Nothing New

Hi Thanks to Sam for the following…
Joseph Addison, essayist, poet, playwright  and general all round  ‘smart arse’ in 1700 spent some time in France and describes a strange game he witnessed.  Sounds much like a Sunday morning in Headingley….
“Whoever starts the game carefully observes the placing of the small ball, being a target to be reached, and lets fly his ball. When a large number of balls surround the target and makes, one could say, a rampart making the reaching of the target difficult and  great care needs be tuke in order to arrive  gently near to it. A player has seen his ball crawle languidly and  slow suddenly, despite the motion he had applied. He followed it step by step wavering about. The progress being too slow to save his honour, he accuses the unevenness of the field and the humps that it meets … but the praise and glory are reserved for those who without deviating or slowing pass thro’ all the others and are victorious by resting on the target.”

1 thought on “Nothing New

  1. Nothing new indeed – I found this in a Guardian article….
    ‘Archaeologists found two balls and a jack in the sarcophagus of an Egyptian prince buried in the 52nd century BC. The ancient Greeks and Romans liked playing with stone balls; medieval Europeans preferred wooden ones studded with nails. Boules became so popular in France that the game was banned for commoners for much of the 14th and 15th centuries. In England, successive kings from the time of Edward III forbade their archers to play it, and an act not repealed until the 18th century formally outlawed the game for “artificers, labourers, apprentices and servants” at any time except Christmas’.

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