Playful Poems
by Henry Morley
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"Where am I? in the breathing world, or in the world of death?" With sharp and sudden pang I drew another birth of breath; My eyes drank in a doubtful light, my ears a doubtful sound - And was that ship a REAL ship whose tackle seemed around? A moon, as if the earthly moon, was shining up aloft; But were those beams the very beams that I have seen so oft? A face that mocked the human face, before me watched alone; But were those eyes the eyes of man that looked against my own?

Oh! never may the moon again disclose me such a sight As met my gaze, when first I looked, on that accursed night! I've seen a thousand horrid shapes begot of fierce extremes Of fever; and most frightful things have haunted in my dreams - Hyenas—cats—blood-loving bats—and apes with hateful stare - Pernicious snakes, and shaggy bulls—the lion, and she-bear - Strong enemies, with Judas looks, of treachery and spite - Detested features, hardly dimmed and banished by the light! Pale-sheeted ghosts, with gory locks, upstarting from their tombs - All phantasies and images that flit in midnight glooms - Hags, goblins, demons, lemures, have made me all aghast, - But nothing like that GRIMLY ONE who stood beside the mast!

His cheek was black—his brow was black—his eyes and hair as dark; His hand was black, and where it touched, it left a sable mark; His throat was black, his vest the same, and when I looked beneath, His breast was black—all, all was black, except his grinning teeth, His sooty crew were like in hue, as black as Afric slaves! Oh, horror! e'en the ship was black that ploughed the inky waves! "Alas!" I cried, "for love of truth and blessed mercy's sake, Where am I? in what dreadful ship? upon what dreadful lake? What shape is that, so very grim, and black as any coal? It is Mahound, the Evil One, and he has gained my soul! Oh, mother dear! my tender nurse: dear meadows that beguiled My happy days, when I was yet a little sinless child - My mother dear—my native fields I never more shall see: I'm sailing in the Devil's Ship, upon the Devil's Sea!"

Loud laughed that SABLE MARINER, and loudly in return His sooty crew sent forth a laugh that rang from stem to stern - A dozen pair of grimly cheeks were crumpled on the nonce - As many sets of grinning teeth came shining out at once: A dozen gloomy shapes at once enjoyed the merry fit, With shriek and yell, and oaths as well, like Demons of the Pit. They crowed their fill, and then the Chief made answer for the whole:- "Our skins," said he, "are black, ye see, because we carry coal; You'll find your mother sure enough, and see your native fields - For this here ship has picked you up—the Mary Ann of Shields!"



"Old woman, old woman, will you go a-shearing? Speak a little louder, for I'm very hard of hearing." —Old Ballad.

Of all old women hard of hearing, The deafest sure was Dame Eleanor Spearing! On her head, it is true, Two flaps there grew, That served for a pair of gold rings to go through, But for any purpose of ears in a parley, They heard no more than ears of barley.

No hint was needed from D. E. F., You saw in her face that the woman was deaf: From her twisted mouth to her eyes so peery, Each queer feature asked a query; A look that said in a silent way, "Who? and What? and How? and Eh? I'd give my ears to know what you say!"

And well she might! for each auricular Was deaf as a post—and that post in particular That stands at the corner of Dyott Street now, And never hears a word of a row! Ears that might serve her now and then As extempore racks for an idle pen; Or to hang with hoops from jewellers' shops; With coral; ruby, or garnet drops; Or, provided the owner so inclined, Ears to stick a blister behind; But as for hearing wisdom, or wit, Falsehood, or folly, or tell-tale-tit, Or politics, whether of Fox or Pitt, Sermon, lecture, or musical bit, Harp, piano, fiddle, or kit, They might as well, for any such wish, Have been buttered, done brown, and laid in a dish!

She was deaf as a post,—as said before - And as deaf as twenty similes more, Including the adder, that deafest of snakes, Which never hears the coil it makes.

She was deaf as a house—which modern tricks Of language would call as deaf as bricks - For her all human kind were dumb, Her drum, indeed, was so muffled a drum, That none could get a sound to come, Unless the Devil, who had Two Sticks! She was as deaf as a stone—say one of the stones Demosthenes sucked to improve his tones; And surely deafness no further could reach Than to be in his mouth without hearing his speech!

She was deaf as a nut—for nuts, no doubt, Are deaf to the grub that's hollowing out - As deaf, alas! as the dead and forgotten - (Gray has noticed the waste of breath, In addressing the "dull, cold ear of death"), Or the felon's ear that is stuffed with cotton - Or Charles the First in statue quo; Or the still-born figures of Madame Tussaud, With their eyes of glass, and their hair of flax, That only stare whatever you "ax," For their ears, you know, are nothing but wax.

She was deaf as the ducks that swam in the pond, And wouldn't listen to Mrs. Bond, - As deaf as any Frenchman appears, When he puts his shoulders into his ears: And—whatever the citizen tells his son - As deaf as Gog and Magog at one! Or, still to be a simile-seeker, As deaf as dogs'-ears to Enfield's Speaker!

She was deaf as any tradesman's dummy, Or as Pharaoh's mother's mother's mummy; Whose organs, for fear of modern sceptics, Were plugged with gums and antiseptics.

She was deaf as a nail—that you cannot hammer A meaning into for all your clamour - There never WAS such a deaf old Gammer! So formed to worry Both Lindley and Murray, By having no ear for Music or Grammar!

Deaf to sounds, as a ship out of soundings, Deaf to verbs, and all their compoundings, Adjective, noun, and adverb, and particle, Deaf to even the definite article - No verbal message was worth a pin, Though you hired an earwig to carry it in!

In short, she was twice as deaf as Deaf Burke, Or all the Deafness in Yearsley's work, Who in spite of his skill in hardness of hearing, Boring, blasting, and pioneering, To give the dunny organ a clearing, Could never have cured Dame Eleanor Spearing.

