hist-games: dating period card games

Thierry Depaulis thierry.depaulis at freesbee.fr
Fri Oct 25 02:52:35 PDT 2002

In response to:
>> It would be interesting to have Thomas
>> Urquhart's 1653 translation of the list.

Justin wrote:
>Actually, a friend of mine, simply on a lark, happened to transcribe the
>Urquhart game list (at least, I believe he was working from Urquhart)
>onto the Web just last week. It's at:
>	http://www.isebastiani.com/NotesAndLists/Gargantua-Games.html
>However, he also alphabetized the list while he was doing so, so
>correlating it with the French original isn't simple...
>				-- Justin

Thanks for this info. I've visited the site. Indeed it would have been
better to put as it was, i.e. not alphabetized. Rabelais's list (1534 and
1542) has some sort of classification --which Psichari, and earlier
commentators, have put in light: 1) card games; 2) dice and board games;
then spinning tops and various throwing games; more physical games, team
games, etc.
Urquhart certainly followed Rabelais's order. His list has mere literal
translations without any real game meaning in English, like: "Let Him Speak
that have it" (French: Qui a si parle), "Pinch Without Laughing" (Fr.:
Pince-sans-rire, a still current expression!), or "Saint Cosme I Come to
Adore Thee" (Fr. Saint Come je te viens adorer).

Others are regular translations like: "Primero" (Fr. Prime), "One and
Thirty" (Fr. Trente et un), "Billiards" (Fr. Billard), "Draughts" (Fr.
Dames), and so on. Others clearly are English games whose names have no
exact equivalents in French. I also suspect some mistranslations: in 1653,
Eng. Picket was a card game, while Rabelais's "Au piquet" was not. I wonder
what "The Beast" was under Urquhart's pen: more probably the then current
French card game "la bete", but there was no such game in Rabelais's time.

Does any one know of a study of Urquhart's translation from an English
point of view? Are there critical editions of Urquhart's text?

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