners is decided by chance. Two bases
are formed by drawing a line about a dozen
yards from a wall, and dividing the space
enclosed into two equal portions, one of which /
is occupied by one set of players, the other by
their adversaries. Two prisons are also marked,
opposite to each other, at from one to two
hundred feet (as convenience will permit) from Chevy.
the front of the bounds; the prison belonging
to one party must be in a line with the bounds
of the other. A player, from one side, now
begins the game, by running out midway
between the bounds and prisons, crying,
"Chevy !-Chevy !--Chevy!" One from the ____
opposite party immediately follows, when an
adversary pursues him; and so on in turn, both Base 1. Base 2.
parties sending out as many as they may
please. The object of each is to overtake
and touch an opponent who has quitted 6GOUND ARIANGED FOR PrISONEuS' BASE.
28 MINOR SPORTS.
the bounds before himself; and to avoid being touched by one of the opposite
party, who has started to intercept his progress. If he succeed in catching his adver-
sary, he is at liberty to return to bounds without fear of being stopped by his opponent,
who has now to reach home as quickly as possible, avoiding his pursuing adversary.
During this exciting scene, all players who have been touched by opponents go to the
prison of their own party, and are one by one redeemed by their partners; who, in
order to accomplish their release, run from the bases to the prison before they can be
overtaken by the opposite side. If successful, they are at liberty to return to bounds
without being touched; but should any happen to be intercepted, they have to go to
prison in their turn. When all the players of one party are in prison at the same time,
the game is determined in favour of their opponents.
Any player may sally out in pursuit of one of the opposite side who has left his
base, and then perhaps half a dozen are in the open" at the same moment. Every
player caught by an opponent must go to prison, and immediately either base is left
unprotected, the other side may take possession of it, and claim the game. When
there are several players in prison, it is fair for them to join hands, and stretch out in
a diagonal line over the ground, so as to shorten the distance for the rescuer to run; but
the last prisoner must keep one foot within the prison boundary; and if they happen
to break hands, any or all of them may be touched by their adversaries, and sent back
to prison. It will be seen that this game is a sort of little war, with only hands and
feet for weapons; but it is a good game, full of pleasant surprises and exciting attacks,
and requiring the exercise of patience, activity, and forethought.
The boys of France play the game in a somewhat less amusing fashion; for as
soon as a player is touched, he goes to prison, and remains there till an exchange of
prisoners is agreed on between the captains on either side.
The Greeks had a pastime called Hippas," which, we are told, was one person
riding upon the shoulders of another, as upon a horse. A sport of this kind was in
practice with us at the commencement of the fourteenth century; and it was a favourite
May-day game in the time of Queen Elizabeth; the carrier, or "palfrey," as he was
then called, was decked in gay ribbons, whilst the riders wore pasteboard helmets, and
carried wooden swords and shields. It is still occasionally played in some parts of
the country, andc is performed by two competitors, who struggle one with- the other,
and he who pulls his opponent from the shoulders of his carrier is the victor. A soft
piece of turf should be chosen for this sport.
The more of Caesar's men you see,
The more the game will merry be.
In order to play this game, the ground is divided into three parts by chalk or other
lines drawn across it, the spaces at either end, called bases, being much smaller than
the middle one. The more players there are the better is the sport. All go into one
MINOR SPORTS. 29
of the bases, except the King," who is either elected by chance or volunteers; he
places himself in the centre of the space between the two bases, and the others run
from base to base, endeavouring to avoid being caught by the King. Should the King,
however, succeed in intercepting one of them, he touches him on the head three times,
and each time repeats the words, I crown thee, King Caesar." The one so caught and
crowned then joins the King between the bases, and assists in catching the rest. A
player is allowed to hop out of a base, and return, but if he place both feet on the
ground, he must run towards the other base; but if the out-players catch him outside
the bases, on either one or both legs, they may crown him: unless a player, when
caught, is properly crowned, he may return within the bases. When the players that
have been caught considerably outnumber those remaining in the bases, the former
may enter the bases and pull the latter out and crown them; and the latter are allowed
to defend themselves in the best way they are able. This game is sometimes called
" Rushing Bases," from the players rushing from the base at one end of the ground to
KING OF THE CASTLE.
This is a very simple and lively sport. One player places himself on the top of a
little mound or hillock; he is the King of the Castle, and endeavours to retain posses-
sion of his post as long as possible, against the attacks of his playmates, who endeavour,
one at a time, to push him off. If he be driven off the mound or hillock, the player
who dethrones him takes his place. In various parts of the country boys and girls
play at this game, and while on the mound they sing in chorus the rather rude lines-
"I'm the King of the Castle,
Get down, you dirty rascal !
WIDDY, WIDDY, WAY.
This is a famous game for a winter's morning. The more players the greater the
fun. One commences it by starting from a wall, or a line marked on the ground, with
his hands linked one in the other, calling out-" Widdy, widdy, way, cock warning !"
He then pursues the other players, and if he succeed in touching one of them without
unclasping his hands, they return home together, and then start forth joining hands,
and giving the same warning as before. Each now tries to touch an out-player, who,
if they succeed, has to return with them, and they sally out again with joined hands
to overtake any other out-players, being obliged, however, to separate and return to
bounds every time one is caught. The out-players have the privilege of attacking them
to compel them to let go their hands, and on any occasion when the line is broken,
they can claim to be carried home on the widdys' backs. Only the two outside players
of the line can touch those in the field. The one who commences the game is allowed
to join the out-players after he has caught four. The game is decided when the whole
are overtaken; but it is very often prolonged when there are only one or two to be
secured, if the line is of any extent, as the two outside ones are, perhaps, each intent
on different ways, and frequently cause the line to be broken. No out-player can be
touched after the line is broken.
30 MINOR SPORTS.
FOLLOW MY LEADER.
With a bold and active leader, this sport is very pleasant and exciting. Any
number may play at it. A leader is fixed on, and the other players range themselves
in a line behind him. He commences the sport by some feat of agility, such as leaping,
hopping, or climbing, and his followers then attempt to perform it in succession. He
then goes on to another trial of skill; the other players follow his example, and thus
the sport proceeds until the parties think fit to cease. If one boy can perform a feat,
which those who are placed before him in the rank fail in attempting, he takes prece-
dence of them.
This is a capital game of speed for six or eight players. One volunteers to be the
" Touch," or first player; it is the object of the other players to run from and avoid him.
He pursues them all; or, if he thinks fit, singles out an individual, and follows until
he comes up with and touches him. The player so overtaken becomes "Touch," and
endeavours to lay his hand upon one ofthe rest. This active and amusing game for
cold weather, is sometimes called Touch-iron" or Touch-wood." In these cases,
the players are safe only while they touch iron or wood, as may be previously agreed.
They are liable to be touched only when running from one piece of wood or iron to
another. If a player touch another, he must cry Feign double-touch!" which
signifies, that the player so touched must not attempt to touch the player who touched
him, until he has tried to touch another. The players are not allowed to say they
" touch wood, or iron" by simply carrying a bit of stick or a nail; the wood or iron
must belong to the ground on which they play. Boys and girls can play at this game
with equal advantage.
This is a pleasant variety of the game of Touch. The players, unlimited in number,
assemble in the field or play-ground, and settle among themselves who shall first be
"Touch," or "He." This arranged, "Touch" runs after one or other of the players,
and whoever he succeeds in catching becomes "Touch," in his turn. But while he is
running after one boy, another crosses the line between the pursuer and pursued.
"Touch" is then obliged to abandon his original quarry, and run after the crosser, who
has gone in a different direction. Again another player darts between, and again
must "Touch" change his tactics; and as often as the line of pursuit is crossed by
another boy, that boy must be followed by the "Touch." So the game goes on, till
player after player is caught; and a very merry and exciting game it is, especially in
This is Cross-touch on the ice. One boy is selected for universal huntsman, who
gives chase to the whole of the players. He selects any boy he chooses, and hunts him
down till he is crossed by some one else. The fun all rests in the crossing. Just as
the huntsman has his arm stretched out to touch, having all but run down his prey,
and being absorbed in the delicate regulating of his headlong speed, putting on the
break by driving his heels into the ice, at this critical moment the deftest runner (or
MINOR SPORTS. 31
skater, if the game be played by skaters), swoops down, and with contracted shoulders
and stooping form, cuts in between both, and crosses without a graze. He has only
a foot to turn in, but he does it rapidly, and is away like a bird; and so the game con-
tinues till Touch" has succeeded Touch," and the players tire.
The player chosen as the Huntsman starts out from the bounds after the players in
the field. When he succeeds in catching one, he rides him back. The two then join
hands and go out after the rest; then three, and so on, till the whole are caught-each
catcher riding his catchee back to the bounds.
I SPY, I!
This game, which may be played by any number, is best adapted for the dusk of a
summer's evening. Sides are chosen, and one party remains "at home," while the
others go out and hide themselves. When this is done, one player (previously chosen)
calls out "Warning !" and hides himself afterwards as quickly as possible. The "home "
side then sally out in quest of the fugitives, and as soon as one is found, the finder
shouts, I spy, I !" but, if before this object be attained, two of the "out" side can
manage to reach home unperceived, they call in all the rest from their hiding-places
by crying out, All home !" The whole party may then go out and hide again. The
seeking party must spy out two players of the opposite side before they are entitled to
All the players collect at a place called "home," one of whom then proceeds to
hide himself. When ready, he shouts
Whoop !" the others then sally out to
/ find him; and the one who discovers
him calls out ("Whoop!" in return.
The hidden player then breaks from
c^ his concealment, and if he can catch
S/ one of the others, the one so caught
,_ -'^ 9 must carry him on his back to "home."
'- i--- It is then the boy's turn who made the
~--- .T3` -=-- \: discovery to go and hide himself, and
-- -'=r-- the others endeavour to discover his
"---- ---- -lurking-place, as before.
HIDE AND SEEK.
A handkerchief, or some other trifle, is concealed by one player, and the rest
attempt to find it; the discoverer takes the next turn to hide the article. It is a custom,
in this game, for the boy or girl who has secreted the article to encourage those who
approach it, by telling them that they burn, and to warn them of their departure from
it by saying they freeze. Hide and seek may be played either within doors or in the
32 MINOR SPORTS.
BATON, OR, PITCH CLUB.
This is the popular game of the Fairs, the original of "Aunt Sally." The great
art is to hit the object on the stick, and not the stick itself, or the toy on its top will
fall in the hole. The club should be thrown end first, and not horizontally; and
should be straight and rather heavy.
Tip-cat, or Cat," is a well-known game, played with a stick and a piece of
wood about six inches in length, and an inch and a half or two
inches in diameter, diminished from the middle to both the ends, in the
shape of a double cone. By this contrivance the places of the trap and ball are at
once supplied, for when the cat is laid upon the ground, the player, with his cudgel,
strikes it smartly, at either end, and it will rise high enough for him to beat it away as
it falls, in the same manner as he would a ball.
A large ring is made upon the ground, in the middle of which the striker takes his
station; his business is to beat the cat over the ring. If he fail in so doing he is out,
and another player takes his place; if he be successful, he judges the distance the cat
is driven from the centre of the ring, and calls for a number, at pleasure, to be scored
toward his game; if the number demanded be found, upon measurement, to exceed the
same number of lengths of the cudgel, he is out; on the contrary, if it do not, he
obtains his call.
Another way is to make four, six, or eight holes in the ground, in a circular
direction, and as nearly as possible at equal distances from each other, and at every
hole is placed a player with his cudgel; one of the opposite party, who stands in the
field, tosses the cat to the batsman who is nearest him, and every time the cat is struck,
the players are obliged to change their situations, and run once from one hole to another
in succession; if the cat be driven to any great distance, they continue to run in the same
order, and claim and score towards their game, every time they quit one hole and run
to another; but if the cat be stopped by their opponents, and thrown across between
any two of the holes before the player who has quitted one of them can reach the other,
he is out.
DROPPING THE 'KERCHIEF.
A number of players join their hands so as to make a circle; one only stands out:
he walks round the outside of the circle, and drops a handkerchief behind which player
in the circle he thinks fit. The party, behind whom the handkerchief is thus dropped,
immediately pursues the one who dropped it, those who stand on each side completing
the circle by joining hands. The pursuer is bound to follow precisely the course of the
pursued, who endeavours, by all the means in his power, to puzzle and elude him,
winding in and out under the arms of the other players, who elevate them for his
accommodation. If he succeed in so doing, that is, if the pursuer make a blunder in
his course, the latter returns to his place in the circle, and the first player drops the
handkerchief behind one of the players again. When he is fairly overtaken by the
player behind whom he dropped the handkerchief, the latter takes his place, and he
MINOR SPORTS. 33
joins hands in the circle. When girls play with boys at this game, the forfeit of being
caught is a kiss : in fact the pastime is neither more nor less than our old favourite, Kiss
in the Ring.
HUNT THE HARE.
"Hunt the Hare "-in some places known as Hare and Hounds "-is an easy but
capital game for a good number of boys in weather which is too cold or too damp for
Cricket and other pastimes. Now, although the whole principle of the game consists
in the boys who represent the hounds running after and catching the hare, yet much
activity and ingenuity are necessary when it is well played. The boy who is selected
for Hare should be a swift runner, patient, daring, and ready at resource. Having
chosen your Hare, you next appoint your Huntsman and Whipper-in. These should
be first-rate runners, with plenty of that truly British article called pluck, and not a
little judgment and knowledge of the ground over which the hare is to be coursed.
Then, as real hounds track out real hares by scent," the boy-hare should be provided
with a substitute for scent in the shape of a bag of paper cut into small pieces,
which he scatters on his way, always remembering that the hounds follow the scent
thus given with implicit celerity. Now we will suppose the hare fairly started, with
seven minutes' law to enable him to get well out of sight. The huntsman, with a white
flag, and the whipper-in, with a red flag, collect the hounds about them and pursue the
hare. They presently come in sight of the scent, which they steadily keep to, till
perhaps they find themselves at fault. The huntsman leads the pack, and if he loses
the scent he cries "Lost !" On this he strikes his flag in the ground, and the hounds
disperse themselves in a circle to recover the scent. The player who finds it shouts
out Tally-ho !" The huntsman blows his horn, and away go the hounds in the
track of the hare. It is the business of the whipper-in to keep the hounds well
together, and to assist the huntsman in every possible way in preventing the hare
reaching home without being taken. The hare himself will, meanwhile, have taken
such precautions as will have given him a good chance of escape. He will double
across the fields, jump ditches, and even ford streams to shorten his course and avoid
capture; and thus in the course of a couple of hours a good ten miles of ground will
be got over, to the benefit of the health of all the players. A capital account of Hare
and Hounds will be found in Tom Brown's Schooldays," in which work also the
capital game of Football is well described.
