Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/261

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205
INDOOR AMUSEMENTS

in one of his epigrams (IV. 12) speaks of heaving the maw. "This heaving," says Nares, "was clearly some grotesque bodily action performed in the game and deemed characteristic of it." Turberville, in his Book of Falconry, says:

"To checke at chesse, to heave at maw, at mack to pass the time,
At coses or at sort to sit, or set their rest at prime."

It was doubtless the "heaving" that made the game unsuitable for pedants and people of great dignity. "Yet in my opinion it were not fit for them [scholars] to play at stool-ball among wenches, nor at mumchance or maw, with idle loose companions."[1]

It has been conjectured that noddy is the same as cribbage. The identification, however, rests upon similarity of terms. In the same way it may be inferred to have been similar to several other games. Nothing is known of it beyond a few of its terms.

Primero was the game of cards par excellence. Gardiner relates that he left the king playing at primero with the Duke of Suffolk. Sir John Harrington speaks of "overwatching himself at primero." It was also in general use as a gambling game. "Primero, why I thought thou hadst

  1. Rainoldes' Overthrow of Stage Plays, 1599.