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my dear A-, from the first syllable | spiration does not burn within him, his of his patronymic - who played at the energies are but wasted. Let him go Portland, but emigrated to New Zea- elsewhere and try, with more success, land nearly fifty years ago when that other and more appropriate pursuits. colony was in its infancy. This treatise What then are the qualities of a peroriginally appeared in 1851, and had fect partner at whist? I will enumerreached a third impression in 1858. ate some of em. Coolness. — Yes, he The volumes by Campbell-Walker (5th must be cool. If he becomes Aurried edition in 1878), Thomas Brittain of and nervous, his faculties will pass Manchester (I regret that my investiga- from him. He will omit to notice the tions at the British Museum lead to the call of his right hand opponent, and conclusion that no copy of his volume slaughter his partner by leading up to
“ Whist; How to Play and How to it. He will not have observed whether Win, being the Result of Sixty Years' his partner in returning a lead has Play,” is housed within its walls), and shown the possession of three or four Colonel Drayson (5th edition in 1892), cards in a suit. He will go from blunwhose skill in play is chiefly shown at der to blunder, until the rubber ends Southsea, are all known to contain much in hopeless failure. Coolness is indeed from which the student can profit, the great desideratum at whist. We though their popularity with the gen- cannot expect every one to show the eral public falls short of the success self-possession of Charles X. or of Lorel which has been extended to others. Sligo. When the revolution broke out The writings by Dr. Pole should be read in Paris, the king was in. his palace, and re-read. The little treatise by Clay and the members of his family sent reis the vade mecum of many a whist- peated and frantic messages to bini. player, and there are scores of English " His Majesty was playing whist! Ho performers who boast that they know was every inch a Bourbon. That rubits pages by heart. The works of Cav- ber will remain among the sublimest endish have done much to revolutionize examples of stately decorum in all the the game of whist. They are to be history of royal houses." The other found in every club card-room where example comes near to that of the whist prevails, and in the last three Bourbon monarch. Lord Sligo was decades hardly a year has passed away staying at one of his houses in a mounwithout the appearance of a new edi- tainous district of Ireland, when the tion. To Clay and Cavendish, next to news arrived that his best known resiHoyle, every whist-player owes a peren- dence, Westport House, was
on fire.. nial debt of gratitude.
It was in the depth of winter, and the You are right, my dear A- in say- snow was lying deep on the ground. ing that treatises on whist are of little Having ascertained that the fire was use, indeed sometimes of positive dis- raging with such intensity that his advautage, if they are not studied with presence would be of but little use, he intelligence. I have known in my time resumed, with only a moment's break, a few professors of the game who the game of whist at which he had boasted of playing by the rules of Clay, been playing. A similar instance of yet dishonored his memory in every self-possession occurs to my memory. moment which they spent at the card. It was that of a Quaker, called Fox, table. To many of these gentlemen who lived at Falmouth, and it is menwho claim to know his treatise by heart tioned in Southey's “ Espriella.” His may be applied his own epigram on the house was on fire ; he found that no peer with whom he once played double effort could save it, so without any atdummy all the way from Cannes to tempt to preserve it,
went upon Paris. “To play against him is mur- the nearest hill and made a drawing der, to play as his partner is suicide." of the conflagration, an admirable inOf the whist-player, as of the poet, it stance of English phlegm.” may be said nascitur non fit. If the in- Equanimity of temper. - We must
learn to bear misfortune with. resigna- can you be dreaming - about ? You tion and victory without excessive ex- have the ace in your hand, and you altation. The man who breaks out into suffer the adversary's king to pass. a passion of fury at his partner over A glance at the lady soon showed that some real or fancied fault, will not be any explanation of her misconduct was long in finding, if his partner is not a impossible. She had been seized with first-rate player, that his explosion of a stroke of “apoplexy, which put an anger has only made things worse. If end to both her and the rubber." his partner in cards is a lady,
Courage. This is one of the most have to endure the misfortune that be- important requisites for a whist-player. fell Braxtield, the old Scotch judge. He must not hesitate to finesse with The feelings of this delightful product boldness, yes, even with apparent reckof sweetness and light in the northern lessness, if the game is going against Athens so far overcame him on one him, and it can only be saved in that occasion when playing with a lady, way. The finesse must, of course, be that he burst out with a string of oaths exercised with judgment, and, above against her, for which he was obliged all, he must be zealously on his guard, to apologize. This he did with consid- lest a practice which, when successful, erable naiveté, as he frankly admitted is delightful above every other pleasthat he had momentarily mistaken the ure, should get the mastery over him. I lady for his wife.