This is a good country game and affords much amusement, a smooth and level
lawn being chosen, and surrounded by a rope ring. The jingler, holding a small bell
in his hand, continues to Ding it at intervals, while the remainder of the players, who
are blindfolded, pursue him. The game is won by the jingler if he avoids being taken
within a certain time; but if within that time he is caught, the player who catches
him wins the prize. A good deal of mirth is often occasioned by the blindfolded
pursuers rolling over each other.
34. MINOR SPORTS.
This game is played in a variety of ways, but the following is the most common.
Draw with chalk, on the ground, a figure similar to that in the margin, and toss up
for innings. The player who is to commence stands at the hob,*
and throws an oyster-shell into No. 1, which is called the first bed;
he then steps or hops into that bed, and with the foot he is standing
on jerks the shell out towards the *. He then throws the shell into
2, steps into 1, hops into 2, jerks the shell from 2 to 1, and then from
1 towards the *. He now throws the shell into 3, steps into 1, jumps
astride into 2 and 3, so that he shall have one foot in either base; r.
springs on one foot into 3, jerks the shell into 2, from 2 to 1, and
from 1 to the *. He next throws the shell into 4; steps into 1, jumps
astride into 2 and 3, alights on one foot into 4, picks up the shell i
with his hand, places it on the toe of the foot that is off the ground, 2
throws it up by a motion of the leg, and catches it in his hands; he ,
then jumps back to the in the same manner as he advanced: the *
player, in returning through the beds, must always repeat the jumps he made in
advancing. He now throws the shell into 5; and passing through the beds as before,
alights on one leg in 5, jerks the shell into 4, catches it from his foot, and returns to
the *. He throws the shell now to 6, jerks it to 5,
then to 4, catches it, and returns to the *. When
in 7, after jumping astride into 6 and 7, he jerks
Sthe shell into 6, 5, and 4; from 8, to 7, 6, 5, and
"4, in rotation, catching it each time as before, and
returning. In 9, he catches the shell from his
disengaged foot, and returns to the *. In 10, he
jerks it to 9; in 11, after jumping astride, he jerks
it into 10, and then into 9; catching it each time
t in 9 as before, and returning each time to the *.
A'\\ \'j He now throws the shell into the last bed, or plum-
-?- pudding," sometimes called the "cat's head;" on
arriving in which he has to catch the shell from his
foot three times in succession, and then with one effort jerk it with the foot he is
standing on through all the beds, returning as usual to the *.
SNAIL, OR FRENCH HOP.
This is a modification of Hop Scotch. Draw a figure on the
ground like that in the diagram. Through this the chip or shell
must be kicked, without its resting on a line, or the player touching
a line with his foot, till the centre bed is reached. From this point
the player hops back without stopping or changing feet. The chip
may be either kicked from bed to bed, in hopping back, or kicked /
right out of the figure.
MINOR SPORTS. 35
THE FIGHT FOR THE BANNER.
As in the King of the Castle, this game is played on a hill or mound. Sides are
chosen, and each side elects a leader or prince. The one side take possession of the
hill, and on its top plant a small flag or banner, which may be no more than a hand-
kerchief fastened to a stick. The defenders then surround the banner, the business of
the attackers being to obtain possession of it by any fair and ready means. The
attackers advance in a body and endeavour to dislodge their opponents, who in their
turn push them back and try to hold their own. Any player who falls to the ground
is considered dead," and is out of the game, being carried off by his comrades. In
this alternately attacking and defending, the game may be pursued till one or the other
party gains the victory-the attackers in one game becoming the defenders in another.
Steeple Chase is a rare good game for cold weather, for it is not only a trial of
speed and activity, but a capital preservative of health. Any number of boys may
play at it; and at Rugby, Eton, and other public schools, it is very popular. When the
players assemble on the field they agree upon a run of a mile or a couple of miles
towards some conspicuous object, as a church, a house, or a tree, and home again, the
boy who gets back first being the winner. No particular route need be observed, each
player choosing that which he thinks best. Some will take the high road, while others
will make a bees' line straight to the mark, across hedges, ditches, swamps, ploughed
fields, and what not. Good climbers, jumpers, and runners stand an excellent chance
of distinguishing themselves in the Steeple Chase, and in large schools such lads are
known as the Duke, the Marquis, the Viscount, the Earl, etc., in virtue of their prowess.
FRENCH AND ENGLISH.
This game is played by two parties, whose numbers are equal; they all take hold
of a rope, and the object of each party is to pull those belonging to the other across a
chalk line on the ground, by means of the rope. When all the players on one side are
thus pulled over, or made prisoners, the other party wins the game. This is a very
lively sport, and any number may join in it; it is most seasonable in cold weather,
when it affords capital exercise and much amusement. The following is our artist's
^n~ %nq~ruaX Cnnate;t.
i ^ ^ ~- ^ : _
MISCELLANEOUS OUT-DOOR SPORTS.
NDiER this head we include several amusing and popular pastimes
Which do not properly belong to either of the preceding
THREAD THE NEEDLE.
Thread the Needle may be played by a large number
of boys and girls, who all join hands, and the game com-
mences with the following dialogue between the two outside
players at each end of the line: How many miles to Babylon ?"
S"Three score and ten." Can I get there by candlelight?" Yes,
and back again."
S"Then open the gates without more ado,
And let the king and his men pass through."
In obedience to this mandate, the player who stands at the opposite end
of the line, and the one next him, lift their joined hands as high as possible;
the other outside player then approaches, runs under the hands thus elevated, and the
MINOR SPORTS. 37
whole line follows him, if possible, without disuniting. This is threading the needle.
The same dialogue is repeated, the respondent in the first instance now becoming the
inquirer, and running between the two players at the other end, with the whole line
after him. The first then has his turn again, and so on as long as the players choose
to continue the game.
PUSS IN THE CORNER.
This is a very simple, lively, and amusing game. It is played by five only; and
the place chosen for the sport should be a square court or yard with four corners, or
any place where there are four trees or posts, about equidistant from each other, and
forming the four points of a square. Each of these points or corners is occupied by a
player; the fifth, who is called "Puss," stands in the centre. The game now
commences; the players exchange corners in all directions: it is the object of the one
who stands out to occupy any of the corners which may remain vacant for an instant
during the exchanges. When he succeeds in so doing, that player who is left without
a corner becomes the Puss.' It is to be observed, that if A and B attempt to exchange
corners, and A gets to B's corner but B fails to reach A's before the player who stands
out gets there, it is B and not A who becomes Puss." In wet weather Puss in the
Corner may be played in the house, a good large empty room answering for the
play-ground or meadow.
CAT AND MOUSE.
The toy with which this game is played consists of two flat bits of hard wood, the
edges of one of which are notched. The game is played by two only; they are both
blindfolded, and tied to the ends of a long string, which is fastened in the centre to a
post, by a noose or loop, so as to play easily in the evolutions made by the players.
The party who plays the mouse occasionally scrapes the toys together, and the other,
who plays the cat, attracted by the sound, endeavours to catch him.
Duck should be played by a number exceeding three, but not more than six or
eight. Each of the players being provided with a large pebble or stone, about twice
the size of a cricket-ball, called a duck," one of them, by chance or choice, places his
duck on a large smooth-topped stone fixed in the ground. An offing being marked, at
eight or ten yards' distance from the stone, the other players cast their ducks at it in
turn, endeavouring to knock the duck off its place. Each player, as soon as he has
cast his duck, watches for an opportunity of carrying it back to the offing, so as to
cast again. If the player whose duck is on the stone can touch another after he has
taken up his stone, and before he reaches the offing, provided his own duck remain on
the large stone, then the player so touched is out, and changes places with the player
at the stone. It sometimes happens that three or four of the players' ducks lie so
close together that the player whose duck is out on the stone can stand in a situation
to be within reach of all of them; in this case they cannot, without running the risk
of being touched, pick up, until one of those who are at the offing is lucky enough to
strike the duck off the large stone; then, before its owner can replace it, which he
38 MINOR SPORTS.
must do before he can touch a player, they all take up their ducks and run to the
offing, where, of course, they are safe.
Another way of playing this game is to mount three or four brickbats one on top of
the other, and to try to dislodge the upper one by throwing the duck at it before the
keeper of the castle can touch the thrower. The player so touched becomes the
BASTE THE BEAE.
Lots are drawn for the first bear, who takes his seat on a stone, with one end of a
rope, about three yards long, in his hand, the other end of which is held by the bear's
master, who must first pat the bear on the back three times with his open hand, and say-
I crown my bear,
Now touch him who dare."
The other players then attack the bear with twisted handkerchiefs, and the master
endeavours to touch one of them; if he can do so without letting go the rope, or
pulling the bear from his seat, the player so touched takes the place of the bear.
Each bear has the privilege of choosing his own master; but being bear once, or even
oftener, does not exonerate a player, if fairly touched, from becoming so again.
A plank is. placed across a felled tree, a low wall, or a large stone, and a player
seats himself at each end; by a slight exertion, if the plank be properly balanced, each
end rises and sinks alternately. It must be observed that if the players be of unequal
weight, he who is the heavier must, to preserve the due equilibrium, make his end oi
the plank shorter. See-saws are sometimes made on a large scale:-two upright
posts, about eight feet high, are placed in the ground and secured at the top by a cross
bar; between them a plank is nicely balanced, each end of the plank having a wooden
representation of a horse's head and body, with bridle and stirrups. It will assist the
players if one stands in the middle of the plank and inclines his body first on one
side and then on the other. A mechanical see-saw, with seats for the players, who
are provided with leather straps to pull against each other, has been lately invented,
and is very popular at the Crystal Palace and other places of amusement.
MINOR SPORTS. 39
DICK, DUCK, AND DRAKE.
From this game comes the proverb which is frequently applied to a spendthrift,
"He is making ducks and drakes of his money." It is played by skimming, or jerk-
ing, bits of slate, shells, or flat stones along the surface of a river or pond. If the thing
thrown touches the water and rebounds once, it is a dick; if twice, a duck; if thrice,
a drake. He who makes his slate or pebble rebound the greatest number of times,
wins the game. The same effect occurs when a shot fired from a cannon hits the water
in a slanting direction; it will play at duck and drake for half-a-mile before it sinks,
thus displaying the resisting and elastic property of water.
scCK 1UCK !
This is a sport for two boys only, with a third, who stands by as umpire. The
game commences by one of the players giving
a back; that is, placing his arms across his
breast, or resting them on his knees, stooping
forward so as to bring his back nearly hori-
zontal with his head, which he supports
against a post, wall, tree, or other convenient
place. It is usual, but not necessary, for the
player who gives the back to be blindfolded.
The first player having thus taken his posi-
tion, the second leaps or vaults astride on his
back, holds up as many of the fingers of one
hand as he pleases, and says, "Buck, Buck,
how many horns do I hold up ?" The player i
who gives the back makes a guess; if he name
the right number, the other player becomes
Buck, and gives him a back. If, however,
his guess be an incorrect one, the rider remains
on, holds up the same or a different number
of fingers and asks the same question as before; this is repeated until the Buck names
the true number. It is the business of the umpire to see that there is no foul play on
the part of the rider, and no attempt to look up by the backer. Sometimes the umpire
is made third player; so that when the Buck's guess is correct, the rider gives a back,
the umpire becoming rider, and the Buck umpire.
Swinging can scarcely be termed a game. It is rather an exercise or amusement
for one person at a time. All boys know how to make a swing. Suspend a rope
between two trees or cross pieces of timber, and seat yourself in the middle of the
loop as it hangs down; or have two ropes of equal length suspended as before, with a
seat securely fastened at the other end. Then with a little impetus given by another
person you may mount up in the air as high as the length of the rope will allow, or
40 MINOR SPORTS.
you may swing with the hands alone grasping the ropes, or standing on the seat and
holding the ropes higher up. In this way great variety may be produced in the
healthy exercise of the swing.
GAMES IN THE SNOW.
In those days when winter clothes the surface of the earth with a mantle of snow,
and many of the amusements of the playground are thereby suspended, it is a custom.
with boys, as some of our young readers doubtless very well know, to make that
which is an impediment to their old recreations, a material for young ones. Then do
snowballs, harmless if lightly compressed, but otherwise if strongly kneaded, fly about
in abundance. Caves, and even pigmy fortresses are constructed, which aspiring
youth attack and defend by turn. Napoleon, when a cadet at the Military School at
Brienne, showed his partiality for the profession he had chosen, by indulging in similar
pursuits. On one occasion when the heavy falls of snow had put a stop to other
amusements, he persuaded his comrades to construct a snow fort, with its horn
works, raised parapets, and trenches complete. He then divided them into platoons
and undertook to command the attacks; the result was a series of sieges, which were
carried on with more or less success for the space of a fortnight. Those of our young
friends who are not filled with a like military ardour, will perhaps find amusement in
the construction of a snow statue. The rolling ball, which is first rounded by the
little hands of a child, will, by driving it over the snow for a few hours, become too
big for a man to move. When the joyous tenants of the playground have become
fatigued with the exercise, or the ball has acquired a size and weight superior to their
united powers, it is a common practice with them to cut a rude resemblance of a man
out of the mass, adding to its height and diminishing its breadth. This is called the
Snow Statue; and when complete, the young sculptors retire to a convenient distance
and, with the aid of snowballs, each tries his utmost to demolish that which he has
just taken such pains to construct. It has been related, and we believe with truth,
that even a small portion of snow, disturbed by the delicate foot of the antelope, in
traversing the summit of one of the Alpine mountains, so increased in size in its pro-
gress downwards, that at length it assumed a more than formidable size, and continued
to do so in its descent until it formed one of those destructive engines of nature, an
avalanche, overwhelming houses and even a whole village!
BLIND MAN S BUFF.
SHIS popular, old-fashioned, and delightful pastime is so well known as
to render description unnecessary. There is, however, a variation of
r it, called Shadow Buff," which is less known but equally amusing.
A large piece of white linen is suspended smoothly at one end of a
C room; at a little distance from it, Buffy, with his face toward the
linen, is seated on a low stool. Directly in a line, and about a yard
behind him, a table is placed with a candle on it; all the other lights must be extin-
guished. The players then walk, one by one, between the table and Buffy (who must
not turn his head), limping, hopping, and grimacing as they please, so as to distort
their shadows on the linen. If Buffy can tell correctly to whom any shadow belongs
(guessing once only for each person), the player whom he so discovers takes his
place. In this game Buffy, of course, is not blindfolded.
HUNT THE WHISTLE.
The players seat themselves in a circle, as at Hunt the Slipper, and one who has
never seen the game played is selected as '" hunter," who, kneeling in the centre of
the group, is shown a whistle; he is then to place his head in the lap of one of the
players until the whistle is hidden. While in that position the whistle is to be
fastened by a piece of string and a bent pin to the back part of his coat or jacket,
without his being aware of it. One of the players now blows the whistle and drops
it, and the hunter being liberated proceeds to search for it. The other players, as
42 MINOR SPORTS.
the opportunities occur, blow through the whistle and drop it, and if carefully done it
will be some time before the "hunter" discovers that he is carrying the object of his
search about him.
