ENTERTAINMENTS FOR HOME, CHURCH AND SCHOOL
BY FREDERICA SEEGER
EDITED BY THEODORE WATERS
ENTERTAINMENTS FOR HOME, CHURCH AND SCHOOL
CHAPTER I—HOUSEHOLD GAMES AND AMUSEMENTS Going Shopping, Hit or Miss, Game of Rhymes, Most Improbable Story, Animated Art, Guessing Character, Tongue Twisters.
CHAPTER II—HOUSEHOLD GAMES AND AMUSEMENTS French Rhymes, Ant and Cricket, A Spoonful of Fun, How, When and Where, Grandfather's Trunk, Predicaments, Auction, Beast, Bird or Fish, Rotating Globe, etc.
CHAPTER III—HOUSEHOLD GAMES AND AMUSEMENTS Flags of All Nations, Game of Words, Prince of India, Exchange, Shadow Buff, Old Family Coach, The Tailless Donkey.
CHAPTER IV—HOUSEHOLD GAMES AND AMUSEMENTS Magic Music, Cushion Dance, Animal Blind Man's Buff, Musical Instruments, My Lady's Toilet, Going to Jerusalem.
CHAPTER V—HOUSEHOLD GAMES AND AMUSEMENTS Tortoise, Lemon Pig, Seasick Passengers, Enchanted Raisins, Family Giant, Animated Telescope, etc.
CHAPTER VI—HOUSEHOLD GAMES AND AMUSEMENTS The What Do You Think, Knight of the Whistle, "Can Do Little," Throwing Light.
CHAPTER VII—CHURCH AND SCHOOL SOCIALS Charades, "Cicero," "Attenuate," Suggested Words, "Metaphysician," Charades on the Grecian Islands.
CHAPTER VIII—CHURCH AND SCHOOL SOCIALS Living Pictures, Tableaux, Dignity and Impudence, Sailor's Farewell, Home Again, Various Tableaux.
CHAPTER IX—CHURCH AND SCHOOL SOCIALS Wax Works Gallery, Mrs. Jarley's Collection, Chinese Giant, Two-Headed Girl, Captain Kidd, Celebrated Dwarf, Yankee Cannibal, etc.
CHAPTER X—CHURCH AND SCHOOL SOCIALS Art Exhibitions, List of Exhibitors, "Artists," Curiosities, Explanations, Suggestions.
CHAPTER XI—OPTICAL ILLUSIONS Raising the Ghost, Magic Lantern Pictures, Phantasmagoria, Chinese Shadows, Wonderful Mirror, Multiplied Money.
CHAPTER XII—TABLE GAMES FOR ADULTS Dominoes, Backgammon, Checkers, Jenkins, Zoo, Stray Syllables, Chess.
CHAPTER XIII—OUTDOOR GAMES FOR ADULTS Lawn Tennis, Polo, Hockey, Golf, Archery, Ring Toss, Lawn Bowls.
CHAPTER XIV—HOLIDAY GAMES AND AMUSEMENTS New Years, Lincoln's Day, Valentine Party, Easter Egg Party, Hallowe'en Games, Flag Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas.
CHAPTER XV—OUTDOOR GAMES FOR GIRLS Basket Ball, Box Ball, Guess Ball, Target Ball, String Ball.
CHAPTER XVI—PASTIMES FOR CHILDREN Sun Dial, Mother, May I Play? Blind Man's Buff, Tug of War, Various Ball Games.
CHAPTER XVII—INDOOR GAMES FOR YOUNG CHILDREN Patch Work, Peanut Game, Soap Bubbles, Candy Pulls, Cook and Peas, Magic Music, Zoology.
CHAPTER XVIII—OUTDOOR GAMES FOR YOUNG CHILDREN Bean Bag Games, Skipping the Rope, Various Tag Games, Crossing the Brook.
CHAPTER XIX—SINGING GAMES FOR CHILDREN Moon and Stars, Bologna Man, Orchestra, Jack Be Nimble, Oats, Peas, Beans, Farmer in the Dell, London Bridge, etc.
CHAPTER XX—GAMES OF ARITHMETIC Thought Numbers, Mystical Nine, Magic Hundred, King and Counselor, Horse Shoe Nails, Dinner Party Puzzle, Baskets and Stones, etc.
CHAPTER XXI—ONE HUNDRED CONUNDRUMS Witty Questions, Facetious Puzzles, Ready Answers, Entertaining Play Upon Words.
Games are meant to amuse, but in addition to amusing, a good game, played in the right spirit, may have great educational value.
Now, this is distinctly a book of games and amusements.
There are games for indoors, scores of them, while there are other scores that can be enjoyed only in the open.
When young folks, and older folks, too, for that matter, meet for a pleasant evening, it is rather depressing to have them sit solemnly on stiff chairs in the company room and stare helplessly at one another, like folks awaiting a funeral service.
Now, if there is present, and there usually is, a bright girl, who knows the games in this book, and she starts in to "get the ball a-rolling," all will soon be enjoying themselves better than if they were watching a three-ring circus. And then the volleys of wholesome laughter that will roll out—why, they will be better for the digestion than all the medicines of all the doctors.
It will be noticed that some of the outdoor games, and others devised for indoors, require some apparatus, like tennis and croquet, or back-gammon boards and magic lanterns, but the majority need only the company, and—let it be added—the disposition to have a good time.
Within the covers of "Entertainments for Home, Church, and School," you will find condensed and clearly set forth the best of a library of books on amusements.
ENTERTAINMENTS FOR HOME, CHURCH AND SCHOOL
HOUSEHOLD GAMES AND AMUSEMENTS
GOING SHOPPING—HIT OR MISS—GAME OF RHYMES—MOST IMPROBABLE STORY— ANIMATED ART—GUESSING CHARACTERS—TONGUE TWISTERS
A lively game of "talk and touch." The company is seated in a circle, and one who understands the game commences by saying to his neighbor at the right:
"I have been shopping."
"What did you buy?" is the required response.
"A dress," "a book," "some flowers," "a pencil"—whatever the first speaker wishes, provided always that he can, in pronouncing the word, touch the object mentioned. Then the second player addresses his neighbor in similar manner, and so on around the circle until the secret of the game is discovered by all.
Whoever mentions an object without touching it, or names one that has already been given, pays a forfeit.
LIGHTING THE CANDLE
This feat is a very amusing one, and is performed as follows: Two persons kneel on the ground, facing each other. Each holds in his left hand a candle in a candlestick, at the same time grasping his right foot in his right hand. This position compels him to balance himself on his left knee. One of the candles is lighted; the other is not. The holders are required to light the unlighted candle from the lighted one. The conditions are simple enough, but one would hardly believe how often the performers will roll over on the floor before they succeed in lighting the candle. It will be found desirable to spread a newspaper on the floor between the combatants. Many spots of candle-grease will thus be intercepted, and the peace of mind of the lady of the house proportionately spared.
HIT OR MISS
Great amusement is excited by this game when played in the presence of a company of guests. Spread a sheet upon the floor and place two chairs upon it. Seat two of the party in the chairs within reach of each other and blindfold them. Give each a saucer of cracker or bread crumbs and a spoon, then request them to feed each other. The frantic efforts of each victim to reach his fellow sufferer's mouth is truly absurd—the crumbs finding lodgment in the hair, ears and neck much oftener than the mouth. Sometimes bibs are fastened around the necks of the victims for protection.
The company is divided into two equal parts and blank cards and pencils are distributed. One side writes questions on any subject desired, while the other prepares in like manner a set of haphazard answers. The question cards are then collected and distributed to the players on the other side, while their answer are divided among the questioners. The leader holding a question then reads it aloud, the first player on the other side reading the answer he holds. Some of the answers are highly amusing.
THE GAME OF RHYMES
A variation of the former game. The game is begun by a young lady or gentleman speaking a single line, to which the next nearest on the left must respond with another line to rhyme with the first. The next player gives a new line, of the same length, and the fourth supplies a rhyme in turn, and so on. The game is provocative of any amount of fun and nonsense. A sample may be given:
1st Player.—I think I see a brindle cow. 2d Player.—It's nothing but your dad's bow-wow. 3rd. Player.—He is chasing our black Tommy cat. 4th Player.—Poor puss had best get out of that, etc.
Any amount of nonsense may be indulged in a game of this sort, within proper limits. Clever players can easily give the game a most interesting turn and provoke rhymes that are original and witty. Thus, a subject once started, every phase of it may be touched upon before the round closes.
THE MOST IMPROBABLE STORY
The players are seated in a circle and are provided with pencils and paper. It is then announced that this is a competition, and that the one who writes the most improbable story in fifteen minutes wins a prize. The allotted time being up, the papers are collected and re-distributed so that each players receives another player's story. The stories are then read aloud and a committee decides which is the most improbable story. A prize is usually given the writer of this.
A picture is selected showing a group of individuals and portraying some historical incident or event illustrative of the affairs of every-day life. The performers make up, each one to represent some character in the picture. Out of their number some one is chosen to act as stage manager and he poses the figures. Two rooms with folding-doors, or one room divided by a curtain, are required for this representation. A reflection, or footlight, will enhance the beauty of the picture.
One of the party leaves the room, while the others decide upon some character, real or fictitious. The absentee is then recalled, and each in turn asks him a question referring to the character he has been elected to represent. When he guesses his identity, the player whose question has thrown the most light upon the subject has to go from the room.
For example: A goes from the room, and the company decides that he shall represent King Henry VIII. When he enters, No. 1 asks: "Which one of your wives did you love best?" No. 2 says: "Do you approve of a man marrying his deceased brother's wife?" No. 3 adds: "Were you very sorry your brother died?" etc., while A, after guessing various names, is led by some question to guess correctly, and the fortunate questioner is consequently sent from the room to have a new character assigned him in turn.
WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR?
One-half the company is blindfolded; these are then seated in such a way that each has a vacant chair at his right hand. The other half of the players gather in the middle of the room. This is done silently. The unblindfolded players will each one take one of the empty seats next to those who are blindfolded. When requested to speak or sing they must do so. It is permissible to disguise the voice. The blindfolded neighbor must guess who is speaking or singing. The bandages are not taken off until the wearer has guessed correctly the name of the person at his right. When he guesses correctly, the one whose name was guessed is blindfolded and takes the guesser's place.
The leader gives a signal, and the players who are unblindfolded walk softly to a vacant chair. The leader then plays a familiar air on an instrument, and says, "sing!" All must sing until he suddenly stops playing. The guessing goes on as before until the leader decides to stop it.
