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group as the simpler classic draughts, development arising out of the ancient where the man is taken between two ad. draught-games. But there is another versaries. In modern Europe the older theory maintained by Professor Duncan games of this class have been superseded Forbes in his History of Chess, and promby one on a different principle. The inent in one at least of our chess handhistory of what we now call draughts is books, which practically amounts to saydisclosed by the French dictionary ing that chess is derived from backgamwhich shows how the men used to be

It is argued that the original called pions, or pawns, till they reached game was the Indian fourfold-chess, the other side of the board, then becom- played with four half-sets of men, black, ing dames, or queens. Thus the mod- red, green, and yellow, ranged on the ern game of draughts is recognised as four sides of the board, the moves of being, in fact, a low variety of chess, in the pieces being regulated by the throws which the pieces are all pawns, turned of dice ; that in course of time the dice into queens in chess-fashion when they were given up, and each two allied halfgain the adversary's line. The earliest sets of men coalesced into one whole plain accounts of the game are in Span- set, one of the two kings sinking to the ish books of the Middle Ages, and the position of minister, or queen. Now theory of its development through the this fourfold Indian dice chess is unmediæval chess problems will be found doubtedly a real game, but the mentions worked out by the best authority on of it are modern, whereas history records chess, Dr. A. van der Linde, in his the spread of chess proper over the East Geschichte des Schachspiels.

as early as the tenth century. In the The group of games represented by most advanced Indian form of pachisi, the Hindu tiger-and-cows, our fox-and- called chupur, there are not only the four geese, shows in a simple way the new sets of different-colored men, but the situations that arise in board-games very same stick-dice that are used in the when the men are no longer all alike, dice-chess, which looks as though this but have different powers, or moves. Isi- latter game, far from being the original dore of Seville (about A.D. 600) men- form of chess, were an absurd modern tions, under the name of latrunculi, a hybrid resulting from the attempt to play game played with pieces of which some backgammon with chess-men. This is

soldiers (ordinarii), Dr. van der Linde's cpinion, readers of marching step by step, while others were whose book will find it supported by wanderers (vagi). It seems clear that more technical points, while they will be the notions of a kriegspiel, or war-game, amused with the author's zeal in belaand of pieces with different powers mov- boring his adversary Forbes, which reing on the chequer-board, were familiar minds one of the legends of mediæval in the civilised world at the time when, chess-players, where the match naturally in the eighth century or earlier, some in- concludes by one banging the other ventive Hindu may have given them a about the head with the board. It is more perfect organization by setting on needless to describe here the well-known the board two whole opposing armies, points of difference between the Indoeach complete in the four forces, foot, Persian and the modern European chess. horse, elephants, and chariots, from On the whole, the Indian game has subwhich an Indian army is called in San- stantially held its own, while numberless skrit chaturanga, or four-bodied.” attempts to develop it into philosophers' The game thus devised was itself called chess, military tactics, &c., have been chaturanga, for when it passed into Per- tried and failed, bringing, as they always sia it carried with it its Indian name in do, too much instructive detail into the the form shatranj, still retained there, plan which in ancient India was shaped though lost by other nations who re- so judiciously between sport and science. ceived the game from Persia, and named In this survey of games I have conit from the Persian name of the princi- fined myself to such as offered subjects pal piece, the shah, or king, whence for definite remark, the many not touchschach, eschecs, chess. According to this ed on including cards, of which the presimple theory, which seems to have the cise history is still obscure. Of the conbest evidence, chess is a late and high clusions brought forward, most are no doubt imperfect, and some may be history of games affords instructive wrong, but it seemed best to bring them proofs. Looking over a playground forward for the purpose of giving the sub- wall at a game of hockey, one might ject publicity, with a view to inducing easily fancy the simple line of improvetravellers and others to draw up minute- ment to have been that the modern ly accurate accounts of all undescribed schoolboy took to using a curved stick games they notice. In Cook's Third to drive the ball with, instead of hurling Voyage it is mentioned that the Sandwich it with his hands as he would have done Islanders played a game like draughts if he had been a young Athenian of B.C. with black and white pebbles on a board 500. But now it appears that the line of 14 by 17 squares. Had the explorers of progress was by no means so simple spent an hour in learning it, we should and straight, if we have to go round by perhaps have known whether it was the Persia, and bring in the game of polo Chinese or the Malay game, or what it as an intermediate stage. If, comparing was ; and this might have been the very Greek draughts and English draughts, clue, lost to native memory, to the con- we were to jump to the conclusion that nection of the Polynesians with a higher the one was simply a further developAsiatic culture in ages before a Euro- ment of the other, this would be wrong, pean ship had come within their coral for the real course appears to have been reefs.