POKER AND TONGS, OR HOT BOILED BEANS AND BACON.
This is about as simple and noisy a game as can well be wished. Some small
article is to be hidden, the player whose business it is to discover it being sent out of
the room while that is being done. They then cry, Hot boiled beans and bacon,
make haste and come in to supper." The searcher then returns to the room, and a
player takes a pair of tongs in one hand, and a poker in the other. The seeker of the
hidden treasure is then called in, and begins to hunt for the concealed article; while
he is at a distance from the spot where it has been placed, the poker, which is held
between the legs of the tongs, is made to strike them alternately with a slow motion,
so as to produce a kind of melancholy music. But as he approaches the concealed
treasure, the music becomes more lively, and as he recedes from it more slow and
solemn; but when his hand is placed on the spot where the article is to be found, the
musician plays a loud and noisy tune on his strange instrument. Or the progress of
the player in his search may be announced by assuring him that he is "very cold,"
"( rather warmer," "very hot," or burning his fingers," as he approaches or recedes
from the hidden object.
TRADES AND PROFESSIONS, OR DUMB MOTIONS.
An unlimited number can play at this amusing and ingenious game. Sides are
chosen, and chance decides which shall be "masters" and which "men." The
principal aim of the players is remain "men" as long as they can; or, in the lan-
guage of the trade, to keep the masters out of work. The men then consult secretly,
and decide upon some trade or profession; the best is one in which the arms, hands,
or legs are employed in various ways. They afterwards range themselves in a line
opposite the masters, and the foreman tells them the first and last letters of the
trade they have fixed upon-such as J-R for joiner, B-H for blacksmith, C-R for
carpenter, T-R for tinker, A-Y for apothecary, and so on. He then bids his men to
go to work-thus:
Now, my men, the work's begun,
No more speaking till it's done."
The men then begin to show by gestures the various labours which belong to the trade
they have named; for example, should it be that of a carpenter, one will appear to be
sawing, another planing, others hammering, chiseling, boring, sharpening tools, and
every other part of the trade requiring a distinct motion; the less common the better,
as being more difficult to guess. When this has continued for some time, if none of
the masters guess the trade, the foremen tells the men to stop working," and
demand their wages. The masters then have one guess each, and if none are right,
the foreman is obliged to tell them the name of the trade they have worked at, and
the men proceed to choose another as before. If any player speak while work-
ing, or display any actions which do not belong to the trade intended to be represented,
MINOR SPORTS. 43
or if he have given wrong letters, the whole side is out and become masters. The
game is capable of endless variety, and is as amusing to the lookers-on as to the
players of it. It is equally adapted for in and out-door play, and is sometimes called
"Dumb M[otions." It may also be played without giving the initials of the trade
HUNT THE SLIPPER.
Several young persons sit on the ground in a circle, a slipper is given to them, and
one, in order to begin the game, stands in the centre, whose business it is to "chase
the slipper by its sound." The players pass it round so as to prevent, if possible, its
being found in the possession of any individual. In order that the player in the centre
may know where the slipper is, it is occasionally tapped on the ground, and then
suddenly and quietly handed on to the right or left. When the slipper is found in the
possession of any one in the circle by the hunter, the boy on whom it is so found takes
the hunter's place.
ENTREE; OR, HOW DO YOU LIKE IT ?" "WHERE DO YOU LIKE IT ?"
"WHEN DO YOU LIKE IT?"
This pleasing amusement for the Christmas fireside may be played by any number.
One of the players leaves the room, or goes out of hearing of the others. In his
absence the players fix upon a subject,-for instance, an eatable, a piece of furniture,
an article of clothing, or anything to which the above questions will apply, and by the
answers to which questions, the player, when he returns to the room, must endeavour to
guess the subject fixed upon, the other players striving to mislead him by their answers.
After the subject is decided upon, the player outside is called in. After making his
entree, he proceeds to the nearest player, and asks him the first question, How do
you like it?" who, supposing the subject to be a bed, might answer, "I like it warm;"
he then passes to the next player, who might like it cold; the third might like it high;
the fourth low; and so on. After he has been once round, he begins again, asking
the second question, "Where do you like it? to which the replies might be, "In a
house," "In an inn," In a kitchen," In a parlour." He then asks the third ques-
tion, "When do you like it ?" to which one might reply, "In the morning;" another,
At night;" a third, When he is ill;" a fourth, When he is well," etc. During the
time of his asking these questions, the guesser is at liberty to name the subject, and
should he guess rightly, the player last questioned must go out; but should he perform
his three rounds without discovering it, he must take another turn outside; in either
case, a new subject is chosen.
Another mode is, for one player to leave the room, while those who remain fix upon
a subject; the outside player is then called in, and asked the questions in succession,
when much amusement is created by the apparent absurdity of his answers. The
players take it by turns to go outside.
Those of our readers who possess the faculty of inventing a long tale will find in
this game an excellent opportunity for a display of their abilities, and for affording
44 MINOR SPORTS.
amusement to their friends, and however large the number of players, all may partici-
pate in it. The players being seated in a circle, the one who is to tell the tale assigns
to each of the others the name cf some person, place, or thing to be mentioned in the
tale:-for instance, one may be called "the old gentleman," another "the old lady,"
another "the little horse," another "the little dog," another "the landlord," another
"the landlady," and so on until each player has a name; and whenever, in the course
of the tale, a name is mentioned, that player to whom it belongs must instantly rise up,
turn round, and sit down again; but the name, the gig," is not given to any player,
and when it is mentioned in the tale all the players must immediately rise up, etc.
This game is generally played as a game of forfeits.
The following is an example of a tale, which, as well as the names, can be varied
according to the ingenuity of the narrator :-I will now tell you a tale of an old gentle-
man and an old lady residing in London. This old gentleman and old lady had a little
horse, and a little dog, and a gig in the stable, and they one day went for a ride in the
gig. On their journey they stopped at an inn, and the landlord and landlady of the
inn were standing at the door. When the landlord and landlady saw the old gentle-
man and the old lady coming in the gig, the landlord called the ostler, and the land-
lady called the chambermaid, and the waiter and the cook hearing the ostler and the
chambermaid called, came running to assist the landlord, the landlady, the ostler, and
the chambermaid, to get the old gentleman and the old lady out of the gig, and the
ostler put the little horse in the stable, and took care of the gig, and the chambermaid
carried the little dog; and then the old gentleman, the old lady, the landlord, the land-
lady, the waiter, the chambermaid, the cook, the ostler, and the little dog all went into
the inn, and had supper comfortably together.
This sport ensures plenty of fun both to players and lookers-on, and at the same
time is perfectly harmless. Two youths being matched to fight, or to fence," as we
will call it, require to be previously" trussed," which is done in the following manner :-
After being seated on the carpet, the hands, placed flat together, must be bound (not
very tightly) with a handkerchief at the wrist, and the feet secured above the ankles.
The legs must afterwards be drawn up, the feet resting on the heels with the toes raised.
The arms are then passed over the knees; a short stick, about four feet long, is now to
be pushed over one arm, under both knees, and out again over th.other arm, leaving an
equal distance of the stick out on each side; this completely secures both the legs and
arms, and renders the player almost powerless in every part except his toes; so much
so, that when thrown off his balance, the ends of the stick projecting beyond his body
prevents his falling directly on his side, but he has not the power to right himself, and
must remain in that position till assisted. After both the players have been trussed,
they are carried to the middle of the room and placed opposite each other, their toes just
touching. The game then begins by each one endeavouring, with the aid of his toes,
to turn his opponent on his back or side. In either case, the one who accomplishes this
is the conqueror. It more frequently happens, on account of the difficulty of the
MINOR SPORTS. 45
players balancing themselves, coupled with anxiety to prove the "best cock," that they
both turn over and lie like two trussed fowls resting on their wing-skewers. In this
case, they must be assisted and placed opposite each other as before, and this will most
likely have to be repeated several times before either of the cocks will be entitled to
"crow." This greatly contributes to the fun of the game.
THE LAME LAMPLIGHTERS.
Two boys kneel, each on one knee only, holding the other leg off the ground, one
opposite the other; a lighted candle is given to one, and an unlighted candle to the
other; they then attempt to illumine the latter; but, being in equilibrium on one knee,
and liable to be thrown off their balance by the least motion, they will find this so
difficult a matter as to cause great diversion to the spectators.
There is a sport similar to the preceding one, frequently played by the parlour fire-
side, in holiday time :-An individual seats himself on a wooden bottle which is placed
sideways upon the floor, and endeavours, with a burning candle, which he holds in his
right hand, to light another in his left.
BATON REPOSE, A FRENCTH GAME.
A player is blindfolded and placed in a corner with his back to the others.
Another player (his confederate) takes a wand and touches each of the other players
one after another with it on the head, saying, "Baton r6pose, baton repose, baton
repose," and at last, letting the wand rest upon one of them, winds up with "sir
qui ?" The blindfolded player then declares the name of him or her upon whom the
wand rests. This is managed by his confederate in arranging the company, calling
them by their names: for instance, John, you sit there;" Charles here;" "Mary
opposite;" Arthur next to her;" "Ellen next to Charles;" and so on. Or he may
say such a thing as, "Dora, it's not fair for you to laugh." The understanding
between the confederates is that the person last (or last but one, or first) named is
the one upon whom the wand is to rest.
4^2^^~SPORTS WITH TOYS. N4
_~~- --5 -----
-- ---- _.
-HE Sports with Toys most usual in the play-ground are with the
and a variety of others, we now proceed to describe--
t "? Among the Chinese, the most popular of out-door amusements
S, o is kite-flying. The construction of their kites is very curious.
S" By means of round holes, supplied with vibrating cords, they are
T ~ made to produce a loud humming noise, like that of a top. The
0 ninth day of the ninth moon is a holiday especially devoted to this
"national pastime, on which day thousands may be seen repairing to the
hills for the purpose of kite-flying, and after amusing themselves for the
day, they sometimes let their kites loose, and allow them to fly wherever
the wind may carry them.
The celebrated Doctor Franklin is said to have often let up a kite
previously to his entering the water to bathe, and then, lying on his back, suffer him-
self to be drawn across a stream by its power. He also, by attaching a wire to the bow
of the kite, and leading it down the string, collected the electric fluid from the clouds,
MINOR SPORTS. 47
and conveyed it into what is called a Leyden jar (a glass vessel lined with tin-foil),
and from which he obtained the electric spark. Some years ago, a Bristol school-
master amused his scholars by travelling along the public roads, with amazing speed,
in a carriage drawn by kites; and more lately a public performer was drawn in a ]soat
from London to Gravesend, by a couple of large kites.
To construct a common Kite, you must, in the first place, procure a straight lath of
deal for the upright or straighter, and a thin hoop, or a pliant piece of hazel or cane,
for the bow bender. Fasten the bender by its centre, with string, to the upright,
within a little distance of its top; then notch the two ends of the bow, and fasten them
to the upright by a string, which is made fast at each of the ends, and turned once
round the upright, as a, b, c ; the string must then be carried up to the junction of the
bow and straighter, and made fast at d, and thence to a; from a, it must pass through
a notch at e, up to c; then down to f, where it must be tied in a notch cut for that
1, purpose, and up to a again. Your skeleton being now complete,
your next task is to paste a sufficient quantity of thin paper together
to cover it, and afford a hem to be pasted over the outer edges.
a- o Next, bore two holes in the straighter, one about a fifth of the whole
\ length from the top, and the other rather less from the bottom; run
/ through these, and fasten, by a knot at the two ends, your belly-
band string, to which the ball of string, by which the kite is flown,
is afterwards fixed. At the part of the belly-band where the kite
exactly balances, fasten the string. The wings are made of several
sheets of writing paper, half cut in slips, rolled up, and fastened at
/ 0 a and c. The tail, which should be from ten to fifteen times the
length of the kite, is made by tying bobs of writing paper, four times folded, about an
inch and a half broad, and three inches long, at intervals of three inches and a quarter,
on a string, with a larger bob, similar to the wings, at the bottom of it. Your kite is
now complete, and fit to be flown in the usual manner.
There are, however, two objections to the common paper kite: first, the danger of
the paper being torn; and, second, the inconvenience of carrying
a large size, more especially on a windy day. The portable cloth
kite removes these objections, by the employment of calico in-
stead of paper, and through being constructed in such a manner
as to enable it to be folded or rather rolled up. The framework
Fig. 1. of the kite is made of two slender pieces of wood,
neatly planed up; these are placed across each
other, as shown in Fig. 1, and pinned together
_.at the point at which they cross, by means
of a piece of strong tinned wire, bent into a
loop at A. The circle seen beneath this loop, B,
is a small wooden button, placed there to allow the sticks
forming the framework to move more freely on their centres ; the
other end of the wire is also bent into a loop, but without a wooden button beneath it.
48 MINOR SPORTS.
By this arrangement, the two pieces of wood, by being turned on their centres, can be
placed longitudinally, one above the other.
The form of this kite is an oblong diamond, as seen in the diagram, and the calico
covering, after being cut to the requisite shape, is h nmed round the edges, to prevent
Fig.2. the fraying of the cotton. Its two acute angles are tied tightly to the
top and bottom ends of the long stick, and the loop of the centre wire
is passed through the calico; a piece of tape (see Fig. 2, C), is then
attached to those corners of the calico that are to be fastened to the
extremities of the cross piece of wood, and another piece of tape, B,
/ is fixed to the wood itself; the tape from the calico passes through the
wire loop, A, at the end of the stick, and the two pieces of tape being
tied together, the calico can be drawn tight, and the kite is fit for use. When these
tapes are untied, the two pieces of wood of which the framework is formed, can be
brought parallel to each other, and the calico being rolled round them, and tied at the
centre by means of the tape, the whole may be placed in a little linen bag, and in that
manner rendered perfectly portable; when on the field scarcely a minute is requisite to
strain the calico, and get the kite in flying order.
THE BIRD KITE.
The Bird Kite is more difficult to make, but when made, it will well repay all your
trouble.' The frame of this kite and the finished kite are shown below. A small cross is
secured to the end of the straightener to carry the tail. The head and beak are framed
"with thin bonnet wire, or
split cane fitted into a
notch at the upper end
of the straight stick, while
the cross-piece keeps all
together. The strings are
disposed in the manner
shown in Fig. 1, which
will better explain the
construction of this kite
than any quantity of writ-
The calico for covering
Fig. 1. the frame must be cut fully Fg. 2.
an inch larger than the frame, to allow for lapping over, and glueing the strings and
head frame. Previously to painting the plumage, the calico must be sized to prepare
it for receiving the colours. All the requisites can be obtained of the oilman. The
MINOR SPORTS. 49
tail of this kite is of rather peculiar construction. Instead of paper twisted,
little conical-shaped bags, called "tail cups," are suspended at intervals of about six
feet on the line depending from the tail of the bird. One of these little cups is seen in
each figure. The mouth of each cup is about two inches in diameter, and is kept
open by a light wire ring, hemmed in, and to which the strings are fastened to attach
the cup to the central line of the tail. Each cup should be about three inches deep.