Of course the loss was a great privation, For one of her sex—whatever her station - And none the less that the dame had a turn For making all families one concern, And learning whatever there was to learn In the prattling, tattling village of Tringham - As, who wore silk? and who wore gingham? And what the Atkins's shop might bring 'em? How the Smiths contrived to live? and whether The fourteen Murphys all pigged together? The wages per week of the Weavers and Skinners, And what they boiled for their Sunday dinners? What plates the Bugsbys had on the shelf, Crockery, china, wooden, or delf? And if the parlour of Mrs. O'Grady Had a wicked French print, or Death and the Lady? Did Snip and his wife continue to jangle? Had Mrs. Wilkinson sold her mangle? What liquor was drunk by Jones and Brown? And the weekly score they ran up at the Crown? If the cobbler could read, and believed in the Pope? And how the Grubbs were off for soap? If the Snobbs had furnished their room upstairs, And how they managed for tables and chairs, Beds, and other household affairs, Iron, wooden, and Staffordshire wares? And if they could muster a whole pair of bellows? In fact she had much of the spirit that lies Perdu in a notable set of Paul Prys, By courtesy called Statistical Fellows - A prying, spying, inquisitive clan, Who have gone upon much of the self-same plan, Jotting the labouring class's riches; And after poking in pot and pan, And routing garments in want of stitches, Have ascertained that a working man Wears a pair and a quarter of average breeches!

But this, alas! from her loss of hearing, Was all a sealed book to Dame Eleanor Spearing; And often her tears would rise to their founts - Supposing a little scandal at play 'Twixt Mrs. O'Fie and Mrs. Au Fait - That she couldn't audit the gossips' accounts. 'Tis true, to her cottage still they came, And ate her muffins just the same, And drank the tea of the widowed dame, And never swallowed a thimble the less Of something the reader is left to guess, For all the deafness of Mrs. S. Who SAW them talk, and chuckle, and cough, But to SEE and not share in the social flow, She might as well have lived, you know, In one of the houses in Owen's Row, Near the New River Head, with its water cut off! And yet the almond oil she had tried, And fifty infallible things beside, Hot, and cold, and thick, and thin, Dabbed, and dribbled, and squirted in: But all remedies failed; and though some it was clear, Like the brandy and salt We now exalt, Had made a noise in the public ear, She was just as deaf as ever, poor dear!

At last—one very fine day in June - Suppose her sitting, Busily knitting, And humming she didn't quite know what tune; For nothing she heard but a sort of whizz, Which, unless the sound of circulation, Or of thoughts in the process of fabrication, By a spinning-jennyish operation, It's hard to say what buzzing it is. However, except that ghost of a sound, She sat in a silence most profound - The cat was purring about the mat, But her mistress heard no more of that Than if it had been a boatswain's cat; And as for the clock the moments nicking, The dame only gave it credit for ticking. The bark of her dog she did not catch; Nor yet the click of the lifted latch; Nor yet the creak of the opening door; Nor yet the fall of a foot on the floor - But she saw the shadow that crept on her gown And turned its skirt of a darker brown.

And lo! a man! a Pedlar! ay, marry, With the little back-shop that such tradesmen carry, Stocked with brooches, ribbons, and rings, Spectacles, razors, and other odd things For lad and lass, as Autolycus sings; A chapman for goodness and cheapness of ware, Held a fair dealer enough at a fair, But deemed a piratical sort of invader By him we dub the "regular trader," Who—luring the passengers in as they pass By lamps, gay panels, and mouldings of brass, And windows with only one huge pane of glass, And his name in gilt characters, German or Roman - If he isn't a Pedlar, at least he's a Showman!

However, in the stranger came, And, the moment he met the eyes of the Dame, Threw her as knowing a nod as though He had known her fifty long years ago: And presto! before she could utter "Jack" - Much less "Robinson"—opened his pack - And then from amongst his portable gear, With even more than a Pedlar's tact, - (Slick himself might have envied the act) - Before she had time to be deaf, in fact - Popped a Trumpet into her ear. "There, Ma'am! try it! You needn't buy it - The last New Patent, and nothing comes nigh it For affording the deaf, at a little expense, The sense of hearing, and hearing of sense! A Real Blessing—and no mistake, Invented for poor Humanity's sake: For what can be a greater privation Than playing Dumby to all creation, And only looking at conversation - Great philosophers talking like Platos, And Members of Parliament moral as Catos, And your ears as dull as waxy potatoes! Not to name the mischievous quizzers, Sharp as knives, but double as scissors, Who get you to answer quite by guess Yes for No, and No for Yes." ("That's very true," says Dame Eleanor S.)

"Try it again! No harm in trying - I'm sure you'll find it worth your buying. A little practice—that is all - And you'll hear a whisper, however small, Through an Act of Parliament party-wall, - Every syllable clear as day, And even what people are going to say - I wouldn't tell a lie, I wouldn't, But my Trumpets have heard what Solomon's couldn't; And as for Scott he promises fine, But can he warrant his horns like mine, Never to hear what a lady shouldn't - Only a guinea—and can't take less." ("That's very dear," said Dame Eleanor S.)

"Dear!—Oh dear, to call it dear! Why, it isn't a horn you buy, but an ear; Only think, and you'll find on reflection You're bargaining, ma'am, for the Voice of Affection; For the language of Wisdom, and Virtue, and Truth, And the sweet little innocent prattle of Youth: Not to mention the striking of clocks - Cackle of hens—crowing of cocks - Lowing of cow, and bull, and ox - Bleating of pretty pastoral flocks - Murmur of waterfall over the rocks - Every sound that Echo mocks - Vocals, fiddles, and musical-box - And zounds! to call such a concert dear! But I mustn't 'swear with my horn in your ear.' Why, in buying that Trumpet you buy all those That Harper, or any Trumpeter, blows At the Queen's Levees or the Lord Mayor's Shows, At least as far as the music goes, Including the wonderful lively sound, Of the Guards' key-bugles all the year round; Come—suppose we call it a pound! Come," said the talkative Man of the Pack, "Before I put my box on my back, For this elegant, useful Conductor of Sound, Come, suppose we call it a pound!

"Only a pound: it's only the price Of hearing a concert once or twice, It's only the fee You might give Mr. C. And after all not hear his advice, But common prudence would bid you stump it; For, not to enlarge, It's the regular charge At a Fancy Fair for a penny trumpet. Lord! what's a pound to the blessing of hearing!" ("A pound's a pound," said Dame Eleanor Spearing.)

"Try it again! no harm in trying! A pound's a pound, there's no denying; But think what thousands and thousands of pounds We pay for nothing but hearing sounds: Sounds of Equity, Justice, and Law, Parliamentary jabber and jaw, Pious cant, and moral saw, Hocus-pocus, and Nong-tong-paw, And empty sounds not worth a straw; Why, it costs a guinea, as I'm a sinner, To hear the sounds at a public dinner! One pound one thrown into the puddle, To listen to Fiddle, Faddle, and Fuddle! Not to forget the sounds we buy From those who sell their sounds so high, That, unless the managers pitch it strong, To get a signora to warble a song, You must fork out the blunt with a haymaker's prong!