TONGUE-TWISTERS—ANY NUMBER OF PLAYERS
The amusing game of tongue-twisters is played thus: The leader gives out a sentence (one of the following), and each repeats it in turn, any player who gets tangled up in the pronunciation having to pay forfeit.
A haddock! a haddock! a black-spotted haddock, a black spot on the black back of the black-spotted haddock.
She sells sea shells.
She stood at the door of Mr. Smith's fish-sauce shop, welcoming him in.
The sea ceaseth and it sufficeth us.
Six thick thistle sticks.
The flesh of freshly fried flying fish.
A growing gleam glowing green. I saw Esau kissing Kate, the fact we all three saw, I saw Esau, he saw me, and she saw I saw Esau.
Swan swam over the sea; swim, swan, swim; Swan swam back again; well swum, Swan.
You snuff ship snuff, I snuff box snuff.
The bleak breeze blighted the bright broom blossoms.
High roller, low roller, rower.
Oliver Oglethorp ogled an owl and oyster. Did Oliver Oglethorp ogle an owl and oyster? If Oliver Oglethorp ogled an owl and oyster, where are the owl and oyster Oliver Oglethorp ogled?
Hobbs meets Snobbs and Nobbs; Hobbs bobs to Snobbs and Nobbs; Hobbs nobs with Snobbs and robs Nobbs' fob. "That is," says Nobbs, "the worse for Hobbs' jobs," and Snobbs sobs.
Susan shines shoes and socks; socks and shoes shine Susan. She ceaseth shining shoes and socks, for shoes and socks shocks Susan.
Robert Royley rolled a round roll round; a round roll Robert Rowley rolled round. Where rolled the round roll Robert Rowley rolled round?
Strict, strong Stephen Stringer snared slickly six sickly, silky snakes. The Leith police dismisseth us.
She sun shines upon shop signs.
FRENCH RHYMES—ANT AND CRICKET—SPOONFUL OF FUN—HOW, WHEN AND WHERE— GRANDFATHER'S TRUNK—PREDICAMENTS—AUCTION—BEAST, BIRD, OR FISH—ROTATING GLOBE
The players sit around the room in a circle. The leader then holds a button between his hands, with the palms pressed together, so as to hide it. He goes around the circle, passing his hand between those of the players. As he does this, he says: "Hold fast to what I give you." He is careful not to let the players see into whose hands he passed the button. The circuit having been made, the leader says to the first player: "Button, button, who has the button?" The one questioned must answer, naming some one whom he thinks has it. So it continues until all have had a turn at answering the same question. Then the leader says: "Button, button, rise!" The button holder must do this.
Each member of the company writes upon a slip of paper two words that rhyme. These are collected by one player and read aloud, and as they are read everybody writes them down upon new papers. Five or ten minutes being allowed, each player must write a poem introducing all the rhyming words in their original pairs. At the expiration of the given time the lines are read aloud. Suppose the words given are "man and than," "drops and copse," "went and intent," etc., these are easily framed into something like this:
Once on a time a brooklet drops, With splash and clash, through a shady copse; One day there chanced to pass a man, Who, deeming water better than Cider, down by the brooklet went, To dip some up was his intent.
Of course, the result is nonsense, but it is pleasant nonsense, and may be kept up indefinitely, to the entertainment of the participants.
The players are each provided with a slip of paper and a pencil. Each must write the name of some gentleman (who is known to the party), turn down the end of the paper on which the name is written, and pass the paper to the next neighbor. All must then write the name of some lady (also known), then change the papers again and write "where they met," "what he said," "what she said," "what the world said," and "the consequences," always passing the papers on. When all are written, each player must then read his paper.
Mr. Jones . . . . . . . . . And Miss Smith . . . . . . . . . Met on a roof . . . . . . . . . He said, "I trust you are not afraid." She said, "Not while you are here." World said, "It's a match." Consequences, "He sailed for Africa next morning," etc.
ANT AND CRICKET
One of the company being appointed to represent the Cricket, seats himself in the midst of the other players, who are the Ants, and writes upon a piece of paper the name of a certain grain, whatever kind he pleases. He then addresses the first Ant: "My dear neighbor, I am very hungry, and I have come to you for aid. What will you give me!" "A grain of rice, a kernel of corn, a worm," etc., replies the Ant, as he sees fit. The Cricket asks each in turn, and if one of them announces as his gift the word already written upon the paper, the Cricket declares himself satisfied and changes places with the Ant.
A SPOONFUL OF FUN
This is a German game. One of the players goes into the middle of a ring formed by the other players. He is blindfolded and has a large, wooden spoon for a wand. The players join hands and dance about him. There may be music, if it be so desired. When the signal is given to stop, all must stand still. The blindfolded one touches one of the players with his hand and tries to guess his identity. If he guesses correctly, that player must take his place. Stooping, kneeling, or tiptoeing may be resorted to, to conceal the identity of the players.
WHAT IS MY THOUGHT LIKE?
Though this is a very old game, it is well worth the playing. The leader asks each player in turn, "What is my thought like?" The one questioned gives any answer he desires. Each player is asked in turn and a list is kept of the replies. Finally the leader tells what his thought was, and asks each player in what way it resembles the thing he, or she, likened it to.
Each player receives a pencil and paper and takes a seat as one of the circle of players. The left-hand neighbor is the subject for his right-hand neighbor's biographical sketch. Any absurd happening will do, the more ridiculous the biography, the better. The wittiest one calls for a prize.
NICKNAMES OF CITIES
Certain cities have been nick-named, as Chicago, the Windy City; Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, etc. The hostess requests her guests to wear something suggestive of the nickname of the city represented. Each guest writes on a piece of paper what cities he supposes the other guests are representing. A half hour is allowed, when a prize is awarded the one who has given the largest number of guesses correctly.
HOW, WHEN AND WHERE
One member of the company, leaving the room, a word admitting of more than one interpretation is chosen by the others. On his return, he asks each in succession, "How do you like it?" The player questioned being required to give an appropriate answer. He then inquires in similar manner, "When do you like it," and if the answer to that question still gives him no clue, proceeds to ask, "Where do you like it?"
When he at last discovers the word, the person whose answer has furnished him with the most information, must in turn leave the room and become the questioner.
We will suppose the word chosen to be "rain," which can also be taken as "reign" or "rein." The question, "How do you like it?" receives the answers, "tight," "heavy," "short," "warm," etc.
The question, "When do you like it?", "in summer," "when I am driving," "in the nineteenth century," etc.
"Where do you like it?", "in the United States," "on a horse," "in the sky," etc.
MY GRANDFATHER'S TRUNK—ANY NUMBER OF PLAYERS
A great game for young folks of a winter evening. The company being seated in a circle, somebody begins by saying, for instance:
No. 1. "I pack my grandfather's trunk with a pair of spectacles."
No. 2. "I pack my grandfather's trunk with a pair of spectacles and a silk hat." No. 3. "I pack my grandfather's trunk with a pair of spectacles, a silk hat and a dime novel." And so on, each person repeating all the articles already mentioned, besides adding a new one.
If any one fails to repeat the list correctly, he drops out of the game, which is continued until the contents of the trunk are unanimously declared too numerous to remember.
Location is geographical in character. Two captains are chosen. They choose sides until the party is equally divided. One captain begins the game by calling the name of a city. He then counts thirty. Before he has finished counting, his opposite opponent must tell where the city is located. If his answer be correct, he in turn names a place, and the second player in the opposite row must locate it before he counts thirty. Should any player fail to answer before thirty is counted, or answer incorrectly, he or she must drop out. When there is only one player left on either side, that one gets the prize.
Predicaments are thought out. The more ridiculous they are the better. They are written on sheets of paper. Each person has to write his idea of the best way out of a predicament. Then the papers are collected and read. Prizes are given if the hostess so desires.
Provide as many small, square cards as there are guests; also several pairs of scissors. The party seats itself in a circle. The cards and scissors are given out. Then each player cuts his card twice across, so as to make four pieces. The straight cuts must intersect each other. After the first cut, the pieces must be held together until the second cut has been made.
A player mixes his pieces and passes them to his right-hand neighbor. When the leader gives the signal, all the players put together the four pieces they have. The one who first succeeds calls out "ready." Then all stop and pass the cards on again. The successful player is given a mark on a tally card. The game goes on until a half hour has passed. The person receiving the most marks is entitled to a prize, or may become the leader, as preferred.
The leader for this game must have a contagious laugh. He throws a handkerchief into the air; when he does this, all must laugh heartily, until the handkerchief lies upon the ground, then the laughing must stop immediately. The player laughing after the handkerchief touches the ground is "out." This also happens to the one laughing too soon. The one left alone at last is the winner, and may become leader.
Each player in the party is given two slips of paper and a pencil. On one slip he writes a question. This may be serious or absurd, as he wishes. On another paper he writes a word, this being a noun—either proper or common. The questions being mixed are distributed—the words likewise. The players write verses answering the questions and containing the words received.
Needed: Twenty, or more, packages, wrapped in paper.
Auction may be made a very merry game. It depends upon the auctioneer, however, to make the sales interesting; any articles may be chosen, though dolls, Teddy bears, etc., are suggested. The articles are catalogued. They are paid for with the beans given to the players with the catalogues.
BEAST, BIRD OR FISH
The players sit round in a circle, and one player, who is "it," points to some one, and says either "beast," "bird," or "fish." He then counts ten as quickly as possible. The person pointed to must name some "beast," "bird," or "fish" (whichever he was asked), before ten is reached. If he fails he must give a forfeit.
THE ROTATION OF THE GLOBE
When you next chance to eat an egg for breakfast, do not fail to try the following experiment. It is one which always succeeds, and is productive of much amusement to the company.
Moisten slightly with water the rim of your plate, and in the center paint with the yolk of the egg a sun with golden rays. By the aid of this simple apparatus, you will be in a position to illustrate, so clearly that a child can comprehend it, the double movement of the earth, which revolves simultaneously round the sun and on its own axis.
All that you have to do is to place the empty half-shell of your egg on the rim of the plate, and keeping this latter duly sloped, by a slight movement of the wrist as may be needful, you will see the eggshell begin to revolve rapidly on its own axis, at the same time traveling round the plate. It is hardly necessary to remark that the egg-shell will not travel uphill, and the plate must therefore be gradually shifted round, as well as sloped, so that the shell may always have an inch or two of descending plane before it.
