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he is pretty sure to catch one or two each time, who, of course, must pay forfeit.
If the leader himself give a false order, telling them to do something they are already doing, he pays a forfeit himself and is deposed.
A sharp leader will m ike it a very difficult matter to avoid paying forfeit, even for the most cautious in the squad.
THE WILD BEAST SHOW.
A s:rcen must be placed at the end of the room ; behind it is put a cheval glasj and a light. The showman stands before the screen, and otters to exhibit his wild animals to any person who will promise not to describe what he his seen when he comes out. Then the person who gives the premise and demands admittance, is asked what animal he wishes to see. On his naming one, the showman proceeds to describe it. The description should be very witty, and should have some application (cither complimentary or satirical) to the person who wishes to see the show. The person is then admitted, and is shown himself \n the looking-glass.
■ THE ORATOR. A Lord of Misrule is elected; he invites the guests to come and hear Mr. Burke, Pitt, or any other distinguished orator, on any given subject. It requires two persons to deliver the oration. The one who is to speak puts his arms behind his back: a shorte friend (well concealed by the window curtains) passes his arm round the speaker's waist, and supplies with his own, the lattc^s want of hands. He is then to gesticulate to his friend's words, and the fun of the performance consists in the singular inappropriateness of the action to the speech, the invisible gesticulator making the orator absurd by his gestures. A table placed before the speaker, and a good arrangement of the curtains, makes the illusion very perfect. The speaker must be able to keep his countenance, as his gravity is likely to be severely taxed by his friend's pantomimical illustration of his speech.
KNIGHT OF THE WHISTLE.
If well manageJ, this is one of the most amusing games possible; but to carry it out with all the gravity and solemnity in which is the very essence ol the game, a few elder boys are almost indispensable.
An installation of Knights of the Most Noble Order of the Whistle being resolved upon, those who know the secret rites form themselves into a Chapter, and announce by a herald their gracious intention of honouring the remainder by admitting them, without an apprenticeship, free, gratis, for nothing, to all the honours, privileges, and emoluments of their most noble society, for which purpose they will be summoned one by one to the presence of the officers and members of the said society in Chapter assembled.
The neophytes, who must know nothing of the game, arc now dismissed to another room, and the Chapter proceeds to make due preparations.
One, who should be one of the eldest and the best player, is chosen Grand Master, and assumes his scat in an arm-chair, covered with a tablecloth or other drapery, in the middle of the room; for bdton he may hold a ruler, walking-stick, or, if possible, a sword.
On his right sits " Grand Tongs," suitably accoutred, and on his left " Grand Fire-shovel;'' while behind him stand "Grand Poker" and l; Grand Hearthbrush," each with his insignia of office. The rest scat themselves in a circle in front of the Grand Master, while the "Lord High Doorkeeper" guards the door against intruders.
A cloak is now prepared by hanging a whistle by a long string to the back of it; the whistle should be light, and the cloak thick, for reasons which will be soon apparent. This cloak is handed to the " Grand Apparitor," who folds it over his arm, with the whistle inside, and takes his stand behind the Grand Master.
All being thus prepared, Grand Poker and Hearth-brush are sent to fetch the first neophyte, who is brought before the Grand Master, into the circle, which closes in round him, and there on his knees is made to take any oaths tho ingenuity of the Grand Master can hit upon. Then, being duly robed with the cloak by the Grand Apparitor, who of course takes care not to let him sec the whistle, he receives the accolade of Knighthood, and is told to rise
under the name of Sir (somebody or other, at the fancy of the Grand
Master); not, however, to take his seat until he has discovered the holder of the sacred whistle of their Order.
As he rises, one of the players behind him sounds the whistle and lets it go. The new-made knight spins quickly round and challenges the most likely of those behind him, who shows his hands in token of innocence. Again the whistle sounds from behind, again he spins round, but of course to no purpose, for he ever carries the whistle himself behind him.
If the circle be not too eager, the fun may be kept up for some time before the bewildered knight finds out that he himself carries the whistle, to his own confusion.
