« PreviousContinue »
the court, in which an action for breach of promise was tried, the meaning of "mounting cockeldy-bread ;' and she explains it as “a play among children,” in which one lies down on the floor on her back, rolling backwards and forwards, and repeating the following lines :
“Cockeldy bread, mistley cake,
When you do that for our sake." While one of the party so laid down, the rest sat around : and they laid down and rolled in this manner by turns.
This singular game is thus described by Aubrey and Kennett: “Young wenches have a wanton sport which they call moulding of cockle-bread, viz. they get upon a table-board, and then gather up their knees as high as they can, and then they wabble to and fro, as if they were kneading of dough, and say these words :
“My dame is sick, and gone to bed,
And this is the way to mould cockle-bread." These lines are still retained in the modern nursery-rhyme books, but their connexion with the game of cockeldy-bread is by no means generally understood. There was formerly some kind of bread called cockle-bread, and cokille-mele is mentioned in a very early MS. quoted in Halliwell's Dictionary of Archaisms, p. 260. În Peele's play of the Old Wives Tale, a voice thus speaks from the bottom of a well:
“ Gently dip, but not too deep,
And thou shalt have some cockell-bread." Here we have a difficnlt passage in a well-known early dramatist explained by the evidence of an uneducated rustic girl ; and such instances illustrate the use of collecting the quickly vanishing fragments of our provincial customs and language. The Westmoreland version runs thus :
My grandy's seeke,
“A GAME most usual in Kent, with a cricket-ball, bowld and struck with two cricket-bats between two wickets. From Sax. cryc, baculus, a bat or staff; which also signifies fulcimentum, a support or prop, whence a cricket or little stool to sit upon. Cricket-play among the Saxons was also called stef-pleye, Staff-play." Kennett's MS. Glossary.
CROSS-RUFF. [“ A GAME at cards, thus alluded to in Poor Robin's Almanack for 1693 :
“ Christmas to hungry stomachs gives relief,
With mutton, pork, pies, pasties, and roast beef;
CURCUDDOCH, CURCUDDIE. “ To dance Curcuddie or Curcuddoch,” says Dr. Jamieson, in his Etymological Dictionary, "is a phrase used in Scotland) to denote a play among children, in which they sit on their houghs, and hop round in a circular form. Many of these old terms, which now are almost entirely confined to the mouths of children, may be overlooked as nonsensical or merely arbitrary. But the most of them, we are persuaded, are as regularly formed as any other in the language. The first syllable of this word is undoubtedly the verb curr, to sit on the houghs or hams. The second may be from Teut. kudde, , a flock; kudd-en, coire, convenire, congregari, aggregari ; kudde wijs, gregatim, catervatim, q. 'to curr together.' The same game is called Harry Hurcheon in the north of Scotland, either from the resemblance of one in this position to a hurcheon, or hedge-hog, squatting under a bush; or from the Belg. hurk-en, to squat, to hurkle.”
DRAWING DUN OUT OF THE MIRE, Says Steevens, seems to have been a game. In an old collection of satires, epigrams, &c., I find it enumerated among other pastimes :
“At shove-groat, venter-point, or crosse and pile,
Or at the drawing Dun out of the myer."
“ Well done, my masters, lends your hands,
Draw Dun out of the ditch,
[They pull him out. They had shoved Bishop Bonner into a well, and were pulling him out.
We find this game noticed at least as early as Chaucer's time, in the Manciple's Prologue.
“ Then gan our hoste to jape and to play,
And sayd, sires, what? Dun is in the mire." The method in which this game was played is described in Gifford's Ben Jonson, vii. 283.
THERE was a sport entitled “Draw Gloves,” of which, how. ever, I find no description.' The following jeu d'esprit is found in a curious collection of poetical pieces, entitled a Pleasant Grove of New Fancies, 1657, p. 56:
“ At Draw Gloves wee'l play,
A wager, and let it be this:
Shall have for his winning a kisse."
I “ Draw-gloves ; a game played by holding up the fingers representing words by their different positions, as we say, talking with the fingers." Halliwell's Dictionary, p. 316.
DUCK AND DRAKE.
BUTLER, in his Hudibras (p. ii. canto iii. I. 302), makes it one of the important qualifications of his conjurer to tell
“What figur'd slates are best to make
On wat'ry surface duck or drake." I find the following elegant description of this sport in an ancient church writer (Minucius Felix, ed. 1712, p. 28), which evinces its high antiquity : “Pueros videmus certatim gestientes, testarum in mare jaculationibus ludere. Is lusus est, testam teretem, jactatione fluctuum lævigatam, legere de litore: eam testam plano situ digitis comprehensam, inclinem ipsum atque humilem, quantum potest, super undas inrotare : ut illud jaculum vel dorsum maris raderet, vel enataret, dum leni impetu labitur; vel summis fluctibus tonsis emicaret, emergeret, dum assiduo saltu sublevatur. Is se in pueris victorem ferebat, cujus testa et procurreret longius, et frequentius exsiliret.”
Misson says, p. 307, “In winter, foot-ball is a useful and charming exercise. It is a leather ball about as big as one's head, filled with wind. This is kick'd about from one to t'other in the streets, by him than can get at it, and that is all the art of it."
Nares, in his Glossary, 1822, says: “Fayles, a kind of
game at tables.
" He's no precisian, that I'm certain of,
B. Jonson, Every Man in his Humour, iii. 3. “Mr. Douce has thus explained it from a MS. in the British Museum : it is a very old table game, and one of the numerous varieties of back-gammon that were formerly used in this country. It was played with three dice, and the usual number of men or pieces. The peculiarity of the game depended on the mode of first placing the men on the points. If one of the players threw some particular throw of the dice, he was disabled from bearing off any of his men,
and therefore fayled in winning the game; and hence the appellation ot' it.
“In Gifford's note on the above passage of Jonson, it is said: 'It was a kind of tric-trac, which was meant by ticktack in the same passage.' Mr. Douce refers also to the English translation of Rabelais. Strutt mentions it, and refers to the same MS., but gives no particulars. Sports and Pastimes, p. 283.”
GOFF, OR GOLF. STRUTT considers this as one of the most ancient games played with the ball that require the assistance of a club or bat. “In the reign of Edward III, the Latin name cambuca was applied to this pastime, and it derived the denomination, no doubt, from the crooked club or bat with which it was played; the bat was also called a bandy from its being bent, and hence the game itself is frequently written in English bandy-ball. It should seem that goff was a fashionable game among the nobility at the commencement of the seventeenth century, and it was one of the exercises with which Prince Henry, eldest son of James I., occasionally amused himself, as we learn from the following anecdote recorded by a person who was present: 'At another time, playing at goff
, a play not unlike to pale-maille, whilst his schoolmaster stood talking with another, and marked not his highness warning him to stand further off; the prince, thinking he had gone aside, lifted up his goff-club to strike the ball ; mean tyme one standing by said to him, Beware that you hit not master Newton, wherewith he, drawing back his hand, said, Had I done so, I had but paid my debts."
Dr. Jamieson derives golf from the Dutch kolf, a club. Wachter derives it from klopp-en, to strike. Golf and foot-ball appear to have been prohibited in Scotland by King James II.