The Humours of Whist. A Dramatic Satire, As Acted Every Day at White's and Other Coffee-Houses and Assemblies.
Place and Imprint: London: Printed for J. Roberts, 1743.
Edition: First and only edition.
Bibliographical References: ESTC T36850.
Condition: Title-page a little dust-soiled; small tears near the gutter, possibly from stab holes; very good copy.
Book ID: 28826
Physical Description8vo, modern marbled paper boards, black morocco spine label, gilt lettering, gilt-stamped heraldic device on the upper board. Title-page printed in red and black.
CommentsAn amusing satire on gambling and card playing at London’s clubs and coffee-houses, centered on the famous White's, which remains today, and on Edmond Hoyle’s recently-published Short Treatise on the Game of Whist (1742). The prologue is by a waiter at White's and the epilogue is a dialogue between the anonymous author of the play and a bookseller named Folio, in which the author attempts to convince the reluctant bookseller of the merits of his work. The bookseller finally relents and agrees to terms, which is in itself a gamble. The characters include the usual comic names, e.g.: Lord Stakeland, Lord Rally, Sir Calculation Puzzle, etc. Early in the play a footnote explains the process of obtaining membership in the "select company" of White's and how white and black balls are used, hence the blackball. This play is cited in the OED in the list of the historical uses of the word blackball.
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