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her arrival at Edinburgh. And it apMR. EDITOR.-As cards, during the pears, in an account of the private present festive season, form a part of expenses of the former monarch, that the evening amusement of almost every money was issued at three several times convivial party, a slight account of for his losses at cards. Henry VIII, in them, and of the most fashionable 1540, grants the office “ custodis ludogames in use near the period of their rum in Calesia,” amongst which cards invention, may not be unacceptable to are specially enumerated. your readers.
Cards had found their way into Most writers agree in ascribing the Spain early in the fifteenth century; origin of these fascinating pieces of for Harrera mentions that upon the painted paper to the French. Antis, conquest of Mexico (which happened in his History of the Garter, however, in 1519), Montezuma, the Mexican quotes an entry from the Wardrobe Emperor, took great pleasure in seeing Rolls of 6th Edward I. which affords a the Spaniards thus amusing themselves. probability that they were not unknown And if not the original inventors (which in England long before the date they some suppose), the Spaniards were the assign-viz. “Waltero Sturton ad opus acknowledged introducers of one of regis ad ludendam ad Quatour Regis, the most fashionable games at cards viiis. vd.” This game of the Four namely, ombre. The names of several Kings, it has been conjectured, was cards also are evidently derived from played by cards, and that Edward the Spanish-we name, for instance, might have learnt it whilst in Palestine two of the suits, clubs and spades, (where he served, when prince, nearly when neither of those suits in common five years), the Asiatics being well- cards answer at all such appellation. known to have had, before that time, In some old Spanish cards shown to a species of card playing amongst then, the Antiquarian Society, each card had With this agrees also, in part, a Ger- a real club in the first of these suits, man publication by Breithoff, who and a real sword, espada, (rendered by asserts, that cards were used in Ger- us spade,) in the second. many so early as 1300, and were Philip II. on his marringe with our brought from Arabia or India.
Queen Mary, is thought to have conMenestrier, who gives the honour of tributed much to render cards fashiontheir invention to the French, says able in England; and those made then, they were first contrived in 1392, for and in the reign of Elizabeth, were the amusement of Charles VI. by a probably Spanish, though they were painter, named Jacquemin Gringon- afterwards changed for the French, as neur, who resided in Paris. And the being of a more simple figure, and same writer is quoted as to a Synod more easily imported. held at Langres, by which the clergy It appears, indeed, by a proclamation were forbid the use of cards so early of this latter queen, as also of her suc. as 14.04. It appears from St. Foix, cessor James, that we did not then that efirds, at this time were, not only make any cards in England, though painted with the necessary devices and the amusement had become so general ornaments, but gilt, and probably in the reign of James, that the audistrongly resembled the illuminations ences at the playhouses used to divert on vellum, done about the same period, themselves with cards before the play the close of the fourteenth and begin- began. ning of the fifteenth century.
Card-playing at this period appears Their introduction here, if not brought not only to have been as universal as over before, would be a natural con. in modern times, but to have been carsequence of our imitation of Gallic ried on too with the same ruinous concustoms and fashions, though some sequences as to property and morals; time must have elapsed before their for though Stowe tells us, when comuse became general. Dr. Henry quotes memorating the customs of London, the Statute 3 Edw. IV. c. 4, to prove that “ from All Hallows Eve to the that the card-makers in England had following Candlemas-Day, there was, obtained an Act of Parliament in 1463, among others, playing at cards for to prohibit the importation of “pleying counters, nails, and points, in every cardes." We read after this, that in house, 'more for pastime than gain;" 1502, when the daughter of Henry yet we learn from contemporary saVII. was married to James IV. of tirists—-from Gosson, Stubbs, and Scotland, she played at cards soon after Northbrooke, that all ranks, and especially the upper classes, were incur- a comedy, first acted in 1561, where ably addicted to gaming in the pursuit Dame Chat, addressing Diccon, says, of this amusement, which they con- “ We be fast set at trump, man, sidered equally as seductive and per- hard by the fyre.” And we learn from nicious as dice.
