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for mourning, why even that — or five pounds for a ring, even that would have been better than ---- But, Sir, you won't believe it ; you can't believe it : the old villain is gone out of the world without leaving me a farthing ! But I am not disappointed, for I always knew the man. So selfish, so unkind, so hard-hearted, so ungrateful, so dishonourable, so wicked an old scoundrel —! If ever there was a devil incarnate, take my word for it he was one. But he's gone where he will get his deserts.” And, so saying, Exit Dick Doleful.
It is but justice to the memory of the Captain to state, that in the body of his will there had stood a clause to this effect: “ To Richard Doleful, Esq., in testimony of my grateful remembrance of the services rendered me by his late father, I bequeath One Thousand Pounds." By a codicil of later date, this bequest was reduced to five hundred; by a third, to eight hundred; and so on, by others, till it was reduced tonothing. Thus had poor Dick Doleful' bored his friend out of his life, and himself out of a legacy
CHESS. Some pique themselves on discernment of character by physiognomy, some look to configuration of brain, while others augur from hand-writing; this species of divination, however, being mainly monopolized by the feminine gender. As to ourselves, we hold to chess-playing. We calculate upon prognosticating more of character, intellect, and predominating passions by playing with a man at chess, than by all the instructions of Lavater, Spurzheim, and Deville, put together. It is the “speaking grammar" of the human heart. It approaches nearest to what a fanciful man is said to have once desired, that men's hearts were cased in glass, so that each might peer into the innermost recesses of his neighbour's soul. It is an illustration of the celebrated Novum Organum; you deduce causes from their effects after the manner of the Baconian philosophy, and a knowledge of those causes is a knowledge of the man; and whereas success in generalization depends on the accuracy of individual experiments, so a correct knowledge of individual character is essential to true knowledge of the world.
This new system of notation is to the moral world what the discovery of fluxions, in their facilitation of calculation, was to the mathematical. From the incalculable advantages derivable from chess as a test of character, we may not unreasonably surmise that a certain proficiency in this science will form, ere long, an indispensable qualification for all ambassadors to foreign courts, law officers, post-masters and police superintendents ; while we confidently anticipate the happiest results from the application of the same test in naval and military promotions. Domestic life might at the same time participate in the general benefits. Preliminary matrimonial calculations or courtships might on this plan be conducted, if not with greater satisfaction, at least with more certainty of a desirable finale, and many a heart might flutter on unbroken.
For the present we attempt only a general outline, reserving our more elaborate treatise for a neat little pocket 12mo,-having been prevented accepting an offer made us to concentrate our remarks in a review of Mr. Lewis's two last admirable octavos in the Quarterly, by the annexation
to the offer of a condition our indomitable spirit (unlike some others, we opine) utterly abhors, that of intersprinkling our literary and philosophical lucubrations with political allusions. -Respondeat superior.
Attend then to the following rules :
In sitting down to play, take notice how far your adversary troubles himself about arranging the board and men, or whether he obtrudes all the preliminary settlement upon yourself. If the latter, and if he makes you set a good part of his own men for him, you may be sure he reckons himself something too good for you, and stands high in his own esteem. At Cambridge we called such a man bumptious. It attends him in all his actions through life.—“ L'âme n'a pas de secret que la conduite ne révèle. L'amour propre est le plus grand de tous les flatteurs."
Some players move very quick, not only at the commencement of the game, but all through it. They sometimes make good moves, but always many blunders. The most critical situations alike with the easiest command only a momentary regard and pass half-examined. Such men are clever, and get on in the world by pure luck-rash in enterprise, uncertain in execution. Avoid much dealing with them. Of high mettle, impatient of control, and reckless of consequences, they will bring you into trouble. The quickest player we ever met with was a Spanish refugee. All Spaniards play quick. Their national character is impetuosity. “ Aussitôt dit, aussitôt fait.”
If an adversary, to whom you know yourself to be greatly superior, refuses to take odds in playing with you, and yet does not scruple to be perpetually taking back moves when he leaves a piece “ en prise," set him down for a good-for-nothing, shuffling fellow. He has a mean heart. He will retail wise men's sayings as his own: he will be a downright plagiarist, cut a dash on borrowed finances, or exemplify what is termed the shabby genteel. Have no concern with him. L'orgueil ne veut pas devoir, et l'amour propre ne veut pas payer.-Rochefoucault.
A chess-player always opening his game when he has the attack, on the queen's side, may be generaliy set down as a stupid fellow, of paucity of ideas, and small inventive resources,-a bad companion,-his temperament nervous, and political creed conservative. Many old bachelors adopt this opening, but by no means exclusively. Il n'a pas inventé la poudre.-Old proverb.
If your antagonist on being checkmated, or receiving unawares any decisive blow, takes the liberty of giving the chess-table a somerset, and inflicts a general dispersion on the men ; discuss not with such a man politics, religion, or the fair sex, lest you die by the hand of a duellist. Genus irritabile.
