Helen Campbell.

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

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of the King of Bohemia. They must go to opposite ends of
the room, and then turn round and advance, so as to meet
in the centre. One must walk very slowly, with her hand-
kerchief to her face, and say to the other in a melancholy
tone, "The King of Bohemia is dead!" The hearer must
then pretend to burst into tears, and say, " Is it possible !
Sad news, sad news ! " but must then exclaim, " Let us cry
for the King of Bohemia ! "

All this must be performed in a lamentable voice and
with disconsolate faces. If they laugh, the forfeits must be
redeemed over again.

FORTY-SEVENTH. When a line is given out to you,
answer it with another that will rhyme with it.

FORTY-EIGHTH. Sit down on the carpet, close to the door
(which must be shut), and say,

" Here will I take a seat under the latch,
Till somebody comes a kiss to snatch."

The forfeit is redeemed as soon as one of your playmates
kisses you.

FORTY-NINTH. A number of forfeits may be redeemed
together, by the owners all sitting in a row, and playing
Mrs. M'Tavish ; which is performed by the following dia-
logue going round :

"Mrs. M'Tavish has fainted away."

" Is it possible ? How did she faint ? "

"Just so."

The speaker then throws herself back, and looks as if she
were fainting. The one next to her then, in turn, announces


the fainting of Mrs. M'Tavish. Thus the play goes on, till
all engaged in it have performed the fainting, and this
redeems the forfeits. The whole must be done without
laughing. The modes of fainting should all be as different
as possible, and may be made very diverting.

FIFTIETH. After a number of pawns have been sold,
those that are left on hand may be redeemed all at once,
by the whole company performing a cats' concert. That
is, they must all sing together, as if in chorus ; but each
must sing a different song and tune. One verse will be




BLIND MAN'S BUFF is an old favorite, so well known as to
need no description, but, unless a large and almost unfur-
nished room can be had, is too noisy for a large party.
Almost as much amusement may be had from


Buff, or, as she is more elegantly called by the French,
" Colin Maillard," has not her eyes bandaged : on the con-
trary, she has need of all her penetration. A sheet is hung
from the ceiling, as though for the performance of a magic-
lantern, before which " Colin Maillard " takes her seat on a
low footstool, so that her shadow does not fall upon the
cloth. All the lights are extinguished, with the exception
of a single candle placed on a small stand at some little dis-
tance behind her. When these preparations are completed,
the other players form a sort of procession, and pass, one
after another, between their seated companion (who is
strictly forbidden to turn her head) and the table on which
the lighted candle is placed. The light being thus inter-
cepted by each of the persons passing before it, a series of
shadows, distinctly enough defined, are naturally cast upon
the white cloth ; and these, as they file slowly before her,
" Colin Maillard " is obliged to identify, the errors she may
fall into being received with shouts of laughter. It is
scarcely necessary to say that each performer, when passing


before the light, endeavors to change as much as possible
her general appearance, figure, and gait, so as to be less
easily recognized. It is not customary to exact forfeits at
this game, but a great many might be obtained by making
each correct guess claim one from the person whose identity
is thus detected.


This is a most laughable game, and, though very simple,
rarely fails to excite great mirth. One of the party assumes
the post of "reader;" whilst her companions each choose a
trade or profession, being careful not to fix on those too
closely resembling each other. The reader then com-
mences reading aloud some short article from a newspaper
or book (something of the narrative kind being most effec-
tive), every now and then pausing, and glancing at one of
the other players, who, without a moment's hesitation, must
substitute for the word about to be pronounced some one
relating to her trade or profession ; the reader afterwards
going on as though no interruption had taken place.

We give an example :

JULIA. I will be reader; you, Mary, shall be a butcher; Con-
stance, a milliner ; Jane, a baker ; Fanny, a grocer ; Clara, a hard-
ware-merchant ; Ellen, a fruiterer ; Annie, a dry-goods-merchant ; and
Kate, a market-woman.

Now to begin.

JULIA. Boiling with indignation at Louis 1 insulting defiance, Ro-
nald returned to his (looks at MARY)

MARY. Sirloin

JULIA. In the (looks at CONSTANCE)

CONSTANCE. Show-room.

JULIA. Determined at daybreak to summon him forth to (looks
at JANE)


JANE. Hot rolls

JULIA. Or (looks at FANNY)

FANNY. Best Mocha coffee.