Decker, that in 1612, it was much in The games at cards peculiar to this vogue--" To speake," he remarks, “ of period, and now obsolete, were--1. all the sleights used by card-players in PRIMERO, supposed to be the most all sorts of games, would but weary ancient game at cards in England. It you that are to read, and bee but a was very fashionable in the age of thanklesse and unpleasinge labour for Shakspeare, who represents Henry me to set them down.-Omitting, thereVIII. * playing at Primero with the fore, the deceipts practised (even in Duke of Suffolk;" and Falstaff ex- the fayerst and most civill company) claiming, in the Merry Wives of Wind- at primero, maw, trump, and suck like sor, “I never prospered since I for- games,” &c. swore myself at Primero.”
3. GLEEK.--This game is alluded to The mode of playing this curious twice by Shakspeare in his dramas, game is thus described by Strutt, from and from a passage in Green's Tu Mr. Barrington's papers on card-play- Quoque, appears to have been held in ing, in the 8th volume of the Archæo- much esteem :logia:
Seat. Come, gentleman, what is your “Each player had four cards dealt game ? to him, one by one; the seven was the Haines. Why, Gleek; that's your highest card in point of number that he only game. could avail himself of, which counted It is then proposed to play either at for twenty-one; the six counted for twelve-penny gleek, or crown gleek. fifteen, and the ace for the same; but To these may be added Gresco, the two, the three, and the four, for Mount Saint, New Cut, Knave out of their respective points only. The doors, and Ruff, all of which are menknave of hearts was commonly fixed tioned in old plays, and were favourupon for the quinola, which the player ites among our ancestors. * might make what card or suit heThe game of Ombre is conjectured to thought proper. If the cards were of have been introduced by Catherine of different suits, the highest number won Portugal, the Queen of Charles II, as the Primero; if they were all of one Waller has a poem-"On a card torn colour, he that held them won the at Ombre by the queen." flush."
It likewise continued to be in fashion A very curious picture, sold several for some time in the last century, for years since at Greenwood's Auction it is Belinda's game in the Rape of Room, in Liecester Fields, and sup- the Lock, where every incident in the posed to have been painted by Zuccaro, whole game is so described, that when finely illustrated this game. It repre- Ombre is forgotten (and it is almost so sented the celebrated Lord Burleigh already), it may be revived with posplaying with three other persons, who, terity by means of that admirable from their dress, appeared to be of dis- poem. tinction. The cards were marked as QUADRILLE (a species of Ombre) at present, and differed from those of continued in fashion upon the disuse modern times only by being narrower of the latter, and remained so until and longer ; eight of these lay on the Whist was introduced, which now pretable, with the blank side uppermost, vails, not only in England, but in most while four remained in each of their of the civilized parts of Europe. hands. One of the players was shown exhibiting his cards, which were the . The first of these games is mentioned in knave of hearts, with the ace. seven. Eastward Hoe, printed in 1605, and written and six of clubs.
by Ben Jonson, George Chapman, and John
There were also Marston; the second in the Dumb Knight, the considerable heaps of gold on the production of Lewis Macbin, in 1608; the table, so that these dignified person, third in A Woman Killed with Kindness, writages seemed to have played for what ten by Thomas Hey wood, 1617, where is also
noticed the games of Lodam, Noddy, Post and would not at present be called a chicken Pair (a species of Brag), Knave out of Doors, stake.
and Ruff: this last being something like Whist, 2. Trump, nearly coeval in point of and played in four different ways, under the antiquity with the Primero, and in- Double Ruff, and Wide Rufi.-V'ide Antient
names of the English Ruff, French Ruff, troduced in Gammar Gurton's Needle, Drama, v. 11, pp. 1445.
