Summary

“Tables” probably refers to Backgammon, but on another occasion Wheatley also decides it is Cribbage. Latham & Matthews say “backgammon and other similar games”.

At Wikipedia:

1893 text

[Tables is] The old name for backgammon, used by Shakespeare and others. The following lines are from an epitaph entirely made up of puns on backgammon

Man’s life’s a game at tables, and he may Mend his bad fortune by his wiser play.

Wit’s Recre., i. 250, reprint, 1817.


This text comes from a footnote on a diary entry in the 1893 edition edited by Henry B. Wheatley.

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References

Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.

1660

1665