The slight cohesion caused by the water which moistens the plate counteracts the centrifugal force and so prevents the eggshell falling off the edge of the plate.
Pencil and paper having been given the players, each writes a piece of advice and folds his paper. He passes it to his neighbor, who before opening it, tells whether he thinks the advice good or bad. If he guesses correctly, he scores a point. The game goes on this way, each at the table taking a turn, when new advices are written and passed along. This is done as many times as the hostess desires. The one getting the most points is winner.
Each player receives a pencil and paper. He is then told to make as many words as he can from a given word of fifteen letters, or more. It is surprising how many words can be thus made. The winner is the one fashioning the greatest number of words. A book is given him as a prize.
GAME OF WORDS—PRINCE OF INDIA—EXCHANGE—SHADOW BUFF—TAILLESS DONKEY —THROWING THE HANDKERCHIEF
FLAGS OF ALL NATIONS
You can learn the colors of the flags of all nations by referring to a large dictionary, or to a book on flags. The flags are drawn with colored crayons, or painted in water colors, on a large water-color card, or a sheet of water-color paper. Large cards with numbers down the sides are given to each player, with a pencil. The card of flags is then hung where all can see it, and half an hour is allowed for all to guess the countries to which the flags belong. The answers are written on the individual cards, and the papers are signed with the names of the players.
A prize is given to the player who has the greatest number of correct answers.
ANOTHER GAME OF WORDS
The players, each of whom is supplied with paper and pencil, are divided equally into two sides, and the leader, having selected a word, suppose "notwithstanding," each party sets to work to see how many different words they can make of the same letters. (Thus from the word above suggested may be made "not, with, stand, standing, gin, ton, to, wig, wit, his, twit, tan, has, had, an, nod, tow, this, sat, that, sit, sin, tin, wink, what, who, wish, win, wan, won," and probably a host of others.) A scrutiny is then taken, all words common to both parties being struck out. The remainder are then compared, and the victory is adjudged to the one having the largest number of words.
This is played by each person drawing, say, twenty letters haphazard, and trying to form them into a phrase or sentence, the palm of merit being awarded to the player who, at the same time, produces the most coherent phrase, and also succeeds in using the greatest proportion of the letters assigned to him.
This is a very funny game if the ringmaster keeps up a running fire of witty remarks. He stands in the circle of animals—otherwise guests—and, whip in hand, shows off his animals, and their tricks, singly, and in groups. The lion roars, as well as performs; the dog barks, and performs the tricks he is told to show off; the canary warbles its song; the bee buzzes; the donkey brays, balks and kicks, etc. At the end of the performance there is a grand circus parade, with music.
PRINCE OF INDIA
The players are numbered from one upward.
The leader stands in front of them and says: "The Prince of India has lost his pearl. Did you find it, number seven?" Upon this, number 7 replies, jumping to his feet quickly:
"I, sir, I?"
The leader replies, "Yes, you, sir!"
Number 7 says: "Not I, sir!"
Leader: "Who then, sir, if not you?"
Number 7: "Number 4, sir."
Number 4 jumps up, and says: "What, sir? I, I?"
Leader: "Yes, sir; you, you."
Number 4: "Not I, not I, sir."'
Leader: "Who then, sir?"
Number 4: "Number 2, sir."'
Then number 2 jumps to his feet.
This goes on until the leader reaches the last one in the circle. If he can repeat again "The Prince of India has lost his pearl," before this one can jump to his feet, they exchange places.
A blindfolded player stands in the center; the others are seated about him in a circle. Each one is numbered. The blindfolded player calls out two numbers, whereupon the players bearing those numbers exchange places, the blindfolded player trying meanwhile either to catch one of the players or to secure one of the chairs. Any player so caught must yield his chair to the catcher. No player may go outside of the circle formed by the chairs.
HUNT THE RING
All the players stand in a circle holding a long cord, which forms an endless band upon which a ring has been slipped before it was joined at the ends. This ring is passed rapidly from one player to another—always on the cord and concealed by the hand—while somebody in the center endeavors to seize the hands of the person who holds it, who, when actually caught, takes his place within the circle.
If the circle is very large, two rings may be slipped upon the cord, and two players placed in the center together.
A small key may be used instead of a ring, while still another variation is to have the concealed object a small whistle with a ring attached. When this is adopted, an amusing phase of the game is to secretly attach a string to the whistle and fasten this to the back of the player in the center by means of a bent pin at the other end of the string. Then while feigning to pass the whistle from hand to hand, it is occasionally seized and blown upon by some one in the ring, toward whom the victim is at that moment turning his back, causing that individual to be greatly puzzled.
A sheet being stretched across one end of the room, one of the players being seated upon a low stool facing it, and with his eyes fixed upon it. The only light in the room must be a lamp placed upon a table in the center of the room. Between this lamp and the person on the stool, the players pass in succession, their shadows being thrown upon the sheet in strong relief. The victim of the moment endeavors to identify the other players by their respective shadows, and if he succeeds the detected party must take his place.
It is allowable to make detection as difficult as possible by means of any available disguise that does not conceal the whole person, any grimacing, contortion of form, etc.
GUESSING EYES AND NOSES
A sheet is fastened up between two doors. Holes are cut in it, and some of the party go behind the sheet and stand with their eyes at the holes, while the others must guess to whom the eyes belong. Failing to guess correctly, they must give a forfeit.
THE TAILLESS DONKEY
An amusing game, at which any size party may play and enjoy it for hours. Cut a large figure of a donkey, minus a tail, from dark paper or cloth, and pin it upon a sheet stretched tightly across a door-way. Each player is given a piece of paper, which would fit the donkey for a tail, if applied. On each tail is written the name of the person holding it. When all is ready, the players are blindfolded in turn—placed facing the donkey a few steps back in the room—then turned around rapidly two or three times, and told to advance with the tail held at arm's length, and with a pin previously inserted in the end, attach it to the figure of the donkey wherever they first touch it. When the whole curtain is adorned with tails—(not to mention all the furniture, family portraits, etc., in the vicinity)—and there are no more to pin on, the person who has succeeded in fastening the appendage the nearest to its natural dwelling place, receives a prize, and the player who has given the most eccentric position to the tail entrusted to his care, receives the "booby" prize, generally some gift of a nature to cause a good-humored laugh.
THROWING THE HANDKERCHIEF
A very old and still quite popular game. The company being seated around the room in a circle, some one stationed in the center throws an unfolded handkerchief to one of the seated players. Whoever receives it must instantly throw it to some one else, and so on, while the person in the center endeavors to catch the handkerchief in its passage from one player to another. If he catches it, as it touches somebody, that person must take his place in the center. If it is caught in the air, the player whose hands it last left enters the circle.
The handkerchief must not be knotted or twisted, but thrown loosely.
MAGIC MUSIC—CUSHION DANCE—ANIMAL BLINDMAN'S BLUFF—MY LADY'S TOILET —GOING TO JERUSALEM
A beautiful game, which amuses even the mere spectator as much as it does the players. One of the company sits at the piano while another leaves the room. The rest of the party then hide some article, previously agreed upon, and recall the absent player. At his entrance the pianist begins playing some lively air, very softly, keeping up a sort of musical commentary upon his search, playing louder as he approaches the goal, and softer when he wanders away from it. In this way he is guided to at last discover the object of his search.
The cushions are set upright in a circle on the floor. The players then join hands, and form a ring round them. The circle formed by the cushions should be almost as large as the ring formed by the players, and the cushions may be placed at a considerable distance apart. The players in the ring dance round; and each player, as he dances, tries to make his neighbors knock over the cushions. He, however, avoids knocking over any himself. The players should not break the ring, as the penalty to one letting go hands is expulsion from the ring. If it is preferred, Indian clubs placed on end may be substituted for the cushions.
The players sit in a circle and form an orchestra. The conductor stands in the center. A tune is decided on, and the instruments are selected. Then the conductor beats time, and each player imitates as well as he can the sound of his instrument, and the motion used in playing it. Suddenly the conductor turns to one of the players and asks, "What is the matter with your instrument?" and immediately counts ten. Before he finishes counting, the player who has been questioned must begin an answer which is appropriate to his instrument. If his answer is inappropriate, or if it is not begun before the counting stops, he must change places with the conductor.
Whenever the conductor claps his hands the music must stop, and the players must remain in the attitudes in which they were when he gave the signal. Any one who fails to stop humming, or who changes his position, must become leader.
The same conductor may continue throughout the game. The person who fails in any of the requirements of the game then pays a forfeit.
ANIMAL BLINDMAN'S BLUFF
A blindfolded player stands in the center of a circle with a wand, stick, or cane in his hand. The other players dance around him in a circle until he taps three times on the floor with the cane, when all must stand still. The blindfolded one points his cane in any direction. The one directly opposite it must make a noise like an animal. From this the person in the center of the ring guesses the other's identity. If he does so, there is an exchange of places.
MY LADY'S TOILET
This is a French game. In it each player is named for some article of "My Lady's Toilet," such as her gown, her hat, her gloves, etc. The players sit in a circle, and when the leader mentions an article of the toilet, the one who is named for it must rush to the center of the ring before the platter stops spinning there. If successful, he or she takes the place of the spinner in the center of the ring. If unsuccessful, the person returns to his or her place.
The leader may keep up the interest of the game by comments on the toilettes. This is most interesting in story form.
A variation of this game introduces the word ball. Whenever this is spoken of, the players must jump up and change places, the spinner trying to secure a seat in the general confusion. The odd player becomes a spinner.
MARY AND JOHN
The players—all but two—form a circle and clasp hands. Two odd players in the center are called, "Mary" and "John." The object of the game is for John to catch Mary. As he is blindfolded, he can only locate her in her stealthy movements by the sound of her muffled voice. When he says, "Mary, where are you?" she must answer as often as he questions her.
Mary may stoop or tiptoe, or resort to any means to escape capture, except leaving the ring.
When Mary is captured she is blindfolded and John takes her seat.
So the game goes on after Mary has chosen a new John.
GOING TO JERUSALEM
This is a piano game, but does not require great skill. One person goes to the piano, while the others arrange in a line as many chairs, less one, as there are players, the chairs alternately facing opposite directions. Then, as the pianist begins to play, the others commence marching around the line of chairs, keeping time to the music. When this suddenly ceases, everybody tries to sit down, but as there is one less chair than players, somebody is left standing, and must remain out of the game. Then another chair is removed, and the march continues, until the chairs decrease to one, and the players to two.