have known players, naturally of great If his colleague in misfortune is mas- skill, become so addicted to the vice of culine, he may be treated in another tinessing as to throw away many games way, possibly as Colley Cibber pun- which otherwise must have been won ished the old general. They were by them. On the other hand, I have playing cards one night at Tom's cof- known men of considerable skill in the fee-house in Russell Street, Covent game lay down the rule that a finesse Garden, one of the few houses in Lon- should never be tried in the second don which were only open to subscrib- round of a plain suit. The habit of
As the cards were dealt to the one mau seems to me as vicious as the playful Colley, “he took up every one rule of the other. It is impossible, in in turn, and expressed his disappoint- the game of whist, to establish an unment at every indifferent one.” As varying rule, one which shall never be the game went on, he did not follow changed, as to the times and opportunisuit, whereupon the testy old general ties for finessing.
On such a point · cried out, “What, have you not a each player must trust to his own judgspade, Mr. Cibber?" The poet-laure- ment, and it may safely be predicted ate, nothing abashed, looked at his that the sanguine player will risk his cards and answered, “Oh, yes, a thou- luck on such a die more frequently than sand,” a reply which drew forth a very the man who is by temperament of a short and peevislı comment from the despondent disposition. The man who general. Colley, who was a very cool lacks courage, who goes around Loncustomer, and was besides “shockingly don, passing from club to club with the addicted to swearing,” as the narrative piteous cry that four by honors have says, retorted with “Don't be angry, been persistently against him for years, general, for damme I can play ten and that he loses hundreds a year, times worse if I like." A worse fate stands out in my mind as one of the than even either of these may befall greatest bores of the card-room. For the quarrelsome player. Let him take myself I would rather not play at all warning by an incident which hap- than sit down with a man who has pened in the spring of 1789. A “ fat- made up his mind before he begins that tisha " lady — the epithet is not mine – he is sure of losing. was playing at cards at an assembly. There are several other classes of Her partner screamed out, “ Dear me, players that rank among the horrors of madam, what are you doing? What I club-life. Take, first, the man who
passes his whole time at the whist-table worry than in anything else. He puts in a state of hesitation. He looks at all his trump card in the middle of the the cards in his hand, examines them, table, shuffles out of turn, pitches his and rejects one by one, and then with cards before him in such a manner that the plunge of despair plays the wrong they fall face downwards on the table,
This is not his solitary vice. His and spreads his tricks over such an exanxiety lest partner or opponent should panse of space that the sixth is all but have called and he not have noticed it, tumbling over the side of the table into fills every one else with distress. In the lap of his right hand opponent. the hope of aiding his imperfect facul- These are but a few of the thousand ties he perpetually demands to see the and one annoyances that he daily comlast trick. This, vinety-nine times out mits. of a hundred, only adds to his confu- To play the game of whist with modsion, and leaves him in a worse state oferate skill is a certain passport to social bewilderment.
life. The skilled card-player is ordiLook, for a change, at the man who narily possessed of keen intelligence only plays for his own hand. His vision and of varied knowledge. In most is limited to thirteen cards only, and cases he is distinguished in a second his perception takes no note of those walk in life, as well as in his acquaintwith his partner. He plays an isolated, ance with the devil's books. A bond a selfish game, never seems to under- of union binds together all the frestand the knack of combining his own quenters of a card-room who play with with his partner's cards, and at the average ability. Wherever his varied close of the hand, although he often course may lead the whist-player, he plays the thirteen cards in his own pos- meets with friends and associates. His session with great skill, defeat usually warmest welcome will often be found attends him.
