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Title: Popular Pastimes for Field and Fireside
       or Amusements for young and old

Author: Caroline L. Smith

Release Date: April 30, 2016 [EBook #51896]

Language: English

Character set encoding: UTF-8


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Popular Pastimes


Field and Fireside,


Amusements for Young and Old.





Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1866, by MILTON BRADLEY & COMPANY, In the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.

SAMUEL BOWLES AND COMPANY. Printers, Binders and Electrotypers.









I WOULD like to make a few suggestions on “home influence,” before I commence a list of amusements. They may be superfluous; if so, I trust you will pardon me.

All parents, I am sure, must feel a deep interest in this subject, and I think will agree with me that judicious praise is quite as necessary in the training of a child as wholesome correction. But if we wish our children to have a genuine love for us, and our homes, we must sympathize with them, and never forget we were once children, and loved childish things.

Mothers have by nature far more sympathy and patience than most fathers. Some fathers are apt to think that home is only a place in which to eat, sleep, and be generally comfortable; but as to giving any of their valuable time to entertaining their own children, why, the very idea is preposterous! A wife is presuming to expect it! Let me appeal to your selfish instincts. You all wish to be loved and[vi] revered, and are gratified if your children are attentive to your comforts. Can you expect such manifestations, unless you set them an example, and prove by a real interest in their pleasures, that you sincerely love them? Is it not better to devote at least an hour a day to your children, than to spend every moment in earning money for them, which, unless you rightly direct and train them, will surely prove their ruin?

There is no time in the day when home is so pleasant as at twilight, or in the early evening hour. Then all are gathered (or should be) together at home. In the country it is after tea; in cities, particularly New York, it is after dinner. Then, I entreat you, fathers and mothers, assemble your children around you, devote your time for an hour or two in being children with them, join heartily in all their plays; let them tell what has interested them during the day; draw them out, and encourage them to open their little hearts freely and confide in you.

Some think it childish and silly to play games. Yet if we would only keep our hearts young and happy, we should retain our youth longer, and love our friends and homes better. A good hearty laugh is wholesome.

Mothers, I intreat you to train your own children. Do not leave them to servants. Hire them to relieve you of the care of your house, and to do your sewing; but give your time to your children. “Verily, you will have your reward.”

I have compiled this book to assist you in your home amusements. May it carry to your home circle that spirit of enjoyment which is natural to the young heart, and which should not be absent from the more mature.



Preface, v
Materials used in the Game—Preparation of the Ground—Choice of Sides—General Principles of the Game—Arrangement of the Bridges—Diagrams—Rules of the Game—Striking the Ball—Running a Bridge—Striking Out—The Rover—Roquet—Croquet and Roquet-Croquet—The Flinch—Suggestions to Beginners—Hints to Players—Carpet Croquet—The Board Game—Vocabulary of Terms, 13
Origin of the Game—Rules adopted by “the National Association of Base Ball Players”—Selection and Measuring of Ground—Diagram—Pitcher’s Point and Home Base—Use of the Bat—Description of the Game—The Catcher—The Pitcher—The Short Stop—First Base—Second Base—Third Base—Left Field—Center Field—Right Field—The Umpire—The Scorer, 42
Position of the Targets—Attitude in Shooting—Directions—Bows—Targets, 64
Benefit of Children’s Gardens—The Woods—How to Plant Seeds—Ferneries—Ivies—Pressed Flowers—How to Plant and Grow Strawberries—Grapes—Designs for Flowers—To Produce various Flowers from one stem—To Preserve Roses till Winter, 67
Materials—Lists of Selected Colors—Brushes—Coloring—Table of Colors and Mixed Tints—Design, 85
Decalcomanie, 98
Engraved Boxes, 101
Coral Flowers and Baskets, 102
Imitation of Inlaid Ivory, 103
Alum Baskets, 103
Painting on Glass, 104
Painting on Velvet, 106
Casting in Plaster, Sulphur, &c., 109
Leather Work, 111
Cigar Boxes made Useful, 116
Potichimanie, 118
Ornaments in Rice Shell Work, 120
Allspice Baskets, 124
Rice or Shell Baskets, 125
Wafer Baskets, 125
Impressions of Butterflies, 126
How to take Impressions of Leaves, 126
Paper Landscapes, 127
The Æolian Harp, 128
The Magic of Acoustics, 129
How Sound travels through a Solid, 129
Singular Example of Superstition, 130
Theory of the Voice, 131
The visibly growing Acorn, 132
Pop goes the Weasel, 134
Lancers, 134
Le Prince Imperial Quadrille, 137
Common Cotillion, 139
Basket Dance, 140
White Cockade, 141
The Waltz and Polka Quadrille, 141
Sir Roger De Coverly or Virginia Reel, 141
Nine-Pin Dance, 142
Caledonian Quadrilles, 142
General Directions for Private Theatricals, 144
Dramatic Reading Clubs, 147
Charades and how to Act them—Examples, 149
Tableaux Vivants, 154
Sibylline Leaves—The Fiat of Fate—Flower Fate—Fate Box, 156
Conundrums, 160
Enigmas, Charades and Riddles, 162
An Enigmatical Dinner, 168
Paradoxes and Puzzles, 170
Arithmetical Problems, 173
Answers to Conundrums, 175
Answers to Enigmas and Charades, 176
Answers to Paradoxes and Puzzles, 178
Answers to Arithmetical Problems, 180
Blind Man’s Buff, 182
Shadow Buff, 183
Blind Man’s Wand, 183
Chinese Shadows, 184
The Comical Concert, 184
The Menagerie,[x] 186
Quaker Meeting, 186
Resemblances, 187
Put in a Word, 188
Proverbs, 188
Game of Characters, 189
Lawyer, 190
Consequences, 190
Fox and Geese, 191
Stage-Coach, 192
Hunt the Fox, 193
Sneezing, 193
The Ready Writer, 193
Rhyming Words in Pantomime, 194
Exhibition of the Modern Giant, 196
The Shadow at Command, 197
The Wizard of the East, 198
How to Bring a Person down upon a Feather, 199
The Apparent Impossibility, 200
The Turned Head, 200
Statuary, 201
“He can do little who can’t do this,” 201
“Brother, I’m Bobbed,” 202
“How do You Like it? When do You Like it? And Where will You Put it?” 202
The Bird Catcher, 203
Questions and Answers, 206
The Magic Wand, 206
The Rhyming Game, 207
The Game of Twenty Questions, 208
Game of Photograph, 210
York and Lancaster, or the War of the Roses, 212
Post-Office, 214
Hand-writing on the Wall, 214
Graces, 215
Family Newspaper, 216
Grand Panjandrum, 218
“Le Jardin de ma tante,” 219
A Good Fat Hand 219
Squails, 222
Parlor, or Carpet Bowls, 226
The Union Game, or Red, White and Blue, 227
Zoetrope, or Wheel of Life, 229
Grecian Games, 230
Jack-Straws, 231
Dance, Thumbkin, Dance! 233
Uncle John, 234
Mother Goose, 234
Clap out and Clap in, 235
Fingers and Thumbs, 236
“You are nothing but a Goose,” 237
Buzz, 238
The Puzzle Wall, 239
Dolls, 240
Boys, 241
Play-Ground Rhymes, 243
Forfeits, 244





CROQUET has been for several years one of the most popular pastimes in England, and is now very justly receiving a large and rapidly increasing share of attention in this country. It is unmistakably a game of science, in which the brain, as well as the muscles and nerves, has an essential part to perform,—thus very closely resembling billiards, to which game it is in some respects superior, in that it is a more social game, and gives an opportunity for healthful open air exercise.

Unlike most of out-of-door sports, it does not require the possession of great strength or powers of endurance, or severe muscular exertion on the part of the player. Excellence in it is almost equally attainable to the weakly and delicate as to the healthy and robust. Old and young meet on its arena on more nearly equal terms than in any other known game of skill. A “correct eye,” steady hands and nerves, and good judgment, are the essential qualifications for a good player, and the possession of these advantages of course is not dependent upon the age, sex, or condition of the person.


And it may perhaps be considered as the chief excellence of this game that it gives this opportunity, which very few other games, combining scientific play and physical exercise, afford, for persons of the opposite sexes and disparity of age to join in one common amusement. It should be a matter of congratulation to all to see the rapidly increasing popularity of any healthful open air sport in this country.

We predict for Croquet a success wider in this than it has reached in any other country. When we work or fight, we work and fight harder than any other people, and we should be as enthusiastic in our play.

In preparing this chapter on Croquet we have endeavored to explain the general principles of the game, and to present a code of rules, simple, concise, and shorn as far as possible of technicalities of expression, but comprehensive enough to include all points necessary to a thorough understanding of the game.

In Rules of the Game, explanatory remarks are enclosed in brackets.


A complete set of Croquet consists of eight balls, eight mallets, ten iron bridges, and two posts.

The balls should be about ten inches in circumference, perfectly spherical, and should weigh about eight ounces. They should be designated by different colors, either by painting the entire surface of the ball, or by a stripe of the color merely. But the first method is much to be preferred, as a ball needs all the protection it can have to preserve it from[15] the effects of the weather, and for this purpose nothing is better than good oil paint and varnish. There is a universal predisposition towards large balls by all novices in the game; but experience will invariably give the preference to a ball not more than ten inches in circumference, if of rock maple or birch, and if of box-wood, not more than nine and one-half inches.


The mallet head should be about 2⅜ inches in diameter, and 4¼ inches long, shaped somewhat like a dice-box; and the handle 33 inches long, 15/16 of an inch in diameter in the largest part, and ⅝ of an inch in the smallest. It is customary to paint some portion of the mallets to correspond to the colors on the balls. This is a very great advantage in distinguishing the different players and assisting the memory to connect them with their respective balls, and we much prefer it; but some players prefer to leave the mallets undistinguished, and to allow each player to select his own,—choosing such weight, size and length as he may desire—and perhaps there is no objection to this. A feeble or delicate person may not be able to play as well with a mallet of the standard size as his opponent, and thus will be upon an unequal footing with him at the outset; while, if each selects such as is suitable to his or her condition, all will be satisfactorily equipped, and, of course, upon equal terms, as far as the implements are concerned. For balls and mallet heads good rock maple is the most desirable of all our native woods, and hickory is the best for mallet handles. Box-wood is very good for mallet heads, but is too heavy for balls. Box-wood mallet heads and good rock maple balls, well painted, make an elegant and superior set, and are preferable to a complete box-wood set, while rosewood and lignum-vitæ balls are little better than iron, and entirely unfit to use.


The bridges should be made of iron wire about 5/16 of an inch in diameter, in form like an ox-bow. The width of the bridge should be equal to the circumference of the ball, and the hight such that when firmly set it will stand out of the ground a distance equal to its width. They should be uniform in color. White is best, as it is more easily seen, and contrasts more pleasingly with the green of the turf. Some have adopted the practice of painting them of different colors, but the reason assigned seems not to be a good one, and experience almost unanimously pronounces in favor of a uniform light color.


One manufacturer has adopted and patented the happy idea of galvanizing or plating the iron bridges with zinc, which gives them a permanent light color, and at the same time perfectly preserves them from rust.

Some writers assert that withs or firkin hoops answer very well for bridges. They may answer as a very poor substitute, but a good croquet player would no sooner play with such materials than a billiard player with a slack rope for a cushion or an umbrella for a cue. In many of the scientific “shots” of the game, the player calculates upon the rigidity of the bridges, and an iron bridge, when set in sandy soil, is at best none too rigid; and with loose or springy bridges the game loses much of its attraction to a good player.


The posts should be about 28 inches long, 1½ inches in diameter in the largest part, and pointed so as to be driven into the ground. They should have rings painted on them corresponding to the colors of the balls, and of such width that the bottom ring will be as high from the ground as the top of the bridges. Thus, supposing the post to be 28 inches long, commencing at the top, make each ring 1¼ inches wide. This[17] will occupy 10 inches, and hence allow the posts to be driven into the ground 8 inches, and still have the lowest color so high from the turf that it can be easily seen from any portion of the ground. The order of the colors on the post is not essential so long as the light and dark colors alternate; but the two uppermost colors belong to the chiefs of the two sides, and therefore most properly should be black and white, as those are the best representatives of dark and light colors. The exact arrangement of the succeeding colors is immaterial, but the following is very good, commencing at the top:

1. Black.
2. White.
3. Blue.
4. Yellow.
5. Brown.
6. Red.
7. Green.
8. Pink.

As the order of the colors on the posts governs that of the play, and since those on each side play alternately, it follows that in a game of eight the dark balls, black, blue, brown, and green, are matched against the light ones, white, yellow, red and pink.

Many devices have been suggested for marking the bridges when run, such as clips or markers, painting the bridges different colors, &c., &c., but they have all proved to be useless, as a player who is interested in the game will remember his own position more easily than he will remember to change the marker.


In contemplating the preparation of a Croquet ground, the first question that occurs is, how much and what kind of ground is necessary. The size of the ground, as well as the[18] distance between the bridges, is governed very much by the taste and accommodation of the owner.

A model Croquet ground has been defined as an elliptical field one hundred feet long and sixty feet wide, with the bridges from nine to twelve feet apart; but persons possessed of only a limited plot of ground need not conclude that the above dimensions are absolutely necessary, for a very interesting game may be played on ground not more than sixty feet long and thirty feet wide, with the bridges from six to eight feet apart. The bounds may be imaginary lines defined by corner bounds, or they may be walks or other natural bounds suggested by the nature of the ground; or if a plot is prepared expressly for the purpose, a ditch about eight inches wide, and six inches deep, well turfed is probably the best bound that can be made.

A smooth, closely cut turf is always to be chosen, and is improved by a thorough rolling with a very heavy roller, or, if that is not available, a few hours’ work with a heavy mall will bring the ground into very good condition. Next to having the turf smooth, the most important point is to have the ground level; and yet a very good game can be played on an uneven or sloping ground, if in making the strokes and determining the necessary force and direction, a proper calculation is made with reference to the condition of the surface over which the ball is to pass. It in fact shows more skill to play a good game upon a poor ground than upon a perfect one.


Two players being designated captains or chiefs, one for each side, sides are chosen in the usual manner. The privilege of first choice of players is very conveniently decided between[19] the chiefs by each placing his ball under the first bridge and striking for the starting post; the one who thus drives his ball nearest the post gaining the first choice.

The chief who has the first choice takes the ball corresponding in color with the top of the post, and the other chief the next ball according to the order of the colors on the posts, while the remaining balls are given to the other players in the order in which they are chosen. (See remark under Rule II.)

Eight persons can play, but a game of four or six is the most interesting. If four or more play, each player uses but one ball; but if only two play, the game is improved by each player taking two balls and playing them alternately as usual. If there be an odd number of players—either three, five or seven—the players play against each other individually, or one person takes two balls and plays each in its proper turn.

Assuming that each player has a ball and a mallet, that the[20] bridges are arranged in either of the three positions given in diagrams Nos. 1, 2 and 3, we now come to the mode of playing the game. The object is to drive the balls through all the bridges, in the direction indicated by the dotted lines on the diagrams, and to strike the two posts. The side, all of whose members succeed in performing this feat first, wins the game. Now although this is the chief object of the game, yet the act from which it derives its title, to wit: “Croquet,” is of much greater importance than would at first be imagined. If a player hit with his ball any of the others, he is allowed to place his own against the ball he has struck, and setting his foot upon his own ball, he hits it with the mallet, and the force of the blow drives off the other ball while the playing ball remains stationary. As a player is allowed to Croquet either friend or foe, it is evident that he can do a great deal of damage or service, according to his inclination, since he is at liberty to drive the ball in any direction he pleases.

The Roquet-Croquet is an operation still more interesting than the Croquet as it is susceptible of much greater skill in its execution. This is accomplished the same as the Croquet, except that instead of holding one ball firmly by placing the foot upon it, both balls are left free to be driven together by the blow of the mallet. By practice and a skillful placing of the balls a stroke may be made that will cause the balls to diverge in any forward directions the player may desire.

In commencing a game, the first chief places his ball one-third the distance from the starting post to the first bridge, and endeavors, by striking it with the end of his mallet’s head, to drive it through the first bridge. If he succeeds, he continues his turn and attempts to send the ball through the second bridge, and then through the third, for driving the ball through a bridge, or hitting another ball, generally imparts the privilege of an additional stroke.


When one ball driven by a blow of the mallet hits another, it is said to make Roquet on that ball.

When the first player, who should be black, has missed, white goes on, and the other players follow in the order of the colors on the posts, and very soon comes the opportunity to use the great advantages of the Croquet and Roquet-Croquet. Often when a player has his ball in a good position in front of a bridge, another will hit it, and then by Croquet or Roquet-Croquet drive it to the other end of the ground, compelling it perhaps to take two or three turns before it can regain its former position. Occasionally two or three balls lie close together, and one is struck by a ball which was some distance off. The player is now allowed to place his ball by the side of the one it has struck, thus gaining position near the others, so that after croqueting it he is almost sure of hitting the others.

As an example of the use of the Roquet-Croquet, we will take diagram No. 1, and suppose that white plays with success through the first two bridges, and that black lies somewhere beyond the second bridge. Now if there was no other ball near, it would be impossible for white to continue to play and pass through the third bridge, because it will require one stroke to get in position for that bridge: but if white can Roquet black, then she can Roquet-Croquet with black up in front of the third bridge, and then, as the Roquet gives another stroke, play through the third bridge and perhaps through the fourth and fifth. If below the fifth she should find, say the brown ball, to Roquet-Croquet with, it would be possible to get in front of No. 6, and then down to the turning post and hitting that return up through No. 6. Here the brown ball may again be roqueted, and then roquet-croqueted, into position for No. 8, and so on. This of course could only happen if white was an extra player and the other balls were in very favorable positions, but it serves as an illustration of[22] the use of this very valuable stroke. The player who reaches the turning-post first, has great advantages for a time, for as soon as he touches it, he commences his return journey, and meeting the other players on their way to the farthest point of their journey, he is able to croquet them and considerably impede their progress.

When a player has passed through all the bridges, he becomes what is called in the technical language of Croquet, a rover, and is privileged to rove about all over the ground, croqueting his friends and foes. It is therefore obvious that a good player can prove, when thus situated, of immense advantage to his side, and should generally avoid hitting the starting post till all on his side have passed through the last bridge. The excitement towards the end of the game, often becomes intense, and each stroke is watched with the keenest interest. Gradually, one by one, the players hit the post, until perhaps only two remain, and now occurs an opportunity for skillful play. The object of both is first to hit the post, and failing in that, to keep as far off his adversary as he can. Each endeavors, at the same time drawing nearer to the great object in view, to keep the post between his and the other ball. At length one plays at the post, misses it, and sends his ball near his adversary, who first hits it, next croquets it away, and then strikes the post, and wins the victory.


Diagram No. 1.

This arrangement of the bridges, which is the simplest of the three we have drawn, is the one which we recommend for all eight handed games, or for beginners.



The figures marked on this diagram are intended merely to furnish a relative scale of distances. Thus with these distances the posts are 53 feet apart, which is perhaps more than is desirable, unless the ground is very perfect, or the players experts.

The course of the ball is indicated by the dotted lines, and the arrows show the direction in which the balls proceed on the round. It will be observed that bridge No. 3 is to the left of No. 2. As represented in this diagram, bridges 3 and 10 are set a little in advance of 2, and 6 a little in advance of 5 and 8. Some players prefer that 10, 2 and 3 should be in a straight line, and the same with 8, 6 and 5. We prefer to have 3 and 10 enough in advance of 2 to make it just possible for an expert by a very superior stroke to run No. 2 and get position for No. 3 at one blow, and the same with 5, 6 and 8. In short, we would have the arrangement such that it is not absolutely impossible for a player to make the grand round in one tour, without the aid of the roquet. This of course would very[24] rarely be accomplished,—never, except by extraordinarily skillful play,—yet it should be made possible, but very difficult.



Diagram No. 2.

In this the same number of bridges are used, as in the first diagram; but the bridges numbered respectively 4 and 9, instead of being placed parallel to the others, are now at right angles to them; thus in playing from 3 to 4, the ball must keep to the left of 4, and then pass through it, from the outside of the game; a much more difficult arrangement than the first, and somewhat more difficult than the third, although at first sight it may not appear so.




Diagram No. 3.

In this, the third diagram, it will be seen that the two center side bridges are done away with, and that one is placed in the center of the ground instead; but although in the play we now require one bridge less than in the former diagram, yet the player will have to pass through the same number of bridges as before, since he travels twice through the bridge in the center, once on his way to the turning post, and once on his return. This is the best arrangement of bridges for a four-handed game. As the player’s knowledge of Croquet increases, many other positions will suggest themselves; but those we have presented are the simplest, and are the diagrams in general use at the present time. Some authors recommend the invariable use of diagram No. 1, as being sufficiently difficult, especially when bridges 10, 2 and 3 are on a line.



Striking the Ball.

I. At the commencement of the game the ball should be placed on a line drawn from the starting post to the center of the first bridge, and at a distance from the starting post, equal to one-third the distance from the post to the bridge.

[The rule usually given, i. e., to place the ball a mallet’s length from the post is very well for a large ground where the distance from post to bridge is nine or ten feet, but for a small ground it brings the ball too near the first bridge.]

1. In striking, the mallet should be used with one hand, and the striker should stand on one side of, and not behind the ball.

2. The ball must be struck and not pushed—a push never being allowable under any circumstances; and the blow must be given with the face—never with the side—of the mallet head.

[A ball can never get into such a position on a croquet-ground that it cannot be struck in some direction, and if it is in a bad position it is either the fault or the misfortune of the player owning the ball—which he is not to be allowed to rectify by a push, for that would sometimes be rewarding bad play.]

3. Whenever the mallet hits the ball, if it moves it however slightly, it must be considered a stroke.

4. The player may if he wholly miss his ball, strike at it again.

II. The game is opened by the chief holding the ball corresponding in color with the top of the post, and the players on the two sides follow alternately according to the order of the colors on the posts.

[The playing must necessarily be in the order of the colors on the post. But on some grounds the chief is allowed to assign the balls to the several players on his side according to[27] his own choice; thus according to this rule the chief is not compelled to play the first ball. We do not advise this practice as there is generally some real or fancied difference in the mallets and hence a chief is liable to offend some one in the distribution of the materials. There are other objections which we have not space to discuss.]

1. A player who misses the first bridge is called a booby, and at his next turn must strike his ball from the position to which it last rolled.

[The above rule is based upon the almost universal practice of the best players in this country. The following is gaining favor in England: “A ball missing the first bridge must be immediately picked up and played from the starting spot, at its next turn.” Both practices have peculiar advantages over the other, which we have not space to discuss.]

2. A roquet made upon, or by, a booby does not entitle the player to an extra stroke; neither can a booby croquet or be croqueted.

3. If any ball is played out of its proper turn and discovered before the play of another ball has commenced, the misplayed ball may be returned to its original place, or permitted to remain in that to which it has rolled, at the option of the chief of the opposing side. But if the mistake is discovered before the player has finished his turn and the misplay be allowed, the misplayer shall be permitted to finish his turn. If the chief does not permit the misplay, the misplayed ball shall be returned to its original place, and any damages sustained or advantages gained by either side shall be canceled. If the misplay is not discovered before the play of another ball commences, or is allowed, the misplayer cannot use his next turn as he has anticipated it.

4. If a player use a wrong ball, all the balls moved by such play must be returned to their former position, and the misplayer lose his turn.



Running a Bridge.

III. A player continues to play so long as he makes a point in the game.

1. Making a point is running one or more bridges, striking the turning-post in order, or performing the roquet (except on a booby, or on a ball the second time in one tour without making an intervening step.)

2. A player is allowed but one extra stroke, even though he make roquet and run one or more bridges at one stroke.

3. If a player makes two steps at one stroke, he may take position one mallet’s length or less, in any direction from where the ball rested.

4. If a player makes three steps at one stroke, he may take position as above up to two mallet lengths or less.

IV. The bridges must be passed through in their regular order in the direction of the course. (This is called running a bridge.)

1. A ball runs a bridge when it passes through it in order and course, by a direct blow, by roquet, roquet-croquet, croquet or concussion. Hence, for a player to drive his ball through a bridge out of its regular order, or from the wrong side counts no more than to pass over any other part of the field.

2. A ball is not through its bridge when the handle of the mallet laid across the two piers of the bridge upon the side from whence the ball came, touches the ball without moving the bridge.

3. A ball passing under its bridge in the wrong direction is not in position to run the bridge until it has passed clear through according to the foregoing rule.

4. A ball lying under a bridge is not in position for that[29] bridge if it has been so placed by the hand for the purpose of croquet or roquet-croquet, no matter from what position it may have been taken.

[If the ball was taken from the back of the bridge, it would not be in position, having come from the wrong side, as above. Now if it should be allowed that a ball may be taken from the front of the bridge and placed under the bridge without losing position, as would at first seem proper, then the question immediately arises as to a ball when taken from a position directly on a line with the two piers of the bridge, thus coming from neither front nor back. This question can rarely be settled without dispute, to avoid which we have considered the adoption of the above rule as most judicious.]

V. Tolling the turning post is in all respects equivalent to running a bridge, but the post may be tolled from any quarter.


Striking Out.

VI. A ball, after it has run all the bridges, may hit the starting post either by a blow from its owner’s mallet, by roquet, roquet-croquet, croquet or concussion, and is then a dead ball, and must be immediately removed from the field.

1. A player who having run all the bridges strikes the starting post, is out of the game, his turn is omitted, and the play goes on as before. If, instead of striking the post, he continues to play, he is called a rover.

2. When all the balls on one side have made the grand round and hit the starting post, that side has won the game.

[Some authors on Croquet require the ball to be placed on the spot or starting point before continuing play as a rover. But this rule seems to be entirely arbitrary—useless—and to have been adopted for no sufficient reason.]



The Rover.

VII. If the roquet-croquet is allowed to all players alike, the rover is governed entirely by the same laws as other players.

1. Therefore, a rover having completed the grand round, and having no other steps to make (except stepping out, when of course his play ceases,) can only acquire the right to continuance of play by the roquet. He may (after roquet upon it) croquet or roquet-croquet each ball once only during a tour. Roquet upon a ball the second time during a tour does not entitle him to a continuance of play.



VIII. A ball roquets another when it comes in contact with it by a direct blow of the mallet, or rebounds upon it after the blow, from any fixed obstacle of the ground or from another ball.

1. A ball having roqueted another ball, except a booby, is at liberty to croquet or roquet-croquet it or proceed on its round; providing that the playing ball has not already in that tour roqueted that same ball since making a step on the round.

2. A ball may roquet another ball twice between two consecutive steps, but the second roquet does not entitle the player to a continuance of play.

3. Any player in his turn is at liberty at any time to make roquet on any ball on the ground.

4. Roquet does not entitle a booby to a continuance of play.

5. Roquet on a booby does not entitle the playing ball to a continuance of play.

6. A ball having made roquet and declined the croquet, may continue its play either from the position to which it has rolled after the roquet, or from the side of the roqueted ball.

7. If a ball roquet another and thereby gain the privilege[31] of croquet, and afterwards, at the same blow, run a bridge; it may croquet the roqueted ball, then proceed to roquet it again, then croquet again and proceed on its round; or waiving either or both croquets, or the last roquet and croquet, may proceed on its round.

[Thus supposing the playing ball roquets a ball that it has not roqueted since making a step, and afterwards at the same blow runs a bridge; it of course has a right to croquet the roqueted ball; then as that roquet was made before the playing ball run its bridge there is no reason why it cannot again roquet and croquet the same ball. But had the playing ball first run a bridge and afterwards at the same blow roqueted a ball then it can have but one croquet according to Rule IX.]

8. The continuance of play is gained by virtue of the roquet, and not of the croquet. The croquet is merely a privilege consequent upon the roquet. Therefore to waive a croquet does not terminate the play. This principle once fixed in the mind will avoid much confusion in understanding and interpreting the rules.

[One author on Croquet, assumes to propound a set of rules on double points which are entirely new and at variance with all previously established principles of the game, inasmuch as they allow a player to waive any point made or privilege gained. It is an established fact in Croquet that a player may waive any privilege that he has acquired—but it is also as well established that a step once made can not be taken back. The beauty of Croquet is in a great degree due to its simplicity, and the granting of the above right to players adds one-half to the difficulties of the game, without adding in the least to its interest. A game of Croquet in which all the players except the rover are denied the privilege of roquet-croquet, and in which the right to waive a step is introduced, becomes at once twice as intricate, requires double the rules to explain it, and loses one-half its interest.]



The Croquet and Roquet-Croquet.

IX. A player may croquet or roquet-croquet any number of balls consecutively; but he can croquet or roquet-croquet only those balls on which he has made roquet, and roquet on the same ball the second time in one tour without an intervening step does not entitle the player to a croquet.

1. If a player in the act of croqueting does not separate the balls, he is at liberty to take the stroke over again.

[Instead of the above the following rule is often given. A croquet is completed when the mallet makes a perceptible (that is an audible) blow against the croqueting ball, whether that to be croqueted move from its place or not. This rule gives rise to frequent disputes whether the blow was perceptible or not, and is not as generally acceptable as the one we have given.]

2. If a player in executing the roquet-croquet does not move the croqueted ball from its position, his tour of play ceases, unless by the same stroke he makes a point.

[If it is in dispute whether or not the ball has been moved as above required, the question shall be decided by the umpire if there be one, if not, by the chief of the side opposing the player. Some authors allow the roquet-croquet to the rover only—but as it is one of the most scientific operations of the game, the majority of players are not willing to give it exclusively to the rover, especially when it is considered that a person who is able to become an early rover, will naturally have advantage enough without any extra favors. Further, the argument that the universal use of the roquet-croquet tends to perceptibly prolong the game has been proved by actual test to be without foundation.]

3. If a ball is croqueted either through its own bridge or upon the turning or starting post when in order, a point so made holds good.


4. In making ricochet the player is at liberty to croquet either a part or all of the balls roqueted; but the order of croquet must be that of the ricochet,—the player, however, has only one additional stroke, and not one for each ball he has roqueted.

5. If a ball when croqueted or driven through its own bridge from the rear roll back through the bridge, it has not run that bridge.

[This rule is based upon the principle that all questions as to position can only be satisfactorily determined when the ball is not in motion. In the case put it would frequently be impossible to decide whether the ball when it began to roll back was in position or not.]

X. The laws that govern Croquet all apply to Roquet-Croquet, except as to points for which special rules are herein given.


The Flinch.

XI. If a ball flinch in the execution of the croquet, it is considered as merely an accidental roquet-croquet, and subject to the same laws. In this case of course any point made or advantage gained by either ball holds good.

[By adopting this rule all unpleasant difference of opinion as to the proper positions of the balls is avoided, and as the origin of the roquet-croquet was this very practice of placing the foot lightly upon the playing ball and then allowing both balls to be moved together—there seems to be no objection to the rule.]

1. The above rule only applies in a game where the roquet-croquet is allowed to all players.

2. In case the roquet-croquet is only allowed to the rover, the following rule applies: If the player’s ball flinch in executing the croquet, he forfeits the remainder of his[34] tour, and no point made by a flinching ball is valid, and the balls are considered as accidentally displaced and are replaced in accordance with the rule applying to accidentally displaced balls.

XII. A ball accidentally displaced must be returned, by the chief of the side opposed to the person displacing it, to the place where it was lying before the play proceeds.

XIII. If a ball be hit off the ground it is to be placed at once, and before the play proceeds, twelve inches within the limit of the boundary and at a point nearest to where it stopped, which of course causes the ball to be brought in square with the boundary.

XIV. If a ball in its progress over the ground, be interrupted by the person or mallet of an enemy the ball may be placed by the chief of the side owning the ball, in such position as he may judge it would have rested had it not been interrupted in its progress. If interrupted by the person or mallet of a friend the ball may be placed by the chief of the opposing side in such position as he may judge it would have rested.

A person not taking part in the game, should never be within the bounds of a croquet ground when a game is in progress—but should such person accidentally be in such a position and either displace a ball, or interrupt it in its progress—such person shall be considered as an enemy to the owner of the ball—and the ball be replaced according to rules XII. and XIV.



Keep your temperand remember when your turn comes.

Make good use of the privilege of croquet and roquet-croquet, and not consider it the sole object of the game to run the bridges,—and yet it is not well to too much neglect the bridges, as they must all be run before you can become a rover.

Practice the roquet-croquet whenever an opportunity offers, as it is susceptible of more scientific playing than any other stroke.

Accustom yourself to be guided strictly according to established rules as far as you are informed on the subject.

Do not attempt to use a kind of push and call it a stroke although it may not be expressly forbidden in some manual of croquet.

Avoid acquiring the habit of standing behind the ball and holding the mallet in a perpendicular position with both hands when making a stroke, even though you play with those who do not object to the practice, as it will not be allowed on any well-regulated croquet ground. In making a stroke grasp your mallet firmly; strike squarely—take care that your wrist does not turn or twist, (unless you wish to give a twist to your ball,) and after getting your aim look rather at your mark than at your ball when giving the blow. After calculating distance, direction, &c., there is no more use in looking at your ball except to be sure you can hit it, than in throwing a stone, to look at your hand, rather than the mark.

If the enemy have an expert rover it is generally advisable to use every effort to strike him out.

As an offset to this method of play it is often advisable to neglect to make the last bridge till near the close of the game, as in this way you can venture as near the starting post as you please without the fear of being deaded.


It is often the case that you and an enemy may both be in position for the last bridge. In such a case as a general rule roquet him, then croquet or roquet-croquet through the bridge, roquet again and croquet him against the starting post, thus depriving the other side of a rover, and gaining the advantage of bringing two of your own side into consecutive play.

Leave your own ball as near your friend and as far from an enemy as possible.

Accustom yourself as much as possible to strike with one hand, as it is much more graceful, and many players allow no other blow.

The ladies will very much oblige all their associates in croquet by avoiding long dresses, which are continually dragging the balls about over the ground greatly to the annoyance of the players and disturbance of the game.

To the gentlemen we would say it is no proof of skill in executing the croquet, to swing your mallet with both hands, and give a blow hard enough to kill an ox. If you want to do that sort of thing—it would be more agreeable to all concerned for you to go off alone somewhere and split wood. An easy skillful stroke will send a ball anywhere within the bounds, and a ball out of bounds may be brought in, so nothing is gained by “sledge hammering,” except injuring the implements, irritating the players and delaying the game.

In executing the roquet-croquet the stroke may be varied so as to produce three very different results. First, if it is desirable to have the secondary ball go much further than your own, strike a sharp, quick blow, proportioned in force to the distance you wish your own ball to go, checking the force the instant the mallet hits the ball. Secondly, if you wish to send both balls along together strike a more sweeping blow, (not a push) permitting the mallet to have its full swing. The difference in these two blows is much more easily discovered by the player than described with the pen.


The third stroke may partake of the nature of either of the above, but differs in the fact that the blow of the mallet is not delivered in a line with the centers of the two balls, but partially to one side of the rear ball, thus producing the splitting stroke, i. e., sending the two balls in courses diverging from each other. This is much the most difficult stroke of the three.

In procuring a set of croquet materials be sure that you know what you want, or else buy a set manufactured by some recognized manufacturer. It may seem a very simple thing to have a set of mallets, &c., made from a description, but having tried the experiment we can testify that to procure suitable lumber—well seasoned, have mallets well shaped, the handles serviceable and not bungling, the balls perfectly round, the bridges well formed and proportioned—and the painting brilliant and properly arranged is a very difficult matter. An English author on this subject says, “It was our fortune (or rather misfortune) when in the country last year to take part in a game of Croquet played with home-made materials. We only hope that it will never be our lot to play with such things again. The mallets were so large they had to be used as one would a scythe in mowing grass. The heads, instead of tapering at the center, bore a great resemblance to an ale barrel on a small scale, and were so large that if one attempted to croquet, one was sure to hit one’s own foot instead of the ball. These, by-the-by, were any shape but round. They bobbed up and down when in progress, and scarcely ever went in the direction which it was intended for them to go.... Such was the unsatisfactory result of the combined labors of the local carpenter and blacksmith. We therefore earnestly recommend our readers to eschew the use of home-made sets of Croquet altogether.”

