The following is the text from the 1909 (26 page) pamphlet Solitaire - The Great European Game of “Patience” which I have typed up for your enjoyment. You can find scans of this book on the Internet Archive - they have automatic OCRs too but they are always terrible with gibberish instead of legible text. I couldn’t find much information about its author, but something which amused me is when I was trying to find anything a page about Faerie Solitaire showed up! You see we have a “Faerie Solitaire Pin” item in Team Fortress 2, and there is an item in that game called Brock’s Locks. Which made our game showed up!
I did find out that the C. C. in the author’s name stands for Claude Cornelius, and that apparently Claude was born in 1874. The actual copyright for the pamphlet (or short book) was recorded on January 26th 1909.
If you can find anything else about this author let me know!
Do note I type the text as it is. Some words or phrases are not commonly used anymore or are spelled differently than you may know! If you have some insights based on the text that I don’t understand let me know!
There are illustrations in the original pages which I have vectorized into embedded SVGs. There are not that many illustrations so do not think I missed any.
This will be published over several parts, and I will include (not entirely useful) marked commentary.
PRICE, 25 CENTS
Copyright, 1909 by C.C. BROCK
PUBLISHED BY C. C. BROCK
542-544 ELLICOTT SQUARE
BUFFALO, N. Y.
In compiling this little book, the endeavor has been made to make it as complete as possible, and to comprise most of the best known forms of an unpretending but very useful game. Many of those included in this collection have been taken from an English book, “Game of Patience,” and rewritten; others have been taken from translation of a French book, but those have also been re-written, and illustrations added, so that the solitary learner will find no difficulty in mastering the most intricate of the games.
I assume this to mean genuine in a humble sense, not pretentious.
It does not say which, and at the time of this writing there would be too many to guess.
In the hope that it will solace some weary and lonely hours, and afford a quiet amusement to those sorely in need of one, this little volume is launched upon its way.
Let no one despise the game of Solitaire. Many are apt to do so, and to look down on it as altogether puerile, because it is humble among games; it knows no fierce altercations of exultation or despair; it gives no scope for finesse; there is no adversary to outwit and defeat; in short, there is no excitement about it of any sort. Nevertheless, it has its uses, and there are many overworked brains, lonely hearts, and pain-racked nerves, that can testify to them. Ladies living alone who have to sit through solitary evenings reading, writing or working, till their brains are dazed and fingers sore, have found it an immense relief to put books and work aside, get out the cards, and amuse themselves with a game of solitaire before going to bed. We know of hard-worked professional men who play it regularly every evening; it makes a break in their thoughts, and keeps them from dwelling at night on the business which has been absorbing them all day. Doctors say that in such cases it is most valuable, for that any unexciting game soothes the brain, and is the best remedy against insomnia. Many invalids, condemned to lie on a dreary couch the live-long day, look forward to their evening game of solitaire as the most enjoyable time of their sad existence.
This kind of language would not be acceptable in publishing today! How times, and sensitivity to words change. Well, as crude as it may seem with our perspective, it was another time with a different context to the world.
The game has also another quality: it can be played alone. Often an invalid will lie wearying for a game to take her thoughts off her pain. But give her a small take and two packs of cards, and she will be able to amuse herself without interfering with anyone else, or feeling herself a bore to her companions.
But it does not always require overwork or invalidism to prove the value of this solitary game; there is yet another experience, probably within the knowledge of all. Who has not at some time or another known the utter dreariness of a wet day at a small seaside country place — the meach and streets deserted; nothing to be sen but a leaden sky and a leaden sea; nothing to be heard but the monotonous drip of the rain; the paper read through, even to the advertisements; the small stock of very ancient books at the library exhausted. Nothing to be done between meal-times but to yawn? Yes, cards can be bought anywhere. Let the unhappy victim of ennui secure two packs and interest himself in the intricacies of one of the more difficult games as described in this volume, and he will find that Solitaire will prove in the full sense of the words a veritable pastime.
It does say meach, maybe that means or was supposed to say beach? I’m not sure.