"It's not the thing for me—I know it, To crack my own trumpet up and blow it; But it is the best, and time will show it. There was Mrs. F. So very deaf, That she might have worn a percussion cap, And been knocked on the head without hearing it snap, Well, I sold her a horn, and the very next day She heard from her husband at Botany Bay! Come—eighteen shillings—that's very low, You'll save the money as shillings go, And I never knew so bad a lot, By hearing whether they ring or not!

"Eighteen shillings! it's worth the price, Supposing you're delicate-minded and nice, To have the medical man of your choice, Instead of the one with the strongest voice - Who comes and asks you, how's your liver, And where you ache, and whether you shiver, And as to your nerves, so apt to quiver, As if he was hailing a boat on the river! And then, with a shout, like Pat in a riot, Tells you to keep yourself perfectly quiet!

"Or a tradesman comes—as tradesmen will - Short and crusty about his bill; Of patience, indeed, a perfect scorner, And because you're deaf and unable to pay, Shouts whatever he has to say, In a vulgar voice, that goes over the way, Down the street and round the corner! Come—speak your mind—it's 'No' or 'Yes.'" ("I've half a mind," said Dame Eleanor S.)

"Try it again—no harm in trying, Of course you hear me, as easy as lying; No pain at all, like a surgical trick, To make you squall, and struggle, and kick, Like Juno, or Rose, Whose ear undergoes Such horrid tugs at membrane and gristle, For being as deaf as yourself to a whistle!

"You may go to surgical chaps if you choose, Who will blow up your tubes like copper flues, Or cut your tonsils right away, As you'd shell out your almonds for Christmas Day; And after all a matter of doubt, Whether you ever would hear the shout Of the little blackguards that bawl about, 'There you go with your tonsils out!' Why I knew a deaf Welshman, who came from Glamorgan On purpose to try a surgical spell, And paid a guinea, and might as well Have called a monkey into his organ! For the Aurist only took a mug, And poured in his ear some acoustical drug, That, instead of curing, deafened him rather, As Hamlet's uncle served Hamlet's father! That's the way with your surgical gentry! And happy your luck If you don't get stuck Through your liver and lights at a royal entry, Because you never answered the sentry!

"Try it again, dear madam, try it! Many would sell their beds to buy it. I warrant you often wake up in the night, Ready to shake to a jelly with fright, And up you must get to strike a light, And down you go, in you know what, Whether the weather is chilly or hot, - That's the way a cold is got, - To see if you heard a noise or not.

"Why, bless you, a woman with organs like yours Is hardly safe to step out of doors! Just fancy a horse that comes full pelt, But as quiet as if he was shod with felt, Till he rushes against you with all his force, And then I needn't describe of course, While he kicks you about without remorse, How awkward it is to be groomed by a horse! Or a bullock comes, as mad as King Lear, And you never dream that the brute is near, Till he pokes his horn right into your ear, Whether you like the thing or lump it, - And all for want of buying a trumpet!

"I'm not a female to fret and vex, But if I belonged to the sensitive sex, Exposed to all sorts of indelicate sounds, I wouldn't be deaf for a thousand pounds. Lord! only think of chucking a copper To Jack or Bob with a timber limb, Who looks as if he was singing a hymn, Instead of a song that's very improper! Or just suppose in a public place You see a great fellow a-pulling a face, With his staring eyes and his mouth like an O, - And how is a poor deaf lady to know, - The lower orders are up to such games - If he's calling 'Green Peas,' or calling her names?" ("They're tenpence a peck!" said the deafest of dames.)

"'Tis strange what very strong advising, By word of mouth, or advertising, By chalking on wall, or placarding on vans, With fifty other different plans, The very high pressure, in fact, of pressing, It needs to persuade one to purchase a blessing! Whether the soothing American Syrup, A Safety Hat, or a Safety Stirrup, - Infallible Pills for the human frame, Or Rowland's O-don't-O (an ominous name)! A Doudney's suit which the shape so hits That it beats all others into FITS; A Mechi's razor for beards unshorn, Or a Ghost-of-a-Whisper-Catching Horn!

"Try it again, ma'am, only try!" Was still the voluble Pedlar's cry; "It's a great privation, there's no dispute, To live like the dumb unsociable brute, And to hear no more of the pro and con, And how Society's going on, Than Mumbo Jumbo or Prester John, And all for want of this sine qua non; Whereas, with a horn that never offends, You may join the genteelest party that is, And enjoy all the scandal, and gossip, and quiz, And be certain to hear of your absent friends; - Not that elegant ladies, in fact, In genteel society ever detract, Or lend a brush when a friend is blacked, - At least as a mere malicious act, - But only talk scandal for fear some fool Should think they were bred at CHARITY school. Or, maybe, you like a little flirtation, Which even the most Don Juanish rake Would surely object to undertake At the same high pitch as an altercation. It's not for me, of course, to judge How much a deaf lady ought to begrudge; But half-a-guinea seems no great matter - Letting alone more rational patter - Only to hear a parrot chatter: Not to mention that feathered wit, The starling, who speaks when his tongue is slit; The pies and jays that utter words, And other Dicky Gossips of birds, That talk with as much good sense and decorum As many Beaks who belong to the Quorum.

"Try it—buy it—say ten and six, The lowest price a miser could fix: I don't pretend with horns of mine, Like some in the advertising line, To 'MAGNIFY SOUNDS' on such marvellous scales, That the sounds of a cod seem as big as a whale's; But popular rumours, right or wrong, - Charity sermons, short or long, - Lecture, speech, concerto, or song, All noises and voices, feeble or strong, From the hum of a gnat to the clash of a gong, This tube will deliver distinct and clear; Or, supposing by chance You wish to dance, Why it's putting a Horn-pipe into your ear! Try it—buy it! Buy it—try it! The last New Patent, and nothing comes nigh it, For guiding sounds to their proper tunnel: Only try till the end of June, And if you and the trumpet are out of tune I'll turn it gratis into a funnel!" In short, the pedlar so beset her, - Lord Bacon couldn't have gammoned her better, - With flatteries plump and indirect, And plied his tongue with such effect, - A tongue that could almost have buttered a crumpet: The deaf old woman bought the Trumpet.

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The pedlar was gone. With the horn's assistance, She heard his steps die away in the distance; And then she heard the tick of the clock, The purring of puss, and the snoring of Shock; And she purposely dropped a pin that was little, And heard it fall as plain as a skittle!

