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Home :: Archive :: 2004 :: June ::
Merchant Game?
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 15.1231  Thursday, 10 June 2004

[1]     From:   Bradley Ryner <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 9 Jun 2004 08:49:28 -0400
        Subj:   RE: SHK 15.1218 Merchant Game?

[2]     From:   Jack Heller <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 9 Jun 2004 18:01:16 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 15.1218 Merchant Game?


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bradley Ryner <
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Date:           Wednesday, 9 Jun 2004 08:49:28 -0400
Subject: 15.1218 Merchant Game?
Comment:        RE: SHK 15.1218 Merchant Game?

The game that comes first to mind is "handy dandy," which the OED
describes as follows:

"1. a. A children's game in which a small object is shaken between the
hands by one of the players, and, the hands being suddenly closed, the
other player is required to guess in which hand the object remains."

It was probably played then (as it is today) primarily with younger
children, but one could easily bet on it (like the shell game), and if
it is played with a coin shaken between the hands, it would have the
added benefit of replicating the dynamic of the choice of the caskets.

Best,
Brad

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jack Heller <
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Date:           Wednesday, 9 Jun 2004 18:01:16 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 15.1218 Merchant Game?
Comment:        Re: SHK 15.1218 Merchant Game?

In The Roaring Girl, Jack Dapper loses his money in a dice game,
apparently with "loaded" dice, and apparently when the dice were his own:

Jack Dapper: Didst ever see such an ass as I am, boy?
Gull: No, by my troth, sir, to lose all your money, yet have false dice of
your own. (Roaring Girl 3.3.205-207)

Dice games are also mentioned in Michaelmas Term. I think shooting dice
would be an expedient answer.

Jack Heller
Huntington College

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