Peter Puzzlewig's Comic Round Game of Alliteration (Alliteration; or, a Prime Plan and Merry Method of producing a Plain and Perfect Pronunciation) ABC card game
[Albany: Pease & Warren, 1853].
Complete alphabet on 24 cards (letters I & J and U & V share), approx. 3.5 x 3.25 inches each. Comic vignettes with tongue-twisting rhymes lithograph printed with hand coloring. A touch of fingersoil and handling wear, overall Very Good without any major damage or marking. A very rare set; OCLC locates 1 copy, at the American Antiquarian Society.
Wry and darkly comical at times, the alliterative game could be played by any 2 or more players: “Counters are distributed to the players. To start the game each player puts two counters into a pool. A player reads the first tongue-twister: if he hesitates or laughs he must pay two counters to the pool; if he is able to read the tongue-twister clearly he collects a counter.”
The game was originally published as a booklet, "Prime plan and merry method of producing a plain and perfect pronunciation," by David Ogilvy in London ca. 1844, when it appears advertised in Peter Parley’s Annual. Richard H. Pease adapted a number of educational English games for the American audience and published them under "Pease & Warren, wholesale and retail dealers in fancy goods… stationed at the Temple of Fancy" in Albany, NY. Always popular, this particular iteration of alliterative ABCs was recalled by a certain reader of American Notes and Queries in response to a "verbal snares" post: "Your set of illiterative (sic) nonsense lines (Vol viii p.295) reminds me of a card game closely associated with my youth entitled “The Don't Hesitate Game” … Pictures accompanied each letter illustrative of the text. The mode of repetition changed now and then purposely to increase the tendency to hesitation." The contributor listed as many lines from the game as he could remember and petitioned other readers to respond if they remembered the others--to which he received a positive response. There was also an American variation (substituting "Yankee" for "Yorkshire Yeoman," etc.) published under "Alphabetical Alliteration and Articulation" by Worthy Putnam in The Science and Art of Elocution and Oratory (1858, p.23).