Prologue Poem

by Edmond Hoyle - (1672 - 1769)

in his publication: Humours of Whist




Who will believe that man could e'er exist,
Who spent near half an age in stydying whist?

Grew grey with calculation, labour hard,
As if life's business center'd in a card?

That such there is, let me to those appeal
Who with such liberal hands reward his zeal.

Lo! Whist becomes a science, and our peers
Deign to turn schoolboys in their riper years.






Synopsis: It is a short comedy, and the principles are Professor Whiston, (Edmond Hoyle), who gives lessons in the game; Sir Calculation Puzzle, an enthusiastic player who muddles his head with Hoyle's calculations, and always loses; pupils, sharpers, and their dupes. The object is chiefly to ridicule the pretensions of Edmond Hoyle and the enthusiasm of his followers, and to show that skill and calculation are of no avial against bad luck or premeditated fraud.