Sometimes a knight gives it up as a bad job, and declines to seek any longer, under which circumstances he must be disrobed and dismissed; if, however, he discover the whistle, room is made for him in the circle, and he joins in the fun of persecuting the next victim.
More than half the fun of the game consists in the mock solemnities, which, too, have their use in bewildering the neophyte, and so making his deception more easy.
PRESENTED AT COURT.
The same preliminary formalities will do for this game as for the preceding, except that, instead of a cloak, a seat of crafty construction is prepared for the "presented " as follows:
Two chairs are placed about two feet apart, and covered, both back and seat, with some sufficient drapery, so as to make the two chairs, with the gap between them, appear like one solid seat.
The King and his Grand Chamberlain, or, if possible, his Queen, sit on either chair, leaving the gap between them vacant; and the Court stand round with due observance and respect.
The novice is now introduced by the proper officers, and kneels to kiss the King's hand, and then the Queen's, after which—with constant exchanges of compliments, in which, by the way, he must be previously instructed by the roper officer—as a mark of high honour, and in assurance of the royal favour, c is invited to take his seat between the royal pair. As he does so, the King and Queen, w ho have been very careful to keep his attention constantly directed to them by their protestations of esteem and regard, rise and bow; the drapery spread over the seat, and kept in its place by their weight, gives way beneath the luckless wight, and he comes ignominiously to the ground amidst the applause of the Court and condolences of the King and Queen.
The success of th:s manoeuvre, which requires skilful timing, and no little tact to prevent the intended victim "smelling a rat," depends almost entirely upon the King, who, therefore, must be very carefully selected.
If possible, this and the former game should be tried on the same set of novices, the difference between the traps laid for them being quite sufficient to prevent initiation into one being any protection against being duped by the other. In fact, the experience gained in the one is very likely to put the novic: on a false scent for the other. To further this end, the investiture of the person to be presented in a cloak similar to the one used in the " Knight of the Whistle " will be found a very serviceable ruse.
Sometimes the Court are not satisfied with merely letting the "presented" down, but take pains to make matters uncomfortable for him by putting snmething hard for him to fall upon, or even sometimes a tub of water; but this is not fun, but mere vulgar horse-play, suitable, perhaps, for sailors on board ship, but not the sort of thing fitted for youn? gentlemen. Besides, it is highly dangerous, r.nd a boy might very well be crippled for life or even killed by coming down too heavily upon the seat of honour. A cushion or folded coat should always be put underneath, for fear of accidents.
Half the company leave the room. While they arc absent, the others fix on a verb which the absent ones are to guess and perform. By-and-bye, when their decision is made, they call in the leader of the outside party, and say, "The verb we have chosen for you rhymes with pie" (or any other word chosen). The leader retires, and discusses with his followers what the verb can be. It is best to take those which will rhyme with the noun given, in alphabetical order. "Buy" would come first tor " Pie." The party enter and begin to buy of each other. If right (that is, if "to buy" was the word chosen), the spectators clap their hands; if wrong, they hiss. Speech on either side would entail a forfeit. If hissed the actors retire, and arrange what next to do. "Cry" would be the next rhyme, or "dye," or "eye," or "fly," or "hie," or "sigh," or "tie," all of which are acted in turn, till the clap of approval announces that the guess is a successful one. Then the spectators go out, and become in their turn actors, in the same manner. A great deal of the fun of this game depends on the acting and on the choice of the verbs; but it is almost sure to cause great amusement.
Dumb Crambo is sometimes played by simply writing a line of well known verse on a slip of paper, and calling upon each player to add a line to rhyme as it is passed round. In this form it is merely "nonsense verses." Amongst people familiar with literature the lines are occasionally limited to quotations, and then a considerable amount of ingenuity is needed to fit in both rhyme and metre.
One player is sent out of the room, and in his absence the rest agree upon some simple task for him to perform, such as turning a chair round, removing it from one part of the room to the other, or the like. He is then called in, and endeavours to find out what they would have him do, being guided in the search by the sound of the piano or some musical instrument, which is played loudly or softly according as he nears or wanders away from the object of his search.
