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parer might make what card or suit he thought proper ; if the cards were of different suits, the highest number won the primero, if they were all of one colour he that held them won the Aush.” *
2. Trump, nearly coeval in point of antiquity with primero, and introduced in Gammer Gurton's Needle, a comedy, first acted in 1561, where Dame Chat, addressing Diccon, says, –
“ We be fast set at trump, man, hard by the fyre;" +
and we learn from Decker that, in 1612, it was much in
vogue : “ To speake,” he remarks, “ of all the sleights used by card-players in all sorts of games would but weary you that are to read, and bee but a thanklesse and unpleasing labour for me to set them down. Omitting, therefore the deceipts practised (even in the fayrest and most civill companies) at Primero, Saint Maw, Trump, and such like games, I will, &c." I
3. Gleek. This game is alluded to twice by Shakspeare S; and from a passage in Cook's Green's Tu Quoque, appears to have been held in much esteem:
- Scat. Come, gentlemen, what is your game?
it is then proposed to play either at twelve-penny gleek, or crown
To these may be added, Gresco, Mount Saint, New Cut, Knave Out of Doors, and Ruff, all of which are mentioned in old plays, and were favourites among our ancestors.
* Strutt's Sports and Pastimes, 4to. 1810, p. 291, 292. + Ancient British Drama, vol. i. p. 111. col. 1.
Belman of London, sig. F 2.
Midsummer Night's Dream, act iii. sc. 1. Reed's Shakspeare, vol. iv. p. 401. Romeo and Juliet, act iv. sc. 5. Reed's Shakspeare vol. xx. p. 221. # Ancient British Drama, vol. ii. p. 551. col. 1.
In the Compleat Gamester, 2nd edit. 1676, p. 90., may be found the mode of playing
The first of these games is mentioned in Eastward Hoe, printed in 1605, and written by Ben Jonson, George Chapman, and John Marston; the second in the Dumb Knight,
Tables and Dice, enumerated by Burton after cards, include some games unknown to the present day; such as tray-trip, mum-chance, philosopher's game, novum, &c.; the first is noticed by Shakspeare in Twelfth Night, and appears, from a note by Mr. Tyrwhitt, to have been a species of draughts *; the second was also a game at tables, and is coupled by Ben Jonson in the Alchemist with tray-trip t; the third is mentioned by Burton 7, and is described by Mr. Strutt from a manuscript in the British Museum.
It is called,” says the author, a number fight,' because in it men fight and strive together by the art of counting or numbering how one may take his adversary's king and erect a triumph upon the deficiency of his calculations $;" and the fourth is introduced by Shakspeare in Love's Labour's Lost || ; “ it was properly called novum quinque,” remarks Mr. Douce, “ from the two principal throws of the dice, nine and five; was called in French quinque-nove, and is said to have been invented in Flanders.”
The immoralities to which dice have given birth, we are authorised in considering, from the proverbial phraseology of Shakspeare, to have been as numerous in his time as at present. The expressions “ false as dice',” and “ false as dicers' oaths
“ false as dicers' oaths ?,” will be illustrated by the following anecdote, taken from an anonymous MS. of the reign of James the First :-“ Sir William Herbert, playing at dice with another gentleman, there rose some questions about a cast. Sir William's antagonist declared it was a four and a five; he as positively insisted that it was a five and a six; the other then swore with a bitter im
the production of Lewis Machin, 1608; the third in A Woman killed with Kindness, written by Thomas Heywood, 1617, where are also noticed Lodam, Noddy, Post and Pair, a species of Brag, Knave out of Doors, and Ruff, this last being something like Whist, and played in four different ways, under the names of English Ruff, French Ruff, Double Ruff, and Wide Ruff – Vide Ancient British Drama, vol. ii. p. 141, 445.
* Reed's Shakspeare, vol. v. p. 335. note. + Works of Ben Jonson; act v. sc. 4. † Anatomy of Melancholy, p. 172. col. 2. § Sports and Pastimes, 4to. p. 277. || Reed's Shakspeare, vol. vii. p. 183. Act v. sc. 2.
Illustrations of Shakspeare, vol. i. p. 243. · Reed's Shakspeare, vol. ix. pp. 227, 228. Winter's Tale, act i. sc. 2. · Ibid. vol. xviii. p. 240. Hamlet, act iii. sc. 1.
precation, that it was as he had said ; Sir William then replied, “Thou an a perjured knave; for give me a sixpence, and if there be a four upon the dice, I will return you a thousand pounds ;' at which the other was presently abashed, for indeed the dice were false, and of a high cut, without a four.” *
Dancing was an almost daily amusement in the court of Elizabeth ; the Queen was peculiarly fond of this exercise, as had been her father Henry the Eighth, and the taste for it became so general, during her reign, that a great part of the leisure of almost every class of society was spent, and especially on days of festivity, in dancing.
