Изображения страниц

(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

[ocr errors]

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 mean ings 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.

children entirely ignorant of their original intent, and even of their meaning, the wonder is not that they are corrupted, but that they remain so perfect as they actually are. Even in the Malaha figure the names Sun, Moon, Pilate, and the formula at starting, I go alone, are not a little suggestive.

There remains to trace the earlier history of the game. Previous to Christianity it obviously cannot have existed in its present form, but games, in order to be as lasting as this has been, must not be invented, but grow. There is reason to believe that Hop-Scotch developed itself from a combination of several ancient games. Julius Pollux speaks of a game played by the ancients where they counted the number of hops which could be made on one foot, but no scores are spoken of.1 The penalty of peopiopòs used in connection with an ancient game of marksmanship, and in which the vanquished player had to carry the victor on his back, has also associated itself with HopScotch, and forms part of the game both in Spain and Italy. It would seem, then, that the game of hopping got wedded to some other game consisting of a figure, some recess of which it was the player's object to reach. Whether this union took place before or after Christianity it is difficult to determine, but certain it is that even now Hop-Scotch is played in many places, both at home and abroad, without any hopping at all, so much so that Sr. Ferraro3 suggests it may be a modification of the ancient game of quoits. We must therefore look for some preChristian game with a figure which would supply the remaining features of Hop-Scotch.

Pliny, in his description of the labyrinths, mentions casually a game played by the Roman boys where they drew labyrinthine figures on the ground. Now, labyrinthine figures are still used for Hop-Scotch, though far less frequently than those of the type already described. Fig. 12 is used in France, the inner circle being called Paradise. The same figure is found in England," and the game played on it called "Round Hop-Scotch," while a less perfect form of it also occurs in Scotland. Fig. 10 (which is not unlike a rough sketch of the Cretan labyrinth) represents another form the game takes in France, the same figure also being used for the game of Marelle. Fig. 11 is perhaps the transition between the two types. It is used at Villafranca, Spain, but a figure conforming to the ordinary type obtains also in that place. It is therefore not unreasonable to suppose

1 Jul. Poll., " Onomatiscon," ix, 7.

2 Pitré, "Guiocchi," p. 142; "Tradiciones pop. Espan.," iii, p. 203.

3 "Archivio per lo studio delle tradizioni populari," p. 246. Palermo, 1882. • Pliny, xxxvi, 13.

• Crawley, "Manly Games for Boys," p. 79.

that those labyrinthine figures may be survivals of a form of figure more ancient than those of the ordinary type by which they have now been superseded.

Moreover, we know that among the ancients the tradition of the labyrinths was more or less vaguely associated with the future world, and this might have suggested to the Christian children the eschatological ideas which they introduced into the game, even if the difficulties and wanderings of the labyrinth had not in themselves offered sufficient analogy to the wanderings of the soul in a future state. But how came the labyrinthine figure to be exchanged for that of the rectangle with the rounded end? It is well known that when Christianity replaced a pagan culture, it did not destroy, but assimilate. It adopted the stones of the old edifice, but it insisted on hewing them into Christian shapes. I can account for the transition of figure in the game of Hop-Scotch only by suggesting that this principle had been in operation there also. The Christian children, I believe, not only adopted the general idea of the ancient game, converting it into an allegory of Heaven, with Christian beliefs and Christian names; but they Christianised the figure also. They abandoned the heathen labyrinth, and replaced it by a form far more consistent with their ideas of Heaven and future life, the form of the Basilicon, the early Christian Church, dividing it into seven parts as they believed Heaven to be divided, and placing the inmost sanctum of Heaven in the position of the altar, the inmost sanctum of their earthly church.

Explanation of Plate XVI.

Various figures of the game of Hop-Scotch, as played in different countries of Europe.

[ocr errors]

Figs. 1 and 2 represent forms frequently used in many parts of Italy, Spain, and Portugal; fig. 3 is found at Fregenal, Spain; fig. 4 at La Marca, Italy; fig. 5 at Llerena, Spain; fig. 6 in co. Antrim, Ireland; fig. 7 in France and England; fig. 8 at Mazzara, Italy; fig. 9 at Malaha, Spain; fig. 10 in France; fig. 11 at Villafranca, Spain; and fig. 12 in France and England.


Dr. E. B. TYLOR thought that the author had made out his case that the various forms of the game, especially in the South of Europe, point back to an original game probably in vogue before the Christian Era. In that case, for the source of the seven compartments we may perhaps look back beyond the Christian seven heavens to the seven planetary spheres from which these were derived.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »