ansteorra V1 #46
Robert G. Ferrell
rferrell at bga.com
Mon May 22 20:22:54 PDT 1995
>Last night I had the misfortune of losing over thirty-five pistoles against
>an excellent opponent of Shove-Groat. It is my understanding that this
>gentlemanly game is to be banned from the court of England and I fear that
>this trend shall carry over into the courts of other countries as my
>original home of Italy, and my current home of France.
>Shove-Groat is obviously a game of skill, unlike many of the games played
>with cards or dice that are simply trusting one's money to blind and fickle
>luck. Though I shall certainly feel the loss of my thirty-five pistoles, I
>must bow to the greater skill of my opponent who won them from me. Given
>time I shall return the favour to him. I heard rumour that the censure was
>begun as the result of an unfortunate game between a Royal and a more
>skilled player. The official story, however, is that the game is too
>distracting from the business of court.
>I remain Yours, etc.
>or cmwalden at bga.com
Alas, my friend, I fear that it is in the nature of nobles to enforce a
ban upon that which does them no good. The business of court would be more
suitably served, in my humble opinion, by striving to do justice to the poor
and oppressed than by frivolous edicts against games of chance.
While I have had no particularly bad experiences with Shove-Groat, I
know of at least one man attached to the court in Anjou who did himself in
after a disastrous loss (not played, to my knowledge, at court), may God
rest his soul. I suspect that such a man would be equally likely to come to
a bad end no matter his pursuits, however. The French are a passionate race.
I remain Yours, etc.
(the 16th c. incarnation of Cynric)
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