An artful chess-player, ever and anon tempting you by exposure of pieces to gain his end, perpetually endeavouring to blockade your pieces, and aiming at double checks and checks by discovery, will not be unmindful of the stratagems of chess in the game of life. Bon avocat, mauvais voisin.
If your adversary plays well, in the attack, the king's gambit ; is nothing disconcerted' though skilfully opposed; deep in his plans, decisive in execution, and keeping you from first to last in unbroken turmoil by the dexterity of his mancuvres, he will usually make his way in the world, or he will be a rich man without a shilling in his pocket. He will be a good military tactician and an acute advocate, He will expose fallacies, detect hypocrisy and fraud, and make himself master of any subject he applies himself to investigate. He will sift deeply and ponder with patience. He might form an ingenious mechanic, and succeed in scientific inventions.
An indecisive character may be detected in a few moves. Indecision and caution must not be confounded: the latter is essential to a fine chess-player as to success in all the undertakings in life, and is an act of the judgment;—the former is an evidence of deficiency in the reasoning powers, and adverse to their free exercise. It arises from want of concentration of our ideas; from a weakness, (or if we may apply to intellectual the same term as to physical faculties,) from a relaxed condition of the mental energies. To have any dealings with such men, especially to co-operate with them, is a positive nuisance; and to place our interests in their hands, may be emphatically called, placing them at their disposal! Deliberat Roma, perit Saguntum.
Those players who are exceedingly fidgetty and fretful under defeat, though often tolerable players, are invariably impatient of contradiction, and positive on all subjects on which they conceive themselves well informed. This class will usually be found amongst elderly persons; and they will sometimes sooner refuse to encounter a youthful antagonist whose superiority they have experienced, than subject themselves to the annoyance of yielding to the greater merits of one they are conscious of surpassing in general acquirements. Such men lie sleepless all night after a beating, and rise feverish with a head-ache.
A good player husbands well all his resources, never gives up an advantage he can possibly maintain, or thinks the smallest advantage too mean an acquisition. Such men die rich. A player careless in his, good fortune, and prodigal of his advantages, will experience reverses in his passage through life, and complain of the decrees of Provi. dence. No chess-player who attempts to succeed through unfair means, or by snappish play, can be a man of integrity. An honourable-minded man will rather lose a trifling advantage than leave an impression on his antagonist that he has been deficient in courtesy and liberality. The object in playing at chess is to win the game, but the end only satisfies the means under the ordinary honourable limitations. He who would violate this generallyreceived rule,-founded on the best feelings of virtue and justice, will sell not his birthright only, but his conscience for a mess of pottage: if a monarch, he will rule by torture and terror and venality; if a subject, he will compromise his principles with a bribe, hesitate at nothing in securing a favourite object, and set consistency and moral honesty at defiance. Such a character must Mrs. Trollope's reviewer in the Quarterly have been, who could hymn the praises of a book in which every principle of decency, morality, and religion is thrown to the winds, to get a fling at republican institutions; and we cannot but suspect the communication must have emanated from that gentleman by whom the appearance of our review, before alluded to, was interdicted, unless we illustrated the evils of power being lodged in the middle classes, by an exemplification of the weakness of pawns sustained by the superior combatants. Let the reader mark well the foregoing illustrations, and, adding to them the results of his own experience, we shall leave him in possession of a chess-table answering some of the most valuable purposes of Fortunatus's wishing-cap. “ Has 'vaticinationes eventus comprobavit.”
THE DIVORCEE DEVOTE.
WOMEN say of one another (oftener than men say it of them) that a plain female face never belongs to a heart which can love a handsome female face; and men say of women
“ Lovelier things have mercy shown
To every failing—but their own.” I rise up and deny both assertions : listen, dear, dear women, plain or handsome, on what grounds. Some years since I was only a younger brother about town, and yet tolerably well received in the best houses. Occasionally, I won smiles from the women, and occcasionally frowns from the men-the latter, however, not as often as the former. A smile costs nothing, you know, and it may show good teeth and dimples, as well as good humour, and needs lead to nothing, for, after all, 'tis but a smile ; a frown is a graver affair—from a man, I mean--and may lead to--but you are not learned on that point. To continue-you will note that I have said only tolerably well received. You will not expect that I was ever asked to practise singing with Georgina, or Anna, or to take care of her “spirited little wretch of a palfrey," who, after all, only practised the tricks he had been taught, like his mistress. In short, whenever I was in question -on such occasions, young girls invariably had colds-so their mammas said-and could neither sing nor ride; or if they could, it was with somebody else. I must say, however, that, when there were a good many daughters, I now and then got a better footing, owing to a general belief that my elder brother was “a bad life." Caroline was thus circumstanced; one of seven sisters; and very beautiful, very accomplished, very amiable, very highly connected, and (you will add) “ very much admired, of course, even by the elder brothers, your rivals, and therefore, though not an heiress, or a co-heiress, a flight beyond you." My dear women, neither was she on the stage, nor had she the slightest interesting tache on her reputation; and I was, therefore, judged to be a kind of receivable lover for her. But, again, observe how I qualified my success. My attentions were rather to be connived at than admitted ; in a word, I was to be so managed that I could be turned adrift, should better offer, without quite bringing on the young lady the imputation of being a-jilt.
