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boys of the adverse side pitch successively a piece of stick, a little bigger than one's thumb called cat, to be struck by those holding the sticks. On its being struck, the boys run from hole to hole, dipping the ends of their sticks in as they pass, and counting one, two, three, &c. as they do so, up to thirty-one, which is game. Or the greater number of holes gained in the innings may indicate the winners, as at cricket. If the cat be struck and caught, the striking party is out, and another of his sidesmen takes his place, if the set be strong enough to admit of it. If there be only six players, it may be previously agreed that three put outs shall end the innings. Another mode of putting out is to throw the cat home, after being struck, and placing or pitching it into an unoccupied hole, while the in-party are running. A certain number of misses (not striking the cat) may be agreed on to be equivalent to a put out. The game may be played by two, placed as at cricket, or by four, or I believe more. Moor.]


[“A SEDENTARY game, played by two, with slate and pencil, or pencil and paper, like kit-cat, easier learned than described. It is.won by the party who can first get three marks (O's or x's) in a line; the marks being made alternately by the players 0 or x in one of the nine spots equidistant in three rows, when complete. He who begins has the advantage, as he can contrive to get his mark in the middle.” Moor.]


[“ The young girls in and about Oxford have a sport called leap-candle, for which they set a candle in the middle of the room in a candlestick, and then draw up their coats in the form of breeches, and dance over the candle back and forth, with these words :

The taylor of Bisiter,

He has but one eye ;
He cannot cut a pair of green galagaskins,

If he were to try.'
This sport in other parts is called dancing the candle rush.”
Aubrey's MS. ap. Thoms, p. 96. The verses here quoted are
still common in the nursery.]


Nares, in his Glossary, says this is "a game of which we seem to know no more than that the loser in it was to give up his place to be occupied by another. Minshew gives it thus : • To play at levell coil, G. jouer à cul léve: i. e. to play and lift up your taile when you have lost the game, and let another sit down in your place.' Coles, in his English Dictionary, seems to derive it from the Italian leva il culo, and calls it also pitch-buttock. In his Latin Dictionary he has level-coil, alternation, cession;' and 'to play at levei coil, vices ludendi præbere.' Skinner is a little more particular, and says, ' Vox tesseris globulosis ludentium propria :' an expression belonging to a game played with little round tesseræ. He also derives it from French and Italian. It is mentioned by Jonson, Tale of a Tub, iii. 2:

• Young Justice Bramblė has kept level-coyl

Here in our quarters, stole away our daughter.' “Gifford says that, in our old dramatists, it implies riot and disturbance; but I have seen it in no other passage. Coil, indeed, alone signifies riot or disturbance; but level coil is not referred by any to the English words, but to French or Italian. The same sport is mentioned by Sylvester, Dubartas, IV. iv. 2, under the name of level-sice :

By tragick death's device

Ambitious hearts do play at level-sice.' “In the margin we have this explanation : “A kinde of Christmas play, wherein each hunteth the other from his seat. The name seems derived from the French levez sus, in English, arise up.'” See further in Halliwell's Dictionary, p. 516.

LOADUM. [A GAME at cards, thus mentioned in Poor Robin's Almanack for the year 1755 :

Now some at cards and dice do play
Their money and their time away;
At loadum, cribbage, and all-fours,
They squander out their precious hours.
And if they're to an alehouse got,
Then the other game for th' other pot ;
Till when 'tis high time to give o'er,
Then play for who pays all the score,
And wheresoe'er the lot doth fall,
There poor Pill Garlick pays for all."']


STEEVENS, says: “ This is a game played in several parts of England even at this time. A stake is fixed into the ground; those who play, throw loggats at it, and he that is nearest the stake wins. I have seen it played in different counties at their sheep-shearing feasts, where the winner was entitled to a black fleece, which he afterwards presented to the farmer's maid to spin for the purpose of making a petticoat, and on condition that she knelt down on the fleece to be kissed by all the rustics present.”