Solitaire, therefore, claims to be not only of negative, but of positive merit; and one charm of the game — or, to speaw more correctly, the series of games — is the infinite variety. There are some to suit every taste. The many players who like a hard nut to crack, and require a game which is interesting, and difficult of achievement, the successes bearing the proportion to the failures of about one in ten; the many others who do not care to puzzle their brains overmuch, but like a placid amusement with a “happy ending” — each of these will find games to suit them in this collection. The solitary student who has pored over his books till he can see no longer, the lonely lady, the husband and wife tired of whist and bridge, the young people home for the holidays who want a game that will take in several players — in short, whether it is the old or the young, the one or the many, Solitaire does its harmless best to please and amuse them all.
Speaw? I’m not sure what this is meant to say exactly. Speak? Explain? Spew?
Overall this introduction is awesome and should be something more people who love card games and solitaire read today. There are still people who treat games like solitaire with contempt, or any sort of casual games for that matter. But they do serve a purpose in society and has value. From pain management, to dealing with trauma, going into zen like trances to make sleeping easier, or passing the time when nothing else is interesting. And it also appreciates that there are forms of solitaire which are for the elite gamers, those who want a challenge! Don’t you wish you could have had the chance to talk with this author?
This is said to be the first Solitaire invented; but who the Sir Tommy was who gave his name to it — whether it was invented by him, or for his special amusement — we do not know. It has the character of being a very aggravating Solitaire, for, though apparently simplicity itself, it is very difficult to do, unless the cards are extremely favorable.
The object to be accomplished in this game is to build up packets from the ace to the king; and you do not follow suit, but take the cards according to their significance. One pack only will be needed, with which you will proceed to form four heaps. As the aces turn out, you place them below these heaps, packing on them at every opportunity. There is no rubbish-heap to be made. As the cards are dealt you place them — supposing they will go on an ace-packet — on either of the heaps you choose. But this power of choice is often your bane; it is so very difficult to determine, for instance, whether an eight should go on a seven or on a king, with the risk of another king quenching it together. If the cards come out unfavorably you have to put high upon low ones, at the imminent peril of chockering. The kings frequently reserve themselves, in the most provoking manner, till near the end, when it becomes a choice of evils on which heap to put them. Your best chance of succeeding in the game is when they come out early, so as to make a foundation for the heaps; and if you can manage it, it is a good plan to keep one packet for the high cards. You may not transfer from one heap to another; where a card is placed, there is must remain until it works off in due and proper course. Nor have you a second chance. If the packets are not completed by the time the cards are all dealt out, you must shuffle them up and begin again.
Obviously significance being their value from A-K.
It is interesting how today we more commonly would say deck rather than pack but we do say a pack of cards as a phrase. After some research, it seems in British English saying a pack is more common than a deck.
Chockering is the word used here. Seems to come from chock-a-block? Jammed together, from 1840, and originated in nautical use when two blocks of tackle run together as to get close. I’ve seen other solitaire literature use it before. I’m not sure of the exact meaning, tightly packed? Close up against. When you think of the phrase still common today chock-full then it makes more immediate sense. Woah, chock-full is from the 1400s! It feels like a modern phrase doesn’t it?
The roll-call is almost too trivial to be included in this collection; nevertheless, it is amusing to children, and useful in teaching them the signification of the cards. Turn out from the pack all below seven (retaining the aces); shuffle well, and then deal the cards out, saying as you do so: Seven, eight, nine, ten, jack, queen, king, ace.
If a card of the right number turns up, put it on one side.
Continue dealing out, keeping the same rotation until either all the cards have duly answered to the roll-call, or you can find that the remainder always come round in the same order, in which case you have not succeeded in your object.
“Roll Call” does indeed seem like it would be amusing to young children. Try it with your kids!
Shuffle two packs together; lay out, face upwards, twenty cards, overlapping as a wheat-ear, and four reserve cards on each side of it. Use the card next turned (i. e., the twenty-ninth) as the foundation of the pile, and the other seven cards of similar value as they come to hand. Pile on these cards in the ascending sequence of any suit. Use from the wheat-ear when possible (i. e., whenever a suitable card is exposed); failing that, use from the eight reserve cards, which may be replenished from your hand or the top card of the rubbish-heap, on which you place all unsuitable cards whilst dealing. You have the privilege of dealing over the rubbish-heap once more, but without shuffling; and some allow the extra privilege of taking the top card of the rubbish-heap direct when there is no vacancy in the reserves.
Take two packs of cards as used for bezique — i. e., leaving out all cards between ace and seven — shuffle them together, and deal them out, faces upwards, in eight rows of eight cards in each row, the second row slightly overlapping the first, and so on.
