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Ambiguous Reference to Stoole Ball Appears in a Drama

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Game Stoolball

"At stoole ball I have a North-west stripling shall deale with ever a boy in the Strand."

Cited in W. C. Hazlitt, Faiths and Folklore: A Dictionary of National Beliefs, Superstitions and Popular Customs [Reeves and Turner, London, 1905], page 569. Hazlitt attributes this mysterious fragment to someone named Stickwell in Totenham Court, by T. Nabbes, appearing in 1638. Note: Can we guess what Stickwell was trying to say, and why? I find that Nabbes wrote this drama in 1633 or before, and surmise that "Stickwell" is the name of the fictional character who speaks the quoted line. Can we straighten out, or interpret, the syntax of this line? [The Strand, presumably, refers to the London street of that name?]

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