Sunday, May 26, 2024

May 1, 2024: 1748 - Incomplete minchiate of an Arcadian shepherd

The find here is a new kind of minchiate, or at least that is the claim. It is in the same vein as the ancient history minchiate of a previous note (of April 20, 2024, on an "ancient history" minchiate). Franco's original, "1748 – Minchiate incomplete di un pastore arcade," is dated May 1, 2024, and is at

The "Arcadian" of the title is a member of an academy, presumably that of Arcadia, with the shepherd's pipes in its emblem. I need to say something about a couple of the words. Besides cards, the author also proposes board games, where the board is divided into "caselle," boxes. The word, with its equivalent in English, applies to both three-dimensional containers with flat sides and to two-dimensional ones with straight sides, in this particular case ones containing words. While we would normally call the divisions on a chessboard "squares," the author here seems to want to emphasize its role as a container of words, an essential part of the games he proposes. Then for the cards, which are on large sheets ready to be cut out, he again speaks of them, when they are on the sheet, as "caselle," boxes - they, too, contain words -, but quickly switches to "quadretti," which ordinarily means "squares," but can mean "quadrangles," according to the online Grand Dizionario de la Lingua Italiana. Once a box on a sheet of paper is removed from that sheet to become a card, it apparently ceases to be a box. Of course, his cards are rectangular, not square. So, strictly following the dictionary, I translate "quadretti" as "quadrangles."

As in preceding posts, notes in brackets, unless indicated otherwise, are mine, for clarification (after consulting with Franco), and the numbers in isolation in the left margin are the page numbers of Franco's pdf. Notes are then found at the bottom of those pages.

After the presentation of this translation of Franco's note, I will have a few additions of my own, adding more from one of Franco's references.

1748 – Incomplete minchiate of an Arcadian shepherd

Franco Pratesi

1. Introduction

This study was motivated by the very recent discovery of the existence of a pack of historical minchiate from the eighteenth century of which information had been lost.[note 1] I hope to have put several interested researchers on the trail and that this unusual deck of cards will soon be found and described. I, too, have committed myself to this research, for now without getting any closer to the goal. [Fortunately, the treasure hunt soon turned out successful with the Addendum by Michael after his translation. F.P.] However, to my renewed surprise, I found that the research situation has been made incredibly more profitable by the digitization of library and archive inventories. And then, trying to use these valid tools, I came across not the minchiate I was looking for, but another pack of minchiate that seems to me to deserve a presentation.

Still using the powerful means available today for online searches, I fortunately found a presentation of the work at the time of the release of its first part, and while they were preparing the second, and also a subsequent review that clarifies the method and value of the entire recreational-educational system. I therefore could not resist the temptation to use both of these sources, copying more or less extensive parts of them. This allows me to summarily add my comments and conclusion.
Furthermore, I found the same work presented in a Milanese exhibition of games and toys and I also collected some useful information from the rich catalog of that exhibition.

2. Presentation in the periodical press

News of the Republic. For the 21st December 1748. Venice.
New Method invented by the Abbot of S. Giacinto Enea Gaetano Melani Sienese Apostolic protonotary and Ecclesiastic of Jerusalem called among the Arcadians Eresto Eleucanteo, to make the hated aspect of the Schools amiable. … Venice, Gio. Battista Recurti, in illustrated folio.
Ingenious and praiseworthy is the new theory proposed to young Italians, who, abhorring the ordinary and rigid aspect of the schools, wish at the same time, through a private and sweet Entertainment of Games, practice in the apparatus the most serious sciences as well as the two languages, Italian and Latin.
Signore Abbot Melani, who in addition to the new historical description that he gave to the Public of the Plague of Messina in sdruccioli verse [where the accent falls on the third to last syllable], is also known for various Sonnets and Poems printed of the Sermons of the famous Fr. Cavalcanti given in Malta, after a long effort suffered by him to combine the theory he conceived with practice, which in every direction becomes difficult and very rough, here in three large sheets gives us the idea deciphered, with an evident essay on the study of the Holy Scripture, which youths can easily learn in the combination of Games to be played in different Boxes [Caselle], or Lessons, whether by way of Chessboards, Dice, or Cards.
The first Sheet therefore instructs the reader on what is necessary to know before approaching the reading of this new proposed Method. Then in the second, with the distribution in 32 Boxes [Caselle] (each of which is marked with colors, Alphabetical Letters, chronological notes, and various numbers), we are given a juicy compendium of the Facts reported in the Old Testament, starting from the Creation of Adam; and with a pleasant interweaving of Italian and Latin verses, the author looks to teach what is most beneficial to Christian youth.

