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over their own border.
in the romance of King Alisaunde, vestre, in his Derniers Bretons, has told these unknown instruments are replaced the last story of this fierce game in the by a whipping-top, and Shakspere has Ponthivy district-how the man who the story in the English guise of a newer had had his father killed and his own period in the scene in Henry V.: eye knocked out by François surnamed “What treasure, uncle ?''—“ Tennisle Souleur, lay in wait for that redoubt- balls, my liege." By the ninth century ed champion, and got him down, soule the game of chugán' had established itand all, half-way across the boundary self in the Eastern Empire, where its stream. The murderous soule-play had name appears in the barbarous Greek to be put down by authority, as it had form TšukaviceLv. In the Byzantine debeen years before in Scotland, where it scriptions, however, we find not the orihad given rise to the suggestive proverb, ginal mallet, but a long staff ending in “ All is fair at the ball of Scone.” The a broad bend filled in with a network of other class of hostile ball.games differs gut-strings. Thus there appear in the from this in the ball having not to be East, as belonging to the great sport of brought to one's own home, but sent to ball-play on horseback, the first shapes the goal of the other side. In the Greek of two implements which remodelled the epikoinos, or common-ball, the ball was whole play-life of mediæval and modern put on the middle line, and each party Europe, the chugán being the ancestor tried to seize it and throw it over the of the mallets used in pall-mall and croadversary's goal-line. This game also quet, and of an endless variety of other lasted on into modern Europe, and our playing clubs and bats, while the bent proper English name for it is hurling, staff with its network was the primitive while football also is a variety of it, the racket. The fine old Persian drawing great Roman blown leather ball follis) of a match at chugan, which is copied by being used instead of the small hand- Ouseley in his Travels in the East, justiball, and kicked instead of thrown. fies his opinion that the horseback game Now as hurling was an ordinary classical is the original. We should not talk of game, the ancients need only have taken polo as being “ hockey on horseback,” a stick to drive the ball instead of using but rather regard hockey as dismounted hands or feet, and would thus have ar- polo, and class with it pall-mall, golf, rived at hockey. But Corydon never and many another bat-and-ball game. seeins to have thought of borrowing Indeed, when one comes to think of it, Phillis's crook for the purpose it would one sees that no stick being necessary have so exactly suited. No mention of for the old foot game of hurling, none games like hockey appears in the an- was used, but as soon as the Persian cient world, and the course of invention horsemen wanted to play ball on horsewhich brought them into the modern back, a proper instrument had to be inworld is at once unexpected and instruc- vented. This came to be used in the tive.
foot game also, so that the Orientals are The game known to us as polo has familiar both with the mounted and disbeen traced by Sir W. Ouseley, in Per- mounted kinds. The horseback game sia, far back in the Sassanian dynasty, seems hardly to have taken hold in Euand was at any rate in vogue there be- rope till our own day, when the English fore the eighth century. It was played brought it down from Munniepoor, and with the long-handled mallet called it has now under the name of polo bechugán, which Persian word came to come a world-wide sport again. But signify also the game played with it. the foot game made its way early into This is the instrument referred to in the Europe, as appears from a curious pasThousand and One Nights, and among sage in Joinville's Life of St. Louis, various earlier passages where it occurs written at the end of the thirteenth cenis the legend told by the Persian histo- tury. Having seen the game on his crurian of Darius insulting Alexander by sade, and read about it in the Byzantine sending him a ball and mallet (guï ve historians, he argues that the Greeks chugán) as a hint that he was a boy must have borrowed their tzyca nisterium more fit to play polo than to go to war. from the French, for it is, he says, a When this tale finds its way to Scotland, game played in Languedoc by driving a boxwood ball with a long mallet, and crowded round their goals, held up and called there chicane. The modern read- clashed their rackets, and the women er has to turn this neat and patriotic danced in lines between, and the old argument upside down, the French men smoked to the Great Spirit and led chicane being only a corruption of the the chant for his favor in the contest. Persian chugán; so that what Joinville The painter would never miss a ballactually proves is, that before his time play, but sit from morning till sundown the Eastern game had travelled into on his pony studying the forms of the France, bringing with it its Eastern young athletes in their “ almost supername. Already, in his day, from the human" struggles for the ball, till at last ball-game with its shifts and dodges, the one side made the agreed number of term chicane had come to be applied by goals, and divided with yells of triumph metaphor to the shuffles of lawyers to the fur robes and tin-kettles and miscelembarrass the other side, and thence to laneous property staked on the match. intrigue and trickery in general. Eng. Now, as to the introduction of the game lish has borrowed chicane in the sense of into North America, the Jesuit missiontrickery, without knowing it as the aries in New France as early as. 1636 name of a game. Metaphors taken from mention it by their own French name of sports may thus outlast their first sense, jeu de crosse, at which Indian villages as when again people say, “Don't contended " à qui crossera le mieux." bandy words with me,” without an idea The Spaniards, however, had been that they are using another metaphor above a century in America, and might taken from the game of hockey, which have brought it in, which is a readier was called bandy from the curved stick explanation than the other possible alor club it was played with.