Whichever of these succeeds in seating himself as the music stops, has won the game.
"WHAT D'YE BUY?"
This game may be played by any number from three to thirteen. There are a dozen good-sized pieces of cardboard, each bearing a colored illustration of one of the "trades" following, viz.: a milliner, a fishmonger, a greengrocer, plumber, a music-seller, a toyman, mason, a pastry-cook, a hardware-man, a tailor, a poulterer, and a doctor. Besides these there are a number of smaller tickets, half a dozen to each trade. Each of these has the name of the particular trade, and also the name of some article in which the particular tradesman in question may be considered to deal. A book accompanies the cards, containing a nonsense story, with a blank at the end of each sentence.
One of the players is chosen as leader, and the others each select a trade, receiving the appropriate picture, and the six cards containing the names of the articles in which the tradesman deals. He places his "sign" before him on the table, and holds the remainder of his cards in his hand. The leader then reads the story, and whenever he comes to one of the blanks, he glances towards one of the other players, who must immediately, under penalty of a forfeit, supply the blank with some article he sells, at the same time laying down the card bearing its name. The incongruity of the article named with the context make the fun of the game, which is heightened by the vigilance which each player must exercise in order to avoid a forfeit. Where the number of players is very small, each may undertake two or more trades.
We will give an illustration. The concluding words indicate the trade of the person at whom the leader glances to fill up a given hiatus.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I propose to relate some curious adventures which befell me and my wife Peggy the other day, but as I am troubled with a complaint called 'Non mi ricordo,' or the 'Can't remembers,' I shall want each of you to tell me what you sell; therefore, when I stop and look at one of you, you must be brisk in recommending your goods. Whoever does not name something before I count 'three' must pay a forfeit. Attention!
"Last Friday week I was awakened very early in the morning by a loud knocking at my door in Humguffin Court. I got up in a great fright, and put on"—(looks at Toyman, who replies, "A fool's cap and bells," and lays down that card).
"When I got downstairs, who should be there but a fat porter, with a knot, on which he carried"—(Poulterer) "a pound of pork sausages."
"'Hallo!' said I, 'my fellow, what do you want at this time of day?' He answered"—(Fishmonger) "'A cod's head and shoulders.'"
"'Get along with you,' I said; 'there's my neighbor, Dr. Drenchall, I see, wants'"—(Butcher) "'a sheep's head.'"
"I now went up to shave, but my soap-dish was gone, and the maid brought me instead"—(Milliner) "a lady's chip hat."
"My razor had been taken to chop firewood, so I used"—(Greengrocer) "a cucumber."
"I then washed my face in"—(Doctor) "a cup of quinine," "cleaned my teeth with"—(Fishmonger) "a fresh herring," and "combed my hair with"—(Pastrycook) "a jam tart."
"My best coat was taken possession of by pussy and kittens, so I whipped on"—(Hardware-man) "a dripping pan."
"The monkey, seeing how funny I looked, snatched off my wig, and clapped on my head"—(Poulterer) "a fat hen."
"I now awoke my wife, and asked her what she had nice for breakfast; she said"—(Doctor) "a mustard plaster."
"Then I scolded Sukey, the servant, and called her"—(Poulterer) "a tough old turkey."
"But she saucily told me I was no better than"—(Music-seller) "an old fiddle."
"I soon had enough of that, so I asked my wife to go with me to buy"—(Tailor) "a pair of trousers."
"But she said she must have her lunch first, which consisted of——" etc., etc., through half a dozen pages, the tradesmen supply more or less appropriate articles to fill up the gaps in the discourse.
RAISIN TORTOISE—LEMON PIG—SEASICK PASSENGER—ENCHANTED RAISINS—LUMP OF SUGAR—MYSTERIOUS PRODUCTION—FAMILY GIANT
THE RAISIN TORTOISE
This noble animal is constructed as follows: A muscatel raisin forms the body, and small portions of the stalk of the same fruit the head and legs. With a little judgment in the selection of the pieces of stalk and the mode in which they are thrust into the body, it is surprising what a life-like tortoise may be thus produced. While the work of art in question is being handed round on a plate for admiration, the artist may further distinguish himself, if the wherewithal is obtainable, by constructing
THE LEMON PIG
The body of the pig consists of a lemon. The shape of this fruit renders it particularly well adapted for this purpose, the crease or shoulder at the small end of the lemon being just the right shape to form the head and neck of the pig. With three or four lemons to choose from, you cannot fail to find at least one which will answer the purpose exactly. The mouth and ears are made by cutting the ring with a penknife, the legs of short ends of lucifer matches, and the eyes either of black pins, thrust in up to the head, or grape stones.
THE SEASICK PASSENGER
The requirements for this touching picture are an orange, a pocket handkerchief or soft table napkin, and a narrow water goblet. The orange is first prepared by cutting in the rind with a penknife the best ears, nose, and mouth which the artist can compass, a couple of raisin-pips supplying the place of eyes. A pocket handkerchief is stretched lightly over the glass, and the prepared orange laid thereon. The pocket-handkerchief is then moved gently backward and forward over the top of the glass, imparting to the orange a rolling motion, and affording a laughable but striking caricature of the agonies of a seasick passenger.
THE ENCHANTED RAISINS
Take four raisins or bread-pills, and place them about a foot apart, so as to form a square on the table. Next fold a couple of table-napkins, each into a pad of five inches square. Take one of these in each hand, the fingers undermost and the thumb uppermost. Then inform the company that you are about to give them a lesson in the art of hanky-panky, etc., and in the course of your remarks, bring down the two napkins carelessly over the two raisins farthest from you. Leave the right-hand napkin on the table, but, in withdrawing the hand, bring away the raisin between the second and third fingers, and at the same moment remarking, "You must watch particularly how many raisins I place under each napkin." Lift the left napkin (as if merely to show that there is one raisin only beneath it), and transfer it to the palm of the outstretched right hand, behind which the raisin is now concealed. Without any perceptible pause, but at the same time without any appearance of haste, replace the folded napkin on raisin No. 2, and in so doing, leave raisin No. 1 beside it. Now take up raisin No. 3 (with the right hand). Put the hand under the table, and in doing so get raisin No. 3 between the second and third fingers, as much behind the hand as possible. Give a rap with the knuckles on the underside of the table, at the same time saying, "Pass!" and forthwith pick up the left-hand napkin with the left hand, showing the raisins 1 and 2 beneath it. All eyes are drawn to the two raisins on the table, and as the right hand comes into sight from beneath the table, the left quietly transfers the napkin to it, thereby effectually concealing the presence of raisin No. 3. The napkin is again laid over raisins 1 and 2, and No. 3 is secretly deposited with them. No. 4 is then taken in the right hand, and the process repeated, when three raisins are naturally discovered, the napkin being once more replaced, and No. 4 left with the rest. There are now four raisins under the left-hand napkin, and none under that on the right hand, though the spectators are persuaded that there is one under the latter, and only three under the former. The trick being now practically over, the performer may please himself as to the form of the denouement, and, having gone through any appropriate form of incantation, commands the imaginary one to go and join the other three, which is found to have taken place accordingly.
THE DEMON LUMP OF SUGAR
The performer commences by borrowing two hats, which he places, crowns upward, upon the table, drawing particular attention to the fact that there is nothing whatever under either of them. He next demands the loan of the family sugar basin, and requests some one to select from it a lump of sugar (preferably one of an unusual and easily distinguished shape), at the same time informing them that, by means of a secret process, only known to himself, he will undertake to swallow such lump of sugar before their eyes, and yet, after a few minutes' interval, bring it under either of the two hats they may choose. The company, having been prepared by the last trick to expect some ingenious piece of sleight-of-hand, are all on the qui vive to prevent any substitution of another lump of sugar, or any pretence of swallowing without actually doing so. However, the performer does unmistakably take the identical lump of sugar chosen and crushes it to pieces with his teeth. He then asks, with unabated confidence, under which of the two hats he shall bring it, and, the choice having been made, places the chosen hat on his own head, and in that way fulfills his undertaking.
THE MYSTERIOUS PRODUCTION
This is another feat of the genus "sell," and to produce due effect, should only be introduced after the performer has, by virtue of a little genuine magic, prepared the company to expect from him something a little out of the common. He begins by informing the spectators that he is about to show them a great mystery, a production of nature on which no human being has ever yet set eye, and which, when they have once seen, no human being will ever set eyes on again. When the general interest is sufficiently awakened, he takes a nut from the dish, and, having gravely cracked it, exhibits the kernel, and says, "Here is an object which you will admit no human being has ever seen, and which" (here he puts it into his mouth and gravely swallows it) "I am quite sure nobody will ever see again."
THE FAMILY GIANT
A very fair giant, for domestic purposes, may be produced by the simple expedient of seating a young lad astride on the shoulders of one of the older members of the company, and draping the combined figure with a long cloak or Inverness cape. The "head" portion may, of course, be "made up" as much as you please, the more complete the disguise the more effective being the giant. A ferocious-looking moustache and whiskers will greatly add to his appearance. If some ready-witted member of the party will undertake to act as showman, and exhibit the giant, holding a lively conversation with him, and calling attention to his gigantic idiosyncrasies, a great deal of fun may be produced. The joke should not, however, be very long continued, as the feelings of the "legs" have to be considered. If too long deprived of air and light they are apt to wax rebellious, and either carry the giant in the directions he would fain avoid, or even occasionally to strike together, and bring the giant's days to a sudden and undignified termination.
THE WHAT-DO-YOU-THINK?—KNIGHT OF THE WHISTLE—"CAN DO LITTLE"— THROWING LIGHT
The exhibitor begins, in proper showman style: "Ladies and gentlemen, I have the pleasure of exhibiting to your notice the celebrated 'What-do-you-think?' or Giant Uncle-Eater. You have all probably heard of the Ant-Eater. This is, as you will readily perceive, a member of the same family, but more so! He measures seven feet from the tip of his snout to the end of his tail, eight feet back again, five feet around the small of his waist, and has four feet of his own, making twenty-four in all. In his natural state he lives chiefly on blue-bottle flies and mixed pickles, but in captivity it is found that so rich a diet has a tendency to make him stout, and he is now fed exclusively on old corks and back numbers of some daily paper. His voice, which you may perhaps have an opportunity of hearing (here the 'What-do-you-think?' howls dismally), is in the key of B fiat, and is greatly admired. People come here before breakfast to hear it, and when they have heard it, they assure us that they never heard anything like it before. Some have even gone so far as to say that they never wish to hear anything like it again,"' etc. The "What-do-you-think?" is manufactured as follows: The performer, who should have black kid gloves on, places on his head a conical paper cap, worked up with the aid of the nursery paint box into a rough semblance of an animal's head. This being securely fastened on, he goes down on his hands and knees and a shaggy railway rug (of fur, if procurable) is thrown over him and secured round his neck, when the animal is complete.