We endorse the foregoing statement, adding that responsible[38] manufacturers in various parts of the country are now furnishing excellent sets of implements at a cheaper rate than individuals can get up equally good sets for themselves. There is therefore no economy in using a home-made set.

Parlor Croquet is a very good substitute for the Lawn game, and may be enjoyed in a winter day or evening very much as canned fruit or preserved flowers are enjoyed as excellent and beautiful substitutes for the delicious fruits of autumn and fragrant flowers of summer. But as the canned fruit is insipid when used beside the fresh fruit of autumn, so will the parlor game seem when attempted in the season of the field sport. There are two kinds of Parlor Croquet—which may be termed Carpet Croquet, and Table or Board Croquet.

The Carpet Croquet is played exactly like the field game and with similar materials except that they are usually smaller, being reduced in size in the same proportion that the space available in a room is smaller than the Lawn Croquet ground. The same relative proportion in the size of materials should be preserved as that given for the materials of the Lawn game—assuming as a standard—a ball from 2¼ to 2½ inches in diameter. There are several ingenious devices for fastening the bridges to the floor or carpet. Each one of those which we have seen have some objections; but those which are fastened with tacks are the simplest and we consider them the best.

The Board game is played on a board of any convenient size—say five feet long and three feet wide—covered with baize or flannel, and surrounded by a ledge or thin strip projecting above the top surface three-fourths of an inch.

The bridges and posts are set in this board in the same manner that the larger bridges are set in the ground on the lawn. The balls should be about one inch in diameter and may be of glass—but box-wood or ivory are better.


The size of the mallets should be in proportion to that of the balls—with handles about eight inches long.

The method of play is the same as in Lawn Croquet, except the croquet is executed by placing the finger instead of the foot on the playing ball. The rules are the same, except that, first, a player driving his ball off the board terminates his tour of play by that stroke and the ball must be placed immediately on the starting spot; second, making two or more steps at one stroke does not entitle the player to the privilege of taking position up to one or more mallet’s length.

The Board Croquet is the most popular for the reason that it does not injure the furniture in any room, while the Carpet Croquet, although more like the Lawn game, requires a large room—well cleared—or there will soon be an action of Croquet vs. furniture.


A Booby.—A ball that has attempted to run the first bridge and failed.

Bridges or Arches.—The iron hoops or bows through which the balls pass.

Bridged Ball.—A ball that has run the first bridge.

Concussion.—The displacement of a ball by another driven against it by roquet, croquet, ricochet, or roquet-croquet, and not hit directly either by the mallet or by the playing ball.

Croquet.—(Pronounced Cró-kay.) The title of the game.

The Croquet.—Any ball having struck another, is taken up and placed in contact with the ball it has struck. The player sets his foot upon his own ball, pressing firmly so as to hold it in place, and with a blow of his mallet, delivered upon his own ball, drives the other ball in whatever direction he may desire. (See cut, page 19.)


Dead Ball.—One that has made the grand round and hit the starting post.

Distanced.—A ball is distanced when at the termination of the game it has not tolled the turning post.

Down.—The course from the turning post to the starting post.

A Flinch.—When in the croquet, the playing ball is driven from under the foot by the blow of the mallet, it is called a flinch.

Front of a Bridge.—The side from which the ball must proceed in running it, and with the central bridges is not constant, but is decided in each case by the course of the ball under consideration.

Grand Round.—A ball has made the grand round when it has run all the bridges and tolled the turning post, and is then a rover.

Playing Ball.—The ball struck with the mallet.

Point.—A player makes a point, by running a bridge or tolling a post, or by roqueting a ball that he has not previously roqueted during the tour—since making the step—or in other words, by roqueting a ball under such circumstances as would entitle him to the privilege of the croquet.

Position.—A ball is in position when it lies in front of its proper bridge with a possibility of running it by a single blow of the mallet.

Proper Bridge.—A bridge which it is a player’s turn to run next in order is said to be that player’s bridge or his proper bridge.

Push.—A stroke in which the mallet remains in contact with the ball after the instant of contact.

Ricochet.—(Rick´-o-shay.)—A ball making Roquet on two or more balls by the same blow of the mallet.

Roquet.—(Ro´-kay.) A ball makes Roquet on another ball when proceeding from a blow of the mallet it comes in[41] contact with it either directly or by rebounding from a fixed obstacle in the ground or from another ball.

[Some writers define the Roquet as the contact of the playing ball with another ball under such circumstances as to constitute a point. This is merely a matter of choice regarding the facility of defining the other operations of the game. We consider that our definition renders the whole matter much the most simple.]

Roquet-Croquet.—The same as Croquet, except that the playing ball is not held under the foot, but both balls are free to move in accordance with the blow of the mallet.

A Rover.—A ball that has run all the bridges and has not hit the starting post.

Starting Post.—The stake from which the play proceeds. See diagram.

A Step.—Running a bridge, or tolling the turning post.

Striking Out.—A ball struck against the starting post after having run all the bridges in their proper order, is struck out, and is out of the game.

The Turning Post.—The post opposite the starting post.

Tolling the Turning Post.—Striking the turning post in its proper order.

Under a Bridge.—A ball is under a bridge when if the mallet handle is placed across the piers of the bridge on each side it will touch the ball in both positions of the handle.

Up.—The course from the starting post to the turning post.


Base Ball.

THE game of Base Ball is fast becoming with Americans what Cricket has already become with the English, a national game. The sport is both graceful and invigorating, and requires when properly played the possession both of muscularity of body and strength of nerve. The exercise attendant on this game develops all the physical powers and calls into action every muscle and sinew in the human frame. There are few sights more exhilarating and captivating than a well contested match game between evenly matched clubs. Such a spectacle rarely fails to draw admiring throngs, and to be considered a first class player is a distinction of which any American youth may feel proud. As our readers will find this subject fully treated in professional works, we do not propose to enter into any lengthy description of the origin or progress of the game of Base Ball. We shall therefore simply state that this game was derived from the old English game of Rounders, reduced to a system, and governed by rules and regulations adopted by “The National Association of Base Ball Players,” held in New York, December[43] 13, 1865. These regulations for the convenience of our readers we here insert.


Section 1. The ball must weigh not less than five and one-half, nor more than five and three-fourths ounces avoirdupois. It must measure not less than nine and one-half, nor more than nine and three-fourths inches in circumference. It must be composed of India rubber and yarn, and covered with leather, and, in all match games, shall be furnished by the challenging club, and become the property of the winning club as a trophy of victory.

Sec. 2. The bat must be round, and must not exceed two and a half inches in diameter in the thickest part. It must be made of wood, and may be of any length to suit the striker.

Sec. 3. The bases must be four in number, placed at equal distances from each other, and securely fastened upon each corner of a square, whose sides are respectively thirty yards. They must be so constructed as to be distinctly seen by the umpire, and must cover a space equal to one square foot of surface. The first, second, and third bases shall be canvas bags, painted white, and filled with some soft material; the home base and pitcher’s point to be each marked by a flat circular iron plate, painted or enameled white.


Sec. 4. The base from which the ball is struck shall be designated the home base, and must be directly opposite to the second base; the first base must always be that upon the right-hand, and the third base that upon the left-hand side of the striker, when occupying his position at the home base. And in all match games, a line connecting the home and first base and the home and third base, shall be marked by the use of chalk, or other suitable material, so as to be distinctly seen by the umpire.

Many of our clubs have an iron quoit for the home base, that is in direct violation of the rule which states that the home base must be marked by “a flat circular iron plate.” Those we allude to rise in the center, and the consequence is, when a ball touches the base, it flies off at a tangent, instead of rebounding as if it had touched the ground, as it would do were it flat, as the rule prescribes.

Sec. 5. The pitcher’s position shall be designated by two lines, four yards in length, drawn at right angles to a line from home to second base, having their centers upon that line at two fixed iron plates, placed at points 15 and 16 1-3 yards distant from the home base. The pitcher must stand within the lines, and must deliver the ball as near as possible over the center of the home base, and for the striker.

[It will be seen that the rule requires the ball to be pitched as near as possible over the home base, and for the striker; the pitcher, therefore, has no right to pitch the ball to the catcher especially, as is often done when a player is on the first base, and umpires should see that the rule is enforced.

This important change was made by the Convention of 1863. The object being to do away with the unfair style of pitching that was in vogue during 1861, ’62, and ’63, during which period those pitchers who failed in achieving the success attained by the lamented Creighton, offset their want of skill by trying to intimidate the batsmen by pitching the ball at them instead of for them as the rules require.]


Sec. 6. Should the pitcher repeatedly fail to deliver to the striker fair balls for the apparent purpose of delaying the game, or for any cause, the umpire, after warning him, shall call one ball, and if the pitcher persists in such action, two and three balls; when three balls shall have been called, the striker shall take the first base; and should any base be occupied at that time, each player occupying it or them shall take one base without being put out.

[In warning the pitcher before calling balls on him, all that is necessary is to call “ball to the bat;” and if two balls are pitched unfairly after such warning, “one ball” should be called, and if one unfair ball be delivered after that call, then “two” and “three” balls should be promptly called. A pitcher “repeatedly” fails if he fails twice in succession; and he “persists” in his unfair delivery if he pitch one ball after the first penalty has been imposed. In the first innings of a game, a little more latitude is allowable, but afterwards the rule should be strictly enforced to the very letter of the law.]

Sec. 7. The ball must be pitched, not jerked or thrown to the bat; and whenever the pitcher moves with the apparent purpose or pretension to deliver the ball, he shall so deliver it, and must have neither foot in advance of the front line or off the ground at the time of delivering the ball; and if he fails in either of these particulars, then it shall be declared a baulk.

[The pitcher makes a baulk when he either jerks a ball to the bat, has either foot in advance of the line of his position, or off the ground at the time of delivering the ball, or moves with the apparent purpose of pitching, without delivering the ball. The sentence “time of delivering the ball” has been interpreted by the Committee on Rules and Regulations of the National Association to mean, the period when the last movement of the arm is made in delivering the ball; and consequently[46] if either foot of the pitcher be off the ground when this movement is made—it being nearly simultaneous with the ball’s leaving the hand of the pitcher—umpires must declare a baulk without being appealed to.]

Sec. 8. When a baulk is made by the pitcher, every player running the bases is entitled to one base, without being put out.

[The striker cannot take a base, on a baulk, as he is not considered a “player running the bases” until he has made the first base and ceased to be a striker.]

Sec. 9. If a ball, from a stroke of the bat, first touches the ground, the person of a player, or any other object, behind the range of home and the first base, or home and the third base, it shall be termed foul, and must be so declared by the umpire, unasked. If the ball first touches the ground, either upon, or in front of the range of those bases, it shall be considered fair.

[Nothing is mentioned in Section 9 in reference to any ball that is caught, either on the fly or first bound, after touching the side of a building, a fence, or a tree. In such cases a special rule is requisite before beginning a match.]

Sec. 10. A player making the home base, shall be entitled to score one run.

Sec. 11. If three balls are struck at, and missed, and the last one is not caught, either flying or upon the first bound, it shall be considered fair, and the striker must attempt to make his run.

Sec. 12. The striker is out if a foul ball is caught, either before touching the ground, or upon the first bound.

Sec. 13. Or, if three balls are struck at and missed, and the last is caught, either before touching the ground, or upon the first bound.

[The bound-catch, in this instance—the ball striking the ground back of the home base—is considered in the light of[47] a foul ball, as far as the fly-game is concerned, and consequently when the ball is caught on the bound, on the third strike, the player must be given out, the same as he was last year under the bound rule.]

Sec. 14. Or, if a fair ball is struck, and the ball is caught without having touched the ground.

Sec. 15. Or, if a fair ball is struck, and the ball is held by an adversary on first base, before the striker touches that base.

Sec. 16. Any player running the bases is out, if at any time he is touched by the ball while in play in the hands of an adversary, without some part of his person being on the base.

[All that is requisite for a player to “hold his base,” according to the meaning of the rule, is, for him to touch the base bag, no matter whether the bag is in its position or not.]

Sec. 17. No ace or base can be made upon a foul ball; such a ball shall be considered dead, and not in play until it shall first have been settled in the hands of the pitcher. In such cases players running bases shall return to them, and may be put out in so returning in the same manner as the striker when running to the first base.

Sec. 18. No ace nor base can be made when a fair ball has been caught without having touched the ground; such a ball shall be considered alive and in play. In such case players running bases shall return to them, and may be put out in so returning, in the same manner as the striker when running to first base; but players, when balls are so caught, may run their bases immediately after the ball has been settled in the hands of the player catching it.

[It will be seen by the above two Sections that a player running a base on a foul ball must return to the base he has left and remain on it until the ball has been fairly settled in the hands of the pitcher. But in case of fly-catches, a player[48] running a base is only required to return and touch the base, after which he can leave it at once and try and make the next base. He must, however, touch the base after the ball has been caught.]

Sec. 19. The striker must stand on a line drawn through the center of the home base, not exceeding in length three feet from either side thereof, and parallel with the line occupied by the pitcher. He shall be considered the striker until he has made the first base. Players must strike in regular rotation, and, after the first innings is played, the turn commences with the player who stands on the list next to the one who lost the third hand.

[This rule should be strictly enforced by the umpire.] A striker has no right to avail himself of the advantage derived from standing back of the line of his position, thereby increasing the distance between himself and the pitcher, and obtaining a better opportunity of judging the ball. Besides which, a poorly hit ball which would strike the ground in front of the home base—if the batsman stood on the line of his base—and lead to his being put out, is changed to a foul ball by his standing back of his base, and he thereby escapes the penalty of his poor batting.

Sec. 20. Players must make their bases in the order of striking; and when a fair ball is struck, and not caught flying, the first base must be vacated, as also the second and third bases, if they are occupied at the same time. Players may be put out on any base, under these circumstances, in the same manner as the striker when running to the first base.

Sec. 21. Players running bases must touch them; and, so far as possible, keep upon the direct line between them; and must touch them in the following order: first, second, third, and home; and if returning must reverse this order; and should any player run three feet out of this line, for the purpose of avoiding the ball in the hands of an adversary, he shall be declared out.


[A player failing to touch his base must be declared out—after an appeal—unless he can return to the base before he is touched.]

Sec. 22. Any player, who shall intentionally prevent an adversary from catching or fielding the ball, shall be declared out.

Sec. 23. If the player is prevented from making a base, by the intentional obstruction of an adversary, he shall be entitled to that base, and not be put out.

[These two latter sections are, of course, intended solely for any willful or unnecessary obstruction. It is impossible that a player, while in the act of fielding a swiftly sent ball, can always be on the lookout as to where his adversary is running, or that a player running the bases can always be equally careful in regard to his preventing an adversary from getting to his base. Some base players have a habit of pushing players off their bases while in the act of receiving the ball. Such unfair play should be punished by promptly inflicting the above penalty.]

Sec. 24. If an adversary stops the ball with his hat or cap, or if a ball be stopped by any person not engaged in the game, or if it be taken from the hands of any one not engaged in the game, no player can be put out unless the ball shall first have been settled in the hands of the pitcher.

Sec. 25. If a ball, from the stroke of a bat, is held under any other circumstances than as enumerated in Section 22, and without having touched the ground more than once, the striker is out.

Sec. 26. If two hands are already out, no player running home at the time the ball is struck, can make a run to count in the score of the game if the striker is put out.

Sec. 27. An innings must be concluded at the time the third hand is put out.

Sec. 28. The game should consist of nine innings to each[50] side, when, should the number of runs be equal, the play shall be continued until a majority of runs, upon an equal number of innings, shall be declared, which shall conclude the game.

Sec. 29. In playing all matches, nine players from each club shall constitute a full field, and they must have been regular members of the club which they represent, and of no other club, either in or out of the National Association, for thirty days prior to the match. No change or substitution shall be made after the game has been commenced, unless for reason of illness or injury. Position of players and choice of innings shall be determined by captains, previously appointed for that purpose by the respective clubs.

[This rule of course excludes players belonging to Junior clubs from taking part in Senior club matches, and likewise excludes players belonging to any base ball club, but not cricket clubs, as cricket is a distinct game of ball.]

Sec. 30. The umpire shall take care that the regulations respecting the ball, bats, bases, and the pitcher’s and striker’s position, are strictly observed. He shall be the judge of fair and unfair play, and shall determine all disputes and differences which may occur during the game; he shall take special care to declare all foul balls and baulks immediately upon their occurrence, unasked, in a distinct and audible manner. He shall, in every instance, before leaving the ground, declare the winning club, and shall record his decision in the books of the scorers.

Sec. 31. In all matches the umpire shall be selected by the captains of the respective sides, and shall perform all the duties enumerated in Section 30, except recording the game, which shall be done by two scorers, one of whom shall be appointed by each of the contending clubs.

Sec. 32. No person engaged in a match, either as umpire, scorer, or player, shall be either directly or indirectly interested[51] in any bet upon the game. Neither umpire, scorer, nor player shall be changed during a match, unless with the consent of both parties (except for a violation of this law) except as provided in Section 29, and then the umpire may dismiss any transgressors.

[This rule was almost entirely ignored last season; for there was scarcely a game played in which some one or other of the parties abovenamed did not bet on the result. This year more care will be taken to observe the rule; for those who bet large sums on the leading contests of the season, intend to dispute the loss of their bets in all cases wherein this rule is not observed; and they will have the right—according to the best sporting authority—to hold the stake-holder responsible in every instance in which he pays over the stakes to the winner when this rule has been broken; for under such circumstances the wager is not fairly won, unless those who bet mutually agree beforehand to allow of such infringement of the rules of the game.]

Sec. 33. The umpire in any match shall determine when play shall be suspended; and if the game cannot be concluded, it shall be decided by the last even innings, provided five innings have been played, and the party having the greatest number of runs shall be declared the winner.

Sec. 34. Clubs may adopt such rules respecting balls knocked beyond or outside of the bounds of the field, as the circumstances of the ground may demand; and these rules shall govern all matches played upon the ground, provided, that they are distinctly made known to every player and umpire, previous to the commencement of the game.

Sec. 35. No person shall be permitted to approach or to speak with the umpire, scorers, or players, or in any manner to interrupt or interfere during the progress of the game, unless by special request of the umpire.

Sec. 36. No person shall be permitted to act as umpire[52] or scorer in any match, unless he shall be a member of a Base-Ball Club governed by these rules.

This rule has never been properly observed. Every club should appoint a regular scorer for the season, and he should be competent to record the fielding as well as batting score of the game. Until this is done a full analysis of the season’s play of a club can not be obtained.

Sec. 37. Whenever a match shall have been determined upon between two clubs, play shall be called at the exact hour appointed; and should either party fail to produce their players within fifteen minutes thereafter, the party so failing shall admit a defeat.

[This rule has always been a dead letter. When clubs appoint a time for calling the game, it should be promptly proceeded with after the time allowed by the rule has expired.]

Sec. 38. Any match game played by any club in contravention of the rules adopted by this Association, shall be considered null and void, and shall not be counted in the list of match games won or lost, except a game be delayed by rain beyond the time appointed to commence the same. Any match game can be put off by mutual consent of the parties about engaging in the game. No match game shall be commenced in the rain.

[This is a new rule and was designed to obviate the difficulty attending upon the repudiation of any rule of the game any two clubs may mutually agree to ignore. Thus, for instance, any two clubs agreeing to allow a member of either club to play in a match who has not been a member for thirty days previous to a match, by this rule cannot claim the ball won, or count the match played as a regular game. The exception made in case of rain refers to that rule which requires a game to be commenced within fifteen minutes of the time appointed.]

Sec. 39. No person who shall be in arrears to any other[53] club, or who shall at any time receive compensation for his services as player, shall be competent to play in any match.

Sec. 40. Should a striker stand at the bat without striking at good balls repeatedly pitched to him, for the apparent purpose of delaying the game, or of giving advantage to a player, the umpire, after warning him, shall call one strike, and if he persists in such action, two and three strikes. When three strikes are called he shall be subject to the same rules as if he had struck at three fair balls.

[Section 40 is a rule that should be strictly enforced, as it refers to a part of the game that is oft-times a very tedious and annoying feature. How often do we see the striker, the moment his predecessor has made his first base, stand still at the home base and await the moment when the player on the first base can avail himself of the failure of either the pitcher or catcher to hold the ball while tossing it backward and forward to each other. Some catchers—chiefly among boys, however—actually stand to the right of the home base purposely for this style of game; and even when the pitcher and catcher are inclined to do their duty, the batsman is not, and the latter is frequently allowed to stop the progress of the game by his refusal to strike at good balls, under the plea that they do not suit him, when it is apparent to all that he simply wants to allow his partner to get to his second base. In every respect it is preferable to play the game manfully, and without resorting to any such trickery as this, which not only tires the spectator, but detracts from the merit of the game itself. Even under the new rule of pitching this unfair play was practiced last season. It is to be hoped that umpires will do their duty this year, and put an entire stop to it, which they have the power to do.]

Sec. 41. Every match hereafter made shall be decided by the best two games out of three, unless a single game shall be mutually agreed upon by the contesting clubs.



It is of the greatest importance that a Base Ball ground should be perfectly level and as free as possible from all obstructions in the shape of irregularities, stones, &c., and a fine, short turf will be found to add materially to the comfort of the players. The length of the field should be 600 feet, while the breadth about 400. The home base or batter’s stand, should be 70 feet from the head of the field. The space between the home base and the catcher’s stand, must be firmly packed earth as hard and level as a billiard table. The bases should be square blocks of wood covered with a double thickness of canvas and they are sometimes stuffed with hair to prevent accidents from falling, and here let us suggest that one point be not overlooked in preparing the ground, that is the erection of seats protected by an awning, for the accommodation of the “fair sex,” who manifest great interest in this game, and whose presence never fails to inspire the players with renewed ardor.

The bases should be firmly secured by leathern straps passing completely around them. The simplest method of laying out your ground is to first determine the point of your home base. Then measure down the field 127 feet 4 inches, which will give the position of your second base. Then taking a cord 180 feet in length and fastening either end to the second and home bases, by grasping the center and extending it to the right and left you have the points of your first and third bases. You have now found a square whose sides are 90 feet. Then draw a line from the home to second base, and at a point 45 feet from the former will be the pitcher’s first point, and three feet further on the same line his second point.


Posts painted white, and elevated from the ground so as to be distinctly seen by the umpire, are placed on a line with the home and first base, and home and third base, at least 100 feet from the bases. These are termed “foul ball posts,” and are used by the umpire in his decisions in reference to foul balls.




Both the pitcher’s point and the home base are indicated by iron quoits not less than nine inches in diameter and painted white, secured by means of iron spikes from beneath. A plank six feet in length, two inches in width, and inserted in the earth six or eight inches deep, with enough edge above ground so that it may be distinctly seen by the umpire, marks the line of the pitcher’s position.


All bats and balls used are made regulation size, and the bats of different woods as may suit the striker. For a light bat the English willow is prized by many, as its tough, close fibre recommends it to the heavy batter, as well as the ease with which it can be wielded. With those who prefer a heavier bat the ash and hickory are favorites. A light bat is generally preferred to a heavier one as it meets a swiftly pitched ball with greater promptness. There are nearly as many different modes of handling the bat as there are players. We see some grasping it with the left hand on the handle, and sliding the right swiftly down the bat. Others take the bat near the middle, others swing it with a long sweeping stroke, while still another class hold it as in Cricket, pointing to the ground.

It is not so necessary to strike a powerful blow as to hit with quickness, and at the same time maintain a firm and natural position. It is not the heaviest, who make the most powerful batters. Stand with the foot on the line of the striker’s position, and be prepared to strike as soon as the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand.



In order to play the game of Base Ball, nine players of a side are necessary, one side taking the bat and the other the field. Their relative positions are generally determined by tossing a coin. A full game consists of nine innings to each side, an inning lasting until three players are “put out,” either at the bat or while running the bases, as will be seen by referring to the rules. The side scoring the largest number of runs during the game is declared victorious. The list of fielders comprise catcher, pitcher, first, second and third basemen, short stop, right, center and left fieldsmen. When each one is in his appointed place, the captain of the fielding nine calls out “ready,” to which the umpire promptly responds “play!”—and upon the first ball which leaves the pitcher’s hand the game commences.

The batsman or striker stands at the home base on a line drawn through its center, parallel to one extending from first to third base and extending three feet on each side of it. The batsman requires considerable judgment to assist him in effectually striking at balls. He must have a quick eye and ready hand to meet the deceptive pitching of an experienced player. If these qualities are wanting he may find himself suddenly caught out on a “foul tip,” or forced ingloriously to retire on a “three strike.” As soon as the ball is struck, it is the duty of a batsman to run at once for the first base, and should he arrive there before the ball reaches the baseman he is said to have “made his base.” Many players acquire the habit of pausing to watch the course of a ball which may possibly fall within the “foul lines,” or if an “air ball” be struck, waiting to see if it is caught by a fielder, before he starts for his base. This is wrong, as if it prove a “foul,” the umpire will announce it in time for the player to return,[58] and should the “fly ball” be missed or “muffed,” the player is well on his way to the base. Upon reaching his base, the striker is succeeded by the next batsman on the list, and when three of these are “put out,” the fielders take their turn at the bat. A run is scored by a player touching in succession the four bases, avoiding being himself touched by the ball while running. A home run is made by his hitting the ball to such a distance that he makes the four bases before it is returned. In case of a tie at the close of the ninth inning the game may be prolonged until one or the other of the contestants obtain the most runs on even innings.

Should anything occur to put a stop to the game, before five innings have been played by each side the game is declared drawn. For all other necessary particulars in regard to the game, the reader is referred to the preceding rules and regulations.


1. The Catcher.

The duty of this player is to catch or stop all balls pitched or thrown to the home base. To fill this position properly, requires no small measure of dexterity and skill, always on the alert to secure foul bounds and tips, with a vigilant eye to the bases, together with precision and power in throwing to them, the catcher’s position is so important that he is generally chosen captain of the nine.

After a striker has made his first base, the catcher should advance toward the pitcher and stand directly behind the bat so as to take the balls before they bound and by throwing swiftly at the second base cut off a player from making that[59] base. When a ball is batted high to long field and several fielders run to catch it, he should distinctly call the fielder by name whom he thinks surest to take it, when the others should pause, and strive only to take it on the bound, should it be missed on the fly.


2. The Pitcher.

The position of the player is behind a line four yards in length, drawn at right angles from the home to second base, at a distance of 45 feet from the former base. Four feet in the rear of this line, in another parallel to it and in the space between these two must the pitcher stand, immediately before, and while delivering the ball. Both feet must be firmly planted on the ground while he is pitching, and he should be careful not to jerk or throw the ball, but deliver it directly over the home base and for the striker. The pitcher is frequently called upon to supply the places of basemen while they are fielding, and it is of great importance that he should be a ready catcher and good fielder. A ball pitched at a high rate of speed, and at the same time containing a bias or “twist” will prove the most effective. As this position calls for a great amount of physical labor, some person who is not easily fatigued should be selected to fill it.


3. The Short Stop.

The duties of this player are many and arduous, and his position the most dangerous one on the field. He stands in the center of the triangle formed by the second and third bases and pitcher’s position, though he should vary his position according to his knowledge of different player’s style of batting. It is to this spot that nearly all the swiftly batted ground balls come, which require more nerve and practice to[60] stop than any other. Upon securing the ball the short stop should pass it swiftly to whatever base a player may be running for, generally to the first. He should be on the alert to cover the third base when the catcher throws to it; to back up the second when receiving a ball from the fielders, and also to take balls on the bound when missed by the third baseman or pitcher.


4. First Base.

This player should be a splendid catch, and able to hold swiftly sent balls, as he will be obliged to take them from the pitcher and short stop, more frequently than any of the other basemen. He should play a little below his base, and inside the line of the foul ball post in order to secure balls which would otherwise pass him. As soon as the ball is struck he should return to his base and with one foot upon it stand ready to receive the ball from whatever player may have fielded it.

This is the only base where a player can be put out without being touched by the ball, (excepting balls caught on the fly, or those that are fouled) as it is only necessary that the baseman with ball in hand touch the base before the striker reaches it. He should instantly deliver the ball to the pitcher or to any base where it may be necessary.


5. Second Base.

Many ball players consider this position to be the most important point in the whole game, and with good reason. It should never be filled but by an accurate thrower, a sure catcher and a thorough fielder. As most of the balls pass to the left of this base it is well to play in that direction and a little back of it, although when a player reaches the first base[61] the baseman should instantly return. The second base can give material aid to the pitcher by backing him up closely, and not suffering a ball to pass them both if possible to stop it. If he fails to catch a ball, let him by all means stop it in some way, in order to put out a player by touching him, then return it to the pitcher.


6. Third Base.

The position of third baseman is quite as important as any of the others, as in this direction pass the majority of foul balls, which with dexterity may be taken on the fly. As he has considerable fielding to perform it is best that he play away from his base, except when a player runs either to or from it. He should never attempt to hinder a player from reaching his base, and this advice should be taken and acted upon by all basemen.


7. Left Field.

Here is a chance for the display of the finest of fielding, as half of the air balls are sent in this direction. The left fielder is required to be a swift runner, powerful thrower, and an excellent catcher in order to acceptably fill this position.


8. Center Field.

This player should be in readiness to back up the second base, and should never go to long field except when a heavy hitter is at the bat. He is required to possess nearly the same qualities which distinguish the left fielder.



9. Right Field.

It is difficult to find a poor place in any of the nine positions in a well contested game of Base Ball, but if there is one which is at all inferior to the rest, the right field should be so considered, simply because balls are sent in this direction but occasionally. Yet it is important that this field be occupied by one who understands his business, as the batsman if he sees signs of weakness there, will soon take advantage of his discovery by batting frequently into that quarter.


The Umpire.

One of the most undesirable positions on a Base Ball field is that of the umpire. He cannot fail to displease some one by his decisions, though he govern himself by the strictest rules of the game. Great firmness here is necessary in supporting a decision, and on any doubtful point it is better that he adhere to his first impressions as they are most likely to prove correct. No one should be allowed to approach, or converse with the umpire during a game. He should close both eyes and ears to everything outside of the game in progression, and allow no remarks of whatever nature in reference to his judgment to influence him in the least. All foul balls should be called in a loud, clear and distinct tone of voice, and no member of a club should question any decision, however incorrect it may appear to them, but cheerfully acquiesce, and if corrections are to be made, there will be plenty of time at the conclusion of the game. It is unnecessary to add that the person acting as umpire should possess a thorough knowledge of the game in all its details. He must keep a strict watch upon both pitcher and striker, and if necessary call strikes or balls upon them in accordance with the rules.[63] His position is to the right of and between the striker and catcher, on a line between the home and third base.


The Scorer.

The scorer may be regarded as the clerk of the game, and it is his duty to record the score of each player, and make a full and complete showing of each man’s standing throughout the game. The same person should always be appointed scorer in all match games, and he should be selected as well for his gentlemanly qualities as for his familiarity with the game.



ARCHERY was formerly one of the chief pastimes of England, and at different periods in modern days it has been a fashionable amusement; and in this country it has been practiced in some few localities. Archery is a healthful and agreeable pastime, and ought to be revived and in general use all over this country; it is scarcely excelled by any recreation in which propriety permits young ladies to indulge.

The attitude of an accomplished female archer (for archery is not to be acquired without much practice) at the moment of bending the bow is particularly graceful; all the actions and positions tend at once to produce a proper degree of strength in the limbs and to impart a general elegance of bearing.

Ladies usually shoot at a distance of about fifty yards. Two targets are placed opposite each other, and the archers shoot from one to the other; that is, when all the party have shot at one target, they walk up to it, gather their arrows, and shoot back to the one they came from, to which they again return when their arrows are expended; and so on,[65] shooting from one to the other in rotation. In that way not merely the arm, but the whole frame, enjoys the benefit of salutary exercise in the open air, while the mind is interested and the spirits elevated by the sport.

The attitude in shooting is a matter of much importance; the feet should be a few inches apart, the neck slightly curved, so as to bring the head a little downward; the face, but no part of the front of the body, is to be turned towards the mark. The left arm must be held out quite straight to the wrist, which should be bent inwards; the bow is to be held easy in the hand; and the arrow, when drawn, should be brought, not towards the eye, but the ear. The right hand should begin to draw the string as the left raises the bow; when the arrow is three parts drawn, the aim is to be taken. In doing this the head of the arrow should appear to the right of the mark; the arrow is then drawn to its head, and immediately loosened.

To draw the arrow from the mark or ground it should be taken by the hand, as near the head of the arrow as possible, and extracted in the same direction as it entered. If these instructions be not attended to, the young archer will break many arrows in drawing them from the ground, or the mark, when she is so successful as to hit it.

In selecting a bow the chief point to be attended to is the adaptation of the bow to the strength of the person who is to use it. Bows, arrows, and accoutrements can easily be obtained in any city. Any boy can find good material for bows in almost any piece of woods, and easily make a bow for himself or his lady friends.

Targets are made of wood and generally painted in circles. The central point is the one to be aimed at by the archers.

The same dresses used at Croquet parties are desirable for Archery, and add much to the graceful appearance of the Archer.


Let us become skillful Archers and have Archery meetings as of old, and let ladies and gentlemen, or boys and girls, contend for the prizes.

It is useless here to give an elaborate essay on the history of Archery; any person sufficiently enthusiastic to desire it, can easily obtain English books containing detailed directions on Archery, and its history from ancient to modern times.


Gardening, Flowers.

WE, as a nation, are not a happy, home-loving people. The “spirit of unrest” pervades all classes.

This enterprising, uneasy spirit, has been, and is, of benefit to us as a comparatively new country, in settling and breaking our wild Western lands.

But the time has come, when it is well to curb that spirit, and cultivate all quiet, home-loving influences.

Therefore, I beseech you, parents, to begin in earliest infancy, to cultivate a love of the beautiful in nature, give your little ones flowers; and as soon as they are able to play in the garden, give them a little spot of their own to dig in; and when they can understand the process, give them seeds to plant, and some few flowers to cultivate. I can tell you of a happy cottage home, where the children, from earliest infancy, have lived among flowers. Each had their tiny garden, with spade, hoe, trowel and watering-pot. The father and mother would also assist with their own hands in training vines, roses and shrubs, in artistic beauty. The good father never went to his counting-room without some flowers in his hand, or in[68] the button-hole of his coat, the valued gift from the tiny garden of one of his darlings. Years passed and fortune favored them, but they never would exchange their cottage home, with its vines, trees and shrubs, for all the stately mansions in the town. And as the daughters married, and the sons left to seek their fortunes, they would look back with intense longing to their loved home; and joyous were their meetings around the home Christmas tree.

On Sundays they always, even in midwinter, ornamented their social table with flowers, for they are God’s smiles. Therefore, my friends, I speak from observation, and from seeing the effect of an opposite course. If you wish to lessen your doctor’s bill, and give the beauty of robust health and happiness to your children, girls or boys, give them a garden and let them plant, weed and water it. If your children bring you even a simple field daisy, express your pleasure to them, and let them not see you cast it aside.

Teach your boys the use of a pruning-knife, and how to graft; then give them some trees to experiment upon. You may save them from dissipation, by giving them a taste for Horticulture. It is a happy, health-giving employment.

Decorate even your barn with graceful vines. The poorest house can be made an agreeable place, by transplanting a few of the many simple, wild vines. It is not natural to love intensely a stiff, ungainly object.

I have often thought, as I have roamed about the farming districts of New England, and have seen the many great, stiff, square houses, with not a graceful tree, or flower to relieve their nakedness, (though now and then a syringa, or lilac bush, or cinnamon rose, and perhaps a stately old butternut, may be seen,) the sons and daughters of those households will surely emigrate. Utility is our hobby. Some farmers think it waste time to plant a flower, as it yields no fruit.


Remember the old saying, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” You that dwell in a city, strive to have a small spot in the country to which you may send your children in Summer, to roam at will. I heard a little child, in urging her mother to go into the country in vain, cry out, “It is too, too bad, mamma, I know God did not make the city for little children, because he loves us.”

