Helen Campbell.

The American girl's home book of work and play online

. (page 3 of 28)
Online LibraryHelen CampbellThe American girl's home book of work and play → online text (page 3 of 28)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

do in this game, they easily lose their balance. It is best
for the hunter never to try to catch the slipper, except at
the two openings in the circle : then there is no danger of
tumbling each other down. Some prefer playing this game
with a thimble or a marble, because it is not so likely to be
seen as a slipper. If any one happens to drop the slipper
in passing it, she must pay a forfeit.

Then came, when they were quite out of breath with
laughing over the slipper :


This is a favorite game among children. One stands up
in a chair, who is called the Grand Mufti. He makes what-
ever motion he pleases ; such as putting his hand on his
heart, stretching out his arm, smiting his forehead, making
up a sorrowful face, etc. At each motion he says, " Thus
says the Grand Mufti," or "So says the Grand Mufti."
When he says, " Thus says the Grand Mufti," every one
must make just such a motion as he does ; but when he says,
" So says the Grand Mufti," every one must keep still. A
forfeit for a mistake. A game very much like this is called,


In this game two of the players must walk solemnly
toward one another, bow ceremoniously without a smile, and
look steadily at one another while they repeat the following
dialogue :

FIRST PLAYER. The Emperor of Morocco is dead.

SECOND PLAYER. I'm very sorry for it.

FIRST PLAYER. He died of the gout in his left great toe

SECOND PLAYER. I'm very sorry for it.


FIRST PLAYER. And all the court are to go in mourning,
and wear black rings through their noses.

SECOND PLAYER. I'm VERY sorry for it.

They then bow again, and retire to their places, while
another pair comes forward to go through the same impres-
sive dialogue ; and so on, till the game has gone all round
the circle ; a forfeit being the penalty for the slightest
approach to a giggle. By the time almost every one had
giggled, and the stand in the corner was covered again
with forfeits, supper was ready, it being exactly half -past six ;
and every one was so hungry, that the piled-up table very
soon showed empty dishes, and more sandwiches had to be
brought in. The supper was as sensible as the hours,
plenty of delicious sandwiches, three sorts, made from tongue,
ham, and chicken ; light, delicate cake, but no heavy, rich
fruit-cake ; custards in pretty cups ; plenty of ice-cream and
fruit, but no candy, save that to be found in the piles
of "crackers," which they pulled after supper, each child
putting on the caps they held.

When they entered the parlors again, the curtains across
the deep bay-window were drawn ; the chairs were in rows
as if ready for a lecture, and a table stood half hidden by
the curtains, on which, as soon as all were in their places,
suddenly appeared what was announced to be


For this entertainment two people are needed, and there
must be a loose and very gorgeous jacket with large sleeves.
This may be made from turkey-red covered with gilt
spangles, or from some bright chintz. The one who is to do
the speaking dresses his arms to represent legs, and puts his
hands into a pair of high shoes, though patent-leather boots
are much better. A cap or hat with many plumes finishes



the costume. Behind him stands the acting player, who
thrusts his arms under the make-believe legs of the speaker,
and fits them into the sleeves of the jacket. Then the
speaker puts his hands on the table, and a third person
draws and pins the curtain, so that no one can see the per-
formers. The dwarf looks amiably about, and then begins a
speech. He may be an Irish or French dwarf, but must use


a good many phrases from whatever language is his own.
In the mean time, the actor uses his arms in making extraor-
dinary gestures. Then the dwarf dances his national dance,
somebody playing the music for him, and the hands do
what they please ; the whole being so real, that every child
will insist that it is truly a dwarf.
The curtains were drawn suddenly while he was still



dancing. There was a little rustle and moving about, and
then they parted suddenly, and out came


For this two very long cloaks must be made of black cam-
bric. Two tall boys are necessary to play the giant's part,
as in the cut given, where one is perched on the shoulders
of the other, and wears a high hat with a feather in it.