THE KNIGHT OF THE WHISTLE
This is a capital game for everybody but the victim, and produces much fun. Some one who does not know the game is chosen to be Knight of the Whistle, and is commanded to kneel down and receive the honor of knighthood, which the leader (armed with a light cane, the drawing- room poker, or other substitute for a sword) confers by a slight stroke on the back. While placing him in position, opportunity is taken to attach to his back, by means of a bent pin or otherwise, a piece of string about a foot in length, to which is appended a small light whistle. Having been duly dubbed, in order to complete his dignity, he is informed that he must now go in quest of the whistle, which will be sounded at intervals, in order to guide him in his search. Meanwhile the other players gather in a circle round him, making believe to pass an imaginary object from hand to hand. The victim naturally believes that this imaginary object must be the long-lost whistle, and makes a dash for it accordingly, when the player who happens to be behind his back blows the actual whistle and instantly drops it again. Round flies the unhappy knight, and makes a fresh dash to seize the whistle, but in vain. No sooner has he turned to a fresh quarter than the ubiquitous whistle again sounds behind his back.
If the game is played smartly, and care taken not to pull the cord, the knight may often be kept revolving for a considerable period before he discovers the secret.
"HE CAN DO LITTLE."
This is another "sell" of almost childish simplicity, but we have seen people desperately puzzled over it, and even "give it up" in despair.
The leader takes a stick (or poker) in his left hand, thence transfers it to his right, and thumps three times on the floor, saying: "He can do little who can't do this." He then hands the stick to another person, who, as he supposes, goes through exactly the same performance; but if he does not know the game, is generally told, to his disgust, that he has incurred a forfeit, his imitation not having been exact.
The secret lies in the fact that the stick, when passed on, is first received in the left hand and thence transferred to the right before going through the performance.
Two of the company agree privately upon a word (which should be one susceptible of two or three meanings), and interchange remarks tending to throw light upon it. The rest of the players do their best to guess the word, but when any of them fancies he has succeeded, he does not publicly announce his guess, but makes such a remark as to indicate to the two initiated that he has discovered their secret. If they have any doubt that he has really guessed the word, they challenge him, i.e., require him to name it in a whisper. If this guess proves to be right, he joins in conversation, and assists in throwing light on the subject; but if, on the other hand, he is wrong, he must submit to have a handkerchief thrown over his head, and so remain until by some more fortunate observation he shall prove that he really possesses the secret.
We will give an example. Mr. A. and Miss B. have agreed on "bed" as the word, and proceed to throw light upon it, alternating upon its various meanings of a place of repose, a part of a garden, or the bed of a river.
Miss B. I don't know what your opinion may be, but I am never tired of it.
Mr. A. Well, for my part, I am never in a hurry, either to get to it or to leave it.
Miss B. How delightful it is after a long, tiring day!
Mr. A. Yes. But it is a pleasure that soon palls. The most luxurious person does not care for too much of it at a stretch.
Miss B. Oh, don't you think so. In early spring, for instance, with the dew upon the flowers!
Mr. A. Ah! you take the romantic view. But how would you like it beneath some rapid torrent or some broad majestic river?
Miss C. (thinks she sees her way, and hazards a remark). Or in a sauce?
Mr. A. I beg your pardon. Please tell me in a whisper what you suppose the word to be?
Miss C. (whispers) Fish! What! isn't that right?
Mr. A. I am afraid you must submit to a temporary eclipse. (Throws her handkerchief over her face.)
Mr. A. to Miss B. You mentioned spring, I think. For my own part, I prefer feathers.
Mr. D. (rashly concludes, from the combination of "spring" and "feathers," that spring chickens must be referred to). Surely you would have them plucked?
Mr. A. (looks puzzled). I think not May I ask you to name your guess? Oh, no, quite out. I must trouble you for your pocket handkerchief.
Miss B. It is curious, isn't it, that they must be made afresh every day?
Mr. A. So it is; though I confess it never struck me in that light before. I don't fancy, however, that old Brown, the gardener, makes his quite so often.
Miss B. You may depend that he has it made for him, though.
Miss C. (from under the handkerchief). At any rate, according as he makes it, his fate will be affected accordingly. You know the proverb?
Mr. A. (removing the handkerchief). You have fairly earned your release. By the way, do you remember an old paradox upon this subject, "What nobody cares to give away, yet nobody wishes to keep?"
Miss E. Ah! now you have let out the secret. I certainly don't wish to keep mine for long together, but I would willingly give it away if I could get a better.
Miss B. Tell me your guess. (Miss E. whispers.) Yes, you have hit it. I was afraid Mr. A.'s last "light" was rather too strong.
And so the game goes on, until every player is in the secret, or the few who may be still in the dark "give it up" and plead for mercy. This, however, is a rare occurrence, for, as the company in general become acquainted with the secret, the "lights" are flashed about in a rash and reckless manner, till the task of guessing becomes almost a matter of course to an ordinarily acute person.
CHURCH AND SCHOOL SOCIALS
CHARADES: "CICERO"—"ATTENUATE"—SUGGESTED WORDS—"METAPHYSICIAN"— CHARADES ON THE GRECIAN ISLANDS
In some form or other the game of charades is played in almost every country under the sun. In acting charades the characters and situation are made to represent a play upon a word or words by portraying some feature which vividly brings such word or words to the mind.
Here is a popular one: Send one-half the company out of the room, into another which may be separated by double doors; portieres are best for the purpose. The party in the inner room think of some word which can be represented entire, in pantomime or tableau, and proceed to enact it. After they have made up, the door opens, and discloses half a dozen girls standing in a line, while one of the acting party announces that this striking tableau represents the name of a famous orator. The others failing to guess are told that Cicero (Sissy-row) is the orator represented.
Again, just as the clock strikes ten, the doors opening reveal a lady eating an apple or any convenient edible, while a gentleman who stands near points to the clock and then at her. This being correctly guessed to represent "attenuate" (at ten you ate), the other side goes from the room and the previous performers become the audience.
There are a host of words which with a little ingenuity may be turned to account. For example:
Ingratiate. (In gray she ate.) Catering. (Kate. Her ring.) Hero. (He row.) Tennessee. (Ten, I see.) The following are also good charade words: Knighthood, penitent, looking-glass, hornpipe, necklace, indolent, lighthouse, Hamlet, pantry, phantom, windfall, sweepstake, sackcloth, antidote, antimony, pearl powder, kingfisher, football, housekeeping, infancy, snowball, definite, bowstring, carpet, Sunday, Shylock, earwig, matrimony, cowhiding, welcome, friendship, horsemanship, coltsfoot, bridegroom, housemaid, curl-papers, crumpet.
We will take the word "windfall," as affording a ready illustration of the pantomime charade. "Wind" may be represented by a German band, puffing away at imaginary ophicleides and trombones, with distended cheeks and frantic energy, though in perfect silence. "Fall" may be portrayed by an elderly gentleman with umbrella up, who walks unsuspectingly on an ice slide and falls. The complete word "windfall" may be represented by a young man sitting alone, leaning his elbows on his hands, and having every appearance of being in the last stage of impecuniosity. To produce this effect, he may go through a pantomime of examining his purse and showing it empty, searching his pockets and turning them one by one inside out, shaking his head mournfully and sitting down again, throwing into his expression as much despair as he conveniently can. A letter carrier's whistle is heard; a servant enters with a legal-looking letter. The impecunious hero, tearing it open, produces from it a roll of stage banknotes, and forthwith gives way to demonstrations of the most extravagant delight, upon which the curtain falls.
In another the curtain rises (i.e., the folding-doors are thrown open), and a placard is seen denoting, "This is Madison Square," or any other place where professional men congregate. Two gentlemen in out-door costumes cross the stage from opposite sides and bow gravely on passing each other, one of them saying, as they do so, "Good morning, doctor." The curtain falls, and the audience are informed that the charade, which represents a word of six syllables, is complete in that scene. When the spectators have guessed or been told that the word is "met-a-physician," the curtain again rises on precisely the same scene, and the same performance, action for action, and word for word, is repeated over again. The audience hazard the same word "metaphysician" as the answer, but are informed that they are wrong—the word now represented having only three syllables, and they ultimately discover that the word is "metaphor" (met afore).
In another charade is seen a little toy wooden horse, such as can be bought for fifty cents. The spectators are told that this forms a word of two syllables, representing an island in the Aegean Sea. If the spectators are well up in ancient geography, they may possibly guess that Delos (deal hoss) is referred to. The curtain falls, and again rises on the same contemptible object, which is now stated to represent a second island in the same part of the world. The classical reader will at once see that Samos (same hoss) is intended. Again the curtain rises on the representation of an island. Two little wooden horses now occupy the scene, Pharos (pair 'oss) being the island referred to. Once more the curtain rises, this time on a group of charming damsels, each reclining in a woebegone attitude, surrounded by pill boxes and physic bottles, and apparently suffering from some painful malady. This scene represents a word of three syllables, and is stated to include all that has gone before. Cyclades (sick ladies), the name of the group to which Delos, Samos and Pharos belong, is of course the answer.
A comical charade is a performance representing the word "imitation." The spectators are informed that the charade about to be performed can be exhibited to only one person at a time. One person is accordingly admitted into the room in which the actors are congregated. The unhappy wight stares about him with curiosity, not unmingled with apprehension, fearing to be made the victim of some practical joke; nor is his comfort increased by finding that his every look or action is faithfully copied by each person present. This continues until he has either guessed or given up the word, when a fresh victim is admitted, and the new initiate becomes in turn one of the actors. Sometimes, however, the victim manages to turn the laugh against his persecutors. We have known a young lady, seeing through the joke, quietly take a chair and remain motionless, reducing the matter to a simple trial of patience between herself and the company.