To dance elegantly was one of the strongest recommendations to the favour of Her Majesty ; and her courtiers, therefore, strove to rival each other in this pleasing accomplishment; nor were their efforts, in many instances, unrewarded.
Sir Christopher Hatton, we are told, owed his promotion, in a great measure, to his skill in dancing; and in accordance with this anecdote, Gray opens his “ Long Story” with an admirable description of his merit in this department, which, as containing a most just and excellent picture, both of the architecture and manners of “ the days of good Queen Bess," as well as of the dress and agility of the knight, we with pleasure transcribe. StokePogeis, the scene of the narrative, was formerly in the possession of the Hattons:
My grave Lord-Keeper led the brawls ;
His bushy beard and shoe-strings green,
The Brawl, a species of dance, here alluded to, is derived from the French word braule, “ indicating,” observes Mr. Douce, “ a shaking or swinging motion. - It was performed by several persons uniting hands in a circle, and giving each other continual shakes, the steps changing with the tune. It usually consisted of three
It usually consisted of three pas and a pied joint, to the time of four strokes of the bow; which, being repeated, was termed a double brawl. With this dance, balls were usually
Shakspeare seems to have entertained as high an idea of the efficacy of a French brawl, as probably did Sir Christopher Hatton, when he exhibited before Queen Elizabeth ; for he makes Moth in Love's Labour's Lost ask Armado, -“ Master, will you win your love with a French brawl ?” and he then exclaims, “ These betray nice wenches.” † That several dances were included under the term brawls, appears from a passage in Shelton's Don Quixote:-“ After this there came in another artificial dance, of those called Brawles †;" and Mr. Douce informs us, that amidst a great variety of brawls, noticed in Thoinot Arbeau's treatise in dancing, entitled Orchesographie, occurs a Scotish brawl; and he adds that this dance continued in fashion to the close of the seventeenth century. S
Another dance of much celebrity at this period, was the Pavin or Pavan, which, from the solemnity of its measure, seems to have been held in utter aversion by Sir Toby Belch, who, in reference to his intoxicated surgeon, exclaims,—“ Then he's a rogue.
“ Then he's a rogue. After a passy
* Illustrations of Shakspeare, vol. i. p.217.
# Part II. p. 129.
measure: or a parin, I hate a drunken rogue.
This is the text of Mii Tirulitt; but the old copy reads,
-“ Then he's a rogue, and in proporto Meisur's pazun,” which is probably correct ; for the pavan It is ondernd still more grave by the introduction of the passamezzo eiti ir leido obliged the dancers, after making several steps round the DRIn ceva il in the midille in a slow step or cinque pace. This series of time occasioned the term passamezzo to be prefixed to The ol' sveral dances; thus we read of the passamezzo galliard, #swell as the poster.20:50 paran; and Sir Toby, by applying the latter portation to din surgeon, meant to call him, not only a rogue, but a homemb
“The pavan, from pavo a peacock,” observes 1. Tokina. " is a grave and majestick dance. The method of Bing it one anciently by gentlemen dressed with a cap and sword, It has of the long robe in their gowns, by princes in their mantles, od by ladies in gowns with long trains, the motion whereof in the ...i regrmbled that of a peacock's tail. This dance is supposed to
on invented by the Spaniards, and its figure is given with the ...seters for the step, in the Orchesographia of Thoinot Arbean. 1. puna mezzo little is to he said, except that it was a favourite
in the days of Queen Elizabeth. Ligon, in his History of BarBunda, tions at passamezzo galliard, which, in the year 1647, a w in the island played to him on the lute; the very same, he
wilde an air of that kind which in Shakspeare's play of Henry the wille was originally played to Sir John Falstaff and Doll Tearsheet, les bombs, the munician, there named.” |
dual gravity with the “doleful pavin,” as Sir W. D'Avenant de ll, was The Measure, to trcad which was the relaxation of the popod dignified characters in the state, and formed a part of the listy of the inns of court, where the gravest lawyers were often wo do vading the measures. Shakspeare puns upon the name of this
C', ad contrasts it with the Scotch jig, in Much Ado about Nothing,
Rhino Shuk-peare, vol. v. p. 406.
+ Ibid. vol. v. p. 407. note.