By following the guidance of the music, a quick player will soon find out first the locality of the thing, and then the thing itself which he has to operate upon, and, having discoveied it, will soon hit upon the right thing to do with it.
Sometimes, in the absence of a musical instrument or a musician to play it, the othtr players form themselves into a band, and with the tongs, poker, and fire-shovel produce more or less of a din as a substitute for the more legitimate music The piano, however, is not only preferable on account of the less riotous nature of the sounds produced, but also because the gradations of tone are more easily marked, and it therefore affords a better guide to the searcher.
The game may be modified by hiding something and letting the searcher find it under the same conditions as before.
It is not possible to give verbal directions for producing these amusing hand pictures, therefore we offer the following examples to our young readers, who will find it a very amusing winter evening entertainment to try and copy the position of the hands given, and thus cast shadows of objects on the paper of the room. We need scarcely say that the shadow artist must stand between the lamp and ths wall.
These are made by getting a head or figure either sketched or printed, and cutting out all the light portions of the face. Held to the wall with the light behind them, these cuttings-out present very nice pictures of light and shade.
A very amusing game and full of incident. A sheet is hung across one side of the room, and the player who takes the part of " Buff" sits facing it at about a yard or so distance.
A lamp is placed on a table, or, better still, a chair, at the opposite side cf the room, and the other players pass one by one between the lamp and the sheet, on which, of course, their shadows thus fall. From these shadows buff is required to give ..he names of the individuals, the actual entities of flesh and blood of whom they are the " counterfeit presentments."
The players may disguise themselves in any way they like,—by sticking out their hair, altering their clothes, improvizing impossible collars, distorting the outline of their faces by holding up their hands beside them, and the like. The latter method especially will be found very effective, as those may well divine who have seen—and who has not ?—the wonderful birds, beasts, fishe:-, and nondescripts which may be produced, with the simple aid of a candle, by one pair of skilful hands.
A finger properly applied to the nose may change the most uncompromising of " snubs" into the most classical Roman, or turn a classical well-cut—or, as the novelists say, "chiselled"—nose into one of Bardolphian monstrosity.
But we can do no more than hint at the various ways in which the player may disguise himself and deceive the buff. Of one thing, however, we must warn him. An experienced buff will take little notice of prominent features; these are sure to be disguised; but will watch for slight indications of individuality, especially in the way of characteristic gait or gesture, and it is on this head, therefore, that the player must exercise especial caution.
When the buff guesses correctly, the player detected becomes buff, and buff joins the rest.
Where forfeits are exacted, each player as he is detected pays a forfeit, and buff pays one every time the whole party pass the ordeal undetected. Of course, it is absolutely necessary that there should be no other light in the room.
This amusement, which was very popular for several winters at the Crystal Palace, is done by fixing a white sheet tightly across the room, and placing a large covered lamp behind it, on the floor. The actors dance and act behind the sheet, on which their magnified shadows are cast by the lamp. Occasionally they jump over the lamp, and thus appear to disappear by running up into the ceiling. A very amusing pantomime may be thus represented. We think it is improved lay the Lord of Misrule, as a "Chorus,' announcing the purport of each scene. A skilful arrangement of light by any scientific friend present will multiply the effects in a very wonderful and pleasing- manner.
The best kind of pantomime is one of an old miser, who has a dancing daughter. She dances round him while he hugs his money bags; final!}', she jumps over the lamp, and appears to run up to the ceiling, and disappear. The old man follows her; a thief breaks in to steal the bags of gold ; he is pursued by a comrade, who wishes to share the spoil. They fight, but arc both startled by the entrance of Columbine's lover, Harlequin, and also n n up to the ceiling. Of course the actors must promote the delusion by their gestures, moving their hands and feet as if climbing upwards. . A dance between the lovers, and their final disappearance in the ceilirg, is a gocd finale.
This is a very lively game, with plenty of fun and excitement in it. It is played as follows:
SuDDosing there be twelve players, one is chosen as Fugleman; ten chairs are then placed in a row, facing different ways, alternately back and front, and