Every player, except one who holds the office of reader, selects a trade or profession, which he must retain throughout the game.
When all have chosen their trades, the reader opens a book at random, and reads a passage from it aloud; but when he comes to any common noun, he looks at one of the tradesmen, who must instantly name some article that he is supposed to have for sale, or some implement connected with the exercise of his craft. By this substitution of one noun for another, the most pathetic passage is converted into an indescribable jumble of absurdities.
In the following burlesqued extract from an Eastern tale, the words in italics are supposed to be supplied by the different tradesmen, in place of the nouns omitted by the reader:—
“One offered the prince a bucket of the most precious mutton chops of Golconda;
another a curious piece of a Wellington boot, made by a European artist; another a piece of the richest plum-pudding from the looms of China;
another a gridiron, said to be a sovereign remedy against all poisons and infectious diseases;
another a choice piece of the most fragrant Turkey rhubarb, in a warming-pan, inlaid with acid drops;
another a coffin full of genuine treacle; another a rocking-horse of the purest breed of Arabia;
and another a Flanders brick of exquisite beauty.
The whole court of the palace was overspread with gingerbread-nuts; and long rows of slaves were continually passing loaded with corn-plasters, tenpenny-nails, bees’-wax, and other articles of high price.”
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.