A late writer supposes the first men- surely, the same kind of human figure tion of this game to occur in Farquhar's might be made more like nature, Beaux Stratagem, written at the begin- without deviating from costume. ning of the last century, and informs The card makers and venders of us that it was then played with what cards, were desired to take notice, in were called swabbers. These, he says, 1684, “ That for the better encouragewere probably so termed, because they ment of the manufacture of playing who had certain cards in their hand, cards in England, (wherein many hunwere entitled to take up a share of the dred of poor people were employed), stake, independently of the general by direction of his Majesty's letters event of the game. The fortunate patent, pursuant to charters and direcholder, therefore, clearing the board of tions of the late King James and King this extraordinary stake, might be com- Charles, an office was erected in Sil. pared by seamen to swabbers (or clean- ver-street, in Bloomsbury, for sealing ers of the deck), in which sense the all playing cards of English make, and term is still used.
which would be there first employed, Be this as it may, he adds, whist that the frauds practised in the making seems never to have been played upon of English cards might be prevented, principles until about eighty years ago, and the Foreign cards, which were when it was much studied by a set of bought contrary to law, might be disgentlemen who frequented the Crown covered. The price of all cards, it was Coffee-house in Bedford-row; before notified, would be put upon each pack, that time it was chiefly confined to the to the end that none, under the preservants’-ball, with all fours and put. tence of sealing the cards, might sell
Cards were first forbidden in Scot them at dearer rates; and it would land by an Act of James VI.
thereby appear, that the very best cards St. Foix (in his Essays on the Anti- might be sold in London, by the best quities of Paris) informs us that a dance retailer, at fourpence the pack, and was performed on the French Theatre others at cheaper rates." in 1676, taken from the game of Piquet. 'The figured cards, as king, queen,
NEW YEAR'S GIFTS. and knave, were at one time called The King of Light, father of aged time, Cent and not Court cards as at pre. Hath brought about that day wbich is the prime
To the slow gliding monks, when every eye sent. The knave probably was intended
Wears symptoms of a sober jollity.* at first to represent the Prince, or son
The ushering in of the New Year of the King and Queen, as Chaucer
with rejoicings, presents, and good twice applies the term knave-child to the son of a Sovereign Prince. Cards,
wishes, is a custom of immemorial anas well as other games, had their origin
tiquity. The Romans, it is observed by in times of chivalry. The kings, queens,
an old writer on this subject,t made knaves, all carry marks of that period.
presents even when their year conThe first cards were painted, and
sisted of only ten months, of thirty-six were on that account very dear. They
days each, and began in March, as well were soon after cut in wood and illu
as when January and February were minated, which made them cheaper
added by Numa to the ten others; and and more common. The French cards,
Romulus and Tatius made an order in old representations of them, consist
that every year Vervine should be of a few painted cards or honours, of
offered to them, with other gifts, as to
kens of good fortune for the year. So the several suits, sufficient to shew the progress of alteration of modern cards,
in an old translation of Polydore Virto which they bear no resemblance.
gil :~" Gevyng of New Year's Giftes The kings in these are named— Cezar,
had its original there likewise (in anDavid, Alexandre, Charle; the queens
tient Rome), for Suetonius Tranquillus --Rachel, Pallas, Ivnic, Argine; the
reporteth, that the knights of Rome knaves-Ogier, Angoulesme, La Hire. 848
Yine gave yerely, on the calends of January, The present absurd figures stamped on a present to Augustus Cæsar, although
he were absent.” And Tacitus makes cards seem to be faithful and accurate
mention of an order of Tiberius, forbidrepresentations of elegant original or naments of the reign of Henry VIII.
ding the giving or demanding of New It has been observed as a singularity,
Year's Gifts, except at this time.
10 that amidst our improvements, cards Poole's English Parnassns. should have been so entirely neglected; Monthly Miscellany for December, 1002.