Malone says : "Loggeting in the fields is mentioned for the first time, among other new and crafty games and plays, in the statute of 33 Hen. VIII. c. 9. Not being mentioned in former acts against unlawful games, it was probably not practised long before the statute of Henry VIII. was made.”

“A loggat-ground,” says Blount, another of the commentators on Shakespeare, “like a skittle-ground, is strewed with ashes, but is more extensive. A bowl, much larger than the jack of the game of bowls is thrown first. The pins, which I believe are called loggats, are much thinner and lighter at one extremity than the other. The bowl being first thrown, the players take the pins up by the thinner and lighter end, and fling them towards the bowl, and in such a manner that the pins may once turn round in the air, and slide with the thinner extremity foremost, towards the bowl. The pins are about one or two and twenty inches long."


The humorous essayist in the Gent. Mag. vol. viii. for Feb. 1738, already quoted, says, p. 80, that before the troubles (in the grand rebellion), Cross purposes was the game played at by children of all parties. Upon the death of Charles I. the ridicule of the times turned against monarchy, which during the Commonwealth was burlesqued by every child in Great Britain, who set himself up in mock majesty, and played at questions and commands ; as, for instance, King I am, says one boy; another answers,

I am your man ; then his majesty demands, What service he will do him ; to which the obsequious courtier replies, The best and worst, and all I can. During all Oliver's time, the chief diversion was, The parson hath lost his fudling cap, which needs no explanation. At the Restoration succeeded love-games, as I love my love with an A ; a flower and a lady; and I am a lusty wooer, changed in the latter end of this reign, as well as all King James II.'s, to I am come to torment you. At the Revolution, when all people recovered their liberty, the children played promiscuously at what game they liked best : the most favorite one, however, was Puss in the corner. Everybody knows that in this play four boys or girls post themselves at the four corners of a room, and a fifth in the middle, who keeps himself upon the watch to slip into one of the corner places, whilst the present possessors are endeavouring to supplant one another. This was intended to ridicule the scrambling for places, too much in fashion amongst the children of England, both spiritual and temporal."


Had no doubt their origin in bowls, and received their name from the substance of which the bowls were formerly made. Taw is the more common name of this play in England. Mr. Rogers notices marbles in his Pleasures of Memory, 1. 137:

“On yon gray stone that fronts the chancel-door,

Worn smooth by busy feet, now seen no more,
Each eve we shot the marble through the ring."

Notwithstanding Dr. Cornelius Scriblerus's injunctions concerning playthings of “primitive and simple antiquity,” we are told, “ he yet condescended to allow” Martinus “the use of some few modern playthings; such as might prove of any benefit to his mind, by instilling an early notion of the sciences. For example, he found that marbles taught him percussion, and the laws of motion ; nutcrackers the use of the lever ; swinging on the ends of a board the balance ; bottle-screws the vice; whirligigs the axis and peritrochia ; birdcages the pulley; and tops the centrifugal motion.” Bobcherry was thought useful and instructive, as it taught, "at once, two noble virtues, patience and constancy; the first in adhering to the pursuit of one end, the latter in bearing disappointment.” Pope's Works, vi. 117.


This sport, which is sometimes called shuggy-shew in the north of England, is described as follows by Gay:

“On two near elms the slackened cord I hung,

Now high, now low, my Blouzalinda swung." So Rogers, in the Pleasures of Memory, 1. 77 :

“ Soar'd in the swing, half pleas'd and half afraid,

Through sister elms that wav'd their summer shade." Speght, in his Glossary, says meritot, in Chaucer, a sport used by children by swinging themselves in bell-ropes, or such like, till they are giddy. In Latin it is called oscillum, and is thus described by an old writer: “Oscillum est genus ludi, scilicet cum funis dependitur de trabe, in quo pueri et puellæ sedentes impelluntur huc et illuc." In Mercurialis de Arte Gymnastica, p. 216, there is an engraving of this exercise.

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