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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)


Page 465

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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