Do not waste your money at fashionable watering-places. Even in early years, take your children to the woods and let them see nature in its wild state. There is nothing like a day in the woods for refreshing us all, in body and mind. The wild music of running brooks is so lulling, the birds carol their “native wood-notes wild” so sweetly, the strange blended odor of the damp mould, the leaves, the wild flowers, and the prospect of the distant meadow, are so delightful; the play of the sunlight through the dense foliage, and on the sylvan walks, is so beautiful, and the quiet is so marked, after the hum and roar of a city, that the mind is tranquilized, and both you and your children will be nearer to God, and nearer to one another, for every hour so spent. Our whole country is full of wild beauty. Spend your spare money in decorating your homes with trees, flowers and shrubs. The influence upon your children will be far more beneficial.

If your children wish for money to purchase seeds and flowers for their gardens, if possible, give it cheerfully. It is far better so spent than in dress and toys. Let them plan their own gardens and experiment as much as they please. A very pretty fence can be made round such gardens, by a number of stakes of equal lengths pointed at one end to drive into the ground, square at the top, and painted green. Then place them at equal distances around your garden, and bore holes about six or seven inches apart for the twine, which should be brown linen. Pass the twine through the holes, in lines all around the garden. Plant vines which run rapidly,[70] such as Cypress Vine, Madeira Vine, Nasturtium, Maurandya Barclayanna, Dwarf Convolvulus, Mountain Fringe, &c., &c. By midsummer your simple fence will be very beautiful.

Having spent many years in cultivating flowers, perhaps a few practical directions from my own experience may be of service to my readers.


We often think because the seed we plant does not germinate that we have purchased poor seed, when the fault is in the manner of planting.

Nearly all kinds of flower seeds require transplanting, therefore it is best to plant in boxes, pots, or hot-beds. Old cigar boxes are convenient and are easily handled, but first bore holes in the bottom of the boxes, and in your pots or boxes place either broken clam or oyster shells or pieces of old flower pots as a drainage; then take light, rich earth and sift it or rub it carefully in your hands to be sure there are no lumps; some bake the earth to destroy any insects which may be in it, but it answers the same purpose to pour boiling water on it. After you have filled your boxes or pots with this prepared earth, sprinkle your seed carefully over it, and sift over them light soil sufficient to cover them, moisten them with warm water, and place the box where there is but little light and throw a piece of paper over the top. A warm place will start them best. Let them remain thus several days, till the seeds have a chance to swell, before you give them much light, and keep the earth moist; (a sponge is excellent to water them, as it does not disturb the position of the seeds; also use warm water,) as soon as you see they are sprouting give them light, and air, if not too cold, or else the plant will[71] not have strength to grow well. Hot-beds are the best, and can be made with but little expense, by taking some old box, and if you do not possess an old window sash you can purchase one of some builder for a trifling sum of money, and fit it to your box by nailing strips at the sides; dig a place the size of the box and two or three feet deep, fill it with horse manure mixed with straw, which is the most heating, then sprinkle soil over the top about six inches deep, place your box on the top, carefully heaping the earth around the outside, and your hot-bed is made, in which you can start your seeds and slips by either placing your boxes or pots in the earth on top of the manure and plant your seeds and slips in them, or as many prefer, planting in the soil of your hot-bed. After your seedling plants are of sufficient size to transplant, if you first transplant them into small pots, you can easily plant them in your flower beds without disturbing the roots, and the plants will not require covering; you must first dig a hole and pour water into it, then carefully slip the plant, dirt and all, from the pots and place into the hole made for it and press the earth tight around it. Of course they must remain in the pot till they are well rooted. In raising slips you need to mix in full half common scouring sand with the soil, and they must be shaded from the light several days.

All who care for flowers will desire to raise Verbenas, as they blossom all Summer. If you wish to raise them from seed they should be sown in February or first of March. One secret in raising fine Verbenas is change of soil. It would be better to plant them every year in a different location, but if you renew the soil it will do to plant them twice in the same bed, but never three years in succession. Indeed, flowers as well as vegetables need constant change of soil; they soon exhaust the earth. Seeds are better that are raised in locations distant from the place where they are to be sown. Flowers soon deteriorate if you continue to plant over and over[72] from seed raised in the same spot; that is one of the reasons why seeds from Europe are generally preferred by florists. Japan Pink seed should be planted in March, in order to have them flower the first year; they are hardy and blossom also the second year. Pansy seed should be planted as early as Verbenas. Ten Weeks’ Stock, Phlox Drummondi, Double Zinnias, Lobelia, Petunias, Portulaca, Salpiglossis, Candytuft, Larkspur, &c., should be planted in April. If you desire to raise Picotee or Carnation Pinks for the next year, and Canterbury Bells and Fox Gloves, sow in April. Sow Asters of all kinds the last of April or first of May. Some of the climbers, such as Maurandya, Barclayanna, Tropæolum, commonly called Nasturtium, Cypress Vine, Thunbergia, &c., need transplanting, and better be sown early. Sweet Peas should be sown in the open soil about three inches deep, early in April. It is better to soak the seed in warm water before sowing. When they have germinated and as they begin to climb, fill in earth around them, and water now and then thoroughly with soap suds. Mignonette should not be transplanted; sow the seed in the open soil the first of May. Candytuft and Sweet Alyssum, are hardy, and the seed can be sown out of doors; but if you have once had them, they will come up self sown; look over your beds in Spring and take up such plants, when you have the soil prepared and beds made, then you can plant them back again where you desire. Joseph’s Coat is a very brilliant plant, its leaves are all shades of green, red and yellow; the seed can be sown either in or out of doors by the first of May, also Golden Calliopsis. Balsams will grow better if the seeds are not planted till the second week in May out of doors.

All the flowers I have mentioned are desirable even in a small garden; of course there are hundreds of varieties of even annuals, but unless you have a gardener it is impossible to raise them all, for it is desirable even in a small garden to[73] have some flowers raised by slips, or bought from some greenhouse, such as Fuchsias, Double Feverfews, Scarlet Geraniums, Heliotropes, Rose Geraniums, Lemon Verbenas, Monthly Roses and Hardy Perpetuals, &c. Hardy Perpetual Roses are desirable in every garden, they grow so thrifty and blossom all summer, and with a little covering will live out all Winter; and if they are showered often early in the Spring while the dew is on the roses, with whale oil soap suds, using a syringe to shower them, it will prevent the usual damage done by the slug. If you have a shady, moist place in your garden there you can plant your Lily of the Valley, double blue English Violet, Forget-me-not, and Pansy.

Fuchsias also require some shade. Heliotropes and Geraniums will bear enriching more than most plants; often watering with guano water is excellent. A table-spoonful of guano to a common water-pail full of water is sufficiently strong. It also improves Pansies, Fuchsias and nearly all plants except Roses. Soap suds is better for Roses and Verbenas, at least according to my experience. Nearly all plants make a finer show in a garden arranged either in beds, each variety by itself, or in clusters. Before planting your garden in Spring it is well to carefully consider the nature of each flower, and arrange your garden so that each flower can be displayed to advantage; never plant promiscuously; it is astonishing what a difference landscape gardening will make in the general aspect of even a small place. It is quite as desirable as to arrange the colors in a picture to harmonize. Even an old stump of a tree can be made beautiful by planting vines around it, or by scooping out the top and filling in soil, and planting Nierembergia, Lobelia, Double Nasturtium, Variegated Myrtle, &c., in it. Those I have mentioned blossom all Summer, except the Myrtle, the leaves of which are as beautiful as many flowers.

If we ladies would spend less time on our dress and in arrangements[74] for the table, and take that time for working in our gardens with our children, we should not only make our homes more attractive but we should gain in health and strength. Early every Spring call a family council to decide the arrangement of your flower garden. Let your boys have a place to raise vegetables as a pastime. Encourage them to diligence by promising to purchase all they will raise; in that way they can earn money to give to the poor, or for their Christmas presents; even children will take far more pleasure in giving what they have really earned with their own hands.


Is it not, my friends, very pleasant to have a bit of the Summer woods in our parlors in midwinter? Such a pleasure is within the reach of us all, with but little trouble and expense. Those who live in cities and cannot go into the country, surely must have some friend who can supply them, or the materials can be obtained at any public greenhouse. First you require a glass dome, or what is still better, take five panes of glass any size you please, four to form the sides, one for the top, fasten the glass together with a light wooden frame, then take any tin dish, like a baking pan, or if round a tin plate or jelly cake pan, or a tin dish can be made to fit it for a trifling sum of money; paint the tin green on the outside. Then collect some pieces of broken flower pots, or still better, bits of marble, granite or any stone and scatter them around the tin dish, placing in the center some moss-grown stump or stick, and pile the stones around it; then collect from the woods, ferns, mosses, partridge-vines with its bright red berries, (indeed, any plant will grow in these ferneries which can be found in moist places in the woods;) take up[75] a little of the leaf mould in which they grow, they need but little soil, arrange your plants spreading the roots carefully over the stones, scattering a little leaf mould on them, and placing your mosses around the whole. The tallest plants should form the center, but in arranging even ferneries, it is more agreeable to exercise your own taste. Before placing your globe or glass frame over your fernery, sprinkle the plants thoroughly, then cover with the glass, and let it remain a few days in the shade. You can keep them where you please, but I think they grow better near a window; be very careful not to water them too often, once a month is generally sufficient; if too wet they will mould and die; when there is but little moisture on the glass, it is well to raise the glass to ascertain if it is dry. My fernery has been made four years, it has required but little care; now and then I add a new fern, some moss, or any suitable plant gathered from the woods, and remove any dried ferns or leaves. It often renews itself. Trailing arbutus and partridge-vines will blossom in ferneries. It is always pleasant to the eye and no care after the first expense and trouble. Ivy and Lycopodium grow well in ferneries, but the rare ferns, &c., from green-houses do not flourish as well as those plants taken from our native woods.


English Ivies are a great ornament to our rooms, and are hardy and require very little care. After the first two years they grow quite rapidly, therefore it is well to procure two year old plants, train them on your curtains, over your windows and pictures. Many make a mistake by changing the pots very often, thinking they require a very large pot, which is not so, for they do not require as much earth as[76] many plants, only keep them moist, and have rich loam for the soil; it is well to water them every month with guano water, prepared according to the same rule given for flowers. The poet’s ivy is very pretty, the leaf being quite small. The most beautiful ivy I ever saw was one that never was removed from its place Summer or Winter; it filled a large bay window, encircled the whole room and wound around many pictures; now and then a gardener came and changed the soil, and the leaves were occasionally washed. Hanging baskets of moss with flowers growing in it, are exceedingly pretty in Winter.


To press flowers, to be arranged on paper like a painting, you must take some plain white wrapping paper, (in Paris you can obtain paper prepared by a chemical process to preserve the colors) and place your flowers or leaves carefully between two sheets of the paper. Then press them by placing a heavy weight over them, (letter presses are excellent) and leave them a day or two, then change the paper; thus the juices of the flowers are absorbed. It takes a week or two to press perfectly, and in Summer often longer. When dry, place them in a book or some air-tight box ready for use. A year is required to make a varied and handsome collection, as each flower has its own season for blossoming. Wild flowers retain their colors better than cultivated; but experience alone will teach you what flowers will retain their color best. Many pretend to be able to preserve all kinds of flowers, but it is impossible. I will give a list of flowers which are known to retain their color by this mode of pressing.

All Geraniums (except the horse-shoe and sweet-scented), preserve their color. They are very essential, as their colors are brilliant and keep for years. All yellow flowers both[77] wild and cultivated retain their color. The Violet and Pansy, Dwarf Blue Convolvulus, Blue Larkspur, Blue Myrtle, Blue Lobelia, Heaths, the small original Red Fuchsia, Wild Housatonia, and many tiny blue, and even white flowers press perfectly.

For green, Ivy, Maiden Hair, Ferns or Brake, Mosses, &c., retain their color best. Rarely a cultivated green leaf presses well. Autumn leaves, if small, and the youngest oak leaves mix in well. Certain kinds of stems such as Pansy, and others of similar character, are best adapted for pressing.

After your collection is made, take some card-board, without a polish if possible, and arrange your flowers as you design to have them. Gum them to the paper with tragacanth, using a camel’s hair brush, then press on the paper and flower with a cloth, carefully absorbing all moisture, as well as firmly pressing the flower on the paper. Geraniums and some large flowers look better if each leaf is glued on separately.

In forming your bouquet, it is better to arrange the stems first and work upwards. Baskets and vases of moss with flowers are pretty. To form these, you must trace out with a pencil your vase or basket, and glue on the moss. Then arrange your flowers.

I have heard amusing criticisms on the coloring of such bouquets, from persons who mistook them for paintings. Framed and covered with a glass, they make ornamental pictures.

It is a pleasant way of preserving mementos of friends, places or events. Flower albums or journals are very beautiful. Wreaths arranged of different varieties of Pelargoniums mixed in with any pretty green, and other little flowers, such as Lobelias, are very handsome and the colors are durable. Pansies of different shades look well, and brilliant wreaths may be made of all the varieties of flowers that hold their color. The oval shape looks the best for wreaths.

There are innumerable varieties of Ferns, Lycopodiums and Maiden Hair, both native and foreign, suitable for pressing.[78] By pasting each specimen on a separate sheet and interspersing specimens of our beautiful Autumn leaves also on separate sheets, and fastening them together, either bound as a book or in a portfolio, you will possess a beautiful and attractive book with but little expense.

Crosses can be arranged with ferns and shaded to appear as if painted in perspective, and look like a cross standing on a mossy bank, with flowers, &c., growing around and over it. First draw and shade your cross as a guide, then take the small leaflets of the darkest colored ferns you can procure, and glue them on carefully where the cross should be in shadow darkest, then take the brighter green ferns (such as are gathered in Spring,) and end with the white ferns (which can only be obtained in the Fall), using them for the lightest shade; be careful to cover every part and shade it with nature’s colors as you would with paint; in a cross six inches high and suitably proportioned, full two hundred of the tiny leaflets of the fern may be used to good advantage before it is completed. Then take wild Lycopodium if you can obtain it, if not, the finest of the cultivated, and arrange it on your cross to look like a vine growing over and hanging from it; also paste on to it tiny little pressed Lobelias, and arrange small ferns, mosses and any little flowers (wild ones are preferable), around the base of the cross to look like a mossy bank. Different designs can be arranged in the same way.

Be very careful in pasting on flowers and leaves that every part, however small, is firmly fixed to the paper; press them on after pasting with a dry cloth.


A few hints as regards the cultivation of Strawberries may be useful to both boys and girls; for fine berries can be raised even on a small plot of ground, if the soil be rich. Plants[79] for a new bed should be set out early in the Spring; the roots will then grow strong and the plants will be better able to bear the cold of Winter. Some gardeners prefer to plant their strawberry roots in August, or even late in the Autumn, and if the Winter is mild, or deep snows cover the ground, the vines will live and bear fruit the next Summer. Some prefer to raise strawberries in hills, but the most prolific vines are those planted in beds about three feet wide with a path between, filled with straw, to keep the fruit from the ground; it is well to cut off most of the runners. Of course the beds should be kept free from weeds. There are many new varieties, but the old Hovey’s Seedling is as reliable as any and very prolific. The Russell is easily propagated; vines planted in April will often yield fine strawberries in June. The Wilson is a profitable strawberry for the market because of its large yield, but it is hardly equal in flavor to the Hovey. The Hovey will soon run out if planted by itself; it requires some other kind to be planted with it. The Pine is usually the variety selected for that purpose. It is useless to enumerate the several varieties, for nearly every locality has its favorite strawberry. Some kinds will scarcely bear a perfect berry in some locations, while in a different locality the same berry will be loaded with perfect fruit. Sometimes a healthy and vigorous looking bed of strawberry-plants will produce but few berries—then you must examine the blossoms, those which bear fruit will have the berry formed in the flower—while others will blossom freely but do not bear fruit; these are the male plants and it is better to leave but few of them in your strawberry beds. When you plant the new roots dig a hole with a trowel and fill it with water, then spread out the roots and pack the earth close around them, but when they are fully rooted and commence to grow, the earth should be kept loose around them.

Strawberry plants should be replanted every third year; it[80] is best to change the location of the bed if possible, or at least to renew the soil. Boys or girls who raise and gather from their own little garden a dish of strawberries will find great pleasure in presenting it to their friends as fruits of their own labor.


The care of the grape-vine is a pleasant occupation. To gather the rich, ripe bunches of its delicious fruit is a grand enjoyment. Almost every one can command a spot of ground sufficient for the liberal support of a grape-vine. It may be planted in any unappropriated corner about the house—a sunny spot is to be preferred, but a vine may do well with but little direct sunshine, if it is well sheltered and properly cared for. It may be planted at the foot of a tree, the branches of which are not near the ground, and it will find its way high up the tree and will yield large crops of fine fruit hidden among its own thick foliage and that of the tree, provided the ground immediately about its roots can be reached and kept warm by the sun’s rays.

As it grows it will endeavor to adapt itself to the circumstances that surround it, and will take the direction your taste or convenience require it to follow. Its flexible branches are obedient to the gentle hand of the careful cultivator. You may train it upon stakes six or eight feet high, or upon a low trellis where the fruit will be within easy reach of your hand. You may have the fruit within a few inches of the ground, or by removing all the lower branches of the vine, you can cause the ripe bunches to hang in graceful festoons around and over the window of your chamber, high above the reach of accident and pilferers. The grape-vine will do as it is bid, which[81] is much more than can be said of some young people, whose eyes sparkle at the sight of its fruit.

In preparing the ground in which to plant the vine, reference must be had to the character of the soil. If the soil is clayey and cold, or if the neighboring surface is such as to turn an undue proportion of the rains upon the place where you propose to plant your vine, care must be taken to secure for the roots of the vine a sufficient drainage. If the roots of the vine are surrounded by wet and cold earth, the fruit will mature slowly and will be endangered by the early frosts. You will secure a sufficient drainage by digging a hole three feet deep and five or six feet in diameter and throwing into it small stones, fragments of bricks or other like rubbish, to the depth of about eighteen inches, and filling to the surface with the soil. If the soil in which you propose to plant your vine is light, no artificial drainage will be necessary.

Dig over the ground and mix with it some well rotted manure or bone dust to the depth of your spade. The plan of trenching and deep manuring is of questionable advantage. The roots of the vine prefer to run near the surface, but they will seek the rich soil wherever it may be; and if they are drawn away from the surface of the ground and out of their natural direction to the colder soil below, the effect upon the fruit may be unfavorable, both as to quality and quantity.

In the ground thus prepared set your young vine from the nursery. First, drive down a stake to which you can tie the young vine, then place the roots of the vine three inches below the surface of the ground, carefully spreading the roots so that they will be as nearly as possible in the position in which they grew in the nursery.

The beautiful operations of nature will then commence. The roots of the vine will at once begin to adapt themselves to their new home, and their delicate fibres will firmly clasp the particles of the well-prepared soil; the warm days of the[82] early Spring will draw the sap up through the whole length of the vine, the buds will open and exhibit their delicate tints, new shoots and broad green leaves will follow, and you can soon eat the fruit of your own labor, sitting beneath the shadow of your own vine.


There are many beautiful ways of arranging flowers, besides in our costly vases. For example, take a basket and knit like a garter pieces of different shades of moss colored worsted; then dip in hot water and press them; when dry ravel nearly out, only leaving an end which can be fastened on to the basket with sewing silk or green glace thread and a large needle. A basket tastefully covered in this way looks as if it were made of moss, and it retains its beauty longer; a tin dish should be made to fit it, and painted green; keep it filled with natural flowers. I should prefer such an ornament to costly porcelain. Many fill such baskets with exquisite French flowers, which imitate nature perfectly.

To form a pyramid of flowers, take three, four or five wooden bowls according to the size you wish for your pyramid, let them be a regular gradation in size, procure some round pieces of wood, like ribbon blocks, graded in size, glue the tallest into the centre of the largest bowl so that it will stand upright, and upon top of that glue the bowl next in size, and so on to the smallest bowl. Varnish the inside several coats; paint the outsides green and cover with moss; some have a stand made and glued to the bottom of the largest bowl. When filled with flowers, it is a lovely sight. Baskets made of tin and painted green, then covered with moss, make the prettiest hanging baskets possible. Tin rings[83] large enough to surround vases placed inside, and made to hold water, with little wires across the top and painted green, when filled with flowers, form the prettiest mats in the world; the wires keep the flowers in place. I saw one filled with only small Rose-buds, blue Forget-me-nots and Geranium leaves. It is an improvement to cover the outside with moss. Crosses made in the same way are very beautiful and are appropriate to place on the grave of any beloved friend. In that way flowers can be preserved a long time, if there is a sufficient supply of water to preserve them.

There are innumerable ways of arranging flowers. The poorest person can afford to purchase a tin basin, and with a little common paste and moss, which can be found in all country places, a pretty dish for flowers is soon made. Shells make lovely vases. The large shells sailors polish so exquisitely to resemble mother-of-pearl, make elegant hanging vases; bore holes on each side and hang them with strong cords.

Decorate your rooms with flowers if possible. If you have sick friends at home or abroad, carry them flowers; it will cheer them more than you can realize unless you too have been sick.


Scoop the pith from a small twig of elder; split it length-ways, and fill each of the parts with seeds that produce different colored flowers. Surround the seed with earth; tie the two bits of wood together, and plant the whole in a pot filled with earth. The stems of the different plants will thus be so incorporated as to exhibit to the eye only one stem, throwing out branches with the different flowers you have planted. By[84] choosing the seeds of plants which germinate at the same time, and which are nearly similar in the texture of their stems, an ingenious person may obtain artificial plants extremely curious.


It is pleasant to see the Summer flowers in midwinter, and they who cannot have Roses blooming at that period within doors can preserve them in Summer to decorate their table in Winter. First select from your Rose-trees the most beautiful specimens as they are just ready to blossom; tie a piece of fine thread around the stalk of each; do not handle the bud, or the stalk; cut it from the tree with the stalk two or three inches in length; melt sealing-wax and quickly apply it to the end of the stalk; the wax should only be just warm enough to be ductile; form a piece of paper into a cone-like shape, and place the Rose within it; twist it at the ends to exclude the air; put it in a box, and put the box into a drawer; this is to be sure that it is air-tight. In Winter take it out, cut off the end of the stalk, place it in luke-warm water, and in two or three hours it will become fresh and fragrant. If the room is very warm it will answer to put it in cold water.



IN a practical treatise like the present, a dissertation on the antiquities and history of Illumination will not be looked for; nor is there space for the amount of detail that would be necessary to make the subject thoroughly understood. The more knowledge, however, the student has to work upon, the purer and more complete must be his practice; knowledge gives decision, decision leads to facility, and facility in any art whatever, is the main object of pursuit.

For such knowledge, full, clear and accurate as it should be, we must refer to long and learned treatises; and to the inspection of many actual examples; since to understand clearly what is meant by illumination, one should not only read much, but study the work itself at every stage of its career. To look into this matter thoroughly, reference should be made to books upon illumination. Among the best of these books are “The Art of Illumination,” by Wyatt, and “Noel Humphrey’s Work.” However, a few directions may be given here. To begin with the materials.



A careful inspection of the list of water colors manufactured at the present day, leads to the conclusion that the following colors may be used, though some of them are similar to others in tint, &c., or can for other reasons be superseded. These latter are marked in italics:


Cadmium Yellow.
Lemon Yellow.
Mars Yellow.
Naples Yellow.
Raw Sienna.
Yellow Ochre.


Brown Madder.
Crimson Lake.
Indian Red.
Orange Vermilion.
Light Red.
Scarlet Vermilion.
Rose Madder.
Rubens’ Madder.


French Blue.
Intense Blue.
Ultramarine Ash.


Burnt Roman Ochre.
Burnt Sienna.
Mars Orange.
Neutral Orange.


Burnt Carmine.
Indian Purple.
Purple Lake.
Purple Madder.
Violet Carmine.


Emerald Green.
Oxide of Chromium.
Olive Green.


Burnt Umber.
Vandyke Brown.


Ivory Black.


Chinese White.

The selected colors should be apportioned into five lists, as follows, viz:

First List.—Gamboge, cadmium yellow, crimson lake,[87] vermilion, cobalt, French blue, emerald green, lamp-black, Chinese white.

Second List.—Lemon yellow, gamboge, cadmium yellow, rose madder, crimson lake, vermilion, cobalt, French blue, burnt sienna, emerald green, vandyke brown, lamp-black, Chinese white.

Third List.—Lemon yellow, gamboge, cadmium yellow, rose madder, crimson lake, carmine, orange vermilion, vermilion, cobalt, French blue, burnt sienna, brown madder, emerald green, green oxide of chromium, vandyke brown, lamp-black, Chinese white.

Fourth List.—Lemon yellow, gamboge, cadmium yellow, mars yellow, rose madder, crimson lake, carmine, orange vermilion, vermilion, Indian red, brown madder, cobalt, French blue, neutral orange, burnt sienna, burnt carmine, Indian purple, emerald green, green oxide of chromium, vandyke brown, lamp-black, Chinese white.

Fifth List.—Lemon yellow, gamboge, Naples yellow, cadmium yellow, mars yellow, rose madder, Rubens’ madder, crimson lake, carmine, orange vermilion, vermilion, Indian red, cobalt, French blue, smalt, mars orange, burnt sienna, purple madder, burnt carmine, Indian purple, emerald green, green oxide of chromium, vandyke brown, lamp-black, Chinese white.

These five lists will be found to be carefully selected, and to contain the colors best adapted for illumination.

There is not space in this book to enter into the peculiarities and properties of these colors, which are fully discussed in several works and treatises. The colors here recommended are permanent in character, but chrome yellows, red lead and pure scarlet it is best to avoid, as they are not lasting. Pure scarlet is fugitive and the others in time turn black. “Winsor and Newton’s moist water colors” are the best for all illuminating purposes.


Good Bristol board with a fine firm grain, and having an ivory-like surface, but without gloss, is the best material for illuminating upon.


Few brushes are required for illumination, but from the peculiar character of the work, and the nature of the colors, &c., employed, it is requisite that the right kinds should be carefully selected. For general use, the red sable brushes in goose, duck and crow quills should be employed; say one goose, (for large grounds,) two duck (for ordinary work,) and three crow (for fine linings on initials, &c.) The red sable is preferable to the brown sable, or other hair, as being stronger and firmer at the point. An ordinary flat camel’s hair brush will suffice for damping the back of gold paper, washing over weak solutions of gum water or ox-gall, &c., &c.

When gold leaf is used, a soft camel’s hair brush (of swan quill size,) may be found useful for touching, smoothing, &c. For laying down the gold leaf, a very thin, flat brush is required, called a gilder’s tip.

Burnishers are made of agate, and the following metallic preparations are found useful in illuminating, viz: gold paper, shell gold, saucer gold, shell silver, saucer silver, shell aluminum, shell platina. Silver inevitably blackens. Aluminum is preferable to silver.

Besides colors, materials to work upon, pens, brushes, burnisher, tracer, and metallic preparations, there will be required an eraser, compass, rule, pencil, India rubber, sponge, cotton wood, some tracing paper and other small sundries. A bottle of gum water will be necessary, and also one of liquid ox-gall. A little of the former, mingled with water, is used to impart brilliancy to colors.



Under the head of materials, are given colors recommended for illumination. Besides the colors in that list, several others are requisite, that are only to be obtained by mixing on the palette. These broken hues are employed in backgrounds, and as shading for the more brilliant colors and tints on the ornamentation.

There is only space in this book for a few practical directions for laying on such colors as are named.

First, then, everything connected with the painting should be scrupulously clean and free from dust. Distilled water should be used, or at least soft water that is perfectly clear. A very little gum water, in some cases, should be added to the color as it is mixed. The sable pencils should be in readiness, two or three, or more, according to the work and habits of the operator.

Perhaps this is the best place to mention the manner of using the Chinese white. On being taken from the bottle, it is found to be exceedingly viscid, and troublesome to work, clogging the point of the pencil. Of course it should be diluted with pure water, but as this renders it too thin for the firm and fine lines and dots so often wanted, it must be left a few moments to evaporate and thicken; if still viscid, it should be thinned again and left. White thus put out of the tube and thinned, will be found to be even better for working a day or two afterwards than at first. All that is required, as it will be dry, is to dip the pencil in water before working it upon the white, and make a good point before transferring it to the illumination. Unless these precautions be observed, the use of white will be attended with continual vexation.

When a compound color is required, sufficient for the work in hand should be mixed up at one time, lest, more being required, the second tint differ from the first, when a disagreeable patchy appearance will ensue.


Compound tints should be kept extremely clean in tone, muddy or dirty tints being fatal to that exquisite purity of colors for which illumination is so famed. It is a great mistake to suppose that dark tints are necessarily somewhat dirty; · on the contrary, they can be kept as clean and clear in tone as the most vivid combinations.

The following is a list of colors and mixed tints, stated without technical phraseology, as far as possible:

Table of Colors and Mixed Tints.


Vivid high-toned yellow or primrose.—Lemon yellow, yellow and white, gamboge and white.

Bright transparent yellow.—Gamboge.

Rich glowing yellow.—Cadmium yellow.

Clear transparent yellow.—Mars yellow, lemon yellow and cadmium yellow, lemon yellow and gamboge and mars yellow.

Rich brown yellow.—Cadmium yellow and little purple madder, cadmium yellow and little Indian red.

Buff yellow.—Cadmium and touch of burnt carmine, orange and little white.


Vivid high-toned red.—Orange vermilion.

Deep opaque red.—Vermilion.

Bright transparent pink.—Rose madder, rose madder and touch of carmine.

Opaque pink.—White and little orange vermilion, white and little vermilion, white and little Indian red, white and touch of carmine, white and little rose madder.

Rich glowing crimson.—Crimson, lake, carmine.

Chocolate red.—Vandyke brown and carmine, vandyke brown and crimson lake, burnt carmine and orange vermilion.

Russet red.—Carmine and Indian red.



Bright azure blue.—Cobalt, cobalt and white.

Rich strong blue.—French blue.

Deep dense blue.—French blue and little black.

Brilliant purple blue.—Smalt.


Clear pure yellow orange.—Mars orange, neutral orange.

Deeper yellow orange.—Burnt sienna.

Intensely brilliant transparent red orange.—Carmine over a ground of gamboge.

Rich glowing warm orange.—Cadmium yellow and carmine, cadmium yellow and orange vermilion, orange vermilion and little lemon yellow.


Rich cold purple, (violet, lavender, &c.)—Indian purple, Indian purple and French blue, cobalt and little rose madder, cobalt and little crimson lake, cobalt and little purple madder, French blue, white and little rose madder, French blue and little crimson lake, French blue and little burnt carmine.

Rich warm purple, (pure maroon, &c.)—Purple madder, burnt carmine, crimson lake and little French blue, French blue and carmine, rose madder and little French blue, rose madder and little cobalt, crimson lake and cobalt, burnt carmine and little French blue. White may be added with any of these.

Greyish lilac.—Cobalt and brown madder.


Vivid high-toned green.—Emerald green, emerald green and lemon yellow.

Bright apple green.—Emerald green and little oxide of chromium, emerald green little oxide of chromium and little lemon yellow, lemon yellow and little cobalt.

High-toned transparent green.—Gamboge and little cobalt,[92] cadmium and little cobalt, gamboge and little French blue, cadmium and little French blue.

Low-toned transparent green.—Cadmium yellow, French blue and very little crimson lake, lemon yellow, cobalt and very little rose madder, cobalt and little gamboge and little cadmium yellow, French blue and little gamboge, French blue and little cadmium.

Light opaque green.—Oxide of chromium and white.

Deep opaque green.—Oxide of chromium.


Pure brown.—Vandyke brown.

Rich warm brown.—Vandyke brown and little burnt carmine or crimson lake, purple madder and touch of cadmium yellow, vandyke brown and brown madder.

Cold brown.—Vandyke brown and Indian purple.

Yellow brown.—Indian red and little cadmium.

Stone drab.—Vandyke brown and white, yellow ochre and white.


Dense black.—Lamp-black.


Pure white.—Chinese white.


Grey.—Black and white.

Purple grey.—Black and white and little cobalt.

Slate grey.—Black and white and little crimson lake, black and white and Indian red and cobalt.

Silvery grey.—Black and white and rose madder.

Clear warm neutrals for shading.—Orange vermilion and cobalt in various proportions. Various proportions of colors may be tried, particularly for the greys, neutrals, and quiet compounds, and the most pleasing and suitable should be carefully noted for use.


Scientific formulas are not to be condemned, but in the present state of the science of color, it is rash to say what is, and what is not right, by law. In delicate harmonies, considerable license must be allowed to what is called taste.

Whatever the numerical formulas may do in preventing us from utterly disgusting ourselves, excellence in coloring can only be attained by careful study of beautiful examples.

Reynolds’ maxim, of constant copying was practiced ages before by the Italian masters; and it is so still, as the hundreds and thousands of studies left by deceased artists testify.

Twenty good color studies, patiently copied, are worth all the numerical formulas in the world. Nevertheless, to those who are timid or inexperienced in judgment of color, a careful study of Chevreul or Hay will not be without advantage, and though it will not create the power to color harmoniously, it will aid in its development.

If any one should attempt to copy a manuscript of the fourteenth century or thereabouts, first cut the proper kind of Bristol board the size the page is to be, and prepare it by rubbing with pomice. Then, having sketched it out upon a board, rule very lightly the lines for the margin, type and initial letter. If the border be open, that is, upon a white ground, as most of this period were, the outer marginal line will have to be erased, so that it had better only be ruled in pencil. Next the type must be printed according to the date, sketching the capitals, which you will finish afterwards. The next thing to be done is to copy the large initial letter, which must be done with great care, testing its accuracy by tracing. If there is to be any picture, then that must be next sketched. Your outline cannot be too delicate. Last of all you will copy the border, and that in the following way: fix your eye upon some prominent portion of the border in the copy, and having ascertained its exact position and dimensions, proceed to mark it out upon the surface of your Bristol board. Measure[94] again the distance from this to the next most prominent feature, and so on in like manner until you have all the most important parts fixed in their proper places.

Now advance to the subordinate ornamental detail and gradually fill that in, dividing your work into small portions and taking the greatest care to have all correct. Do not rest till you have a literal fac-simile of the original.

Now proceed to color; but first mix a little liquid ox-gall with your colors, which will enable you to paint with ease and certainty. The initial letter can be first finished, using the appropriate colors. Next begin to color the border, applying one tint wherever it is wanted all through it, then finishing the next, and so on until you have all the colors laid on their proper places. These you will proceed to shade and ornament in solid Chinese white or gold; any little figures also or grotesques should now be completed, including of course the terminal line, generally of gold and color, which encloses the type. When all these are finished and really accurate, both in shape and color, if there be a picture, that comes next in order; if not, you will put in any dots of color or flat gold which may happen to adorn the background. This will conclude the operation of copying, and any marks or spots which have occurred in the course of your drawing can now be erased with bread.


If you have any enthusiasm for this art, and have studied manuscript of the best period of illumination, as has been advised, you will not be content simply to copy the designs of others, but will desire yourself to try and compose them. Is[95] it not our duty to try and develop to the extent of our power, any art we cherish? Therefore let us consider the subject of design and try to form some rules for our future guidance.

The first thing necessary to do, is to fix upon some existing style of illumination to serve as a basis for any intended developments. Of course this style must naturally be the best and purest, and that is, as I have often said before, and as I firmly believe, that which prevailed from the middle of the thirteenth to the end of the fourteenth century. But you will ask of what nature ornament is to be, and this leads to a rule, that ornamentation must consist of conventionalized representation of natural objects. All true beauty consists in the representation of, or is derived from, natural objects. To this rule there is no exception. But nature may be represented in two ways, either by realizing her, as far as our means will possibly allow, or by conventionalism. In realism, we endeavor to obtain a literal copy of the object to be represented and set no bounds to our pursuit of this.

In conventionalism, we beforehand arrange certain limits at which to stop, and then get as much of nature as we can within those limits.

Now in conventionalism it is to a great extent optional how far you will realize your flowers or leaves. You may do it more or less as you feel the occasion requires.

