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The Boys sending Cocles their Messenger to their Master, get Leave to go to Play; who shews that moderate Recreations are very necessary both for Mind and Body. The Master admonishes them that they keep together at Play, &c. 1. Of playing at Stool-ball: Of chusing Partners. 2. Of playing at Bowls, the Orders of the Bowling-Green. 3. Of playing at striking a Ball through an Iron Ring. 4. Of Dancing, that they should not dance presently after Dinner: Of playing at Leap-frog: Of Running: Of Swimming.


Nic. I have had a great Mind a good While, and this fine Weather is a great Invitation to go to Play.

Jer. These indeed invite you, but the Master don't.

Nic. We must get some Spokesman that may extort a Holiday from him.

Jer. You did very well to say extort, for you may sooner wrest Hercules's Club out of his Hands than get a Play-day from him; but Time was when Nobody lov'd Play better than he did.

Nic. That is true, but he has forgot a great While ago since he was a Boy himself; he is as ready and free at whipping as any Body, but as sparing and backward at this as any Body in the World.

Jer. We must pick out a Messenger that is not very bashful that won't be presently dashed out of Countenance by his surly Words.

Nic. Let who will go for me, I had rather go without Play than ask him for it.

Jer. There is Nobody fitter for this Business than Cocles.

Nic. Nobody in the World, he has a good bold Face of his own, and Tongue enough; and besides, he knows his Humour too.

Jer. Go, Cocles, you will highly oblige us all.

Coc. Well, I'll try; but if I do not succeed, do not lay the Fault on your Spokesman.

Jer. You promise well for it, I am out in my Opinion if you don't get Leave. Go on Intreater, and return an Obtainer.

Coc. I'll go, may Mercury send me good Luck of my Errand. God save you, Sir.

Ma. What does this idle Pack want?

Coc. Your Servant, Reverend Master.

Ma. This is a treacherous Civility! I am well enough already. Tell me what 'tis you came for.

Coc. Your whole School beg a Play-day.

Ma. You do nothing else but play, even without Leave.

Coc. Your Wisdom knows that moderate Play quickens the Wit, as you have taught us out of Quintilian.

Ma. Very well, how well you can remember what's to your purpose? They that labour hard, had need of some Relaxation: But you that study idly, and play laboriously, had more need of a Curb, than a Snaffle.

Coc. If any Thing has been wanting in Times past, we'll labour to make it up by future Diligence.

Ma. O rare Makers up! who will be Sureties for the performing this Promise?

Coc. I'll venture my Head upon it.

Ma. Nay, rather venture your Tail. I know there is but little Dependance upon your Word; but however, I'll try this Time what Credit may be given to you; if you deceive me now, you shall never obtain any Thing from me again. Let 'em play; but let them keep together in the Field, don't let them go a tippling or worse Exercises, and see they come Home betimes, before Sun set.

Coc. We will, Sir, I have gotten Leave, but with much a do.

Jer. O brave Lad! we all love you dearly.

Coc. But we must be sure not to transgress our Orders, for if we do, it will be all laid upon my Back; I have engaged for ye all, and if ye do, I'll never be your Spokesman again.

Jer. We'll take Care: But what Play do you like best?

Coc. We'll talk of that when we come into the Fields.

* * * * *

I. Of playing at Ball.


Nic. No Play is better to exercise all Parts of the Body than Stool-ball; but that's fitter for Winter than Summer.

Jer. There is no Time of the Year with us, but what's fit to play in.

Nic. We shall sweat less, if we play at Tennis.

Jer. Let's let Nets alone to Fishermen; it's prettier to catch it in our Hands.

Nic. Well, come on, I don't much Matter; but how much shall we play for?

Nic. But I had rather spare my Corps than my Money.

Jer. And I value my Corps more than my Money: We must play for something, or we shall never play our best.

Nic. You say true.

Jer. Which Hand soever shall get the first three Games, shall pay the sixth Part of a Groat to the other; but upon Condition that what's won shall be spent among all the Company alike.

Nic. Well, I like the Proposal; come done, let's chuse Hands; but we are all so equally match'd, that it's no great Matter who and who's together.

Jer. You play a great Deal better than I.

Nic. But for all that, you have the better Luck.

Jer. Has Fortune anything to do at this Play?

Nic. She has to do everywhere.

Jer. Well, come let's toss up. O Boys, very well indeed. I have got the Partners I would have.

Nic. And we like our Partners very well.

Jer. Come on, now for't, he that will win, must look to his Game. Let every one stand to his Place bravely. Do you stand behind me ready to catch the Ball, if it goes beyond me; do you mind there, and beat it back when it comes from our Adversaries.

Nic. I'll warrant ye, I'll hit it if it comes near me.

Jer. Go on and prosper, throw up the Ball upon the House. He that throws and do's not speak first shall lose his Cast.

Nic. Well, take it then.

