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1854.23 Ah, Spring! Base-ball! Wicket! Gould! (Gould?)
"Go out into the glorious sunlight, little children, into the free warm air. Frolic and play, roll your hoops, and jump your rope, little girl, and throw the ball, and run races and play gould [sic] and base-ball, and over the house, and wicket, little boys. Be happy, and merry, and lively, and jolly, little children. Call back to your cheek the red flush of health and beauty. Be not afraid of the sunlight, though it darken the whiteness of your brow. Let the south wind play upon your cheek, though it brings a freckle upon your bright young face. A little while, and you can go out into the fields, and wander over the meadows and along the pleasant brooks, culling the wild flowers, and hearing the glad songs of the spring birds, as they sport among the branches of the trees above you. The glorious Spring Time is Come. There will be no more bleak storms, no more chill snows, no more cold north winds. The winter is over and gone. The time of glad blossoms and sweet flowers, and green leaves, is at hand."
Daily Commercial Register (Sandusky, Ohio) April 27, 1854, quoting the Albany Register.
From Brian Turner, 11/3/2020, on the nature of "gould":
"As best I can tell based on examples I've put together for an article I'm doing for Base Ball, "gould" (AKA "gool") are regional pronunciations of "goal." The region in which those terms occur includes western Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, mostly in rural communities where (I surmise) old-time game names may have survived into the 19th century. Peter Morris has identified two instances associated with Norway, Maine, where "gool" is used as synonymous with "base" as late as the 1860s, but when one of those the incidents was recalled in the 1870s, it's clear that the use struck the lads of Bowdoin attending the game as risible. The use of "goal" for "base" is consistent with Robin Carver's 1834 inclusion of the term in The Book of Sports. One must be cautious about anointing every use of "goal" or "gool" or goold" as synonymous with base and therefore "base ball," since, like base by itself, goal can be used to describe other sorts of games. By itself, "base" can refer to Prisoner's Base, a running game that seems to resemble tag. So too "goal" by itself.
Is it fair to suppose that the Register was published in Albany NY? There was a paper there of that name in the 1850s (per internet search of 11/2/2020).
Is wicket play by little boys known?