Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/262

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not been so much gamester as to play at it.”[1] The following is one of the several quotations to be found in Nares:

“Each player had four cards dealt to him, one by one; the seven was the highest card in point of number that he could avail himself of, which counted for twenty-one; the six counted for eighteen, the five for fifteen, and ace for the same; but the two, the three, and the four for their respective points only. The knave of diamonds was commonly fixed upon for the quinola, which the player might make what card or suit he thought proper; if the cards were of different suits, the highest number was the primero [or prime]; but if they were all of one colour, he that held them won the flush.”

The common name for a deck of cards was a pair of cards. In Heywood's A Woman Killed With Kindness Frankford calls to the drawer to bring “A pair of cards . . . and a carpet to cover the table.” “Marry, I will allow you to sweat privately, and tear six or seven score pair of cards, be the damnation of some dozen or twenty bale of dice, etc.”[2]

Cards were in common use as an amusement for the assembled audience in the theatre before the

  1. Greene's Tu Quoque, vii. 24.
  2. Dekker, The Gull's Hornbook.