The principle appears to be to seize upon the leading characteristics of the flower or form you wish to represent, and then to add as much of the rest as you can consistently with your subject. Thus, you may either represent a rose as an arrangement of five leaves of a certain shape and color round a yellow or gold central spot—as was the general mediæval type—or you may go somewhat nearer the reality and add a few more petals, &c., so as to bring it to a closer resemblance. You must arrange this with yourself, but as a rule observe that the more you realize any flower the more you must proportionably[96] increase the quantity of conventional ornament around it, so as to make it evident that you had voluntarily set yourself limits which you did not choose to pass. While I am on this subject, I will take the opportunity to advise you to make great use of leaves in your designs. Wonderful and perfect as all nature’s work is, yet it seems as if the stamp of perfection and divine beauty were more strongly impressed on leaves than on any other of her productions. The thousand changing forms of beauty with which she clothes the woods, the banks, and the very ground we tread on, ought to be to all, but especially to lovers of beauty and truth, objects of the purest joy and delight. Make very frequent use of them in designing, for they ever have been and ever will be sources of the best and most heavenly beauty. Remember always that in painting them it is far more important to have the form and outline quite right and true, than to imitate or approach their color, which may be left arbitrary. Remember also that their power will be better felt by a somewhat sparing use of them, I mean as regards not over-crowding your page, so that though you may employ many leaves, you will have but few of each.

The last rule of design is, that there should be a general purpose and meaning running throughout the ornamental detail. You should endeavor to carry out some idea in each border, and to this end should reflect well, first what idea you wish to give, next how, and by what means you may best convey it. I will not say that your meaning will at once be plain to every one, nor indeed is it likely to be so to more than a few, but still the working with a deliberate idea in your mind will give a unity and completeness to your design, which will be entirely wanting to one worked out at random, or with a view only to prettiness—the most noxious idea it is possible to conceive, and the rock upon which nearly all modern illuminators make shipwreck. Accustom yourself to ask not, “is this[97] pretty?” but, “is it right?” and this habit will, I think, be a safeguard to you.

The principles of design as applied to this art, have now been considered. There are, it is true, many other points on which I could speak, but as my space will not allow it, I have chosen those which are the most important, and against which there is to beginners the greatest temptation to err. Careful study of the best manuscript you have an opportunity of seeing, must be your guide on other points. But as an encouragement let me tell you, that if you have any talent for design, and will take the trouble diligently to think over the directions here given and try them by such fourteenth century examples as may fall in your way, I do not think that you can go wrong in any material point. Difference of opinion and taste there must always be, but as long as we grasp the truth and resolutely cling to our landmarks, our steps cannot go far astray.

These foregoing directions were prepared for this work by a lady who excels in the art of illumination.


House and Home Arts.

DECALCOMANIE will be appreciated and enjoyed by any one who takes pleasure in making tasteful articles for gifts, or for contributions to fairs, or in adding new graces to the parlor. It consists in ornamenting vases and boxes with oil paintings. The process saves a great deal of labor, and when the work is well done, very close examination is necessary to detect the difference between hand paintings and the Decalcomanie, particularly if the pictures are retouched, or tiny sprays of moss, small leaves, or flowers are added in water colors. The designs can be transferred to wood, porcelain, leather, silk, glass, metal, paper, etc.

The designs are printed in oil colors, on the surface of paper, which has been previously prepared with a composition easily soluble in water,—or in fact the printing is entirely on this composition, the paper merely serving as a back to give support to the thin film on which the design is printed. By a process hereafter described, these beautiful designs in oil[99] colors may be perfectly transferred to the surface of any article which it is desirable to ornament, such as vases, card-cases, porte-monnaies, work-boxes, needle-books, toilet-cushions, lamp-shades, and hundreds of other things too numerous to mention; and when nicely executed, the work equals the finest painting. Beautiful bouquets may in this way, be transferred to silk for toilet-cushions and perfume sachets.

When applied to china, porcelain or other similar substances, it may be freely washed with warm water without injury, and is in every respect as durable as oil painting.



The necessary materials are as follows: cementing varnish, protecting varnish, two or three camel’s hair brushes of various sizes, (these should be of fine quality, as the cheaper ones never have good points), a glass of clear water, a small vial of benzine or burning fluid for cleaning the varnish brushes; and be careful and procure suitably prepared pictures.



First, with a fine brush, apply the cementing varnish to every part of the picture, following the outline neatly without running over on the white paper. After applying the varnish let it dry a minute, then, holding the picture to the light, take a larger brush and dampen the back with water, being careful to wet the size of the design only. Before the picture has time to expand much, apply the picture to the article to be ornamented, firmly pressing every part; dampen again with water, after which remove the paper. To remove the paper, commence at one corner and carefully raise it, keeping close watch that none of the design adheres to the[100] paper. If a piece, however small, is seen attached to the paper, immediately replace the paper and again press that part to the article and perhaps dampen a little more. Having entirely removed the paper, draw a damp cloth smoothly over the finger and firmly press every part, using great care that no air bubbles remain under the large surfaces. The day after the transfer, carefully wash the design with cold water, and when perfectly dry, lightly apply the protecting varnish to the design. The above directions are strictly applicable to ornamenting only such articles as can be washed.

In ornamenting any delicate substance, such as silk, great care must be observed in dampening the back, in order to dampen only the exact size of the design; as, if the preparation on the paper is dampened around the picture, it will soil the silk. Of course the washing above mentioned must be omitted; and oftentimes the varnishing may also be omitted to advantage, as its object is simply to render the painting more durable, where it is to be subjected to use or exposed to the weather.

In order to avoid soiling delicate substances, some persons have adopted the following expedients:—After applying the cementing varnish to the picture, and before dampening the back, take the water brush, and thoroughly wet the face of the paper all around the design. This will soften the preparation, which may be removed by carefully touching the surface with a wet cloth. The cloth, being wet, will not stick to the varnish if it comes in contact with it. After this operation, the process is the same as before described, except that some of the fine parts near the edge may require retouching with the cementing varnish.

For ornamenting any dark substances, such as black silk or a rosewood box, the picture is differently prepared. After the picture has been printed in all its colors, the whole design is entirely covered with gold leaf or a preparation of white lead,[101] which is merely to give the picture its proper effect, by preventing the dark surface from showing through, which it would do at every light part were it not for this backing. But if it is desirable to use some pictures not backed on a dark ground, it may be done by covering the design with a preparation of fine white lead, called white grounding. The grounding must be allowed to dry, and then the process is the same as before. In applying your pictures to any article, face the light, and, holding the picture before you, the design can be seen from the back, and thus correctly placed in position.


The box should be white or light straw-color in order to show the faint impression to advantage. It should be varnished five or six times in succession, and suffered to dry thoroughly each time. While the last coat of varnish is yet so fresh that your finger will adhere to it, the engraving must be put on, the picture side next to the varnish. The engraving must be prepared in the following manner:—All the white paper must be cut off close to the edges of the engraving, which must be laid on a clean table, with the picture downward, and moistened all over with a clean sponge. It must then be placed between two leaves of blotting paper, to dry it a little. Before putting it on the box, take great care to have it even, and determine exactly where you wish it to be. Lay one edge of the print, picture downward, upon the varnish, and gradually drop it to its place, passing the hand successively over the back of the print in such a manner as to drive out all the air, and prevent the formation of blisters. Then carefully touch it all over with a linen cloth, so as to be sure[102] every part adheres to the varnish. Leave it until it is thoroughly dry. Then moisten the back of the engraving with a clean sponge, and rub it lightly backward and forward with the fingers, so as to remove the moistened paper in small rolls. When the picture begins to appear, take great care lest you rub through, and take off some of the impression. As soon as you perceive there is danger of this, leave it to dry. In drying, the engraving will disappear, because it is still covered by a slight film of paper. You might think it mere white paper; but give it a coat of varnish, and it will become quite transparent. Should you by accident have removed any part of the engraving, touch it with India ink, and gum water, in order that no white spots may appear; but when you put on your second coat of varnish you must take care to pass very lightly over the spots you have retouched. The box should be varnished as many as three times after the engraving has been placed on it, and suffered to dry thoroughly each time. The white alcoholic varnish is the best. It should be put on in the sunshine, or near a warm stove. After the last coat is well dried, sift a little pulverized rotten stone through coarse muslin, and rub it on with linseed oil and a soft rag; after being well rubbed, cleanse the box thoroughly with an old silk handkerchief or soft linen rag. Some persons say that a very thin sizing of nice glue should be put on the box before it is varnished at all; others say it is not necessary. This work requires great patience and care; but the effect is very beautiful, and pays for the trouble.


Form baskets, flowers, and sprays of all shapes and kinds, of bonnet-wire already wound with thread. Then take one ounce of resin and dissolve it in a brass pan with two drachms[103] of the finest vermilion, and thoroughly mix them; then take your basket, twigs, &c., and dip them into the solution till they are well dyed. Some persons dissolve red sealing-wax in alcohol, and form coral, powder the wax, and fill in as much as the alcohol will dissolve.


Have your fancy table, work-box, &c., made of smooth polished white wood, such as satin wood or maple; sketch upon it such figures as castles, men, women, wreaths of flowers, &c., as you fancy; then color all, except the figures you have drawn, with dead black. It then, if neatly and tastefully finished, looks like ebony inlaid with ivory.


Success in these baskets depends somewhat upon chance; for the crystals will sometimes form irregularly, even when the utmost care is taken. Dissolve alum in a little more than twice as much water as will be necessary to cover the basket, handle and all. Put in as much alum as the water will dissolve. The water should be hot. When the water is entirely saturated, pour it into a sauce-pan or earthen jar, (by no means put it into an iron vessel), and slowly boil it, until it is nearly evaporated. The basket should then be suspended from a little stick, laid across the top of the jar, in such a manner that both basket and handle will be covered by the solution. It must be set away in a cool place, where not the slightest motion will disturb the formation of the crystals.

The frame may be made in any shape you fancy. It is[104] usually made of small wire, woven in and out like basket-work; but a common willow basket may be used for a frame. Whether it be wire or willow, a rough surface must be produced by winding every part with thread or worsted. Bonnet-wire already covered can be used, and the trouble of winding the basket avoided. Bright yellow crystals may be produced by boiling gamboge, saffron or tumeric in the alum solution. Litmus boiled in will give bright red crystals; logwood will form purple. The colors will be more or less deep according to the quantity used. Splendid blue crystals may be obtained by preparing the sulphate of copper, commonly called blue vitriol, in the same manner as alum is prepared. Care must be taken not to drop it on your clothes.


Some of the works which profess to teach the art of painting on glass contain directions for staining large windows in churches and halls; others merely give the process of producing the more common paintings, such as are carried about the streets for sale. These seem to have been much in vogue about a century since, as all the “Young Artist’s Assistants” of that day contain the mode of painting them. They direct us to fix a mezzotinto print upon the back of a sheet of glass, and to remove the paper by wetting and rubbing, leaving the impression of the print, which is afterwards to be painted in broad washes; the ink of the print giving the shadows. The picture being then turned over, the glazed side becomes the front, and the colors first laid on are, of course, nearest the eye. This mode of painting resembles the style of Grecian painting, that being painted from the back, and the shading is the ink of the engraving.


The methods by which glass is stained are scientific; they require some knowledge of chemistry, and such apparatus as must preclude the practice of this branch of art as an amusement. It may be interesting, however, to know something of the process. The glass being, at first, colorless, a drawing is made upon it, and the painting is laid on with mineral substances, the vehicle being a volatile oil, which soon evaporates. The sheets of glass are then exposed to a powerful heat, until they are so far melted that they receive the colors into their own substances. Enamel painting is done on the same principle. This is a time of great anxiety to the artist, as with all possible care, valuable paintings, both in glass and enamel, are frequently spoiled in the proving, or vitrification. The art seems to have been lost during several centuries, but it has of late been successfully revived; and large windows have been executed for churches and gothic halls, which almost vie with the fine old specimens in the cathedrals, in point of color, while they far excel them in other respects.

The branch of the art which may be treated as an accomplishment is the decoration of glass, flower-stands, lamp-shades, and similar articles, with light and elegant designs. Flowers, birds, butterflies and pleasing landscapes, afford an extensive range of subjects, which are suitable to this style of ornamental painting. The glasses may be procured ready ground. The outline may be sketched in with a black lead pencil; the lead can be washed off with a sponge when the colors are dry. The whole of the colors employed must be transparent, and ground in oil; opaque, or body colors, will not answer the purpose.

They may be purchased in small bladders, only requiring to be tempered with fine copal or mastic varnish, and a very little nut oil, to be ready for use. Blue is produced by Prussian blue; red, by scarlet or crimson lake; yellow, by yellow[106] lake or gamboge; green, by verdigris, or mineral green, or a mixture of Prussian blue and gamboge; purple, by a mixture of lake and Prussian blue; reddish brown, by burnt sienna; and all the other tints may be obtained by combinations; for white, or such parts as are required to be transparent, without color, the varnish only should be employed. A very chaste and pleasing effect may be produced by painting the whole design in varnish, without color.

It is an advantage to this style of painting, that but few colors are required; as from the nature of the subjects, and their purpose as ornaments, brilliancy is more desirable than a nice gradation of tints. The work must, of course, be carefully dried, but may afterwards be cleaned with a sponge and cold water.


Painting on velvet as well as on glass is an old art revived. No art that is really beautiful in itself will pass away entirely. As these paintings are very pleasing to the eye, and easy of execution, it is well to know how to paint them. The following directions are taken from a reliable English work.

The colors for this style of painting are sold at the drawing material warehouses, in a liquid state and prepared for use. In addition to these, a brilliant rose color is obtained from the pink saucers, by dropping a little weak gum water upon the color, and rubbing it with a brush. A deep yellow may also be produced by pouring a few drops of boiling water upon a small quantity of hay saffron.

It is necessary to mix gum water with all the colors made, to prevent their spreading into each other; gum dragon is the[107] best for this purpose. The brushes used are called scrubs; they consist of a small stick, with a camel’s hair brush cut off quite short at one end, and at the other, a brush of bristles of a much harder description. A small box of black lead is necessary, and a piece of list rolled tightly round, to the diameter of about two inches, to be used as a sort of brush with the black lead, for making outlines in the manner we shall presently direct. A piece of linen rag, to wipe the brushes on, should also be provided.

The most brilliant flowers, fruits, shells, birds, &c., are well adapted to this style of painting. The outline of the subject may be sketched in pencil on the velvet, which is of such a very delicate nature, that the greatest nicety is necessary to keep it in a state of neatness. Care should also be taken that the sketch is correctly made, as an error cannot be effaced by rubbing out, as on paper. It is a safer method, however, to make the sketch on drawing-paper, and to prick the outline very closely with a fine needle; then, the velvet being previously nailed on a flat piece of wood of a proper size, the pricked pattern may be laid over it, the roll of list dipped into the black lead powder, and rubbed regularly over the pattern from side to side; be careful to touch every part, and on removing the pattern, a perfect outline in black dots will appear on the velvet.

Where a set of articles of the same pattern is undertaken, this is a very good plan, as it ensures accuracy, and saves the trouble of making separate sketches.

Even those who have no knowledge of drawing on paper may produce a design on velvet, with ease and correctness, by tracing off against a window, or by means of tracing paper, any drawing or print which they wish to copy, and pricking the tracing on the velvet in the manner just described. In order to keep the margin of the velvet from being soiled in the progress of painting, a piece of thick paper should be[108] laid over the whole, and an aperture cut in the middle, sufficiently large to expose the part to be worked on. Each brush should be kept for that color alone to which it has once been appropriated.

A small quantity of the color about to be used should be poured into a little cup, and a drop of gum water added, and stirred with the stick of a pencil prior to its being taken on the brush. The mode of its application is so simple, that a short description of the execution of a single flower will suffice to give an idea of the process of painting almost any other subject on velvet. A very small portion of color is to be taken upon the brush, and the darkest part of the leaf touched with it; the brush is then to be dipped in water, and the color gradually softened to the edge; each leaf ought to be colored separately, and the darkest parts in the centre of the flowers may be finished with a small brush without softening. India ink is used to make the dark shadows of crimson flowers. The veins, and all the petals of flowers, and all the fine lines, should be done with a pen. Each leaf, as it is shadowed, should be brushed with the hard end of a brush, that way of the velvet in which the pile runs most easily, and then in the contrary direction, so as to set it up again to become dry. A deeper shade should never be added to a leaf or flower until the color previously laid on is perfectly set, or the two colors will spread and run into each other, this will be prevented by the gum, if sufficient time can be allowed for each shade to dry before a subsequent one is applied.

When the piece is finished, and quite dry, it should be brushed over with a small, round brush, about two inches in diameter, with hard bristles of an equal length, to raise up such parts of the pile as may have been flattened in the process of painting.

Toilet-sets, sofa-cushions, fancy tables, pin-cushions, and a variety of articles may be ornamented in this way.



Taking the impression of coins, medals, &c., is, independently of its utility, a most interesting amusement. This art is of considerable importance to collectors of antique coins, &c. It is often difficult, and always expensive, to purchase superior specimens, of which, however, exact models may be obtained by casting, without the slightest injury to the originals. The mould is made in the following manner:—Take a strip of paper, a quarter or third of an inch wide; roll it twice tight around the rim of the coin, or gem, of which a cast is intended to be taken, and fasten the end with very stiff gum-water, which will hold it instantly. Rub a very little oil, with a camels-hair pencil, over the coin, in order to prevent the plaster from sticking; then mix some fine plaster of Paris, with as much water as will make it almost as thick as treacle; apply it quickly to the coin, on which it will be held by the paper rim. It sets almost instantly, and may be taken off in a few hours; but the longer it remains undisturbed the better. The mould which is thus obtained is the reverse of the coin; that is, the impression is concave, like a seal. When the moulds are so dry that they will not wrinkle a piece of paper laid flat upon the surface, let them be well saturated with the best boiled linseed oil, placing the moulds with their surface upward, that the whole of the oil may be absorbed. They must be covered from dust, and nothing should touch their surface, lest they suffer injury. Moulds, well prepared in this manner, and dried about two days after being oiled, will stand a long time, for the casting of either plaster or sulphur. When used, either Florence oil or a little hog’s lard (the latter to be preferred) should be applied very tenderly over the mould with a little of the finest[110] cotton wool, and the cotton wool, without lard, afterwards passed lightly over the surface, to leave as little as possible of the unctuous matter upon the mould, that the casts may be the finer. Put paper around them, as was before done to the coin; pour on plaster in the same manner, and a fac-simile of the original will be produced.

Good casts may be made of sulphur, melted in an iron ladle, either pure, or colored with a little red lead or vermilion powdered and stirred up with it. The moulds and casts are made in the same manner as with plaster of Paris, only that the sulphur must be poured on the mould when hot, and water, instead of oil, must be used, to prevent adhesion. Sulphur makes the best moulds for plaster casts, and vice versa—as similar substances can seldom be prevented, by either water or oil, from adhering, in some degree, to each other. Plaster cannot be used twice; that is, old or spoiled casts cannot be powdered and again employed; for the moment the material is moistened, being a species of lime, it is no longer plaster, without being reburnt.

Another way of making casts of almost any color, is with a strong solution of isinglass; it must be used when quite hot; and it is so thin that a box, exactly fitting the rim of the coin, is required, otherwise it will escape. It may be colored with saffron, wood, &c.

Very beautiful impressions may be taken by pouring melted wax upon the metal, which comes off easily when the wax and metal are perfectly cold; but any one attempting this had better try it first upon a penny, or other coin of little value.

Impressions may also be taken in wax, which, for this purpose, should be rendered pliable by kneading it with the hand before the fire, a little oil having been previously mixed with it. When softened to about the consistency of putty, lay it and press it close down on the coin, the form of which will then be perfectly obtained.


The following is another mode of taking impressions:—Procure tin or lead foil, as thin as possible, place it on the coin, and with a pin’s head, or any small, smooth instrument, work it into every part; then take it off, revert it into a shallow box, and pour plaster into its concave side; a durable plaster cast is thus obtained, covered with tin foil, which will resemble silver.


“The Complete Guide to Ornamental Leather Work” gives very elaborate directions, the more practical of which are given in this chapter in connection with suggestions derived from other sources. Being quite absorbed at one time in imitating various kinds of flowers and leaves in leather, and in ornamenting and staining wood to represent beautiful carved work,—the writer of this examined the books on the subject, and tried many elaborate methods, and finally went to a cabinet-maker and learned the simplest mode of staining and varnishing. Her leather work proved to be quite as durable, and was pronounced as handsome, as if it had been covered with various coats of stiffening.

The kind of leather used for general purposes is basil; it should be selected of an even texture and of a light color, as the light colored will stain better than the dark. It should be soft and free from blemishes.

The skiver leather is used for making grapes, or very small leaves and flowers, and can be obtained at the same place as the basil leather; this kind is also useful for thin stems and any minute portion of the work.

The whole skins are very expensive, and any one who wishes to experiment can obtain for quite a small sum pieces of[112] leather from trunk-makers and saddlers, (who call it sheepskin instead of basil;) you can engage them to save you all their pieces; in this way you can obtain all you will wish to use. You can also purchase strips of thicker leather at the same places, to ornament the edge of your brackets, &c.; you can cut the edge of the leather in scollops, points, &c., with chisels and gouges, and nail it round the shelf or glue it on, the scollops, &c., hanging down; it will look exactly like wood when properly stained. Then nail your flowers to that. Pieces of skiver can also be obtained from the book-binders. To form your leaves and flowers, you must sketch your pattern from nature, on pasteboard. Then dip your leather in cold water for half a minute (not longer, unless the leather is unusually thick;) it should then be taken from the water and pressed in a linen cloth until the surface is nearly dry. Being thus prepared, lay it quite flat on a board, and place upon it your pasteboard pattern, and trace it. While the leather is wet, cut out your leaf with sharp scissors or a shoe-maker’s knife. The pattern may be drawn before the leather is wet, and if sharp tools are used the leaf can be cut before wetting it; and by drawing one pattern and nailing several pieces of leather firmly on a board, with chisels, gouges and hammer, you can cut a number of leaves at once, and then neatly trim them with the scissors. All common leaves, such as grape, ivy, or convolvulus, are more easily cut in this way; rose leaves and grape leaves are cut better with the scissors. You should have a variety of sizes of leaves. To vein the leaves you should copy nature, and mark them with a brad awl or knitting needle, or the point of the scissors; press heavily for thick veins and lightly for the finer veins; by using the two points of your scissors slightly spread apart, you can form the raised veins; a hard steel pen can be used for the smaller veins. Being veined, the leaves should be bent and moulded into the required shape. Then they should be dried quickly,[113] as it hardens them better. Some persons stiffen them when dry by brushing over a stiffening made of two ounces of Australian red gum, six ounces of orange shellac, half a pint of spirits of wine, mixed cold, and when dissolved, strained for use. It is not necessary to use any such preparation when your leather work is sufficiently hardened by drying; take some asphaltum varnish and stain it carefully all over with a brush. This varnish you can buy ready mixed, or you can get the asphaltum, powder it, and dissolve it in spirits of turpentine; when well dried it will probably need a second coat, possibly a third, depending on the color you wish, whether dark or light; when well dried, varnish the work with copal varnish, and dry it thoroughly. Then stain your wood (or you can have it stained at the cabinet-makers, as you prefer.) You can stain even common pine wood by the following process: first, stain with asphaltum the color you desire; then varnish with three coats of copal varnish, having each well dried; when it is dry and hard, rub it down with powdered pumice stone, and wash off with clear cold water. Then arrange and nail, or glue, on your leather flowers or fruit. When all is complete, finish up with a coat of copal varnish carefully brushed on.

To make stems and tendrils: cut strips as long as the leather will allow; soak them well in water for a few minutes until they feel very soft; take them out, wipe the water from the surface, roll them and dry them; if required to be very stiff, add inside a piece of wire; when very thick ones are required the leather may be cut wider. Tendrils are made in the same manner as stems, using skiver instead of the ordinary leather; dry them quickly, then take a strip, damp it and wind it round a brad awl or knitting needle, taking care to fasten both ends, so that it cannot fly off; dry it by the fire, then remove it from the awl or needle, and a delicately formed tendril will be the result.


Every kind of flower can be imitated. Oak leaves and acorns are easily made, and many prefer them to flowers. Take several sizes of natural oak leaves, and draw the pattern on pasteboard, and pencil them as the natural leaf is veined. These you can keep always ready to copy your leather from. The natural acorn can be used, by leaving a little of the stem on the cup, on which to glue a longer stem of leather; then glue the acorn into the cup, and varnish and stain. If you can obtain sprays of acorns, and glue each acorn to its cup and glue on a bit of leather to the end of the stem, to nail to your frame, they are the most desirable. The acorns gathered from the shrub oak are the prettiest.

Convolvulus is a vine most commonly imitated. The leaves and tendrils are very simple, and the flower is easily shaped over the top of a bottle. First, cut a round piece the size of a half dollar, and punch a hole in the centre after it is wet, then shape from the natural flower; the cup can be formed in the neck of the bottle, and the rest by rolling the edges over the rim of the top of the bottle.

Ivy is easily made. The berries can be formed from slack baked bread; take it and roll into little berries, then stick in each a piece of wire (that pulled from wire taste is the best, as it is wound with thread,) and in forming the branch wind the wires together with a strip of leather. When the berries have hardened, stain them.

Grapes are made of skiver, and either small clay marbles or dry peas. First, wet your skiver, then form your bunch of grapes, by pushing one after another firm into the pliant leather, and fasten around each a linen thread, and draw them with it close together, shaping your bunch according to the size you wish. They so perfectly imitate carved wood that persons familiar with carving may be deceived by them. By the exercise of ingenuity and your imitative qualities you can accomplish very satisfactory results. Parts of the work[115] may be gilded, if you prefer. For instance, you may gild your acorns, grapes or ivyberries. Bronzing is pretty for some kinds of work. It is done by sprinkling or rubbing bronzing powder on the work before the last coat of varnish is dry.


Autumn leaves can be imitated by using finely powdered colors, and mixing them to the consistence of cream, with the following medium:—Mix the white of an egg with 2 oz. of pure distilled vinegar; put them into a bottle and shake them well together whenever you wish to mix your colors; or mix them with parchment size warmed, or a weak solution of gum-Arabic; in either case, varnish with a quick drying pale varnish. Oil colors will not answer.

Pieces of furniture easily ornamented by leather are book cases, etageres, brackets, picture frames, work boxes, screens, music and watch stands and fancy tables, &c., &c.


The edges of frames of all kinds may be neatly ornamented by taking two strips about seven-eighths of an inch wide, cut them as long as possible, and stain them; when ready for use, nail them together to the edge of the frame, then twist them round so as to form a point, and nail again, and so on all around, crossing them each time. Brackets need to be formed not only artistically, but strong. I will give here a design for the framework, before the leather ornaments are nailed on. The strips of wood must be entirely covered with the leather foliage; it adds to the appearance of the whole.

To gild the upper edge, I will also give a pretty design for an oak and ivy bracket. This is intended to imitate old oak, and should be stained very dark. The oak stem should be[116] made of very thick wire, cut in the desired lengths, and covered with leather, and bent to resemble gnarled oak, as naturally as possible; fasten oak leaves and acorns at the back of the wires and on the wood-work, as shown in the skeleton bracket, then attach the ivy tendrils, leaves and berries around the oak stems, and the bracket is complete. Other and very beautiful designs will readily occur to persons who engage in this delightful recreation.


Beautiful fancy boxes can be made from cigar-boxes, if the cover is preserved whole. Small sizes are the most desirable. Toilet, glove, handkerchief, gentlemen’s collar, note paper and work-boxes, besides many other varieties, are easily manufactured. The materials required, most of which can be purchased at the paper box manufactories, are:—All kinds of fancy enamel paper, in sheets; gold or silver paper, and the gold or fancy beadings, which can be bought in strips; small enamel German pictures; plain or water-colored paper, or colored silk and satins, for the lining; gilded corner-pieces, and claw-feet are an addition; perfume powder, narrow taste, &c.

First, you must fasten the lid firmly by pasting a strip of linen along the edges of the lid and box, inside, as well as outside; it holds the lid firm, and acts as a hinge; paste on each side bits of ribbon to support the lid, then glue in the lining. For[117] very nice boxes, silk or satin, fluted, is a great addition. Plait it above and below on a narrow piece of paper, and paste the edges down; then take an oblong piece of silk and another of paper, place a piece of cotton wool on the paper sprinkled with perfume powder, then cover with the silk, and baste the paper over the edge, pasting the whole on the lid in the center. After you have covered it, paste neatly round it a gold beading (or bind the edges of the box first with gold paper); close the box when the inside is finished, and commence on the outside. Some persons take out the bottom of the box in lining it, as it is easier to paste it smoothly, and then nail it in its place. Cover the whole outside of the box with polished enamel paper (Japanese paper is very beautiful, but expensive,) and cover the bottom of the box; then bind the edges of the box with gold paper, and place beading on the edge where it meets the colored paper. The styles may be varied by pasting gold beading in stripes all over the box; ornament the sides, if you prefer, with pictures. On the lid, gold corner-pieces, besides the beading, are an improvement. In the center place some pretty picture, varnish it with map varnish, and then frame the picture with a gold beading. A loop of ribbon should be pasted on the lid to raise it by, and your box is finished. If your box is for gloves or handkerchiefs, you may cut out in old Roman or English letters, in gold paper, “Gantes” or “Mouchoir,” and paste them on the front side of the box. Pin-cushions could be fastened on the top of toilet boxes.

The pictures and gilding that come on linen or cambric goods may be used for this purpose. Common flour paste is the best; a little common glue mixed in while boiling improves the paste. Mucilage can be used to glue on the beading. The paper should be thoroughly wet with paste. Begin to paste smoothly from the center, in order to keep out all air.



Potichimanie is the art of imitating painting on glass or China. The most beautiful of the Chinese porcelain, Sevres, Japanese or Etruscan vases, can be so closely imitated, that none but connoisseurs can discover at first sight, the difference. The work is attractive, and very simple; the materials employed are few, and inexpensive.

First, select some plain glass vases, resembling in shape and size the particular style of China you wish to represent. You can have vases of any shape blown and fashioned for you at the glass houses.

Select your colored figures, representing the style of China you wish to imitate; let them be rich, and clear in their colors. You will need two or three small brushes, such as painters use, some strong gum water, and a bottle of varnish. Use paint for the groundwork of the color you wish to represent. The ground color of the Chinese porcelain is in general a greenish white; the Sevres a bluish white; while the Etruscan is a pale yellow. These three colors are generally all that are wanted. A delicate pink is sometimes used. For any one kind of vase, only one ground color is necessary. A pair of very fine pointed scissors will also be required.

Then proceed to cut out your figures with great care; if you can cut a trifle within your figures, all the better, for no white edges must be visible. When they are all cut, arrange them on a sheet of paper in the order in which they are to be placed in the vase, and gum them very evenly and carefully on the colored side; let them lay until the gum rather thickens and the paper on which they are colored softens; then take them up carefully and place them in their proper[119] places on the inside of your vase; press them carefully with a bit of old linen tight to the glass, excluding all air between them and the glass, otherwise bubbles will be formed, and the work will be spoiled. When all the pictures are arranged, wipe the glass clean, except where it is covered by the pictures. After the work is dry and clean, varnish the back of the prints, and paint the inside of the vase with the ground color. Some persons pour it in the vase, and let it run around, and then carefully brush it on; some put it on near the pictures by gently tapping the glass with the brush. Great care must be taken not to let the paint run under the paintings. The antennae of butterflies and other minute objects may be imitated in gold, or by drawing them on the glass with gum water and sprinkling them with gold bronze powder. This must be done before the ground paint is laid. Gold stars scattered over some kinds of vases may improve them. You can buy sheets of appropriate designs already colored. If you prefer to color them yourself, you must be sure and have your colors clear and bright; the brighter they are the better they will appear. Where gold is introduced, it is better to use the shell or prepared gold. It is applied in the same manner as water colors, and may be used with good effect, in borders, single ornaments, flowers, insects, and to fill up when no other color is introduced. This work may be used in various ways to decorate your homes. The inside of your vase should be varnished, to give it the smoothness of China, and you can have the rim gilded. If several coats of sizing are applied, the vase may be filled with water without injury to the paint; but you can fit cups to the vases, in which to put water for flowers. Hall lamps, windows, &c., are decorated in the same manner, except that no ground color is used. Cabinet boxes, tables, and a great variety of other articles, both useful and ornamental, may, with a little ingenuity and taste, be rendered extremely elegant.



The rice shells are brought from the West Indies, and are sold by measure, or by the box, at the conchological repositories. They can be bought already prepared for use, but are more expensive in that form. To prepare the rough shell for use, you must first take a long pin and free the interior of each shell from all grit or dirt; next with your scissors clip the extreme tip of the shell so as to leave a tiny hole like the eye of a needle. This must be carefully done or the shell will be spoiled, or your eyes may be seriously injured by the flying fragments. Practice soon enables one to clip them rapidly and evenly.

It is advisable to have at hand a number of small card boxes, to hold your articles. In clipping, it is well to sort the shells by the sizes, and lay them in separate boxes. Small, flat, white shells, nearly transparent, add to the beauty of the shell-work. These must be bored by a sharp needle near the stem. When all are clipped, pour over them cold water, with a little soda and castile soap. The latter should be shredded, and mixed in the proportion of half an ounce to each pint of water. Then cover your pan and place it near a good fire, or in an oven; let it remain till scalding hot, stirring now and then; then take it away, and rub the shells gently with your hands; then pour off the water and rinse the shells; add a fresh supply of water and soap only, and repeat the same process; after being again rinsed in clear water take a few shells, fold them in a soft towel to dry them, and afterwards rub them with a silk handkerchief; then place them in a dish near the fire and shake them occasionally till they are dry. Then place them in a box ready for use. They should appear polished and pearly white. Too much soap,[121] soda, or heat will turn them yellow. Too great heat in drying will cause them to be brittle and crack, but they must be dry before using.

Next you must procure silver wire. This can be bought at gold and silver bullion makers, or at musical instrument makers. You need several sizes, the very finest thread wire to wind around the stems, a size to twist in the shell and another for stems.

The largest shells are better for baskets and heavier work, the middle size and smallest for flowers and leaves. Each kind should have its own box. Into one box cut some two or three hundred pieces of middle sized wire, about two and a half inches in length. You should collect for use various materials, such as floss silk, fine wire chenille, roman pearl beads, (the solid or grain-like bead is preferable,) coral beads, or turquoise, pink, green or yellow, red flower seeds, velvet, satin, or silver leaves and silver bullion. Having collected materials for a wreath and sprays of various flowers, commence your work by stringing your shells on your bits of wire. Turn the wire over the shell; hold the folded wire between thumb and finger of the right hand, and turn the shell round and round until the wires are firmly twisted together. Very soon you will be astonished at the rapidity with which you string and twist your shells. They look like this cut, when prepared. Much time will be saved by keeping your different sized shells separate. Having wired several hundred, you can proceed to prepare a leaf.


The cut at the head of page 122 shows the leaf when made. It takes from five to fifteen or twenty shells to form a leaf; the number depends on the size of the leaf. The smallest shell forms the apex, the others graduated in size by pairs. Then take your shells and bind them together, one by one, with the finest wire or floss silk, leaving out a small portion[122] of the twisted wire, gradually increasing the piece left out, as the plate indicates, leaving all the openings of the shell all one way; bind the stem firmly, leaving no ends of wire, as they catch in everything, besides looking untidy.


To form a flower or bud, take one of the lengths of the wire, thread on a shell, and then a pearl bead, then a second shell, and twist the wire firm. The place of the bead is between the points of the two shells, and both openings meet and are not seen. The figure below shows a simple flower composed of five wired shells, firmly twisted together down to the extremity. A double flower is composed of eighteen shells, twelve small ones, and six of a middle size. These latter are arranged as in the single flower. The twelve are made into four leaflets. A few pearl beads in the center of the flower improves it. It is easy to shape them as you wish by bending the wires. A simple flower may be arranged like the spokes of a wheel.


