This is an ancient English game, and ought not to be laid aside; so we resuscitate it for the benefit of young England.
It used to be played in England on the ground with stones, but may be played best on a table indoors.
The form of the merelle-table, and the lines upon it, as it appeared in the fourteenth century, are here represented.
These lines are still the same.
The black spots at every angle and intersection of the lines are the places for the men to be laid upon.
The men are different in form and colour, for distinction sake.
The manner of playing is briefly thus:
Two persons, having each of them nine pieces, or men, lay them down alternately, one by one, upon the spots; and the business of either party is to prevent his antagonist from placing three of his pieces so as to form a row of three without the intervention of an opposing piece.
If a row be formed, he that made it is at liberty to take up one of his competitor’s pieces from any part he thinks most to his advantage; excepting he has made a row, which must not be touched if he have another piece upon the board that is not a component part of that row. When all the pieces are laid down, they are played backwards and forwards in any direction that the lines run, but can only move from one spot to another at one time.
He that takes all his antagonist’s pieces, is the conqueror.
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.