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flexibility and clearness such an unrivalled volume, that it can penetrate through the loudest chorus and most complete band in the kingdom. We forbear from recapitulating the vocal performers who have succeeded her, or from enlarging upon the state of music in England subsequently to her departure, since both these subjects must be familiar to the majority of our readers. Nor is it our purpose to discuss the theory of music as an art. Our little work professes to be rather superficial and amusing, than profound and scientific. The professor and connoisseur will have recourse to disquisitions much more minute than those which our narrow limits can be supposed to admit.*

CHAPTER XXII.

Sedentary Amusements :

-Playing-cards
“Behold four kings in majesty revered,

With hoary whiskers and a forked beard;
And four fair queens, whose hands sustain a flower,
Th’expressive emblem of their softer power:
Four knaves in garbs succinct, a trusty band,
Caps on their heads, and halberts in their hand;
And party-coloured troops, a shining train,
Drawn forth to combat on the velvet plain."

Rape of the Lock, canto 3. “A Grave elderly gentleman,” says the facetious Mr. Joseph Mills, “having once observed to a female relative, who was an indefatigable whist-player, that there was a great deal of time lost at cards, the lady replied, with infinite naïveté, “what ! in shuffling and cutting ?. Ay, so there is, but how can we avoid it?'" This anecdote occurred involuntarily to the writer, when he recollected that he was no practitioner in any of the various and profound arts emanating from fifty-two quadrangular pieces of stamped pasteboard ; that he had elsewhere, writing, perhaps, with

* Sir John Hawkins's General History of Music, 5, vols. 4to. and Dr. Burney's work on the same subject, are the most full and complete. De Burgh's Anecdotes are principally compiled from these sources, but being in narrower compass, 3 vols &vo. they offer a greater facility of reference

*

out due consideration of the subject, expressed a coincidence in opinion with the grave elderly gentleman aforesaid ; and that he was nevertheless about to commit the very offence against which he had inveighed, by giving up a portion of bis time to cards. He has no defence to offer, nor is he aware that any is required. Cards, when not indulged to excess, or made the instruments of gambling: are an innocent and in many instances, a beneficial recreation; they have engaged no small portion of human time and attention, and offer therefore an excusable, and by no means uninteresting subject of inquiry. That they have afforded scope for much deep investigation, profound learning, and ingenious hypothesis, must be manifest to any one who has consulted the elaborate and handsomely illustrated quarto of Mr. Samuel Weller Singer,* which, being by far the most curious and comprehensive work upon the subject, has chiefly supplied us with materials for the ensuing summary.

The commonly received opinion that cards were invented in France, about the close of the fourteenth century, for the amusement of Charles VI., while he was afflicted with mental derangement, is proved to be erroneous, their existence being traced to a much earlier period. Mention is made of them in the Annals of Provence, about the year 1361, when it appears that the knave (valet) was desig, nated by the name of Tuchim, an appellation bestowed upon a formidable band of robbers who were then ravaging the Comtat Venaissin ; and a recent discovery in a MŠ. belonging to M. Lancelot, shows that they were known twenty years earlier. It appears that the Germans became acquainted with them about the same time as the French. That they originated with the latter nation has been inferred from the fleur-de-lis being found in every courtcard : but these are likewise found among the ornaments of the Romans, at a remote period; on the sceptres and crowns of the emperors of the west, in the middle ages, and on those of the kings of England before the Norman con. quest. The earliest cards, moreover, of which specimens are extant do not bear this mark of French origin.

* Researches into the History of Playing-cards; with illustrations oi the Origin of Engraving and Printing on Wood. 4to. London, 1816. this work only two hundred and filty copies were printed.

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Spain has found a champion for her claims to the honour of this invention in the Abbé Rive; and it is certain that a prohibitory edict against the usage of cards was published by John I., King of Castile, in 1387. In favour of the Spaniards, it is urged that their language has supplied the names of some of the cards, and of many of the most ancient games, such as primero, and the principal card in the game, quinola; ombre, and the cards spadille, manille, basto, punto, matador, quadrille, &c. The suit of clubs upon the Spanish cards is not the trefoil, as with us, but positively clubs or cudgels, of which we retain the name, though we have lost the figure : the original name is bastos. The spades are swords, called in Spain espadas ; in which instance we retain the name, and some faint resemblance of the figure. These being proofs of early adoption rather than invention, it has been surmised that the Spaniards derived their knowledge of cards immediately from their Moorish invaders; especially as the name bestowed upon them in the Spanish language seems to be Arabic. At that time the Moors were an enlightened people, compared with the inhabitants of Europe ; and as it is acknowledged that we are indebted to them for the dawn of science and letters, and certainly for the game of chess, why may not playingcards have proceeded from the same source ?