JULIA. He often repeated the words " her " (looks at CLARA)

CLARA. Flatirons

JULIA. Have never wandered from you. Ah, if this should indeed
be the case ! and that Alice loved (looks at ELLEN)

ELLEN. Fresh raspberries

JULIA. After all ! But from Louis his honor demanded (looks

ANNIE. A pair of lamb's- wool stockings

JULIA. And (looks at KATE)

KATE. The finest Stilton, thirty cents per pound

JULIA. Either of which he feared the proud (looks at MARY)

MARY. Calfs head

JULIA. Would never stoop to grant. Yet to level a (looks at

CONSTANCE. Spool of cotton

JULIA. Against the brother of Alice, against him to whom he had
been a constant friend and companion in (looks at JANE)

JANE. Sally Lunns

JULIA. And (looks at FANNY)

FANNY. Turkey figs

JULIA. And perhaps by a single (looks at CLARA)

CLARA. Coal-scuttle

JULIA. To destroy him, the (looks at ELLEN)

ELLEN. Crab- apples

JULIA. And (looks at ANNIE)

ANNIE. Doeskin driving-gloves

JULIA. Of his amiable (looks at KATE)

KATE. Pats of fresh butter

JULIA. And (looks at MARY) -

MARY. Mutton-chops

JULIA. He felt that, should this happen, he could never forgive
himself. But there was no (looks at CONSTANCE)


CONSTANCE. Blonde veil and orange-blossom

JULIA. It was (looks at JANE)

JANE. Crusty loaves

JULIA. And (looks at FANNY)

FANNY. Brown sugar, etc.

The paragraph, from Grant's " Romance of War," which
Julia has been reading, stands, without the interpolations,
thus :

"Boiling with rage at Louis' insulting defiance, Ronald
returned to his quarters in the Alcanzar, determined at day-
break to summon him forth to fight or to apologize. He
often repeated the words, ' Her heart has never wandered
from you.' Ah, if this should indeed be the case, and that
Alice loved him, after all ! But from Louis his honor de-
manded a full explanation and ample apology, either of which
he feared the proud spirit of the other would never stoop to
grant. Yet to level a deadly weapon against the brother of
Alice, against him to whom he had been a constant friend
and companion in childhood and maturer youth, and per-
haps by a single shot to destroy him, the hopes and the
peace of his amiable father and sister, he felt, that, should
this happen, he could never forgive himself. But there was
no alternative : it was death or dishonor."


A handkerchief is rolled up into the shape of a round ball.
The little girls sit in a circle. She that is to begin the play
takes the ball, and throws it to one of her companions, call-
ing out either "Earth!" "Air!" or "Water!" fire being
omitted, as that element has no inhabitants. Should any
player, however, call out, " Fire ! " every one must keep
silence. The little girl to whom the ball is directed must,


on catching it, reply by giving the name of an animal proper
to the element that has just been mentioned. If the word
is "air," the answer must be "eagle," "vulture," "hawk," or
any other bird. If the word is " water," the reply may be
"whale," "shark," "porpoise." If the element is "earth,"
the answer must be the name of a beast ; as "lion," "tiger,"
"bear," etc. If she that is addressed does not reply
promptly, or makes a mistake, and names a bird when she
should have mentioned a beast, she is to pay a forfeit. Any
one who mentions the same animal twice is likewise liable
to a forfeit. The one that receives the ball then throws
it to another, calling out one of the elements ; and so the
play goes round.


MARIA (throwing the ball to HELEN) . Earth !

HELEN. Panther. (She throws the ball to LOUISA.) Air !

LOUISA. Woodpecker. (She throws it to JULIA.) Water !

JULIA. Barbel. ( Th rows it to SOPHIA.) Water!

SOPHIA (starting) . Oh ! what am I thinking of ? Turkey tur-

MARIA. Ha, ha, ha ! Do turkeys live in the water?

SOPHIA. Oh, no ! I meant turtle. However, I see I am too late.
Here is this pencil as a forfeit. (She throws the ball to MARIA.)
Earth !

MARIA. Buffalo (throwing the ball to HARRIET) . Air !

HARRIET. Mocking-bird. (Throws the ball to EMILY.) Water!

EMILY. Salmon (throwing the ball to CHARLOTTE). Air !


HELEN. Now, Charlotte, that does not seem exactly right. A
duck is a bird, to be sure ; but does it ever fly in the air ? Earth is
its proper abode.

CHARLOTTE. You are very particular. Do not wild ducks fly in
the air? and very high too, and in large flocks.

HELEN. Then, you should have said " wild duck."


EMILY. And ducks also swim in the water.

MARIA. Well, I believe we must admit the word "duck" as a
sufficiently good answer, whether the word be earth, air, or water ;
ducks being found in all those three elements.

