Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/241

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189
OUT-OF-DOOR SPORTS

not always aimed directly at the Jack, or Mistress, but bowled so as to roll in a curve and approach from the side. In order to accomplish this irregular path with facility the bowl was weighted upon one side with a piece of lead called the bias. The name was also applied to the path traversed by the ball; hence the name came to denote any inclination out of the ordinary; and "against the bias" a figurative expression for any opposition to a steady tendency.


The Cotswold games consisted of a great annual celebration attended by people from all parts of the country. Cotswold, says Madden, "was then to coursing what Newmarket is to horse-racing, and St. Andrews to golf; the recognised home and centre of the sport." (For further details of this great celebration which included the practice of almost every kind of seasonable game, the reader is referred to Mr. Madden's volume, and to Vol. I. of Drake, p. 252-4.)


It is necessary to hurry over with a bare allusion a number of sports of great popular devotion. All public demonstrations were accompanied by displays of fireworks. Crackers, much like the modern plaything sold under the same name, are often mentioned in the old plays.