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20. Is it generally stationary, or movable ?—Movable.
Guessed correctly by Mr. Canning. "The wand of the Lord
High Steward." (The Lord High Steward of England was in ancient times the first officer of state in the English court, but now, as at the time of this game, there is no regular holder of the office. A temporary Lord High Steward is appointed to take part in coronations and the trials of peers. He has a wooden wand of office, which he breaks when his duties are over.)
Variations, Several variations are sometimes made in the game. One player may select a subject and allow the others to question him, either through a captain or in rotation.
When two parties play one against the other, the captains may be dispensed with, and the questions and answers given by the players in order.
The game may be played for points, in which case each side questions during a given number of games, and answers during the same number, the players on the sides remaining the same. The number of questions asked in each game is scored to the askers, whether the subject be guessed or not, and the side having the less number of points wins. In this way of scoring, to guess the subject in twenty questions counts no more than to fail altogether. This may be remedied by agreeing that a failure to guess shall count more than twenty against the askers. It may be agreed that the answerers shall be limited in their choice of a subject, the others undertaking to guess it in less than twenty questions. Thus the subject may be an event in American History, and ten questions may be allowed.
When the game is played by young children, more than twenty questions may be allowed, or the number may not be limited at all.
Learners may begin with large number of questions, and gi dually diminish it as they becom- more expert. Skilled players think that it is possible, if the questons are asked properly, to guess ary subject in twenty questions, and that most subjects can be found out in from fifteen to eighteen.
The Three Kingdoms, or Animal, Vegetable, and Mineral. A kind of Twenty Questions in which the first question is "To which of the three kingdoms does it belong?" or "Is it Animal, Vegetable, or Mineral?" It was formerly considered that everything in nature belongs to the Animal kingdom, the vegetable kingdom, or the Mineral kingdom; but there are many things hard to classify thus, and as subjects are now taken that are not material—such as thoughts, words, or ideas—it is rarely asked. In the old game of Animal, Vegetable, and Mineral the number of questions was often unlimited, while the answers were required to be merely " Yes" and " No," as in Clumps.
Rules Of The Game.
1. The umpire is elected by majority vote before the game. There is no appeal from his decisions.
2. The captains, if any, shall be chosen by vote of each side.
3. The parties shall determine by lot which shall question first, and afterwards they shall do so alternately.
4. The umpire shall take down in writing the subject and each question and answer.
5. The subject must have, or must have had, an actual existence either in fact, fiction, or imagination. It may be material or immaterial.
(This rule bars subjects like " The sound of a hammer that was not heard at the building of Solomon's temple," which we are told was once actually chosen.]
6. Any question may be asked whose answer is not part of the subject. For instance, if the subject be " A button on Mr. Smith's coat," and the guessing party have found that it is a button on some one's coat, it is not allowable to ask " On whose coat is it?" The question "With what person is it most nearly connected?" is often objected to for a like reason. The legality of this question and others in doubt must be decided by the umpire.
7. It is not allowable to ask two or more questions at once; thus, "What is its shape and size?" must count as two questions.
8. If there are captains, they must in all cases give the questions and answers, and no attention need be paid to a question put by any other player.
9. If there are no captains, the questions are put and answered by the players in regular order, and no question asked out of that order need be heeded.
10. If it is impossible to answer a question exactly, as correct an answer as possible must be given, and at the same time its defects must be pointed out. Thus, if" Napoleon's little finger-nail" be the subject, and the question be " What was its size ?" although of course the exact answer cannot be given, the answer should be " Probably about one-third of an inch in diameter; we do not know exactly." [The simple answer, " We do not know," though literally true, is not allowable in such a case, but sometimes no other can be given ; in which case the umpire should permit it.]
11. A vague question may be answered vaguely. Thus, " Where is it situated?" "In the United States." The question in this case should be, " In what city or town is it?"
12. An answer made by a player not a captain, or out of regular order is not counted as an answer, but the questioners may use whatever information they gain from it. But
the answering side may endorse it if they please, and then it is treated as their regular answer.
13. When the players ask and answer in order, any one may decline to take his turn, and must then wait until the next round.
14. After each question or answer is written down by the umpire he shall call "Time," and the following answer or question must then be given within the timelimit previously agreed upon.
15. If any side fail to give its question or answer within the time-limit, the opposing side gain a question; that is, an extra question is allowed if they are the questioners, and one less if they are the answerers. A question is thus gained for every expiration of the time-limit; thus, if the time-limit be five minutes, and the answering party take sixteen minutes to consult over an answer, the askers are allowed twenty-three questions.
History. Twenty Questions is said by some persons to have been invented by George Canning, the English statesman, who was born in 1770, and it is sometimes called in England the Canning Game; but it probably existed in some form long before his time. Not only Canning but other eminent men, including William Pitt, were fond of the game. Pitt once guessed the subject" The stone on which Walworth, Lord Mayor of London, stood, when he struck Wat Tyler down, in Richard II.'s time." About 1880 the game became very popular in the eastern United States, but it had been played in this country many years before that time.
