impromptu Games 85
all the faults, failures, crimes, and abuses of the century which he is supposed to represent, or commended for its services to the world—its heroism, its great men, or any redeeming feature. He must make his own defence as cleverly as he can, or accept the compliments with becoming modesty, while he tries to guess what century it is for which he is held responsible.
When he thinks he has collected sufficient evidence to justify a conclusion, he addresses the company in legal phrase: "May it please the court that, whereas the
---------century has been lauded and condemned with
such impartial fairness, my sins have been brought home to me as to occasion most poignant remorse, I move
that Miss ---------, whose ably pressed charge gave me
the best clue to my identity, be the next person to be indicted."
White's "Eighteen Christian Centuries" would be a helpful guide in preparation for the game—the salient points of each century being accessible within few pages.
The fun of this game depends much upon the spirit with which the pantomimes are given. The hostess in advance prepares as many slips of paper as there are to be guests; one of which is drawn, folded, or enclosed in an envelope by each person. Each in turn is expected to give in pantomime the revelation to the audience of what the slip of paper contained—which they are to guess—at the conclusion of each performance, secretly and silently writing their conjectures in booklets furnished them for the purpose. A prize may be given to the one whose guesses prove most correct. For instance, one young woman reads on her paper: "The staff of life." She rolls up her sleeves, or