around the tables in the card-room of Enter the card-room of any of the the club, either in England or abroad. London clubs, and you will certainly Among card - players feelings of the find there a performer who is overcome warmest friendship are always generby another and almost equally terrible ated, and acts of kindly courtesy, often vice. His failing is that of playing extended to assistance in business life, false cards. This, too, when crowned are constantly being performed. with success – for a false card will The incident narrated by Shirley in sometimes save and sometimes make a “ A Campaigner at Home" rubber comes home to the human sight present a ludicrous aspect, but beheart with superlative delight. But the neath the surface lies a deep vein of juan who tries it once, and finds it end pathos. An old lady, far advanced in in good fortune, falls a victim to the years, was walking one day through a practice. He forgets that if a false churchyard, when she - stopped before card deceives his opponents it as often three mounds, that formed, as it were, as not deludes his partner. The taint three sides of a square. She seemed of uncertainty hangs around him. His to be engaged in inward prayer, for her partner is always beset with doubt, he lips moved, and there was moisture in never knows the cards which are com- her eyes. The graves were those of prehended in the ambiguous hand of the late doctor and parson of the parhis cunning colleague. They play at ish, and of an old East Indian, noted cross-purposes, and their progress is as whist-players in their day. “There slow as that of a pair-oar, in which each they are,” she remarked placidly, after sitter keeps separate time for himself. a long pause, “the auld rubber, just
One other specimen, the “ slovenly” waitin' for me to cut in.” This quartet, specimen, I may allude to. He is often in a remote part of Scotia, knew but
I a player of considerable ability, but he little, possibly had never heard of many, is more successful in keeping partner of the ingenious devices for communiand opponents in a perpetual state of Icating knowledge at whist which have
may at first
been adopted within the last thirty ciateil in fortune or misfortune, was the years. Their whist, if they possessed late Mr. Robert Wheble of the Portland good memories and moderate intelli- and other clubs. His name was familgence, was probably none the worse for iar to hundreds of card-players in every that. If they did not encumber their rank of life, but such is the mockery of powers of deduction with excessive for- social fame that his death on one inmalism, it was all the better for the clement Christmas a few years ago was exercise of thought.
unnoticed save by a letter from a club The little knot of men who, after friend in the columus of the Daily several migrations of habitat, used to News. His perception was marvelmeet as members of the Westminster lously acute, his instinct rarely failed Chess Club, in rooms at the Caledonian him. But often and often has he deHotel on the Adelphi Terrace, studied plored the introduction of excessive the game with an intensity of vigor and rules of play into the game of whist, earnestness of purpose which had not which he loved so well
. Possibly, as hitherto been displayed in elucidation an old man, he was too imbued with of its mysteries. To their perception affection for the past. Perhaps I, too, may be attributed many of the varia- my dear A—, err as laudator temporis tions in practice which have since acti. However that may be, let us all been introduced, and most of us would unite in the hope that whist may never eagerly acknowledge that these novel- cease to flourish within the realms over ties have given a scientific character to which Queen Victoria holds sway, and whist which it previously lacked. that it may afford as much harmless
L'appétit vient en mangeant. The pleasure in the future as it is supplying danger now is that the game will be at present, or has given in the past. made too abstruse. The mystery of its practice would, if certain writers and players had their way, become more mysterious than ever. Rules are now
From The National Review, being propounded for the play of cards ROMANCE OF THE NATIONAL GALLERY. which may come, in the ordinary way Of all " artistic” things, the most of life, once in a hundred rubbers. inartistic, when one comes to think of The mind is in danger of being clogged it, is a picture-gallery. In great periwith an infinity of maxims as to the ods of art pictures are painted less for particular cards to be played at a defi- exhibition in a museum than as integral nite juncture. In whist, the exercise parts of some scheme of domestic of intelligence should have a first place adornment, of public magnificence, of with a fine player, but intelligence will, religious splendor. Hence, wherever unless a determined start be made pictures are gathered into a gallery against the invaders, soon be deposed there is sure evidence of a lack of arfor arbitrary custom. Several of these tistic sense on the part either of those new modes of play clash with those who have brought the pictures together laid down by older players for several or of those who have allowed them to generations together. The lead of ace, be dispersed. followed by king, invariably meant that In a gallery, howsoever well built and the leader's holding in that suit was scientifically lighted it may be, a picture limited to these two cards only. Now loses. It is one of a crowd ; it is killed it implies the possession of at least five perhaps by its more vivid neighbor ; it cards in that section. The older play- wants appropriate setting ; it loses as a ers with king, queen, never lead any nocturne of Chopin when played at a other card than the king. With the glaring concert instead of in a dim paryounger school the lead, under certain lor; as a beautiful poem loses when conditions, is from the queen.
