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If you do, you are unworthy to be a spectator. 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 above mentioned, then moderate 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 himn kindly, that in such a move he places or leaves a piece in danger or unsupported; that by another he will put his king in perilous situation, &c. By this generous civility (so opposite to the unfairness above forbidden), you may indeed, happen to lose the game to your opponent, but you will win what is better,-his esteem, his respect, and his affection; together with the silent approbation and good will of impartial spectators."
"Morals of Chess," was one of those papers, called Bagatelles by the author himself. They were chiefly written by Dr. Franklin for the amusement of his intimate society in London and Paris; and were actually collected in a small portfolio, endorsed as now stated. Several of the pieces were either originally written in French, or afterwards translated by him into that language, by way of exercises. “The Whistle" forms another of the same class of pieces which he sent to Madame Brillon in a letter dated Passy, 10th November, 1779. Of this correspondent Franklin thus speaks :-" She is a lady of most respectable character and pleasing couversation, mistress of an amiable family in the neighbourhood of Passy, with which I spend an evening twice in each week. She has, among other elegant accomplishments, that of an excellent musician ; and, with her daughters, who sing prettily, and some friends who play, she kindly entertains me and my grandson with little concerts, a cup of tea, and game of chess. The following is the letter, with its bagatelle :
“I received my dear friend's two letters, one for Wednesday, and one for Saturday. This is again Wednesday. I do not deserve one for today, because i have not answered the former. But indolent as I am, and averse to writing, the tear of having no more of your pleasing epistles, if I do not contribute to the correspondence, obliges me to take up my pen ; and as Mr. B. has kindly sent me word, that he sets out to morrow to see you, instead of spending this Wednesday evening, as I have done its namesakes, in your company, I sit down to spend it in
thinking of you, in writing to you, and in reading over and over again your letters.
“I am charmed with your description of Paradise, and with your plan of living there, and I approve much of your conclusion, that in the meantime we should draw all the good we can from this world. In my opinion, we might all draw more good from it than we do, and suffer less evil, if we would but take care not to give too much for whistles. For to me it seems, that most of the unhappy people we meet with are become so by the neglect of that caution.
“You ask what I mean? You love stories, and will excuse my telling one of myself.
“When I was a child, at seven years old, my friends on a holiday, filled my pockets with coppers. I went directly to a shop where they sold toys for children, and being charmed with the sound of a whistle, that I met by the way in the hands of another boy, I voluntarily offered him all my money for one, I then came home, aud went whistling all over the house, much pleased with my whistle, but disturbing all the
family. My brothers and sisters and cousins, understanding the bar. gain I had made, told me I had given four times as much for it as it was worth. This put me in mind what good things I might have bought with the rest of the money ; and they laughed at me so much for my folly that I cried with vexation, and the reflection gave me more chagrin than the whistle gave me pleasure.
“ This however, was afterwards of use to me, the impression continuing on my mind; so that, often when I was tempted to buy some unnecessary thing, I said to myself, Dont give too much for the whistle ; and so I saved my money.
“As I grew up, came into the world, and observed the actions of men, I thought I met with many, very many, who gave too much for their whistles.
“When I saw any too ambitious of court favours,-sacrificing his time in attendance on levees, his repose, his liberty, his virtue, and perhaps his friends to attain it-I have said to myself—this man gives too much for his whistle.
“When I saw another full of popularity, constantly employing himself in political bustles, neglecting his own affairs, and ruining them by that neglect ; He pays indeed, says I, too much for his whistle.
“If I knew a miser, who gave up every kind of comfortable living, all the pleasure of doing good to others, all the esteem of his fellow citizens, and the joys of benevolent friendship for the sake of accumulating wealth ; poor man, says I, you do indeed pay too much for your whistle.
“When I meet a man of pleasure sacrificing every laudable improvement of the mind, or of his fortune, to mere corporeal sensations ; Mistaken man, says I, you are providing pain for yourself instead of pleasure : you give too much for your whistle.
“If I see one fond of fine clothes, fine furniture, fine equipages, all above his fortune, for which he contracts debts and ends his career in a prison; Alas! says I, he has paid dear, very dear for his whistle.
“When I see a beautiful sweet-tempered girl married to an illnatured brute of a husband ; what a pity it is, says I, that she has paid 80 much for a whistle.
“ In short, I conceived that great part of the miseries of mankind, were brought upon them, by the false estimates they had made of the value of things, and by their giving too much for their whistle.
“ Yet I ought to have charity for these unhappy people, when I con
sider that with all this wisdom of which I am boasting, there are certain things in the world so tempting-for example, the apples of King John, which happily are not to be bought ; for if they were put to sale by auotion, I might easily be led to ruin myself in the purchase, and find that I had once more given too much for the whistle.
“Adieu, my dearest friend, and believe me ever yours very sincerely, and with unalterable affection."
THE EPHEMERA. « The Ephemera-an Emblem of Human Life," was addressed to the same lady, being another of those humorous pieces which served the writer as a relief from his weighty cares and contributed to the enjoyment of those around him. The substance of the paper however appeared in The Pensylvania Gazette, so early as 1735, in an essay “On Human Vanity.” We insert it in its much improved dress.
“ You may remember my dear friend, that when we spent that happy day in the delightful and sweet society of Moulin Joly, I stopped a little in one of our walks and stayed some time behind the company. We had been shown numberless skeletons of a kind of little fly, called an ephemera, whose successive generations, we are told, were bred and expired within the day. I happened to see a living company of them on a leaf, who appeared to be engaged in conversation. You know I understand all the inferior animal tongues. My too great application to the study of them is the best excuse I can give for the little progress I have
made in your charming language. I listened through curiosity to the discourse of these little creatures; but as they in their national vivacity, spoke three or four together, I could make but little of their conversation. I found, however, by some broken expressions that I heard now and then, they were disputing warmly on the merit of two foreign musicians, one a cousin, the other a moscheto ; in which dispute they spent their time, seemingly as regardless of the shortness of life as if they had been sure of living a week. Happy people ! thought I; you are certainly under a wise, just, and mild government, since you have no public grievances to complain of, nor any other object of contention but the perfections or imperfections of foreign music. I turned my head from them to an old grey-headed one, who was single on another leaf, and talking to himself. Being amused with his soliloquy, I put it down in writing, in hopes it will likewise amuse her to whom I am so much indebted for the most pleasing of all amusements-her delicious company and heavenly harmony.
6. It was,' says be, 'the opinion of learned philosophers of our race, who lived and fourished long before my time, that this vast world, the Moulin Joly, could not itself subsist more than eighteen hours; and I think there was some foundation for that opinion, since by the apparent motion of the great luminary that gives light to all nature, and which in my time has evidently declined considerably towards the ocean at the end of the earth, it must then finish its course, be extinguished in the waters that surround us, and leave the world in cold and darkness, necessarily producing death and destruction. I have lived seven of those hours: a great age, being no less than 420 minutes of time, How very few of us continue so long! I have seen generations born, flourish, and expire. My present friends are the children and grandchildren of the friends of my youth, who are now, alas, no more! and I must soon follow them ; for, by the common course of nature, though still in health, I cannot expect to live above seven or eight minutes longer. What now avails all my toil and labour in amassing honeydew on this leaf, which I cannot live to enjoy! What the political struggles I have been engaged in, for the good of my compatriot inhabitants of this bush, or my philosophical studies for the benefit of our race in general; for in politics (what can laws do without morals ?) our present race of ephemeræ will in a course of minutes become corrupt, like those of other and older bushes, and consequently as wretched. And in philosophy how small our progress! Alas, art is