This is one way ; but a simpler one is to make the giant on
the same plan as the giant's wife. In this case a long cane
is taken, and a piece of lath eighteen inches
long is fastened about five inches from the
top. The person who is to play the part of
the giantess first puts on a long skirt. An
old bonnet is tied firmly on the end of the
cane, and the black cloak just below it ;
the piece of lath holding it out, and rep-
resenting the shoulders. A large blanket-
shawl can be used instead of the cloak, the
ends of either hiding perfectly the head of
the player. The cane must be held firmly ;
and the giantess, as she walks in to the room,
can look for a nail in the wall ; then stoop
down to the keyhole in the door, at the
same time lowering the cane ; then rise very
gradually, standing finally on tiptoe, and slowly raising the
cane, till the bonnet is as near the ceiling as possible. The
giant's hat can be managed in the same way, and this one
made a little speech, telling where he and his wife were born,
and how they happened to grow so tall, all the time short-
ening or lengthening, so that the children screamed with
laughter. Then in a minute both had gone behind the cur-
tains. There was another little rustle, and then out walked

FIG. 19.



FIG 20.


For this, two boys are needed, who must stand as shown
in the cut, one boy representing the hind, and the other the
fore legs. A thick quilt or comfortable must be doubled
three or four times, and laid on their backs. Over this throw
a very large gray blanket
or travelling-shawl, twisting
one end to imitate the trunk,
and the other more tightly
for the tail. Two black but-
tons may be pinned on for
eyes, and two long paper
cones for tusks. A third
person must lead in the ele-
phant, and must lecture on its wonderful intelligence and
its great gentleness, proving the latter quality by lying
down, and letting the elephant walk over him. This can
be made very funny by bright players. Many other ani-
mals are possible, a rhinoceros and hippopotamus among
them, their skins being well imitated by the gray blanket or
shawl. As the elephant was led out, the children sat won-
dering what it could be, till suddenly one of them remem-
bered the forfeits. There was no time to redeem many ; but
there was great laughing over some of them, and I have put
them, with many others which could have been used, in a
chapter by themselves.

And now came something they had not expected, a
magic-lantern exhibition, very simple, because all the pic-
tures had been made at home. A large sheet was pinned
against the curtains of the deep window, and the lantern put
on a high table in the back of the room. The gas was low-
ered to just a point ; and one of the children who gave the


party came forward with a pointer in her hand, and took
charge of the little exhibition.

First came the House that Jack Built, as shown on the
slides below ; her little sister standing in the shadow, and

FIG. 21.

FIG. 22.

repeating, as the figures appeared upon the sheet " This is
Jack," "This is the House that Jack Built;" and so on to
the end. Then it was the little brother's turn, and he
shouted " Little Miss Muffet ! " in great glee. How they all

laughed when the big
spider appeared, and
little Miss Muffet ran
away ! Now I will tell
you just how to make
these slides for your-
selves. Get from a
glazier strips of clear
glass sixteen inches

FIG. 23. l n g> an d f a proper

width for the lantern

in which they are to be used. Place the glass in the lantern,
with the lamp lighted ; mark the top, bottom, and sides of
the glass at the outer line that will appear upon the round





FIG. 34.

field of light cast upon the wall : this is for a guide to the
size of picture that can be used. Cut from old picture-books,
or from tracings made upon ordi-
nary plain paper, the picture
desired. In the pictures given
here, the lines are to be followed
in cutting, and care must be
taken not to cut across the pa-
per farther than the lines ex-
tend. Paste the pictures upon
the glass at the same level, fa-
cing toward the front outer edge
of the slide, and fill in the
ground, grass, etc., with a brush
dipped in varnish mixed with
black paint.

If a movable scene is desired,
the object to be moved must be
placed upon a separate slide,
from the one used for the sta-
tionary object. This is shown in
"Little Miss Muffet," who ap-
pears upon one end of the slide,
eating her curds and whey : upon
the other end, ready to be shown
as soon as the spider hangs be-
fore her, she is " running away."
Upon a second and narrower slide
is the spider, who, by drawing in
the second slide, can be made
to appear while Miss Muffet is

FIG. 35

seen sitting still. These

paper figures of course appear as black shadows upon
light field, entirely without color. (See cuts given.)



To produce, instead, outline figures in light upon a dark
ground, the glass can be covered with a coating of paraffine,
so thin as to be transparent, the glass laid over the figure it
is desired to trace, and the paraffine removed in the outline
by means of any smooth point. If the paraffine be found
too thin to obstruct the light sufficiently, give the glass a
second thin coating, through which the lines traced will
show, and remove it in these lines.

If you can draw the figures yourself, a simpler method
still is to cover the glass with white castile-soap, and draw
through it with a smooth point. Common asphalt-varnish
; laid on in two thin coats, with a brush three-quarters of an
inch broad, and traced through in the same way, gives the
most satisfactory results, as the lines will be smooth, and
give a perfect outline.

