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of a husband; What a pity it is, say I, that she has paid so much for a whistle !
In short, I con, ceived that great part of the iniseries of mankind were brought upon them by the false estimate they had made of the value of things, and by their giving too much for their whistles.
THE HANDSOME AND DEFORMED LEG.
There are two sorts of people in the world, who, with equal degrees of health and wealth, and the other comforts of life, become, the one happy, and the other miserable. This arises very much from the different views in which they consider things, persons, and events; and the effect of those different views upon their own minds.
In whatever situation men can be placed, they may find conveniencies and inconveniences: in whatever company, they may
find persons and conversation more or less pleasing: at whatever table, they may meet with meats and drinks of better and worse taste, dishes better and worse dressed: in whatever climate, they will find good and bad weather: under whatever government, they may find good and bad laws, and good and bad administration of those laws: in what. ever poem or work of genius, they may see faults and beauties: in almost every face, and every person, they may discover fine features and defects, good and bad qualities. Under these circumstances, the two sorts of people above-mentioned, fix their attention; those who are disposed to be happy, on the conveniencies of things, the pleasant parts of convere sation, the well dressed dishes, the goodness of the
wines, the fine weather, &c., and enjoy all with cheerfulness. Those who are to be unhappy, think and speak only of the contraries. Hence they are continually discontented themselves, and, by their re marks, sour the pleasures of society; offend personally many people, and make themselves every where disagreeable. If this turn of mind was founded in nature, such unhappy persons would be the more to be pitied. But as the disposition to criticise, and to be disgusted, is, perhaps, taken up originally by imitation, and is, unawares, grown into a habit, which, tho' at present strong, may nevertheless be cured, when those who have it are convinced of it's bad effects on their felicity; I hope this little admonition may be of service to them, and put them on changing a habit, which, tho' in the exercise it is chiefly an act of imagination, yet has serious consequences in life, as it brings on real griefs and misfortunes. For as many are offended by, and nobody loves, this sort of people; no one shews them more than the most common civility and respect, and scarcely that; and this frequently puts them out of humour, and draws them into disputes and contentions. If they aiin at obtaining some advantage in rank or fortune, nobody wishes them success, or will stir a step, or speak a word to favour their pretensions. If they jncur public censure or disgrace, no one will defend or excuse,
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 ore's self entangled in their quarrels. An old phiJosophical 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 was 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 that his handsome one, he doubted 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, faultfinding disposition, and take the same resolution of avoiding the acquaintance of those infected with it, I therefore advise those critical, querulous, discontented, unbappy people, that if they wish to be respected and beloved by others, and happy in thema selves, they should leave off looking at the ugly leg.
MORALS OF CHESS.
Playing at Chess is the most ancient and most universal game known among men; for it's original is beyond 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 has had it above a thousand years; the Spaniards have spread it over their part of America, and it begins lately to make it's appearance in these States. It is so interesting in itself as not to need the view of gain to induce engaging in it; and thence it is never played for money. Those, therefore, who have leasure for such diversions, cannot find one that is more innocent; and the following piece, written with a view to correct (among a few young friends) some little improprieties in the practice of it, shews, at the same time, that it may, in it's effects on the mind, be not merely innocent, but advantageous, to the vanquished as well as the victor. The game of Chess is not merely an idle amusement. Several very 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 adversaries to contend with, and in which there is vast variety of good and ill events, which 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, considers the consequences which 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 Chess-board, 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 make this or that move, and attack this or the other piece, and what different means can be used to avoid his stroke, or turn it's consequences against him. III. Caution, not to make our moves too bastily. 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 yourself into a bad and dangerous position, you cannot obtain your enemy's leave to withdraw your troops, and place them more securely, but you must 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 vicissitudes, and one so frequently, after long contemplation discovers the means of extricating one'sself from a supposed insurmountable difficulty, that one is encouraged to continue the contest to the Jast, in hopes of victory by our own ill, or at least of 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 it's consequent inattention, by which the loss may be recover