The Traditional Children's Games of England Scotland
& Ireland In Dictionary Form - Volume 2

With Tunes(sheet music), Singing-rhymes(lyrics), Methods Of Playing with diagrams and illustrations.

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3oo
TOPS
whipping-top, and to make it run swiftly about, that it cannot be seen, and will deceive the sight."
Cornelius Scriblerus, in his Instructions concerning the Plays and Playthings to be used by his son Martin, says : " I would not have Martin as yet to scourge a top, till I am better informed whether the trochus which was recommended by Cato be really our present top, or rather the hoop which the boys drive with a stick."Pope's Works, vi. 115.
Among well-known classical allusions may be noted the
following mention of whipping the top, in Persius's third
Satire:
" Neu quis callidior buxum torquere flagello."
Thus translated by Dryden :
"The whirling top they whip, And drive her giddy till she fall asleep."
Thus also in Virgil's Aeneid, vii. 378 :
" Ceu quondam torto volitans sub verbere turbo, Quern pueri magno in gyro vacua atria circum Intend ludo exercent. Ille actus habena Curvatis fertur spatiis: stupet inscia supra, Impubesque manus, mirata volubile buxum : Dant animos plagae."
Thus translated by Dryden :
" As young striplings whip the top for sport, On the smooth pavement of an empty court; The wooden engine whirls and flies about, Admired with clamours of the beardless rout, They lash aloud, each other they provoke, And lend their little souls at ev'ry stroke."
And so Ovid, Trist. 1. iii. Eleg. 12 :
" Otia nunc istic : junctisque ex ordine ludis Cedunt verbosi garrula bella fori. Usus equi nunc est, levibus nunc luditur armis : Nunc pila, nunc celeri volvitur orbe trochus"
Passing from these general allusions to the top as a form of







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