ternative that it made its way across In France, the name of crosse, mean- from South-east Asia ing a crutch, or bishop's crosier, was When the Middle Ages set in, the used for the mallet, and thence the game European mind at last became awake to of hockey has its ordinary French name, the varied pleasure to be got out of hitjeu de la crosse. In Spanish, the game ting a ball with a bat. The games now has long been known as chueca. The developed need not be here spoken of Spaniards taught it to the natives of at length proportioned to their great South America, who took kindly to it, place in modern life, as the changes not as mere boys' play, but as a manly which gave rise to them are so comparasport. It is curious to read accounts tively modern and well known. The by modern European travellers, who Persian apparatus kept close to its origiseem not to recognise their own play nal form in the game of pall-mall, that ground game when transplanted among is, “ball-mallet,'' into which game was the Araucanians of Chili, even though it introduced the arch or ring to drive the shows its Spanish origin by the name of ball through, whereby enough incident chueca. Seeing this, one asks whence was given to knocking it about to make did the North American Indians get the sport fit for a few players, or even a their famous ball-play, known from Cal- single pair. An account of pall-mall ifornia right across the Indian country ? and its modern revival in croquet will be It is to all intents the European chueca, found in Dr. Prior's little book. Playcrosse, or hockey, the deerskin ball being ing the ball into holes serves much the thrown up in the middle, each of the same purpose as sending it through two contending parties striving to throw rings, and thus came in the particular or drive it through the adversaries' goal. kind of bandy called golf, from the The Iroquois say that in old times their clubs used to drive the ball
. The stoolforefathers played with curved clubs and ball, so popular in mediæval merrymaka wooden ball, before the racket was in- ings, was played with a stool, which one troduced, with which to strike, carry, or protected by striking away with his throw the leather ball. Of all the de- hands the ball which another bowled at scribers of this fine game, Catlin has it; the in-player was out if the stool was best depicted its scenes with pen and hit, or he might be caught out, so that pencil, from its beginning with the night here is evidently part of the origin of ball-play dance, where the players cricket, in which the present stumps
seem to represent the stool. In club-ball that the difference between them is that a ball was bowled and hit with a club; between “ will ” and “shall." But the and a game called cat-and-dog was play- two-faced lot that can only fall head or ed in Scotland two centuries ago, where tail can only give a simple yes or no, players protected not wickets but holes which is often too simple for either the from the wooden cat pitched at them, diviner or the gambler. So we find Afgetting runs when they hit it. We have rican negroes divining with a number of here the simple elements from which the cowries thrown together to see how complex modern cricket was developed. many fall up and how many down ; and Lastly, among the obscure accounts of this, too, is the Chinese method of solancient ball-play, it is not easy to make emn lot-casting in the temple, when the out that the ball was ever sent against falling of the spoon-like wooden lots, so an opposite wall for the other player to many up and so many down, furnishes take it at the bound and return it. an intricate result which is to be interSuch a game, particularly suited to sol- preted by means of the book of mystic diers shut up in castle-yards, became diagrams. When this combination of a popular about the fourteenth century number of two-faced lots is used by under the name of pila palmaria, or jeu gamblers, this, perhaps, represents the de paulme, which name indicates its orig- earlier stage of gaming, which may have inal mode of striking with the palm of led up to the invention of dice, in which the hand, as in fives. It was an im- the purpose of variety is so much more provement to protect the hand with a neatly and easily attained. The first glove, such as may still be seen in the appearance of dice lies beyond the range ball-play of Basque cities, as at Bay- of history, for though they have not onne. Sometimes a battledore faced been traced in the early periods in with parchment was used, as witness the Egypt, there is in the Rig Veda the story of the man who declared he had hymn which portrays the ancient Aryan played with a battledore that had on gambler stirred to frenzy by the fall of it fragments of the lost decades of Livy. the dice. It is not clear even which But it was the racket that made possible came first of the various objects that the “cutting” and “boasting" of the have served as dice. mediæval tennis-court, with its elaborate In the classic world, girls used the asscoring by “chases. No doubt it was tragali or hucklebones as playthings, the real courtyard of the château, with tossing them up and catching them on its penthouses, galleries, and grated the back of the hand ; and to this day windows, that furnished the tennis-court we may see groups of girls in England with the models for its quaintly artificial at this ancient game, reminding us of grilles and lunes so eruditely discussed the picture by Alexander of Athens, in in Mr. Julian Marshall's Annals of Ten- the Naples Museum, of the five godnis. A few enthusiastic amateurs still desses at play. It was also noticed that delight in the noble and costly game, these bones fall in four ways, with the but the many have reason to be grateful flat, concave, convex, or sinuous side for lawn-tennis out of doors, though it up, so that they form natural dice, and be but a mild version of the great game, as such they have been from ancient to which it stands as hockey to polo or times gambled with accordingly. In Inas draughts to chess.