In the third sheet, with the same method, the remaining History of the Old Testament is given to us in as many Boxes and Lessons: those places being observable where Tradition is spoken of and the wonderful usefulness that comes from the Sacred Scripture, considered as
Of Faith Master, and of customs Rule:
The Author adding,
It is the escort
For loving and fearing our God
It softens the troubles of our exile,
And ultimately leads us to the beautiful Kingdom of Peace.
We will point out that the object of Sig. Abbot Melani is to subsequently give with new Sheets and cards engraved in copper, not only the following History of the New Testament, but also Geography and sacred History, Moral Philosophy, Chivalric Science, Administration, and other useful sciences.[note 2] However, in order to facilitate the undertaking, especially in the serious expense of drawings and Copper plates to be engraved by the most expert in the Art, the means of Subscription is planned; therefore every scholar who in this and the next Month of January places 11 Paoli in the hands of the Bookseller Recurti, will obtain, in addition to the three Sheets, the 52 illustrated Cards for the Holy Scriptures, which will already be perfected within 5 Months.[note 3]

3. The specimens preserved

This is a pack of minchiate that is not only unusual but very strange. At the same time, no loose deck of cards is known of this minchiate; there are only sheets to cut; but this would not have been a problem. Of these sheets I have found information on only two examples in the whole world: one is preserved in the library of Munich [note 4] and is now accessible on the Internet, [note 5] and one was part of the collection of Alberto Milano.[note 6] Of the second, we only have the reproduction of one sheet out of seven; of the first, we have the complete reproduction online, but it is not easy to read due to the low resolution and large size of the sheets; in both cases, it is not certain what is to be understood as the entire printed work.

The total is just a few large sheets with lots of writing and images on educational topics. These sheets can be hung on the walls and consulted at will, laid out on a table and used as a basis for various games (for example as a chessboard to play checkers or chess), or cutting the sheets or figures, thus obtaining playing cards, perhaps after gluing them onto cardboard. Naturally, the playing cards obtained will be completely special, very different from ordinary cards, as they retain educational writing or engravings on most of the surface.

The transformation of these instructive figures into playing cards can take place first of all thanks to their size and the frame designed as the limit of the figure, completely similar to what is typical for playing cards. Furthermore, in all the suit cards, the name of the card is printed in a box at the top left, i.e. the number for the numeral cards and the name for the court cards, and also the suit; the name of the suit is doubled because it indicates both the Italian ones of cups, coins, clubs or swords, and the French ones of hearts, diamonds, clubs or spades. With this stratagem, the same card can alternatively be part of different decks of low cards among those in use, and also of a deck of tarocchi, and even one of minchiate (not taking into account the fact that in the last two cases, the cards should be bigger).
2. The last topics indicated are absent in the sheets preserved. It seems probable that they were never printed.
3. Novelle della repubblica letteraria per l’anno MDCCXLIII. Venice 1748. On pp. 401-402.
4. E. Melani, Trattenimenti Eruditi Sopra La Geografia, E Sfera: Inventati In Grazia Della Nobile Gioventù. Venice 1750.
5. ... edir_esc=y
6. Come giocavamo: giochi e giocattoli, 1750-1960. Milan 1984.

It is stated that the total number of these cards is 160, and therefore, also thanks to the indicated stratagem, it can be assumed that any deck of playing cards is easily obtainable. However, if you move from the "normal" decks of low cards to those of tarocchi and minchiate, it is necessary to add the superior or triumphal cards to the deck. Given the simplicity with which the other cards are treated, it is easy to imagine that the problem of additional cards can immediately be solved by simply inserting the numbers from 0 to 21 for tarot or from 0 to 40 for minchiate into the usual boxes at the top left.
In fact, there are some cards with a number like this. However, in the sheets preserved in Munich, we see that the numbers present are not only not sufficient to complete the promised deck of minchiate, but also not sufficient for the typical 78-card tarot deck. So, from what we can observe, the pack of minchiate we are looking for is certainly incomplete.
It remains to be verified whether some sheets that were printed later are missing from the Munich collection, the work was not completed, or the promises of minchiate were forgotten during production. A certain result is that the parts programmed covering “Moral Philosophy, Chivalric Science, Administration, and other useful sciences” are not present in the preserved specimens.

