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To'me, after all my eager pursuits, no solid pleasures now remain, but the reflection of a long life spent in meaning well, the sensible conversation of a few good lady ephemeræ, and now and then a kind smile and a tune from the ever amiable Brilliant.
MORALS OF CHESS. PLATING at chess is the most ancient and univer. sal game known among men; for its original is be. yond the memory of history, and it has, for numberless ages, been the amusement of all the civilized nations of Asia, the Persians, the Indians, and the Chinese. Europe has had it above a thousand years; the Spaniards have spread it over their parts of America, and it begins to make its appearance in these States. It is so interesting in itself, as not to need the view of gain to induce engaging in it; and thence it is never played for money. Those, therefore, who have leisure for such diversions, cannot find one that is more innocent; and the following piece, written with a view to correct (among a few young friends) some little improprieties in the prac. tice of it, shows, at the same tiine, that it may in its effects on the mind, he not merely innocent, but advantageous, to the vanquished as well as the victor.
The game of chess is not merely an idle amuse. ment. Several very valuable qualities of the mind, useful in the course of human life, are to be acquired or strengthened by it, so as to become habits, ready on all occasions. For life is a kind of chess, in which we have points to gain, and competitors or adversaries to contend with, and in which there is a vast variety of good and ill events, that are, in some degree, the effects of prudence or the want of it. By playing at chess then, we learn, · I. Foresight, which looks a little into futurity, considers the consequences that may attend an ac tion : for it is continually occurring to the plages, alf I move this piece, what will be the advantag my new situation? What use can my adversa make of it to annoy me? What other moves can .. make to support it, and to defend myself from his attacks!"
II. Circumspection, which surveys the whole chessboard, or scene of action, the relations of the several pieces and situations, the dangers they are respectively exposed to, the several possibilities of their aiding each other, the probabilities that the adversary may take this or that move, and attack this or the other piece, and what different means can be used to avoid his stroke, or turn its consequences against him.
Il1. Caution, not to make our moves too hastily. This habit is best acquired by observing strictly the laws of the game, such as, “ If you touch a piece, you must move it somewhere; if you set it down you must let it stand :" and it is therefore best that these rules should be observed; as the game thereby becomes more the image of human life, and particu. larly of war; in which, if you have incautiously put yourself into a bad and dangerous position, you cannot obtain your enemy's leave to withdraw your troops, and place them more securely, but you must abide all the consequences of your rashness.
And, lastly, we learn by chess the habit of not being discouraged by present bad appearances in the state of our affairs, the habit of hoping for a favour. able change, and that of persevering in the search of resources. The game is so full of events, there is such a variety of turns in it, the fortune of it is so subject to sudden vicissitudes, and one so frequently, after long contemplation, discovers the means of ex. tricating one's self from a supposed insurmountable difficulty, that one is encouraged to continue the con test to the last, in hope of victory by our own skill, or at least of giving a stale mate, by the negligence of our adversary. And whoever considers, what in chess he often sees instances of, that particular pieces of success are apt to produce presumption, and its consequent inattention, by which the loss inay be recovered, will learn not to be too much discouraged by
the present success of his adversary, nor to despair of final good fortune, upon every little check he receives in the pursuit of it. • That we may, therefore, be induced more frequently too choose this beneficial amusement, in preference to others, which are not altended with the same advantages, every circumstance which may increase the pleasure of it should be regarded; and every action or word that is unfair, disrespectful, or that in any way may give uneasiness, should be avoided, as contrary to the immediate intention of both the players, which is to pass the time agreeably.
Therefore, first, If it is agreed to play according to the strictest rules; then those rules are to be exactly observed by both parties, and should not be insisted on for one side, while deviated from by the otherfor this is not equitable.
Secondly, If it is agreed not to observe the rules exactly, but one party demands indulgences, he should then be as willing to allow them to the other.
Thirdly, No false move should ever be made to extricate yourself out of a difficulty, or to gain an advantage. There can be no pleasure in playing with a person once detected in such unfair practices.