Our English Nobility, from the Selden in his Table Talk ,who, alluding earliest times, seem to have been ac- to this subject, draws the following customed every New Year's tide to comparison: “ The Pope, in sending make presents to the Monarch ; and relicks to Princes, does as wenches do Matthew Paris tells us that King Henry by their wassails at New Year's tide, the Third extorted such gifts from his they present you with a cup, and you subjects. Even so late as the beginning must drink of a fabby stuff; but the of the last century, the courtiers com- meaning is, you must give them money monly accompanied their congratula- ten times more than it is worth." tions on these occasions with a purse On New Year's morn, New Year's containing gold in it. “ Reason may gifts were given and received with the be joined to custom," says the author mutual expression of good wishes, and just quoted, “ to justify this practice, particularly that of a happy New Year. For as presages are drawn from the The compliment was sometimes paid at first things which are met on the be- each other's doors, in the form of a ginning of a day, week, or year, none song; but more usually, especially in can be more pleasing than of those the North of England, and in Scotland, things which are given us. We re- the house was entered very early in the joice with our friends after having morning, by some young men and escaped the dangers that attend every maidens selected for the purpose, who year; and congratulate each other for presented the spiced bowl, and hailed the future, by presents and wishes for you with the gratulations of the the happy continuance of that course, season. which the ancients called Strenarum The custom of interchanging gifts on Commeruum. And as formerly men this day, though now nearly obsolete, used to renew their hospitalities by was in old times observed most scrupresents called xenia-a name proper pulously, and not merely in the country, enough for our New Year's Gifts, they but, as has been hinted at, in the palace may be said to serve to renew friend- of the Monarch. In fact, the wardrobe ship, which is one of the greatest gifts and jewellery of Queen Elizabeth apimparted by heaven to men; and they pear to have been supported principally who have always assigned some day to by these annual contributions. Nichol's those things, which they thought good, “ Progresses” of this Queen, furnishes have also judged it proper to solem- a curious enumeration of these gifts, nize the Festival of Gifts; and to show the original rolls of account of which how much they esteemed it, in token of are still remaining, and on which he happiness, made it begin the year. observes, “ from all these rolls (and “ The value of the thing given," he more of them, perhaps, are still existadds, “ or the excellency of the work, ing), it appears that the greatest part, and the place where it is given, makes if not all the Peers and Peeresses of it the more acceptable ; but above all, the realm, all the Bishops, the Chief the time of giving it, which makes some Officers of State, and several of the presents pass for a mark of civility on Queen's household servants, even down the beginning of the year, that would to her apothecaries, master cook, serappear unsuitable at any other season." jeant of the pastry, and even the dust
To end the old year merrily, and be- man, gave New Year's gifts to her Magin the new one well, and in friendship jesty; consisting, in general, either of with their neighbours, were the objects a sum of money, or jewels, trinkets, which formerly the common people had wearing apparel, &c. The largest sum in view in the celebration of this fes- given by any of the Temporal Lords tival. New Year's eve, therefore, was was 201.; but the Archbishop of Can spent in festivity and frolic by the men; terbury gave 401.; the Archbishop of and the young women in the country York 301. ; and the other Spiritual carried about, from door to door, a Lords 201, and 101. ; many of the Tembowl of spiced ale, which they offered poral Lords and Great Officers, and to the inhabitants of every house where most of the Peeresses, gave rich gowns, they stopped, singing at the same time petticoats, smocks, kirtles, silk stocksome rude congratulatory verses, and ings, Cyprus garters, sweet bags, doexpecting some small present in return, blets, mantles, some embroidered with This practice, however, which originated pearls, garnets, &c. looking glasses, in pure kindness and benevolence, soon fans, bracelets, caskets studded with degenerated into little better than a precious stones, jewels