dia nature provides certain five-sided Turning now to the principal groups nuts that answer the purpose of dice. of sedentary games, I may refer to the Of course, when the sides are alike, they evidence I have brought forward else- must be marked or numbered where,* that the use of lots or dice for the four-sided stick-dice of India, and gambling arose out of an earlier serious that which tends to supersede all others
, use of such instruments for magical the six-sided kubos, which gave the Greek divination. The two conceptions, in- geometers the name for the cube. Since deed, pass into one another. The the old Aryan period many a broken magician draws lots to learn the future gamester has cursed the hazard of the and the gambler to decide the future, so die. We moderns are apt to look down
with mere contempt at his folly. But we * Primitive Culture, chap. iii.
judge the ancient gamester too harshly
if we forget that his passion is mixed know how to use them. The Roman with those thoughts of luck or fortune game of the twelve lines (duodecim scripta) or superhuman intervention, which so nearly corresponded with our trictrac form the very mental atmosphere of the or backgammon, that M. Becq de Fousoothsayer and the oracle-prophet. quières, in his Jeux des Anciens, works With devout prayer and sacrifice he out on the ordinary backgammon board would propitiate the deity who should the problem of the Emperor Zeno that give him winning throws; nor, indeed, has vexed the soul of many a critic. in our own day have such hopes and All these games, however, are played such appeals ceased among the unedu- with dice, and as there exist other cated. To the educated it is the mathe- games of like principle where lots are matical theory of probabilities that has thrown instead of dice, it may, perhaps, shown the folly of the gamester's staking be inferred that such ruder and clumsier his fortune on his powers of divination. lot-backgammon was the earlier, and But it must be borne in mind that this dice-backgammon a later improvement theory itself was, so to speak, shaken out upon it. Of course things may have of the dice-box. When the gambling happened the opposite way. Lot-backChevalier de Méré put the question to gammon is still played in the East in Pascal in how many throws he ought to more than one form. The Arabic-speakget double-sixes, and Pascal solving the ing peoples call it tab, or game, and play problem, started the mathematical cal- it with an oblong board or rows of holes culation of chances, this laid the foun- in the ground, with bits of brick and dation of the scientific system of statis- stone for draughts of the two colors, tics which more and more regulates the and for lots four palm-stick slips with a arrangements of society. Thus accurate black and white side. In this low varimethod was applied to the insurance ety of lot-backgammon, the object is table, which enables a man to hedge not to get one's own men home, but to against his ugliest risks, to eliminate his take all the adversary's. The best repchances of fire and death by betting that resentative of this group of games is the he shall have a new roof over his head Hindu pachisi, which belongs to a series and a provision for his widow. Of all ancient in India. It is played on a the wonderful turns of the human mind cross-shaped board or embroidered cloth, in the course of culture, scarce any is up and down the arms of which the more striking than this history of lots pieces move and take, in somewhat the and dice. Who, in the Middle Ages, manner of backgammon, till they get could have guessed what would be its back to the central home. The men next outcome—that magic sunk into move by the throws of a number of cowsport should rise again as science, and ries, of which the better throws not only man's failure to divine the future should score high, but entitle the player to a lead him to success in controlling it ? new throw, which corresponds to our
Already in the ancient world there ap- rule of doubles giving a double move at pear mentions of games where the backgammon. The game of pachisi has throws of lots or dice, perhaps at first great vogue in Asia, extending into the merely scored with counters on a board, far East, where it is played with flat give the excitement of chance to a game tamarind-seeds as lots. It even appears which is partly a draught-game, the to have found its way still farther eastplayer being allowed to judge with which ward into America, forming a link in the pieces he will move his allotted number. chain of evidence of an Asiatic element In England this group of games is rep- in the civilisation of the Aztecs.* For resented by backgammon. When Greek the early Spanish-American writers dewriters mention dice-playing, they no scribe, as played at the Court of Montedoubt often mean some game of this zuma, a game called patolli, played after class, for at mere hazard the Persian the manner of their European tables or queen-mother could not have played her backgammon, but on a mat with a diagame carefully, as Plutarch says she did, gram like a + or Greek cross, full of nor would there have been any sense in his remark that in life, as in dicing, one
* See the author's paper in the Eclectic Magmust not only get good throws, but azine for February, 1879.
