This game, although only two persons are engaged in it at a tune, furnishes much amusement, from the contradictory nature of its words and actions.
The rules relative to it are as follow:—If three mistakes are made by the person who responds to the inquiries of the player who brings the hats round, and whom for distinction’s sake we will call the questioner, he must pay three forfeits, and is out of the game; when the questioner desires the respondent to be seated, the latter must stand up; when he begs him to put his hat on, he must take it off; when he requests him to stand, he must sit; and in every point, the respondent must take special care to do always the very reverse of what the questioner wishes him. The questioner may sit down, stand up, put his hat on, or take it off, without desiring the respondent to do so, or giving him the least intimation of his intention; the latter must, therefore, be always on his guard, so as to act in a contrary way in an instant, else he incurs a forfeit. These rules being settled, the game is simply this: one player places a hat on his head, takes another in his hand, and gives it to one of the company; he then begins conversing with him, endeavouring both by words and actions to puzzle him as much as he can, so as to cause him to pay a forfeit. We will give a slight specimen of a dialogue, describing the accompanying movements of the hats, in which A is the questioner, B the respondent:
A. (taking his hat off.) A very beautiful evening, sir.
B. (putting his hat on.) Yes, indeed, a most lovely one.
A. (putting his hat on, and sitting down, B. instantly taking his off and getting up.) Pray be seated, sir; I really cannot think of sitting while you stand (gets up, and B. sits down). Have you been out of town this year? (takes off his hat.)
B. (putting his on.) I have not yet, but I think I shall, before (A. sits down, B. gets up) the beauty of the season has entirely passed away, venture a few miles out of town.
A. (putting his hat on.) I beg ten thousand pardons, you are standing while I am sitting; pardon me, your hat is on—you must pay a forfeit.
It generally happens, that before the dialogue has been carried thus far the respondent has incurred three forfeits, and is, of course, out; the questioner then goes in succession to the others, and the same scene is repeated by each: the conversation, it is almost needless to add, should be varied as much as possible, and the more nonsensical it is the better.
Excerpt from the book:
EVERY BOY’S BOOK: A COMPLETE ENCYCLOPÆDIA OF SPORTS AND AMUSEMENTS.
EDITED BY EDMUND ROUTLEDGE.
With more than Six Hundred Illustrations
FROM ORIGINAL DESIGNS.
LONDON: GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS,
THE BROADWAY, LUDGATE.
NEW YORK: 416, BROOME STREET.