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divided into several courts. Through those the player, hopping on one foot, successively kicks a piece of stone, taking care not to touch with his foot any of the division lines, and avoiding certain prescribed courts, till the last one is reached, when he turns and kicks it out again in the same way.

Signor Pitré attributes a solar origin to Hop-Scotch. The stone, he thinks, originally represented the sun, which is kicked. through the courts as that luminary passes through the signs of the Zodiac. While Signor Pitre's opinion is entitled to high respect, his theory appears to me quite untenable; for it would require the number of courts into which the figure is divided to be twelve, whereas in no place where the game is played are there twelve main divisions, and very seldom can this number be made up even if subdivisions be reckoned.

After examining a large number of figures collected from different parts of Europe, I find that the form of most frequent occurrence, and the one from which all the other varieties appear to have developed, is that of figs. 1 and 2, Plate XVI, where a rectangle is divided into six compartments and crowned by a seventh, and almost invariably semicircular court. This figure is still in use in many parts of Spain, Italy, and Portugal. As they acquired skill, children would very soon wish to render the game a little more difficult by complicating the figure. Thus we find at Venice, though the seven courts of fig. 1 are retained, a vertical line is drawn down the centre of the figure bisecting each court. Again, one court is often split into four by diagonals, as at Fregenal, Spain (fig. 3, Plate XVI), and La Marca, Italy (fig. 4). A figure with seven courts, one of which is split by diagonals, is also used in England.

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When we wanted a really good game," an Irish lady writes me, after describing the figure used in her youth, "we used to draw all the lines double so as to make more courts." It is by some such process that fig. 8, Plate XVI (used in Mazzara, Italy), has been evolved. This figure contains nine courts, but it will be observed that the names of two courts occur twice, which points strongly to there having been originally only So in fig. 7, used both in France and England, the extra court introduced between that marked Rest and Paradise appears to be the embodiment of an entirely separate figure

1 Pitré, "Guiocchi Franchuilleschi," xxxvii.

2 The Italian, Spanish, and French varieties of the game are fully described in Pitré, loc. cit.; "Bibliotheca de las Tradiciones Populares Españolas," tom. iii; Belèze, "Jeux des Adolescents." For the information as to the method of playing the game in different parts of the British Islands I am indebted to numerous correspondents, especially to Mr. G. H. Kinahan, of the Irish Geological Survey.

3

Loy's Handy Book of Games" (Ward, Lock & Co.), p. 12.

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(fig. 10, Plate XVI), which will be spoken of presently. On the other hand, we find many variations of the original figure which have gone in the direction of simplification, one or more of the seven courts being omitted. In Llerena, Spain (fig. 5, Plate XVI), there are only six courts, but the analogy of the nomenclature of a number of other Spanish figures points to the third court having been omitted. Similar omissions have produced fig. 6, Plate XVI, used in county Antrim, Ireland, and a number of others in various places. There is thus a considerable body of evidence to show that seven was the original number of courts in the figure. Even the children themselves seem to have been struck by this characteristic, for in several parts of Italy, Spain, and France they have given to the seven courts the names of the seven days of the week, and sometimes called the game itself "the week."

But even in the places where this is done, those names always co-exist with others which are widespread, and evidently very ancient. Although in this country the names of the courts have almost entirely disappeared, we still find the top court called Paradise. Now Paradise, Heaven, Glory, Happiness, or some such name, is applied to this court with the most striking frequency in every country in which the game is played, the few exceptions being where it has been supplanted by a name alluding to its shape, such as Quince, Calderon, &c., and even then Paradise is generally found in the name of one of the lower courts. In Sicily this court is called Death. Purgatory or Hell occurs almost as frequently as a name for one of the lower courts, and it the player has to scrupulously avoid alighting in. In Limerick the next to the last court is called Caol, meaning Narrow, or Hell; and Narrow occurs as a name of one of the courts in several parts of Spain and Italy. Rest is also a common name for one of the lower courts, and in it the player has the privilege of reposing for a moment and putting both feet on the ground.' Misery, Lamentation, &c., are found as names for the lower courts in many places, while Limbo also occurs with frequency. Let us now trace the course of the player on some of these figures. In England and France (fig. 7, Plate XVI), after traversing four nameless courts and Rest, he has to avoid Hell, pass through the four triangles (called Culottes in France), when at last he reaches Paradise. In La Marca, Italy (fig. 4), his course lies through 1st, 2nd, 3rd, when he enters Lamentation, and has to pass through Hell and Purgatory, after which he ends his wanderings in Paradise. In

In some parts of Ireland the player, when he reaches the cross courts (fig. 8, Plate XVI), has to stand on one leg till he counts "seven times seven." VOL. XV. 2 E

Fregenal, Spain (fig. 3), he passes through 1st, 2nd, 3rd Hell, and Glory, and he finds himself in Heaven. In Mazzara, Italy (fig. 8, Plate XVI), 1st, 2nd, 3rd, Lamentation, two Limboes, and two places of Rest have to be traversed before the Crown awards his completed labours. But in some places he gets off easier. In Villafranca, Spain, he reaches Heaven by passing through 1st, 2nd, 3rd, the Place of Rest, and the Place of Asses. In Llerena, Spain (fig. 5), it is even smoother sailing. There he enters successively 1st, 2nd, and the Places of Rest, then he passes through the first and second quarters of the good, and he soars into Glory. Let us now take the Seville figure (fig. 2, Plate XVI) as an example of a confusion of names. The top court has changed its name to Quince (Gamboa), and the central court is called Heaven. This alteration makes the player's course far less satisfactory, for after passing through 1st Pandemonium, 2nd Pandemonium, and Hell, he suddenly finds himself in Heaven, but only to be hurried out of it into Purgatory and Limbo, and after all he reaches nothing but a place called by the senseless name of Quince. The conclusion to which this curious nomenclature points is self-apparent, and when we add to it the fact of the game being called "Paradise" in Italy, and "the Holies" in Scotland, there can be little doubt that in early Christian times the children who played it, whether from their own inventiveness, or at the inspiration of their teachers, had some rough idea of representing the progress of the soul through the future state, and that they divided their figure into seven courts to represent the seven stages of Heaven, which formed a prominent feature in their eschatological beliefs.

It might be objected to this conclusion that it will not explain many names such as those in fig. 9 (used at Malaha, Spain), which is one of the most corrupted I have met with. But the originals of those names are often apparent corruptions of words which accord with the theory; and, considering that they have been handed down for centuries through generations of

1 I have been careful to select all my illustrations from cases where the meanings of the names were beyond dispute. In fig. 5, Plate XVI, however, there are two further names, Palajanso and Calajanso, applied to the diagonal courts. My inquiries as to the meaning of those corrupted words have not been successful. The name of the top court in fig. 8 is Corna (horn); but I think the analogy of several other figures indicates that this is a corruption of corona (crown). As an instance of how the names get corrupted I may mention the word Plato (silver), occurring at Dos Hermanas, which is evidently a corruption of Pilato (Pilate), frequently used in other Spanish figures. In Zafra, Spain, the penultimate court is called Gato (cat). I think that this may possibly be a corruption of the word Purgatorio (Purgatory), which is so frequently found elsewhere. To Spanish children this latter word would be a little difficult, and they would catch at the familiar syllable gato, just as our own do at cat in catechism. If this be conceded, the Zafra figure is a very perfect example. The seven courts are all simple, and called 1, 2, 3, Rest, Narrow, Purgatory, Crown.

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