1555c.1

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English Poet Condones Students' Yens "To Tosse the Ball, To Rene Base, Like Men of War"

Salience Noteworthy
City/State/Country: England
Immediacy of Report Contemporary
Age of Players Youth
Text

"To shote, to bowle, or caste the barre,

To play tenise, or tosse the ball,

Or to rene base, like men of war,

Shall hurt thy study naught at all."

Crowley, Robert, "The Scholar's Lesson," circa 1555, in J. M. Cowper, The Select Works of Robert Crowley [N. Truber, London, 1872], page 73. Submitted by John Bowman, 7/16/2004. Citation from Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, see pages 230 and 312.  Cited in Thomas L. Altherr, “There is Nothing Now Heard of, in Our Leisure Hours, But Ball, Ball, Ball,” The Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture 1999 (McFarland, 2000), pp. 188.

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Query

Any idea what "rene base" might have meant in those days?  Could it refer to a much older form of the team-tag game later known as prisoner's base? 

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