For home pictures it is decidedly best not to try to color
the slides, as it is very difficult work, and colored slides are
not at all expensive ; though, for home amusement, black or
white answers almost as well. Dolbear's book on magic-
lanterns, to be had of any bookseller, gives full directions
for every variety of slide.




WHEN a sufficient number of forfeits, or pawns, have been
collected during the play, it is time to sell them. For this
purpose, one of the girls is seated on a chair in the middle
of the room, and blindfolded. Another stands behind her
with the basket containing the forfeits ; and, taking out one
at a time, she holds it up, asking, " What is to be done to
the owner of this ? " She that* is blindfolded inquires, " Is
it fine, or superfine ? " meaning, does it belong to a young
gentleman, or to a young lady ? For the latter the reply
must be, " It is superfine." Then the seller of the forfeits
(still remaining blindfolded) must decide what the owner
must do before the pawn can be restored to her.

It is extremely difficult to find such forfeits as are neither
dangerous nor unlady-like ; the fifty given, however, being
the best selection that can be made for young players.


FIRST. The first may be what is called performing a

The owner of the forfeit is to stand on a chair in the
middle of the room ; and every one, in turn, is to put her in
a different position. One is to make her raise her hands
above her head, and clasp them together ; another is to place
her arms behind her, grasping her elbows with her hands ;
a third makes the statue clasp her hands on her breast ; a


fourth requires her to hold out her dress, as if she were just
going to dance ; a fifth desires her to cover her eyes with
her hands ; and so on, till each has placed the statue in
a different attitude ; after which, she descends from her
pedestal, and the forfeit is restored to her.

SECOND. The owner of the forfeit is to be fed with water
till she guesses who is feeding her. For this purpose she is
blindfolded, and seated on a chair. A glass of water with a
teaspoon in it is prepared, and each girl, in turn, puts part
of a spoonful of water into the mouth of her blindfolded com-
panion, who must endeavor to guess who is doing it. When-
ever she guesses rightly, the bandage is removed, and the
forfeit is restored to her.

THIRD. To perform the laughing gamut, without pause
or mistake, thus :


ha ha

ha ha

ha ha

ha ha

ha ha

ha ha

ha ha

FOURTH. She must repeat a verse of poetry, which had
better be something diverting or humorous.

FIFTH. She must keep silent, and preserve a serious face,
for five minutes, without either smiling or frowning, let the
company do as they will.

SIXTH. She must repeat five times rapidly, without mispro-
nouncing a letter, " Willy Wite and his wife went a voyage
to Winsor and West Wickham one Witsun Wednesday."

SEVENTH. Laugh in one corner of the room, cry in
another, yawn in the third corner, and dance in the fourth.

EIGHTH. Rub one hand on your forehead, at the same


time striking the other on your heart, without changing the
motion of either for an instant.

NINTH. Repeat as follows three times successively, with-
out a pause or blunder :

" Peter Piper picked a peck of pickle-peppers,
A peck of pickle-peppers Peter Piper picked :
If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickle-peppers,
Where's the peck of pickle-peppers Peter Piper picked?"

" A peacock picked a peck of pepper ;
Did he pick a peck of pepper ?
Yes, he picked a peck of pepper :
Pick pepper peacock."


" One old ox opening oysters.

Two tea-totally tired toads trying to trot to Teaberry.
Three thick, thumping tigers tickling trout.
Four fat friars fanning fainting flies.

Five frivolously foolish females flying to France for fashions.
Six sentimental spoonies sedulously sipping sarsaparilla.
Seven seasick sailors sanctimoniously singing psalms."

TENTH. Say this correctly, without stopping :

" Bandy-legged Borachio Mustachio Whiskerifusticus, the bald and
brave Bombardino of Bagdad, helped Abomilique, Blue-Beard Bashaw of
Babelmandeb, to beat down an abominable bumble-bee at Balsora. '

ELEVENTH. To stand in the middle of the room, and first
make up a very woful face, then a very merry one : if it be
in the evening, a lamp must be held in the hand.

TWELFTH. Answer five questions while another taps you
under the chin.

THIRTEENTH. Ask a question of one of the company
which they can only answer by saying " Yes." The question
is, "What does YES spell?"


FOURTEENTH. Quote a line of poetry to bring in any
easy word that may be given you ; such as "bird," or " flower,"
or the like.