The picture of the kite complete (Fig. 2) shows how it may be painted to imitate nature.
The length of the tail must depend on the size of the kite. For a small one, three or
four cups will do; for a large one, five or six, or even more. But if, when in the field,
you should find the length of tail insufficient to balance the kite, you may weight the
cups with a little sand or a few pebbles instead of lengthening the string, or you may
tie a stick to the lower end of the tail.
THE SAILOR KITE.
This is another form of Kite. The figure in the framework shows a thin lath,
split up to a point, at which place it is bound: 2, 2, are thin pieces of cane bent to
form the shoulders; 3, 3, apiece
of wire bent to make the hat;
3 4, 4 a stretcher of wood to
keep the legs square. The
straight lines in the skeleton
figure show the course of the
String, and the dotted lines, the
string continued, to make the
| shape, over which the calico
covering is neatly pasted. The
"boots and hat should be paint-
\ed black, the face and hands
flesh colour, the former dashed
With red on the cheeks, and the
hair and beard a yellowish
brown. The features are to be
marked out with black lines, and
the spaces between the arms
are to be painted white. The
string may be attached to the belt, and the whole weighted with a tail constructed with
cups, as in the Bird Kite.
Every boy knows how to trundle the Hoop in the usual way; several pairs of tin
squares are sometimes nailed to the inner part of the hoop, which produce a jingling
noise. In some parts of England, boys drive their hoops one against the other, and
the player whose hoop falls in these encounters, is conquered. The introduction of
iron hoops has, however, nearly superseded the use of the wooden ones. They are much
more easily trundled, although heavier; the reason of which is, that the surface being
50 'MINOR SPORTS.
round, a lesser portion of it touches the ground than if it were flat. The iron hoop is
driven swiftly by means of a curved iron stick, by which it is pushed, while the wooden
hoop is struck with the wooden stick.
In ancient times the sling was used as a formidable weapon in war. Our readers
are, no doubt, well informed of the contest between David and the Giant Goliath, who
was killed by a stone sent from the sling of his opponent. In the reign of Harold,
slings were used in the English army. The following is the method of making one :-
Cut out an oval piece of leather, about two inches wide at the broadest part; at each
of the ends fasten a leather thong, or piece of cord,-one of these cords, or thongs,
should be longer than the other; place a stone in the broadest part of the leather,
twist the longest thong twice or thrice round your hand, hold the other lightly
between your thumb and fore-finger, whirl it round swiftly several times, let go the
shorter thong, and the stone will be shot to a great distance. Small lumps of soft clay,
kneaded to the point of a pliant switch, may also be jerked to a considerable height.
A new kind of sling, sold at the toy-shops, is made on the latter principle. It consists
of a band of India-rubber, with a loop at one end for the stone.
The Bomerang is an importation from Australia, where it is used by the natives for
killing ducks and other wild fowl that abound in the lagoons of that extensive
continent. The toy, which is formed of a thin curved piece of
wood, flat on one side, and slightly rounded on the other,
possesses several curious properties. If held horizontally
and then thrown forwards towards any object, it will rise
rapidly on the wind with a kind of rotary motion, and after a
considerable flight return again to within a yard or two of the
thrower; or if skilfully thrown, it can be made to touch the ground and rebound
several times after the manner of an oyster-shell when it makes "ducks and drakes"
on the water. It can also be made to strike an object behind a tree. In the recent
war in New Zealand, the natives used the Bomerang as a weapon of offence.
The Skip-Jack is made in the form shown in the engraving, either of hard wood, or
the bone called the merry-thought" in a fowl, well cleaned; a piece of catgut, or
strong string is tied securely round the two arms of the toy, and a short stick intro-
duced into the opening between the two sides of the string; this stick must be some-
what longer than the distance from the string to the arched part of the wood or bone.
The string is then twisted by means of the stick, until it A
begins to act like a spring. You must next shift the stick, by
forcing out one of its ends, in such a manner that the longest end --
shall be pressed against the toy at A, by the force of the twisted string. A morsel of
cobblers' wax must then be applied to the underneath side of the toy, and the stick
MINOR SPORTS. 51
forcibly brought round and pressed against it. If it be now laid on the ground, the
spring of the string soon overcomes the adhesion of the wax, and the toy will spring
to a considerable height. The same principle is applied, with good effect, to little
wooden figures of rats, cats, or frogs.
The amusements we are about to describe require considerable skill in the player.
The graces are played with two sticks of the same size and form, each about four feet
in length. A small hoop, neatly covered with leather, is placed over the two sticks,
which are held firmly in each hand, and crossed, they are then suddenly drawn
asunder; and the impetus received by the hoop, will
throw it up a great distance; if several players are
engaged, it may be thrown from one to the other, and.
on a smooth and extensive lawn, the Graces will be
found a very healthy and entertaining sport.
A similar game is played with a toy made of hard
wood, and shaped like two cones joined together at
the apex, so as to somewhat resemble an hour-glass.
Two slight and tapering sticks are necessary, and to
the slenderest ends of these sticks a thin string is
attached, as seen in the engraving. The mode of play-
ing the game is as follows :-The player places the rods
on the table. laying the double cone over the string; then taking a stick in each
hand, he endeavours to raise it, and support it on the string, a feat that requires some
skill, and can only be accomplished by keeping the toy constantly rolling backwards
and forwards on the string. When this is accomplished, it may be thrown up in the air,
and caught on the string, or if there are several players, it may be thrown from one to
BATTLEDORE AND SHUTTLECOCK.
Battledores and Shuttlecocks are to be obtained cheap at all the toy-shops. The
better sort of battledores are covered with parchment, or crossed with fine catgut,
which on account of their elasticity or spring, are free from the disagreeable noise of
wooden bats, and send the shuttlecock much higher. The game is played by two
persons, who, with the battledores, strike the shuttlecock to and fro between them.
Shuttlecock is also an amusing game for a single player: if he be clever and persever-
ing, he may beat it up in the air for a considerable time.
Shuttlecock appears to have been a fashionable game among grown persons in the
reign of James the First, and is mentioned as such in an old comedy of that time.
Among the anecdotes related of Prince Henry, son to James the First, is the follow-
ing :-"His Highness playing at shuttlecock with one far taller than himself, and
hitting him, by chance, with the shuttlecock upon the forehead, This is,' quoth he,
'the encounter of David with Goliath.' The Chinese are famous players of this game,
but instead of the battledore, they use their naked hands, and sometimes even theirfeet.
52 MINOR SPORTS.
Ten or a dozen standing in a ring, and dexterously sending the shuttlecock from oneo
to the other, by means of the feet alone, the blow being given with the sole of the
foot or the ball of the big toe.
Cut a circular piece out of stout leather; bore a hole through its centre; and pass
a string, with a knot to prevent the end from escaping, through this hole. Soak the
leather well in water before you use it; when thoroughly soaked, place the leather on
a stone, and press it down with your foot, by which you exhaust or press out the air
from between the leather and the stone; then holding the string, you may, by the pres-
sure of the external air on your leather sucker, raise a considerable weight. An India-
rubber sucker has lately been introduced; the exhaustion of the air being produced
by pressure on a little knob above the toy.
The Bandilor is a toy made of hard wood, resembling a pulley with a very deep
groove; round this groove a piece of string is wound. To set the Bandilor in action
the end of the string must be held between the finger and thumb, and the toy allowed
to fall, by this means the string is necessarily unwound; but if its fall be suddenly
checked by a sharp jerk, the motion is instantly changed, and instead of continuing to
fall, it will rise towards the hand again, and the more rapidly it is falling, the more
readily it can be made to change its course. The Bandilor can be purchased at the toy-
shops for sixpence or a shilling.
The Water-cutter is a toy whose action depends on the same mechanical law as the
Bandilor. It is formed of a piece of lead, or other metal; the edges, if you prefer it,
notched like the teeth of a saw. In this metal disk two holes are pierced at some dis-
tance from each other, and through these a piece of string is passed, the two ends being
afterwards tied together. If the two extremities of the doubled string are pulled
sharply, and the string instantly slightly relaxed, the "cutter" will make
several revolutions on account of the impetus it has received when the string
was pulled; in performing these revolutions it will twist the string, which
being again pulled with a jerk will be unwound, and necessarily carry round
with it the metal disk; the string is again loosened, and the greater impetus the cutter
has now acquired will twist the string to a greater extent than in the first instance; by
continuing to pull and relax the string adroitly, the cutter may be made to revolve
with great rapidity. The name, Water-cutter, has been applied to this toy because one
mode of playing the game is to make it revolve with one of its edges dipped in
water, so that it may sprinkle the bystanders and the player himself, to the amuse-
ment or annoyance of one or both, according to circumstances.
This very amusing toy is made and exhibited in the following manner:-Cut out
a circular piece of card, to which fasten six bits of string, as in the cut. Draw on one
MINOR SPORTS. t
side of it a figure with balls, and on the other, two balls only, as represented in tho
margin; then taking one of the strings between
the fore-finger and thumb of each hand, close to @ /
the card, twist or whirl it round, and, according
to which pair of strings you use, the figure will \
seem to be tossing two, three, or four balls in 0 _
different directions. Various cards and devices
may be used: for instance, you may draw a bird on one side, and a cage on the other;
by only using the centre pieces of string, the bird will seem to be in the cage or aviary;
---\ a horse on one side, and a jockey on the other,
Sas in the cut (taking care to reverse the figures,
/ or draw them upside down to each other), and
/ by using the different pairs of strings, you may
cause the rider to appear upon, leaping under,
or by the side of the horse, as you please. For
other designs, we suggest a tight-rope and a dancer, a body and a head, a candle and
a flame, a picture and its frame, etc.
CUP AND BALL.
Who has not heard of the celebrated amusement of the Cup and Ball, and of the
marvellous skill exhibited by some players in catching the ball on the pointed end of
the stem without making a single miss ? The ball which is to be caught is of ivory,
and attached by means of a thin piece of string to the middle of the stem, at one end
of which the cup is fixed. The other end of the stem is pointed, and a hole large enough
to receive this point is made in the ball. The stem being held in the hand, the ball is
made to revolve by twirling it between the finger and thumb, and when its motion has
become steady it is thrown up by a slight jerk, and caught, either in the cup, a task
requiring little skill, or on the pointed end of the stem; which last feat requires con-
JERK STRAWS, OR JOGGLING STICKS.
Simple as this game appears to be, it requires great patience and a very steady
hand; a number of small sticks, about half the thickness and twice the length of a
lucifer match, are thrown into a confused heap on the table, and the business of the player
is to remove the sticks, one by one, with a longer stick, without disturbing or shaking
the rest. One player begins and continues at his task until he has shaken the heap, he
then marks down the number of sticks he has been able to remove, these count towards
his game, and the second player follows, and so on, until all the sticks are removed.
The winner is, of course, the player who has safely removed the greatest number.
This is a very excellent in-door amusement. It is played with five small bones
from the hind leg of a sheep. These are thrown up in the air and caught in the palm
of the hand, or on the back of the hand, according to taste. All the requisite
54 MINOR SPORTS.
manoeuvres can readily be learned, and a little practice will insure their easy accom-
plishment. The bones should be selected as near of one size as possible, and be care-
fully cleaned and polished.
THE WATCH-SPRING GUN.
Neatly cut a bit of wood, about four inches long, into the form of the stock of a
pistol or gun; scoop a groove in the upper part of it, and in this groove place a large
quill, open at both ends, which fasten on with waxed thread, and let it project beyond
the point of the stock, and reach as far as the middle of it; next procure an old watch-
spring, which may be bought cheap at a watch-maker's, cut off a piece of it about as
long as the quill, bend it backward, and tie one end of it firmly to the upper part or
butt end of the stock. Then bore a small hole through the middle of the stock, about
half an inch from the mouth of the quill; cut a pin in two, fasten one half of it, by its
head, to a bit of thread, the other end of which fasten to the thread that binds on the
spring; this is the trigger, and your gun is complete. To use it, place a little arrow,
or a shot, in the groove between the mouth of the quill and the hole in the stock; put
the pin through this hole, and bend back the spring so that the pin may catch it;
take the toy in your right hand, pull the trigger out with the forefinger, and the spring
being thus released will drive the shot or arrow to a considerable distance. If you
use arrows, you may shoot at a little butt or target. These toys may also be bought
at the shops for a penny each.
PUFF AND DART.
The old-fashioned tavern game of Puff and Dart has lately found its way into
private houses, where it enjoys a certain kind of popularity under the name of
"Drawing-room Archery." It is played with a brass tube, through which a needle-
pointed dart is blown towards a target hung against the wall. Each player is provided
with a number of darts, and scores as many points towards game as he can, according
to the part of the target in which the dart becomes fixed. The target is painted in
rings, with a bull's-eye in the centre, each ring being numbered.
MINOR SPORTS. 65
The Pop-gun is formed of a piece of elder-wood, from which the pith has been
taken; a rammer must be made, with a handle of a proper length, which should have
a shoulder to prevent the slender or ramrod point going the entire length of the gun;
the pellets are made of moistened tow, or paper. Put one into one end of the gun,
push it with the rod to the other, and then placing a second pellet at the end where the
first was inserted, push that towards the opposite end, and it will drive the first pellet
out with great force. This is caused by the compression of the air between the two
pellets. Pop-guns are also made with quills, the pellets for which are cut by the quills
out of slices of raw potato or turnip.
Several new kinds of Pop-guns have been lately introduced. One consists of a
hollow tube with two corks fitted tightly, one at each end. When you force the rammer
in at one end, the compression of the air drives out the cork from the other with a loud
report. You then reverse the toy, and putting in the one cork drive out the other;
and so on as long as you please. Pop-guns on this principle are made in the forms
of pistols, cannons, etc.
By means of a tube of tin or copper a pea may be propelled from the mouth, by
the mere force of the breath, to a very considerable distance. The natives of Macouslie,
with a cane tube about twelve feet long, propel arrows with their breath with such
force and dexterity as to kill birds and other animals.
An amusing in-door game, recently introduced, is Parlour Bowls." Each player
is provided with two wooden balls, which are bowled in succession at a numbered
post called a Jack, and he who succeeds in so striking it as to leave the figure 8 uppe -
most when the Jack falls, wins the game. The sport may be varied according to the
fancy of the players.
ANNULETTE, OR PARLOUR QUOITS.
Nine wooden pins, shaped like skittles, are placed on an inclined plane, a number
being painted on each skittle. The object of the player is to throw nine rings on to
the several pins, scoring so many points in the game for each pin successfully ringed.