CHURCH AND SCHOOL SOCIALS
LIVING PICTURES—TABLEAUX: DIGNITY AND IMPUDENCE—SAILOR'S FAREWELL—HOME AGAIN—VARIOUS TABLEAUX
There are few better amusements for a large party in the same house, with plenty of time on their hands, than the organization of tableaux vivants, or living representations. Tableaux, to be successfully represented, demand quite as much attention to detail as a theatrical performance, and scarcely less careful rehearsal. The first element of success is a competent stage manager. His artistic taste should be beyond all question, and his will should be law among the members of his corps. The essentials of a "living picture" are very much the same as those of a picture of the inanimate description, viz., form, color and arrangement. If, therefore, you can secure for the office of stage manager a gentleman of some artistic skill, by all means do so, as his technical knowledge will be found of the greatest possible service.
Before proceeding to plan your series of pictures, it will be necessary to provide the "frame" in which they are to be exhibited. If the room which you propose to use has folding doors, they will of course be used. A curtain, preferably of some dark color, should be hung on each side, and a lambrequin or valance across the top. Where circumstances admit, the directions we give elsewhere as to the construction of a stage and proscenium for private theatricals may be followed with advantage. In any case, a piece of fine gauze should be carefully stretched over the whole length and depth of the opening. This is found, by producing softer outlines, materially to enhance the pictorial effect. If it is practicable to have a raised stage, it will be found of great addition. Where this cannot be arranged, it is well to place a board, six inches in width, and covered with the same material as the rest of the frame, across the floor (on edge) from side to side, in the position which the footlights would ordinarily occupy.
The next consideration will be the curtain. The ordinary domestic curtains, hung by rings from a rod or pole, and opening in the middle, will serve as a makeshift; but where a really artistic series of tableaux is contemplated, the regular stage curtain of green baize is decidedly to be preferred.
The question of "background" will be the next point to be considered. Tableaux vivants may be divided into two classes, the dramatic, i.e., representing some incident, e.g., a duel, or a trial in a court of justice, and the simply artistic, viz., such as portray merely a group, allegorical or otherwise, without reference to any particular plot or story. For the former, an appropriate scene is required, varying with each tableau represented; for the latter, all that is necessary is a simple background of drapery, of such a tone of color as to harmonize with, and yet to give full prominence to, the group of actors. The material of the latter as also the covering of the floor, should be of woolen or velvet, so as to absorb rather than reflect light. A lustrous background, as of satin or glazed calico, will completely destroy the effect of an otherwise effective tableau.
The lighting is a point of very considerable importance—the conditions appropriate to an ordinary theatrical performance being here reversed. In an ordinary dramatic performance all shadow is a thing to be avoided, the point aimed at being to secure a strong bright light, uniformly distributed over the stage. In a tableau vivant, on the contrary, the skillful manipulation of light and shade is a valuable aid in producing artistic effect. Footlights should, in this case, either be dispensed with altogether or at any rate used very sparingly, the stronger light coming from one or the other side. A good deal of experiment and some little artistic taste will be necessary to attain the right balance in this particular. Where gas is available it will afford the readiest means of illumination. What is called a "string light," viz., a piece of gaspipe with fishtail burners at frequent intervals, connected with the permanent gas arrangements of the house by a piece of india rubber tube, and fixed in a vertical position behind each side of the temporary proscenium, will be found very effective; one or the other set of lights being turned up, as may be necessary. Where a green or red light is desired, the interposition of a strip of glass of that color, or of a "medium" of red or green silk or tammy, will give the necessary tone. Colored fires are supplied for the same purpose, but are subject to the drawback of being somewhat odoriferous in combustion. Where, as is sometimes the case, a strong white light is required, this may be produced by burning the end of a piece of magnesium wire in the flame of an ordinary candle.
These points being disposed of, costume and make-up will be the next consideration. As to the latter, the reader will find full instructions in the chapter devoted to private theatricals. With respect to costume, as the characters are seen for only a few moments, and in one position, this point may be dealt with in a much more rough-and-ready manner than would be advisable in the case of a regular dramatic performance. The royal crown need only be golden, the royal robe need only be trimmed with ermine-on the side toward the spectators; indeed, the proudest of sovereigns, from the audience point of view, may, as seen from the rear, be the humblest of citizens. Even on the side toward the spectators a great deal of "make believe" is admissible. Seen through the intervening gauze, the cheapest cotton velvet is equal to the richest silk; glazed calico takes the place of satin; and even the royal ermine may be admirably simulated by tails of black worsted stitched on a ground of flannel. Lace may be manufactured from cut paper, and a dollar's worth of tinsel will afford jewels for a congress of sovereigns. Of course, there is not the least objection to his wearing a crown of the purest gold, or diamonds of the finest possible water (if he can get them), but they will not look one whit more effective than the homely substitutes we have mentioned.
A "ghost effect" may, where necessary, be produced by the aid of a magic lantern; the other lights of the tableau being lowered in order to give sufficient distinctness to the reflection.
Dramatic tableaux may often be exhibited with advantage in two or more "scenes"; the curtain being lowered for a moment in order to enable the characters to assume a fresh position. Examples of this will be found among the tableaux which follow.
Having indicated the general arrangements of tableaux vivants, we append, for the reader's assistance, a selection of effective subjects, both simply pictorial and dramatic.
I. DIGNITY AND IMPUDENCE.
(With background of plain drapery, remaining unchanged.)
A magnificent flunkey, in a gorgeous suit of livery, standing, with left hand on hip, right hand in breast, side by side with a very small and saucy "boy in buttons," upon whom he looks down superciliously. Boy with both hands in trouser pockets and gazing up at his companion with an expression of impertinent familiarity.
II. THE FORTUNE-TELLER
A pretty girl, in simple outdoor costume, standing sideways to the spectators, with downcast eyes and a half-smiling, half-frightened expression. The fortune-teller faces her and holds the young lady's right hand in her left, while her own right hand holds a coin with which she is apparently tracing the lines of the young lady's palm, at the same time gazing with an arch expression into her face, as though to note the effect of her predictions. The fortune-teller should be in gipsy costume, a short, dark skirt and a hood of some brighter material thrown carelessly over her head. She should be of a swarthy complexion, with a good deal of color and jet-black hair.
A large cross, apparently of white marble (really of deal, well washed with whitening and size) occupies a diagonal position across the center of the stage, facing slightly toward the left. Its base or plinth is formed of two or three successive platforms or steps of the same material. At the foot a woman kneels, clasping her arms around the cross, as though she had just thrown herself into that position in escaping from some danger. Her gaze should be directed upward. A loose brown robe and hood, the latter thrown back off the head, will be the most appropriate costume. Magnesium light from above.
A female figure, clothed in sober gray, and seated on a very low stool, facing right and gazing heavenward. (If a "sky" background is procurable, a single star should be visible, and should be the object of her gaze.) Her right elbow rests upon her right knee, and her right hand supports her chin. Her left hand hangs by her side, and at her feet lies the emblematic anchor. Red light, not too strong.
A ragged boy, barefooted and clasping a wornout broom, sits huddled on the ground left, but facing right. His arms are folded and rest on his knees, and his head is bent down upon them, so as to hide his face. A girl, in nun's costume, is touching him on the shoulder, and apparently proffering help and sympathy.
VI. SINGLE LIFE
Scene, a tolerably well-furnished but untidy sitting-room, with numerous traces of bachelor occupation, such as crossed foils on the wall, a set of boxing-gloves under a side table, boots, hats and walking-sticks lying about in various directions. On one corner of the table some one has apparently breakfasted in rather higgledy-piggledy fashion. Near the table sits a young man, with a short pipe in his mouth and one foot bare, while he is endeavoring to darn an extremely dilapidated sock.
VII. THE SAILOR'S FAREWELL
Scene, a cottage home. A young man, in sailor costume and with a bundle on his shoulder, stands with his right hand on the latch of the door, right center, but looking back with a sorrowful expression at his wife—personated by a young lady in short black or blue skirt, red or white blouse, and white mob-cap—who sits with her apron up to her eyes in an apparent agony of grief. Three children are present, the two elder crying for sympathy, the youngest sitting in a crib or cradle and amusing himself with some toy, in apparent unconsciousness of his father's approaching departure. Soft blue light from left. Music, "The Minstrel Boy."
VIII. HOME AGAIN.
The same scene. Children a couple of years older. (This may be effected by suppressing the youngest and introducing a fresh eldest, as much like the others as possible.) The sailor of the last scene, slightly more tanned, and with a fuller "made-up" beard, has apparently just entered. The wife has both arms round his neck, her face being hidden in his bosom. Of the children, the eldest has seized and is kissing her father's hand, while the two younger each cling round one leg. Soft red light. Music, "A Lass that Loves a Sailor," or "When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again."
We subjoin a list of favorite subjects, leaving their actual arrangement to the taste and intelligence of the reader. It will usually be safe to follow the hints in good illustrations.
"Choosing the Wedding Gown." A charming scene after Mulready, from the "Vicar of Wakefield."
"William Penn Signing the Treaty with the Indians."
"The Drunkard's Home," "Signing the Pledge," "The Temperance Home." See some good illustrations.
"Mary Queen of Scots and the Four Maries."
"Mr. Pecksniff Dismissing Tom Pinch."
"The Song of the Shirt."
"Little Red Riding-Hood."
"The Duel from the 'Corsican Brothers.'"
"Heloise in Her Cell."
"William Tell Shooting the Apple From His Son's Head," etc., etc., etc.
CHURCH AND SCHOOL SOCIALS
WAX WORKS GALLERY: MRS. JARLEY'S COLLECTION—CHINESE GIANT—TWO-HEADED GIRL—CAPTAIN KIDD—CELEBRATED DWARF—YANKEE—CANNIBAL, ETC.
The idea is that of a waxwork exhibition, the characters being personated, after a burlesque fashion, by living performers. Each "figure" is first duly described by the exhibitor, and then "wound up" and made to go through certain characteristic movements.
The collection is supposed to be that of the far-famed Mrs. Jarley, of "Old Curiosity Shop" celebrity. She may be assisted, if thought desirable, by "Little Nell" and a couple of manservants, John and Peter. The costume of Mrs. Jarley is a black or chintz dress, bright shawl and huge bonnet; that of Little Nell may be a calico dress and white apron, with hat slung over her arm. John and Peter may be dressed in livery suits, and should be provided with watchman's rattle, screwdriver, hammer, nails and oil-can. At the rise of the curtain the figures are seen ranged in a semicircle at the back of the stage, and Little Nell is discovered dusting them with a long feather brush. Mrs. Jarley stands in front, and delivers her descriptive orations, directing her men to bring forward each figure before she describes it. After having been duly described, the figure is "wound" up, and goes through its peculiar movement, and when it stops it is moved back to its place.