Wheat ears (see cut on next page) may be made of any number of shells, from eight to thirty, one taken as an apex, then a pair set on either side of it and one in the center, and other pairs successively to the end, binding all firmly to the points of the shells, and putting in here and there three quarter inch length of middle sized wire to resemble the beards. Ornamental groups can be made by threading good sized shells on middle sized wires, twisting them together and winding them on a fine knitting needle. When drawn out they have a spiral form. Bind several thus formed together at the ends. Their dancing, wavy motion adds to the gracefulness[123] of your spray or wreath. The white, round shells used as leaves are very pretty; even whole flowers are often made of them. Wire chenille and colored beads increase the effect.


Neatness and grace must be studied, care must be used to avoid cutting off the thread wire, or floss, any oftener than possible. In making wreaths and sprays every one must exercise his or her own taste. Infinite varieties of forms can be designed; you can trim a head-dress exquisitely with them.

I advise young ladies to try their skill. It is fascinating work and the effect is beautiful. Bridal wreaths formed of the rice shells, Roman pearls, white chenille, and silver wire are often made. Bugle flowers can be made in the same way, taking wire the color of the bead.

Shell baskets are very ornamental. Exquisite watch stands and cigar or match stands can be formed of shells. Your frames should be made of wood or tin. Cover them thick with white paint. The painters will prepare it for you as thick as putty, with boiled oil. Paint must be selected that will not turn yellow and will dry quickly. After covering your frame thickly with this preparation, lay on the shells in whatever form your own taste may direct. Place them so thick that none of the paint will be visible, and set the frame aside until it is dry. The drying may require several days. When it is dry varnish it with white map varnish.


Watch stands, in the form of a church or other building, may be made with a tin frame. Rolls of tin may be used for columns and towers, and soldered to the frame. A circular opening must be made in the frame through which the watch can be seen, and a small case of tin must be soldered to the back of the frame in which the watch can be held[124] firmly. Take two blocks of wood similar in form, but one of them larger than the other, and glue the smaller one on top of the other; then make a slit along the middle line of the upper block, in which the tin frame is to be inserted and fastened with glue. The blocks will represent the steps to the building, and may be covered with shells. If the building represents a church, a cross for the top may be made of tiny rice shells. The towers should be covered with larger sized rice shells, and on the summit of each a small cone shell should be placed. The opening for the watch should be surrounded by flat, round, white shells. The inside of the case for the watch should be lined with crimson velvet, glued in. The outside should be covered with shells.

Harps, guitars, etc., etc., can be ornamented in the same way. If they are riveted into marble slabs, the trouble of covering the stands with shells will be avoided. Cigar stands can be made of thick card-board, but tin is better; it must be cut about seven and a half inches long and four inches wide, and soldered together, (to make a round cup) and fastened upon a stand. Boxes, tables, vases, and all kinds of ornamental articles can be covered with shells.


The allspice berries should be soaked in spirit to soften them, and then holes should be made through them. They[125] are strung on slender wires, which are twisted or woven into diamonds or squares, or rows as you fancy, and then formed into baskets. A gold band between every two berries gives a lively look to the basket. Around the top are sometimes twisted semi-circles of berries, from which are suspended festoons of berries strung on silk, drooping over the outside.

The baskets may be lined with bright colored silk and ornamented with ribbons. Baskets can be made of cloves in the same way, by taking off the berry and soaking the long part in spirit. Bead baskets are also made in the same way; the wire should be the color of the bead. Cut glass beads are the most desirable, as they glitter prettily amidst the green boughs of the Christmas tree.


The frame is made of pasteboard neatly lined; the groundwork can be white or colored, as you fancy; fasten on with gum either grains of rice, bugles of different colors, or small rice shells, arranged in any form you please.


Make a neat card-board frame and bind the edges with gilt paper. Take the smallest wafers you can get; keep a whole one for the ground work; cut another in halves; wet the edges of one of the halves and stick it upright through the middle of the whole one; cut the other half into two quarters, wet the two straight sides, and place them on each side of the half wafer; this forms a kind of rosette. When you have enough prepared, wet the bottoms of the whole wafers, and fasten them on the basket in such forms as you please. It[126] is very pretty to have the whole wafer one color and the rosette another. Stars can be made by placing six quarter wafers around the half in place of two. The handle can be decorated in the same manner, or with ribbons. Care must be taken to have the wafers cut even and uniform.


If you find a dead butterfly, cut off the wings and place them upon clean paper, in the position they occupy when the insect is flying. Spread some clean, thick gum water on another piece of paper and press it on the wings; the little colored, feathery substance will adhere to it; then lay a piece of white paper upon the top of the gummed paper, and rub it gently with your finger, or the smooth handle of a knife. A perfect impression of the wings will thus be taken. The body must be drawn and painted in the space between the wings.


Dip a piece of white paper in sweet oil, and hold it over the lamp until it is thoroughly blackened with smoke; place a green leaf upon the black surface, and let it remain pressed upon it for a few moments; then put it between two pieces of white paper and press it in a book, with something heavy upon the top of it. When taken out, one of the papers will have received a perfect impression of the leaf with all its little veins. Some think the impression is more distinct if a little lamp-black and oil be passed lightly over the leaf with a hair pencil, instead of smoking it over a lamp.



Observe well the shadows of the pictures you wish to copy; draw their shapes as exactly as you can, and cut them out. Paste these pieces on a sheet of paper, in the same relative positions they occupy in the landscape; if the shade be rather light, put on only one thickness of paper; if darker, two thicknesses and three thicknesses may be used; if the shadow is very deep and heavy, five or six pieces may be pasted on, one above another. When held up to the light, shades are produced differing in degree according to the thickness of the paper. These make very pretty transparencies for lamps in Summer. Lamp shades can be made in this way with colored paper placed between two thin white papers and so arranged that the shadows will represent grapes, or any fruit or flower. China lamp shades are prepared in the same way, that is, portions of the china are made thicker than others; in the daylight they appear perfectly white, but when the light shines through them the shades look like a soft landscape in India ink. It is on the same principle that the beautiful Parian transparencies are made for windows.


Natural Magic.

THE ÆOLIAN HARP consists of an oblong box of thin deal board about five or six inches deep, with a circle drawn in the middle of the upper side, an inch and a half in diameter, around which are to be drilled small holes. Along the upper side of the box seven, ten or more small strings of very fine gut are stretched over bridges near each end, like the bridges of a violin, and tightened or relaxed with screw pins. The strings must be tuned to one and the same note, and the instrument placed in some current of air where the wind can pass over its strings with freedom. A window, the width of which is exactly equal to the length of the harp, with the sash just raised to give the air admission, is a good situation. When the wind blows upon the strings, with various degrees of force, different musical tones will be sounded; sometimes the blast brings out all the tones in full concert, and sometimes it sinks them to the softest murmur. In many old castles these harps were fastened in the windows, and their wild music caused the ignorant to think they were haunted.


A colossal imitation of the instrument just described was invented at Milan, in 1786, by Abbate Gattoni. He stretched seven strong iron wires, tuned to the notes of the gamut, from the top of a tower sixty feet high, to the house of a Signor Muscate, who was interested in the success of the experiment; and this apparatus, called the giant’s harp, in blowing weather yielded lengthened peals of harmonious music. In a storm this music was sometimes heard at the distance of several miles.

Simply tying waxed saddler’s silk to little sticks, and pushing them into the crevices of windows, so as to receive a draft of wind (the silk being strained tight), will produce very sweet sounds.


The science of Acoustics furnished the ancient sorcerers with some of their most complete deceptions. The imitation of thunder in their subterranean temples did not fail to indicate the presence of a supernatural agent. The golden virgins, whose ravishing voices resounded through the temple of Delphos; the stone from the river Pactoles, where trumpet notes scared the robber from the treasure which it guarded; the speaking head, which uttered its oracular responses at Lesbos; and the vocal statue of Memnon, which began at the break of day to accost the rising sun, were all deceptions derived from science, and from a diligent observation of the phenomena of nature.


Take a long piece of wood, such as the handle of a broom, place a watch at one end, apply your ear to the other, and the ticking will be distinctly heard.



The following true story was related to me by one who was personally acquainted with the facts. There was a certain bend in one of our western rivers which was avoided by every one, as it was supposed to be haunted by the devil. At a certain hour in the evening, for many years, terrible curses were distinctly heard. Suddenly they ceased. A gentleman skilled in the science of acoustics, hearing an account of the strange phenomena, determined to ascertain the cause, and carefully examined the river on each side for about a mile above and below the bend. He ascertained that at about the time the sounds ceased, an old fisherman, who had lived on the opposite side of the river, full a mile from the spot where the curses were heard, had died. He was told that the fisherman was in the habit of crossing the river to a village, where he found a market for his fish, and where he spent his money for liquor, and that after drinking freely on his way home, while rowing across the river at night, he would swear terribly. This gentleman then persuaded a friend to go down the river to the place where the curses were formerly heard, while he remained in a boat on the river at the point at which the old man usually crossed. He then played on a bugle and sung several songs. His friend soon returned, and with eager delight exclaimed: “Oh, ——, such glorious music fills the air just where the curses used to be heard.” The neighbors came rushing down to hear it, and some fell on their knees praying; they said “the angels have driven the devil away.” Mr. —— then asked what were the songs they heard. His friend described them correctly, and said he understood even the words, one of them being the famous[131] Marseillaise, another a German song; the foreign words made the ignorant more sure that the sounds were supernatural. Mr. —— then played on the bugle and sang again the same songs, while his friend stood by; but his friend said the music was not equal to that he had heard below, where the sounds had really seemed heavenly.

The peculiar configuration of the river banks had concentrated the sounds, and the distance and the water had softened them.

The person who related this anecdote to me said that he and his friend had often tried the experiment. Nothing would convince the more ignorant neighbors that the sounds were occasioned by merely natural causes. A love of the supernatural is strong within us, and sometimes leads us into grave mistakes.


Provide a species of whistle common as a child’s toy, or a sportsman’s call, in the form of a hollow cylinder, about three-fourths of an inch in diameter, closed at both ends, by flat circular plates with holes in their centres. Hold this toy between the teeth and the lips; blow through it, and you can produce sounds, varying in pitch with the force with which you blow. If the air be cautiously graduated, all the sounds within the compass of a double octave may be produced from it; and, if great precaution be taken in the management of the breath, even deeper tones may be brought out. This simple instrument, or toy, has indeed the greatest resemblance to the larynx, which is the organ of the voice.



Cut a circular piece of card to fit the top of a hyacinth glass, so as to rest upon the ledge, and exclude the air. Pierce a hole through the centre of the card, and pass through it a strong thread, having a small piece of wood tied to one end, which, resting transversely on the card, is prevented from being drawn through. To the other end of the thread attach an acorn; and having half filled the glass with water, suspend the acorn at a short distance from the surface. The glass must be kept in a warm room; and in a few days the steam which has generated in the glass will hang from the acorn in a large drop. Shortly afterwards the acorn will burst, the root will protrude and thrust itself into the water; and in a few days more a stem will shoot out at the other end, and rising upwards, will press against the card, in which an orifice must be made to allow it to pass through. From this stem small leaves will soon begin to sprout; and in the course of a few weeks you will have a handsome oak plant, several inches in height.



DANCING is the most agreeable of all indoor pastimes that combine pleasure with healthful exercise. It also gives grace and elasticity to the movements. The modern gymnasium has many of the attractions of our dancing schools, but its exercises are often too violent for delicate children. The dancing school has proved physically beneficial to many who have been sent to it as an experiment, at an early age. Such exercise invigorates the frame and does more for permanent health than can be accomplished by medicine. Exercise, to be beneficial, must have some pleasant excitement connected with it.

It is a pleasant sight to see a home circle, old and young, joining in a lively quadrille, or an old fashioned contra dance, in the early evening hour, either the mother or a daughter presiding at the piano. How joyously even children of three and four years old make their tiny feet move in time to merry music. “Pop goes the Weasel” is a dance only suited to little children, and they are apt scholars and can all join in singing the popular tune. It may be well to give the directions for this and a few other dances.



This is an old English dance revived. The positions first taken are the same as in the contra dance, the ladies and gentlemen being placed in lines opposite to each other. The couple at the top begin the figures. They first dance down outside the lines and back, then join hands and down the middle, then join hands with the lady of the couple next to them and the three dance around in a circle till the music comes to “Pop goes the Weasel.” As they sing that, the second lady passes quickly under the joined hands of the couple dancing, and goes to her place; the same couple then join hands with the gentleman opposite, and at the proper time he pops under their joined hands in like manner; then down outside, back again and join hands and down the middle; then take the next lady and dance around as before. So on through the whole line. As soon as the top couple have danced down twice, the next couple begins. If there are long lines, there is often a number of couples dancing together, and when all sing in time the dance is very pretty.


This, also, is a very old English dance. There are innumerable changes, but those given here are the most popular.

First Change.

First lady and opposite gentleman forward and back; same couple forward a second time, turn with right hand, and return[135] to places. First and second couple cross over, first couple joining hands and passing between the second couple, and return to places, the second couple joining hands and passing between the first. Balance at the corners, the four ladies to the gentlemen on the right, gentlemen facing the left, to return the balance. Turn partners with both hands to places. Same for the other three couples.

Second Change.

First couple forward and back. Forward a second time and leave lady in front of opposite couple facing her partner, gentleman returning to place. The same couple chassez to right and left, and turn to places with both hands. All eight forward and back in two lines; forward and turn partners to places. In forming two lines first and second times, the side couples separate from their partners, and join each side of the head couples, forming two lines, four on a side; third and fourth times the head couples join the sides.

Third Change.

First gentleman and opposite lady forward and back. Forward a second time and salute with a low bow and low graceful courtesy and return to places. The four ladies then form a windmill by giving their right hands, while the four gentlemen take their left hands, with their left hands, all facing the same direction, and promenade entirely around, and turn partners to places.


Ladies grand chain is danced in Paris in place of the windmill. The three other couples dance the same.

Fourth Change.

First couple visit the couple on the right hand, salute with bow and courtesy. Visit the couple on the left and salute, then change across and salute same couple again. First couple return to place. Right and left with opposite couples. The other three couples dance the same. In Paris they dance it double, first and second couples at the same time, and so on.

Fifth Change.

Grand right and left. First couple turn and face outward. Then couple on the right take their place behind the first, then the couple on the left, the second couple behind all. All chassez across and back, gentlemen passing behind ladies. Promenade outside, ladies to the left. Gentlemen to right, meeting at the bottom, and coming up together. All eight forward and back, ladies on one side, gentlemen on the other. All forward and turn partners to places. This is danced through till each couple has taken turn in being the leaders.


At the same time, the first lady and second gentleman, and the second lady and first gentleman join hands and turn to[137] the sides, while the third lady and fourth gentleman and fourth lady and third gentleman passing on the outside of the first and second couples, join hands and take the latters’ place. Then they pass on the inside and the others on the outside, each taking his own partner to place. Then repeat, only reversing it, by the first and second couples going on the outside first, and the third and fourth inside.


(A new change introduced by the Empress Eugenie.)

First Change.


Head couples to sides. First and second couples lead to right hand couples, and all salute, (viz: first couple to third, second to fourth.) First and second gentlemen retaining partner’s hand, take with their left hands, the left hands of the side ladies. The two threes thus promenade to places of head couples, second to first couples’ place, first to second couples’ place, all facing the centre. Ladies grand chain; the four ladies, without the gentlemen, make a movement like the grand chain of the “Lancers,” by crossing over from head to head of sets, giving right hands; passing from side to side, giving left hands; again back from head to head of set, giving right hands, and across again to side, giving left hands, ending with each lady in front of her partner, lady facing[138] outward. All chassez to right and left and turn partners. By repeating this figure the first and second couples return to places, after which the side couples dance the figure twice through.

Second Change.


First gentleman and second lady forward, and turn with both hands, both stopping in front and facing the lady who was left in her place. Cross over; the single lady passes between this couple and crosses to opposite gentleman, giving him her left hand, (that gentleman giving his left hand also,) and turn to lady’s place on right of that gentleman; at the same time the other two cross over to first couple’s place, and turn with left hands and face opposite couple. Forward four and back; half ladies’ chain, (the ladies thus return to partners.) All eight chassez across and turn at corners. All chassez back and turn partners.

Third Change.


First gentleman leaves lady in the center, (the lady facing outward,) separating with salute. Second gentleman the same; third gentleman the same; fourth the same. Ladies hands around; the four ladies thus back to back take hands and round to right, stopping in front of partners. Gentlemen forward. The four gentlemen advance and give right hands to partners and left hands to next lady, and make a large circle. All balance in circle and turn partners to place.

Fourth Change.


Forward four. First and second couples forward and back; leave partners on sides; first gentleman leaves his lady on left of third gentleman, and returns to place; at the same[139] time the second lady leaves her gentleman on right of fourth lady, and retires to place; forward six; the six on sides forward and back twice; two forward; the first gentleman and second lady forward and back. Forward again, salute, and pass to side where partners are. Four hands half around, with sides. Right and left to places.

Fifth Change.


Ladies to right. The four ladies pass to the gentleman next on their right, and turn with him, both giving right hands. They pass again to the right, and turn with next gentleman, (with same hands.) They pass again and turn, finally pass again to the right, which brings all to partners. First couple forward and back. Turn with right hands ending in centre, face to face. All four to right and left. Turn to places.

After the ladies repeat the first sixteen bars of this figure a fifth time, all the gentlemen place their partners in the centre, facing outward, each lady thus facing her own partner. Then the quadrille thus terminates by all saluting.


First Change.

First and second couples right and left. The same couples balance. Ladies chain. Same half promenade, half right and left back.

Second Change.

Forward two, first lady and second gentleman then cross over, chassez and return to places. Balance. Each couple the same.


Third Change.

Right hand across, first and second couples cross over giving right hands to opposites as they pass. Left hands back, which are retained, giving right hands to partners, thus forming a circle in the middle of the set. Balance in a circle, then cross to opposite sides; chassez. Two ladies forward and back; two gentlemen the same; four forward and back; right and left to places. Head couples repeat, then the sides the same.

Fourth Change.

Forward four and back; forward a second time, first gentleman leaving first lady on the left of opposite gentleman; three forward twice, second time first gentleman handing both ladies to opposite gentleman; three forward twice on opposite side, the second time stop in the centre; four hands half around to the right and cross over. Right and left to places. Head couples repeat, then the sides go through the same figure.

Fifth Change.


Hands all around. All the ladies balance to and turn gentlemen on the right, pass to the next, balance, &c.; so on all around. Hands all around, or promenade all. Gentlemen then pass to the right, the same as the ladies. All promenade or hands all around.


Forward two; balance; ladies’ hands around in centre; left to right; gentlemen join hands outside the ladies and pass around, stopping on the left of partners; gentlemen pass their joined hands over the heads of ladies, (ladies standing still,) and form the basket; all balance and turn partners.



First couple balance to right; four hands around; first couple balance to left; four hands around; hands all around. This is repeated by the other couples.


The changes in these quadrilles are the same as in the common cotillion, except that a waltz or polka is played, and all the changes are danced either with the waltz or polka step, and at the end of each change, all waltz or polka around.


Danced with eight couples or more in two lines, the ladies on one side, gentlemen on the other, facing each other. The top lady and bottom gentleman execute each figure, and are immediately followed by the bottom lady and top gentleman, in the following order: forward and back; forward and turn with the right hand and back to places; turn with the left and back; then with both hands and back, forward and dos a dos and back; forward and back; (this is often danced by the two top ladies, and two bottom gentlemen, at once; it is prettier than in couples.) The lady then turns with the left hand, every gentleman down the line, while her partner turns every lady, turning his partner alternately with the right hand. When arrived at the bottom, chassez back to the head, separate from partner, lady passing down the line outside of the ladies, and the gentleman outside the gentlemen,[142] all in each line following, meeting partners at the bottom and then chassez up the centre, when first couple chassez down the middle and take their positions below the last couple. The figure is continued by the new couple at the head, and so on, till all have danced the whole figure.


Eight must form a cotillion; the ninth must stand at the side and call any changes he pleases, and lastly call grand right and left. When he claps his hands, they must all promenade. The one calling must then, if possible, secure a partner. If the attempt is successful, the one left out must call the changes of the dance; and so on.


First Change.

First and second couples cross right hands, left hands back; balance, and turn partners; ladies’ chain; half promenade and half right and left to places. Repeat twice.

Second Change.

Gentlemen forward and back twice; all balance to corners and turn each lady, passing into the next lady’s place; all promenade. This figure to be repeated four times.

Third Change.

First lady and opposite gentleman forward and back twice; first couples pass between opposite couples in crossing over, and return outside; balance to corners, and turn to places;[143] all join hands in a circle and forward and back twice. Repeat four times.

Fourth Change.

First lady and opposite gentleman forward and stop; partners the same; turn partners to their places; four ladies change places to the right; gentlemen change places to the left; ladies change places again to the right; gentlemen change again to the left; all around to their places, and turn partners. Repeat four times.

Fifth Change.

First couple promenade around inside; ladies all forward to centre; give right hands and back to places; gentleman the same; balance to partners and turn; grand right and left half round; promenade to places and turn partners; all chassez across, giving right hands at corners and back to places. Repeat four times; then all promenade.


Dramatic Amusements.

PRIVATE theatricals and dramatic or Shakspeare reading clubs are among the fashionable amusements of the present day. Many, I know, disapprove of them; but I think they do far more good than harm. They certainly strengthen the lungs, memory, and improve the intellectual tastes. But I will not discuss the subject, as far abler pens than mine have already argued on both sides of the question. Private theatricals amuse a large circle of friends, and any club willing to undertake the presentation of plays deserves the thanks of the audience.

Even a simple farce requires much labor and frequent rehearsals, to be well acted, and one soon wearies of the constant repetition of even witty sayings. The most trivial character must be carefully studied, for one bad actor often destroys the effect of the whole play. Then the foot-lights, stage, &c., must be prepared. A few directions, with a list of easy farces may be of service. All who live in cities can easily hire scenery, dresses, &c., but for the benefit of towns[145] and villages, I will give a short account of how such things can be managed.

Some lady can almost always be found who will give the use of her house. A house should be selected which has two parlors, connected by large folding doors, or an arch; one parlor being for the audience, and the other for the stage. All the furniture and carpets should be taken from the latter room. A rough staging should be built (boards can be easily hired), and by boring a hole in the floor a gas-pipe can be run up along the front of the staging, with a sufficient number of burners. Tin shades painted green (as they render the light softer, and more agreeable to the eye) are an addition, for they keep the light from the audience, and throw it directly on the actors. A large floor cloth can be nailed on the stage for a carpet. A drop curtain, so arranged as to be rolled up quickly and easily, by means of a cord pulley at one side of the stage, where the prompter sits, just out of sight of the audience, is necessary. Scenery for the sides and back parts of the stage can be roughly painted on cloth; it answers every purpose of canvass by being strained when wet over light wooden frames (made so as to be easily moved); when dry, it presents a smooth, hard surface.

Each member should provide his or her own dress. To give the required expressions to the faces, a box of good water colors, some fine chalk powder, camel’s hair pencils, and rouge saucers, are wanted. To make frowns, scowls, or comical expressions, such as a broad grin, smirk, or simper, stand before a mirror and assume the desired expression; then trace the wrinkles produced, with a fine brush of the brown tint; this will fix the required expression on your face. Rouge is best applied with the finger. Burnt cork is excellent for darkening eyebrows, and making moustaches, also for representing leanness, which will be done by applying a faint tint just under the eyes, on the sides of the cheeks, and[146] under the lower lip. A strong mark running from the corner of the nose down towards the corner of the mouth on each side, marks age or emaciation.

A few directions may be of use in regard to the preparation of theatrical dresses. Powdered wigs can be made of tow, raveled yarn, or gray colored horse hair; beards and moustache of the same, or a piece of buffalo skin. Ermine can be made of cotton flannel with tags of lion skin cloth sewed on, or black tags painted. Pelisse wadding is sometimes used.

Crowns and sceptres are easily made of pasteboard and gold paper. Velvet talma cloaks, capes, or even the loose velvet sack, can be converted into cavalier cloaks (the arm-holes in the sack must be fastened up on the inside), by fastening them gracefully over one shoulder. Then put on a large old-fashioned lace collar, ruffles around the hand, a Kossuth hat, looped up on one side with a paste pin or buckle, fastening a white or black plume, (taken from some lady’s bonnet), stockings drawn over the pantaloons and fastened at the knees with bows and buckles; and lo! with but little trouble, you have a fine cavalier of the olden times. With old finery and a little ingenuity, a theatrical wardrobe can be quickly made, if all are willing to do their part, but the larger share of the work is generally done by a few. Rocks can be made by throwing plain gray blanket shawls over ottomans, tables, &c. Rain may be imitated by dropping peas in a tin pan, thunder by rattling sheet-iron, lightning by means of a tin tube, larger at one end than the other, and filled with powdered resin. The smaller end of the tube should be open, the other end so managed that the resin may sift through. Shake the tube over a lamp, or blow the resin through a plain tube into the flame of a lamp, and you will have a good imitation of lightning.

Dissolve crystals of nitrate of copper in spirits of wine,[147] light the solution and it will burn with a beautiful emerald green flame. Pieces of sponge, soaked in this spirit, lighted and suspended by fine wires over the stage of theatres, produce the lambent green flames, now so common in incantation scenes. Strips of flannel saturated with it, and wrapped around pieces of copper, will form the swords and fire-forks brandished by the demons in such scenes. Devices like the above are very simple, and add much to the general effect.

The following is a list of plays which are easily and often acted in private theatricals:


The Rivals.
London Assurance.
Lady of Lyons.


The Loan of a Lover.
The Widow’s Victim.
Sketches in India.
Morning Calls.
Swiss Cottage.
My New Wife and My Old Umbrella.
Kill or Cure.
Poor Pillecody.
Bombastes Furioso.
Lend Me Five Shillings.
Phantom Breakfast.
Rough Diamond.
A Pretty Piece of Business.
Old Guard.
A Game of Romps.
Betsy Baker.


These clubs are far more agreeable to their members and less likely to cause unpleasant rivalries, which, it is to be regretted, are apt to arise among even private actors. Human nature, alas, is weak! Some clubs read Shakspeare alone. It is most certainly a noble study, and one we can never weary of. Few can hope ever to excel in delineating Shakspeare. Therefore it is well, if we meet together for social enjoyment as well as improvement, to have a variety of plays. I have known of very successful clubs, and I will give the general[148] manner of proceeding adopted by one of them, as it may assist in the formation of others. The club was started by some young ladies with a view of making home and winter evenings agreeable to their brothers; a committee was chosen to form a code of laws. Each one was to subscribe a small sum to purchase the “librettos” of their plays. The following rules were signed by all the members:

1. Each member of the club must take his or her turn in choosing a play, and in giving out the rôle of characters.

2. Every member must take the characters given him, and do his best, unless he can exchange parts with some other member, with the consent of the one who selected the play.

3. The one who selects the play has a right to the best character.

4. The club shall meet once a week at the houses of members, in alphabetical rotation.

5. Whenever any member is unable to take his part and cannot attend the meeting, he must provide some one to take his character.

6. No new member can be admitted without the vote of the majority.

7. Each member must study his or her part well, before meeting with the club. If any two, or several, should have difficult parts together, they must meet privately and practise them.

At first, they merely read the plays; but soon, they partially acted them, and found them increased in interest thereby. They always had their little librettos by them. Those who had ready memories rarely referred to them; or a mere glance would be sufficient. Finally they dressed in character, and admitted an audience composed of their relatives.

There is not necessarily anything awkward in having the books in hand. Such little pamphlets can be easily rolled up, and will scarcely be noticed. Under these rules they became[149] familiar with the best plays, without wearying of them; and each member had an opportunity of consulting his own taste.

I sincerely recommend this as an amusement. Persons who read French and German will find this an admirable way of learning to converse with ease in either of those languages.

Sheridan Knowles’ plays and Shakspeare are among the best to select from. “Love’s Sacrifice,” “Ion,” “Hunchback,” and “William Tell,” are excellent plays to be read in this way.


There is no game that can afford so much amusement to a circle of friends as that of acting charades. It affords a scope for the exercise of both wit and ingenuity.

A word must be chosen, in which the syllables may be rendered into some kind of a lively performance, and the whole word must be capable of similar representation. Then the plan of action must be agreed upon. Old-fashioned garments, gay shawls, scarfs, old coats, hats, aprons, gowns, &c., must be looked up for the occasion, and speedily converted into various and grotesque costumes, suited to the representation to be made. By exercising a little ingenuity, very fine charades can be acted “impromptu.” Speed, in all preparations, is quite necessary to success, as an audience is always impatient. If it is determined to have charades at a party, the lady of the house should arrange dresses, plan of action and subjects, beforehand. She can generally tell who can assist her best. If all the arrangements can be made without the knowledge of her guests, the effect will be greatly increased. This is also an improving game for a family of children. Write the plot and a simple dialogue, and let them learn it; it will be a good exercise for the memory, and teach[150] them ease of manner; but let them only act before a home circle.

A few directions for acting certain words, and a short list of words easy to be acted may be of service to my readers. If a word or syllable can be represented by action, it should be seldom spoken, but syllables must be spoken in some cases to give an idea of the word:

Penitent.—“Penny” sufficiently expresses the first division of the word. It can be represented by dressing in old clothes, torn hats, bonnets, &c., to appear as street hawkers, common in cities. One can sell “Lucifer matches—penny a bunch!” another, “Apples, fine red apples—penny apiece!” another, “Oranges, fine fresh oranges—penny apiece!” and so on. In this way a motley group can be contrived. A policeman, rushing in and dispersing the group, may close the scene. “Tent” can be represented by throwing a sheet or table-cloth over two chairs (high-backed chairs would be preferable), in the style of a gypsy tent. In front should be grouped some gypsies, in gay shawls, handkerchiefs, looped dresses, &c. A lady and gentleman can approach and ask to have their fortunes told, &c. Some one of the gypsies singing, “In the days when we went gypsying,” would close this act well. “Penitent” can be easily represented in a variety of ways. If it is not guessed, the charade could be repeated and acted differently.

Bridewell.—“Bride” is usually represented by a wedding, which can be arranged to suit the tastes of the parties acting, and can be either simple or elaborate, as they may please. The common way is to have a dress ceremony; bride in full costume, with bridesmaids, but for a change, one might arrange a justice’s office, and have a couple come in to be married, the bride conspicuous in white bows and ends, and cheap finery. Let her be the chief speaker, the man appearing awkward and shy. After the ceremony, let her drive a[151] sharp bargain in paying the fee. “Well:” Take a large tub and cover it with a gray shawl, so arranged as to look like stone, and if you have any green fleecy mats, arrange them to represent grass. A dark-complexioned gentleman, (any one can stain his face for the occasion,) with a turban, and dressed in shawls skillfully arranged, may represent an Eastern Emir. He should be seen seated Turkish-fashion by the well. A lady, dressed as Rebecca, with a crimson scarf about her waist, having her arms bare, and a handkerchief bound around her head, should come in, holding with one arm a pitcher on her head. Let her seem to fill her pitcher at the well. Then Eliezer must ask her to give him drink. After she has handed him her pitcher (which she must have placed on her head after having appeared to fill it), he must take from his bosom a casket of jewels, and exhibit bracelets and ear-rings. She can feign astonishment and admiration. He must kneel at her feet and present them. She should express surprise and delight. Then Eliezer must fasten on the bracelets, and the scene of Eliezer and Rebecca at the well will be represented.

To act “Bridewell:” Arrange a prison cell; take screens or clothes-frames, and hang them with gray or black shawls, and cover the carpet. Put in a common wood table and a kitchen chair, and let a dim-lighted lantern be the only light. Some gentleman, meanly clad, with hair all on end; and clenched hands resting on his knees, must be seated in the chair, with eyes bent sullenly on the ground, and with a scowling brow. Let chains hang from his wrists and ankles, and as he moves clank together. Acted in this way, the word would be easily guessed.

Farewell.—“Fare:” A gentleman dressed as a hackman can come in, whip in hand. Then a gentleman and lady and a child should appear, dressed for a journey. The hackman must address them in the usual manner, offering to take[152] them to any place, &c. The gentleman must then ask, “What is the fare?” and bargains for it, refusing to pay fare for the child, &c. “Well:” Two ladies enter with shawls and bonnets on, and appear to meet accidentally; each asks anxiously if the other is well, and if all the family are well, &c.

“Farewell” can be acted in various ways. A party with bandboxes and baskets, on their way west, may be bidding farewell to friends; or a lover, going to California, may be taking leave of his lady-love, &c.

Railway.—“Rail:” Take two chairs, and place a strong cane, stick or broom, with one end resting on each chair. Then some boy or girl may come in and jump on the stick, swing over it, and talk about “riding on a rail.” An elderly lady or gentleman should come in and talk to him about breaking his neck on the rail, &c., &c. “Way:” a gentleman with a carpet bag in his hand may inquire the way to the depot, or an old lady may ask which is the way to the menagerie, &c. “Railway:” Let a party of people come rushing in, some limping and groaning, others wondering where their bandboxes have gone to! all talking of the “smash up” on the railway, bringing in the word in all possible ways.

Carpet.—“Car:” several persons may pass in and out dressed in character, as a Yankee peddler, a country girl never before from home, a man of business, a fine lady with servants, &c., all appearing to be waiting for the cars, and talking about them. Suddenly let a bell ring, and the conductor call out, “Cars start for,” etc. All then rush forward in character. “Pet:” Let a lady come in with a cat, dog or any pet animal, fondling it as absurdly as possible, pretending it is sick, calling for some one to go for the doctor, &c. “Carpet:” Arrange a table as a counter. Some one must act as shopman. Let a lady enter with a simpering air, her intended husband following, and ask to look at carpets. Have[153] in readiness under the counter several pieces of carpets or rugs, which the shopman should display, while the lady consults the taste of her future lord, &c.

Lunatic.—“Luna:” A gentleman, dressed as a young collegian, enters with a young lady on his arm; they pretend to be walking by moon-light. He speaks of the moon by its latin name, Luna, and talks in a high-flown style. The lady may ask in a flat and awkward style, “Who is Luna?” saying she never heard of her, &c., &c. The young man explains, in a bombastic style, who Luna is. “Tic:” A lady represents an old woman, and goes about offering to make over old tics, as good as new, and also says she has some geese feathers to sell, carrying on of course other conversation, so that the word to be guessed may not be too apparent. “Lunatic:” The best actor of the company feigns the part of a lunatic, in any way he sees fit.

Lamentable.—(French charade.) “L’amont” can be acted well in pantomime, by representing an old deaf man, and his young wife; the old man with spectacles on nose, sitting in a large chair, reading the newspaper, his young wife standing behind the chair. A low tap is heard at the door. She starts and listens; the door opens slily and discovers a young man. She starts with delight, but points to the old man, motioning the young man to go. He makes gestures of despair; then appears to have a sudden thought, bows and retires. Soon a loud knock is heard, she goes to the door, and returns with a letter, giving it to the old man; he reads, shakes his head, and hands it to her; she looks at it, runs for his hat and coat and motions him to go. He leaves at one door, while L’Aman enters at another. Then they act a lover like scene and the curtain drops. “Table:” She again appears with sleeves rolled up, apron on, rolling-pin in hand, making cakes; the young lover standing by, and now and then eating one of the cakes. They hear a heavy[154] step and the lover runs for a hiding-place. At last he springs under the table, and she pulls a table-cloth down around it, and goes on rolling cakes. In comes the old man, hobbling along. He looks around and suspects something, and begins a strict search. Thus ends that scene. “Lamentable:” The same actors appear, but the table is turned over, and behold! the old man has seized the young lover, and is brandishing aloft a heavy cane, while the young wife appears, weeping bitterly.

Warlock.—(A male wizard.) “War:” A wounded soldier is seen prostrate and dying. “Lock:” An old woman with a long tow wig, sits mumbling to herself, and knitting. A young man appears and pretends entire devotion to her, and begs for a lock of her hair. She refuses at first, but he coaxes it from her. She then takes out a large pair of shears and cuts off a long lock, rolls it up and gives it to him. He pretends ecstasy, but laughs behind her back. “Warlock:” A gentleman dressed as an old wizard, appears and offers to tell fortunes, &c.; this can be performed as the actor thinks best.