squares on which the different-colored kles. It will be more to the purpose to stones or pieces of the players were point out that games worth keeping up moved according to the throws of a num- hardly die out, so that among existing ber of marked beans. Without the sports are probably represented, with board and pieces, the mere throwing more or less variation, the best games of hazards with the beans or lots, to bet on the ancients. On looking into the menthe winning throws, furnishes the North tions of the famous Greek draught-game American tribes with their favorite means of plinthion, or polis, it appears that the of gambling, the game of plumstones, numerous pieces, or dogs," half of game of the bowl, &c.
them of one color and half of the'other, It is a curious inquiry what led people were moved on the squares of the board, to the by no means obvious idea of find- the game being for two of the same ing sport in placing stones or pieces on a color to get one of the other color bediagram and moving them by rule. One tween them, and so take him. The athint as to how this may have come about tempt to reason out from this the exact is found in the men at backgammon act rules of the classic game has not aning as though they were counters swered. But on looking, instead of arcounting up the throws. The word guing, I find that a game just fitting the abax, or abacus, is used both for the description still actually exists. The reckoning-board with its counters and donkey-boys of Cairo play it in the dust the play-board with its pieces, whence a with “ dogs," which are bits of stone plausible guess has been made that play- and red brick, and the guides have ing on the ruled board came from a scratched its siga, or diagram, on the sportive use of the serious counting in- top of the great pyramid. If it was not strument. The other hint is that board- there before, it would have come with games, from the rudest up to chess, are Alexander to Alexandria, and has seemso generally of the nature of kriegspiel, ingly gone on unchanged since. There or war-game, the men marching on the is an account of it in Lane's Modern field to unite their forces or capture their Egyptians, and any one interested in enemies, that this notion of mimic war games will find it worth trying with may have been the very key to their in- draughts on a cardboard square. One vention. Still these guesses are far from kind of the Roman game of latrunculi sufficient, and the origin of board-games was closely related to this, as appears is still among the anthropologist's un- from such passages as Ovid's answered riddles. The simpler board- dius gemino calculus hoste perit," regames of skill, that is, without lots or ferring to the stone being taken between dice, and played by successive moves or two enemies. The poet mentions, a draws of the pieces, may be classed ac- few lines farther on, the little table with cordingly as games of draughts, this term its three stones, where the game is conincluding a number of different games, tinuasse suos, to get your men in a ancient and modern.
line, which is, of course, our own childThe ancient Egyptians were eager ish game of tit-tat-to. This case of the draught-players ; but though we have permanence of an ancient game was long many pictures, and even the actual ago recognised by Hyde in his treatise, boards and men used, it is not clear exact- De Ludis Orientalibus. It is the simly how any of their games were played. plest form of the group known to us as Ingenuity and good heavy erudition have mill, merelles, morris, played by children been misspent by scholars in trying to all the way across from Shetland to reconstruct ancient games without the Singapore. Among the varieties of necessary data, and I shall not add here draught-games played in the world, one another guess as
to the rules of the of the most elaborate is the Chinese weidraughts with which Penelope's suitors chi, or game of circumvention, the hondelighted their souls as they sat at the ored pastime of the learned classes. palace gates on the hides of the oxen Here one object is to take your enemy they had slaughtered ; nor will I discuss by surrounding him with four of your the various theories as to what the
own men, so as to make what is called “sacred line'' was in the Greek game an “eye, which looks as though the of the “five lines,"mentioned by Sopho- game belonged historically to the same