Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Bass-ball in 1829

Yet another mention of that game...

This is a portion of a sketch about young girls growing up from The American Farmer, March 20, 1829 (No. 1, Vol. 11, page 6, column 1), John S. Skinner, editor.
The following, which is from Miss Mitford's Village Sketches, is probably one of the best productions that ever flowed from her gifted pen.
...
Then comes a sun-burnt gipsey of six, beginning to grow tall and thin, and to find the cares of the world gathering about her, with pitcher in one hand, a mop in the other, and old straw bonnet of ambiguous shape, half hiding her tangled hair, a tattered stuff petticoat, once green, hanging below an equally tattered frock, once purple; her longing eyes fixed on a game of bass-ball at the corner of the green, till she reaches the cottage door, flings down the mop and pitcher, and darts off to her companions, quite regardless of the storm of scolding with which the mother follows her runaway steps.

So the world wags till ten; then the little damsel gets admission to the charity school, and trips mincingly thither every morning, dressed in the old fashioned blue gown, and tippet, and bib and apron of that primitive institution, looking demure as a nun, and as tidy; her thoughts fixed on button holes and spelling books — those ensigns of promotion; despising dirt and bass-ball, and all their joys.

The complete scan can be found here.

Picture bonus from The American Farmer...

1 comment:

One level up said...

Good research. Good citations. Good rear-view mirror on your machine.