FIFTEENTH. Imitate, without laughing, such animals as
your companions name.

SIXTEENTH. Ask a riddle or conundrum. ,

SEVENTEENTH. Hop on one foot four times round the

EIGHTEENTH. Make a nosegay with any six letters of the
alphabet that are given you. Thus, suppose the letters were
L, W, G, F, T, N, you might fill them in with lily, wood-
bine, geranium, foxglove, tulip, and nasturtium. Should
the company wish to tax your ingenuity, they would choose
more difficult letters, such as X or Z ; but flowers may be
found even for these by taking a little trouble.

NINETEENTH. Count twenty backwards.

TWENTIETH. Stand up in a chair, and make whatever
motions or grimaces you are ordered,, without laughing.
Young ladies should be very particular never to exact any
thing awkward or improper.

TWENTY-FIRST. Pay a compliment, and undo it after, to
every one present.

TWENTY-SECOND. Sing a short song.

TWENTY-THIRD. Dance a pas-seul, or hornpipe.

TWENTY-FOURTH. Put yourself, through the keyhole.
This is done by writing the word "yourself " on a small slip
of paper, rolling it up, and putting it through the keyhole.
Or, push some one's head through the handle of the teapot.
This is done by putting your finger through the handle, and
then pushing the person's head.

TWENTY-FIFTH. Repeat these four lines rapidly, without
a pause or a mistake :


" As I went in the garden, I saw five brave maids,
Sitting on five broad beds, braiding broad braids.
I said to these five brave maids, sitting on five broad beds,
Braiding broad braids, * Braid broad braids, brave maids.' "

TWENTY-SIXTH. Kiss yourself in the looking-glass.

TWENTY-SEVENTH. Guess a riddle or conundrum.

TWENTY-EIGHTH. Spell new door in one word. This is
done by writing on a slate or piece of paper one word.
It will be seen that " new door " and " one word " contain
exactly the same letters, though differently arranged.

TWENTY-NINTH. Repeat the "twine-twister."

" When the twister a twisting would twist him a twist,
For the twisting his twine he three times doth intwist ;
But if one of the twists of the twist doth intwine,
The twine that intwisteth untwisteth the twine."

THIRTIETH. Immediately after the "twine-twister" has
been said, the next forfeit may be redeemed by desiring the
owner to spell all this in seven letters ; which is done by
spelling ALL THIS.

THIRTY-FIRST. Write your name in one letter. This is
done by writing on a slate, or on paper with a
lead-pencil, one very large letter, introducing in
it your own name, written small, thus :

THIRTY-SECOND. Decipher two lines, addressed by a boy
to his schoolmaster. The following lines must be written
by some one who knows how, and the owner of the pawn
must write under them the explanation :

2 + ur2 + ub;
I c u r 2 + for me.

The explanation is :

Too cross you are, too cross you be ;
I see you are too cross for me.


THIRTY-THIRD. Decipher the schoolmaster's answer to

the boy :

I c u r 2 yy for me.

This is the explanation :

Too wise you are, too wise you be ;
I see you are too wise for me.

THIRTY-FOURTH. Say five flattering things to the one
who sits next you, without making use of the letter L.
THIRTY-FIFTH. Perform the dumb orator.
THIRTY-SIXTH. Repeat the list of


I saw a peacock with a fiery tail.

I saw a blazing comet pour down hail.

I saw a cloud all wrapped with ivy round.

I saw a lofty oak creep on the ground.

I saw a beetle swallow up a whale.

I saw the foaming sea brimful of ale.

I saw a china mug fifteen feet deep.

I saw a well full of men's tears that weep.

I saw wet eyes all of a flaming fire.

I saw a house high as the moon, and higher.

I saw the sun even in the dark midnight.

I saw the man that saw these awful sights.

Or this:


I saw a pack of cards gnawing a bone.

I saw a dog seated on Britain's throne.

I saw King George shut up within a box.

I saw a shilling driving a fat ox.

I saw a man lying in a muff all night.

I saw a glove reading news by candlelight.



I saw a woman not a twelvemonth old.

I saw a greatcoat all of solid gold.

I saw two buttons telling of their dreams.

I heard my friends, who wished I'd quit these themes.