TWIRL THE PLATTER. A game played by any number of persons with a tin or earthenware plate. The players stand in a circle, and one of them, who may be chosen in any way, begins the game by twirling the plate on the floor in the middle of the circle, calling out at the same time the name of one of the other players. That one must catch the platter before it falls to the ground, and then twirl it again, calling out the name of some one, as before. Any player failing to catch the platter before it falls must pay a forfeit. Sometimes the players are numbered, and the one who twirls the plate calls out a number instead of a name.
TWIRLER. An arrangement for spinning objects rapidly, used in some of the scientific experiments described in this book. It consists usually of two wheels fixed on a stand, and so connected by a band that by turning a handle fixed to one, the other revolves very rapidly. The object to be twirled is fixed to this second wheel. Twirlers can be bought of dealers in scientific or school supplies, or its place can be supplied by the wheel of a toy cart. Turn the cart bottom upward, pin or tack the object to be twirled to one side of the wheel, and twirl it from the other side with the forefinger. If the object is to be twirled horizontally—as, for instance, a pail of water — the cart may be placed on its side on a table with the wheel to be used projecting over the edge. The cart is kept in place by putting a weight on it. The string supporting the object is now tacked as near the middle of the hub as possible, and the wheel twirled as before.
An excellent twirler can also be made as follows: Support a board
hang a circle of twine so long that the lower end reaches within two feet of the floor. This end should be provided with a hook. If the twine now be twisted and the object to be twirled hung on the hook, the untwisting of the cord will make the object spin. It will move still more swiftly if it is assisted to untwist by pressing downward with a stick just above the twisted part. A flat piece of cork may be strung on the twine a little above the end, and kept in place by knots. On this colored disks of paper may be placed, producing the same effects when spun as the color Top.
pre my right hand shake, shake, shake, and turn my - self a - bout
Ashe sings he suits the action to the words, first stretching out his right hand, then facing in the opposite direction and extending it again, then shaking it, and finally turning back to his first position. In like manner he then sings:
"I put my left hand in," etc.
To " put both feet in" the players jump forward, and to shake them they dance up and down. At the last line the players stretch their heads forward. Sometimes those who laugh are required to pay forfeits.
In England this game is called "Hinkumbooby" or "Looby Looby," and the verse begins:
"Lobby, lobby, Looby,
UNCLE JOHN. A singing game played by any number of boys and girls. The players dance hand in hand in a circle singing:
Uncle John i« very sick;
What shall we send him?
A piece of apple dumpling.
What shall we send it in?
In a piece of paper.
In a golden saucer.
By the king's daughter.
And lead her o'er the water.
The dancers then sit down, and the last down (supposing it to be a girl) selects a friend and whispers in her ear the initials of some boy. She then takes her place in the ring, but facing outward, while the friend announces the initials, and the players again circle and sing:
"X. Y., so they say.
He takes her by the lily-white hand
Here's a kiss, and there's a kiss
The one whose initials were given then kisses the girl who gave them; she faces inward, and the game goes on as before. If the player last down was a boy, his full name is given in the first line of the last-quoted stanza, and the initials he gives are inserted in the fourth line.
VALENTINE PARTY. An entertainment at which each guest gives a valentine to every other. The party must be given on or near St. Valentine's day, February 14th. The hostess informs each guest beforehand what he or she is expected to do, and at least a day beforehand each guest must send in his valentine. On the evening of the party some one appointed by the hostess reads them all aloud, giving each to the person to whom it is addressed, after it is read. Assumed names are usually signed to the valentines, which may be sentimental or ridiculous, as the writer pleases. Sometimes each guest is allowed to write as many or as few valentines as he wishes; and if the hostess finds, on looking them over, that any guest has received none, she either writes him one herself or asks some one else to do so.
VEGETABLE MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS. Rude musical instruments of several kinds can be made from trees or vegetables. Some of these are described below.
Willow Whistles A green willow stick from two to five inches long is cut, as in Fig. 1. The bark is loosened by pounding it carefully with a smooth stone or the handle of a pocket-knife till it will slip off. A thin slice of wood is then cut from the notch A to the end of the stick at B, and then the bark is slipped on again. (See Fig. 2.) If the whistle has been properly made, blowing at the end B will make a shrill noise.
Willow whistles were once supposed to have the power of causing rain. Swiss children, when they make these whistles, sing " Franz, Franz, lend me your pipe," which is supposed once to have been an appeal to a water spirit.
Squash Trumpets. From the leaf
Vegetable Musical Instruments.
may be produced by stopping these with the fingers; and by cutting them at the right distance apart—which may be done after a few experiments—a tune can be played. (See Fig. 3.)
Cornstalk Fiddle. A piece of corn-stalk is cut so that a joint will be at each end. Part of the edges of the concave side are then slit so as to detach two cords, the joints holding them at the ends. Then two bits of stick are cut, of the thickness of a slate pencil and about an inch long, and one is pushed under the cords at each end, to raise and tighten them. This makes the fiddle. (Fig. 4.) The bow is made in like manner