Sometimes the game is played in such a way as to give forfeitures and penalties
for lodging the ring on the wrong skittle.
This is an excellent parlour game, and can be played by several persons. Each
player chooses a castle, and if there be only six players, each can take two castles; or,
if four players, three castles. These are placed inside the fortresses, as shown in the
engraving, and the possessor of the Tower of London usually commences the siege.
The cannon-balls are placed in the centre of the board, and in the midst of them he
spins the top with all the vehemence he can; the battery then opens, and the balls fly
about and knock down the castles right and left. When the "firing" has ceased, the
56 MINOR SPORTS.
owner of each castle pays to the player a number of counters equal to the number
turned up on the top. To each of those whose castles are left standing the player pays
six counters. If every castle falls, the player receives a double amount of counters.
The rules of the game are sold with the board, which may be had in two or
Although this game bears the name of Bagatelle it has scarcely any resemblance
to that game, either in the form of the board or the skill requisite for playing. A
strong and a quick hand are the most necessary
Fig. 1. qualifications of the player. The board, which is
of the form shown in the engraving, has raised sides
like the Bagatelle board, and contains within its oir-
cumference nine flat pieces of ivory let into the wood,
on which the numbers one to nine are marked, in
the same order as in the holes of the Bagatelle board;
on each of these spots a small wooden pin, resembling
a skittle pin, is placed, that on the central spot being
white; the object of the player is a
to knock down as many of these 6
pins as possible, that he may count
the numbers on which they stood;
this he effects by means of the F.
a spinner, a, Fig. 2, which consists
of a piece of wood with a round flat top, from which a peg or foot projects : a piece
of string is wound tightly round this peg, and passed through the slit. in the raised
side at one end of the board, a, Fig. 1. The spinner is then pressed closely against
the side with the left hand, while the player, grasping the handle b, attached to
the string, in his right, pulls the string forcibly and with a sudden jerk, the consequence
is, the string is unwound from the spinner, and the latter, falling on the board, has
MINOR SPORTS. 57
acquired the spinning motion a humming-top would have acquired under nearly similar
circumstances. Away goes the spinner into the midst of the pins, knocking down some
and passing safely between others. In the course of its evolutions it soon reaches the
side of the board, and, if it is spinning with tolerable force, the instant it touches the
wood it flies off suddenly at a tangent, and again dashes among the pins. The
principal amusement consists in watching the progress of the spinner, as it bounces
from one side of the board to the other, and when it appears about to empire it suddenly
perhaps starts forward, and wins the player the game. The game, as in Bagatelle, is
counted by adding together the numbers marked on the spots on which the fallen pins
stood, and may be decided by one, two, or three spins from each player, to be
previously agreed upon.
THE RACE GAME.
This interesting game is of French origin. The players having first determined
upon the order of moving, each chooses a horse and throws the dice in succession.
There are several brooks, hedges, and hurdles for the horses to clear, and those that
cannot, lose their turn and wait till the next round. As two or three horses get before
the rest, and approach the winning-post, the excitement becomes intense, and if all
play with good humour, the game is usually concluded amidst great laughter. The
following rules are sometimes sold with the board, but of course they may be varied
at the option of the players :-
1. When the stakes are agreed upon and the pool made, each member must select
his horse, and then enter him at the starting-post.
2. Each member throws for choice of move; the highest number claims the first
move, and the others according to the number thrown.
3. Each player to throw with only one of the dice when his horse arrives at or
passes the distance-post.
4. The horse that reaches the winning-post first gains the pool, and the second
horse to save his stake.
58 MINOR SPORTS.
5. A steeple or hurdle-race can be played by placing a fence against each post, and
any player throwing any number that would place his horse so that he does not clear
the fence, forfeits his throw and waits his next turn.
6. All horses distanced to pay an extra half of their original stake, which is carried
to the next race.
Among the amusing in-door games lately introduced, Parlour Croquet deservedly
holds a high place. The mallets, balls, and arches are much smaller than those used
in the regular lawn game; and the whole, enclosed in a box, may be obtained of most
of the toy-sellers. The rules are the same as those of the regular game of croquet,
which is described under the head of Athletic Sports, with some slight modifications.
We conclude this section by repeating, in other words, a wholesome piece of advice
to the Minors; we beg to remind them that they should not have recourse to toys in
the hours allotted for study, lest the grave perceptor come upon them in the midst of
their mistimed sport, and join with them in a rather unpleasant game of
C nps a1 ottoms.
--- -' 1 -
iL--- --__ --
ii a I
f _,' ,
~~~---- -,- ----_-~
Jlc^)which require the exercise of wit, memory, and in-
telligence for their due performance. A selection of the
~'t best among them we present to our young readers, and trust that
they will find these, according to the time-honoured formula, not only
2 1 amusing but instructive. We will begin with
SCRAMBO, OR IMPROMPTU ESE-MAEING.
more p sons in the following manner -Each players furnished with two sips o
paper. On one of these a question is to be written and on the other a noun. The
Amusing but instructive. We will begin with
60 DRAWING-ROOM GAMES.
questions and nouns are then collected and placed in baskets or hats, out of whicl
each player takes a slip at random. Every one has now two slips-a question and a
noun. The object of the game is to answer the question in an original verse or
quotation, in which the noun is to be introduced. This is sometimes a matter of no
small difficulty, owing to the incongruity between question and noun; but a little
thought and skill will soon enable the player to succeed.
We will suppose the question to be-" Are you fond of cricket?" and the noun
"food." There is no similarity of ideas between the two; but a sharp-witted lad
would probably produce something like this-
You ask me if I'm fond of cricket-
What boy is not throughout the nation ?
To catch a ball or stump a wicket
Is food for high congratulation.
Or perhaps the question might be-" In what country is Andalusia ?" and the word
" banks." Then the ingenious youth would possibly reply-
Through Spain's fairest province, fertile and bright,
Flow the waves of the gentle and broad Guadalquivir;
And the warriors of old, undismayed in the fight,
Drubb'd the Moors on the banks of that beautiful river.
The briefer the verse or quotation the better. Players who are clever and quick
can make Crambo a very interesting and lively amusement. Various other games
have been founded upon this model, but we are only able to make room for a few other
specimens of this kind of play.
CHARACTERS AND PREDICTIONS.
This is a parlour game in which young ladies and gentlemen can play equally
well; but to play it properly some preparation is necessary.
On slips of card write quotations from the poets and dramatists descriptive of a
On cards of a different size, or colour, write other quotations descriptive of a
On cards of another size, or colour, write other quotations applicable to the future
fortunes of a lady and gentleman. These last are called predictions."
Beneath each quotation, which should be short, write the author's name.
When the game is to be played, the names of the ladies present are to be written
on separate pieces of card; and the names of the gentlemen on other pieces of a
different shape. Place in separate places, first, the names of the ladies; next the
names of the gentlemen; thirdly, the cards on which are written the characters for
ladies;" fourthly, the cards on which are written the characterss for gentlemen;"
fifthly, the cards which contain the "predictions;" and lastly, place in a bag a
number of small pieces of card, all of the same shape and size, one-third of the number
DRAWING-ROOM GAMES. 61
to be marked "L. F.," one-third G. F.," and the remaining third to be marked with
a star (*). A president is then appointed.
The game is now ready for playing. One of the company draws the name of a
lady, another draws the name of a gentleman. The gentleman leads the lady up to
the president. The gentleman draws one of the "characters for ladies," which h.
hands to the president. The lady in a similar manner draws one of the "characters
for gentlemen," which is also handed to the president. The president then reads to
the company the characters of the lady and gentleman before him. The president
then draws from the basket containing the predictions one card, the lines on which
he reads to the pair before him, as descriptive of what may be their future fortunes.
The bag containing the small pieces of card is now held forth to the gentleman,
who draws one piece. If it bear the letters G. F." the gentleman must pay a forfeit,
unless he can name the author of the lines read as his character;" if he can do this
he redeems his forfeit. If the piece of card drawn bear the letters "L. F." the lady
is liable to a forfeit, unless she names the author of the lines read as her "character."
But if the card bear a star *, then the gentleman is entitled to kiss his partner; if,
however, the lady names the author of the lines contained in the prediction," the
gentleman loses his privilege.
Each name, character, prediction, or forfeit-card, when drawn, is laid aside and not
used again until all the names have been drawn.
When the names have all been drawn the forfeits may be cried, and redeemed in
the usual way. Or the names and cards may be replaced, and the game go round
again, as endless combinations will arise if a sufficient store of characters and
"predictions has been secured.
The characters and predictions may be used on other occasions. Where but
two or three are present much amusement may be created by selecting the names of
" absent friends," and testing their characters," and trying their future by a "pre-
The pleasure of a friendly visit may be enhanced by requesting the visitor to draw
a character," many unexpected revelations being thus made.
The following we submit as suitable quotations, though they may be found in
Characters for Ladies.
Unsullied beauty.- Thomson.
Dark-eyed beauty! time may fling
His waste and withering power o'er th',
But not one feather of his wing
Shall brush love's fond fidelity.-T. K. Ifervey.
That angel-smile of tranquil loveliness,
Which the heart worships, glowing on her brow.-Halleck.
She lives in her affections-all
Her hopes are with the arm she trusts will save.-Percival.
62 DRAWING-ROOM GAMES.
But still her air, her face, each charm
Must speak a heart with feeling warm.-Frisbie.
The high and gifted lyre of heavenly song
Hath warmed her soul with new vitality.-Longfellow.
Characters for Gentlemen.
A youth to fortune and to fame unknown.-Gay.
. A man, who take him all in all,
We shall not look upon his like again.-Shakespeare.
A firm, unshaken, uncorrupted soul.--Thomson.
A man severe he was, and stern to view,
I knew him well.-Goldsmith.
A man he was to all the country dear,
And passing rich with forty pounds a year.- Goldsmoith.
Never shall his head control
The honest beatings of his soul;
And ne'er by him shall be represt
The gushing feelings of his breast.-T. K. Hervey.
A gentleman so rich in the world's goods,
Handsome and young, enjoying all the present.-Byron.
With each other blest, creative love
Still bade eternal Eden smile around.-Thomson.
Smoothly they pursue their way,
With even tenor and with equal breath,
Alike through cloudy and through sunny day,
Then sink in peace to death.-Kirke White.
While his loved partner, boastful of her hoard,
Displays her cleanly platter on the board.-GoldsJo ih.
Far from the adding crowd's ignoble strife,
Their sober wishes never learned to stray;
Along the cool, sequestered vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way !-Gray.
A gentle pair
By fortune sunk, but form'd of generous mould,
And charm'd with cares beyond the vulgar breast,
In some lone cot amid the distant woods
Our wooing doth not end like an old play;
Jack hath not Jill.-Shakespeare.
DRAWING-ROOM GAMES. 63
The players must be seated at a table. A number of slips of paper are provided,
one for each player, and as each sentence is written the slips are folded down so as to
hide the writing, and passed on, thus no player writing two consecutive lines. First
the players write on the top of the paper the description of a gentleman; then the
name of a man (any well-known or distinguished person will do); then an adjective or
two descriptive of a lady; next a lady's name; then the place where they met; after-
wards a date or period; then a short speech for a gentleman; next a lady's reply to
any suppositious question; afterwards the consequences that may be supposed to arise
from any circumstances; and lastly, an imaginary account of what the world said.
When the papers are unfolded, and read aloud by the leader of the game, the effects
are very ludicrous. The following may be taken as a single example-
Description of a gentleman.-Handsome, modest, and wealthy.
A gentleman's name.-Mr. Disraeli.
Description of a lady.-Lovely and accomplished.
A lady's name.-Queen Emma, of the Sandwich Islands.
The place where they met.-Greenwich, famous for whitebait and pensioners.
The date.-April 1, 1866.
The gentleman's speech.-" Dear lady, I admire you."
The lady's reply.-" Yes, I like it boiled."
The consequences.-They were married immediately..
And what the world said.-It was very right and proper.
Put together, the various replies would read-" The handsome, modest, and wealthy
Mr. Disraeli met the lovely and accomplished Queen Emma, of the Sandwich Islands,
at Greenwich, a place famous for whitebait and pensioners, on the first of April, 1866.
He said, 'Dear lady, I admire you;' to which she replied, 'Yes, I like it boiled.'
The consequences were that they were married immediately, and the world said it was
very right and proper." This game may be made still more amusing, in a large party
of boys and girls, by introducing the names of various members of the company.
The leader whispers a sentence into the ear of his right-hand neighbour, who
whispers again to his right-hand friend; and so on right round the table. The last
person repeats the sentence as he understood it, and the first one as he originally
gave it. Very curious are the transformations that take place in the passage of the
CROSS QUESTIONS AND CROOKED ANSWERS.
One player goes round among the circle, and whispers in each one's ear an answer
he is to make to the next player, who comes after him asking questions. For instance,
Charles goes round to Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4.
To one he whispers, "Hot, sweet, and strong."
To a second, With pepper and vinegar."
Tp a third, "With my best love."
64 DRAWING-ROOM GAMES.
To a, fourth, "At the seaside."
And to the whole circle an answer of some kind.
George comes after Charles to ask any questions his own wit may sugge&t.
He may perhaps ask No. 1, "What kind of a week have you passed ?"
"Hot, sweet, and strong."
Shall you ever marry ?"
"With pepper and vinegar."
"How will you keep house on these ?"
"With my best love."
"Do you admire blue eyes ?"
"At the seaside."
And so on throughout.
Much amusement is sometimes made by the total variance of the questions and
answers, and sometimes a hard hit is administered to some of the company; but, of
course, no offence can be taken.
An amusing variety of this game may be introduced by arranging that the
questions and answers shall all relate to animals and birds, so that when they are
completed the relaters will reply somewhat as follows, imitating as nearly as possible
the noise which the creature named makes. For instance-Tom says, The question
asked me was, What is the way a pig talks ?' And the answer was, Coo, coo, coo.' "
Robert says, "The question asked me was, 'What is the way a donkey talks?'
And the answer was, Cock-a-doodle-doo,' etc.
The traveller quits the room, and the rest of the players fix on the country they wish
respectively to represent, somewhat in this fashion:-A Turk twists a handkerchief for
his turban, and with a stick appears to be smoking a pipe as he reclines on a cushion.
A German student may be represented with mock knapsack, book, turned-down collar,
and singing a Rhine song; a German lady should be knitting, with feet on a stove.
A Laplander, warmly wrapped, should be shown by appearing to drive reindeer, which
may be represented by chairs turned down and a hearthrug over his knees. A gipsy's
tent may be easily contrived, and the people of various countries similarly personated;
and, when all are ready, the traveller comes into the room and endeavours to guess
the nation each represents. This is a game very like Acting Charades, but more simple.