4. Comments of the time
[note 7]
. . .
Just as the male clerics, and the female clerics in their convents, and the Students and Residents in the Seminaries and Colleges, where good taste is a principle, will be able to spend the hours of recreation among themselves with these equally erudite and pleasant entertainments!
With how much ease will children now be able, while playing, to suck with their milk the Maxims of Christian Morals, taken from the purest and clearest source, which is the Holy Scripture, to whose waters few ordinarily, approach their lips, whether through negligence or out of laziness!

How children themselves can be trained to love the supreme good and to fear the terrible God at the sight of his mercies and justice, painted with such vivid colors!
How easy it will be also to learn to read using these cards and these sheets, without the nuisance of the ABCs; and to acquire little by little and insensibly some notion of the Latin language, to the understanding of which long practice leads much better than the many precepts can do! And this is quite known to everyone; this is what everyone expresses; this is practiced by the Ultramontanists [“People beyond the Alps,” but here with a more specific reference, perhaps to the Jesuits]; this happens with all other languages; and the Author will show this in the dissertation that will accompany the sixth or seventh Entertainment.

In addition to the indicated Entertainments on Sacred Chronological History, two other large sheets have appeared to the public for Astronomy [Sfera, literally "Sphere," but also short for "Celestial Sphere"] and Geography, also purged of some misunderstandings and confusion that can be seen in some current books; which sheets are also dedicated to the Holiness of the reigning Supreme Pontiff; and together a pack of fifty-six playing cards, made with quadrangles [quadrati] cut and removed from the same [the sheets], with the four marks [of the suits] variously colored and nobly adorned.
In the notice printed on these sheets we read on the sides of the copper Engravings that “with these cards it will be licit to play even with money, both for interest and for vice; but that at least the vice will no
7. Lettera critica d’un pastore arcade intorno a’ giuochi eruditi pubblicati ultimamente in Venezia presso il Recurti, ed in Pesaro presso il Gavelli. Turin 1749. ... &q&f=false

longer be alone, and whoever loses money on the one hand will not also lose time with it; for on the other he will gain some erudition; and those who have good fortune will then make a double gain by acquiring learning and money.” And the Author is right to say this: while it will be easy for everyone who knows how to read, or who hears [others] reading, to learn something that they did not know before, even if they did not want to, and if they did not apply themselves on purpose.
However, it would please Heaven that these same eruditions, and others that will come to light subsequently, should be printed on all playing cards to ennoble them, and to make them acquire another character different from that which they usually carry.
Who can fail to praise the good order and arrangement of so many matters located in their particular quadrangles? At the top of these quadrangles in other smaller boxes the subjects treated in the body of the cards are indicated, and the proper suit-signs and details of each card itself are written, both in the Italian and in the French style, and the large and small letters in alphabetical order, and the syllables, and in some the numbers of the Triumphs, or Tarocchi (since as stated in the aforementioned notice you will be able to play Minchiate with these cards, and any other more popular and enjoyable game with decks of 40 or 52 or 97). And you can vary the games in a thousand ways as you like, both with the cards and with the large unfolded sheets of paper, as long as you read what is written there continually, to keep it in your memory.
It is true that inside Italy and outside it some games have been composed, or rather sketched out from time to time, such as that of [Coats of] Arms, that of Geography, that of Navigation, that of Fortifications, and others. But (let it be said with peace) these are very dry, are not suitably ordered and arranged; they are not conducted properly, nor can one ever derive satisfaction and pleasure from any of them, much less education and profit.

