Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 15.djvu/241

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229
THE HISTORY OF GAMES.

liege." By the ninth century the game of chugán had established itself in the Eastern Empire, where its name appears in the barbarous Greek form τζνκανίζειν. In the Byzantine descriptions, however, we find not the original mallet, but a long staff ending in a broad bend filled in with a network of gut-strings. Thus there appear in the East, as belonging to the great sport of ball-play on horseback, the first shapes of two implements which remodeled the whole play-life of mediæval and modern Europe, the chugán being the ancestor of the mallets used in pall-mall and croquet, and of an endless variety of other playing clubs and bats, while the bent staff with its network was the primitive racket. The fine old Persian drawing of a match at chugán, which is copied by Ouseley in his "Travels in the East," justifies his opinion that the horseback game is the original. We should not talk of polo as being "hockey on horseback," but rather regard hockey as dismounted polo, and class with it pall-mall, golf, and many another bat-and-ball game. Indeed, when one comes to think of it, one sees that no stick being necessary for the old foot-game of hurling, none was used, but, as soon as the Persian horsemen wanted to play ball on horseback, a proper instrument had to be invented. This came to be used in the foot-game also, so that the Orientals are familiar both with the mounted and dismounted kinds. The horseback game seems hardly to have taken hold in Europe till our own day, when the English brought it down from Munniepoor, and it has now under the name of polo become a world-wide sport again. But the foot-game made {{SIC}its|it}} way early into Europe, as appears from a curious passage in Joinville's "Life of St. Louis," written at the end of the thirteenth century. Having seen the game on his crusade, and read about it in the Byzantine historians, he argues that the Greeks must have borrowed their tzycanisterium from the French, for it is, he says, a game played in Languedoc by driving a boxwood ball with a long mallet, and called there chicane. The modern reader has to turn this neat and patriotic argument upside down, the French chicane being only a corruption of the Persian chugán; so that what Joinville actually proves is, that before his time the Eastern game had traveled into France, bringing with it its Eastern name. Already, in his day, from the ball-game with its shifts and dodges, the term chicane had come to be applied by metaphor to the shuffles of lawyers to embarrass the other side, and thence to intrigue and trickery in general. English has borrowed chicane in the sense of trickery, without knowing it as the name of a game. Metaphors taken from sports may thus outlast their first sense, as when again people say, "Don't bandy words with me," without an idea that they are using another metaphor taken from the game of hockey, which was called bandy from the curved stick or club it was played with.

In France, the name of crosse, meaning a crutch, or bishop's crosier, was used for the mallet, and thence the game of hockey has its