The players being seated round the room, one thinks of an object or article, or ever
any noun. The game is for the players to guess this object by asking questions con-
cerning it. Each player is to ask a question in turn. Sometimes the number of
questions is limited to twenty, and of guesses to three. The questions should be framed
on the exhaustive principle, so to speak, leading up gradually to the object to be
discovered. For instance, "Is it animal, vegetable, or mineral ?" If animal, "Is it
living or dead ?" If dead, "Is it skin, bone, flesh, or sinew ?" If skin, "Is it in its
natural state or manufactured?" and so on. In this manner clever questioners can
DRAWING-ROOM GAMES. 65
almost always arrive at the object thought of, however peculiar. The following
example will illustrate the mode of playing this amusing game. The player having
stated that he has thought of an article, the questioners begin-
Does it belong to the animal, vegetable, or mineral kingdom ?-Partly to the
animal and partly to the vegetable.
Is it used for food ?-No.
Is it in its natural or prepared state P-In its prepared state.
Does it go through many processes before it is fitted for use ?-Yes.
Is it useful or ornamental ?-Both.
Is it used in this country ?-Yes.
"Where are its original materials found ?-In many parts of the world.
Is it cotton, or paper, or leather ?-All those are employed in making it.
Is it one particular thing, or does it belong to a class ?-To a class.
Do they vary in size ?-Yes.
Does one consist of many parts ?-Yes.
Do they want sewing ?-Yes.
Have they covers ?-Sometimes.
Then it is a book ?-You are right, and you have guessed it in fourteen questions.
This game is often reversed by the players fixing upon the object in the absence
of one of them from the room, who on his return endeavours to discover it by asking
questions of the company alternately.
It is sometimes made a rule that all questions shall be so framed that they can be
answered simply by "Yes" or "No," and no other question shall be legitimate. It
makes the success more remarkable to arrive at an out-of-the-way thing with no more
assistance than these two words.
TWIRL THE PLATTER.
This amusing game requires no great amount of skill, but the players must be
active and alert in order to play it well. All the party sit or stand in a circle, and one
sets up a wooden platter on its edge and twirls it round so that it spins while standing
upright. Having done so, he calls one of the other players by name, and it is the
business of the latter to keep the platter spinning without allowing it to fall. He in
his turn calls upon another, who, after giving the platter a spin, calls upon a third, the
third upon a fourth, the fourth upon a fifth, and so on; the game being that the
platter is to be kept twirling, and the player who allows it to fall to the ground pays
THE ANIMAL CLUB.
Two players are elected to fill the offices of President and Vice-President; the rest
choose each the name of some animal, bird, or insect which they will represent. The
President then relates an anecdote or recites a piece of poetry slowly. At the occurrence
of any word the initial letter of which is the same as that of any animal in the club,
the cry peculiar to that animal must be repeated by the player who represents it. For
instance, if there are a dog, a cuckoo, and a bee, at any word commencing with a d the
66 DRAWING-ROOM GAMES.
dog must bark, at a c a cuckoo must be heard, at a b the bee must buzz. The Vice-
President must be on the watch for any omission. When one occurs he is at liberty to
ask the delinquent six questions concerning the animal he represents, and for as many
as he fails to answer a forfeit is demanded; if he answer all, he takes the Vice-
BU37FF WITH THE WAND.
The player selected as Buff is blindfolded, and has a wand or walking-stick given
him; the other players range
S.. .i: .themselves in a circle, and dance
.or skip round him. It is the
business of Buff to touch with
e ,ini If ti and whom he recognizes by his
Sor her voice. Buff continues
S, blind till he succeeds in rightly
touching the speaker, who then
Stakes his place. As soon as a
Player is touched the players in
the circle cease to skip. A
Modification of this game is
called Porco, in which the
Sbplayers grunt like a pig, and
-the hoodwinked player guesses
at his voice. In French Buff, a
modification of our old-fashioned
game, the player has his hands tied behind him instead of being blindfolded. He then
endeavours to catch one or other of the players, and the one who is caught or touched
becomes Buff in his turn. If this game is not very intellectual, it is, at any rate,
Procure from a printer half-a-dozen sets of printed alphabets. Paste them on
cards, and cut each out separately. Then put them loose in a bag and shake them up
together. Take out a dozen or so at random, and with them endeavour to form words
and sentences so that all the letters may be employed. This is a quiet game for two
or three; and by reversing the method, anagrams may be easily discovered.
This is a new and amusing game. The materials required are four cotton bags or
cushions half filled with dried peas. Two persons play by each taking two bags, one
in each hand. They then throw the bags to one another with the right hand, transfer
the bag in the left to the right, and catch the opposite player's bag in the left hand; so
passing them round from one hand to the other, the players throwing and catching
simultaneously. The object of the game is to keep the bags from falling as long as
DRAWING-ROOM GAMES. 67
possible; and though this is difficult at first, yet with practice players are skilful
enough to keep the bags up for half an hour or more. In Canada and the
United States this game is very popular; and though it seems simple enough when
merely described, it is one that will try the patience of any boy however clever he
THE SHADOW PANTOMIME.
This is a very amusing game for evening parties. It is best played in a double
drawing-room or parlour with folding doors. Between the doors a sheet is fixed, on
which the shadows are to be shown. In order to make the shadows more distinct it
is well to have the sheet well damped. The audience sit in the larger room, which is
darkened, and the performers take their places behind the sheet, and when not per-
forming, stand at the sides of the room out of the way of the light. The folding doors
when half closed form a capital retiring place. Behind the sheet, at some distance, is
placed a bright light. A good camphine lamp will do, but an oxy-hydrogen light is
the proper thing. All is now prepared and the pantomime commences. Every one
who passes between the light and sheet casts a shadow upon the latter. As the per-
former walks toward the sheet his shadow diminishes, and as he comes nearer the
light it enlarges; when, by jumping over the lamp, his shadow seems to fly up to the
ceiling and vanish. Much fun and laughter may be caused by the contrivance, which
is exhibited on a large scale at the Crystal Palace in the Christmas holidays. All
kinds of objects may be introduced, both animate and inanimate, and variety may be
obtained by a judicious disguising of the head and body in whiskers, paper caps, old
clothes, etc. Dances, leap-frog, comic faces, and so forth, may be well introduced in
68 DRAWING-ROOM GAMES.
this easily-arranged entertainment. In our illustration the arrangement of the
performance will be easily seen. The lamp being placed on the ground the actor
jumps towards the sheet, and consequently appears to descend from the ceiling, while
if he jump back again over the lamp, he seems to vanish upward. The audience in
front see only the shadow, and hence much amusement is created.
This pleasing fireside amusement requires a good memory well stored with poetry.
One player recites a verse, after which another repeats a verse, the first letter of the
first word of which is the same as the first letter of the last word of the one already
given. For instance, suppose a player to say-
Oh, what is friendship but a name,
A charm that lulls to sleep,
A shade that follows wealth and fame,
And leaves sad eyes to weep ?
The reply verse might be-
Why, then, o'er earthly friendships mourn,
As fleeting and as frail
As lovely flowers, by rude hands torn
And scattered on the gale.
Here we have a similar sentiment in the two verses; but this is by no means
necessary, nor need the lines be grave in their tone, or actual quotations from poems.
They may be nursery rhymes or impromptu lines, or nonsense verses, as-
The voice of the thunder is heard
Deep down in the mouth of the bear,
And whisperingly lingers the bird,
As though no affection were there.
To which the reply might be-
Then why do you thunder so loud,
If the bird should but whistle its plaint;
For love can be sought in a crowd,
If the lover don't feel very faint.
In fact, the more ludicrous the images the more fun is caused in a mixed party.
This is not a game for very youthful players; but those who are fond of poetry
will find it very amusing. Two, four, or more words are written on paper and given
to each player. The words may be such as will rhyme with each other. Thus
suppose the words chosen be-near, clear, dell, bell, the players endeavour to make a
complete verse of which these words will form the rhymes. When all are ready, the
papers are thrown into a heap and read aloud, and those who have best succeeded
receive prizes or forfeits from the rest. The following are samples of verses that
might be so written :-
DRAWING-ROOM GAMES. 69
Hark to the deep cathedral bell,
Sounding o'er the waters clear;
Echoing over hill and dell,
Distant copse and village near.
Another might be-
A gentle brook was murmuring near,
Afar was heard the tinkling bell;
And peaceful zephyrs, pure and clear,
Refreshed the flowers in every dell.
Fairies in the bosky dell,
Dance beside the waters clear;
From each yellow cowslip bell
Drink, nor dream of danger near.
THE PRINCE'S RANSOM.
Three of the players agree to sustain the parts of the Sultan, the Vizier, and the
Prince. The Sultan takes his seat at the end of the room, and the Vizier then leads
the Prince before him, with his hands bound behind him. The Vizier then makes a
burlesque proclamation that the Prince having exhausted all his stories, is about to be
punished unless a sufficient ransom be offered. The rest of the company then advance
in turn, and propose enigmas (which must be solved by the Sultan or Vizier), sing the
first verse of a song, to which the Vizier must answer with the second verse, or recite
any well-known piece of poetry in alternate lines with the Vizier. Forfeits are paid
either by the company when successfully encountered by the Sultan and Vizier, or by
the Vizier when unable to respond to his opponent, and the game goes on till the
forfeits amount to any specified number on either side. Should the company be
victorious, and obtain the greatest number of forfeits, the Prince is released, and the
Vizier has to execute all the penalties that may be imposed upon him; if otherwise,
the Prince is led to execution. For this purpose he is blindfolded and seated on a low
stool; the penalties for the forfeits, which should be previously prepared, are written
on slips of paper and put into a basket, which he holds in his hands, which are still
tied behind him. The owners of the forfeits advance in turn, and each draws one of
the slips of paper. As each person comes forward, the Prince guesses who it is, and
if right the person must pay an additional forfeit, the penalty for which is to be exacted
by the Prince himself. When all the penalties have been distributed, the hands and
eyes of the Prince are released, and he then superintends the execution of the various
punishments that have been allotted.
A large number of slips of cardboard, or thick paper, being prepared, the players
write upon them all manner of miscellaneous substantives and adjectives. Three cards
are then dealt to each player, without the dealer knowing the words written upon
them. When all are supplied, each player is required to write a verse in which the
70 DRAWING-ROOM GAMES.
words shall be introduced. Thus, suppose out of the mass a player to get cards with
the words minutes, flower, and bell, he would probably produce something like this-
We in each flower and simple bell,
That in our path betrodden lie,
See sweet remembrancers which tell
How fast the winged minutes fly.
Or suppose the words plant, triumphs, freedom, fall to your lot, then you might write-
I'd plant my foot on hero soil,
Where men for freedom fought--
Where Wallace, Tell, and Washington
Herculean triumphs wrought.
Cento Verses are lines selected from various poems, just as they occur to the
memory. Each line should contain a like number of syllables, and rhyme with the
one which preceded it. Thus, if one player says-
'Tis distance lends enchantment to the view;
It was the sweetest flower that ever grew.
Clever men have not disdained to play at these rhyming games; and it is said that the
great statesman Canning was very fond of amusing himself and his friends with Bout
Rimes and Cento Verses. Suppose a four-line verse be chosen, each line of which is a
quotation from a different poet; thus :-
'Twas Greece, but living Greece no more;
Memorial frail of youthful years;
He sat beside the cottage door;
His was a grief too deep for tears.
In this way a sort of poetic patchwork is produced-the word Cento, indeed, meaning
a cloak of many pieces. The jumble of familiar lines often causes great amusement.
Bout Rimes are said to have been invented by Dalot, a poor French poet, who
employed himself in finding rhymes for others to fill up with words; and when he
lost a packet of these words he is reported to have lamented sadly that he had lost a
hundred sonnets. It is not necessary when the rhyming words are provided that the
sense should be perfect; but of course the verse is all the better when it is. Suppose,
for instance, you are required to make a sonnet of the words daffodils, fills, hills, rills;
come, hum; home, roam; pent, spent, sent; there, care, where; do you think you
could produce anything like this ?-
DRAWING-ROOM GAMES. 71
Sweet spring! the daisies and the daffodils,
Snowdrops and violets, and wild pansies come
To bid thee welcome; and the busy hum
Of twice ten thousand happy insects fills
The sunny air; and all the murmuring rills
Wake from their long imprisonment. Our home
Is gay with music-and we long to roam
To scent the heather blooming on the hills.
But in the city's dulness ever pent
There are who feel no spring returning there,
Worn down with toil their wretched hours mis-spent,
In vice and misery, disease and care !
But e'en for them a kindly hope is sent,
Contentment makes a summer everywhere !
Or suppose the words were-
love home fears rose green cause hours
prove roam tears those seen laws flowers
You might make a verse like this-
Mary, you say I do not love,
And that from thee I wish to roam;
Mary, my words and actions prove
That thy neat dwelling is my home.
Then redden not your eyes with tears,
For which I fain would find a cause,
Pale not thy cheek with useless fears,
Breathe not a word againstt comfort's laws !
Oh, deem me not, my love, with those
Who idle all their precious hours,
For though I rather like the rose,
I'm not so precious fond of flowers!
By thy dear side I'm seldom seen,
Where flowers are sold-I'm not so green.
THE GAME OF RHYMES.
One of the players thinks of a word, and gives a word that will rhyme with it. The
rest, endeavouring to guess the word, think of words that will rhyme with the one
given; but instead of mentioning the words they thought of, the players define them.
The first player must be quick in guessing what is meant by the descriptions, and
answer whether they are right or not. Here is an example-
One player says, "I have thought of a word that rhymes with sane."
"Is it a native of Denmark ?"-" No, it is not a Dane."
"Is it used by schoolmasters ?"-" No, it is not a cane."
"Is it suffering ?"--" No, it is not pain."
"Is it what is meant when we say we would be glad to do so and so P"-" No, it
is not fain."
"Is it a Christian name ?-" No, it is not Jane."
"Is it to obtain by success ?"-" No, it is not gain."
72 DRAWING-ROOM GAMES.
"Is it the hair that grows upon the neck of animals P"--" No, it is not a mane."
"Is it a very narrow way or passage ?"-" No, it is not a lane."
"Is it the moisture of the clouds condensed ?"-"- No, it is not rain."
"Is it a square of glass ?"-" No, it is not a pane."
"Is it to be proud of our accomplishments P"--No, it is not vain."
"Is is the ocean, or the chief?"-" No, it is not the main."
"Is it another name for poison ?"-" No, it is not the bane."
"Is it the top of a weathercock ?"-" Yes, it is a vane."
Various words may be chosen, such as bun, sun, pear, pair, etc.; but it will gene-
rally be found that single syllables answer best. Forfeits may be added to this game,
and in mixed companies of boys and girls it will be found very diverting.
THE WITCHES' IDA-CE.
This is an effect produced by very simple means, on the principle of every light
casting its own shadow. The sheet is arranged as for the Shadow Pantomime, and
the audience in the dark. A large outline figure of a witch or any other object is
BEliiIND THE C)URlTAIN.
suspended by means of thin threads behind the sheet, the space above and below the
figure being darkened with a thick cloth, so as to leave only part of the screen for the
light to act upon. Two boys then go behind, each holding two candles, in such a way
as to allow each candle to reflect its own light.