Complimentary letter from the Arcadian pastor himself
It is certainly very certain that any child with good guidance and direction, and any youngster even by himself in three or four months, playing and amusing himself, reading, replicating often everything that is expressed in the sheets, or on the same sheets, or on the cards, will learn the whole History of the Old Testament and perhaps also what is mentioned for the Profane History under the same chronology. Won't this be a huge advantage? Will the foundation of good education not thus be ensured? You just need to have a mind to conceive it.
Here is the summary of the Preface, [Instruction, and Author's Notice, which, moreover, must be read especially by the directors, and by those who wish to learn even without a director. You will not struggle as much in this reading as you struggle in translating twenty or thirty verses of insipid vernacular words into the barbaro-Latin language [corrupted Latin?], due to the daily and long condemnation of unfortunate Children, due to the tyranny and ignorance of some Pedant, whether clumsy or self-absorbed.
When we know well what belongs to the Old Testament, we will be able to move on to using the same rules on the sheets and cards of Geography and astronomy [sfera]; indeed, one will be able to play with greater freedom on the sheets of paper and with the geographical cards, as the Author suggests in the short notice that accompanies it, consisting of five or six sentences which, however, will not bring regret for reading it; rather it will offer pleasure for hearing that with the pack of Geographical cards you can play Primiera, Bassetta, and any other invitation [betting] game (which games, however, will only be permitted to adults, never to children, who must keep away from any game that smacks of vice, so as not to overturn the beautiful designs of the Author, and so as not to contravene its most noble and useful aim).



. . . But let us suppose that there are two or more children exercising themselves with these virtuous toys. Having to play as with Goose on the first, and on the second sheet as a chessboard; here are the rules, and they are the same as those already declared by the Author in the Preface; so we can only echo him, replicating some of the things said by him.
Lay out the two large sheets ]next to each other on the table, or even just one, and it will be the shortest game. Each player is given ten or twelve signs [tokens], such as small coins, pawns, or almonds, lupin beans, and the like. Everyone places two or three of those same signs on the board, as agreed. The person on whom the lot has fallen will be the first to throw two dice (Dice that have letters instead of numbers). As many letters appear in the two faces above, the number of boxes the thrower will have to move through. He will have to read, or hear read, all or part of the contents in the box where he has stopped, at least the title at the top and the vulgar [Italian] verses. The second who throws the dice will observe the same rules as the first, and so will the others, also in accordance with what is mentioned at the foot of the same Boxes, regarding paying, going backward, going forward, etc. Whoever first reaches the last box, with the number 6, or the one with the num. 12, will win everything that is in the pot, just as is done in the game of Goose.
We now come to the illustrated sheets, and the decks of cards composed with these cut sheets, and to the declaration of what is seen in them. The first box, or illustrated card, has the large letter A at the top, and is called the box or card of A. Under A you see the mark of a Globe, or Chaos. This first card represents the Creation of the world. In this card you can see God, Adam, Animals, the Sun, the Moon, etc.

The Games will vary as desired. The Author proposes many, and many others can be invented; as long as they are innocent games, and suited to the subject.
In order to play, for example, with the illustrated cards the Game of the Patriarchs (like that of the Triumphs), or of the Judges, or of the Kings, or of the Years, etc., five or six cards will be distributed to each person. Whoever in his will find more Patriarchs, or Judges, or Kings, etc. will win.

5. In the Milanese exhibition of 1984
[note 8]

Unexpectedly, we find the sheets of the Arcadian pastor in a Milanese exhibition in 1984, of which we have the beautiful catalog published by none other than the Alinari [famous Florentine photography studio]. The brief introduction is by Giampaolo Dossena and the article on card games by Alberto Milano, who was the greatest expert in Italy on the subject of these games and playing cards in general, so much so that for many years he was the representative of Italy in the International Playing-Card Society. Entry no. 33 of the catalog refers to the work in question here, represented by an example present in his personal collection.
33. Seven sheets of educational games
Venice, circa 1748
Seven sheets measuring 55.5 x 41 cm
Engravings by A. Visentini from drawings by F. Zuccarelli.
‒ “First Sheet” ‒ “New method invented by the Abbot of S. Giacinto, Enea Gaetano Melani, Sienese apostolic protonotary and ecclesiastic of Jerusalem, known among the Arcadians as Eresto Eleucantèo, to make the hated aspect of the Schools amiable.”
Under the title, three engravings: faces of a die in which the letters of the alphabet have replaced the dots, pawns with the words "Utile col dolce," in the center the pipes of the Arcadians within a rich scroll. The first sheet contains a long "author's notice to anyone who wants
8. Come giocavamo: giochi e giocattoli, 1750-1960. Milan 1984.