HELEN. But always say " wild duck," if the word is " air."


One of the company leaves the room, and the others fix
on a word ; such as "like," "care," "sight," "leave," "hear,"
etc., which is to be introduced into all their answers to the
questions she must put to them on her return. When the
word is decided on, she is called in, and asks a question of
each, in turn. In replying, every one must contrive to use
the secret word, without laying any emphasis, or making it
conspicuous. If the questioner remarks the frequent recur-
rence of the same word in the answers, she will easily be
able to guess what it is. The one from whose reply she
has made the final discovery, then, in her turn, leaves the
room while the next word is fixed on, and, on her return,
becomes the questioner.


MARIA. Do you go out, Emily. (EMILY leaves the room.) Now,
what shall be the word?

HELEN. " Fear," or " love."

JULIA. Will not those words be too conspicuous? Let us try

ALL. " Like," " like." Let it be " like." Come in, Emily.

EMILY (returning). Maria, do you not think the weather is very
warm this evening?

MARIA. Not warmer than I like it.

EMILY. Julia, are you fond of watermelon ?

JULIA. No. I like pine-apple better.


EMILY. Helen, have you read Mrs. Howitt's " Sowing and Reap-

HELEN. Yes; and I do not like it so well as her "Love and

EMILY. Matilda, were you up early this morning?

MATILDA. Very early. I always like to rise with the lark.

EMILY. Harriet, did you make that bag yourself ?

HARRIET. I did. I like to make bags, pincushions, needlebooks,
emery-bags, and every thing of the sort.

EMILY. " Like." I have guessed it. " Like " is the word.

HARRIET. So it is. Now I will go out. (She goes.)

CHARLOTTE. " Saw." Let " saw " be the word.

MARIA. Very well. Come in, Harriet. (HARRIET comes in.)

HARRIET. Maria, when did you see Clara Simmons ?

MARIA. I saw her the day before yesterday, when I was walking
with Julia.

HARRIET. Julia, was Clara Simmons quite well ?

JULIA. Quite. I never saw her look better.

HARRIET. Louisa, are you not very much pleased with your hand-
some drawing-box?

LOUISA. Very much. But I saw one in a shop yesterday that was
still more complete than mine.

HARRIET. Charlotte, are you acquainted with Laura Morton?

CHARLOTTE. I saw her once at a private ball, but have no acquaint-
ance with her.

HARRIET. Emily, do not you think the new table in your honey-
suckle arbor is too high?

EMILY. Yes ; but the carpenter is coming to-morrow to saw off a
piece from each leg, and then it will be a proper height.

HARRIET. " Saw," " saw," is the word.

MARIA. Ha, ha, ha ! Emily, you had better not have used the
word " saw " in that sense. You see, Harriet guessed it immediately.

EMILY. No matter. J have not the least objection to going out



One of the company having left the room, the others fix
on a word for her to guess. The word may be "cake."
She is called in, and stops before the first one in the row,
who says, "Cap." She goes to the next, who says, "Apple;"
the third says, "Kettle;" and the fourth says, "Egg;" each
taking care to mention a word whose first letter is one that
is found in the word "cake," and to say them in regular
order. The guesser, having heard all these words, pauses
to think over their initial letters, and finds, that, when
put together, they are CAKE, and compose the word
"cake," which she immediately pronounces. And it is then
the turn of the one at the head of the row to go out while a
word is proposed. If most of the company are unacquainted
with the play, the one at the head need not explain at first
the manner in which the word is guessed. But she had
better tell her companions beforehand what words they are
to say when the guesser comes in ; and then they will all
be surprised at her guessing, not thinking that it is from
putting together the initial letters.


MARIA. Julia, you know this play : so you had better be the first
to go out. ( JULIA leaves the room.) Now we will fix on the word
" rainbow " for Julia to guess. Are any of you acquainted with the

ALL. I am not ; I am not.

MARIA. Very well, then I will tell you what words to say when
Julia presents herself before you. If you all knew the play, you
might choose your own words. I myself will say, " rose." Sophia,
do you say, "arrow." Emily, your word may be "ice." Caroline's
may be "nutmeg." Louisa's may be "bonnet." Charlotte's may
be "orange;" and Harriet may say, "wafer." Come in, Julia.


Now be sure to remember your words. QULIA returns?) Well,
Julia, my word is "rose."

(JULIA goes all along the row, and, as she stops before each, they
say the word allotted to them.)

SOPHIA. Arrow.



LOUISA. Bonnet.