DRAWING-ROOM GAMES. 73
As the candles are moved about, the witches will appear to be dancing or jumping
about in the air.
BEFORE THE CURTAIN.
All the players stand in a circle, with one in the centre, who is called the Indian.
A long piece of tape or ribbon is passed round the circle, so that each player may hold
a part of it with both hands, the last having both ends. The Indian has to touch the
hands of the players before they can be dropped, and any one who is not sufficiently
quick to withdraw his hands before they are touched, pays a forfeit, and becomes the
Indian. Like other simple games, this is productive of considerable fun.
This very intellectual amusement is sometimes called the Council of Friends.
The company sit round a table furnished with writing materials. One of them pro-
poses a word, which the rest endeavour to define, not in the strict dictionary method,
but by a poetical or imaginative description. When all have defined the word, another
74 DRAWING-ROOM GAMES.
is given, and again defined, and so on as long as the players choose. Forfeits may be
exacted of those who fail to produce passable definitions. Here are a few examples-
What we all long for and seldom obtain.
The sunshine of the soul.
Youth's prerogative and age's consolation.
Life's ignis fatuus, always sought, but seldom found without alloy.
An enigma: for we often bestow it on others, yet have it not ourselves ; but
by bestowing, gain some portion of what we give away.
The mind's messenger.
The soul speaking in every feature.
Wisdom's relaxation, wit's trifling, baby's prattle, parrot talk, the fool's
Reason's antipodes, whispered nothings.
Froth on the glass of life.
Lord Dundreary's reasoning.
Speech without profit, absurd to the mind, surely, is nonsense truly defined.
"The misnomer of Providence.
The twin sister of procrastination.
The chisel that wears away patience.
The red-tape knight who crosses the way of progress.
Kings, Lords, and Commons.
The foundation-stone of health.
The nation's boast, and the people's toast.
An olla podrida of fixed laws and various opinions.
A. WORD DIVINED BY THE MOTIONS OF A WAND.
There must be two confederates-one we will call the magician, the other the diviner.
The diviner is sent out of the room and the rest of the company (without the connivance
but within the hearing of the magician) fix upon a word. The diviner is called in and
stands opposite the magician, who is seated robed, wand in hand, with which he makes
mysterious motions and draws cabalistic figures on the floor. Very shortly the diviner
announces the word fixed on. The way this is done is as follows :-For each conso-
nant in the word the magician makes some trifling remark commencing with such
consonant, in the meanwhile making use of the wand. For the vowels he points with
the wand to some part of the ceiling, according to previous arrangement-say to the
DRAWING-ROOM GAMES. 75
left-hand corner opposite to him for A, to the right-hand corner for E, to the left-hand
corner behind him for I, to the right-hand for 0, and he may point vertically to the
floor or the ceiling for U. To give an instance. Let the word be Christmas." The
magician, after sundry motions with wand, says, "Come a little nearer." More
motions and cabalistic marks; (to company) "How can I go on if you make such a
noise." Motions; (to mischievous little boy) "Really I must put you out of the room,
Tom, if you are not quiet." Waves wand and at last points to left corner of ceiling
behind him for I. Motions; (to diviner) "Say when you know the word." Motions;
(to diviner) Take your time." Motions; (to merry little sister) Mary, you mustn't
laugh." Waves wand and points to left-hand corner of ceiling opposite to him for A.
Motions; (to diviner) Strange that you should be so long over the word." The diviner
now announces the word. Indeed, if he is sharp, he can generally do so before it is all
spelled out. To those who are not in the secret this appears very inexplicable, seeing
that the confederates cannot have fixed the word beforehand.
Several of the foregoing games are played with forfeits. It is not necessary to tell
our readers how to cry forfeits, for every one of them knows the old-fashioned formula,
how the forfeit-teller kneels in the lap of the crier, who holds the article above his
head, and says--" Here's a pretty thing, a very pretty thing, and what shall he do
who owns this pretty thing?" But as some of the penalties are very absurd, and
calculated to create confusion instead of innocent amusement, we venture to suggest
a few that are free from these objections, and yet sufficiently provocative of fun
and laughter :-
Push your friend's head through a ring. [This is done by putting your finger
through a ring, and then touching the head of the player with its tip.]
Repeat without mistake, Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled pepper; and if Peter
Piper picked a peck of pickled pepper, where's the peck of pickled pepper Peter Piper
Spell Constantinople syllable by syllable. [The trick in this is, that when the
speller gets to the fourth syllable, one of the other players calls out "No, no !" which
confuses him, and causes some fun.]
Sing a song, tell a story, ask a riddle, or keep a serious face for five minutes.
Repeat the names of all the Kings of England. [The trick in this is, that the boy
will most probably run through a list of the sovereigns without omitting the Queens,
and thus subject himself to another forfeit.]
Ask a question that cannot be answered in the negative. [The question is, "What
does YE S spell?"]
Repeat without stopping--
When a twiner a twisting will twist him a twist,
For the twining of his twist he three times doth intwist;
But if one of the twines of the twist do untwist,
The twine that untwisteth untwisteth the twist.
76 DRAWING-ROOM GAMES.
Repeat the answer-
The twain that, in twisting, before in the twine,
As twines were intwisted, he now doth untwine,
Twixt the twain intertwisting a twine more between,
He twisting his twister, makes a twist of the twine.
Give the first verse of the Twine-twister in French-
Quand un cordier cordant veut accorder sa corde,
Pour sa corde accorder trois cordons il accord;
Mais si l'un des cordons de la corde decorde,
Le cordon decordant fait decorder la corde.
Now say all that in seven letters. [Thus-A L L, T H A T.] J J01N
Write your name in one letter. [This may be done thus- BIRW
Count twenty backwards.
Eight forfeits may be redeemed together, by eight players dancing the first figure
of a quadrille with their eyes shut.
In conclusion, let us recommend the fcrfeit-crier to carefully abstain from exacting
penalties of an offensive character, or such as involve unseemly familiarities. Let him
play the game in such a way as to earn from his fellow-players such a tribute of good-
will, kindness, and respect as he would not willingly
I i : Ii i ,
S^ ACTING CHIARADES, TABLEAUX VIVJANTS, 3ETC.
1VIONG the amusements most popular at evening parties is the acting
of Charades or Proverbs. They are easily arranged, and produce
a good deal of amusement. A double drawing-room, or parlours
J' with folding doors, will do capitally for stage and auditorium; the
Sfolding-doors serving for curtain and side scenes, behind which the
actors retire on leaving the stage. The window at the back of the
inner room will be found very useful, and a few scenes may be introduced where
necessary. The players who are to act in the Charade must arrange among them-
selves as to the distribution of characters; while for dresses, properties, and decora-
tions, a sufficient number of old coats, hats, shawls, aprons, and other garments,
will be found in most houses; for furniture, chairs, tables, stools, etc., may be
introduced; and for properties, laths will do for swords, saucepan lids and dish covers
for shields, and tin pots for helmets. But we need do no more than suggest stage
appliances; for smart boys will soon learn how to convert an easy-chair into a throne,
or a sofa into a boat, a carriage, or a counter; moustaches may be made with burnt
cork, and the cheeks may be reddened or whitened with rouge or chalk.
These Charades are of several kinds : those which are performed entirely in dumb
show, and are called Pantomime Charades; Acting Charades, in which the speakers
either study the words of their several parts, or give them impromptu; and little plays
and farces, which are either Proverbs, Burlesques, or Dramas. We give a specimen of
each kind; though it is by no means necessary to follow out our model too strictly.
Clever boys and girls will soon make plays for themselves. In the Charade a word of
two or more syllables is acted, either in pantomime or by dialogue, each syllable
forming a scene. The players choose a word or sentence, each part of which should
have a separate meaning, and when they have played it out, the audience guess its
interpretation. When the Charades are short, new actors can be selected from the
company, so that all may have a chance of distinguishing themselves by appearing on
the stage of the Theatre Royal Back Parlour.
Of course, if a more finished performance is aimed at, some expense must be
incurred in providing regular theatrical properties, costumes, scenery, etc.
The following words will serve for either Pantomime or Acting Charades :-
Air-gun. Cap-rice. Drop-stone.
Air-pump. Court-ship. Eye-lash.
Band-box. Cross-patch. Eye-glass.
Before-hand. Cross-bow. Fag-end.
Bride-cake. Dice-box. Father-in-law.
Bull-rush. Dog-rose. Fan-light.
Back-gammon. Dog-ma-tic. Fare-well.
78 DRAWING-ROOM GAMES.
Free-holder. Miss-under-stand. Sweet-bread.
Game-cock. Night-shade. Tell-tale.
Game-keeper. Night-in-gale. Tea-board.
Grand-father. Novel-ties. Tide-waiter.
Grand-child. Out-side. Tow-line.
Heir-loom. Out-rage. Ten-ant-try.
Heir-at-law. Out-pour. Up-shot.
Horse-chest-nut. Paper-maker. Up-braid.
Horse-man-ship. Pack-cloth. Up-start.
I-doll (idol). Pop-gun. Vat-i-can.
Jack-pudding. Pen-wiper. Watch-guard.
Jack-boots. Pen-man-ship. Watch-man.
Jew-ill (jewel). Quarter-staff. Waist-coat.
King-craft. Quick-witted. War-den.
Kid-napper. Quarrel-some. Way-bill.
Lady-bird. Rabbit-warren. Water-fall.
Leap-frog. Rope-yarn. Water-butt.
Love-apple. Rain-bow. Wheel-bar-row.
1Mad-cap. Sauce-box. Young-ster.
Mar-gate. Safe-guard. Youth-ful.
Mend-I-can't. Sweet-heart. Yoke-fellow.
In getting up a Charade or Drawing-room Play, it may be thought necessary to
begin with a sort of opening address or prologue. The one here given may be taken as
a suggestion for the sort of thing required. It should be spoken with due emphasis
and discretion by one of the lads :-
"To wake the soul by tender strokes of art,
To raise the genius and to mend the heart,
To make mankind in conscious virtue bold,
Live o'er each scene and be what they behold,
For this the tragic muse first trod the stage,
Commanding tears to flow through every age !"
Thus Mr. Pope, in bygone years; while we
In those same words invite your sympathy;
Plead for your kindly greeting and applause,
And hope to move your smiles in this our cause;
From you, our "audience," "public," and "the press,"
We ask indulgence in a brief Address.
I see before me kind approving faces,
And mark some dear old friends in various places;
Patrons, whose hearty welcome, warm and bright,
I see in scores of laughing eyes to-night!
Our Entertainment, by your sanction crown'd,
Must be, and is, and will be, thrice renown'd.
We youthful actors on this mimic stage
Find in your smiles our truest patronage.
We seek your approbation; and if that we win--
Draw up the curtain, let the play begin I
DRAWING-ROOM GAMES. 79
A PANTOMIME CHARADE IN THREE SCENES.
Two LITTLE BOYS. BEADLE.
SUSAN, a, servant girl. OLD WOMAN.
JOHN, a footman. RECRUITING SERGEANT.
SCENE I.-A street, which may be made by fastening several newspapers against the
walls for bills, showing part of the window at back, and placing cheese, butter,' etc.,
on a table behind. A lamp-post may be made by fixing a lantern to the top of a
prop, and an apple-stall at the corner may be made with a chair and a table-boy
dressed as old apple-woman pretending to smoke a short-pipe, etc.
80 DRAWING-ROOM GAMES.
Enter two Boys who run about and begin to play at leap-frog. The one makes a
back, over which the other jumps; the second then goes down, and just as he is about
to make a back, he calls out, Higher! tuck in your twopenny," when
In rushes the BEADLE, who flourishes his cane, and drives the boys out. [The
dress of the beadle may be made with an old coat and a bit of red cloth round the
Beadle swaggers about, and exit.
Re-enter Boys, who again begin to play, when the Beadle once more drives them
Enter OLD WOMAN, SERVANT GIRL, and FOOTMAN. They stand and talk confidentially,
and Footman shows wedding-ring, kisses the Servant Girl, puts ring on her finger,
and so on. The Old Woman is about to give money to the Girl, when the entrance of
the RECRUITING SERGEANT causes confusion, and the Old Woman puts the money back
into her pocket. [The dress of the Recruiting Sergeant may be shown by tying a
scarf round his waist, pinning a bunch of ribbons to his hat, etc.]
RECRUITING SERGEANT goes up to Footman, places a shilling in his hand, and
marches him off. Old Woman and Girl express grief and astonishment ; -wring their
hands and weep. Old Woman imitates the action of the firing a gun, and Girl falls
back; but presently rises, takes ring from her finger, and looks at it despondingly,
as if to show that the chance of marrying is gone. Both weep and wail in comic
Re-enter Footman. Old Woman and Girl clap their hands and show their joy.
Footman exposes placard on which is written, Sent back; not short enough for a
soldier. [Scene closes.
THE SECOND- GAMMON.
SCENE II.-A parlour with ordinary furniture.
RICH OLD LADY. I SrABBY LovER.
Enter RICH OLD LADY with a long purse in her hand. This she displays osten-
tatiously. Sighs and takes letter from her pocket and reads. Sighs again and
Enter SHABBY LOVER, who advances to Rich Old Lady, and immediately begins to
make violent love to her by going down on his knees, clasping her hand, placing his
hand on his heart, etc. Old Lady seems pleased and shakes hands with him. He
kisses her cheek and then looks round at the audience and winks his eye in an artful
manner. Again pretends to admire the Old Lady, who looks admiringly on him. He
embraces her, and at the same moment takes the purse from her hand, cuts a caper,
and exit. Old Lady looks astonished, screams out "Gammon!" and faints. [Scene closes.
DRAWING-ROOM GAMES. 81
YOuNG LADY. I YOUNG GENTLEMAN.
SCENE III.-A drawing-room with usual furniture.
Visitors arrange themselves in groups, and look over the prints on the table, the
flowers, etc. One sits down to piano and another stands over her to turn the leaves of
the music, etc.
Enter YOUNG LADY and GENTLEMAN from opposite sides. They bow and shake
hands, and then go about among the company. The Young Gentleman goes to back
of room and brings out a little table, which he places near the centre of the room. He
puts a draught-board on the table, and goes towards the Young Lady, whom he appears
to invite to join him by pointing to the table, etc. They bring chairs and sit at the
table, one on each side. He opens the draught-board and commences rattling the
dice-box, moving the draught-men. Visitors stand round the table and appear to
amuse themselves by looking on. [Scene closes.
AN ACTING CHARADE IN TWO SYLLABLES.
MRS. LOCKITT. C CHARLES BEAUCHAMP.
ADA LOCKITT, her daughter. ADOLPHUS SPARKS.
SUSAN, a servant.