to read," with all the instructions for the game "with picture cards," with dice "like [in] goose" and "Checkers and Chess." Below: “these three simple sheets will be available in Venice in the shop of Gio. Battista Recurti, where they were printed with the permission of the Superiors.”
‒ “Second Sheet” ‒ “To educate noble youth well within their own homes as much in morals as in the primary sciences and in the fine arts, for the joyful and learned entertainment of Clerics, especially Novices and residents in the Sacred Cloisters.” Three engravings under the title, in the lower part divided into 32 boxes bearing the letters of the alphabet.
‒ “Third Sheet” ‒ “Virtuous discussions on the Old Testament dedicated to the Holiness of Our Lord Benedict XIV, the happily reigning Supreme Pontiff.” At the top is a dedication to the "Holy Father," next to his engraved heraldic coat of arms. In the lower part a division into 32 boxes similar to the second sheet.
‒ “Fourth Sheet” ‒ “For discussion on the Sacred and Profane Chronological History,” 26 cards engraved with biblical episodes. The cards take up the same topics as the boxes on the previous sheets and have the same letters of the alphabet at the top. The traditional card suits are replaced by: circles, diamonds, hearts, vases.
‒ “Fifth Sheet” - 26 engraved cards that complete the deck of 52 cards. On the card marked with the letter Y: F.[rancesco] Z.[uccarelli] I. 1748, A. Visentini Sculp.”
‒ “Sixth Sheet” ‒ “Scholarly discussions on geography and astronomy invented in favor of the noble youth by Eresto Eleucanteo, Arcadian shepherd.” 28 cards with geographical descriptions.
‒ “Seventh Sheet” ‒ “Author's Notice” with explanations about the games [gioco]. 28 cards. In total, there should have been 160 cards. (Coll. Milano)
Third sheet, from Come giocavamo, [How we played], p. 39.

From how Milano concludes the description, I can deduce that he considered the work incomplete, because the author had promised that it would contain 160 playing cards and instead showed a smaller number, which for us is essential to conclude that our deck of minchiate, which should have been present here, was not present in these preserved sheets and, most likely, had never been present. The fact that the "complete" collections of both Monaco and Alberto Milano are identical in their "incomplete" content favors the hypothesis that in that work our minchiate was never printed in full.

6. Conclusion

The work presented was certainly the result of a demanding commitment from multiple points of view. The subject is mainly scholastic, but the description required complicated planning and realization by the teacher, the poet, the designer, the engraver, and, last but not least, the printer-bookseller who is also involved in promoting the unusual product.

In my opinion, it is not easy to give an overall opinion on the two educational and recreational aspects. Personally, I don't feel capable of judging the educational value of the undertaking; on the other hand, the extracts reproduced from the descriptions of the time provide more than enough favorable opinions in this regard. It only seems to me that only the continual assistance of a teacher as an animator and guide could have achieved the intended task. As for the games, it seems to me that they wanted to offer too many, even without counting all the ones that they say could have been added by inventing them gradually.

I can recognize that the engravings are appreciable and definitely superior to what could have been expected in this regard, so much so that one feels regret that so few of them have been preserved. I can also recognize the validity of the educational commitment and the idea of making people learn more ideas without the usual scholastic severity, and indeed trying to combine the commitment with fun, to the point of not realizing that they are learning religious and scholastic notions (which would be a good strategy in any time and place).

My problem is that I personally did not need all this education, which I already had in distant times, and also to a greater extent than necessary. I was very simply looking for a pack of minchiate: the Sienese Arcadian pastor had promised it to me, but it would seem that then this very promise, understandably rather secondary for him, he was unable to keep, or no longer considered it useful.

Florence, 01.05.2024

Translator's supplement:

If anyone wants to look more closely at the Munich booklet Franco links to (dated by them at 1750), be aware that Sheet 6 is first, then 7, and then 1 through 5 in order. The "Aviso" of the author is on p. 7 and in fairly big type. 
The site allows you to copy and paste text, so I did so with the "Aviso" (Notice), corrected it (and Franco after me), ran it through Google Translate, corrected that, and took a look, to see what the author himself said, as opposed to those writing about him. I will paste it onto the end of this post.

He indeed promises that one will be able to play both Tarocchi and Minchiate, and says that some of the cards are marked with the corresponding numbers for that game. I looked very hard and could not find any such numbers, unless he meant for the suit cards of sheets 6 and 7 - there is nothing for the 21 or 40 triumphs plus the Fool. Since he says that there are 160 cards in all, and in fact there are only 56 + 52 = 108, 52 are not there. He also says that the cards comprise three decks. From what we have, there are only two. So it is probably a subset of those second 52 that he intended to mark for Tarocchi and Minchiate - and with just a number.