'Twas a wonderful horn, to be but just! Nor meant to gather dust, must, and rust; So in half a jiffy, or less than that, In her scarlet cloak and her steeple-hat, Like old Dame Trot, but without her cat, The gossip was hunting all Tringham thorough, As if she meant to canvass the borough, Trumpet in hand, or up to the cavity; - And, sure, had the horn been one of those The wild rhinoceros wears on his nose, It couldn't have ripped up more depravity!

Depravity! mercy shield her ears! 'Twas plain enough that her village peers In the ways of vice were no raw beginners; For whenever she raised the tube to her drum Such sounds were transmitted as only come From the very Brass Band of human sinners! Ribald jest and blasphemous curse (Bunyan never vented worse), With all those weeds, not flowers, of speech Which the Seven Dialecticians teach; Filthy Conjunctions, and Dissolute Nouns, And Particles picked from the kennels of towns, With Irregular Verbs for irregular jobs, Chiefly active in rows and mobs, Picking Possessive Pronouns' fobs, And Interjections as bad as a blight, Or an Eastern blast, to the blood and the sight: Fanciful phrases for crime and sin, And smacking of vulgar lips where Gin, Garlic, Tobacco, and offals go in - A jargon so truly adapted, in fact, To each thievish, obscene, and ferocious act, So fit for the brute with the human shape, Savage Baboon, or libidinous Ape, From their ugly mouths it will certainly come Should they ever get weary of shamming dumb!

Alas! for the Voice of Virtue and Truth, And the sweet little innocent prattle of Youth! The smallest urchin whose tongue could tang, Shocked the Dame with a volley of slang, Fit for Fagin's juvenile gang; While the charity chap, With his muffin cap, His crimson coat, and his badge so garish, Playing at dumps, or pitch in the hole, Cursed his eyes, limbs, body and soul, As if they did not belong to the Parish!

'Twas awful to hear, as she went along, The wicked words of the popular song; Or supposing she listened—as gossips will - At a door ajar, or a window agape, To catch the sounds they allowed to escape. Those sounds belonged to Depravity still! The dark allusion, or bolder brag Of the dexterous "dodge," and the lots of "swag," The plundered house—or the stolen nag - The blazing rick, or the darker crime, That quenched the spark before its time - The wanton speech of the wife immoral, The noise of drunken or deadly quarrel, With savage menace, which threatened the life, Till the heart seemed merely a strop for the knife; The human liver, no better than that Which is sliced and thrown to an old woman's cat; And the head, so useful for shaking and nodding, To be punched into holes, like a "shocking bad hat" That is only fit to be punched into wadding!

In short, wherever she turned the horn, To the highly bred, or the lowly born, The working man, who looked over the hedge, Or the mother nursing her infant pledge. The sober Quaker, averse to quarrels, Or the Governess pacing the village through, With her twelve Young Ladies, two and two, Looking, as such young ladies do, Trussed by Decorum and stuffed with morals - Whether she listened to Hob or Bob, Nob or Snob, The Squire on his cob, Or Trudge and his ass at a tinkering job, To the "Saint" who expounded at "Little Zion" - Or the "Sinner" who kept the "Golden Lion" - The man teetotally weaned from liquor - The Beadle, the Clerk, or the Reverend Vicar - Nay, the very Pie in its cage of wicker - She gathered such meanings, double or single, That like the bell, With muffins to sell, Her ear was kept in a constant tingle!

But this was nought to the tales of shame, The constant runnings of evil fame, Foul, and dirty, and black as ink, That her ancient cronies, with nod and wink, Poured in her horn like slops in a sink: While sitting in conclave, as gossips do, With their Hyson or Howqua, black or green, And not a little of feline spleen, Lapped up in "Catty packages," too, To give a zest to the sipping and supping; For still by some invisible tether, Scandal and Tea are linked together, As surely as Scarification and Cupping; Yet never since Scandal drank Bohea - Or sloe, or whatever it happened to be, For some grocerly thieves Turn over new leaves, Without much mending their lives or their tea - No, never since cup was filled or stirred Were such wild and horrible anecdotes heard, As blackened their neighbours of either gender, Especially that, which is called the Tender, But instead of the softness we fancy therewith, Was hardened in vice as the vice of a smith.

Women! the wretches! had soiled and marred Whatever to womanly nature belongs; For the marriage tie they had no regard, Nay, sped their mates to the sexton's yard, (Like Madame Laffarge, who with poisonous pinches Kept cutting off her L by inches) - And as for drinking, they drank so hard That they drank their flat-irons, pokers, and tongs!

The men—they fought and gambled at fairs; And poached—and didn't respect grey hairs - Stole linen, money, plate, poultry, and corses; And broke in houses as well as horses; Unfolded folds to kill their own mutton, - And would their own mothers and wives for a button: But not to repeat the deeds they did, Backsliding in spite of all moral skid, If all were true that fell from the tongue, There was not a villager, old or young, But deserved to be whipped, imprisoned, or hung, Or sent on those travels which nobody hurries, To publish at Colburn's, or Longmans', or Murray's.

Meanwhile the Trumpet, con amore, Transmitted each vile diabolical story; And gave the least whisper of slips and falls, As that Gallery does in the Dome of St. Paul's, Which, as all the world knows, by practice or print, Is famous for making the most of a hint. Not a murmur of shame, Or buzz of blame, Not a flying report that flew at a name, Not a plausible gloss, or significant note, Not a word in the scandalous circles afloat, Of a beam in the eye, or diminutive mote, But vortex-like that tube of tin Sucked the censorious particle in; And, truth to tell, for as willing an organ As ever listened to serpent's hiss, Nor took the viperous sound amiss, On the snaky head of an ancient Gorgon!

The Dame, it is true, would mutter "shocking!" And give her head a sorrowful rocking, And make a clucking with palate and tongue, Like the call of Partlet to gather her young, A sound, when human, that always proclaims At least a thousand pities and shames; But still the darker the tale of sin, Like certain folks, when calamities burst, Who find a comfort in "hearing the worst," The farther she poked the Trumpet in. Nay, worse, whatever she heard she spread East and West, and North and South, Like the ball which, according to Captain Z., Went in at his ear, and came out at his mouth. What wonder between the Horn and the Dame, Such mischief was made wherever they came, That the parish of Tringham was all in a flame!