(JULIA pauses a moment, and finds that the initial letters of all
these words make RAINBOW.)

JULIA. Rainbow ; the word is rainbow.

ALL. So it is.

CAROLINE. I cannot imagine how you could find it out.

EMILY. I think I can guess how it was done. However, I will
not tell.

HARRIET. I believe I can guess it too. But I also will not tell.

CHARLOTTE. Well, it is a mystery to me.

JULIA. It will not be, when the play has gone on a little longer.
You will find it out by practice. Come, Maria, you are to be the
next guesser.


One of the company must leave the room, while another
touches some article in her absence, which she must en-
deavor to guess on her return. Before her departure, the
mistress of the play takes her aside, and whispers to her
the watchword, meaning that when she hears her ask, " Is it
this?" she may be sure that she points to the object which
has been actually touched but, on the other hand, the ques-
tion, "Is it that?" refers to things that have not been



MARIA. Louisa, do you go out ; but first let me say something to
you in private. (She takes LOUISA aside, and whispers to her, say-
ing), Julia will touch something while you are gone; and when, on
your return, I point to different things, and ask, "Is it that?" you
may be sure I am not directing you to the right object, and you must
say, "No." But when I ask, "Is it this?" you may say, "Yes:"
for you may be sure that I mean the thing that Julia has actually
touched. Go now. Remember that the watchword is " this" and
reply accordingly. (LOUISA goes out.) Come, Julia, what will you
touch ?

JULIA. There, I touch the work-basket. Come in, Louisa.
(LOUISA returns.)

MARIA (pointing to a book). Is it that?


MARIA (showing a pincushion). Is it that?


MARIA (pointing to a newspaper) . Is it that ?


MARIA (showing a work-box) . Is it that ?


MARIA (pointing to a basket) . Is it this ?

LOUISA. Yes. (The other girls, being unacquainted with the ptoty^
look surprised.)

CHARLOTTE. Well, it really was the basket that Julia touched.

HELEN. How could Louisa possibly know?

HARRIET. How could she be sure that Julia had not touched any
of the other things that were mentioned ?

MARIA. Well, Harriet, you shall go out next. So first come aside
with me, and I will let you into the secret.

(By the by, it must be remembered, that, in this play, no one goes
out twice.)

(She takes HARRIET to the other end of the room, and whispers
to her that the watchword will now be "THAT." HARRIET
goes out, and, while she is away, CHARLOTTE touches the lamp;


and on her return MARIA questions her for a while by asking,
" Is it this ? " to which, of course, HARRIET answers, " No"
But when MARIA inquires, "Is //THAT? " as she points to the
lamp, HARRIET knows that she may say, " Yes.")


Each of the company, in turn, calls herself a merchant, and
mentions an article that she has for sale. The one next to
her must say whether that article is animal, vegetable, or
mineral. If she makes a mistake, she loses her turn. If she
answers rightly, she becomes the next merchant, and pro-
poses something for sale, asking, also, if it be animal, vegeta-
ble, or mineral. And in this manner the play goes round.


MARIA. I am a china-merchant, and have a tea-service to sell.
Is it animal, vegetable, or mineral?

LOUISA. Mineral. China is made of clay and flint, and things
belonging to earth. Now it is my turn. I am a dry-goods merchant,
and have a piece of gingham to sell. Is it animal, vegetable, or
mineral ?

HELEN. Vegetable ; gingham being made of cotton. I keep a
grocery, and have a box of candles to sell. Are they animal,
vegetable, or mineral ?

CHARLOTTE. Animal. Candles are made either of tallow, sperma-
ceti, or wax, all of which are animal substances. 1 keep a cabinet
warehouse, and have a dining-table for sale. Is it animal, vegetable,
or mineral ?

HARRIET. Vegetable ; being made of the wood of the mahogany-
tree. I am a silk- merchant, and have a piece of satin for sale. Is it
animal, mineral, or vegetable ?

CAROLINE. Vegetable.

HARRIET. What ! satin vegetable ? Is it not made of silk thread,
produced by the silkworm ? Therefore it must be animal. Caroline,


you have lost your turn, and can sell nothing this time. Come,
Emily, you are merchant now.

EMILY. I am a stationer, and have a quire of letter-paper for sale.
Is it animal, vegetable, or mineral ?

JULIA. Vegetable ; white paper being made of linen or cotton
rags. I am a druggist, and have some opium to sell. Is it animal,
mineral, or vegetable ?

MATILDA. Mineral.

MARIA. Oh, no, no ! Opium is vegetable : it is the condensed
juice of the poppy. You have lost your turn of being merchant,
Matilda, and it has now come to me again.