Otherwise, the game is as before, where you read what is on the card as you play it. So we have a fairly good idea what the cards would have looked like - a lot of writing on them, with a small picture. Even the geographical cards were supposed to get pictures for the blank spaces below the writing, he says; but it never seems to have happened. (In the "aviso" I have highlighted in bold the most relevant parts.)

With the sheets as they are, however, it is quite possible to play minchiate: 108 cards are quite sufficient. 56 of them are suit cards, so all it takes is 41 of the others. The first 26 have the capital letters and the next 26 have the small letters. The alphabet then appears to have only had 24 letters, no J or W. He includes the ampersand and the diphthong AE for the last two, and in the small letters the same ae plus ai, with just writing. So the capital letters, most of them, can be one half and the small letters the other half, the order dictated by the order in the alphabet and whether capital or small. It's then just a matter of remembering the letters for the combinations.

These cards aren't that uninteresting, either, in that they are mostly pictures of rather vivid scenes, with commentary both from the Bible and Greco-Roman mythology. There is also a symbol inside the suit-sign (all of them roundish, so as to accommodate it) and an explanation at the bottom of what that symbol represents.

So in a sense he does deliver on what he promised, and if he didn't, we have a fairly good idea of what they would have looked like: something similar to the geographical cards, only with some small pictures, rather like on the historical deck discussed in a previous note.

Here is the "Aviso," on sheet 7, which is the only place I could find where he mentions minchiate. The original follows.

Geography has been summarized and reduced into verses, with the Treatise on Astronomy, in the clearest, easiest, and plainest way, and in the form of a Dialogue, to help the memory and intellect of children and anyone who wants to apply to it. Erudition was inserted into it, as it suited it. Some moral reflections have been scattered there, which never fail; and even a few jokes to amuse yourself. More than four thousand verses have been enclosed in one hundred and sixty Cards ordered and arranged in such a way as to form the elegant and pleasant Game of Tarocchi or Cannellini, which in Tuscany is called Minchiate; and also to form three Decks for any other Game as desired. In addition to having written at the top of each Card the Marks in the French and Italian style, and also the numbers of the Tarocchi and Triumphs advantageously; for other use, the large and small letters have also been placed in the order of the Alphabet, and the syllables, so that the youngest children can also learn to read by this means, as has been said in the Preface or Notice printed on the first sheet of the first Entertainment, which it is necessary to read carefully, to understand the Author's idea and this new method. The matter contained in the Body of Cards has been mentioned further above in other boxes, to make it easier. With these Cards it will not be objectionable to play for money (provided this is done with moderation) as is usual with other current Cards; indeed, if there are those who want to do it out of vice, then vice will not do it alone, and whoever loses on one side will always gain something on the other; because holding the Cards in one’s hand, and reading even fleetingly and without particular application, the names and qualities of the Countries, the situation, the size, the government, the Religion, the rarest and most valuable things, the distances of the places, the itinerary for going, and by reading various historical, philosophical, geological and astronomical eruditions both in Geography and in Astronomy, you will have the advantage of learning without realizing it, and without getting tired either in the schools or in Books; and so either he will come to make up for the loss if he loses money, gambling; or to make double profit, if he wins money. These same sheets, remaining entire, without being cut to form playing cards, can be used for another better purpose, attaching them to canvases, or cartoons, and keeping them displayed in schools, in houses, in the sacred cloisters, in the manner of paintings, for teaching purposes, of the Youth as well as the others mentioned in the aforementioned notice, to which it is essential to pay the most particular attention. And here at the same time it can be added, for greater clarification, that with these sheets it is also possible to play Goose and Biribissi, only that for the latter the divided squares are cut, folded, and placed inside the pallets to the number of 50 or 60 and then drawn by lot. And with Decks of Cards it will be possible to make the Triumph of some Kingdom, or of the Islands, or of the Rivers, etc. or of the Sun, or of the Circles, etc., or you can play the Game of Variety, or of uniformity in the form of Primiera and Flusso.
In the space that remains blank at the foot of each Card, once the work has been completed, the engraved figures must be placed, as will be done for the other Entertainments.
Anyone who wishes to receive fuller information on Geography can read the three volumes of the highly accredited and erudite Sig. Chiusole, and especially the last impression made by Gio. Battista Recurti; and he will also be able to take a look at Father Buffier's Tometto [little volume] printed by Francesco Pitteri, especially its description of France and its Geographical Tables, from which many verses were taken that were appropriate, marked with quotation marks.