For although it required such loud discharges, Such peals of thunder as rumbled at Lear, To turn the smallest of table-beer, A little whisper breathed into the ear Will sour a temper "as sour as varges." In fact such very ill blood there grew, From this private circulation of stories, That the nearest neighbours the village through, Looked at each other as yellow and blue, As any electioneering crew Wearing the colours of Whigs and Tories. Ah! well the Poet said, in sooth, That "whispering tongues can poison Truth," - Yes, like a dose of oxalic acid, Wrench and convulse poor Peace, the placid, And rack dear Love with internal fuel, Like arsenic pastry, or what is as cruel, Sugar of lead, that sweetens gruel, - At least such torments began to wring 'em From the very morn When that mischievous Horn Caught the whisper of tongues in Tringham.

The Social Clubs dissolved in huffs, And the Sons of Harmony came to cuffs, While feuds arose and family quarrels, That discomposed the mechanics of morals, For screws were loose between brother and brother, While sisters fastened their nails on each other; Such wrangles, and jangles, and miff, and tiff, And spar, and jar—and breezes as stiff As ever upset a friendship—or skiff! The plighted lovers who used to walk, Refused to meet, and declined to talk: And wished for two moons to reflect the sun, That they mightn't look together on one: While wedded affection ran so low, That the oldest John Anderson snubbed his Jo - And instead of the toddle adown the hill, Hand in hand, As the song has planned, Scratched her, penniless, out of his will! In short, to describe what came to pass In a true, though somewhat theatrical way, Instead of "Love in a Village"—alas! The piece they performed was "The Devil to Pay!"

However, as secrets are brought to light, And mischief comes home like chickens at night; And rivers are tracked throughout their course, And forgeries traced to their proper source; - And the sow that ought By the ear is caught, - And the sin to the sinful door is brought; And the cat at last escapes from the bag - And the saddle is placed on the proper nag - And the fog blows off, and the key is found - And the faulty scent is picked out by the hound - And the fact turns up like a worm from the ground - And the matter gets wind to waft it about; And a hint goes abroad, and the murder is out - And a riddle is guessed—and the puzzle is known - So the Truth was sniffed, and the Trumpet was blown!

. . . . .

'Tis a day in November—a day of fog - But the Tringham people are all agog! Fathers, Mothers, and Mothers' Sons, - With sticks, and staves, and swords, and guns, - As if in pursuit of a rabid dog; But their voices—raised to the highest pitch - Declare that the game is "a Witch!—a Witch!"

Over the Green and along by the George - Past the Stocks and the Church, and the Forge, And round the Pound, and skirting the Pond, Till they come to the whitewashed cottage beyond, And there at the door they muster and cluster, And thump, and kick, and bellow, and bluster - Enough to put Old Nick in a fluster! A noise, indeed, so loud and long, And mixed with expressions so very strong, That supposing, according to popular fame, "Wise Woman" and Witch to be the same, No hag with a broom would unwisely stop, But up and away through the chimney-top; Whereas, the moment they burst the door, Planted fast on her sanded floor, With her trumpet up to her organ of hearing, Lo and behold!—Dame Eleanor Spearing!

Oh! then rises the fearful shout - Bawled and screamed, and bandied about - "Seize her!—Drag the old Jezebel out!" While the Beadle—the foremost of all the band, Snatches the Horn from her trembling hand - And after a pause of doubt and fear, Puts it up to his sharpest ear. "Now silence—silence—one and all!" For the Clerk is quoting from Holy Paul! But before he rehearses A couple of verses, The Beadle lets the Trumpet fall! For instead of the words so pious and humble, He hears a supernatural grumble.

Enough, enough! and more than enough; - Twenty impatient hands and rough, By arm and leg, and neck and scruff, Apron, 'kerchief, gown of stuff - Cap and pinner, sleeve and cuff - Are clutching the Witch wherever they can, With the spite of woman and fury of man; And then—but first they kill her cat, And murder her dog on the very mat - And crush the infernal Trumpet flat; - And then they hurry her through the door She never, never will enter more!

Away! away! down the dusty lane They pull her and haul her, with might and main; And happy the hawbuck, Tom or Harry, Dandy or Sandy, Jerry or Larry, Who happens to get "a leg to carry!" And happy the foot that can give her a kick, And happy the hand that can find a brick - And happy the fingers that hold a stick - Knife to cut, or pin to prick - And happy the boy who can lend her a lick; - Nay, happy the urchin—Charity-bred, - Who can shy very nigh to her wicked old head!

Alas! to think how people's creeds Are contradicted by people's deeds! But though the wishes that Witches utter Can play the most diabolical rigs - Send styes in the eye—and measle the pigs - Grease horses' heels—and spoil the butter; Smut and mildew the corn on the stalk - And turn new milk to water and chalk, - Blight apples—and give the chickens the pip - And cramp the stomach—and cripple the hip - And waste the body—and addle the eggs - And give a baby bandy legs; Though in common belief a Witch's curse Involves all these horrible things and worse - As ignorant bumpkins all profess, No bumpkin makes a poke the less At the back or ribs of old Eleanor S.! As if she were only a sack of barley! Or gives her credit for greater might Than the Powers of Darkness confer at night On that other old woman, the parish Charley!

Ay, now's the time for a Witch to call On her imps and sucklings one and all - Newes, Pyewacket, or Peck in the Crown, (As Matthew Hopkins has handed them down) Dick, and Willet, and Sugar-and-Sack, Greedy Grizel, Jarmara the Black, Vinegar Tom, and the rest of the pack - Ay, now's the nick for her friend Old Harry To come "with his tail," like the bold Glengarry, And drive her foes from their savage job As a mad black bullock would scatter a mob:- But no such matter is down in the bond; And spite of her cries that never cease, But scare the ducks and astonish the geese, The dame is dragged to the fatal pond!

And now they come to the water's brim - And in they bundle her—sink or swim; Though it's twenty to one that the wretch must drown, With twenty sticks to hold her down; Including the help to the self-same end, Which a travelling Pedlar stops to lend. A Pedlar!—Yes!—The same!—the same! Who sold the Horn to the drowning Dame! And now is foremost amid the stir, With a token only revealed to her; A token that makes her shudder and shriek, And point with her finger, and strive to speak - But before she can utter the name of the Devil, Her head is under the water level!


There are folks about town—to name no names - Who much resemble the deafest of Dames! And over their tea, and muffins, and crumpets, Circulate many a scandalous word, And whisper tales they could only have heard Through some such Diabolical Trumpets!


