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censure or disgrace, no one will defend or excuse, and many join to aggravate their misconduct, and render them completely odious. If these people will not change this bad habit, and condescend to be pleased with what is pleasing, without fretting themselves and others about the contraries, it is good for others to avoid an acquaintance with them; which is always disagreeable, and sometimes very inconvenient, especially when one finds one's self entangled in their quarrels.
An old philosophical friend of mine was grown, from experience, very cautious in this particular, and carefully avoided any intimacy with such people. He had, like other philosophers, a thermometer to shew him the heat of the weather; and a barometer, to mark when it is likely to prove good or bad ; but there being no instrument invented to discover at first sight, this unpleasing disposition in a person, he, for that purpose, made use of his legs; one of which was remarkably handsome, the other, by some accident, crooked and deformed. If a stranger, at the first interview, regarded his ugly leg more than his handsome one, he dloubted him. If he spoke of it, and took no notice of the handsome leg, that was sufficient to determine my philosopher to have no further acquaintance with him. Every body has not this two-legged instrument; but every one, with a little attention, may observe signs of that carping, fault-finding disposition, and take the same resolution of avoiding the acquaintance of those infected with it. I therefore advise those critical, querulous, discontented, unhappy people, that if they wish to be respected and beloved by others, and happy in themselves, they should leave off looking at the ugly leg.
COMPANY OF EPHEMERÆ;
WITH THE SOLILOQUY OF ONE ADVANCED IN AGE.
TO MADAME BRILLIANT.
YOU may remember, my dear friend that when we lately spent that happy day, in the delightful garden and sweet society of the Moulin Joly, I stopt a little in one of our walks, and staid some time behind the company. We had been shewn numberless skele. tons of a kind of little fly, called, an Ephemeræ, whose successive generations, we were 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 natural 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, the one a cousin, the other a muscheto; in which dispute they spent their time, seemingly as regardless of the shortness of life as if they had been
not merely innocent, but advantageous, to the vanquished as well as the victor.
The game of chess is not merely an idle amusement. Several 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 often points to gain, and competitors or adversa. ries 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 may learn,
1. Foresight, which looks a little into futurity, and considers the consequences that may attend an action ; for it is continually occurring to the player, “ If I move this piece, what will be the advantage of 'my new situation ? What use can my adversary make of it to annoy me? What other moves can I 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..
III. 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 particularly of war; in which, if you have incautiously put yourselves into a bad and dangerous position, you cannot obtain your enemy's leave to withdraw your troops, and place them inore securely, but you mus! 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 favourable 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 vi. cissitudes, and one so frequently, after long contemplation, discovers the means of extricating oneself from a supposed insurmountable difficulty ; that one is en. couraged to continue the contest to the last, in hopes of victory by our own skill, or at least 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 may 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 veceives in pursuit of it.
That we may therefore, be induced more frequent. ly to choose this beneficial amusement, in preference to others, which are not attended with the same ad. vantages, every circumstance which may increase the pleasures 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 strict 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 other for this is not equitable.
Secondly, If it is agreed not to observe the rules ex. actly, 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 pla ing with a person once detected in such unfair practice.
Fourthly, If your adversary is long in playing, you ought not to hurry him, or 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
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 fraud and deceit, not 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 console your adversary, and make him less dissatisfied with himself, by every kind of civil expression that may be used with truth, such as, “ You understand the game “ better than I, but you are a little inattentive;" or,
you play too fast ;" or, “you had the best of the game, " but something happened to divert your thoughts, and " that turned it in
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 cost the loss of his game ; him in whose favour you give it, because, though it be good and he follows it, he loses the pleasure he might have had, if you had permitted 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