I will do Caroline herself justice. She was no party to this fast-andloose game. She loved nie; and often used to indulge in beautiful visions of elegant retirement and domestic happiness, while listening to my eloquent appeals to her feelings--yes-eloquent, because sincere. And Caroline had feeling, although she wanted nerve or consistency to declare to her family that she had broken through her instructions as regarded me, and actually fallen in love with a man who could offer her only a manly heart (do let me say as much, without accusing me of vanity) and a few hundreds a-year.
But her real hour soon came. S , an earl, a fool, and a roué, was struck with her extraordinary resemblance to-a first wife ? No. To a sister ? No: but to an individual who had just cut him for a better establishment; and he was anxious to show his former dear friend and her new protector that he could match, if not excel, the treasure he had lost. Once, dear Caroline! you merited a better husband than one who could marry you to gratify a pique like that.
“ He's a fool, mamma, and a roué," remonstrated Caroline. “ He's an earl, my love, and has forty thousand a-year."
“ But I could be happier with another kind of man on the half, the quarter, the fortieth part of that sum; believe me, I could, dear mamma."
“ My dearest Caroline, I should be very sorry to believe any such thing of your understanding. After the pains I have taken with your education, --alter living to see you accomplished in every way for society, it would indeed afflict me to believe you so much in earnest as you pretend to be. You know, my dear girl, as well as I know it, that none of us can expect to marry to please ourselves. One cannot have everything in this world: and the talent, and the morality, and all that sort of thing, may be very good to read about, and to talk of,- they have no influence whatever upon occasions of real importance. And as for his being a roué, my dear, who expects men of fashion to be angels? And allow me to say, Caroline, I feel disappointed at hearing such an objection from you-- from the daughter of a country curate, à la bonne heure !-but from you !-the most fashionable and most admired girl in London !- the thing is inconceivable and unpardonable."
Mamma paused a moment to take breath, and drew Caroline towards her; the girl yielded to the impulse quickened by the act, and laid her head on her mother's shoulder ;-not in confidence; not in hope of relief or of commiseration. The mother would have pitied her had she broken a limb, or (without fault of hers) got a new dress spoiled; but, for this sorrow of her child—the first real sorrow of her life—that mother could have had no pity, And yet, Caroline recollected that she was mamma's favourite daughter (mamma had told her so); that “establishing her well," was the object nearest the heart of her only parent-poor Caroline thought there was a heart in question); she was also afraid of mamma; afraid of a contest with a temper fearfully violent when opposed; and then came the horror of the ridicule of the whole affair among her acquaintances and “friends." In short, dear ladies
But you readily anticipate me; nor are you inclined to judge harshly of poor Caroline, nor do you call her fool or flirt. You know the kind of education she received, and to which her respectable mother has so pathetieally alluded. You know that she had her half score masters every day, and her exhortations, every hour, to attend to them, and, of all things, to watch over, and preserve, and culture, her natural personal beauties and graces, in order to get “ well established :" that is to say, well married that is to say, richly - when is any other earthly object proposed ?-(we waive the epithet “heavenly")—to get married “richly, if you can, but married, at any rate;" the question, wisely, not being “ shall I be happy with the man ?" but, “ shall I be intolerably miserable ?" not how much love, but how little aversion. You know all this; ay, and intuitively. What I am going to tell you happened in consequence of it. Nor, again, are you astonished, or much inconvenienced; you feel quietly assured that 'tis little wonder it should have been just so; from such mammas you naturally expect just such daughters; and you are, therefore, not angry with me, my dear countrywomen, when I cry out, in a little fit of moralizing (now at thirty-seven)—“Fashionable English mammas, look to it! England can still boast of the bravery of her sons ; can she do so with as loud a voice of the virtue of her daughters? And who is to blame if she cannot ? Oh! you may have an answer-or think you have;- instances of frail daughters (become wives) happen among people of no fashion. True; but I pray you to recollect, that though the whole lump is leavened now, the fermentation began in the three measures of meal. Yes, fashionable English mammas, look to it! 1, for one, think you have already given us enough women, who, fresh from your hands, most beautifully unite the frivolity of children with the vices of men-strong passions and weak judgments. And, pray, listen to a hint even from your own sweet philosopher of Geneva," Malheur au siècle où les femmes perdent leur ascendant, et où leurs jugements ne sont plus rien aux hommes !" • As for you, dear women, to whom I have particularly addressed myself, in the first instance, your pardon for this long digression-ungallant I will not