{114} And, in old English could be placed like "also" in different parts of a sentence. Thus, in Nymphidia, "She hies her then to Lethe spring, A bottle and thereof doth bring." {129} Atalantis, "As long as Atalantis shall be read." Atalantis was a book of Court scandal by Mrs. De la Riviere Manley, in four volumes, entitled "Secret Memoirs and Manners of several Persons of Quality of both Sexes from the New Atalantis, an Island in the Mediterranean." Mrs. Manley died in 1724.

{94h} Bauzon, badger. French, bausin. {147a} Billies, fellows, used rather contemptuously. {147f} Blellum, idle talker. {150a} Boddle, a Scottish copper coin worth the third part of an English halfpenny; said to be named after the Mint-master who first coined it, Bothwell. {150h} Bore, hole in the wall. {91e} But, "without," "but merriness," without mirth. {152d} Byke, hive.

{150f} Cantrip, charm, spell. Icelandic, gandr, enchantment; gand- reithr was the witches' ride. {83} Can'wick Street, Candlewick, where now there is Cannon Street. {86a} Champarty, Champartage, was a feudal levy of a share of profit from the ground (campi pars), based originally upon aid given to enable profit to be earned. Thus it became a law term for right of a stranger to fixed share in any profits that on such condition he helped a litigant to win. {85b} Chiche vache, lean cow. French chiche, Latin ciccus, wretched, worthless; from Greek kikkos, the core of a pomegranate. Worth no more than a pomegranate seed. {94i} Cockers, rustic half-boots. {151g} Coft, bought. German, kaufte. {82b} Copen, buy. Dutch, koopen. {94j} Cordiwin, or cordewane, Cordovan leather. {89} Coueyn, coveyne convening or conspiring of two or more to defraud. {94f} Crank, lively. A boat was "crank" when frail, lightly and easily tossed on the waves, and liable to upset. Prof. Skeat thinks that the image of the tossed boat suggested lively movement. {151c} Creeshie flannen, greasy flannel. {151e} Cummock, a short staff with a crooked head. {151f} Cutty, short; so cutty pipe, short pipe.

{85a} Darrain, decide. To "arraign" was to summon ad rationes to the pleadings. To darraign was derationare, to bring them to a decision. {86b} Defy, digest. As in the Vision of Piers Plowman "wyn of Ossye Of Ruyn and of Rochel, the rost to defye." Latin, defio = deficio, to make one's self to be removed from something, or something to be removed from one's self. To defy in the sense of challenging is a word of different origin, diffidere, to separate from fides, faith, trust, allegiance to another. {91d} Degest, orderly. To "digest" is to separate and arrange in an orderly manner. {150e} Dirl, vibrate, echo. {147b} Drouthy, droughty, thirsty. {151a} Duddies, clothes.

{152e} Eldritch, also elrische, alrische, alry, having relation to elves or evil spirits, supernatural, hideous, frightful. {152f} Ettle, endeavour, aim. Icelandic, aetla, to mean anything, design, have aim, is the Scottish ettle.

{108d} Fire-drake, dragon breathing out fire. {91b} Flicht and wary, fluctuate and change. {92b} Frawfull fary, froward tumult. {152c} Fyke, fuss. {30} Fytte, a song, canto. First English, fit, a song. When Wisdom "thas fitte asungen haefde" had sung this song. King Alfred's Boethius.

{150g} Gab, mouth. {148b} Gars, makes; "gars me greet," makes me weep. {147h} Gate, road. Icelandic, gata.

{35} Habergeon, small hauberk, armour for the neck. Old High German, hals, the neck; bergan, to protect. {94d} Harlock, This plant-name occurs only here and in Shakespeare's Lear, Act iv. sc. 4, where Lear is said to be crowned "with harlocks, hemlocks, nettles, cuckoo-flowers." Probably it is charlock, Sinapis arvensis, the mustard-plant. {98} Hays, The hay was a French dance, with many turnings and windings. {100} Hient Hill, Ben Hiand, in Ardnamurchan, Argyleshire. {152a} Hotched, hitched.

{147g} Ilka, each one, every. {85c} Infere, together. {148c} Ingle, fire. Gaelic, aingeal, allied to Latin ignis.

{95b} Keep, "take thou no keep"—heed, "never mind." {148f} Kirkton, familiar term for the village in which the country people had their church.

{94k} Ladysmock, Cardamine pratensis. {93b} Leir, lore, doctrine. {94g} Learned his sheep, taught his sheep. {94a} Lemster, Leominster. {95a} Lingell, a shoemaker's thong. Latin lingula. {151h} Linkit, tripped, moved briskly. {108c} Lubrican, the Irish leprechaun, a fairy in shape of an old man, discovered by the moan he makes. He brings wealth, and is fixed only as long as the finder keeps his eye upon him.

{108b} Mandrake, the root of mandragora, rudely shaped like the forked animal man, and said to groan or shriek when pulled out of the earth. {93c} Marchpine, sweet biscuit of sugar and almonds. Marchpane paste was used by comfit-makers for shaping into letters, true-love knots, birds, beasts, etc. {130} Megrim, pain on one side of the head, headache. French migraine, from Gr. eemikrania. {147i} Melder, milling. The quantity of meal ground at once. {148a} Mirk, dark. {108a} Molewarp, mole. First English, moldwearp.

{148e} Nappy, nap, strong beer.

{126} Pam, Knave of Clubs, the highest card in the game of Loo, derived from "palm," as "trump" from "triumph." {137} Partridge, a maker of prophetic almanacs, who was ridiculed by Swift as type of his bad craft. {94b} Peakish hull, hill by the Peak of Derbyshire. {19} Pose, catarrh. First English, geposu. "By the pose in thy nose, And the gout in thy toes." —Beaumont and Fletcher. {88b} Prow, profit. Old French, prou, preu—"Oil voir, sire, pour vostre preu i viens."—Garin le Loharain.

{91a} Qu, Scottish = W. Quhair, where; quhois, whose; quheill, wheel; quha, quho, who; quhat, what.

{82a} Ray, striped cloth. {151d} Rigwoodie, tough. Rigwiddie is the rope crossing the back of a horse yoked in a cart; rig, back, and withy, a twig. Applied to anything strong-backed. {82c} Rise, "cherries in the rise," cherries on the twig. First English, hris, a twig, or thin branch. The old practice of selling cherries upon shoots cut from the tree ended in their sale by pennyworths with their stalks tied to a little stick of wood. So they were sold in London when I was a boy.

