Page images

resolution of avoiding the acquaintance of those infected with it. I therefore advise those critic the querulous, discontented, unhappy people, that if they wish to be respected and beloved by olliers, and happy in themselves, they should leave of looking at ihe ugly lige

Conversation of a Company of Ephemere; 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 avd sweet society of the Moulin Joly, I stopil a little in one of our walks and staid some time behind the company. We had been shewn numberless skeletons of a kind of little fly, called an Ephemeræ, whose successive ginerations, 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 coliversation. 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 thal 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 sure of living a month. Happy people, thought I, you live certainly under a wise, just, and mild government, since you have no public grove ances to complain of, nor any subject of contention, but the perfections or imperfections of foreign music. I turned any head froin them to an old grey-headed oneg

who was single on arother leaf, and talking to himself. Being amused rib his soliloquy, I put it down in wri. ting, in hopes it will likewise amuse her to whom I am so much indebted for the most pleasing of all amusemenis, her delicious company, and heavenly harmony.

" It was,' says he, "the opinion of learned philosophers of our ract, who lived and flourished long before my time, that this vast world the Moulin Joly could not itself consist more than eighteen lours: and I think there was some foundation for that opinion; since, by the appaient motion of the great luminary, that gives life to all nature, and which in my time has evidentiy declined considerably towards the ocean at the end of our 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 universal 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 grand-children of the friends of my youth, who are now, alas, no more! And I must soon follow them; for, by the course of nature, though still in health, I cannot expect to live above seven or eight minutes longer. What now avails ail my toil and labor, in ainassing honey-dew on this leaf, which I cannot live to enjoy! What the political struge gles I have been engaged in, for the good of my come patriot 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 long and life is short! My-friends would comfort me with the idea of a naine, they say, I shall leave behind me; and thev tell me I have lived long enough to nature and to glory. But, what will fame be to an ephemeræ who no longer ex

ists? and what will become of all history in the eigh. teenth bour. When the world itseif,, even the whole Moulir Joli, shall come to its end, and be buried in uni. Versal ruid?"

TO 114, after all my eager pursuits, no solid pleasures now remain, but the reflection of ad long life spent in meaning well, the sensible conversation of a few good lacy ephemera, and now and then a kind smile and a tunc from the ever amiable Brilliant.


[ocr errors]

MORALS OF CHESS. Playing at chess is the most ancient and most unis tersal gare known among men; for its origiual is bem 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 bas had it above a thousand years, the Spaniaids have spread it over their part of America, and it begins laiely to make its appearance in these states. It is so interesting in itseif, is not 10 need the view of gain to jiduce engaging in it ; and thence it is never plusid for money. I host, ther fore,' who have leisure for such diverions, can :ot find one that is more innocorit; and the following piece, written wirii a view to correct (among a : 1 young fiends) some liuidi improp ielies iu the practice of it, shews at the same tine, thalii mày, in its effects on the mind, be not merely innocent, but advantageutis, in the Valigused as well as the victor.

The game of chess is noi i rily an idle an use mtiit. Several valuable qualities of the mud, llseful in the course of human lifi, are to be acquired or strengthen.. ed by it, so as to become habits, liudy on all occasions., For life is a krid of chuss, in which we have of 'n poiu's to jail and competitors os a:iversaries 10 coin Kad wiling and in winch thule io i visi vailety of good

[ocr errors]

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 attend an action ; for it is continually occurring to the player, “If I move this piece, what will be the advantage of my new situ. ation? What use can my adversary make of it to annoy me? What other moves can I make to support it, aidio di fend myself from his attacks?"

11. 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 possibilites 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 hiin.

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 shouki be observed, as.the game thereby becomes more the image of human life, and particularl; of war ; in which, it you have incautiously put yoursuit into a bad and dangerous position, you canuot obtain your eneny's leave to withdraw your troops, and place thein more securely, but you must abide all the Cul)sequences of your l'assness. ,

Avit, iustiy, we learn by chess the habit of not being di cvurugid by present bac anfiearunces in the state of our a irs, the labis of hunting for a javoruble chingi aud ties of p:7sAV11?in the sea ch of resources. The game is yo full of vens, here is such a varitty of iuris in it, the fortlllie of it is -« subject to suddin vicissitude 5, did Oie so frequently aficr loiig contemplating, discover's te?? ans of estrica 10On self fron a su pised insurmoubiubiu dimcuits, mul one is encouraged to conti-.

[ocr errors]

nue the contest to the last, in hopes of victory. by our skil. or at least of giving a stale mate, by negligence of our adversary. And whoever considers what in chess hre often sees instances of, that particular pieces of suc cess are apt to produce presumption, and its consequent inattention, by which the loss may be recovered, will learn pot 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 pursuit of it.

That we may, therefore, be induced more frequently to choose this beneficial amusement, in preference to others, which are not attended with the same advanta-, ges, every circumstance which may increase the pleasures of it should be regarded; and every action or word that is unfair, disrespeciful, or that in any way. may give uneasiness, should be avoided, as contrary to the immediate intention of buth the players, which is to pass the time agreeably.

Therefore, first, if it is agreed to play according to the stiict rules; then those rules are to be exactly obe, Served by boib parties, and should not be insisted on for one side, while deviated froin by the other-for this is not equilable.

Suconds', If it is agreed not to observe the rules exactly, but one party demands indulgence, he should then be as willing to allow thein to the other.

Thirdly, no false nove shond ever be made to extricate your scif ou: of a difficulty, or to gain an advantare. Tiere can be 10 pleasure in playing vith a person once detected in suchi linair practice.

Tourthly, if your adversary is long ID playing, you · ought not to hurry bill, or express any leasiness at bis delay. . You should not sing, nor whistles por 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 attenle tion. For all these things islase, and they do not show your ski in playing, but your crafuness or your rudeness.

« PreviousContinue »