If the stage is small, or it is desired that the same actors shall appear in various characters in succession, the figures may be exhibited in successive groups or compartments, the curtain being lowered to permit one party to retire and another to take their places. After the whole of the figures of a given chamber have been described, the assistants wind them all up, and they go through their various movements simultaneously, to a pianoforte accompaniment, which should gradually go faster, coming at last to a sudden stop, when the figures become motionless and the curtain falls.
Mrs. Jarley may be made a silent character, sitting on one side, and occasionally making believe to dust or arrange a figure, while the "patter" is delivered by a male exhibitor. Or Mrs. Jarley may, if preferred, be suppressed altogether, and the exhibitor appear as (say) Artemus Ward, or in ordinary evening costume, without assuming any special character. A good deal of fun may be made of the supposed tendency of any particular figure to tip over, and the application, by John and Peter, of wooden wedges, penny pieces, etc., under its feet to keep it upright. Supposed defective working, causing the figure to stop suddenly in the middle of its movements, and involving the rewinding or oiling of its internal mechanism, will also produce a good deal of amusement. The "winding up" may be done with a bed-winch, a bottle-jack key, or the winch of a kitchen range, the click of the mechanism being imitated by means of a watchman's rattle, or by the even simpler expedient of drawing a piece of hard wood smartly along a notched stick. (This, of course, should be done out of sight of the audience.) The movement of the figure should be accompanied by the piano, to a slow or lively measure, as may be most appropriate.
The arrangement being complete and the curtain raised, Mrs. Jarley delivers her opening speech, about as follows:
"Ladies and gentlemen, you here behold Mrs. Jarley, one of the most remarkable women of the world, who has traveled all over the country with her curious Collection of Waxworks. These figures have been gathered, at great expense, from every clime and country, and are here shown together for the first time. I shall describe each one of them for your benefit, and, after I have given you their history, I shall have each one of them wound up, for they are all fitted with clockwork inside, and they can thus go through the same motions they did when living. In fact, they execute their movements so naturally that many people have supposed them to be alive; but I assure you that they are all made of wood and wax—blockheads every one.
"Without further prelude, I shall now introduce to your notice each one of my figures, beginning, as usual, with the last one first."
I. THE CHINESE GIANT
A MAN OR WOMAN STANDING ON A HIGH STOOL, CHINTZ SKIRT AROUND THE WAIST, LONG ENOUGH TO HIDE THE STOOL, CHINESE OVERDRESS, HAT, PIG-TAIL AND MOUSTACHE
"This figure is universally allowed to be the tallest figure in my collection; he originated in the two provinces of Oolong and Shanghi, one province not being long enough to produce him. On account of his extreme length it is impossible to give any adequate idea of him in one entertainment, consequently he will be continued in our next.
"He was the inventor, projector and discoverer of Niagara Falls, Bunker's Hill Monument and the Balm of Columbia. In fact, everything was originally discovered by him or some other of the Chinese. The portrait of this person, who was a high dignitary among them, may be often seen depicted on a blue china plate, standing upon a bridge, which leans upon nothing, at either end, and intently observing two birds which are behind him in the distance.
"John, wind up the Giant."
The Giant bows low, then wags his head three times and bows as before, and after a dozen motions slowly stops.
"You will observe that I have spared no expense in procuring wonders of every sort, and here is my crowning effort or masterpiece—"
II. THE TWO-HEADED GIRL
"A remarkable freak of nature, which impresses the beholder with silent awe. Observe the two heads and one body. See these fair faces, each one lovelier than the other. No one can gaze upon them without a double sensation 'of sorrow and of joy'—sorrow that such beauty and grace were ever united, and joy that he has had the pleasure of contemplating their union.
"Wind them up, Peter."
This figure is made by two young ladies standing back to back, wrapped in one large skirt. They hold their arms out, with their hands hanging, and slowly revolve when they are wound up.
III. THE SEWING-WOMAN
"John, bring out the Sewing-Woman, and let the ladies behold the unfortunate seamstress who died from pricking her finger with a needle while sewing on Sunday. You see that the work which she holds is stained with gore, which drips from her finger onto the floor. (Which is poetry!) This forms a sad and melancholy warning to all heads of families immediately to purchase the best sewing-machines, for this accident never could have happened had she not been without one of those excellent machines, such as no family should be without."
When wound up, the figure sews very stiffly and stops slowly.
IV. CAPTAIN KIDD AND HIS VICTIM
"Ladies and Gentlemen: Permit me to call your attention to this beautiful group, which has lately been added, at an enormous expense, to my collection. You here behold the first privateer and the first victim of his murderous propensities. Captain Kidd, the robber of the main, is supposed to have originated somewhere down east. His whole life being spent upon the stormy deep, he amassed an immense fortune, and buried it in the sand along the flower-clad banks of Cape Cod, by which course he invented the savings banks, now so common along shore. Having hidden away so much property, which, like so many modern investments, never can be unearthed, he was known as a great sea-cretur. Before him kneels his lovely and innocent victim, the Lady Blousabella Infantina, who was several times taken and murdered by this bloodthirsty tyrant, which accounts for the calm look of resignation depicted upon her lovely countenance.
"Wind 'em up, John."
Costumes: Captain Kidd—white pantaloons, blue shirt, sailor hat, pistol and sword.
Victim—Lady with flowing hair, white dress. Movement—The captain's sword moves up and down, and the victim's arms go in unison.
V. THE SIAMESE TWINS
Two gentlemen dressed alike in ordinary costume, with a large bone (attached by wire or string) between them. One arm of each over the other's neck. Pugnacious expression of countenance.
"The wonderful Siamese Twins compose the next group. These remarkable brothers lived together in the greatest harmony, though there was always a bone of contention between them. They were never seen apart, such was their brotherly fondness. They married young, both being opposed to a single life. The short one is not quite so tall as his brother, although their ages are about the same. One of them was born in the Island of Borneo, the other on the southern extremity of Cape Cod."
When wound up they begin to fight, continue for a moment and stop suddenly.
VI. THE CELEBRATED DWARF
BOY WITH RED CLOAK, LONG WHITE WIG, BOWL AND SPOON
"This wonderful child has created some interest in the medical and scientific world, from the fact that he was thirteen years old when he was born, and kept on growing older and older until he died, at the somewhat advanced age of two hundred and ninety-seven, in consequence of eating too freely of pies and cakes, his favorite food. He measured exactly two feet and seven inches from the crown of his head to the sole of his foot, and two feet and ten inches back again. Was first discovered ten miles from any land and twelve miles from any water, making the enormous total of ninety-one, which figure was never before reached by any previous exhibition. Wind him up, John."
Dwarf eats very stiffly with a large spoon in his right hand; in his left hand he holds a bowl, which falls on the floor after a moment and is broken.
"John, get your tools and screw up that dwarf's hand, for it has become so loose that it costs a fortune for the crockery he breaks."
John screws up the hand, gets a new bowl, and again winds up the figure, which now moves with much greater energy.
VII. THE VOCALIST
"Bring out the Vocalist. I now call your attention to the most costly of all my figures. This wonderful automaton singer represents Signorina Squallini, the unrivaled vocalist, whose notes are current in every market, and sway all hearts at her own sweet will.
"Wind her up and let her liquid notes pour forth."
She gesticulates wildly, and sings a few notes in a very extravagant manner, then stops with a hoarse sound.
Mrs. J.: "John, this figure needs oiling. Why do you not attend to your duties better?"
John gets oilcan, which he applies to each ear of the figure, which strikes a high note and sings with much expression and many trills, then makes a gurgling sound, as if running down, and suddenly stops again.
Costume: Evening dress.
VIII. THE YANKEE
Description: A tall, thin man, clean shaven, but for a tuft on chin, dressed in black, with broad-brimmed straw hat. He is seated on a low rocking-chair, with his legs resting on the back of another chair. He holds a wooden stick, which he is whittling with a jackknife.
"You here behold a specimen of our irrepressible, indomitable native Yankee, who has been everywhere, seen everything and knows everything. He has explored the arid jungles of Africa, drawn forth the spotted cobra by his prehensile tail, snowballed the Russian bear on the snowy slopes of Alpine forests, and sold wooden nutmegs to the unsuspecting innocents of Patagonia. He has peddled patent medicines in the Desert of Sahara, and hung his hat and carved his name on the extreme top of the North Pole. The only difficulty I find in describing him is that I cannot tell what he cannot do. I will therefore set him in motion, as he hates to be quiet."
When, wound up he pushes his hat back on his head and begins to whittle.
IX. THE CANNIBAL
"Here you behold a curious cannibal from the Feejee Islands, first discovered by Captain Cook, who came very near being cooked by him. In that case, the worthy captain would never have completed his celebrated voyage round the world. This individual was greatly interested in the cause of foreign missions. Indeed, he received the missionaries gladly and gave them a place near his heart. He was finally converted by a very tough tract-distributor, who had been brought up in a Bloomsbury boarding-house, and was induced to become civilized. One of his evidences of a change of life was shown by his statement that he now had but one wife, like the English. 'What have you done with the other twelve which you said you had a month ago?' asked the tract distributor. 'Oh, I have eaten them!' replied the gentle savage. This cannibal was very fond of children, especially those of a tender age; he holds in his hand a war-club, with which he prepared his daily meals, also a warwhoop, which is an original one."
Costume: Brown jersey and drawers, face and hands colored to match, very short skirt, feather headdress, large rings in nose and ears. One hand holds a war-club, the other a child's hoop.
Movement: When wound up he brandishes his club and raises hoop to his mouth.
X. BABES IN THE WOOD
Two men, the bigger the better, one dressed as a very small boy, the other as a little girl; each holds a penny bun.
"In the next group you behold the Babes in the Wood, who had the misfortune to have an uncle. This wicked man hired a villain to carry these babes away into the wood and leave them to wander until death put an end to their sorrow, and the little robins covered them up with leaves. These lifelike figures represent the children just after taking their leaves of the villain. By a master stroke of genius the artist has shown very delicately that human nature is not utterly depraved, for the villain has placed in the hand of each of the innocents a penny bun as a parting present. I have been often asked 'why I did not have a figure of the villain also added to the group?' but my reply always is, 'Villains are too common to be any curiosity.'
"Wind 'em up, John."
Each Babe offers to the other a bite of bun alternately.
