Victorian Childhood Games: Cat's Cradle

This illustration and the accompanying description of a popular Victorian childhood game of Cat's Cradle was taken from an 1875 issue of Frank Leslie's Lady's Magazine.
I know this doesn't really have any relevance to the game but a phrase in the article (which I highlighted above) jumped out at me as I was reading it: "Shades of Verstegan - living soul of Richard Grant White, come to our rescue!" I find the sentence rather intriguing - I don't think I've ever read or heard anyone use that phrase before. Isn't it marvelously Victorian? I'm still hazy as to what it actually means! If anyone could shed some light on that turn of phrase? I would be delighted if you do.

Quick links to characters named:
[1] Verstegan
[2] Richard Grant White

For those who have not actually played Cat's Cradle before and would be interested in the steps, here is an easy-to-follow Youtube video from MomsMinivan:

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