Jer. Do you toss it; if you throw it beyond the Bounds, or short, or over the House, it shall go for nothing, and we won't be cheated: And truly you throw nastily. As you toss it, I'll give it you again; I'll give you a Rowland for an Oliver; but it is better to play fairly and honestly.

Nic. It is best at Diversion, to beat by fair Play.

Jer. It is so, and in War too; these Arts have each their respective Laws: There are some Arts that are very unfair ones.

Nic. I believe so too, and more than seven too. Mark the Bounds with a Shell, or Brick-bat, or with your Hat if you will.

Jer. I'd rather do it with yours.

Nic. Take the Ball again.

Jer. Throw it; score it up.

Nic. We have two good wide Goals.

Jer. Pretty wide, but they are not out of Reach.

Nic. They may be reach'd if no Body hinders it.

Jer. O brave, I have gone beyond the first Goal. We are fifteen. Play stoutly, we had got this too, if you had stood in your Place. Well, now we are equal.

Nic. But you shan't be so long. Well, we are thirty; we are forty five.

Jer. What, Sesterces?

Nic. No.

Jer. What then?

Nic. Numbers.

Jer. What signifies Numbers, if you have nothing to pay?

Nic. We have gotten this Game.

Jer. You are a little too hasty; you reckon your Chickens before they are hatch'd. I have seen those lose the Game that have had so many for Love. War and Play is a meer Lottery. We have got thirty, now we are equal again.

Nic. This is the Game Stroke. O brave! we have got the better of you.

Jer. Well, but you shan't have it long; did I not say so? We are equally fortunate.

Nic. Fortune inclines first to one side, and then to t'other, as if she could not tell which to give the Victory to. Fortune, be but on our Side, and we'll help thee to a Husband. O rare! She has answer'd her Desire, we have got this Game, set it up, that we mayn't forget.

Jer. It is almost Night, and we have play'd enough, we had better leave off, too much of one Thing is good for nothing, let us reckon our Winnings.

Nic. We have won three Groats, and you have won two; then there is one to be spent. But who must pay for the Balls?

Jer. All alike, every one his Part. For there is so little won, we can't take any Thing from that.

* * * * *


ADOLPHUS, BERNARDUS, the Arbitrators.

Adol. You have been often bragging what a mighty Gamester you were at Bowls. Come now, I have a Mind to try what a one you are.

Ber. I'll answer you, if you have a Mind to that Sport. Now you'll find according to the Proverb; You have met with your Match.

Adol. Well, and you shall find I am a Match for you too.

Ber. Shall we play single Hands or double Hands?

Adol. I had rather play single, that another may not come in with me for a Share of the Victory.

Ber. And I had rather have it so too, that the Victory may be entirely my own.

Adol. They shall look on, and be Judges.

Ber. I take you up; But what shall he that beats get, or he that is beaten lose?

Adol. What if he that beats shall have a Piece of his Ear cut off.

Ber. Nay, rather let one of his Stones be cut out. It is a mean Thing to play for Money; you are a Frenchman, and I a German, we'll both play for the Honour of his Country.

Adol. If I shall beat you, you shall cry out thrice, let France flourish; If I shall be beat (which I hope I shan't) I'll in the same Words celebrate your Germany.

Ber. Well, a Match. Now for good Luck; since two great Nations are at Stake in this Game, let the Bowls be both alike.

Adol. Do you see that Stone that lies by the Port there.

Ber. Yes I do.

Adol. That shall be the Jack.

Ber. Very well, let it be so; but I say let the Bowls be alike.

Adol. They are as like as two Peas. Take which you please, it's all one to me.

Ber. Bowl away.

Adol. Hey-day, you whirl your Bowl as if your Arm was a Sling.

Ber. You have bit your Lip, and whirled your Bowl long enough: Come bowl away. A strong Bowl indeed, but I am best.

Adol. If it had not been for that mischievous Bit of a Brick-bat there, that lay in my Way, I had beat you off.

Ber. Stand fair.

Adol. I won't cheat: I intend to beat you, by Art, and not to cheat ye, since we contend for the Prize of Honour: Rub, rub.

Ber. A great Cast in Troth.

Adol. Nay, don't laugh before you've won. We are equal yet.

Ber. This is who shall: He that first hits the Jack is up. I have beat you, sing.

Adol. Stay, you should have said how many you'd make up, for my Hand is not come in yet.

Ber. Judgment, Gentlemen.

Arbitr. 3.

Adol. Very well.

Ber. Well, what do you say now? Are you beat or no?

Adol. You have had better Luck than I, but yet I won't vail to you, as to Strength and Art; I'll stand to what the Company says.

Arb. The German has beat, and the Victory is the more glorious, that he has beat so good a Gamester.

Ber. Now Cock, crow.

Adol. I am hoarse.

Ber. That's no new Thing to Cocks; but if you can't crow like an old Cock, crow like a Cockeril.

Adol. Let Germany flourish thrice.

