|Stool at bottom right|
At stool-ball, Lucia, let us play
For sugar-cakes and wine :
Or for a tansy let us pay,
The loss, or thine, or mine.
If thou, my dear, a winner be
At trundling of the ball,
The wager thou shalt have, and me,
And my misfortunes all.
But if, my sweetest, I shall get,
Then I desire but this :
That likewise I may pay the bet
And for all a kiss.
Where a tansy is a kind of cake. I don't know if any arrangement like Herrick's had been made between Andrew Strauss and Darren Sammy, but I did notice that the game seems now to be commonly referred to as cricket, and that nobody seems to be utterly sure why. The OED has a veritable essay on the subject, but the best theory seems to be that a cricket is a stool. You see, there's a kind of little foot-stool called a cricket-stool which is recorded from 1559 (Item 2 old chaires‥. Item one litill crekett stole.), and therefore if stool-ball were played with a cricket stool it would become cricket. And so, in 1575 you have the first record of the noble game:
Ther are made likewyse, many-kynde of Balles, Tut-staues or Kricket-staues, Rackets, and Dyce, for that the foolish People, shoulde waste or spende their tyme ther-with, in Foolishnes.
This is utterly true, but I like foolishness. I should also mention that the reason I was at the cricket in the first place was the release of a lovely book called Third Man In Havana that you should go and buy instantly etc etc if you have any interest in stool-ball.
Four slips and tonsure