ornamented mere pecuniary traffic. If we believe with sparks of gold in various devices, and other costly trinkets. Sir Gilbert judge.” This bold admonition, which Dethick, Garter King at Arms, gave a would almost have cost any other man book of the States in William the Con- his head, is said to have been received queror's time; Absolon, the Master of by the King from this venerable Prethe Savoy, a bible covered with cloth late not only without offence, but with of gold, garnished with silver and gilt, thanks. The only remajns of the cusand two plates with the Royal Arms; tom of giving New Year's presents at Petruchio Ubaldino, a book covered Court, now is, that the two chaplains with vellum, of Italian; Lambarde, the in waiting on New Year's Day have antiquary, his Pandecta of all the Rolls, each a crown piece laid under their &c. in the Tower of London. The plates at dinner. Queen's physician presented her with In a MS. book of accounts of the a box of foreign sweetmeats; another household expenses of Sir John Frankphysician, with two pots, one of green lyn, 1624, prinied in the Archæologia, ginger, the other of orange flowers; under the date of January 1, occur the two other physicians gave each a pot following items, illustrative of New of green ginger, and a pot of rinds of Year's Day at that period : lemons; her apothecaries, a box of Item to the musitioners uppon New lozenges, a box of ginger candy, a box Year's Day in the Morning . .16 of green ginger, a box of orange candit, Item to the woman which brought a pot of preserves, a pot of Wardyn's the apple stuck with nuts . .10 candit, a box of wood with prunelyn, Item to the boy who brought two and two boxes of manus Christi; Mrs. capons . . . . . . . . 10 Blanch, a parry, a little box of gold to Item paid for the cup (supposed to put in comfits, and a little spoon of have been the wassailing cup.) 16 gold ; Mrs. Morgan, a box of cherryes, and one of aberycocks; her master The “ apple stuck with nuts," mencook, a faire march payne; her ser- tioned in this account, seems to have jeant of the pastry, a faire pie of been presented as an humble substitute quinces oringed ; a box of peaches of for an orange stuck with cloves, which Jenneway (Genoa); a great pie of was at this time a common New Year's quinces and Wardyn's guilte ; Putrino, gift. So Ben Jonson, in his Christmas an Italian, presented her with two pic- Masque : “ He has an orange and rosetures; Innocent Corry, with a box of mury, but not a clove to stick in it.” A lute-strings; Ambrose Lupo, Joseph gilt nutmeg (the 4to. 1598, reads "a Lupo, and Cæsar Caliardo, each with a gift nutmeg”) is mentioned in the same pair of sweet gloves ; a cutler with a piece, and on the same occasion. meat knive with a fan haft of bone, a The presenting of capons on this day, conceit in it. Jaromy, with twenty. as a usual gift, is alluded to in the fol. four drinking glasses; Jeromy Bassano, lowing passage of Cowley : two drinking glasses; Smyth, dustmun, « Ye used in the former days to fall two boltes of cambrick, To all which Prostrate unto your landlord in his ball. articles, the Queen, though she made When with low legs, and in an humble return in plate, &c. always took care
guise, the balance should be in her own Ye offered up a capon sacrifice favour.
Unto his worship at a New Year's tide." The rewards given by King Edward VI. in the fifth year of his reign, on The tract Vor Graculi (1623) reNew Year's Day, to his officers and marks on this custom of giving New servants in ordinary, are said to have Year's presents—“ This year shall be amounted to 1551, 55. " and to their given many more gifts than shall be servants that present the King's Mjtie asked for; and apples, eggs, and with New Year's gifts.” The story of oranges, shall be listed to a lofty rate; Bishop Latimer's New Year's gift to when a pomewater bestucke with a few Henry VIII. is well known. All the rotten cloves, shall be more worth than Nobles, together with the Clergy, were the honesty of an hypocrite ; and halfe crowding with their rich presents to a dozen eggs of more estimation than the King, in the splendor of which, the vows of a strumpet. Poets this day each strove to outvie his neighbour; shall get mightily by their pamphlets, the Bishop placed on the monarch's for an hundred of elaborate lines shall table a bible only, with one of the be lesse esteemed in London, than an leaves turned down to that very, in his hundred of Walfleet oysters." case, appropriate passage-" Whore- The Jews on the first day of the mongers and adulterers GOD will month Tiori (which, according to their