Fourthly. If your adversary is long in playing, you ought not to hurry him, or to express any uneasiness at his delay. You should not sing, nor whistle, nor look at your watch, nor take up a book to read, nor make a tapping with your feet on the floor, or with your fingers on the table, nor do any thing that may disturb his attention. For all these things displease; and they do not show your skill in playing, but your craftiness or your rudeness.
Fifthly, You ought not to endeavour to amuse and deceive your adversary, by pretending to have made bad moves, and saying that you have now lost the game, in order to make him secure and careless and inattentive to your schemes; for this is fiaud and deceit, no: skill in the game.
Sixthly, You must not, when you have gained a victory, use any triumphing or insulting expression, nor show too much pleasure; but endeavour to can bole your adversary, and make hiin less dissatistheid with himself, by every kind of civil expression that may be used with truih; such as, “ You understand the game better than I, but you are a little inattentive; ox, you play too fast; or, you had the best of the game, but something happened to divert your thoughts, and that turned it in my favour."
Seventhly, If you are a spectator while others play, observe the most perfect silence. For if you give advice, you offend both parties; him against whom you give it, because it may cause the loss of his game; and him, in whose favour you gave it, because, though it be good, and he follows it, he loses the pleasure he might have had, if you had permitter! him to think until it had occurred to himself. Even after a move, or moves, you must not, by replacing the pieces, show how it might have been placed better; for that displeases, and may occasion disputes and doubts about their true situation. All talking to the players lessens or diverts their attention, and is therefore unpleasing. Nor should you give the least hint to either party, by any kind of noise or motion. If you do, you are unworthy to be a spec tator. If you have a mind to exercise or show your judgment, do it in playing your own game, when you have an opportunity, not in criticising, or meddling with, or counselling the play of others.
Lastly, If the game is not to be played rigorously, according to the rules abovementioned, then mode. rate your desire of victory over your adversary, and be pleased with one over yourself. Snatch not eagerly at every advantage offered by his unskilfulness or inattention; but point out to him kindly, that by such a move he places or leaves a piece in danger and unsupported; that by another he will put his king in a perilous situation, &c. By this generous civility (so opposite to the unfairness above forbida den) you may, indeed, happen to lose the gaine to yuur own opponent, but you will win what is bet ter, his esteem, his respect, and his affection ; to gether with the silent approbation and good-will of impartial spectators.
THE ART OF PROCURING PLEASANT
BEING WRITTEN AT HER REQUEST. As a great part of our life is spent in sleep, during which we have sometimes pleasing and sometimes painful dreams, it becomes of some consequence to obtain the one kind, and avoid the other; for whether real or inaginary, pain is pain, and pleasure is pleasure. If we can sleep without dreaming, it is well that painful dreams are avoided. If, while we sleep, we can have any pleasing dreains, it is, as the French say, tant gague, so much added to the pleasure of life.
To this end it is, in the first place, necessary to be. careful in preserving health, by due exercise and great temperance; for, in sickness, the imagination is disturbed ; and disagreeable, sometimes terrible ideas are apt to present themselves. Exercise should precede meals, not immediately follow them : the first promotes, the latter, unless inoderate, obstructs digestion. If after exercise, we feed sparingly, the digestion will be easy and good, the body lightsome, the temper cheerful, and all the animal functions performed agreeable. Sleep, when it follows, will be natural and undisturbed. While indolence, with full feeding, occasions night-mares and horrors inexpressible : we fall from precipices, are assaulted by wild beasts, murderers, and demons, and experience every variety of distress. Observe, however, that the quantities of food and exercise are relative things: those who move much may, and indeed ought, to eat more; those who use little exercise, should eat little. In general, mankind, since the improvement of cook, ery, eat about twice as much as nature requires. Suppers are not bad, if we have not dined; but rest. less nights naturally follow hearty suppers, after full dinners. Indeed, as there is a difference in consti. tutions, soine rest well after these meals; it costs them only a frightful dream and an apoplexy, after