The romances of the eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth centuries, although they record the manners and amusements of those times with great minuteness, make no mention of tards; whence we may fairly conclude that they were then unknown in Europe, while there appear such striking analogies between the game of chess and cards in their first simple form, that it is not unreasonable to deduce them both from the same eastern source. In the early cards we have the king, knight, and knave, and the numerical cards, or common soldiers. The oriental game of chess has also its king, vizier, and horseman, and its pauns, or common soldiers; but the parties at cards are doubled ; there are four instead of two of each, which is the only variation. There were only thirty-six cards in the original eastern pack; the more complicated one was undoubtedly of later invention.

Perhaps the English derived their first knowledge of cards from the crusaders, rather than from their continental,

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neighbours. That they were in use some time previously to 1464 cannot be doubted; for in the parliament-rolls of that year they are mentioned among other articles which are not to be imported. Had they been introduced previously to the year 1400, when Chaucer died, he would probably have referred to them; yet in speaking of amusements, he only says—“They dancen, and they play at ches and tables." We have, in fact, very few allusions to this diversion until after the year 1500; but it must have been common in the reign of Henry VII., among whose private expenses money for losses at cards appears to have been several times issued.

Although we cannot assent to the common opinion that cards were invented by the French in the fourteenth century, it should seem that about this time the figures and suits underwent a change, possibly in France, and that their present forms were then first adopted. According to an explanation which has been given of the figures, the queen of spades, which in the early French cards is named Pallas, was meant to represent Joan of Arc, the Maid of Orleans ; the king of spades (pique) bears the name of David ; that of clu (trefle), the name of Alexander ; tha of hearts (caurs), Charlemagne ; and that of diamonds (carreaux), Cæsar. The knave of spades is called Ogier ; that of clubs, Launcelot; that of hearts, La Hire; and that of diamonds, Hector. The queens of spades, clubs, hearts, and diamonds are respectively named Pallas, Argine, Judic, and Rachel.

Every game may be considered a species of combat, particularly that of cards, and we find accordingly that four warlike monarchs were chosen for the kings; the knaves (ralets) were symbolical of the vassals of feudal times, in whom consisted the principal strength of the state; the other cards refer to the residue of the people of whom the armies were composed. The queen appears to have been introduced by the gallantry of the French. The games of ombre and quadrille, which seem by their nature to have taken their rise in a chivalric age, are of Spanish origin, and still continue to be favourites with the people of the Peninsula. The pack with which they are played, consists, like the German one, of forty-eight cards only, the tens in the former and the aces in the latter being omitted. Their suits, similar to those of the Italians, are what have

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been called the trappola suits, presumed to be of eastern origin.

In Germany the suits of cards were at an early period termed schellen, bells ; hertzen, hearts ; grün, green; and eicheln, acorns; devices for which other objects were sometimes substituted, such as the human figure, animals, birds, plants, fruits, and flowers. Like other nations they subsequently invented games of their own: landsknecht or lansquenet is the oldest German game. Its name, which signifies a particular description of foot-soldier, intimates that it was invented, or at least first played, by the military, possibly at the commencement of the war in the Netherlands under Maximilian I., about the year 1494, when a body of the landsknechte were enrolled in the service of the emperor.

The European change in the suits has been explained, on the supposition that the original eastern cards represented allegorically the orders or ranks of society, and that the Europeans in their figures had the same object in view. Thus the suits in the Italian and Spanish cards have been said to signify, by spade or swords, the nobility; cappe, caps or chalices, the clergy ; denari, money, the citizens; bastoni, clubs or sticks, the peasantry. Illustrating the French suits in the same manner, pique, intended for the point of a lance or pike, used by the knights, would signify the first order, or nobles : cæur, hearts (sounding like cheur, a choir), denoted the clergy: trefle, clover or trefoil, applied to the husbandmen, who formed the middle class of the community, when commerce and manufactures were little known: carreau, the end or head of an arrow, represented the vassals, from among whom the common soldiers or archers were taken. Interpreting in the same symbolical manner the German suits, we find that schellen, little bells, were anciently the ornaments of princely dresses; and that great personages, as a mark of their quality, generally carried a hawk, to whose legs bells were attached. These, therefore, are used as a type of that order of society, Hearts denote the clergy, as in the French cards; green, or leaves, has the same relation to the husbandman as trefle; and acorns, or oak, symbolize the woodman, peasants, and slaves. The analogy appears striking, and the deductions are ingenious; but whether any such allegory was intended

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