« PreviousContinue »
tage. There can be no pleasure in playing 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 may 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 iosulting 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 my 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 cause the loss of his game, him in whose favour you give it, because, though it be good apd 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 a spectator. If you have a mind to exercise or show your judgment, do it in playing your own game, when you have an opportunity, not in criticising, or meddling with, or counselling the play of others.
Lastly, if the game is not to be played rigorously, according to the rules above mentioned, then moderale your desire of victory over your adversary, and be pleased with one over yourself. Snatch not eagerly at every advantage offered by his unskilfulness or inattention; but point out to him kindly, that by such a move he places or leaves a piece in danger and unsupported; that by another he will put his king in a perilous situation, &c. By this generous civility (so opposite to the unfairness above forbidden) you may, indeed, happen to lose the game to your opponent, but you will win what is better, his esteem, his respect, and his affection, together with the silent approbation and goodwill of impartial spectators.
The Art of procuring Pleasant Dreams *
INSCRIBED TO MISS
Being written at her request.
As a great part of our life is spent in sleep, during which we have sometimes pleasing, and sometimes painful dreams, it becomes of some consequence to obtain the one kind, and avoid the other; for, whether real or imaginary, pain is pain, and pleasure is pleasure. If we can sleep without dreaming, it is well that painful dreams are avoided. If, while we sleep, we can have aný pleasing dreams, it is, as the French say, tant gagné, so much added to the pleasure of life.
To this end, it is, in the first place, necessary, to be careful in preserving health, by due exercise, and great temperance; for, in sickness, the imagination is disturbed; and disagreeable, sometimes terrible, ideas are apt to present themselves. Exercise should precede meals, not immediately follow them : the first promotes, ihe latter, unless moderate, obstructs digestion. If, after exercise, we feed sparingly, the digestion will be easy and good, the body lightsome, the temper cheerful, and all the animal functions performed agreeably. Sleep, when it follows, will be natural and undisturbed; while indolence, with full feeding, occasions night-mares and horrors inexpressible: we fall from precipices, are assaulted by wild beasts, murderers, and demons, and experience every variety of distress. Observe, however, that the quantities of food and exercise
* From the Columbian Magazine, vol. I. p. 64. Edilt.
are relative things : those who move much may, and indeed ought, to eat more; those who use little exercise should eat little. In general, mankind, since the improvement of cookery, eat above twice as much as nature requires. Suppers are not bad, if we have not dined; but restless nights naturally follow hearty suppers, after full dinners. Indeed, as there is a difference in constitutions, some rest well after these meals; it costs them only a frightful dream, and an apoplexy, after which they sleep till doomsday. Nothing is more common in the newspapers, than instances of people, who, after eating a hearty supper, are found dead a-bed in the morning.
Another means of preserving health, to be attended to, is the having a constant supply of fresh air in your bed.chamber. It has been a great mistake, the sleeping in rooms exactly closed, and in beds surrounded by curtains. No outward air that may come into you is so unwholesome, as the unchanged air, often breathed, of a close chamber. As boiling water does not grow hotter by longer boiling, if the particles that receive greater heat can escape; so living bodies do not putrefy,' if the particles, so fast as they become putrid, can be thrown off. Nature expels them by the pores of the skin and the lungs, and in a free open air they are carried off; but in a close room, we receive them again and again, though they become more and more corrupt. A number of persons crowded into a small room thus spoil the air in a few minutes, and even render it mortal, as in the Black Hole at Calcutta. A single person is said to spoil only a gallon of air per minute, and therefore requires a longer time to spoil a chamber full; but it is done, however, in proportion,
and many putrid disorders hence have their origin. It is recorded of Methusalem, who, being the longest liver, may be supposed to have best preserved his health, that he slept always in the open air ; for, when he had lived five hundred years, an angel said to him : “ Arise, Methusalem, and build thee an house, for thou shalt live yet five hundred years longer."-But Methusalem answered and said, “ If I am to live but five hundred years longer it is not worth while to build me an house-I will sleep in the air, as I have been used to do.” Physicians, after haviug for ages contended, that the sick should not be indulged with fresh air, have at length discovered, that it may do them good. It is therefore to be hoped, that they may in time discover likewise, that it is not hurtful to those who are in health, and that we may be then cured of the aërophobia, that at present distresses weak minds, and makes them choose to be stifled and poisoned, rather than leave open the window of a bed-chainber, or put down the glass of a coach.
Confined air, when saturated with perspirable.matter*, will not receive
and that matter must remain in our bodies, and occasion diseases: but it gives some previous notice of its being about to be hurtful, by producing certain uneasinesses, slightindeed at first, such as, with regard to the lungs, is a trifling sensation, and to the pores of the skin a kind of restlessness, which is difficult to describe, and few that feel it know the cause of it. But we may recollect, that
* What physicians call the perspirable matter, is that vapour which passes off from our bodies, from the lungs, and through the pores of the skin. The quantity of this is said to be five-eighths of what we eat.