SCENE I.-A parlour.
Enter SUSAN, followed by ADOLPHUS.
ADOLPHUS. I declare, Susan, you are looking charming.
SUSAN. Thank you, sir, I always do.
ADOLPHUS. Really, now, you don't say so ? But where is your mistress ?
SUSAN. Mrs. Lockitt, sir ?
ADOLPHUS. Mrs. Lockitt! No Miss Ada; the adorable, the incomparable Miss
SUSAN. She is upstairs, sir.
ADOLPHUS. Upstairs-eh ? Susan, would you like to have a shilling ?
SUSAN curtseyingg). Yes, if you please, sir.
ADOLPHUS. Well, then, who comes here besides me ?
SUSAN. Let me see-there's the butcher, the baker, the milkman, the--
ADOLPHUS. No, no; you misunderstand me. I mean, who visits here ?
SUSAN. Oh, there's Miss Cann, Mrs. Staunton and her two daughters, Mrs.
8, DRAWING-ROOM GAMES.
ADOLPHUS. Stop, stop I mean male visitors.
SvsAN. Oh, we never have any male visitors.
ADOLPHUS. None! Susan, I'm a happy man. There's a half-crown for you.
SUSAN. Oh, thank you, sir. At least none to speak of. Mr. Beauchamp comes
ADoLPHUs. Mr. Beauchamp Who is he ?
SUSAN. A friend of the family, sir; but he comes here so often you can hardly call
him a visitor.
ADOLPHUS. Susan, I am afraid you have got that half-crown under false pretences.
But never mind, take my card up to Mrs. Lockitt. [Gives card.
SUSAN. Very well, sir. (Aside) Under false pretences, indeed! [Exit SUSAN.
ADOLPHUS. Now, who can this Mr. Beauchamp be ? Can he be a rival ? If he is,
Enter BEAUCHAMP, who places his hat upon table, slowly draws off his gloves,
and sits down ; ADOLPHUS staring at him the while.
ADOLPHUS. That's cool.
BEAU. Eh ? Did you speak ?
ADOLPHUS. No, nothing.
BEAU. I beg pardon.
[Takes up book and begins to read. A pause. BEAUCHAMP gives a slight cough.
ADOLPHUS. Eh ? Did you speak ?
BEAU. No, nothing.
ADOLPHUS. I beg pardon.
[BEAUCHAMP puts down book, and walks up and down. ADOLPHUS does the
same; finally they knock against each other.
BEAU. and ADOLPHUS. What do you mean, sir ?
ADOLPHUS. I insist upon knowing what you mean, sir ?
BEAU. Who are you, sir ?
ADOLPHUS. Never mind, sir.
BEAU. There's my card, sir. Will you favour me with yours ? [Gives card.
ADoLPHUS (reading card). Charles Beauchamp !
Enter MRs. LOCKITT.
MRs. LocKITT. Good morning, gentlemen.
BEAU. I am charmed to see you looking so well this morning.
MRs. LOCKITT. Flatterer! But you, gentlemen, do not know one another. Allow
me to introduce you. Mr. Beauchamp, Mr. Sparks-Mr. Sparks, Mr. Beauchamp.
[BEAUCHAMP and SPARKS bow.
ADOLPHUS. By the way, Mrs. Lockitt, why is- Do you understand cons, Mr.
B3z. Cons-cons-what are they ?
DRAWING-ROOM GAMES. 83
ADOLPHUS. What an extraordinary individual you are-don't know what a con is ?
Why, a conundrum, to be sure.
BEAU. Oh! a conundrum!
MRS. Lockitt. Yes, Mr. Sparks is famous for making conundrums.
ADOLPHUS. Well, then, what article of navigation resembles an animal ? (A pause.)
Do you give it up-eh ?
BEAU. I'll give it up.
MRS. LocKITT. And so will I.
ADoLPHUS. Why, a (s)cow, to be sure. (Laughs.) Isn't it good-eh? Ain't it
BEAU. (forcing a laugh). Yes, yes, very good. I suppose you have heard the news,
Mrs. Lockitt ?
MRS. LOCKITT. No. What is it ?
BEAU. Mr. Bearleigh has failed for fifty thousand.
MRS. LocxITT. You don't say so! I wonder what his poor girls will do for dresses.
ADOLPHUS. Here is another con. Why is an oyster like a tell-tale ?
BEAU. (shrugging his shoulders). I'm sure I don't know.
ADOLPHUS. Do you, Mrs. Lockitt ?
MRS. LOCKITT. No. You know I'm a bad hand at guessing conundrums.
ADOLPHUS. Well, then, because it is impossible to keep its mouth shut.
ADA. Good morning, gentlemen. [BEAUCHAMP and ADOLPHUS bow.
MRS. LocKITT. Where have you been so long, my dear ?
ADA. I had a visitor.
MES. LOCKITT. A visitor! Who was it ?
ADA. How inquisitive you are, mamma. Well, it was the-the-the dressmaker.
MRS. LOCKITT. Oh!
ADA. Is there anything new at the opera to-night, Mr. Sparks ?
ADOLPHUS. Really-that is-no, I believe not. But I have a first-rate con for you.
Why is bacon like the asthma ?
ADA. Really, I cannot tell.
ADOLPHUS. Can anybody else ? No. Well, then, because smoking cures it.
BEAU. I think you have been misinformed about the opera, sir, for Madame Sol-
feggio sings to-night for the first time.
ADA. How I should like to go.
BEAU. Would you allow me to be your escort ?
ADA. Mamma, shall we go ?
MRS. LOCKITT. As Mr. Beauchamp is so kind as to offer, I really think we will
ADOLPHUS. Now, upon my word, this is too good to be lost. Why is a speechless
monarch like Great Britain ?
84 DRAWING-ROOM GAMES.
MRS. LOCKITT. I have it. Because it's great but quiet.
BEAU. Really, a very good answer, indeed.
ADOLPHUS. Ah but that's not it.
MRS. LOCKITT. N !
ADOLPHUS. No. The answer is, because it's a king-dumb. Now, that's very good
-ain't it ? [Laughs exceedingly.
BEAU. Ladies, I will now take my leave. I will call for you this evening at half-
ADOLPHUS. If you would allow me, I should like to accompany you.
MRS. LOCKITT. Certainly. With pleasure.
BEAU. Good morning, Mrs. Lockitt. Good morning, Miss Lockitt.
[_Bo(s to the ladies, and to ADOLPHUS, and exit.
ADOLPHUS. (calling after 1i'M,,.). Mr. Beauchamp-Mr. Beauchamp-I have such a
capital con to ask you. Why is a rhinoceros like a- [Runs off after BEAUCHAMP.
MRs. LoCKITT. What an extraordinary man that Mr. Sparks is. But come to my
room, my dear, I have several things to show you.
ADA. Yes, mamma. [Exeunt MRS. LOCKITT and ADA. Scene closes.
ScENE II.-The same.
Enter ADA, and SUxSAN Crr(''ig a very large bandbox.
ADA. You are sure you have packed up the right bonnet ?
SusAN. Oh yes, miss. The yellow one with the bird of paradise feather.
ADA. That's right. Has Miss Shipton been here to-day ?
SUSAN. Yes, miss, and I gave her those dresses to alter for you.
ADA. Has Mr. Sparks called ?
SUSAN. No, miss.
ADA. When he does, I'm at home.
SUSAN. Very well, miss.
ADA. That's all. Stay, the lace of one of my best handkerchiefs is torn, will you
niend it ?
SuSAN. Yes, miss. [Exit SusAN.
ADA. Heigho! How those men do torment me. I suppose I shall have to marry
one of them to get rid of the other. I know mamma likes Mr. Beauchamp the-
SUSAN. Mr. Sparks. [Exit SUSAN.
Ea;Fer ADOLPHUS SPARKS.
ADOLPHUS. Good morning, Miss Lockitt.
ADA. Good morning.
ADOLPHUS. I am glad to find you alone.
DRAWING-ROOM GAMES. 85
ADA. Indeed! Why ?
ADOLPHus. Ever since I- You cannot be insensible to--Miss Lockitt, I am in
ADA. You don't say so It is a very nice feeling, is it not ?
ADOLPHUS. Ecstatic! What would man be without love; his life would be a blank
-a ship without a rudder. Yes, love is the guiding star of our existence, and without
it all would be chaos and confusion.
ADA. Quite poetical, I declare. I must certainly get you to write me a sonnet on
love in my album.
ADOLPHUS. With pleasure. Oh, Miss Lockitt, do you not pity me ?
ADA. Pity you I thought the feeling was delightful.
ADOLPHUS. Have you no compassion ?
ADA. Compassion is pity, is it not?
ADOLPHUS. I will speak plainly. Miss Lockitt, I lo-
Enter MKs. LOCKITT.
ADOLPHUS (aside). Bother the woman!
MRS. LocKITT. Ada, dear, I want you. How do you do, Mr. Sparks ?
ADOLPHUS. Very well, madam. (Aside) Save a secret sorrow. (Sighs.)
MRs. LOCKITT. When you send your parcel to Miss Shipton, Ada, tell her I want to
ADA. Very well, mamma. Mr. Sparks, will you do me a favour ?
ADOLPHUS. With pleasure.
ADA. I want this small parcel taken to my milliner's, will you do it for me ?
[ Takes up large bandbox.
ADOLPHUS (looking aghast). Really-upon my word-
ADA. You object.
ADOLPHUS. Oh, no; not in the least-that is-I'll send for it.
MRs. LOCKITT. Don't trouble Mr. Sparks.
ADOLPHUS. It is no trouble, I assure you. I'll go and get a boy to carry it
immediately. [Exit ADOLPHUS.
MRS. LOCKITT. How silly of you, Ada. The idea of wanting Mr. Sparks to carry a
ADA. It's only a little plan I have, mamma, so say nothing more about it, please.
MRs. LocKITT. I have such a number of things to do, that I hardly know which
to begin first, so I'll set to work and do them. [Hurries off rapidly.
ADA. It was quite funny to notice Mr. Sparks's face, when I asked him to carry
that box for me. I wonder what there can be in bandboxes that makes men so afraid
of them. I am sure, if I were a man, I wouldn't mind carrying one.
BEAu. Ah, Miss Lockitt, I am so glad to find you alone.
86 DRAWING-ROOM GAMES.
ADA (aside). Here's another man glad to find me alone. (Aloud) Mamma has
this moment left me.
BEAU. I am pleased to hear it, Miss Lockitt; I have come to place my fate in your
ADA. And what am I to do with it?
BEAU. Oh can you not guess ? For the last six months I have been miserable-
wretched-yet happy. Happy to be in your society-happy to be near you.
ADA. I am glad that I have been able to contribute to your happiness.
BEAU. Oh, Miss Lockitt, believe me, I know that I am unworthy.
ADA (aside). This is becoming serious. (Aloud) Excuse me interrupting you;
but, Mr. Beauchamp-I hardly dare ask you-will you do me a favour ?
BEAU. A thousand if you wish it.
ADA. Well, then, would you mind taking this box down town for me ?
[Takes up the bandbox.
BEAU. (surprised). That box
ADA. Yes, this box. There is nothing very extraordinary in a box, is there ?
BEAU. Certainly, I will take it with pleasure.
ADA. Thank you. Susan will give you the address. [Gives him box.
BEAU. Before I go, let me--
ADA. No, not now; place your fate in my hands when you return.
BEAU. Well, as you wish. Au revoir. (Aside) I must certainly get a boy to carry
this precious thing. [Exit BEAUCHAMP.
ADA. I knew that Mr. Beauchamp would not mind carrying it. Men make vows
and protestations, but the best way to test their sincerity, is to get them to carry a
bandbox. [Exit ADA. Scene closes.
SCENE HII.-The same.
ADOLPHUS. No one here! I am determined to come to some definite understanding
with Ada. I will be accepted or rejected to-day; this uncertainty will drive me mad.
I was certainly foolish-yes, decidedly foolish in refusing to carry that bandbox, for it
would have been so easy to have hired somebody to have carried it. Ah, stupid,
stupid Adolphus. Sparks! [Sits down at back of stage; takes up book and reads.
BEAU. Precious unfortunate! Couldn't find anybody to carry that blessed bandbox,
confound it! Just my luck; I met five people I knew. No matter, it has pleased Ada,
I am sure; so in that quarter I am safe. (Seeing ADOLPHUS.) Ah you here ?
ADOLPHUS. (Rising and coming forward.) (Aside) My rival! (Aloud) Yes, sir, and
why shouldn't I be here ?
BEAU. I'm sure I don't know.
DRAWING-ROOM GAMES. 87
ADOLPHUS. No, sir, and you won't know.
BEAU. I don't want to.
ADOLPHUS. Don't prevaricate, sir.
BEAU. Prevaricate ?
ADOLPHUS. Yes, sir, prevaricate. Do you object to the word, sir P
BEAU. Oh, no.
ADOLPHUS. Very well, sir, I'll use it if I like, sir.
BEAU. With all my heart.
ADOLPHUS. Yes, sir. (Walks up and down stage rapidly.) What are you here for, sir ?
BEAU. I have yet to learn that it is necessary for me to explain my actions to Mr.
ADOLPHUS. You're another, sir.
BEAU. (smiling). Indeed! I am sorry to hear it.
ADOLPHUS. Yes, sir, I say it emphatically, you're another.
BEAU. Mr. Sparks, I am at a loss to know the meaning of your conduct.
ADOLPHUS. That for my meaning, sir. [Snaps his fingers in his face.
BEAU. Ah! If you do that again I'll pitch you downstairs.
ADOLPHUS. NO you won't, sir.
BEAU. I give you fair warning, so take care.
ADOLPHUS. That for your warning. [Snaps fingers in his face again.
BEAU. Ah [Seizes ADOLPHUS by the collar, and they struggle about the room.
Enter MRS. LOCKITT and ADA.
MRs. LOCKITT. What is all this noise about? What is the meaning of this dis-
graceful contest in my house ?
BEAU. I have to apologize to you, Mrs. Lockitt, for this unseemly conduct on my part.
ADOLPHUS. Yes, it is all on his part.
BEAU. I will finish the discussion with you, sir, elsewhere. At present, I express
regrets to Mrs. and Miss Lockitt.
ADA. What is the cause of this disturbance ?
ADOLPHUS. He said he didn't prevaricate.
MRs. LOCKITT. Gentlemen, I see how it is; it is some misunderstanding on your
part. Let us think no more about it;-come, shake hands, and be friends.
BEAU. I have no ill-feeling towards Mr. Sparks.
ADA (aside). What a magnanimous creature!
ADOLPHUS. I have no objection to shake hands.
Mas. LOCKITT. That's right. Come. (She takes their hands, joins them together,
they shake heartily.) Now let us go to lunch.
[BEAUCHAMP offers his arm to ADA. ADOLPHUS does the same to MRS. LOCKITT.
As they are walking off the curtain drops.