The following words are easy to be acted:—



Tableau vivants, as commonly represented, are so well understood that no directions are necessary, but some of my readers may not have heard of the illustration of poems, &c., by a series of living pictures. This is far more interesting than simply to personify some one picture. Still another way[155] is to represent the different scenes in a song, while at the same time some one who is a good musician sings the verses of the song as they are represented. For instance, “The Mistletoe Bough,” first represent a room decorated with green, a company assembled gaily dressed and dancing, while a lady or gentleman behind the scene sings the verse represented in distinct tones, and so on through the whole song; the last scene representing children in a lumber-room opening an old chest and exposing a skeleton, old flowers, &c. “Auld Robin Grey,” and “The Three Fishers” are easily represented. Still another variety of tableaux is a song represented in pantomime, for instance, the song of “Blue Beard,” or “O, they Marched through the Town,” &c.


The Sibyl.

FORTUNE telling, as a practice, is morally wrong, and they who intentionally deceive credulous people commit a sin; the effects of such deception on sensitive minds are often lasting, and in some instances have been attended with very sad results. Almost all persons have a little superstition in their natures, and naturally relish mystery.

But as a game and pastime, fortune telling is harmless and amusing. The old fashioned fate lady has afforded much amusement and profit at fairs. The following is a more modern and graceful method: Cut green enameled paper in the shape of oak leaves, and on the white side write some simple oracle. The person who represents the sibyl seats herself, dressed in character, under a tasteful canopy, with a table in front, and her sibylline leaves scattered over it, with the green side upwards. Then as individuals enquire their fate of the oracle, let her move about the leaves, muttering some incantation, and let each one select his or her own leaf. Another way is to hold the leaves in a cornucopia and scatter them around from it. Care must be taken not to expose the white side of the leaves.



Make twelve flat pin-cushions, heart-shape, and all of different colors, such as blue, variegated, white, scarlet, green, lilac, checkered, brown, slate, purple, yellow and pink. Have a loop of narrow ribbon fastened to each, and stick small pins all around them as in the design. Take some narrow ribbon and string them all upon it; they are then ready to be used, with the following oracles:

The Fiat of Fate.

To all who wish their fate to know,
These hearts will future fortunes show;
With shaded eyes then touch and name—
The color will thy lot proclaim.


If fortune favors thee, wish blue,
Thou couldst not wish a brighter hue;
On life’s dark disc this shade portrays
Truth, happiness, and length of days.


These variegated colors show
A pleasing mixture here below,
To those whose lot it is to name,
This emblem, of both joy and pain.


This lovely white then touch with joy,
And gain a fate without alloy;
Fair, pure and spotless is the life
Thus singled out from future strife.



With caution this gay color name,
For wide and evil is its fame;
Inflammatory, it taints the air,
Portending strife and civil war.


This cool, inviting, lovely green,
Has to the single ever been
An emblem of their future state,
Their peaceful, though forsaken, fate.


The lilac tint betokens life
Of every hope, and plans are rife;
Of love and friendship, holy, true,
The pink is tempered by the blue.


The many colors here portrayed,
Of every hue, and every shade,
Portends a checkered changing lot,
From palace to the humble cot.


This sombre brown denotes a calm
And pleasing life, devoid of harm;
An innocent and simple mind,
A temper meek and well inclined.


This pale and melancholy shade
Betokens ills that never fade;
But prey upon the tainted power,
Embittering each succeeding hour.


This royal color, rich in pride,
A splendid fate may well betide;
Exalted rank and riches great,
Vanity, power, pomp and state.



Beware of yellow, ’tis a color
Speaks of misery, grief and dolor;
Of jealousy, and broken vows,
And many nameless, endless woes.


A life of innocence and mirth
Will be thy portion here on earth;
With reason, then, you may rejoice,
The modest pink has been your choice.


Procure a quantity of cards, each with a separate flower painted upon it. In a book write the meaning of each flower, and then let a person choose any number of cards. You must look out the meaning of each, and ingeniously combine the whole into one sentence. A more beautiful design for a fair or a social party is the arrangement of natural flowers in small fate bouquets, some one person arranging their accompanying oracles beforehand. Then let the person seeking to know his fate select a bouquet.


Write a number of fates and fill a box, made with an opening just large enough to admit the hand. Then, as the person seeks his fortune, shake up the box, and let him draw out his fate.


The Puzzler.

THE following conundrums, riddles, etc., are given merely as suggestions. The conundrums most productive of amusement are those made in the course of general conversation. A happy party, in the course of a long and stormy evening, may make more and better ones than are to be found in any one book. If those given here attract the attention and excite the ingenuity of the boys and girls who read them, a great deal of home pleasure will be the result.


1. If a man’s son had told a lie, and he wished to order him, in the shortest way possible, to leave him, what Scripture name would he use?

2. What relation would a man be to a person he visited in jail, if, on being asked, he said, “Brothers and sisters have I none, yet this man’s father is my father’s son?”

3. Why had the children of Israel plenty of food in the desert?


4. Why were there plenty of sandwiches in the desert?

5. Why is a short negro like a white man?

6. Why do we all go to bed?

7. Why is a room full of married people like an empty room?

8. Why is an angry person like a hard baked loaf of bread?

9. When is a door not a door?

10. Why is a man in love like a lobster?

11. Why is an avaricious man like one with a short memory?

12. Why is a pair of pantaloons too big every way like two populous towns in France?

13. You are requested to ask the following question in three letters: “Are you the person?”

14. What sea would make the best bedroom?

15. Which are ladies most in favor of, tall or short men?

16. Why is a speech, delivered on the deck of a man-of-war, like a lady’s necklace?

17. Why is the letter D like a sailor?

18. Why is grass like a mouse?

19. Why is a bald head like heaven?

20. What two letters make a County in Massachusetts?

21. Why is an angry man like a lady in full dress?

22. Why is a good wife like the evil one?

23. Why is a good story like a parish bell?

24. Why were the brokers of 1857 like Pharaoh’s daughter?

25. Why is there but little difference between a light in a cavern and a dance in the hall of a tavern?

26. By what three Bible names would a mother call her three sons, in telling them to go home with some young ladies in a carriage? The first she spoke to in an enquiring tone; the second, entreating; the third, commanding?


27. Who was the fastest woman in the Bible?

28. How did Adam and Eve leave Paradise?

29. Why was not Noah a good mouser?

30. Why are camel’s hair shawls in this country like a stone deaf person?

31. In what way would you ask a Doctor of Divinity to play on a violin, in the shortest possible way?

32. Why is an odd walker easiest recognized at his own door?

33. Why is the gray hair of a person who has had many trials like a plated spoon?

34. Why is a sword like lager beer?


1. My first is a common London cry,
My next an insect; now try
To guess my whole; a clue I’ll give, though slight,
It oft emits my first, a glorious sight.
2. We are twin brothers, and in vain,
We never meet but to complain.
3. My first implies to be able,
My second is a Christian name which may be read both ways,
My whole is in North America.
4. My first may be seen, and my second be heard;
My whole is the name of a sweet-singing bird.
5. By me men often upward go,
Behead—a reptile it will show.
6. A word of four letters I pray you to take;
If that word you follow, ’twill sure make you ache;
Just alter that word, and squeeze out one letter;
Then follow that word, and ’twill soon make you better.
7.[163] My first in every shop is seen,
My next affords us light;
My total you will see, I ween,
When you’ve bade friends good-night.
8. My first sounds much like something true,
My second sounds much like a lie;
But what is spoken like my whole,
Let no one venture to deny.
9. To a word of consent add one half of a fright,
Next subjoin what you never behold in the night;
These rightly connected, you’ll quickly obtain
What millions have seen, but will ne’er see again.
10. Found long ago, yet made to-day,
Employed while others sleep;
What few would wish to give away,
And none would wish to keep.
11. Two hundred men and women sitting,
Talking, reading, sleeping, knitting;
Boston, Lynn, Salem, Andover,
In, out, under, over;
Tugging, hugging, dreaming, screaming,
Rain, or snow, or sunshine beaming;
Buzz and stir, smoke and hissing,
Often ends with hearty kissing.
12. My first is to hard-working horses oft spoken;
My second, of sudden surprise is a token;
My third is a place we shall do well to shun;
My fourth is a river, which in Scotland doth run;
My half is an order to quit, you will find;
My whole is an idol set up by mankind.
13. In every hedge my second is,
As well as every tree;
And when poor school-boys act amiss,
It often is their fee.
My first, likewise, is always wicked,
Yet ne’er committed sin;
My total for my first is fitted,
Composed of brass or tin.
14.[164] My first is a part of the day,
My second at feasts overflows;
In the cottage my whole is oft seen,
To measure old Time as he goes.
15. If you a musical instrument behead,
A sweeter-toned one will remain behind.
16. A shining wit pronounced of late
That every acting magistrate
Is water, in a freezing state.
17. In spring, I am gay in my attire;
In summer, I wear more clothing than in spring;
In winter, I am naked.
18. A word of three syllables, seek till you find,
That has in it the twenty-six letters combined.

19. A lady in prison received an animal, as a present from her niece, which signified to her, “Make your escape.” In reply, she sent back a fruit, which imported, “It is impossible to escape.” What was the animal? and what was the fruit?

20. In Sir Walter Scott’s celebrated poem, “Marmion,” are the following lines:—

“Charge, Chester! charge! On, Stanley, on!
Were the last words of Marmion.”

These lines suggested the following enigma:—

Were I in noble Stanley’s place,
When Marmion urged him to the charge;
The word you then might all descry
Would bring a tear to every eye.

21. Round the house—in the corners,
Down the stairs—behind the door!

22. I’m reckoned only fifty, but for centuries have been,
In every age, in every clime, among the living seen;
Mute, though incessantly in talk, I give to silence sound;
And single ’tis my fate to be, whilst fast in wedlock bound.
The learned place me at their head, tho’ oft unknown to fame,
[165]And eloquence itself delights to sound abroad my name;
Though plunged in guilt, the tenant of a prison’s gloomy cell,
Yet, twice invoked, my potent aid concludes the wizard’s spell.
I ride upon the whirlwind—point the lightning thro’ the storm;
And mine the power, with but a word, another world to form;
I, too, alone, can kindle fame, and, what is very odd,
The veriest miser can prevent from making gold his god.
I usher in the morning, yet shun the face of day;
A stranger to the voice of mirth, yet join in every play.
The fabled liquid I, with which poor Tantalus was cursed;
For, in the proffered goblet seen, I mock the wretch’s thirst.
The rich secure me for their wealth, the cunning for their wiles;
And, ’reft of me, ah! changed how soon were beauty’s sweetest smiles!
I lurk within the brilliant glance that flashes from her eye,
Rest on her ruby lip, and in her laughing dimples lie;
I breathe the first soft sound of love, in the maiden’s willing ear,
And mingle in the rising blush that tells that love is dear;
I lead the laugh, I swell the glee amid the festal hall,
But a truant from the banquet, and a laggard in the ball.
First in the martial lists I ride, with mail, and lance and shield;
And, foremost of the line, I charge upon the battle-field.
And yet, though ranked among the bold, I scarcely join the fight;
When, foul disgrace to manhood’s race, I turn at once to flight.
From greatness thus removed, I make acquaintanceship with evil;
And, (in your ear a word) maintain alliance with the devil!

23. We are little airy creatures,
All of different voice and natures;
One of us in glass is set,
One of us you’ll find in jet;
The other you may see in tin,
And the fourth a box within;
If the fifth you should pursue,
It can never fly from you.
24. My parent bred me to the sea,
I’ve been where never man could be;
Long time I’ve ranged the ocean wide,
And all the rage of storms defied;
The lowering clouds obscured the sky,
And foaming billows mounted high;
[166]Tho’ winds with almost fury blew,
And thunders roll’d, and lightnings flew;
Waves, winds and thunders all in vain
Opposed my passage thro’ the main.
At length, my parent died, and I
On shore would fain my fortune try;
I left the sea, grew fond of show,
Dress’d neat, and soon became a beau.
My body’s taper, tall and straight,
I chiefly dwell among the great;
Am like a bridegroom, clad in white,
And much the ladies I delight;
Attend when Chloe goes to rest,
She’s always by my presence blest;
No ghost or goblin can she fear,
Nor midnight hag, if I am near.
No more a seaman, bold and rough,
I shine at balls, am fond of snuff
To gay assemblies I repair,
And make a brilliant figure there.
At last, a burning fever came,
That quite dissolved my tender frame;
I wasted fast, light-headed grew;
Of all my friends, not one I knew;
Great drops of sweat ran down my side,
And I, alas! by inches died.
25. A word there is of plural number,
Foe to peace and tranquil slumber;
Add but to this the letter S,
And though strange the metamorphosis,
There soon will meet your wond’ring view
One syllable transposed to two;
Plural is plural now no more,
And sweet what bitter was before.
26. My first two letters make a man,
My three first a woman;
My four first letters make a great man
My whole a great woman.
27. My first is myself, a very short word;
My second’s a puppet, and you are my third.
28.[167] Cut off my head, singular I am;
Cut off my tail, and plural I appear;
Cut off my head and tail, and you will find
That though my body’s left, yet nought is there.
What is my head cut off? a sounding sea;
What is my tail? a mighty river,
Within whose peaceful depths my whole doth play,
And parent of sweet sounds is mute forever.
29. We left our little ones at home,
And whither went we did not know;
We for the church’s sake did roam,
And lost our lives in doing so.
We went right onward on the road,
With all the wicked full in view;
We lived to man, we died to God,
Yet nothing of religion knew.
30. My first is a famous watering place in England,
My second is a city where a mighty queen did dwell;
My whole is the name of a queen famous in ancient history.
31. My first gives light to man;
My second you’ll find in woman;
My third belongs to woman;
My whole is a Christian name.
32. To run and draw,
In peace or war,
My first have long been used;
And pleased or vex’d,
Have, by my next,
Been petted and abused:
Upon the seas,
In many a breeze,
My third may oft be seen;
My whole is an art
Known in each part
Where my two first have been.
33. My whole is that which lightning does,
Beheaded, that which horses fear;
Behead again, and lo! a tree,
A forest tree, will then appear.


An Enigmatical Dinner.





1. A captain of a ship who was driven out to sea by a heavy storm, found he had provisions sufficient for only half his crew, and decided to throw overboard half of them, to be selected by lot. There were twenty men, half of them white, and half black; he placed them all in a circle, saying that every fifth man in three times round should be thrown overboard. He appeared to arrange them carelessly, yet he managed so that the lot fell to the ten black men. How could it be?

2. The Wolf, the Goat and the Cabbages.—Suppose a man has a wolf, a goat, and a basket of cabbages, on the bank of a river; he wishes to cross with them, but his boat can only hold one of the three beside himself. He must therefore take them over one by one, in such a manner that the wolf shall have no opportunity to devour the goat, nor the goat the cabbages. How is he to accomplish it?

3. The impossibility made possible.—Place three pieces of money on the table and desire some person to take away the piece from the centre without touching it.

4. Two men eat oysters together for a wager, to see who could eat the greatest number. One eat ninety-nine only, the other eat a hundred and won. How many did the winner eat?

5. What is the difference between six dozen dozen and a half a dozen dozen?

6. Four people sat down one evening to play;
They played all that eve, and parted next day.
Could you think, when you’re told, as thus they all sat,
No other played with them, nor was there one bet;
Yet, when they rose up, each gained a guinea,
Tho’ none of them lost to the amount of a penny!


7. P R S V R Y P R F C T M N V R K P T H S P R C P T S T N. This inscription was affixed to the communion-table of a small church in Wales; no one could decipher it for centuries, but at length the clue has been discovered. What is it?

8. Procure six cards, and having ruled them as in the following diagrams, write in the figures neatly and legibly. It is required to tell the number thought of by any person, the numbers being contained in the cards, and not to exceed 60. How is this done?


9. Place eight counters or coins, as in the diagram below:

It is then required to lay them in four couples, removing only one at a time, and in each removal passing the one in the hand over two on the table.

10. The wine Merchant and his Clerk.—A wine merchant caused thirty-two casks of choice wines to be deposited in his cellar, giving orders to his clerk to arrange them as in the annexed figure, so that each external row should contain nine. The clerk, however, took away twelve of them, at three different times—that is, four at each time, yet when the merchant went into the cellar, after each theft had been committed, the clerk always made him count nine in each row. How was this possible?

man’s family.

12. First draw a square and divide it into four parts. Then make six marks in the first square and say they represent six pigs, for you pretend to describe a farmyard you once saw. In the next square make six more marks to represent cows, in the next square six more marks for horses, and the last square represent donkeys.



1. An old man married a young woman; their united ages amounted to one hundred. The man’s age, multiplied by four and divided by nine, gives the woman’s age. What were their respective ages?

2. How many yards of paper, three-quarters of a yard wide, will cover a chamber that is sixty feet round, and ten feet one and one-half inches high?

3. In a family of eight young people, it was agreed that three at a time should visit the Crystal Palace, and that the visit should be repeated each day as long as a different trio could be selected. In how many days were the possible combinations of three out of eight completed?

4. How many changes can be given to seven notes of a piano? That is to say, in how many ways can seven keys be struck in succession, so that there shall be some difference in the order of the notes each time?

5. At a time when eggs were scarce, an old woman who possessed some good hens, wishing to oblige her friends, sent her daughter with a basket of eggs to three of them; at the first house, which was the squire’s, she left half the number of eggs she had, and half a one over; at the second she left half of what remained and half an egg over; and at the third she again left half of the remainder, and half a one over; she carried home one egg in her basket, not having broken any. How many had she when she started?

6. Two drovers, A and B, meeting on the road, began discoursing about the number of sheep they each had. Says B to A, “Pray give me one of your sheep and I will have as many as you.” “Nay,” replied A, “but give me one of your sheep and I will have as many again as you.” Required to know the number of sheep they each had?


7. To tell at what hour a person intends to rise. Let the person set the hand of the dial of a watch at any hour he pleases, and tell you what that hour is; and to the number of that hour you add in your mind twelve; then tell him to count privately the number of that amount upon the dial, beginning with the next hour to that on which he proposes to rise, and counting backwards, first reckoning the number of the hour at which he has placed the hand. How is it done?

“The Two Travelers.”

8. Two travelers trudged along the road together,
Talking, as Yankees do, about the weather;
When, lo! beside their path the foremost spies
Three casks, and loud exclaims, “A prize, a prize!”
One large, two small, but all of various size.
This way and that they gazed, and all around,
Each wondering if an owner might be found.
But not a soul was there—the coast was clear—
So to the barrels they at once drew near;
And both agree, whatever may be there,
In friendly partnership they’ll fairly share.
Two they found empty, but the other full,
And straightway from his pocket one doth pull
A large clasp-knife; a heavy stone lay handy,
And thus in time they found their prize was brandy.
’Tis tasted and approved; their lips they smack,
And each pronounces ’tis the famous Cognac.
“Wont we have many a jolly night, my boy?
May no ill luck our present hopes destroy!”
’Twas fortunate one knew the mathematics,
And had a smattering of hydrostatics;
Then measured he the casks, and said, “I see
This is eight gallons—those are five, and three.”
The question then was how they might divide
The brandy, so that each should be supplied
With just four gallons, neither less nor more,
With eight, and five and three, they puzzle sore;
Filled up the five, filled up the three, in vain.
[175]At length a happy thought came o’er the brain
Of one; ’twas done, and each went home content,
And their good dames declared ’twas excellent.
With those three casks they made division true;
I found the puzzle out; say, friend, can you?
9. “To five and five and fifty-five
The first of letters add;
It is a thing that pleased a king,
And made a wise man mad.”
10. “The sum of four figures in value will be
Above seven thousand nine hundred and three;
But when they are halved you’ll find, very fair,
The sum will be nothing, in truth, I declare.”


1. Goliah.

2. He was his own son.

3. Because of the sand which is (sandwiches) there.

4. Because the children of Ham were bred (bread) and mustered (mustard) there.

5. He is not at all black (a tall black).

6. The bed will not come to us.

7. There is not a single person in it.

8. He is crusty.

9. When it is ajar.

10. He had a lady in his head.

11. He is always forgetting (for-getting).

12. Because they are too long and too loose (Toulon and Toolouse).

13. R U E (are you he).

14. Adriatic (a dry attic).

15. Hymen.

16. It is a deck oration (decoration).

17. It follows the sea (C).


18. The cat’ll eat it (the cattle eat it).

19. There is no parting there.

20. S X (Essex).

21. He is ruffled.

22. She sows tares while the husbandman sleeps.

23. It is often told (tolled).

24. Because they found little profit (prophet) in the rushes on the banks.

25. Because one is a taper in a cavern, the other a caper in a tavern.

26. Jeroboam, Samuel, Benjamin (Jerry beau ’em; Sam you will; Ben jam in).

27. Herodias’ daughter, because she got ahead of John the Baptist on a charger.

28. They were snaked out.

29. It took him forty days and nights to find Ara-rat.

30. Because we can not make them here (hear).

31. Fiddle-de-dee (Fiddle D D).

32. Because he is best known by his gait (gate).

33. “Its silvered o’er with care.”

34. Because it cannot be used till it is drawn.


1. Fire-fly.

2. Mur-mur.

3. Canada.

4. Sky-lark.

5. Ladder—adder.

6. Fast—Feast.

7. Counter-pane.

8. Truly.


9. Yesterday.

10. A bed.

11. Railway train.

12. Gold.

13. Candle-stick.

14. Hour-glass.

15. Flute.

16. Justice, (just-ice.)

17. A tree.

18. Alphabet.

19. The animal sent was an antelope, (aunt elope!) the fruit returned was a cantelope (can’t elope.)

20. On I on, (onion.)

21. Broom.

22. The letter L.

23. The vowels.

24. A spermaceti candle.

25. Cares—s.

26. Heroine.

27. Idol.

28. Cod.

29. The kine that bore the ark. 1 Samuel, vi., 10, 12, 14.

30. Bathsheba.

31. Solomon.

32. Horse-man-ship.

33. Flash.

Answer to Enigmatical Dinner.

1. Turkey.

2. Parsnips.

3. Hare, (hair.)

4. Dandelion, (dandy-lion.)

5. Lamb.

6. Mint-sauce.


7. Tongue.

8. Mangoes.

9. Potatoes.

10. Ham.

11. Cabbage.


1. Ice cream.

2. Maderia, (wine.)

3. Whips.

4. Champagne, (sham-pain.)

5. Punch.

6. Brandy.

7. Pine-apples.

8. Hock.

9. Pears.

10. Trifle.

11. Currants.


1. The secret of the puzzle is to arrange the men by a simple formula; take the sentence, “A gray owl did eat a snake,” and arrange them with checkers, the vowels all black, the consonants white. You will then see by taking away every fifth one, three times round, those left will be all white.

2. First take over the goat, the next time the wolf; leaving the wolf he must bring back the goat and leave it, then take the cabbages, and going back once more he takes the goat. Thus the wolf will never be left with the goat, nor the goat with the cabbages.

3. If the secret be not discovered, remove one of the end pieces to the other side, thus you take away the piece from the centre without touching it.


4. One hundred.

5. 792; six dozen dozen being 864, and a half a dozen dozen 72.

6. Four merry fiddlers played all night
To many a dancing ninny;
And the next morning went away,
And each received a guinea.
7. Persevere ye perfect men,
Ever keep these precepts ten.

It was discovered that by using the vowel E this couplet was formed.

8. Request the person to give you all the cards containing the number he has fixed upon, and then add all the right hand upper corner figures together, which will give the correct answer. For example: suppose 10 is the number thought of, the cards with 2 and 8 in the corners will be given, which makes the answer 10.

9. Place 4 on 7, 6 on 2, 1 on 3, and 8 on 5, or 5 on 2, 3 on 7, 8 on 6, 4 on 1, &c.

10. The clerk arranged them thus:

11. Be above meddling in a man’s family.

12. In the last square you must only make five marks, and then ask the one you are talking to, to count and see if all are right; if you do it carelessly and he is off his guard he will probably say “one of the donkeys are wanting.” You then must slily say, “If you’ll jump in, all will be right.” Such simple “sells” often cause a good laugh.



1. The man’s age was 69 years and 12 weeks. The woman’s, 30 years and 40 weeks.

2. 90 yards.

3. Multiply 8 × 7 × 6, and also 3 × 2 × 1, and divide the product of the former, 336, by the product of the latter, 6, the result is 56, the number of visits, a different two going each time.

4. 7 × 6 × 5 × 4 × 3 × 2 × 1, result is 5,040, the number of changes.

5. 15 eggs.

6. A had seven and B had five sheep.

7. Suppose the hour he intends to rise be 8, and that he has placed the hand at 5; you will add 12 to 5 and tell him to count 17 on the dial first reckoning 5, the hour at which the index stands, and counting backwards from the hour at which he intends to rise; and the number, 17, will necessarily end at 8, which shows that to be the hour he chose to rise.

8. The five-gallon barrel was filled first, and from that the three-gallon barrel, thus leaving two gallons in the five-gallon barrel; the three-gallon barrel was then emptied into the eight-gallon barrel, and the two gallons poured from the five-gallon barrel into the empty three-gallon barrel; the five-gallon barrel was then filled, and one gallon poured into the three-gallon barrel, therefore leaving four gallons in the five-gallon barrel, one gallon in the eight-gallon barrel, and three gallons in the three-gallon barrel, which was then emptied into the eight-gallon barrel. Thus each person had four gallons of brandy in the eight and five-gallon barrels respectively.

9. This puzzle has as yet no answer. I trust some of the[181] readers of this book will be able to send us a correct answer. It most surely can be ascertained, as there is a way to solve it.

10. The four figures are 8 8 8 8, which being divided by a line drawn through the middle, become ̶8̶8̶8̶8̶ . The sum of which is eight 0s, or nothing.


Games for Old and Young.

BLIND MAN’S BUFF is a popular, old-fashioned and delightful pastime, too well known to render any description of it necessary. A more quiet variety of blind man’s buff is played in the following manner: All the company arrange themselves around the room, one being blinded in the centre. Some one then either numbers them, or calls them by the names of different towns or cities. Each one must remember the name given him. Then the one who named them calls out to any two in the party, such as: “Two and Ten change places,” or, “Boston go to New York,” &c. Those called must quickly exchange places (on pain of a forfeit it they do not), the one blinded trying to catch them on their way. The caller must make them change places often, and from distant sides of the room, so as to give the blinder a good chance. If he catches any one in the act of changing his place, and calls his name correctly, the person so caught must take the part of blind-man until, in turn, he catches somebody else.



Shadow Buff is a variation of blind man’s buff. Though not as generally known, it is equally amusing. A large piece of white cloth, or a linen or cotton sheet, is suspended smoothly at one end of the room, at a little distance from “Buffy,” who sits with his face towards the cloth, and his back to the company. Behind him a light must be so placed as to throw the shadows of persons passing between it and “Buffy” directly on the curtain. All other lights must be extinguished. The players then walk, one by one, slowly between the light and “Buffy” (who must not turn his head), limping, jumping, grimacing, or disguised as they please, so as to distort their shadows on the curtain. If “Buffy” can tell correctly to whom any shadow belongs (guessing once only at each person), the player whom he so discovers takes his place as “Buffy.”


This is another variety of the same game. The blind man carries a cane, which he reaches in every direction. Whoever it touches is bound, by the rules of the game, to take hold of it, and repeat whatever the blind man orders. The one who is caught can disguise his voice as he pleases. The blind man is allowed three guesses, and if he cannot discover the person touched by his voice, he must try another. This is an amusing change.

There is still another, called “Fettered Buff.” The person who is to catch his companions is not blinded, but his wrists are tied behind him, and he catches by running backwards.[184] This form of the game is not recommended. The person so bound cannot balance himself easily, or guard himself, and is liable to injury from falling.


This can be played only in the evening, by candle light. A white curtain should be fastened smoothly at one end of the room, as in “shadow buff.” Half the company must be spectators and half actors. The spectators must be seated facing the curtain. Two persons in front should hold a ribbon or stick across the curtain as high as they can easily reach, to mark the line on which the shadows are to move, or a line may be drawn across the curtain. The actors must stand behind the spectators, at a little distance, with a large supply of figures cut in paper, such as houses, trees, men, women, animals, birds, &c. These figures must be slowly passed along, one after the other, in the manner you wish the shadows to fall on the curtain. It is easy to make them advance, retreat, &c., while you hold conversation for them. Those who are skillful in the use of these shadows, can make them represent a battle, game, contra dance, &c. The figures of inanimate things must not be moved; birds can be suspended on the ends of strings, and swung about irregularly, from time to time. The effect is not unlike a magic lantern. When the actors have played long enough, they must change places with the spectators.


This game, when well played, is extremely diverting. The players are arranged as an orchestra, and each one undertakes[185] to imitate some musical instrument. One pretends to play the violin, by stretching out her left arm, and moving her right hand across it, as if she were drawing a bow; another doubles up her hands and puts them to her mouth, to imitate a horn; another moves her fingers on a table, to imitate a piano; another takes the back of a chair and touches the rounds, as if they were the strings of a harp; another motions as if beating a drum; another holds a stick, after the manner of a guitar, and pretends to play upon it; another appears to be turning a hand-organ; another plays a flute, trombone, or any instrument he fancies—even a jewsharp. This is but half the game. Each musician should, while playing, make a sound with his mouth, in imitation of his instrument, thus:

Rub-a-dub, goes the drum;
Twang, twang, goes the harp
Toot, too, hoo, goes the horn;
Tweedle-dee, tweedle-dee, goes the violin, &c.

If all play with spirit it makes a laughable jumble. The leader must stand facing the orchestra, with a long stick, beating time, in an absurd imitation of some famous leader. In the midst of the noise and fun, he suddenly stops, and pointing his wand of office to one of the players, asks, abruptly, “Why don’t you play better?” The one spoken to must answer instantly, and with suitable reference to the nature of his instrument. For instance, the drummer could say one of his drumsticks is broken; the harper, that a string is loose; the pianist, that a key is broken or out of tune; the violinist, that a string is broken, &c. If they hesitate a moment, or give an unsuitable answer, or if they repeat an excuse already made, they must pay a forfeit or take a new instrument. While one is answering, all must stop playing. When the leader waves aloft his wand, all must commence again, and play till he speaks to some one[186] else; so on till they are weary. Sometimes it is a rule that all who laugh must pay a forfeit. There are many forfeits in that case.


This is a noisy game. All the actors in the play must take seats around the room, while some one or two of the number must be chosen to give out the parts. The persons so chosen whisper in the ear of each one the name of some animal he is to imitate. When all are ready and the signal is given by one chosen for the purpose, each one commences to utter sounds in imitation of the animal named to him. Those who fail must pay some penalty. It cannot be called a “concord of sweet sounds,” but such a game will give life to a too quiet company on a stormy Winter evening.


Those who join the game take seats around the room, and one or more whispers in the ear of each one some witty or absurd thing for him to do. All must be quiet who are not playing. When all are ready, one person claps his hands, and the first one must proceed to do what he was told; the others must not speak or laugh, on penalty of a forfeit. Each one in turn must act his or her part. It must all be in pantomime. When all are through, each person must turn and shake hands with his or her neighbor, saying: “Friend, how dost thee do?” It is important in this game that the one who gives the parts should be full of humor and of quick perceptions, so as to adapt the game to the persons playing. The parts assigned may be of endless variety. One person may[187] be ordered to play a mock bravura on a table for a piano; another to gaze in admiration of himself in a mirror and arrange his dress and hair; another to act the scornful belle, while a gentleman acts the urgent but despairing lover; one to dance a hornpipe, another to make a speech by gestures, another to make grimaces in the face of every one in the company, another to pretend terror and fright from some imaginary animal, etc.


One of the company taking part in this amusement rises, and addressing his or her neighbor, proposes the following question: “What does my thought resemble?” The person interrogated replies as he or she pleases; then the questioner adds: “In what way does the object you designate resemble that which I am thinking of?” If, as frequently occurs, there exists no affinity, no resemblance between the two, a pawn must be given by the person interrogated. Here is an example:

Mary.—Tell me, Alice, what does my thought resemble?

Alice.—A windmill.

Mary.—I thought of Rogers’ poetry; what resemblance is there between his poems and a windmill?

Alice.—I can give an answer very readily; perhaps the very prettiest little poem written by your poet begins, “Mine be a cot beside the mill.”

Mary.—That is right; it is now your turn, Annie. What does my thought resemble?

Annie.—A chandelier.

Mary.—I thought of a partridge; how does a partridge resemble a chandelier?


Annie.—Dear me, I’m sure I cannot tell! I will give you my pawn.

This play, by the strange inconsistencies which it authorizes, exercises the imagination, and brings into play a good deal of wit.


Some one in the company leaves the room, while those remaining select a word, and then send for the person to return. She must ask some question of the person nearest to her, to which the one spoken to must make a prompt answer, and in answering he must make use of the word selected. Sometimes an acute person will guess the word from the answer given to her first question. Some awkward use or slight emphasis may betray it, but generally she will go to a number and sometimes to all present without guessing the word. In that case (unless some one volunteers to take her place), she must go out again. If she discovers the word, the one by whose answer she guessed it, leaves the room, and those remaining choose a word and the game proceeds as before.


The company select some one to leave the room; those remaining agree upon a proverb, such as “All is not gold that glitters,” and then send for the person to return to the room. She must ask questions of the company in turn. The first person asked must include in his answer the first word of the[189] proverb, “all,” the next person, “is,” and so on till they complete the proverb; if she has not guessed it, and there are more in the company, the next person begins the proverb anew. The one by whose answer the proverb is guessed must then leave the room. This game requires considerable ingenuity and readiness. The proverbs selected should be familiar ones, such as “Make hay while the sun shines,” “When poverty comes in at the door love flies out at the window,” “A fool is wise in his own conceit,” “A stitch in time saves nine,” “Never look a gift horse in the mouth,” “All’s well that ends well,” “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”


A person chosen leaves the room. Those remaining select some familiar character either in history or of the present day, for the absent one to personate. When he returns, the person nearest him addresses him by a question, as if he were the character selected. In like manner, each person in the company in turn asks a question. The one at whose questions he guesses the character must take his place and leave the room in turn. For instance, “Napoleon the present emperor of France” is selected. When the person returns, the first questioner exclaims, “Are you not in constant fear of being killed?” The next, “Are you really happy?” The third, “Why are you so despotic?” The fourth, “Do you believe in fatalism?” Fifth, “Do you worship the memory of your uncle?” “Why do you not like us Americans?” etc., etc. This play is often very amusing and tact is required to ask questions that apply to the character and are not too plain.



All who take part in the play assemble and choose a lawyer. The chairs in the room are arranged in two rows, as in a contra dance. If there are an equal number of gentlemen and ladies, the former choose their partners. The gentlemen take seats opposite the ladies. The lawyer proceeds to ask such questions as he chooses. The person addressed must never answer, but his partner must answer for him. If either make a mistake, he or she must change places with the lawyer, and ask the questions. If the lawyer is ready in asking questions, turning quickly from one person to another, he can very soon catch some one.


This is a quiet game. All assemble around a table. Each person must have a half sheet of note paper and a pencil. All are requested to write an adjective expressing either a good or bad quality in a man’s character. Each one then turns over and creases down the place written upon, and all change papers. Each one then writes a gentleman’s name, and turns it down, and all change papers again. Then another word of quality applying to a lady, is written, and all the papers are turned down and changed as before. Then a lady’s name is written. Then a place where they met; then what he said to her; then what she said to him; what he gave to her; and what she gave to him; then the “consequences.” The paper must be turned down every time and changed, and no one must read what the others have written. When all are finished, some person collects and reads the[191] papers. Some are absurd, and others happen very correctly. For instance, they might read thus: “The clumsy Mr. Snooks met the beautiful Miss Primrose at a ball. He asked her if she liked turnips; she sighed and hung her head, and said, ‘If mamma is willing.’ He gave her a bouquet; she gave him a box on the ear. The consequences were too sad to relate.” A party of merry girls and boys will like this game for a variety.