MATILDA. I thought almost all medicines were minerals.

MARIA. A great many of them are ; but a very great number of
drugs are made from plants, and therefore vegetable.


This is best played by three persons, though four or two
may engage in it. First prepare some white pasteboard or
some blank cards by cutting them into small slips, all of one
size. There should at least be four dozen slips ; but eight
dozen will be better still, as the game will then be longer,
and more varied. We will, however, suppose that there are
four dozen slips of card. First take twenty-four of these
slips, and write upon each, as handsomely and legibly as you
can, the name of one of your acquaintances. Then take
twelve more cards, and write on each the name of a place,
as "In the street," "In church," "In the garden," "In the
orchard," "At a ball," "At school," etc. Lastly, on the
remaining dozen of cards write the consequences, or what
happened to the young ladies. You may say, for instance,
"They lost their shoes," "They tore their gloves," "They
took offence," or something similar. The consequences
should be so contrived that none of them will appear absurd
and unmeaning with reference to the places.


When the cards are all ready (and, when once made, they
will last a long time), the play may begin by Julia taking
the two dozen that have the names (two names being read
together), Sophia taking the dozen that designate the
places, and Harriet taking charge of the consequences.
Each had better put her cards into a small basket, from
which they are to be drawn out as they chance to come
uppermost. Or they may be well shuffled, and laid in a pile
before each of the players, with the blank sides upwards.
They must be shuffled every game.



JULIA. Well, are we all ready? Come, then, let us begin. (She
takes up two cards, and reads them.) " Louisa Hartley and Helen

SOPHIA (reading a card). Were together "in a phaeton."

HARRIET (reading). The consequence was, "they caught cold."

JULIA. " Emily Campbell and Clara Nelson "

SOPHIA. Were both " at a ball."

HARRIET. The consequence was, "they were taken with fevers."

JULIA. " Maria Walden and Charlotte Rosewell "

SOPHIA. Were together "in the street."

HARRIET. The consequence was, " they got their feet wet."

JULIA. " Fanny Milford and Ellen Graves "

SOPHIA. Were both " at a party."

HARRIET. The consequence was, " their noses bled."

JULIA. " Amelia Temple and Caroline Douglas "

SOPHIA. Were together " at the museum."

HARRIET. The consequence was, " they were highly delighted."

JULIA. " Sophia Seymour and Harriet Hartland "

SOPHIA. Ah, Harriet, your name and mine ! (reading) "were both
in the kitchen."

HARRIET. The consequence was, " they did nothing at all."


JULIA. " Matilda Granby and Eliza Ross " -

SOPHIA. Were together " in the orchard."

HARRIET. The consequence was, " they quarrelled and parted."

JULIA. " Marianne Morley and Julia Gordon " (that is myself) >

SOPHIA. Were both " in church."

HARRIET. The consequence was, " they did not speak a word."

JULIA. "Adelaide Elmer and Juliet Fanning"

SOPHIA. Were both " at the theatre."

HARRIET. The consequence was, " they were laughing all the time."

JULIA. " Georgiana Bruce and Eleanor Oakley "

SOPHIA. Were " on the top of the house."

HARRIET. The consequence was, " they sprained their ankles."

JULIA. " Emmeline Stanley and Laura Lear "

SOPHIA. Were both " at school."

HARRIET. The consequence was, " they spoiled their bonnets."

JULIA. " Margaret Ashwood and Lydia Barclay "

SOPHIA. Were together " on a visit."

HARRIET. The consequence was, " they were glad to get home."

JULIA. There now, we have gone through all the cards : so let
us shuffle them, and begin another game. This time, Sophia may
take the names, Harriet the places, and I the consequences. I hope
the answers this time also will be somewhat appropriate.

If you cannot conveniently procure white pasteboard or
blank cards, slips of thick white paper will do nearly as well.
When not in use, they should be kept in a box.

Remember, that, as two names are always read together,
the number of names should be double that of the places
and consequences.

Four persons may play this game by dividing the names
between two, each of which will read one name. If played
by two persons only, one must take all the names, the other
must read both the places and consequences. This way is
best for younger girls. For older ones, the better plan is to
furnish slips of paper to the company.


At the top of the paper each writes a quality of a gentle-
man. "The fickle," for instance, or "The insinuating," or
"The handsome," "The ugly," or any epithet, in fact, that
may occur to the mind at the moment. But nobody may see

Online LibraryHelen CampbellThe American girl's home book of work and play → online text (page 4 of 28)