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Croquet As played by the Newport Croquet Club   By:

Croquet As played by the Newport Croquet Club by Anonymous

First Page:






Sic Indus animo debet aliquando dari Ad cogitandum melior ut redeat tibi.

PHOED., Lib. iii, Fab. 4.


498 & 500 BROADWAY.


Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1865, by


In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Stereotyped by SMITH & MCDOUGAL, 84 Beekman st.

Printed by C.S. WESTCOTT & CO., 79 John st.


The increasing popularity of Croquet, and the deficiencies of the existing manuals of the game, have encouraged me to give this little book to the public. The treatise of Captain Mayne Reid, to which the introduction of croquet in this country is mainly due, is deficient in system and arrangement, and affords no intelligible determination to many of the cases I have instanced in illustration of the rules of the game. The manuals published in this country are still more faulty. The rules afford no solution to half of the ambiguous cases that arise in ordinary play; and some are guilty of the strange error of allowing the "Roquet Croquet" to every ball a liberty totally at variance with the fundamental principles of the game, and which in the hands of strong players would prolong the contest indefinitely, make victory depend upon a single chance hit, and reduce the opportunities for generalship and combination to a minimum. I have dwelt at some length upon the "right of declining," and the "theory of double points;" principles which, though hinted at by Captain Reid, are left rather obscure in his book. Players will find that this power of economizing privileges adds greatly to the interest of the game, and renders many a cunning plot and counter plot necessary.

The origin of this game is unknown. No man invented whist or chess, and croquet like them seems to have been evolved by some process of nature, as a crystal forms or a flower grows perfect, in accordance with eternal laws. There is in all these games a certain theory which furnishes interpretations for all cases that arise in actual play. The rules are grouped about a central principle. The mimic battles have a unity, and are homogeneous in all their parts. If the rules are indefinite or contradictory the game loses its distinctive character. If the rules are accurate and rigidly enforced, croquet is a game of the highest interest. I am informed by a scientific billiard player that though croquet is inferior to billiards in affording opportunities for delicate manipulation and manual dexterity, that it far excels that elegant game in the field it opens for the exercise of the higher qualities of combination and foresight. Whist exercises the memory and the power of calculating probabilities; chess the imagination and the faculty of abstract reasoning; but croquet, though it taxes these mental qualities less, combines them with the delights of out door exercise and social enjoyment, fresh air and friendship two things which are of all others most effective in promoting happiness. Those who have been in the habit of regarding croquet as a game for children may, perhaps, smile at my enthusiasm; but let them procure a perfect ground, balls and mallets, play half a dozen four ball games in strict accordance with the rules, and when they can claim to have mastered the game, they will acknowledge themselves converts.

I have adopted the plan of giving first definitions, then rules, then cases adjudged under the rules; as the common law consists of the definitions of legal terms, the statement of legal maxims or principles, and the reports of litigated causes. The laws are in substance those adopted by the "Newport Croquet Club," and many of the cases given actually occurred in play, and were settled in full bench after long and animated discussion... Continue reading book >>

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