This game is a very old one, but it is too good not to be always remembered. Arrange the company in this form, all facing inward:—

The stars represent persons; the one outside the circle, but next to it, is the goose; the one most distant from the circle, the fox. When the game commences, the goose starts and places himself or herself in front of one of the two stars. Then the outside one becomes the goose, and the object of the fox is to touch the outside one of three; if he succeeds, they change places, and the one caught becomes the fox. Every[192] one must be on the alert, and change as quickly as possible. I have seen this game, on a stormy day at the seashore, played with great zeal by old gentlemen, judges, lawyers, ministers, mothers, fathers and children. One gray-haired gentleman was the fleetest fox of all; no one could escape him, and his laugh made all hearts glad. Green old age is beautiful to see, and the youthful are always made happier by its genial sympathy.


All who join this game should be seated, with the exception of the story-teller. If there are vacant chairs, they should either be turned over or taken out of the room. A person with a quick memory and a flow of words, should be selected for the office of story-teller. When all are seated, he or she passes around the circle, giving a name to each individual. When the story is told, the one whose name is mentioned must rise and whirl around. When “stage-coach” is mentioned, all must rise and turn around; when it is said the “stage-coach tips over,” all must change places, and the story-teller then takes his chance to secure a seat, and the one who is left without any seat must go on with the story—the former story-teller taking the name of the person who takes his place. If any one fails to turn around or change places according to the rules of the game, a forfeit must be paid. The common way of telling the story is to describe the “Fidget family, on a journey in a stage-coach.” The following names are generally given to the company: Mr. and Mrs. Fidget, the baby and nurse, Miss Fidget and Master Fidget, and maiden aunt; gingerbread, band-box, trunks, bundles, off horse, nigh horse, driver, whip, reins, driver’s seat, cushions, door, curtains, wheels, footman, &c. You must adapt your names to the number playing. In telling the story, it[193] makes more fun to keep one or two (who will bear the joke) constantly whirling. The story and names are at the will of the story-teller.


Take partners, and stand as in a contra dance. The lady at the head is the fox; her partner the hunter. At a signal, she starts and runs down the line, her partner following; she can pass through the lines as she pleases, the players standing far enough apart to allow her to pass easily. The hunter must follow the exact course of the fox; if he varies, he must pay a forfeit. When the fox is caught, the first couple goes to the foot, and the next couple goes through with the same. This and “Follow the Leader” are favorite games for Thanksgiving evenings. Old and young join.


All who join this game assemble in a circle. The leader gives one of these syllables, “Ash-ish-osh,” to each one. Thus, to the first person, “Ash;” the second, “ish;” third, “osh;” fourth, “ash,” and so on through all the company. The leader must then stand in the centre and count four, slowly. When he pronounces four, all must sound their syllables at once. The effect is very amusing; it sounds like a prolonged sneeze.


This game can be played by any number of persons, each one having a pencil and paper. The leader of the game gives to each one (or each player chooses) a letter in the alphabet. Each player then writes a sentence of five, six or[194] seven words, each word commencing with the letter given him. When all have finished, each one in turn reads his sentence. If any one fails, he or she must recite some poetry and pay a forfeit. This game often produces most amusing and instructive effects. Sometimes the leader requires each player to go through the alphabet, as follows:

Avoid avarice, as an asp.
Britons! be bold! be brave!
Constant crime causes careless consciences.
Do defer doing dirty deeds.
Even every engineer engaged escaped.
Fawning favorites fear fortune’s freaks.
God’s goodness gives great gifts.
Happy homes have happy hearts.
It is instruction I intend.
Keep kind, kinsfolk! keep kind!
Jockeys joyfully joking jaded jackasses.
Little lambs love long lanes.
Many men make much money.
Name nine noisy noblemen now.
Ostentation often operates on opulence.
Perfect piety produces pretty practices.
Quit, quibbling quacks, quarreling, quickly.
Round rough rocks ragged rascals run.
Such stings sting so sharply.
Try to turn topsy-turvy.
Up! up! ungrateful, unjust usurper!
Verily, verily, vice vilifies virtue.
Willing wives will wash well.
Yes, yet you yawned yesterday.
Zeal! zeal! zealous zary, zeal!


All who desire to join in this charming pastime must be seated in a circle, in order that each player can have a clear view of all the other players. One of the company must be[195] selected to commence the game. He must think of some word which can be easily rhymed by other words, and give out only the termination of the word to the other players, saying “I have thought of a word that rhymes with ——, can any of you guess it?” The players must next speak in answer to the leader’s question, but whoever thinks of a word to rhyme with the given termination must strive to act out the word he thinks of in pantomime, as plainly as possible, and the leader must closely watch the player who is acting the word, and as soon as he guesses what the person acting is trying to represent, if it is not the word selected, he must say, “It is not ——,” (calling out the word represented) “that I thought of,” and so on as each player acts out a word, the leader must call out the word represented until the right word is acted. The leader must then resign his place, and the person who acted out the right word must be the leader and think of a word, giving out the termination to be rhymed with. An example will here be given to assist those ignorant of this game.

Suppose the person who first selects a word chooses “sting” and gives out “ing” to be rhymed with. One of the players makes a motion with his hands of ringing a bell. The leader says, “It is not ring, to ring a bell.” Another player will by signs indicate a ring on the finger. The leader exclaims, “It is not a finger-ring.” One of the players will imitate wringing of clothes. The leader says, “It is not wring.” Another represents singing, and is told “it is not sing.” A player will perhaps imitate a bee stinging. Then the leader exclaims, “Sting is the word, I resign my place to you.” Perhaps a few examples of rhyming words easily acted may be useful, which will be given here.



This is rare sport, when well managed, and for a time the exhibition appears very mysterious to the uninitiated. A large sheet should be strained across some open door; folding doors are better adapted to this game, as they give a larger space for action.

The room in which the spectators are seated should be darkened; but in the room back of the curtain, where the Giant exhibits, should be placed on the floor, a bright lamp or candle, with a reflector, either of polished tin or a looking glass. Any one standing between the light and curtain, appears immense in all his proportions, as his reflection is cast upon the sheet. Let the person acting as the Giant first open his hands and spread his fingers wide, and let them appear at the bottom of the curtain, and gradually rise till the shadow of his whole body is exhibited between the light and the curtain. He will appear to rise from the cellar; then let him jump over the light, to the rear of the reflector, and it will seem as if he jumped upwards through the ceiling.

Many amusing scenes can be thus contrived, articles of furniture, etc., etc., can be called down from above by simply passing them over the light. Dolls can be used with great effect. The Giant can appear to swallow them—or destroy the pigmy race. Care should be taken to keep the profile on the screen or curtain as distinct as possible. Some call this game “The man in the moon came down too soon.”



This feat is performed by means of confederacy. Having privately apprised your confederate that when you strike one blow, it signifies the letter A; when you strike two, it means B; and so on for the rest of the alphabet; you state to the company that if any one will walk into the adjoining room, and have the door locked upon him, perhaps the animal may appear which another person may name. In order to deter every one except your confederate from accepting the offer, you announce at the same time that the person who volunteers to be shut up in the room must be possessed of considerable courage, or he had better not undertake it. Having thus gained your end, you give your confederate a lamp, which burns with a very dismal light, telling him, in the hearing of the company, to place it on the middle of the floor, and not to feel alarmed at what he may happen to see. You then usher him into the room, and lock the door. You next take a piece of blank paper and a pencil, and, giving them to one of the party, you tell him to write the name of any animal he wishes to appear to the person shut up in the room. This being done, you receive back the paper, and after showing it around to the company, you fold it up, burn it in the candle or lamp, and throw the ashes into a mortar (an iron one is the best), casting in at the same time a powder, which you state to be possessed of valuable properties. Having taken care to read what was written, you proceed to pound the ashes in the mortar, thus: Suppose the word written be “cat,” you begin by stirring the pestle around the mortar several times, and then strike three distinct blows, loud enough for your confederate to hear, and by which he knows that the first letter of the word is C. You next make[198] some irregular evolutions of the pestle around the mortar, that it may not appear to the company that you give nothing but blows, and then strike one blow for A. Work the pestle about again, and then strike twenty blows, which he will know means T—finishing your manœuvre by working the pestle about the mortar, the object being to make the blows as little remarkable as possible. You then call aloud to your confederate, and ask him what he sees. At first he is to make no reply; after being interrogated several times, he asks if it is not a cat.

That no mistake be made, each party should repeat to himself the letters of the alphabet in the order of the blows. If he misses, you might go over, pretending you had forgotten some word in your incantations, as you can mumble to yourself when pounding. If your confederate is a good mimic, it would add to the amusement of all to mimic the sounds of the animal to appear to him.

I have seen this game differently performed. Your confederate, after any word has been chosen, returns to the room, and you give assurance that by your magical art you can inform him of the word. You then take a cane and draw a large circle, and at the same time repeat any absurd jingle or formula of words; then pretend to call up some ancient spirit, and by your raps on the floor tell your confederate your first letter. Then pretend to draw magical figures, and repeat anything you think of; pretend to listen for an answer; then call up some different spirit, and by your distinct raps express the second letter; and so on until the word is finished. This game can be made very amusing.


The principal performer attires himself in a robe, a paper cap, spectacles, and other appointments necessary to the outfit[199] of the “Wizard of the East.” He is armed with a magic wand, by means of which he is supposed to exercise his mysterious calling, and with which he makes a circle on the ground, muttering at the same time the unearthly words of some potent spell. After communing profoundly for some moments with some imaginary familiar, he appears to have decided, and touches one of his confederates with his wand, ordering him to go to the other end of the room, and there blindfold his eyes. This order executed, and the audience satisfied that the confederate is really blindfolded, the wizard orders him to guess the person on whom his wand shall rest. The wizard then proceeds to touch several persons lightly with the wand, saying at each, “The wand moves,” and at length allows it to rest on the shoulder of the one who spoke last (the key to the trick), exclaiming, “The wand rests.” The confederate will at once name the person touched (who, also being a confederate, has purposely spoken last). The latter takes the place of the person blindfolded, and the wizard goes through with the same form; his confederate exciting them to talk, he again touches the one who spoke last; the confederate names him correctly, and the person touched is blindfolded in turn. Unless he understands the game, he will have only chance to guide him, and will rarely guess correctly. Those who fail, pay a forfeit. Sometimes one of the confederates takes the place of the wizard, and further mystifies the company. This game, though simple, often puzzles a room full.


This is a practical pun:—You desire any one to stand on a chair or table, and you tell him that notwithstanding his[200] weight you will bring him down upon a feather. You then leave the room, and procuring a feather you give it to him, and tell him you have performed your promise, that you engaged to bring him down upon a feather, which you have done, for there is the feather, and if he looks he’ll find down upon it.


You profess yourself able to show any one what he never saw before, what you never saw, and what no one ever saw, and which after you two have seen, no one else ever shall see. After requesting the company to guess this riddle, and they have professed themselves unable to do so, produce a nut, and having cracked it, take out the kernel, and ask them if they have ever seen it before; of course they answer no; you reply, “Neither have I, and I think you will confess that nobody else has ever seen it, and now no one shall see it again;” saying which, you put the kernel into your mouth and eat it.


Let a lady be invested with as many wrappings as possible, but cloak, shawl, scarf, &c., must be put on wrong side before, so as to present the appearance of a “Turned Head.” She should be furnished with a muff, which she must hold behind her as nearly as possible in the usual manner, but her bonnet must be put on the proper way. Thus equipped she must enter the room backwards and pass around it in that manner. This can be used as a forfeit.



Statuary, when personated by intelligent ladies and gentlemen, can be made very amusing. Some witty gentleman, well versed in statuary, takes the part of showman. He first selects from the company those he wishes to assist him, being careful to select only such as can best control their countenances. After obtaining a number of sheets, he takes possession of a parlor, shutting the rest of the company out. He then arranges his assistants as statuary around the room as quickly as possible, covering each one, or each group, with a sheet; then throws open the door, and invites the company to a rare exhibition of statuary. After making a grandiloquent speech he uncovers a group, and gives as absurd a description as possible; so on through the whole.

As fun is the chief object, take for example some tall plain gentleman and place him with bow in hand for Cupid. For Diogenes, take a large wash tub and a boy in it, &c. Another diversion is to cover some ladies and gentlemen all but one eye with a sheet; then let the company guess who they are.


Arrange yourselves in a circle. The one who knows the game takes a cane in his left hand and pounds upon the floor with it, saying, “He can do little who can’t do this,” and passes the cane with his right hand to his right hand neighbor, who tries to do the same thing, but generally fails. The catch consists in quickly changing the cane from the left to the right hand before you pass it. Every one is then intent on your manner of pounding the cane on the floor. Change hands as carelessly as possible.



A person who understands the game proposes to another, who is ignorant of it, to be blinded with him and be “bobbed.” After being blindfolded they sit down in two chairs placed back to back. The one who knows the game then removes the bandage from his eyes and ties a knot in his handkerchief. The others join hands and go round them in a circle. The one not blindfolded carelessly hits the other with his handkerchief. The one struck of course, thinks himself hit by some one in the circle, and exclaims, “brother, I am bobbed.” The other says, “who bobbed you?” In answer he mentions the name of some one in the ring. They all call out, “you are wrong,” so he is bobbed till the fun is exhausted, he trying to guess the person who hit him and expecting to change places when he guesses correctly. The other pretends he is hit occasionally and calls out he is bobbed. It requires a good-natured person to take the joke pleasantly.


The difficulty of this game consists in guessing the meaning of two or more nouns, which sound alike but have different meanings, without any other help than the answers given to the above questions. It is played in the following manner. One of the company is sent out of the room and not recalled until her companions have agreed upon two words of similar sound, with which to puzzle her. When she comes in she asks, “How do you like it?” One answers, “very much indeed,[203]” or “I don’t like it early in the morning;” another says, “It is too noisy;” another, “It is too fond of fine clothes,” &c. She then asks, “When do you like it?” One answers, “At all times;” another, “When I feel hungry for my dinner;” another, “I want it when walking alone;” another, “When I want some wood brought for my fire,” &c. Lastly she asks, “Where would you put it?” One says, “I would hang it;” another, “I would shut it up in a church-tower;” another, “I would take it to a ball-room,” &c.

From such answers a witty little girl may guess that belle was the chosen word, (belle, a fashionable lady, and bell, an instrument of sound.) Such as do not guess must pay a forfeit. Many words might be chosen for this game, such as hair, hare; reign, rain; date, a fruit and date a period of time; whip to strike with, and whip to eat; pear, pair; heir, air; ale, ail; mason a brick-layer, mason a member of a secret society; beer, bier; see and sea.


All who join this game must be seated in a circle, first choosing a bird-catcher, who takes his or her place in the centre. He can give the name of a bird to each person, or each can select one, but each one must represent some bird, and one of the number must personate an owl. The bird-catcher then tells a story, introducing the names of different birds. Every bird when mentioned must immediately make a chirrup, crow, screech or splutter, peculiar to its species. The slightest delay or mistake is punished by a forfeit. Each player, until the owl is mentioned, must rest his hands on his knees; but when the owl is called, each player must instantly clasp his hands behind him. The bird-catcher tries to seize the hand[204] of one of the players before he raises it from his knee; if he succeeds, the person so caught must pay a forfeit or take the bird-catcher’s place, his name and place in the aviary being taken by the late officer. If he fails to entrap any one, he must pay a forfeit, and continue the story until he does, or has paid a certain number of forfeits; another then takes his place, either by lot or choice. The company must keep their hands behind them until some other bird is mentioned, when they must return them promptly. It is well to mention the owl twice in succession, but no one must change the second time; the owl must make his peculiar cry whenever he is mentioned. The following is a list of available birds, with sounds peculiar to them, taken from undoubted authorities:—

The Cock—“Cook a doodle doo.”

The Hen—“Cut, cut, cut, ca da cut.”

The Chicken—“Peep, peep, peep.”

The Turkey—“Gobble, obble obble.”

The Duck—“Quack, quack, quack.”

The Canary—“Pretty Dick.”

The Magpie—“Jack wants his dinner.”

The Sparrow—“Chip, chip.”

The Whippowill—“Whip po will.”

The Parrot—“Pretty Poll; Poll wants cracker.”

The Curlew—“Pe-wit, pe-wit.”

The Crow—“Caw, caw, caw.”

The Goose—“Hiss—s—s.”

The Raven—“Cro-a-ak.”

The Snowbird—“Chick-adee-dee.”

The Owl—“To-wit, to-wit, to-whoo.”

These sounds of course can be varied to suit the idea of the performer. Parrot and magpie can be made to speak as they wish. The raven may be made to say, “Never more,” according to Poe’s poem. But the sounds agreed upon at the beginning must not be changed during the game. Some[205] amusement can be gained by giving appropriate names to different persons. The owl could be given to the most learned in the company. The best singer, the nightingale, could be represented by a few bars of Jenny Lind’s melodies. The magpie could be given to a great talker. When all are ready the bird-catcher might commence in the following manner:—

I went out the other morning with my gun and nets to catch a few birds. I did not intend robbing a farm yard, but on the top of a railing I saw a fine cock; (“Cock a doodle do,”) there was nobody looking and I couldn’t resist it—when up came an enormous turkey. (“Gobble, obble, obble.”) Oh! Oh! said I, a turkey, (“Gobble, obble, obble”)—well a turkey (“Gobble, obble, obble”) is worth more than a little sparrow, (“Chip, chip,”) and there is more to eat on it than on a curlew, (“Pewit, pewit,”) and as I had made up my mind to steal a cock, (“Cock a doodle do,”) why not a goose, (“His, s, s,”) or a turkey. (“Gobble, obble, obble.”) I crept up to him, when all of a sudden a rascally magpie (“Jack wants his dinner”) flew out of a bush, making such an abominable noise that all the birds in the air (general cry without moving the hands) took flight at once. Off went the turkey (“Gobble, obble, obble”) on one side and the cock (“Cock a doodle do”) on the other, scattering a flock of ducks. (“Quack, quack.”) There was not a single bird in sight but the owl. (“To whit! to whit! to whoo.”) All hands up. [A forfeit given either by the unlucky bird-catcher who has not succeeded in catching a hand, or by a bird whose hand he has caught; in either case, he who remains, or becomes bird-catcher, continues.] As I was saying, the owl [dead silence except the sound of the owl, all hands still behind] began making an extraordinary noise, no doubt thinking himself the nightingale, [the nightingale sings a bar from the “Daughter[206] of the Regiment;” all hands down on the knees immediately. Forfeits from those too late, or in too great a hurry to replace them,] and all the birds in the air [general cry] flocked round again to see what the matter could be. Up came the crow, (“Caw, caw,”) the raven, (“Croak,” or “never more,” as agreed on) the wild duck, (“Quack! quack!”) even the farmer’s parrot, (“Pretty Poll,”) in fact, all the birds in the field, [dead silence.] “Oh! ho!” I said, “now I shall put some salt on you,” when to my horror, the beast of an owl—(“To whit, to whit, to whoo!”)—[all hands disappear as before, and the bird-catcher darts forward to catch some one. Whenever the bird-catcher says, “All the birds in the air”—every bird must answer at once.]


All take partners and sit opposite each other. Then one person whispers a different question in the ear of each on one side of the room, and another gives an answer to each on the opposite side. The first couple commence. One asks the question whispered to him, his partner gives the answer whispered to her. Each couple take turn in giving the questions and answers. A lady should direct the gentlemen, and a gentleman the ladies. Each side asks the questions alternately, the side that first asked the questions next making the answers.


The magician, or the person who wields the wonderful wand, has a confederate who retires from the room. In his absence, the company (the magician being present) agree upon some piece of furniture or other article, by which the[207] powers of the wand are to be tested. He is then called in and the magician points to various articles about the room. Whenever he points to any article except the one agreed upon, the confederate is sure to say “that is not it,” and he never fails to designate the right article when the wand is pointed towards it. This proceeding, which at first sight appears mysterious, is easily explained. When the magician points to the article agreed upon by the company he slightly changes the position of the forefinger of the hand in which he holds the wand, or makes some slight gesture previously agreed upon by him and his confederate. The confederate looks intently at every article pointed out and pretends to be thinking deeply, while the company are generally so intent on following his movements that they do not notice the almost imperceptible motions of the magician. If one of the company thinks he has detected the trick, he takes the confederate’s place, and sometimes finds himself mistaken. If the magician is a very mysterious personage he will be apt to magnetize the confederate at the beginning of the game.

The “Black Art” is another form of the same game. The magician next before pointing at the article agreed upon, points towards some object of a black color, and in that way gives the information to his confederate.


Where several are passing an evening quietly together, this game may afford much amusement. It is played as follows: Each one of the company writes a single word on a slip of paper; the more unusual and difficult the word is to rhyme with, the more amusement it makes. These slips of paper are placed in a hat, and each one of the company, in turn, draws one, and then writes a couplet, in which the word[208] drawn shall stand at the end of a line, and the word at the end of the other line shall rhyme with it. Of course, each may write as much more as he pleases. Where the company are witty and ready, and have a faculty of making verses easily, the game is a pleasant one. Epigrams on the company present, puns and good-natured hits, add much to the fun in this game.


This is one of the best of the games, though but little known. Such men as Canning, Wyndham and Pitt have played it; the latter two, indeed, were especially fond of it; so it does not lack recommendation. The rules of the game and its description are briefly these:

Two persons (usually a lady and gentleman), chosen by the company, privately fix upon an article or subject. Two others are then chosen to discover the subject so agreed upon, and they must do this by asking twenty questions as to its nature and qualities. A fifth person is usually selected as umpire, who is made acquainted with the subject fixed upon, and whose duty it is to see that all the questions are fairly put and answered. The questions are to be put plainly, though in the alternative, if desired, and the answers must be plain and direct. The object of the thoughts must not be an abstract idea, or anything so occult, or scientific, or technical, as to be beyond the reasonable information of the company, but something well known to the present day, or to general history. It may be, for example, any name of renown, ancient or modern, or any well known work or memorial of art, but not a mere event, as a battle, for instance. Of course, the discovery, if made, is to be the fair result of mental[209] inference from the questions and answers, not of signs passing, or juggling of any description.

Mr. Pitt is said to have once succeeded in this game, when the subject was The stone upon which Walworth, Lord Mayor of London, stood, when he struck down Wat. Tyler, in Richard II.’s time!

In a game in which Mr. Canning was the questioner, the questions and answers were as follows:—

First.—Does what you have thought of belong to the animal or vegetable kingdom?

Answer.—To the vegetable.

Second.—Is it manufactured, or unmanufactured?


Third.—Is it a solid, or a liquid?

Answer.—A solid.

Fourth.—Is it a thing entire in itself, or in parts?


Fifth.—Is it for private use, or public?


Sixth.—Does it exist in England, or out of it?

Answer.—In England.

Seventh.—Is it single, or are there others of the same kind?


Eighth.—Is it historical, or only existent at present?


Ninth.—For ornament, or use?


Tenth.—Has it any connection with the person of the king?


Eleventh.—Is it carried, or does it support itself?

Answer.—The former.

Twelfth.—Does it pass by succession? [Not answered,[210] on account of uncertainty; but, by agreement, the question was counted one in the progress of the game.]

Thirteenth.—Was it used at the coronation?


Fourteenth.—In the hall or abbey?

Answer.—Probably, in both; certainly in the abbey.

Fifteenth.—Does it belong specially to the coronation, or is it used at other times?

Answer.—It is used at other times.

Sixteenth.—Is it exclusively of a vegetable nature, or is it not in some parts a compound of a vegetable and a mineral?

Answer.—Exclusively of a vegetable nature.

Seventeenth.—What is its shape? [Objected to, as too particular; withdrawn by the questioner and therefore not counted.]

Seventeenth, repeated.—Is it decorated, or simple? [Objected to, but objection not sustained.]


Eighteenth.—Is it used at the ordinary ceremonial of the House of Commons or House of Lords?


Nineteenth.—Is it ever used by either House?


Twentieth.—Is it generally stationary, or movable?


Answer, guessed correctly at the end of the twentieth question: “The wand of the Lord High Steward.”


One person is chosen to preside. He must see that each player is provided with pencil and paper with which to write his replies to the questions announced by the president. The[211] questions are put in the order here given, and the answers must be numbered to correspond with the questions.


1. What virtue do you most admire?

2. What vice do you most abhor?

3. Who is your favorite prose author?

4. Who is your favorite poet?

5. Who is your favorite poetess?

6. What book do you prefer?

7. What is your favorite amusement?

8. What is your favorite economy?

9. What is your favorite extravagance?

10. What is your favorite color?

11. What is your favorite hour?

12. What is your favorite art?

13. What is your favorite picture?

14. What is your favorite statue?

15. What is your favorite season?

16. What is your favorite flower?

17. What is your favorite aim of life?

18. Who is your favorite hero?

19. Who is your favorite heroine?

20. Which is your favorite summer resort?

21. What is your favorite weakness?

22. What is the sweetest word in the world?

23. What is the saddest word?

24. What is your favorite man’s name?

25. What is your favorite woman’s name?

26. What is your prevailing characteristic?

27. What is your favorite piece of music?

28. What is your favorite occupation?

29. Which do you prefer, wealth or a competency?

30. Which is your favorite animal?


When all the answers have been written, the papers are collected by the President. No one is to see what answers have been written by any other person. After shuffling them together, the President reads them aloud, and each player guesses as to the authorship of each paper. Forfeits are sometimes collected, and the game prolonged in that way. This game cannot be well played except by persons who are well acquainted with each other.


This game is commenced by the choice of two Commanders, either by lot or by vote. As it is necessary for the success of the game to select the most skillful as the Commanders, each player should carefully consider the merits of all the others before casting his vote. One Commander is called Duke of York, and the other Duke of Lancaster. The Commanders draw lots for the first choice of men, and each Duke selects alternately a man from the players till the whole are drawn.

Each party marks out its fort by drawing semicircular lines; the forts should be in line, twenty paces apart, and each of them sufficiently large to hold easily one of the armies. Twenty paces in front of each fort should be drawn a semicircle larger than the fort, which is called the prison, the prisons and forts thus marking the four corners of a square.

The two Dukes then draw lots to decide which shall commence the game. If the Duke of York wins, he sends out one of his red-rose men, usually a new player, who must run at least beyond the line of the prison before he returns. As soon as he has started the other Duke sends out one of his men to pursue, and, if possible, to touch the red-rose runner[213] before he can regain his own fort. If this is accomplished, the successful runner returns to his fort, while the vanquished party must go to the enemy’s prison, from which he cannot stir until some one from his own side releases him, by touching him in spite of the enemy. This is not an easy task, as in order to reach the enemy’s prison, the player must pass by the enemy’s fort. It is allowable for the prisoner to stretch his hand as far towards his rescuer as possible, but he must keep his body within the bounds; and if several prisoners are taken, it is sufficient for one to remain within the prison, while the rest, by joining hands, make a chain towards the player who is trying to release them. [The Commanders in the commencement of the game must decide if they will allow this latter mode of escape.] When a rescue is thus accomplished, both the prisoner and his rescuer return to their fort, no one being allowed to touch them until they have reached then fort and again started out.

But the game is not restricted to the two originally sent out. As soon as either Duke sees one of his men pressed by an opponent, he sends out a third, who is in his turn pursued by another from the opposing side; each being allowed to touch any who have preceded, but none who have left their fort after him. The war soon becomes exciting; prisoners are made and released, the two Dukes watching the game, and rarely exposing themselves, except in cases of emergency, but directing the whole proceedings. The game is considered won, when one party has succeeded in imprisoning the whole of the other side.

Much depends upon the Commanders, who sometimes, by a bold dash, rescue the most important of their men, and thereby turn the fate of the battle; or when the attention of the opposite side is occupied by some hardly-contested struggle, send out a player who walks quietly up to the prison, and without attracting the notice of the opposing party, lets[214] out a prisoner. No player is permitted to touch more than one person until he has returned to his fort; when he can sally out again, armed with fresh strength, like Antæus of old, who could not be conquered at wrestling because whenever he touched the ground his strength was renewed by his Mother Earth.


This family game is instructive as well as amusing. Each one present writes a poem, anecdote, essay, or a letter to some person either present or absent. The articles written should be concise and must in all cases be original. Any one who chooses to do so can disguise his handwriting. The papers, as they are completed, are carefully folded and directed, and then deposited in a covered box placed on the table.

The post-master must be chosen by the company. He has the right to open all the letters and papers, first announcing to whom each is directed, and reads them aloud. After the reading, the papers are distributed according to the directions written upon them.

Young people who write for the “family portfolio” soon become very much interested in it, and find themselves acquiring a ready use of the pen.


Cut the word or words to be shown, out of a thick card or pasteboard; place it before a lighted lamp, and the writing will be distinctly seen upon the wall of the room.



This also is an old game, but should be revived, as it is as beneficial as many of the exercises in the gymnasium, and quite as graceful. It is of German origin, and can be played in the open air, or in any hall or long room.

To play the game you need four smooth, round sticks nearly three-quarters of a yard long. The stick at one end should be just large enough to be grasped firmly by the hand, and should be tapered gradually to the end. These sticks, or grace wands, may be prettily painted and wound near the large end, where they are held, with fancy ribbons. The hoops are from ten to twelve inches in diameter, made of some light wood, as bamboo, covered with bright colored silks and wound with silver cord or some tinsel chenille.

The game is usually played by only two players, each taking two wands and one hoop, and standing at a distance from each other; the two wands are held in the hands across each other like open scissors. The object is to throw and catch the hoop[216] upon these wands. When trying to catch the hoop the sticks are held like scissors shut, and are opened apart when the hoop is thrown from you. If you can crown your opponent without her catching the hoop, a kiss is the old-established forfeit. The object of the game, as in “Shuttlecock and Battledoor,” is to keep both hoops flying without once touching the floor. Beginners had better first play with only one hoop.


This is an excellent pastime for a large family, or several families can unite in it. Choose the most ready writer, and the person of the best judgment among your number, for the editor. He must also be a good penman. Your paper can be a weekly or a monthly journal as you please. Every member of the family must contribute one or more articles for the paper, either serious, laughable, instructive or absurd pieces, and give to the editor in season for him to arrange his paper, and publish it at the appointed time. Such as wish to conceal their authorship must notify the editor, and he is bound in honor not to reveal the name of any writer without his permission. Large sheets can be procured, or two or more small ones can be used together. The paper can then be read aloud to the family, or each can read it separately. The family paper will be found to add another link to the home chain. All the papers thus prepared should be carefully preserved, and in after years they will prove a source of pleasure. Most vividly will they bring by-gone days before you.

A friend of mine lately told me of a newspaper of this description, edited by a nephew only eleven years of age. She said that its perfect regularity and neatness were beautiful to see. He printed the whole with a pen, and it was arranged[217] in proper newspaper form. The leading editorials first, followed by a letter from abroad, anecdotes, terrible accidents, telegraph news, marriages, deaths, advertisements, etc., etc. He was one of a family of nine. Every member of the family wrote for it, even a little girl of six wrote an anecdote about her pet lamb.


Games of Memory.

FRENCH and English exercises of the memory, such as the following, may serve to amuse some leisure hour. The first is entitled the “Grand Panjandrum:”—“She went into the garden to cut a cabbage leaf to make an apple pie; and at the same time a great she-bear coming up the street pops its head into the shop. ‘What! no soap?’ So he died, and she very imprudently married the barber; and there were present the Picininnies, and the Joblillies, and the Gurgulies, and the great Panjandrum himself, with the little round button at top; and they all fell to playing the game of ‘catch as catch can,’ till the gunpowder ran out at the heels of their boots.”

“Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked;
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
Where is the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?”

“When a twister twisting would twist him a twist,
For twisting his twist three twists he will twist;
But if one of his twists untwists from the twist,
The twist untwisting untwists the twist.”


“Didon dina, dit on, du dos d’un dodu dindon.”

“Robert Rowley rolled a round roll round;
A round roll Robert Rowley rolled round;
Where rolled the round roll Robert Rowley rolled round?”

A Frenchman having taken herb tea for a cough, his neighbor asked him, “Ton Thè, t’a t’il otè ta toux?”


Le vient du jardin de ma tante. O, qu’il est beau le jardin de ma tante! Dans le jardin de ma tante, il y a un arbre. O, qu’il est beau l’arbre du jardin de ma tante! Dans l’arbre du jardin de ma tante, il y a un trou. O, qu’il est beau le trou, de l’arbre du jardin de ma tante! Dans le trou, de l’arbre, du jardin, de ma tante, il y a un nid. O, qu’il est beau le nid, du trou, de l’arbre, du jardin de ma tante! Dans la nid, du trou, de l’arbre, du jardin, de ma tante, il y a un oiseau. O, qu’il est beau l’oiseau du nid, du trou, de l’arbre, du jardin, de ma tante!

L’oiseau du nid, du trou, de l’arbre, du jardin, de ma tante, porte dans son bec un billet, ou ces mots sont écrits:—“Je vous aime,” O, qu’ils sont doux ces mots, “Je vous aime,” qui sont écrits sur le billet porté dans le bec, de l’oiseau, du nid, du trou, de l’arbre, du jardin, de ma tante.


1. A good fat hen.

2. Two ducks and one good fat hen.

3. Three squalling wild geese, two ducks, and one good fat hen.


4. Four plump partridges, three squalling wild geese, two ducks, and one good fat hen.

5. Five hundred Limerick oysters, four plump partridges, three squalling wild geese, two ducks, and one good fat hen.

6. Six pairs of Don Alphonso’s tweezers, five hundred Limerick oysters, four plump partridges, three squalling wild geese, two ducks, and one good fat hen.

7. Seven hundred Macedonian horsemen drawn up in line of battle, six pairs of Don Alphonso’s tweezers, five hundred Limerick oysters, four plump partridges, three squalling wild geese, two ducks, and one good fat hen.

8. Eight cages of Heliogabulus sparrowkites, seven hundred Macedonian horsemen drawn up in line of battle, six pairs of Don Alphonso’s tweezers, five hundred Limerick oysters, four plump partridges, three squalling wild geese, two ducks, and one good fat hen.

9. Nine sympathetic, epithetic, didactic propositions, eight cages of Heliogabulus sparrowkites, seven hundred Macedonian horsemen drawn up in line of battle, six pairs of Don Alphonso’s tweezers, five hundred Limerick oysters, four plump partridges, three squalling wild geese, two ducks, and one good fat hen.

10. Ten helioscopic, peroscopic, pharmaceutical tubes, nine sympathetic, epithetic, didactic propositions, eight cages of Heliogabulus sparrowkites, seven hundred Macedonian horsemen drawn up in line of battle, six pairs of Don Alphonso’s tweezers, five hundred Limerick oysters, four plump partridges, three squalling wild geese, two ducks, and one good fat hen

11. Eleven flat bottomed fly boats floating from Madagascar to Mount Prunello, ten helioscopic, peroscopic, pharmaceutical tubes, nine sympathetic, epithetic, didactic propositions, eight cages of Heliogabulus sparrowkites, seven hundred Macedonian horsemen drawn up in line of battle, six[221] pairs of Don Alphonso’s tweezers, five hundred Limerick oysters, four plump partridges, three squalling wild geese, two ducks, and one good fat hen.

12. Twelve European dancing masters sent to Egypt to teach the Egyptian mummies to dance and sing, eleven flat bottomed fly boats floating from Madagascar to Mount Prunello, ten helioscopic, peroscopic, pharmaceutical tubes, nine sympathetic, epithetic, didactic propositions, eight cages of Heliogabulus sparrowkites, seven hundred Macedonian horsemen drawn up in line of battle, six pairs of Don Alphonso’s tweezers, five hundred Limerick oysters, four plump partridges, three squalling wild geese, two ducks, and one good fat hen.



Parlor Games.

SQUAILS is a modern English game. The incompleteness of the original rules, and the ridiculous terms employed in the game have prejudiced many sensible people against it. Relieved of these absurdities, the game is an interesting one.


The materials for this game consist of sixteen squails, a target, and a gauge. The squails are small discs of wood, about two inches in diameter, eight of light and eight of dark colored wood. The squails are designated by four distinct colors—two light and two dark of each color. The target is of ivory, about one inch in diameter, and loaded so as not to be easily moved or overturned. The gauge is a measure three inches long, made with a convenient handle.

The method of the game is as follows: The company being seated around a dining table, the squails are distributed to them, and the target placed in the center of the table. Now the object of each player is to drive his squails as near[223] the target as possible, by allowing the squail to project over the side of the table about one-fourth its size, and striking it with the palm of the hand.

Vocabulary of Terms.

