Chambers, Robert, 1802-1871 / Chambers's book of days, a miscellany of popular antiquities in connection with the calendar, including anecdote, biography & history, curiosities of literature and oddities of human life and character
Vol. I (1879)
April, pp. 452-564 PDF (74.3 MB)
Object being by a mallet to drive a ball along a the end: victory being to him who effects this straight alley and through an elevated ring at object at the smallest number of strokes. Thus THE GAME OF PALL MALL. pall-mall may be said in some degree to resemble golf, being, however, less rustic, and more suitable for the man of courts.* King Charles II. would appear to have been a good player. In Waller's poem on St Jamcs's Park, there is a well-known passage descriptive of the Merry Monarch engaged in the sport : 'Here a well-polished mall gives us the joy, To see our Prince his matchless force employ His manly posture and his graceful mien, Vigour and youth in all his motions seen INo sooner has he touched the flying ball, But 'tis already more than half the mall. And such a fury from his arm has got, As from a smoking culverin 'twere shot.' MALLET AND BALL FORMERLY USED IN THE GAME OF PALL MALI. (Length of Mall 3ft. 8in., diameter of the Ball 21in.) The phrase 'well polished' leads to the remark that the alley for pall-mall was hardened and strewn with pounded shells, so as to present a perfectly smooth surface. The sides of the alley appear to have been boarded, to prevent the ball from going off the straight line. We do not learn anywhere whether, as in golf, mallets of different shapes and weights were used for a variety of strokes,-a light and short one, for instance, for the final effort to ring the ball. There is, however, an example of a mallet and * See an interesting paper on the Game of Pall Mall, by Mr Albert Way, in the Archavological Journal, volume xi. p. 253. 30 ball preserved in London from the days when they were employed in Pall Mall; and they are here represented.* The game was one of a commendable kind, as it provoked to exercise in the open air, and was of a social nature. It is rather surprising that it should have so entirely gone out, there being no trace of it after the Revolution. The original alley or avenue for the game in London began, even in the time of the Commonwealth, to be converted into a street-called, from the game, Pall Mall-where, if the reader will pardon a * These curious relics of an extinct game were long in the possession of the late Mr Benjamin L. Vulliamy. 465 APRIL 2. THE GAME OF PALL MALL. THE GAME OF FALL MALL.
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