Three Hundred Games & Pastimes - complete online book

A Book Of Suggestions For Children's Games And Employments.

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The hotel camps.
Block city.
144              What Shall We Do Now?
time, some games which E. H. describes may perhaps supply a hint or two. " One little girl," she writes, " used to find endless joy in pretending to be Douglas bearing the heart of Bruce to the Holy Land. A long stick in the right hand represented his spear ; a stone in the left hand was the casket containing Bruce's heart. If the grown-ups stopped to talk with some one they met, or if there was any other excuse for running on ahead, the little girl would rush forward waving her stick and encouraging her men (represented by a big dog), and, after hurling her stone as far forward as possible, and exclaiming, ' Lead on, brave heart,' she would cast her spear in the same direction in a last effort against the Moors, and then pretend to fall dead to the ground." This little girl had found the story of Bruce in Tales of a Grandfather, by Sir Walter Scott. Almost every book will yield people and events to play at.
Another little girl whom E. H. knew "once spent a short time in a hotel, and while there divided the other people into camps according to the floor on which they had rooms. The designs in the windows on the various floors represented the badges or heraldic signs of each camp. For instance, one window (they were of coloured glass) had a border with eagles, another had gryphons, another lions, and so on. If she met some one of another floor coming in or going out of the hotel, it represented the meeting of two rival bands. If she actually found herself in the lift with them, it was a dangerous encounter, in which, if they got out first, she had driven them off the field, but if she got out first it was she who was in retreat. If two people of different floors were seen talking together, a truce had been declared, and so on."
Stevenson's A Childs Garden of Verses has several poems which describe how a lonely little boy used to play. Thus (in " Block City ") :
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