Target.—The movable hub at which the squails are played.

Gauge.—The measure.

Line of Demarcation.—An imaginary line round the table, at the distance of the length of the gauge from the edge.

Out.—A squail struck over the line of demarcation on the opposite side from the player striking it, is “out.”

To Rout.—To strike a collection of enemy’s squails so as to scatter them about.

To Blockade.—To leave one’s squails in such a position as to block up a passage in which the next hostile player could play to advantage.


To Cut Out.—To leave one’s squails between the target, a hostile squail lying near it.


The game of squails may be played by any number of persons not exceeding eight. If the number of players is even, half will play on one side and half on the other—one side taking the light squails and the other the dark ones. The players of the opposing sides must be seated alternately round the table. If there is an uneven number of players, there are no sides, and all are antagonistic to each other.

A captain is chosen on each side, to whom the players may look for advice, and who shall decide the amount to be scored at each round.

The first play, if there are sides, is determined by the two captains playing one squail each at the target, the one who drives his squail nearest to the target having the first play. If an odd number play, each one plays in a like manner for the lead. The lead being determined, the commencing player places one of his squails about one quarter off the edge of the table, and strikes it with the palm of his hand, aiming at the target which is in the center of the table. The squails slide on the surface of the table.

The players must play one at a time in rotation, with the course of the sun—i. e. from right to left. When all the squails have been played a round is finished, and the nearest squail to the target counts one if within the distance of the gauge. If more than one of the same side are nearer than any of the other color, they all count one each, provided they are within the distance of the length of the gauge—i. e. three inches. A player can strike his squail from any position around the table which he can reach without moving from his chair, or rising from his seat.


If the target is moved by a squail from its place, and does not cross the line of demarcation, it must remain where it stops, unless it is rolling and unsteady; in which case the next player can stand it firmly in the place where he finds it, and all must play at it in its new position till that round is finished. Before commencing a new round the target must be placed back to the center of the table.

At the end of a round, the captain of one side makes his claim for so many “in,” and if the claim is disputed, the gauge is used by the disputing captain to measure the distance from the target to the disputed squails. If the captain of the side who claims one or more squails “in” at the conclusion of the round touches them before they have been allowed by the captain of the opposition, the squail or squails so touched are null, and do not count towards the game. The winner of one round begins the next.

If the target is struck across the line of demarcation, i. e. “out,” it terminates that round; the person who sent it out commences the next round, and one is added to the score of the adversary.

The game can consist of any number agreed upon by the players. Five is a short game, and eleven is a long one.

A squail having been struck so far on the table as not to be touched by the gauge, measuring from the edge of the table, is considered as played, and cannot be taken back. It is then said to have passed the line of demarcation. If a squail passes the line of demarcation twice, i. e. goes across the table, one of the opposing side must cry, “That squail is out,” before the next squail in succession has been played, otherwise, the owner may claim it, and play it again at the conclusion of the round. If more than one squail is “out,” and not cried, they may all be claimed and played at the end of the round in the order in which they were “out.”



The materials of this game are one white ball, and a number of other balls, designated by four distinct colors. It is played as follows: Place the white ball on the floor near one end of the room with perhaps a row of books behind it, to protect the finish.

Divide the remaining balls equally among the players, or give an equal number of balls to each player. If four play, it is more interesting to form sides, the two players on one side taking the dark balls, and the other two the light ones. Blue and black are considered dark—red and yellow, light. The players, retiring to some part of the room more or less distant from the white ball, now bowl the colored balls, which they hold, at the white one, by turns. Each player bowls one ball at a time, the play passing around the company as many times as there are colored balls for each player. The first bowl goes by turn, as the last bowl is the most valuable. The object of each player is to have the balls[227] that he bowls rest as near as possible to the white one, and also to drive his enemy’s balls away from the white one, or the white one away from them. When all the balls have been bowled, the ball that lies nearest the white one counts 4; the one next nearest, 2; and the third nearest, 1—to the person or side to which they belong. Thus, we will suppose that of the three balls lying nearest to the white ball, the nearest one belongs to the dark side, and the two next nearest belong to the light side. Then the dark side scores 4, and the light side 2 and 1, making 3. But if the three nearest balls had belonged to the dark side, they would have scored 7, and the light side nothing. The game may be 20, or any other number agreed upon by the players before commencing, and the player or side that gains that number first wins the game. Should the game be nearly equal, so that both sides gain 20 in the same hand, then the side that makes the greatest number wins. The white ball must remain wherever it is rolled by the playing of the balls during each hand and placed back on some designated spot at the commencement of each hand. If two balls belonging to opposite parties are equally distant from the white ball, it is a tie, and the two players who bowled those balls must try again, and the one whose ball is nearest will count 4, the other 3.


This is an excellent parlor game. Any person possessing a croquet board, by taking out the hoops, can use it for the Union game, although a square or round board is better; if square, the board should measure from three and a half to four feet each way; if round, from three and a half to four[228] feet in diameter. The board should be firmly made of well seasoned wood, and covered with cloth or green baize. It should have a rim or fence around the edge, just sufficient to prevent the balls from rolling off the board. It is necessary to have three cubes made of some light wood, about an inch and a half each way; one should be painted red, one white, and one blue, with a star on each face.

Each player should have three balls, painted red, white and blue, and a mallet. The balls and mallets may be the same used in parlor croquet. If this game is played on a board, it is necessary, in order to avoid any disputes, to have a square marked in the centre in which to place the cubes. A croquet board can be adapted to the game by removing the central hoop.

All persons, who prefer not to use a board, can play the game on the floor, by placing the cubes on some central figure of the carpet. By using larger blocks and the croquet balls and mallets, this game can be played on a level spot of ground, in the open air.

How the Game is to be Played.

Place the red cube in the centre of the board, the white diagonally on top of the red, and on top of the white place the blue cube, with its sides square with the red. The person to commence the game is chosen by lot. He places his red ball at the distance of a mallet’s head from the edge of the board, and tries to send his ball against the cubes in the centre; he can roll his three balls in succession, and at the end of his play take back his balls and replace the cubes, if their position has been changed by his play. The player on his left then plays his three balls, and each in turn, until all have played. The same thing is repeated until three rounds have been played.


Rules of the Game.

1. Each player must play from the place he first selects, and at the same distance from the cubes as the other players, or forfeit his play.

2. If a player with his red ball throws down the blue and white cubes and moves the red cube over the square marked, it counts him 20, and he need not play the white or blue ball, but whatever points he wins during the second round with the first two balls counts on the first roll.

3. If a player only throws down the blue and white cubes without moving the red from its square, he counts 15.

4. If a player only knocks off the blue cube, he counts 10.

5. If a player only moves the three cubes, he counts 5.

6. If a player with the first two balls throws down two cubes and moves the under red cube, his play is finished for that round, and when his next turn comes, he can add what he wins with the first ball to the count on his former play.

7. If a player knocks the three cubes down in the three rolls, he counts 20, and if he only knocks down two in three rolls without moving the red, he counts 15; if only the blue cube he counts 10; if he merely moves them all together he counts 5 for the three balls; if he hits them but does not move them he counts nothing.

8. If in rolling the three balls at the cubes he misses them every time, he loses 5 from his score.

One of the company should be provided with pencil and paper and keep an accurate account of each player’s score.


The Zoetrope is a newly invented toy. It presents a series of striking optical delusions, and is constructed in part on the[230] principle of the Phenakestoscope, though altogether different in its arrangement and effect. It can be exhibited on a table in the middle of a room, and a dozen or more can be amused by it at the same time, one of the party keeping it in motion. The exhibitor can give such description of the pictures as they appear as he thinks best. A bright boy or girl can add very much to the interest of the exhibition by witty descriptions. The exhibitor can announce his performance to a family party in a high-flown handbill, charge an admission fee to the room, and carry out the exhibition in the most approved style. The toy is admirably adapted for the entertainment of children.


In reading an account of the toys, sports and pastimes of the ancient Greeks, one is surprised at their resemblance to[231] our own. They had many games now in common use, and supposed to be of modern invention. A Grecian philosopher named Archytas invented the child’s rattle.

Our children would like to revive the hoops of the ancient Greeks. They surely were more tasteful than ours. I will describe them, and perhaps some enterprising boy will try to imitate, if not surpass them. They were made of bronze, three feet in diameter, very light, and adorned with little spherical bells and movable rings, which jingled musically as the hoops rolled along; the hoop stick was crooked at the point, and called a “plectron.”

Boys! do not be outdone by the young Greeks. Try and invent a hoop with bells of different tones, that will play a melody as it rolls. Some iron hoops have bells, but they are not musical. The Egyptians, too, excelled in toys of all kinds.


Jack-straws were played centuries ago, and like many other good old games, have come into fashion anew and with some improvements. The game may be played with straws or fine splinters of wood, four or five inches in length. The straws are gathered in a bunch, not tied, but held firmly together by one end of the bunch, in the hand, a few inches above the table. Held in this manner the bunch will be spread at the bottom, somewhat in the form of a haystack. The player suddenly drops the bunch, and the straws fall in an irregular heap on the table. Each player is provided with a straw or stick, on one end of which a small hook or crooked pin is made fast, and each in turn tries to draw with his hook a single straw from the heap without moving in the slightest degree, any straw except the one he seeks to remove. If he[232] succeeds, he keeps the straw, and proceeds to draw out another or others, but whenever he disturbs any other than the one straw he gives up his turn to his opponent. The one who gains the largest number of straws wins the game.

The jack-straws sold in the toy shops are usually made of wood, and each bunch contains pieces roughly representing kings, queens, bishops, &c. Each of these pieces has a number marked on it, and when one of them is drawn from the heap, it counts for the player as many straws as its number indicates. If the players so agree, each can gather up the straws, as often as his turn comes, and drop them anew.



Games for Little Children.

DANCE, THUMBKIN, DANCE! is a game by which an older person can amuse a number of little children. It is played by holding up the hand and bending thumb and fingers in the following manner. First, put the thumb in motion, singing in a lively tune, “Dance, thumbkin, dance;” then keep the thumb still and move the four fingers, singing, “Dance, ye merry men, every one, for thumbkin he can dance alone.” Then move the forefinger and sing, “Dance, foreman, dance!” Then move all the fingers, singing, “Dance, ye merry men, every one, for foreman he can dance alone.” Then keep the second finger in motion, singing, “Dance, middleman, dance!” Then move all the fingers, singing, “Dance, ye merry men, every one, for middleman he can dance alone.” Then in the same manner repeat the process with the two other fingers, calling the third finger “ring-man,” and the fourth finger “little-man.” When these changes are done rapidly, it entertains even babies.



All the children who join this game must stand in a circle holding each others’ hands, and as they walk or dance around they sing the following words:

“Uncle John is very sick. What shall we send him?
A piece of pie, a piece of cake, a piece of apple dumpling.
What shall we send it in? In a golden saucer.
Who shall we send it by? By the king’s daughter.
D-o-w-n, down.”

Then all must kneel down as quickly as possible, and rise up at once, the one who is the last to kneel must, when they all rise, whisper to some one a girl’s or boy’s name, and then all join in the circle, the one who knelt last facing outwards. Then they all repeat as follows, making use of the name whispered:

“J—— B—— so they say
Goes a courting night and day,
Sword and pistol by his side,
M—— L—— shall be his bride,
She has sparks, one, two, three,
I can tell you who they be,
Joel, Toel, half a day,
Exel, Toel, turn away.”

All again commence to sing “Uncle John is very sick,” &c., this continues until each one faces outwards in turn or they are weary of it.


This is a new and amusing game for little children. One among their number must be chosen to take the part of “Mother Goose,” and she must arrange her forces in a line, and place a cricket in the centre of the room. She then leads off, clapping her hands and dancing slowly, saying, “Hi, diddle,[235] diddle, the cat’s in the fiddle.” All must follow her, saying and acting exactly as she does, on penalty of a forfeit. She then imitates the mewing of a cat and all imitate her. She then repeats “the cow jumped over the moon,” and “Mother Goose” runs and jumps over the cricket, all the others following her. Again they pass round the room singing, “The little dog laughed to see the sport.” Suddenly she stops and laughs heartily, each one imitating her, and away they go again, singing, “The dish ran away with the spoon.” “Mother Goose” then claps her hands as a signal for all to run, and off they start, she after them; if she succeeds in catching one, she cries out, “Here is Mother Goose,” and all assemble round her, and the play commences again. If played in the open air, it is well to have some post or tree as a goal, and if “Mother Goose” does not catch some one before it is reached, she has to act her part again.


All the girls in the party arrange themselves behind chairs, sofas, ottomans, &c., all the boys being sent out of the room, one girl stands as door-keeper. Some girl then calls out the name of a boy whom she wishes to take the seat in front of her, the door-keeper opens the door and calls out the name. The boy called enters and the door is shut; he looks all around wondering who has chosen him, and finally takes a seat. If he happens to sit down in front of the girl who called his name she kisses him, and he keeps his seat; but if not, as is most likely to be the case, they all clap him out, and away he goes. Another is then chosen and the same thing is gone through; sometimes a favorite boy will be called in a number of times before he guesses correctly. When all the girls have taken their turn in calling, they leave the room, and the boys take their stand behind the seats, and the girls are called in.



Three [fingers, one thumb,] keep moving. Three, &c.

Four [fingers, one thumb,] keep moving. Four, &c.

Five [fingers, one thumb,] keep moving. Five, &c.

Six [fingers, one thumb,] keep moving. Six, &c.

Seven [fingers, one thumb,] keep moving. Seven, &c.

Eight [fingers, one thumb,] keep moving. Eight, &c.

Eight [fingers, two thumbs,] keep moving. Eight, &c.

Eight [fingers, two thumbs and one arm,] keep moving. Eight, &c.

Eight [fingers, two thumbs and two arms,] keep moving. Eight, &c.

Eight [fingers, two thumbs, two arms and one foot,] keep moving. Eight, &c.

Eight [fingers, two thumbs, two arms, and two feet,] keep moving. Eight, &c.

Eight [fingers, two thumbs, two arms, two feet, and your head,] keep moving. Eight, &c.

The words in brackets must be sung on one note, as in chants; and each line must be repeated three times, as arranged under the above notes. The person selected to commence this game must arrange all the players in a circle, either seated or standing as he directs. Each must follow the motions of the leader, and join him in singing. When the[237] leader is ready to commence the game he must clap his hands. He then begins to move his fore-finger and thumb, and sings the words as arranged at the beginning of these directions. All the motions he makes must correspond with the words he sings, and each player must imitate his motions, and continue them through the game. All the fingers, thumbs, arms, feet and heads in the room will soon be in motion. The effect of this game is quite laughable. The persons joining in this play can recite the words without singing, if they prefer.


This play consists in telling a story for the amusement of little children, and at the same time drawing figures on a slate or paper in illustration of it. For instance, “An old man and his wife lived in a little cabin. I will draw it with my pencil, so that you may know it. There it is, (here make a picture of the cabin.) This cabin had a window, which I will make thus, (here put in the window.) Near the window was a projecting door, like this, (here put in the door.) On the side opposite the door was a road, bordered on one side by a hedge, (draw the road and hedge.) This road terminated in a large pond, (mark out the pond,) and herbs grew round it, (mark them.) One night some robbers came to the further end of the pond, (make some marks for robbers.) The old woman heard them and told her husband to get up and see what was the matter. The old people walked down to the side of the pond, (make marks for the old people on the side of the pond.) Each of them held out a hand to caution the other to keep silence, (mark the hands.) But they did not hear anything, for the robbers had taken fright and had run away. After standing out in the cold for a long time, the old[238] man said to his wife, ‘Go along back to the house, you are nothing but a goose.’ At this point you hold up your paper and it will be seen that you have made a picture of a goose. The subjoined cut illustrates the progress of the picture.”

While telling the story you must be careful that the lookers-on see the growing picture sideways, or upside down; otherwise they may suspect your design before the picture is complete. Other simple stories can be illustrated in like manner.


Promptness is very necessary in this game. Any number of children excepting seven, both girls and boys, seat themselves round a table, or in a circle. One begins the game by saying, “One!” the child on the left says “two!” so on till they come to seven, which number must not be mentioned, but in place thereof the word “Buzz!” Whenever a number occurs in which the figure seven is used or any number into which seven may be multiplied, “Buzz” must be used instead of that number. Such are the numbers, 7, 14, 17, 21, 27, 28, 35, 37, 42, &c., &c. Any one mentioning a number with seven in it instead of “Buzz,” or calling out of turn, or naming a wrong number, must pay a forfeit. After she has paid her forfeit, she calls out, “One!” and so it goes round[239] again to the left. When by a little practice the circle gets as high as seventy-one, then, “Buzz one,” “Buzz two,” &c., must be used, and for seventy-seven, “Buzz-Buzz,” and so on. If the person whose turn it is to speak delays longer than while any one of the circle can moderately count five, she must pay a forfeit.




Suppose there was a pond, around which four poor men build their houses, as in figure one. Suppose four wicked rich men afterward built houses around the poor people, as in figure two, and wished to have all the water of the pond to themselves. How could they build a high wall, so as to shut out the poor people from the pond? You might try on your slate a great while and not do it. I will show you:



Give your girls a number of substantial dolls to play with, and pieces of cotton cloth, calico or muslin-delaine, ribbons, &c., with which to make dresses; and do not buy elegantly dressed dolls, which can only be used on great occasions. I will tell you how a little girl I once knew played dolls. Her first doll was a “rag baby” that her aunt made and dressed for her, like a real child. She had even a night-dress and cap. She would amuse herself by hours together, dressing, undressing and singing it to sleep; she would have it in her arms every night. As she grew older she carefully treasured all bits of finery, and everything she could manufacture into clothing for her doll. A little girl lived near and they used to visit daily with their dolls. Christmas always added to their treasures, and they finally concluded to join forces and commence a baby-house on a large scale in a spare room. They had a parlor, dining-room, bed-rooms, kitchen and pantry, all completely furnished, and a dozen nice dolls. Every leisure moment was spent in this baby-house. They had regular washings and ironings. They had little tubs and flat-irons of their own. They baked bread, cookies and ginger-cakes, for their mother’s cook would good-naturedly show them how to mix and make wee bits of loaves. A thimble was often used as a cookie or biscuit cutter.

Such plays give girls a taste for domestic employments, and aid them in becoming good housekeepers, and good housekeeping is always a desirable and sometimes a very necessary accomplishment.

They would often “play school,” and in asking questions, and answering for their dolls, the lessons they were taught at school, were more firmly impressed on their minds.


If they had birthday parties, company was always invited at two; and their “party” (that is, refreshments,) were served at half-past four in Winter, and five in Summer. Beaux they did not think of. If little boys joined them, they were their playmates, and no more. They always took their dolls, and after playing simple games they would resort to them as their chief amusement.


If boys desire a hammer, nails, boards, &c., do not deny them. When a baby girl commences to play with a doll, a baby boy will pound, or pretend to hammer nails, or drive horses. It is useless to attempt to make boys love quiet sports. Set aside some spare spot in your house, where the noise will not disturb your household, or, what is better, build a little work-room especially for their use. It will be money well invested. Thus by early cultivating their tastes and by giving them employment, seed may be sown which will yield an abundant harvest.

Mothers! do not, by yielding to your over-sensitive nerves, stupefy your boys. If they are good for anything, they must and will make a noise. It is better to let them have a place of their own, but you should frequently inspect their work or play, and let them see you are interested in all they do. If they make you a flower frame, praise it, and if they show a taste for mechanics suggest to them other useful articles to be constructed, such as boxes, silk-winders, &c. When you make presents give them tools. Encourage them also by judicious rewards, to keep their room neat and their tools in order.


The following simple directions for making a few useful articles may be of service to boys who like to exercise their mechanical ingenuity.

Flower Frames.

Simple frames are made by taking two long narrow strips of wood and several small ones of different lengths, and nailing the latter to the long ones at equal distances apart, or a still better way is to make holes in the long strips and insert the ends of the short ones. When they are finished paint them green. These frames can be made in the form of a partly opened fan. A square frame can easily be made. The prettiest frames are made of willows, wire, or rattans. Take strips of wood and burn or bore holes through them at equal distances. Then insert the wire, or rattan, or willow, and twist them around in different forms, fastening the ends firm; then paint or varnish them.


Pretty boxes can be made of any common wood, by simply staining them with asphaltum varnish. Then varnish with several coats of copal. After they are well dried, take some pumice-stone and polish them. If necessary, varnish carefully once again. Your common pine wood will then be turned into black walnut, highly polished. Picture frames, brackets, little book-racks, stands, crickets, and even sleds and wagons can easily be made by an ingenious boy, and stained in this manner or painted. Your sisters can ornament them with leather work made to imitate carved wood. If you are puzzled in making any of these articles, go to any workshop and the workmen will tell you how to make them, if you speak properly to them. Never say, my dear boys, you have nothing to do.



These are used by boys and girls in selecting the leaders of their games, instead of drawing lots. The following rhymes are in common use:

One is all, two is all,

Zick is all, zan;

Bob-tail vinegar,

Tickle ’em, tan.

Virginia Marum,


Little boy driving cattle,
Don’t you hear his money rattle?

One, two, three—out goes he.

Aina, maina, ickery on
Feelsa, folsa, Nicholas John
Quever, quaver, English naver,
Stingum, stangum, jollo buck.

Aina, maina, mona, mike,
Barcelona, bona, strike;
Airy, wairy, dina, snack,
Harico, barico, wee, wa, wack.

One-ry, two-ry, dis-cum dary,
Hackibo, crackibo, Henry Lary;
Dis-cum dandy, American time,
Humelum, jumelum, twenty-nine.

Hitum, titum, little Kitty,
Hop-um, skip-um, jumpey daily;
Roly, poly, dilly, dally,
He, hi, ho, diddle-dum buck.

Lo-po, hi, do, de, ti, to, tu,
Hany, wany, zany zan, you’re the man.



A great many games for children and older persons end in forfeits. A few hints in regard to them may be of service. It is very foolish for any one to join a game unless he is willing to forget himself for the time, and join heartily in it. The game of forfeits, if well played, is amusing to old and young. Every one should be willing to redeem his or her forfeit without stopping to think whether it is foolish or not. A good, hearty laugh is healthful, and every sensible person ought to be willing to take his turn in amusing the company. A whole game may be ruined by the absurd actions of some one who foolishly refuses to redeem his forfeit, for fear of lowering his dignity or making himself ridiculous.

In choosing a judge of forfeits, it is necessary to select a person of quick perceptions and ready wit. The judge must be prompt in giving his decisions, and they who redeem their forfeits must be as expeditious as possible. Promptness is necessary to the success of all games. The following list of forfeits, collected from various sources, may assist the judge:

Let the judge give out a line with which the one who owns the forfeit shall make another line to rhyme, no matter how absurdly.

Laugh first, sing next, then cry, and lastly whistle.

Place your hands behind you and guess who touches them; you are not to redeem your forfeit till you guess right.

Stand with your heels and back close to the wall, then stoop without moving your feet, and pick up the forfeit.

Say “Quizzical, quiz, kiss me quick,” nine times without a mistake.

Ask the person who owns the forfeit, what musical instrument he likes best; then require him to give an imitation of it.


Ask the person what animal he likes best; then require him to imitate it, either by action or sound.

If a gentleman, he must put on a lady’s bonnet, and imitate the voice and manner of the lady to whom it belongs. If a lady, then she must take a gentleman’s hat and imitate his manner, (sometimes these imitations are very humorous. The use of some word or expression habitually employed by the person imitated adds largely to the sport.)

Go to service; apply to the person who holds the forfeit for a place as maid of all work. The questions then to be asked are: “How do you wash?” “How do you iron?” “How do you make a bed?” “How do you scrub the floor?” “How do you clean knives and forks?” &c. The whole of these processes must be imitated by motions, and if the replies are satisfactory the forfeit must be given up.

Put two chairs back to back, take off your boots or shoes and jump over them. (The fun consists in a mistaken idea that the chairs are to be jumped over instead of the shoes.)

It is said there is a person you have loved since a boy,
Whose hand you must kiss ere I give you this toy,
It is not your father, or mother, or sister,
Nor cousin, nor friend, take care not to miss, sir.


Make a low courtesy to each one in the room: if it is a gentleman, he must make a bow.

Recite several of Mother Goose’s melodies.

Make wry faces at every person in the room.

Admire yourself in the mirror.

Shiver and act the part of a person half frozen, or pretend to be nearly suffocated with heat.

Rush around the room and greet every one as if you had just arrived from a long and dangerous voyage.

If a gentleman, act the part of a village orator; if a lady, act the strong-minded woman.


(A gentleman’s and lady’s forfeit can be given together in many cases, making it more amusing as well as expeditious.)

Sing a song or repeat some high-flown poetry.

Perform the laughing gamut without a pause or mistake:

ha! ha!
ha! ha!
ha! ha!
ha! ha!
ha! ha!
ha! ha!
ha! ha!

Keep silence and preserve a sober face for several minutes, without regard to what may be said or done.

Kiss your shadow in every corner of the room without laughing.

Repeat, without mistake, any difficult sentence which the judge appoints.

Say to each person in the room, “You can’t say boo to a goose.”

Tell the person to point out on a wall what he supposes to be the height of an ordinary hat. If after measuring with a hat, he has (as is rarely the case,) guessed right, he wins his forfeit; but if not, he or she must wear the hat and bow or curtsy to every one in the room.

Yawn till you make several others yawn. (It is well to give this forfeit to one of the male sex with a large mouth. A large circle of people may be made to yawn by simply opening and closing the fingers slowly.)

Two can redeem their forfeits in this way. They must stand in separate corners of the room, each holding a lighted candle; one begins and walks toward the other, with her handkerchief to her eyes, saying in a most dismal tone, “The King of Morocco is dead! is dead!” The other in passing[247] by her, in the same attitude, sobs out, “Sad news! sad news!” Again, in the same way, both exclaim, “Alas! alas!” All must be said without laughing. The above penalty is often used as a game.

Place a candle on a table or piano. Then blindfold the person and place him just three paces from it, and directly in front of the light. Then he must whirl around three times, walk forward, and blow out the candle. This is amusing. A room full of persons may try it unsuccessfully. Being blinded, and then whirling around, bewilders one, and he will very likely walk in an opposite direction, and perhaps blow in some one’s face, feeling sure he is right.

A number of children may redeem their forfeits together, in this way:

This is the way we wash our clothes,

Wash our clothes,

So early Monday morning;
This is the way we wash our clothes,
So early Monday morning.

[While singing this they must pretend to wash.]

This is the way we rinse our clothes,

Rinse our clothes,

So early Monday morning;
This is the way we rinse our clothes,
So early Monday morning.

[With this verse they imitate rinsing, and with each verse they act the words they sing.]

This is the way we wring our clothes,

Wring our clothes,

So early Monday morning;
This is the way we wring our clothes,
So early Monday morning.

This is the way we hang out our clothes,

Hang out our clothes,

So early Monday morning;
This is the way we hang out our clothes,
So early Monday morning.


This is the way we sprinkle our clothes,

Sprinkle our clothes,

So early Monday evening;
This is the way we sprinkle our clothes,
So early Monday evening.

This is the way we fold our clothes,

Fold our clothes,

So early Monday evening;
This is the way we fold our clothes,
So early Monday evening.

This is the way we starch our clothes,

Starch our clothes,

So early Tuesday morning;
This is the way we starch our clothes,
So early Tuesday morning.

This is the way we iron our clothes,

Iron our clothes,

So early Tuesday morning;
This is the way we iron our clothes,
So early Tuesday morning.

This is a good game for young children.



Games and Popular Amusements,

Manufactured and Published by


247 Main Street, Springfield, Mass.

We can guarantee that in the nature and method of our games nothing will be found in the least objectionable to the most fastidious in such matters, but on the contrary, they are all moral and amusing, and many of them very instructive in History, Literature, Business, &c., &c.

We have made social home amusements a specialty for several years, and the extensive and rapidly increasing sales that our publications have already attained throughout the country, is gratifying evidence of the universal favor with which they have been received.

In this Catalogue we have not space to give even a brief description of each, but append the ages of persons for which the several games are best adapted, and the prices.

Those games marked thus * will be sent by mail on receipt of price. The rest cannot be safely sent by mail.

The New England and National Games.

CHECKERED GAME OF LIFE. Ages, 5 to 50. Price $1.00.

CHECKERED GAME OF LIFE. Extra, with muslin board and album box; elegant for a present; same game as above. $2.00.

*MODERN HIEROGLYPHICS. Three series; 10 and over. Each series 25 cents. No. 3 is new and interesting.

*PATRIOT HEROES; or, WHO’S TRAITOR? Historical, instructive, simple and amusing; 8 to 18. 60 cents.

*AUTHORS IMPROVED. Instructive; 10 and over. 50 cents.

*AUTHORS IMPROVED. Extra, presentation edition, in album box, superior cards, same game as above. $1.00.

*WHAT IS IT? OR, THE WAY TO MAKE MONEY. Lively and social; a Business Educator; 15 and over. 60 cents.

*DOMINO CARDS. Linen ivory board; 8 to 15. 25 cents.

*RUSSIAN DOMINOES. Five games; 8 and over. 50 cents.


*ALPHABETS BEWITCHED. Instructive; 4 to 20. 25 cents.

THE UNION GAME. Including Checkered Game, Chess, Checkers and Backgammon; 5 and over. $1.00.

MY GRANDFATHER’S GAMES. Standard; 5 to 15. 30 cents.

*THE MYRIOPTICON. A Miniature Panorama, immensely popular with the boys; 7 to 12. $1.25.

*DISSECTED PICTURES. Three pictures—Darkey going to mill, Minnie shaving her cat, Amy teaching her dog his letters; 5 to 12. 60 cents.


DISSECTED PICTURES. Two pictures; 5 to 12. 50 cents.

*CONTRABAND GYMNAST. Comical; 1 to 100. 20 cents.

*ALPHABETICAL LOTTO. Instructive; 4 to 12. 25 cents.

*CURIOUS BIBLE QUESTIONS. Sunday School Cards; Reward Cards, Bible series; for Sunday Schools and the family. Per package, 10 cents.

AMERICAN SQUAILS. Very popular; 8 to 100. $2.00. Our American Squails have improved target, and a common-sense set of rules, with respectable terms substituted for the disgusting terms used in the English game and its imitations in this country.

THE CENTRIPETON. For one or a dozen; 1 to 75. $2.50.

PARLOR CROQUET. From $10 to $50.

PARLOR BOWLS. For all ages. $1.50, $2.00, $2.75.

THE ZOETROPE; OR, WHEEL OF LIFE. Scientific; a big thing for a whole household. Two styles. $4.00, $5.00.

*CROQUET. Its Principles and Rules, for Lawn and Parlor. Illustrated. The latest and standard rules. 25 cents.


For Parlor Croquet, the board or table form is the only one that is really practicable, as the floor game is too destructive to furniture and finish.

Examine Bradley’s Patent Parlor Croquet, with Indexical Balls, Socket Bridges, and Rubber Cushion, before purchasing the game. There are no others so good for the same price.


The best active family game for the price. Inferior in interest only to Parlor Croquet. Our rules are original, and superior to any other rules for Bowls.


No toy was ever invented that sold as rapidly, or afforded one-half the amusement to young and old, as this.

It is constructed on PURELY SCIENTIFIC PRINCIPLES, and the comical and mirth-provoking effect is produced solely by OPTICAL ILLUSION.

It needs only to be seen to be appreciated.



Our Lawn Croquet has been acknowledged during the past season to be the best in the market, either FOREIGN or DOMESTIC.

We manufacture under three U. S. Patents, which secure to us the exclusive right to manufacture Croquet sets with Indexical Balls, Plated Bridges, or Socket Bridges, and we shall sustain our rights by legal force, if compelled to do so by continued infringements. In addition to our patented improvements, we warrant every set, with our stamp, to be of the best seasoned rock maple, and superior finish.

Send for a Catalogue to


Springfield, Mass.



The Game of Bezique Complete,



No. 41 John Street, New York.

Of all Card games ever invented, this one is perhaps the most interesting, if it is not the most scientific. It is especially a card game for the family circle, and familiar gathering of friends, calling out at once the interest, skill and social nature of its players. As a card game among ladies, it has no rival in their admiration. Whether the game was originated in the brilliant Court of Louis XIV., during the last part of the sixteenth century, by a Duchess—and the term Bezique has a personal signification relative to a singular marriage, which occurred at that time, of a lady of the highest rank and great beauty, to a Duke named Bezique—cannot be clearly affirmed, though it is accounted so, and appears quite likely, when we consider that the Knave card represented Dukes in the original game. Its origin is accredited to other sources, but we give the above, as it is the only account we have been able to gather that gives any explanation of the word Bezique. This game has been revived in the last few years among the French, with some alterations and additions, and has become a favorite Card amusement in the fashionable circles of Paris life. In the meantime it has been introduced in the United States, and, though at present it is played only by the few in the higher circles of society, it is rapidly making its popularity with all.

Put up in Rosewood and Satinwood Cases, beautifully inlaid, making an elegant Holiday Present, retails at $10 00
In handsome Colored Cloth Boxes, retails at 5 00
In Morocco Paper Boxes, gilt and very pretty, retails at 2 50

A Liberal Discount to the Trade.



This Monthly, begun in January, 1865, has already won the reputation of being “the best Juvenile Magazine published in any land or language.” Prominent Educators, distinguished Clergymen of all denominations, and the Press generally, have commended it in the highest terms. Its contents are always thoroughly interesting and healthy, at once variously attractive and useful.

The List of Contributors for 1867 will include, as heretofore, the names of the most distinguished writers of the country, and the Publishers will continue to rely for Illustrations upon the assistance of the best Artists and Draughtsmen. Among the particular matters of interest that relate to the new volume, may be mentioned the following:—

The Leading Story of the year will be contributed by Rev. Elijah Kellogg, author of the celebrated Speech of Spartacus to the Gladiators, etc., and will be a vivid picture of the life of American boys and girls a century ago, preserving the history of customs and manners which are now forgotten or unknown, and enlivened with anecdote and incident.

Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe, after completing Little Pussy Willow, will continue her regular monthly contributions.

Round-the-World Joe,” the popular contributor to the old “Schoolmate,” has been engaged, and will furnish a series of articles of adventure and observation in foreign countries.

Bayard Taylor’s tales of distant lands will be continued.

Mrs. A. M. Diaz has written several articles, of which one, William Henry’s Letters to his Grandmother, will be found especially entertaining.

Aunt Fanny” has supplied several stories which will be printed during the year.

P. H. C. will give several more of his favorite Lessons in Magic, some of which will take up a different class of experiments from those that have been previously explained.

Music.Each number of the next volume will contain a song, composed expressly for “Our Young Folks.” These songs will be written by Emily Huntington Miller, and each will be especially adapted to the month in which it appears.

Contributions will also be occasionally furnished by

H. W. Longfellow,
Capt. Mayne Reid,
Rose Terry,
E. Stuart Phelps,
C. D. Shanly,
J. H. A. Bone,
J. G. Whittier,
T. B. Aldrich,
Author of “Leslie Goldthwaite,”
Horatio Alger, Jr.,
Author of “Seven Little Sisters,”
Mary N. Prescot,
Louise C. Chollet,
J. Warren Newcomb, Jr.
Kate Putnam,
Jane R. Austin,
C. D. Gardette,
Julia C. R. Dorr,

and other well known and favorite writers.

The department of Illustration will remain under the supervision of Mr. A. V. S. Anthony, and the Publishers will spare neither trouble nor expense in giving the best pictures which can be obtained. Full-page Engravings from designs by Artists of the first estimation will be given regularly, and Colored Illustrations will be frequently supplied.

Terms of Our Young Folks.Single Subscriptions.—Two Dollars a year. Single Numbers, Twenty Cents. Clubs.—Three Copies for Five Dollars; Five Copies for Eight Dollars; Ten Copies for Fifteen Dollars; Twenty Copies for Thirty Dollars; and an extra copy gratis to the person forming the Club of Twenty.

Specimen Numbers sent to any address on receipt of Twenty Cents.

All letters respecting the Magazine should be addressed to the Publishers,


124 Tremont Street, Boston.

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Caroline L. Smith


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