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sels, and the plots and marshaling of affairs, come best from those that are learned. To spend too much time in studies, is sloth; to use too much for ornament, is affectation; to make judgment wholly by their rules, is the humor of a scholar : they perfect nature, and are perfected by experience: for natural abilities are like natural plants, that need pruning by study; and studies themselves do give forth directions too much at large, except they be bounded in by experience. Crafty men contemn studies, simple men admire them, and wise men use them; for they teach not their own use; but that is a wisdom without them, and above them, won by observation. Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted, nor to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider. Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested; that is, some books are to be read only in parts; others to be read, but not curiously; and some few to be read wholly, and with diligence and attention. Some books also may be read by deputy, and extracts made of them by others; but that would be only in the less important arguments, and the meaner sort of books; else distilled books are, like common distilled waters, flashy things. Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man; and therefore if a man write little, he had need have a great memory: if he confer little, he had need have a present wit: and if he read little, he had need have much cunning, to seem to know what he doth not. Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtle; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend; Abeunt studia in mores;' nay, there is no stand or impediment in the wit, but may be wrought out by fit studies; like as diseases of the body may by appropriate exercises; bowling is good for the stone and reins, shooting for the lungs and breast, gentle walking for the stomach, riding for the head and the like; so if a man's wits be wandering, let him study the mathematics; for in demonstrations, if his wit be called away never so little, he must begin again; if his wit be not apt to distinguish or find differences, let him study the schoolmen, for they are 'Cymini sectores;' if he be not apt to beat over matters, and to call upon one thing to prove and illustrate another, let him study the lawyers' cases; so every defect of the mind may have a special receipt.




Whether the principles of christians or infidels are truest, may be made a question, but which are safest, can be none. Certainly if you doubt of all opinions, you must doubt of your own and then, for aught you know, the christian may be true. The more doubt, the more room there is for faith; a sceptic, of all men, having the least right to demand evidence. But, whatever uncertainty there may be in other points, thus much is certain either there is, or is not a God: there is, or is not a revelation: man either is, or is not an agent: the soul is, or is not immortal. If the negatives are not sure, the affirmatives are possible. If the negatives are improbable, the affirmatives are probable. In proportion as any of your ingenious men finds himself unable to prove any one of these negatives, he hath grounds to suspect he may be mistaken. A minute philosopher, therefore, that would act a consistent part, should have the diffidence, the modesty, and the timidity, as well as the doubts of a sceptic; not pretend to an ocean of light, and then lead us to an abyss of darkness. If I have any notion of ridicule, this is most ridiculous. But your ridiculing what, for ought you know, may be true, I can make no sense of It is neither acting as a wise man, with regard to your own interest, nor as a good man, with regard to that of your country. Tully saith somewhere, aut unlique religionem tolle aut usquequaque conserva: Either let us have no religion at all, or let it be respected. If any single instance can be shewn, of a people that ever prospered without some religion, or if there be any religion better than the christian, propose it in the grand assembly of the nation to change our constitution, and either live without religion, or introduce that new religion. A sceptic, as well as other men, is member of a community, and can distinguish between good and evil, natural or political. Be this then his guide as a patriot, though he be no christian. Or, if he doth not pretend even to this discernment, let him not pretend to correct or alter what he knows nothing of: neither let him


that only doubts, behave as if he could demonstrate. Timagoras is wont to say, I find my country in possession of certain tenets they appear to have an useful tendency, and, as such, are encouraged by the legislature: they make a main part of our constitution: I do not find these innovators can disprove them, or substitute things more useful and certain in their stead out of regard, therefore, to the good of mankind, and the laws of my country, I shall acquiesce in them. I do not say Timagoras is a christian, but I reckon him a patriot. Not to inquire in a point of so great concern, is folly, but it is still a higher degree of folly, to condemn without inquiring. Lysicles seemed heartily tired of this conversation. It is now late, said he to Alciphron, and all things are ready for our departure.


Playing at chess is the most ancient and universal game known among men; for its 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 parts of America, and it begins to make its 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 leisure 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, shows, at the same time, that it may, in its 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. eral


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 points to gain, and competitors or adversaries 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 learn,

I. Foresight, which looks a little into futurity, 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 adver sary 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 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 66 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 rash


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 favorable 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's self from a supposed insurmountable difficulty, that one is encouraged to continue the contest to the last, in hope of victory by our own skill, or at least of giving a stale mate, by the negli gence 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 receives in the 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 advantages, every circumstance which may increase the pleasure 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 strictest 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 exactly, 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 playing with a person once detected in such unfair practices.

Fourthly, If your adversary is long in playing, you ought not to hurry him, or to 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 endeavor 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 endeavor 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 favor.

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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; and him in whose favor you give

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