Then commence by taking out any aces from the exposed row to form the foundation of your eight packets, placing on them any sevens of the same suit, and other cards (from ace, seven, up to king of the same suit) in ascending sequence, as they become exposed. An exposed card may be removed from any row and placed on an exposed card of any other row in descending sequence, but not on the same color; they must be alternately placed red on black or black on red. If, when first dealt, there is no ace in the exposed row, you can go on packing in descending sequence and alternate colors until an ace is exposed. When one of the eight perpendicular lines has been cleared, you can recommence it with any exposed card, and again continue placing black and red alternately. It is an advantage to get off the kings in this way, as they cannot be placed on any other card.
Remove cards as often as you like, as there is no limit to the number of cards that may be in a packet; but the packets must not exceed eight in number. When no more exposed cards can be used for your packets, gather all the unused ones from the table, shuffle, and deal them in rows of eight as far as you have cards left. You are allowed three deals; but if unable to take up an ace or any other card necessary for your packets, that deal is not counted as one of the three.
A very short explanation is required for this game. Shuffle two packs together, then deal one out, placing the cards side by side. Whenever one or two cards are between two other cards of the same suit, or of the same signification, as a diamond and heart between two clubs, or between two jacks, or two aces, etc., you push these cards out and close up the rank. Also, if several cards of one suit are between two of another suit, or of the same value, you may discard them all — that is, suppose five hearts are between two spade, or between the nine of clubs and the nine of diamonds, you may push out all the five, and bring the two other cards together. In this manner the line continues lengthening and then contracting, often returning to the first two. If, when all the cards are dealt out, there is still a line left, you have the privilege of altering the place of two cards, which gives fresh combinations, and allows more imprisoned cards to be set free.
One pack only is required for this game. Place twelve packets, of four cards each, in three rows, displaying the top cards; the last four are to be kept as reserve. Now remove any two cards that will form eleven; and as the court cards cannot join in the combination, they may be taken off whenever king, queen, and jack are displayed at the same time on the board. When you have found all your elevens, there will be packets with their faces downwards; turn the top cards up, and proceed as before. As the packets become exhausted, fill each vacant place with a card taken from the reserve. If you do not succeed in removing all the cards, you have failed in the game.
No diagram is required to illustrate this game, as a simple description will suffice to make it intelligible. Shuffle two packs together and scatter them higgledy-piggledy over the table, face down, leaving a space in the middle. Draw a card, and lay it face up in the empty space; this, with the seven others of the like value, will be base cards, and are to be built up in suit to the card next them in value, that is, if a queen is the base, the crowning cards of her packet will be the jack. Continue drawing cards one by one, and those which cannot be placed on the bases may form rubbish heaps, of which there are four, packed by the player at discretion. When the cards are all drawn, the player takes up the rubbish heap on the left, turns it, and deals out again, distributing the cards over the three other heaps, of course building on the centre packets whenever he can. In the next round he distributes the second packet over two heaps; then the third over the last one, and finally, the fourth packet is turned and played out. If by that time the bases are not filled up the game has failed.
Higgledy-piggledy means in utterly confusing chaotic quickness. Similar word forms many dating back to the 1500s are hanky-panky, hocus-pocus, topsy-turvy, tittle-tattle, shilly-shally, prittle-prattle, flim-flam, jibber-jabber, hurry-scurry, hugger-mugger, hotch-potch, hiccup-suickup, helter-skelter, harum-scarum, gibble-gabble, hum-drum, fiddle-faddle, crinkle-crankle, hab-nab, hub-bub, and mingle-mangle.
This game is as very simple one, and is played in the following manner: Lay out nine cards in three rows; then proceed to form a rubbish heap. As you play out the first pack, you place the four aces, as they appear, on the left, the four kings on the right of these nine cards; and these gradually draw to themselves their respective suits, the aces in the upward, the kings in the downward, scale. Whenever you take a card from the centre formation, you must fill up the gap from the rubbish heap. In dealing out the second pack, the aces and kings are treated like the other cards, and thrown on the rubbish heap, unless they can be placed. The heap may be turned once; but if, on going through it the second time, the cards are not absorbed in their respective packets the game has failed.
P.S. Is a correction required in this text? Tell me in our Discord!
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