printed cheaply in double coluinns. In One of the finest whist-players with the old times setting was better underwhom it has been my lot to be asso-stood. In the palmy days,” Morelli
says, 66 art was welcomed everywhere | Filippo Lippi Vision of St. Berin Italy, and had a share in all the con- nard” is not unlikely to arrest atcerns of man, and in all the events and tention by its curious and no longer festivities of daily life. The nobles intelligible shape. There was excellent took a delight in enriching their pal- reason for that cutting-away of the aces, their country-houses, and the upper corners; the picture was painted chapels in their churches with painting to fit a space of that shape, over the and sculpture, and even required that door of the Palazzo della Signoria at their household furniture should, whilst Florence. “ Have you ever considuseful, be graceful and beautiful in ered,” Mr. Ruskin asks, " in the early form."
history of painting, how important is Our National Gallery is full of pictures the history of the frame-maker ? It is a painted in that great period. We may matter, I assure you, needing your very well be thankful, with Mr. Ruskin, that best consideration ; for the frame was the trustees of the gallery have been made before the picture. The painted able to “ save so much from the wreck window is much ; but the aperture it of English mansions and Italian mon- fills was thought of before it.” The asteries,” and to “enrich the recrea- spirit of the picture cannot be caught, tions of our metropolis with graceful its significance cannot be understood, interludes by Perugino and Raphael.” unless one remembers the place which After all, however, the pictures were it had to fill. How bizarre, how trivial, painted — not to lang in rows on the seems that “ Rape of Helen,” by Bewalls of a London gallery, but for nozzo Gozzoli, hanging beside “Saints particular persons, places, and occa- a-Praising God” and martyrs in adorasions, far removed from the present tion ! As the lid or side panel of a environment of them. Pause, for ex- cassone, or wooden chest, for a boudoir ample, at the entrance of the gallery, or dressing-room, how prettily fanciful ar look at the two pictures represent- and dainty it must have been! It was, ing “ Heads of Saints,” by Domenico po doubt, a commission to the artist for Veneziano. These shattered fragments that purpose. In a similar “key" of faded panel are not, one thinks, Annibale Carracci's pictures, in room either very beautiful or effective. Do XIII., of Silenus gathering grapes and not let us forget how remote from us Bacchus painting. They originally decwas the purpose for which the artist orated a harpsichord ; probably the designed them; how they hung for artist was commissioned by some rich centuries, at street corners in Florence, citizen, even as a few of our rich men telling their message to generations of commission Mr. Burne-Jones or Mr. simple burghers. Or pass into the Alma-Tadema to paint their pianos in room No. IV., and see the earliest our own day. The old Italians, howspecimens of Italian art. There is ever, differed from us in that they something absurd, grotesque, repulsive would not willingly part with their even, in that green and gaunt Madonna treasures at any price. A charming by Cimabue ; and a sight-seer in a pic- little story of a picture of Pontormo's ture-gallery may well be pardoned if he (Joseph in Egypt; No. 1131) throws
gaze scorn down from the heights of light on the feeling of the time. The Raffaelhood, on Cimabue's picture.” picture was painted for a Florentine It is not the picture's fault that it keeps noble named Borgherini. He was aftersuch grand company. It should be put wards exiled ; and the civic authorities back in imagination far into some dim sent a dealer to his house to buy up all apse, where, in ages of simpler faith his works of art, which they wished to and untaught art, the sad Madonna present to the king of France. Borstood in folded robes to receive the gherini's wife, Margherita, roundly prayer at evening of unsophisticated abused the envoy, and sent him away worshippers. Once more : Turn into empty-handed. “Dost thou,” she cried, the opposite room. A painting by Fral" vile broker of frippery, miserable