{151b} Sark, shirt or shift. First English, syrc. {94c} Setiwall, garden valerian. {147e} Skellum, a worthless fellow. German, schelm. {149a} Skelpit, beat the ground with strong pulsation; rode quickly; pounded along. {150d} Skirl, sound shrill. {147d} Slaps, breaks in walls or hedges; also narrow passes. {149b} Smoored, smothered. {151j} Spean, wean. {32} Spear-hawk, sparrow-hawk. From the root spar, to quiver or flutter, comes the name of "sparrow" and a part of the name "sparrow-hawk." {94e} Summerhall, Stubbs, in the "Anatomy of Abuses," speaking of the maypole, tells how villagers, when they have reared it up, "with handkerchiefs and flags streaming on the top, they strew the ground about, bind green boughs about it, set up summerhalls, bowers, and arbours hard by it, and then fall they to banquet and feast, and leap and dance about it." {148d} Swats, new ale, wort. First English, swate.

{88c} Teen, vexation, grief. {152b} Tint, lost. {150c} Towsie tyke, a large rough cur. {92a} Tynsall, loss.

{147c} Unco', uncouth, more than was known usually.

{151i} Wally, walie thriving. First English, waelig. {91c} Warsill, wrestle. {150b} Winnock-bunker, the window seat. {93d} Woned, dwelt. {17} Wottest, knowest. {88a} Woxen, grown.

{93a} Yconned, taught. {81} Yode, went. First English, eode, past of gan, to go.


{21} This old French and Anglo-Norman word, answering to the Italian gentilezza, and signifying the possession of every species of refinement, has been retained as supplying a want which there is no modern word to fill up.—Leigh Hunt.

{26} The sententious sermon which here follows might have had a purely serious intention in Chaucer's time, when books were rare, and moralities not such commonplaces as they are now; yet it is difficult to believe that the poet did not intend something of a covert satire upon at least the sermoniser's own pretensions, especially as the latter had declared himself against text-spinning. The Host, it is to be observed, had already charged him with forgetting his own faults, while preaching against those of others. The refashioner of the original lines has accordingly endeavoured to retain the kind of tabernacle, or old woman's tone, into which he conceives the Manciple to have fallen, compared with that of his narrative style.—Leigh Hunt.

{42} "We possess," says Satan in Paradise Lost, "the quarters of the north." The old legend that Milton followed placed Satan in the north parts of heaven, following the passage in Isaiah concerning Babylon on which that legend was constructed (Isa. xiv. 12-15), "Thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation IN THE SIDES OF THE NORTH."

{49} Alluding to the "Millers Tale," which has rather offended the Reve, by reason that it ridiculed a worthy carpenter.—R. H. H.

{50} Or thus:- For when our climbing's done our speech aspires; E'EN IN OUR ASHES LIVE THEIR WONTED FIRES. The original lines are:- "For whanne we may not don than wol we speken, Yet in our ashen olde is fyre yreken." The coincidence of the last line with the one quoted from Gray's Elegy will be remarked. Mr. Tyrwhit says he should certainly have considered the latter as an "imitation" (of Chaucer), "if Mr. Gray himself had not referred us to the 169 Sonnet of Petrarch as his original:- Ch' i' veggio nel pensier, dolce mio foco, Fredda una lingua, e duo begli occhi chiusi Rimaner dopo noi pien' di faville. The sentiment is different in all three; but the form of expression here adopted by Gray closely resembles that of the Father of English Poetry, although in Gray's time it was no doubt far more elegant to quote Petrarch than Chaucer.—R. H. Horne.


was invented by the Spaniards, and called by them El Hombre, or THE MAN, El Hombre being he (or she) who undertakes the game against the other players.

There were variations in the way of playing, and there were sometimes four or even five players; but usually there were three players, as described by Pope in the third canto of The Rape of the Lock, where Belinda played as Ombre against the Baron and another, and the course of the game is faithfully described. It is the purpose of this note to enable any reader of The Rape of the Lock to learn the game of Ombre, play it, and be able to follow Pope's description of a game.

The game of Ombre is played with a pack of cards from which the eights, nines, and tens of each of the four suits have been thrown out. The Ombre pack consists, therefore, of forty cards.

The values of cards when they are not trumps are not arranged in the same order for each colour.

For the two black suits, Spades and Clubs, the values, from highest to lowest, follow the natural order—King, Queen, Knave, seven, six, five, four, three, two. But the two black aces always rank as trumps, and are not reckoned as parts of the black suit. The Ace of Spades is named Spadille, the Ace of Clubs is Basto.

For the two red suits, Hearts and Diamonds, only the King, Queen, and Knave keep their values in natural order; the other cards have their order of values reversed. The value from highest to lowest for each red suit is, therefore, King, Queen, Knave, ace, two, three, four, five, six, seven.

The values of trump cards are thus arranged:-

The first and best trump is the Ace of Spades, Spadille.

The second best trump is the lowest card of the trump suit, the two of trumps in a black suit, or the seven of trumps if the trump suit be red. This second trump is called Manille.

The third trump is the Ace of Clubs, Basto.

When the trump suit is red, its Ace becomes the fourth trump. Thus if Diamonds be trumps the Ace of Diamonds can take the King of Diamonds; the Ace of Hearts can take the King of Hearts if Hearts be trumps, not otherwise. There is no addition to the value of the Ace of Diamonds when Hearts are trumps. The Ace of a red suit of trumps, having become in this way the fourth trump in order of value, is called Punto.

In order of their value, counted from the highest to the lowest, I now place in parallel columns the trumps in black suits and the trumps in red:-

Black. Red. Spadille, Ace of Spades. Spadille, Ace of Spades. Manille, the Two of the Manille, the Seven of the trump suit. Trump suit. Basto, Ace of Clubs. Basto, Ace of Clubs. King. Punto, Ace of the trump suit. Queen. King Knave. Queen. Seven. Knave. Six. Two. Five. Three. Four. Four. Three. Five. Six.

The three chief trumps, Spadille, Manille, and Basto, are called Matadores, and have powers which, together with their name, are passed to the trumps following them, so far as they are found in sequence in the Ombre's hand. Thus, although Spadille, Manille, and Basto are strictly speaking the only Matadores, if the Ombre can show also in his hand, say, in the red suit, Punto, King, Queen, Knave, he takes for seven Matadores; and if there should be joined to these the two and three, his trumps would be all in sequence, every card would be a Matadore, and he would be paid for nine, which is the whole number of cards in a hand.