XI. LITTLE RED RIDING-HOOD
A young lady carrying a basket on her arm. Costume in accordance with the story.
"Here you behold Little Red Riding-Hood, a model of grand filial devotion, for she was so fond of her granny that she wandered through the forest to take the old lady's luncheon, and was eaten by the wolf for so doing, which is a warning to all children to be careful how they do much for their grandmothers, unless they are rich and can leave them something in their wills. This personage was an especial favorite with children, who love to read about her, and shed tears over her unhappy fate, although some of them think that had she been as smart as her dress, she would have been too smart to have mistaken the wolf for her grandmother, unless she had been a very homely old lady, or he had been much better looking than most wolves."
When wound up, the figure curtseys and holds out her basket.
XII. LADY WITH GOLDEN LOCKS
Young lady with long hair, flowing over her shoulders, holds bottle (labelled Mrs. Blank's Hair Restorer) and curling-tongs.
"This is one of the most expensive of my costly collection, for blonde hair is very high, and you see how heavy and long are the golden locks which adorn her beautiful face. I cannot pass this figure without saying a few words in praise of the wonderful hair restorer, for this image had grown so bald from the effect of long journeys by road or rail that she was exhibited for two years as the Old Man of the Mountain. One bottle of this wonderful fluid, however, restored her hair to its present growth and beauty, and a little of the fluid being accidentally spilled upon the pine box in which the figure was carried, it immediately became an excellent hair trunk."
CHURCH AND SCHOOL SOCIALS
ART EXHIBITIONS—LIST OF EXHIBITORS—"ARTISTS"—CURIOSITIES—EXPLANATIONS— SUGGESTIONS
The elaborate "sell" which goes by this name used to be a regular institution in church bazaars and might well be rejuvenated as a novelty.
A regular printed catalogue is got up, containing apparently the names of a collection of pictures or sculptures, each object duly numbered and with the name of the artist appended. In some instances the name of a (supposed) picture is followed by an appropriate quotation in poetry or prose, after the orthodox fashion of art galleries. We append, by way of illustration, a selection from the catalogue of a collection which has met with great success: EXHIBITION OF THE WORKS OF LIVING ARTISTS
PART I. WORKS OF ART
1. Horse Fair After Rosa Bonheur. 2. A Brush With a Cutter Off Deal Carpenter. 3. Caught in a Squall Off Yarmouth Fisher. 4. The Last of Poor Dog Tray Barker. 5. "He Will Return, I Know He Will" Lent by the Trustees of the Parish. 6. The Midnight Hour. C. Lock. 7. Heroes of Waterloo. Schumacher. 8. True to the Core. C. Odling. 9. "Spring, Spring, Beautiful Spring!" Mayne. 10. "Tears, Idle Tears." Strong. 11. The Midnight Assassin. F. Sharpe. 12. The Dripping Well. T. Inman. 13. Family Jars. Potter. 14. Never Too Late to Mend. S. Titch. 15. Past Healing. Kobler. 16. The First Sorrow. Smalchild. 17. Saved. S. Kinflint 18. Lost 19. First Love. Sweet. 20. The Death of the Camel. After Goodall. 21. His First Cigar. A. Young. 22. A Good Fellow Gone. M. I. Slade. 23. Portrait of a Gentleman. Anonymous. 24. Portrait of a Lady. Anonymous. 25. Our Churchwardens. Screw. 26. Portraits of the Reigning Sovereigns of Europe. (Taken by special order). G. P. O. 27. Waifs of Ocean. Fish. "Strange things come up to look at us, The Monsters of the deep." 28. The Last Man. Unknown. 29. Contribution from the Celebrated Sheepsbanks Collection. Butcher. 30. The Light of Other Days. Dimm. 31. The Meet of Her Majesty's Hounds. Pratt. 32. Water Scene. "And I hear Those waters rolling from the mountain springs With a sweet inland murmur." 33. The Maiden's Joy. Bachelor. 34. The Fall. Adam. 35. Motherhood.
"She laid it where the sunbeams fall Unscanned upon the broken wall, Without a tear, without a groan, She laid it near a mighty stone Which some rude swain had haply cast Thither in sports, long ages past. There in its cool and quiet bed, She set her burden down and fled; Nor flung, all eager to escape, One glance upon the perfect shape That lay, still warm and fresh and fair, But motionless and soundless there." —C. S. Calverley.
36. A Friendly Party on Hampstead Heath. Moke. 37. Borrowed Plumes. Wigg. 38. Out for the Night. Anonymous. 39. Something to Adore. Anonymous. 40. The Weaned Grinder. Mayne Force. "Change and decay in all around I see." 41. Repentance. G. Templar. 42. Maggie's Secret. Rossetter. 43. Somebody's Luggage. S. Canty. 44. Eusebius. B. Linkers. 45. Happy Childhood. Wackford Squeers. 46. Not Such a Fool as He Looks. The Exhibitor. 47. A Choice Collection of Old China. 48. A Fine Specimen of Local Quartz Discovered in the Possession of a Workman. During the Building of the New Town Hall. 49. The Skull of the Last of the Mohicans. 50. A Marble Group. 51. Bust. 52. The Puzzle. 53. The Instantaneous Kid Reviver. 54. The Earnest Entreaty.
Anyone not in the secret, perusing the above catalogue, would naturally conclude that the descriptions referred to pictorial art of some kind or other. But such is by no means the case. The visitor, on being admitted, finds, in place of the expected pictures, shelves or tables on which are arranged sundry very commonplace objects, each bearing a numbered ticket. On close examination he finds that the numbers correspond with those in the catalogue, and that No. 1, "Horse Fair"—fare—is represented after a realistic fashion by a handful of oats and a wisp of hay. No. 2, which he expected to find a spirited marine sketch, is in reality only a toothbrush lying beside a jack-plane; while the supposed companion picture, "Caught in a Squall Off Yarmouth," is represented by a red herring. No. 4, "The Last of Poor Dog Tray," is a sausage, and the exhibitor particularly begs that no gentleman will on any account whistle while passing this picture. No. 5, "He Will Return, I Know He Will," presumably the agonized cry of a forsaken maiden, is in reality a poor-rate collector's paper, marked "Fifth application." No. 6 is represented by a numbered ticket only, with no object attached to it. The exhibitor explains that "The Midnight Hour" has not yet arrived, but that any gentleman who likes to wait till it does (which will be at twelve o'clock punctually), is very welcome to do so. The "Heroes of Waterloo," Wellington and Blucher, No. 7, are represented by a couple of boots known by those distinguished names. 8, "True to the Core," is a rosy-cheeked apple. 9 is a coil of watch spring. 10, "Tears, Idle Tears," on which the exhibitor feelingly expatiates as a noble example of the imaginative in art, is an onion. The space dedicated to No. 11 is occupied by the numbered ticket only, the exhibitor explaining that "The Midnight Assassin" (who is stated to be a large and lively flea) has strolled away and is wandering at large about the room; and he adds an entreaty that any lady or gentleman who may meet with him will immediately return him to his place in the collection. "The Dripping Well" (No. 12) proves to be of the description more usually known as a dripping-pan. "Family Jars," by Potter, is found to consist of a pickle jar and jam pot. No. 14, "Never Too Late to Mend," is a boot patched all over; while 15, "Past Healing," is its fellow, too far gone to admit of like renovation. "The First Sorrow" is a broken doll. "Saved" is a money box, containing twopence halfpenny, mostly in farthings. The next is a vacant space, over which the exhibitor passes with the casual remark, "No. 18, as you will observe, is unfortunately lost." No. 19, "First Love," is a piece of taffy. 20, "The Death of the Camel," is a straw, labeled "the last," and the exhibitor explains that this is the identical straw that broke the camel's back. "His First Cigar" is a mild Havana of brown paper. "A Good Fellow Gone" is suggested, rather than represented, by an odd glove. Nos. 23 and 24 are represented by two small mirrors, which are handed to a lady and a gentleman respectively, with a few appropriate remarks as to the extreme success of the likenesses, coupled with critical remarks as to the "expression" in each case. "Our Churchwardens" are a pair of long clay pipes. No. 26, "Portraits of the Reigning Sovereigns of Europe," are represented by a few cancelled foreign postage stamps. "The Monsters of the Deep," in No. 27, are represented by a periwinkle and a shrimp. "The Last Man" (No. 28), is at present missing from his place in the collection, but the exhibitor explains that he will be seen going out just as the exhibition closes. The "Contribution from the Sheepshanks Collection" (29), is a couple of mutton bones; while "The Light of Other Days" (30) is an old-fashioned lantern and tinder box. "The Meet (meat) of Her Majesty's Hounds" is a piece of dog biscuit. No. 32 is a leaky can of water. "The Maiden's Joy" (obviously) is a wedding ring. "The Fall" is a lady's veil. No. 35, "Motherhood," is the gem of the collection, and should be kept carefully hidden (say by a handkerchief thrown over it) until the company have had time to read and appreciate Mr. Caverley's graceful lines, when the veil is removed, and behold—an egg! No. 36, "A Friendly Party on Hampstead Heath," is represented by three toy donkeys. "Borrowed Plumes" are represented by a lady's false front. "Out for the Night" is an extinguished candle. "Something to Adore" is a rusty bolt. "The Wearied Grinder" is a back tooth of somebody's very much the worse for wear. "Repentance" (No. 41) is represented by a smashed hat and a bottle of sodawater. "Maggie's Secret" is a gray hair, labeled "Her First." No. 43, "Somebody's Luggage," consists of a broken comb and a paper collar. "Eusebius" is a pair of spectacles. "Happy Childhood" is indicated by a lithe and "swishy" cane. When the company arrive at No. 46, the corresponding object is apparently missing. The exhibitor refers to his notes and says: "46—46? I see they have written down against No. 46, 'The Exhibitor,' but I don't see quite what they mean. Suppose we pass on to the curiosities, ladies and gentlemen." No. 47 is merely some smashed crockery, and No. 48 a pewter quart pot. No. 49 is again a vacant space, and the exhibitor explains that "The Last of the Mohicans" has just gone home to his tea, and has taken his skull with him. No. 50 is, as its name implies, a group of marbles, of the school boy character. No. 51 is a paper bag of peas, and, being too full, has "bust." "The Puzzle" (No. 52) is an old guide book. "The Instantaneous Kid Reviver" is a baby's feeding bottle; and the "Earnest Entreaty" is the request of the exhibitor that the visitors will recommend the collection to their friends.