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tor while amusing himself at playing at Chess with Ernest of Brunswick, his fellowprisoner. He paused for a moment, though without discovering any symptom either of surprise or terror; and after taking notice of the irregularity, as well as the injustice of the Emperor's proceedings ; “ It is
easy, continued he, to comprehend his scheme. I must die, because Wittemberg will not surrender; and I shall lay down my life with pleasure, if, by that sacrifice, I can preserve the dignity of my house, and transmit to my posterity the inheritance which belongs to them. Would to God, that this sentence may not affect my wife and children more than it intimidates me! and that they, for the sake of adding a few days to a life already too long, may not renounce honours and territories which they were born to possess !” He then turned to his antagonist, whom he challenged to continue the game. He played with his usual attention and ingenuity, and having beat Ernest, expressed all the satisfaction which is commonly felt on gaining such victories. After this he withdrew to his own apartment, that he might employ the rest of his time in such religious exercises as were proper in his situation. Carrera
67 That either ravished with the delight of the game, or armed with his usual fortitudeand magnanimity, he heard the news with such an intrepid mind, and without any symptom of fear, that he immediately anew invited the Duke to play.
Gregorio Leti, in his Life of Charles V. says,
After the Elector had heard his sentence, he turned to a page in waiting, and, without testifying any emotion, ordered him to bring a chess-board, and immediately began to play with the Duke of Brunswick, and appeared delighted with having won
He was not, however, put to death ; for in 1552, before Charles left Inspruck he withdrew the guards placed on the degraded Elector, whom, during five years, he had carried about with him as a prisoner, and set him entirely at liberty.
In this case the Elector owed neither his life nor his liberty to his playing at Chess ; but the following proves that there has been at least one who was indebted to the interest he took in it, not only for his life, but the possession of a crown added to it.
In the Chronicle of the Moorish Kings of Grenada, it is related, that, in 1396, Mehmed Balba seized upon the throne, in prejudice of his elder brother, and passed his life in one continued round of disasters. His wars with Castile were invariably unsuccessful; and he fell at last a victim to poison. Finding his end approaching, he dispatched an officer to the fort of Solobrena, to put his brother Juzaf to death, lest that Prince's adherents should form any obstacle to his son's succession. The Alcayde found the Prince playing at Chess. Juzaf begged hard for two hours' respite, which was denied him. The officer however at length permitted him to go on with his game; but before it was finished, a messenger arrived with the news of the death of Mehmed, and the unanimous election of Juzaf to the
Seneca tells a story of one Canius Julius, who was playing at Chess (ludebat latrunculis), at the time that a centurion, who led
a troop of condemned men to death, commanded him likewise to be cited. Having scarcely finished his game, he counted his men, and said to him with whom he played, - Beware when I am dead that thou beliest me not, and sayest thou hast won the game.” Then nodding his head to the centurion, he added, “ Bear me witness, that I have the advantage of one. "
Al Amin, Khalif of Bagdad, and his freedman Kuthar, were playing at chess without the least consideration of impending danger, when his brother Al Mamun's forces pushed the siege of Bagdad with so much vigor, that the city was upon the point of being carried by assault, and the Khalif himself was obliged to fly: it is said, that he cried out, when warned of his danger, “ Let me alone! for I see check-mate against Kuthar.” When Charles XII. was at Bender, Vol
for his only amusement he played sometimes at Chess.” It is not uncommon for such a man's character to be more developped by little circumstances than by those of greater consequence ; it may be mentioned, therefore, that he brought
out the king early, and by making use of it more than any of the other pieces, he generally lost the
When he was besieged by the Turks, in the house in which he had shut himself up, near Bender, after he had well barricadoed it, he sat down coolly to play at Chess with his favourite, Grothusen, as if every thing had been in profound security
Ferrand, Count of Flanders, having been taken prisoner by Philip Augustus at the battle of Bovines, his wife, who might have obtained his release, left him to languish a long time in prison. They hated each other, and their hatred proceeded from playing at Chess together : the husband could never forgive his wife for constantly beating him ; and she never could resolve to suffer him to win a game.
Col. Stewart, who had been aid-de-camp to the Earl of Stair, and was afterwards one of the Quarter-masters General in the Duke of Cumberland's time, used frequently to play with the Earl, who was very fond of the
game; but an unexpected check-mate used to put his Lordship into such a passion,