S’è compendiata, e ridotta in versi la Geografia col Trattato della Sfera nella maniera più chiara, facile, e piana, ed in forma di Dialogo, per ajutare la memoria, e l'intelletto insieme de’ Fanciulli, e di chiunque vuol’ applicarvisi. Vi s'è inserita dell’ erudizione, secondo che cadeva in acconcio. Vi s'è sparsa qualche riflessione morale, che mai non disdice; ed anche qualche facezia per dilettare. Più di quattro mila versi si sono racchiusi in cento sessanta Carte ordinate e disposte in modo da formarsene il leggiadro piacevol Giuoco de’ Tarocchi, o Cannellini, che in Toscana diconsi Minchiate ; e da formarsene altresì tre Mazzi per qualunque altro Giuoco a beneplacito Oltre ad essersi scritte in cima d'ogni Carta le Marche alla Francese, ed all'Italiana, ed anche i numeri de’ Tarocchi, e Trionfi vantaggiatamente, per farne altr'uso, si sono parimente poste le lettere grandi, e piccole coll'ordine dell’ Alfabeto, e le sillabe, affinchè i Fanciulli più teneri possano con questo mezzo imparar pur’ a leggere come s'è detto nella Prefazione, o Avviso stampato nel primo foglio del primo Trattenimento, che è necessario leggere con attenzione, per comprendere l'idea dell’ Autore, e questo novello metodo. Di più s'è accennata in cima in altri quadretti la materia contenuta nel Corpo delle Carte, per facilitare maggiormente. Con esse Carte non farà disdicevole il giuocare ancora per denaro (purchè ciò segua con moderazione) come suol farsi coll’ altre Carte correnti ; anzi se vi sarà chi far lo voglia per vizio, il vizio allora non farà solo, e chi perderà da una parte, guadagnerà sempre qualche cosa dall’ altra; perchè tenendo in mano le Carte, e leggendo anche alla sfuggita, e senza particolare applicazione, i nomi, e qualità de’ Paesi, la situazione, la grandezza, il governo, la Religione, le cose più rare, a pregevoli, le distanze de‘ luoghi, l’itinerario per andarvi, e leggendo ci più tanto nella Geografia, quanto nella Sfera varie eruditioni Storiche, Filosofiche, Geologiche, ed astronomiche, avrà il vantaggio d'imparare senz’ accorgersene, e senz’ affaticarsi o nelle scuole, o su Libri ; e così o verrà a risarcire la perdita se perderà denaro, giuocando ; o a fare doppio guadagno, se denaro guadagnerà. Questi Fogli medesimi restando intieri, senza tagliarsi, per formarne Carte di Giuoco potran servire ad altro fine sorte migliore, attaccandosi a tele, o a Cartonetti, e tenendosi esposti nelle Scuole, nelle Case, ne’ Sacri Chiostri, a modo di Quadri, per ammaestramento della Gioventù come pure s'è accennato degli altri nel citato avviso, al quale è indispensabile rivolgere la più particolare attenzione. E qui frattanto si può aggiungere, per maggior dilucidazione, che con essi fogli può giocarsi anche all’ Oca, ed al Biribissi, sol che per quest’ ultimo si taglino le Caselle divise si pieghino, e si pongano dentro le Pallette al numero di 50. o 60. per poi estrarsi a sorte. E co’ Mazzi di Carte si potrà fare il Trionfo di qualche Regno, o dell’ Isole, o de’ Fiumi ec. o del Sole, o de’ Circoli ec. o si potrà fare il Giuoco della Varietà, o dell’ uniformità a guisa di Primiera, e di Flusso.
Nello spazio, che resta in bianco in piè d'ogni Carta, dovranno poi, terminata che farà l'opera, situarsi le figure in Rame come si farà ancora per gli altri Trattenimenti.
Chi vorrà ricevere informazione più piena di Geografia, potrà leggere i tre Tomi del Sig. Chiusole sì accreditato, ed erudito, e spezialmente l'ultima impressione presso Gio. Battista Recurti ; e potrà anche dare un’ occhiata al Tometto del Padre Buffier stampato presso Francesco Pitteri specialmente nella descrizione della Francia, e nelle Tavole Geografiche ; dal qual Tometto si sono tolti molti Versi, che facevano a proposito, e si sono contrasegnati con virgolette.

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