Ber. You ought to have said so thrice. I am a-dry; let us drink somewhere, I'll make an end of the Song there.

Adol. I won't stand upon that, if the Company likes it.

Arb. That will be the best, the Cock will crow clearer when his Throat is gargled.

* * * * *

_3. The Play of striking a Ball through an Iron Ring.


Gas._ Come, let's begin, Marcolphus shall come in, in the Losers

Er. But what shall we play for?

Gas. He that is beat shall make and repeat extempore a Distich, in Praise of him that beat him.

Er. With all my Heart.

Gas. Shall we toss up who shall go first?

Er. Do you go first if you will, I had rather go last.

Gas. You have the better of me, because you know the Ground.

Er. You're upon your own Ground.

Gas. Indeed I am better acquainted with the Ground, than I am with my Books; but that's but a small Commendation.

Er. You that are so good a Gamester ought to give me Odds.

Gas. Nay, you should rather give me Odds; but there's no great Honour in getting a Victory, when Odds is taken: He only can properly be said to get the Game, that gets it by his own Art; we are as well match'd as can be.

Er. Yours is a better Ball than mine.

Gas. And yours is beyond me.

Er. Play fair, without cheating and cozening.

Gas. You shall say you have had to do with a fair Gamester.

Er. But I would first know the Orders of the Bowling-alley.

Gas. We make 4 up; whoever bowls beyond this Line it goes for nothing; if you can go beyond those other Bounds, do it fairly and welcome: Whoever hits a Bowl out of his Place loses his Cast.

Er. I understand these Things.

Gas. I have shut you out.

Er. But I'll give you a Remove.

Gas. If you do that I'll give you the Game.

Er. Will you upon your Word?

Gas. Yes, upon my Word: You have no other Way for it but to bank your Bowl so as to make it rebound on mine.

Er. I'll try: Well, what say you now Friend? Are not you beaten away? (Have I not struck you away?)

Gas. I am, I confess it; I wish you were but as wise as you are lucky; you can scarce do so once in a hundred Times.

Er. I'll lay you, if you will, that I do it once in three Times. But come pay me what I have won.

Gas. What's that?

Er. Why, a Distich.

Gas. Well, I'll pay it now.

Er. And an extempore one too. Why do you bite your Nails?

Gas. I have it.

Er. Recite it out.

Gas. As loud as you will.

Young Standers-by, dap ye the Conqueror brave, Who me has beat, is the more learned Knave.

Han't you a Distich now?

Er. I have, and I'll give you as good as you bring.

* * * * *

4. Leaping.


Vi. Have you a Mind to jump with me?

Lau. That Play is not good presently after Dinner.

Vi. Why so?

Lau. Because that a Fulness of Belly makes the Body heavy.

Vi. Not very much to those that live upon Scholars Commons, for these oftentimes are ready for a Supper before they have done Dinner.

Lau. What Sort of leaping is it that you like best?

Vi. Let us first begin with that which is the plainest, as that of Grasshoppers; or Leap-frog, if you like that better, both Feet at once, and close to one another; and when we have play'd enough at this, then we'll try other Sorts.

Lau. I'll play at any Sort, where there is no Danger of breaking ones Legs; I have no Mind to make Work for the Surgeon.

Vi. What if we should play at hopping?

Lau. That the Ghosts play, I am not for that.

Vi. It's the cleverest Way to leap with a Pole.

Lau. Running is a more noble Exercise; for Æneas in Virgil proposed this Exercise.

Vi. Very true, and he also propos'd the righting with Whirly-bats too, and I don't like that Sport.

Lau. Mark the Course, let this be the Starting-place, and yonder Oak the Goal.

Vi. I wish Æneas was here, that he might propose what should be the Conqueror's Prize.

Lau. Glory is a Reward sufficient for Victory.

Vi. You should rather give a Reward to him that is beat, to comfort him.

Lau. Then let the Victor's Reward be to go into the Town crowned with a Bur.

Vi. Well, 'tis done, provided you'll go before playing upon a Pipe.

Lau. It is very hot.

Vi. That is not strange when it is Midsummer.

Lau. Swimming is better.

Vi. I don't love to live like a Frog, I am a Land Animal, not an amphibious one.

Lau. But in old Time this was look'd upon to be one of the most noble Exercises.

Vi. Nay, and a very useful one too.

Lau. For What?

Vi. If Men are forc'd to fly in Battel, they are in the best Condition that can run and swim best.

Lau. The Art you speak of is not to be set light by; it is as Praise-worthy sometimes to run away nimbly as it is to fight stoutly.

Vi. I can't swim at all, and it is dangerous to converse with an unaccustomed Element.

Lau. You ought to learn then, for no Body was born an Artist.

Vi. But I have heard of a great many of these Artists that have swum in, but never swam out again.

Lau. First try with Corks.

Vi. I can't trust more to a Cork than to my Feet; if you have a Mind to swim, I had rather be a Spectator than an Actor.

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