Counters having been distributed, among which a fish is worth ten round counters, each player lays down a fish before the deal. The cards having been shuffled by the dealer, and cut by the player who sits on the left hand of the dealer, are dealt three at a time, and first to the player who sits on the dealer's right hand, which is contrary to the usual course. The cards are dealt three times round. Each of the three players then has nine, and the remaining thirteen cards are laid down at the right hand of the dealer. No card is turned up to determine trumps.

Each player then looks at his hand. The eldest hand is that to the dealer's right. He speaks first. If his cards are bad, and he will not venture to be Ombre, he says "Pass," and lays a counter down at his left. If all three players say "Pass," each laying a counter down, the cards are dealt again. When a player thinks his cards may win, and is willing to be Ombre, unless he be the third to speak, and the two other hands have passed, he says "Do you give me leave?" or "Do you play without taking in?" If the other players say "Pass," each depositing his counter at his own left hand, the Ombre begins by discarding from his hand two, three, or more cards that he thinks unserviceable. He lays them down at his left hand. Then before he deals to himself from the pack of thirteen left undistributed the same number of cards that he has thrown out, he must name the trump suit. In doing this he chooses for himself, according to his hand, spades, clubs, hearts, diamonds, whichever suit he thinks will best help him to win. If he has a two of a black suit, or a seven of a red, he can secure to himself Manille by making that suit trumps, or there may be reason why another suit should be preferred.

If the player who proposes to be Ombre has a safe game in his hand— five Matadores, for example—he names the trump and elects to play Sans-prendre, that is to say, without discarding. Whoever plays Sans-prendre, if he win, receives three counters from each of the other players, and pays three counters to each if he should lose the game.

When the Ombre plays Sans-Prendre, his opponents have more cards from which to draw, and the first who discards is even free to change all his nine cards; but he usually limits his discard to six or seven, and avoids encroachment on the share of the next player. The two who play against the Ombre are only half in the position of partners at whist, because one of them, when his hand is strong enough, can be the only winner.

The hands having been thus settled, the game begins, from the hand on the right of the dealer. After a trick has been taken, the lead, as at other games, is with the winner of the trick, the order of play being still from left to right.

As at whist, a suit led must be followed, and a player who cannot follow suit is not obliged to play a trump unless he please.

If the first player who follows the Ombre's lead with a better card, and has in his hand so good a game that he desires, by winning the trick, to obtain the lead, he declares that aloud by saying Gano, that is, "I win." His partner then lets him win, if he can. Thus, Ombre has played a spade, which the next player wins with the Queen, saying Gano when he does so. If the third player has the King in his hand he refrains from playing it, unless he have no spade in his hand of smaller value, in which case he is obliged to follow suit and win the trick against his partner. Where the lead is urgently desired, not for a personal gain of more tricks than the Ombre, which is called Codille, but to defend the stake, and the third player is seen to hesitate, Gano may be pressed for, three times, "Gano, if possible." When Ombre was played by gambling courtiers under Queen Anne and George I., all such words spoken in the game had to be given strictly in the Spanish form, which was, in this case, Yo Gano, si se puede.

Ombre, to win the stake, must make five tricks; but he can win with four if the other five are so divided between his antagonists that one has only three of them, the other only two. If one of the two defenders of the stakes, playing against Ombre, does not feel almost sure that he can win at least three tricks, with a chance of the fourth, he should win one, and try to avoid winning more, but help whatever chance his partner seems to have of winning four, because Ombre wins with four when each of the other players has won less than four.

If Ombre lose he is said to be Beasted. Whoever loses is said to be Beasted. Whoever is Beasted has to pay to the board counters of the value of what the Ombre takes up if he wins. When players were beasted for revokes and other oversights in play, the fines were heavy upon carelessness.

At the end of the game tricks are counted. When Ombre wins he takes the stakes; when he loses the two opponents will divide the stakes between them, unless one of them should have taken more tricks than the Ombre, in which case that one is said to have won Codille. Whoever wins Codille takes all the stake the Ombre played for. For this reason it was not thought creditable for any one to call Gano who had four tricks in his hand, as by so doing he would only be inducing the other player against Ombre to give up to him his half of the winnings. Each player against the Ombre aims at Codille when he thinks it within reach, but in that case it used to be held very bad manners to win by calling Gano. When one of the players against the Ombre must either give Codille to the other or let the Ombre win, he gives the Codille. For if the Ombre be beasted he has to replace the stakes. But if the Ombre wins, both of the players against him have to stake again. If any one wins all the nine tricks he is said to have won the Vole, and clears all stakes upon the table.

Belinda, in the Rape of the Lock, having looked at her hand, named trumps -

"'Let spades be trumps,' she said, and trumps they were."

She chose that suit because she had not only the King but also the two of Spades, and two of trumps, called Manille, is the second best trump after Spadille. Her hand contained also the Ace of Spades, "unconquerable lord" Spadille, and the third trump, Basto, Ace of Clubs. By making spades trumps she secured the addition of Manille. The three best trumps secured her the three best tricks. Spadille and Manille fetched small trumps out of the hands of her antagonists. Basto brought a trump out of the Baron's suit, that also held the Knave and Queen of trumps, and a small card from the other hand, which showed that it was out of trumps. Then came Belinda's King of trumps, to win her fourth sure trick, and the Baron, who still had his best trumps in his hand, the Knave and Queen, lost the Knave to it.

After this the Baron's Queen of trumps was the best card, and Belinda, with no more trumps in her hand, or possibly the other player, sacrificed the King of Clubs to it.

Trumps being exhausted, and the Baron having won a trick and the lead, it is his turn now to win three tricks in succession with the King, Queen, and Knave of Diamonds. At the third round of the Diamonds Belinda has left in her hand only the King and Queen of Hearts. She gives up the Queen.

Each has now four tricks. It is the Baron's lead. If his card be best he has more tricks than the Ombre, and will win Codille. If his card be a club or a diamond—spades are played out—Belinda's King of Hearts will be unable to follow suit. He will be taken. Thus is she "between the jaws of ruin and codille." But should his last card be a heart—she has the best heart -

"An Ace of Hearts steps forth: the King unseen Lurked in her hand, and mourned his captive Queen. He springs to vengeance with an eager pace, And falls like thunder on the prostrate Ace. The nymph exulting, fills with shouts the sky, The walls, the woods, the long canals reply."

In addition to the stakes she won, Belinda was entitled also to the value of four counters from each of her antagonists for her sequence of four Matadores, Spadille, Manille, Basto, and the King of Spades. Furthermore, if she had been playing Sans-prendre, each of her opponents would have three counters to pay her.


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