Tennis in Literature & Art
To Henry IV: in Praise of Peace – from line 295 (c1400)
Literature John Gower
Of the tenetz to winne or lese a chace,Mai no lif wite er that the bal be ronne;
In the [game of] tennis, to win or lose a chase,
No man knows before the ball is run.
Henry V: Act 1, Scene 2 (1599)
We are glad the Dauphin is so pleasant with us;
His present, and your pains, we thank you for:
When we have match'd our racquets to these balls.
We will, in France, by God's grace play a set,
Shall strike his father's crown into the Hazard,
Tell him, he made a match with such a wrangler,
That all the Courts in France will be disturb'd with chases
extract from diary of Monday 28 December 1663
Up and by coach to my Lord’s lodgings, but he was gone abroad, so I lost my pains, but, however, walking through White Hall I heard the King was gone to play at Tennis, so I down to the new Tennis Court; and saw him and Sir Arthur Slingsby play against my Lord of Suffolke and my Lord Chesterfield. The King beat three, and lost two sets, they all, and he particularly playing well, I thought.
Richard Dalzell, October 2020