THIRTY-SEVENTH. Repeat the "Wonderful Sights," so
as to make them no wonders at all. This is done by alter-
ing the punctuation ; thus :

I saw a peacock. With a fiery tail

I saw a comet. Pour down hail
saw a cloud. Wrapped with ivy round
saw a lofty oak. Creep on the ground
saw a beetle. Swallow up a whale
saw the foaming sea. Brimful of ale
saw a china mug. Fifteen feet deep
saw a well. Full of men's tears that weep
saw wet eyes. All of a flaming fire
saw a house. High as the moon, and higher,
saw the sun. Even in the dark midnight
saw the man that saw these awful sights.


saw a pack of cards. Gnawing a bone

saw a dog. Seated on Britain's throne

saw King George. Shut up within a box

saw a shilling. Driving a fat ox

saw a man. Lying in a muff all night

saw a glove. Reading news by candlelight

saw a woman. Not a twelvemonth old

saw a greatcoat. All of solid gold

saw two buttons. Telling of their dreams

heard my friends, who wished I'd quit these themes.

THIRTY-EIGHTH. Get a sixpence off your forehead with-
out putting your hands to it. This is done as follows :
The mistress of the play takes a sixpence or fourpenny-
piece, and, wetting it with her tongue, pretends to stick it


very fast on the forehead of the owner of the forfeit. In
reality she withdraws it immediately, and conceals it in her
own hand, but makes the owner of the forfeit believe that it
is all the time on her forehead. And she is easily deceived,
as she is not permitted to put up her hand to feel ; and all
the company humor the joke, and pretend that the sixpence
is actually sticking there. She shakes her head, and tries
every means (except the interdicted) to make the sixpence
drop off, wondering she does not see it fall, and amazed that
it sticks so fast, supposing it to be really on her forehead.
No one must undeceive her. Whenever she discovers the
trick, and finds that in reality there is nothing on her fore-
head, her forfeit may be restored to her. If she puts up
her hand to feel for the sixpence, she must pay another

THIRTY-NINTH. Stand in the corner till some one pre-
vails on you to come out, though all your answers must be
" No." The dialogue that ought to take place is as follows,
or something to this effect ; but it may be varied, according
to the ingenuity of the questioner :

" Do you wish to remain in the corner ? " " No."
" Is it very irksome to you ? " " No."
" Shall I lead you out in half an hour ? " " No,"
" Are you willing to stay here all night ? " " No."
" Shall I go away and leave you here ? " " No."
" Will you remain in the corner another moment ? "
" No."

The answer to this last question implies a consent to quit
the corner immediately : therefore you must be led out.

FORTIETH. Walk three times round the room with a
boy's hat on your head, and bow to the company as you take
it off.

FORTY-FIRST. Spell Constantinople. When this is done,


after the speller has gone through the three first syllables,
Con-stan-ti, the other girls must call out, " No, no ! " mean-
ing the next syllable.

If the speller is not aware of the trick, she will suppose
that they wish her to believe she is spelling the word wrongly,
and she will stop to vindicate herself ; in which case she is
liable to another forfeit. If she knows the trick, she is con-
vinced that she is right, and will have sufficient presence of
mind to persist in spelling the word, notwithstanding the
interruption. If she gets through it without stopping, the
forfeit is restored to her.

FORTY-SECOND. Take a penny out of a plate of meal,
without flouring your hands. A penny covered up in meal
is brought to you. You take the plate, and blow all the
flour off the penny ; after which you can easily take it up
in your thumb and finger, without getting your hands

FORTY-THIRD. Shoot the robin. This is done by blind-
folding the owner of the forfeit, and leading her to a part of
the room where a sheet of paper or a handkerchief has been
pinned to the wall. She is directed then to shoot the robin,
which she must do by starting forwards, extending her right
arm, and pointing her finger so as to touch the sheet of
paper. Whenever she succeeds in doing so, her forfeit is
restored. Her finger had better be blackened with a coal,
or burnt cork, or something that will leave a mark on the

FORTY-FOURTH. Walk round the room, and kiss your
shadow in each corner, without laughing.

FORTY-FIFTH. The one who is to pay a forfeit stands
with her face to the wall. One behind her makes signs suita-
ble to a kiss, a pinch, and a box on the ear, and asks her
whether she chooses the first, the second, or the third:


whichever it happens to be is given to her. The blows and
pinches must not be too hard.

FORTY-SIXTH. Two forfeits may be redeemed at once,
by the persons to whom they belong lamenting the death

Online LibraryHelen CampbellThe American girl's home book of work and play → online text (page 3 of 28)