were

common

that some old draught-game rose into It remains to call attention to a point chess, and then again a lowered form of which this research into the development chess came down to become a new game of games brings strongly into view. In of draughts. We may depend upon it the study of civilisation, as of so many that the great world-game of evolution other branches of natural history, a the- is not played only by pawns moving ory of gradual evolution proves itself a straight on, one square before another, trustworthy guide. But it will not do but that long-stretching moves of pieces to assume that culture must always come in all directions bring on new situations,

by regular unvarying progress. not readily foreseen by minds that find That, on the contrary, the lines of it hard to see six moves ahead upon a change may be extremely circuitous, the chess-board.-Fortnightly Review.

on

JOHN BROWN.-A TRUE STORY.

Fifty years had passed over his head,

Eventless and slow-
Peasant born, he had toiled for his bread

In the sweat of his brow.
The years as they came and they went,

Rolling peacefully by,
He welcomed with placid content,

Come wet days or dry !
Warmed, and tanned brown by the sunshine,

And wet with the rain,
If no vivid joy was his portion,

So no eating pain.
He rose with the sun, and fulfilled

What appointed the hours ;
Went to his rest in the straw

With the birds and the flowers.
Poor lodging, scant raiment, hard labor,

No changes-coarse fare-
Few wants, ruddy health, good digestion,

Contentment-fresh air-
These were the terms and conditions

That Nature laid down,

For the life of a son of her bosom,

Whom men named John Brown.
The days of his youth passed away

O'er the curly brown head ;
Still straight from the hand of the Lord

Came the sweet daily bread.
And the hard daily task never failed

In the rough peasant life-
The boy was a mar, and alone,

Then he married a wife.
Blue were her eyes, and her figure

Was straight as a dart !
Nimble of foot, shrill of tongue,

Somewhat cold at the heart.
In John's honest slow-beating blood

Dawned a consciousness dim,
He was proud of his quick-witted wife

And her fireside trim ;
Proud, and yet puzzled at times

At the storms in his sky,
When Nelly's swift passions blazed out

In the light angry eye,
Not a thought had the poor patient fellow,

Of answering gall, “ But the ways of the women," he pondered,

Are wonderful all !”
Then his children were born one by one,

Till the cottage was full
Of sturdy young brats, red as roses,

Yet soft as lambs' wool.
Five hungry mouths must be fed,

And the father must toil
For potatoes and meal, and moreover,

Nell's kettle must boil.
And he toiled without resting or grudging,

And ate his crust dry,
While seed-time and harvest alternate, .

Revolved and passed by-
And Nelly worked hard as a slave,

And grew sour and thin,
And the sound of her sharp shrewish voice

As he passed out and in Tormented his soul all the more

That his torment was dumb-
For all that his spirit was chafed,

The words would not come ;
So dogged, and patient, and silent,

He wrought on the farm,
Only a clod, and content to be

Cold, so that others were warm ;
Watered the horses, and foddered

The cattle and sheep,
And took his last look with a smile

At his children asleep.
Then came one raw morning in winter,

The wind whistled shrill,
John, miry and wet from the ploughing,

Descended the hill,

And turned to his hovel for comfort

Of breakfast and fire-
Where Nelly stood over the porridge,

All grumbling in ire.
She turned as he entered the door,

Stooping weary and low,
And threw him a glance and a word

That was almost a blow.
“Guid save us,” he cried, can I ne'er

Hae a moment o' ease ?
Here, gie us some parritch, guid wife,

And for ance, haud yer peace.”
A swift and sharp taunt, and a cuff

To the babe at her side,
Then a concert of wailing and scolding,

Till John, distraught, cried,
“I'll hang mysel', woman, for life

Is ower hard to be borne''Ye said sae, I'm thinking,” she answered,

“But yesterday morn,
But ye're no hangit yet as I see !"

And she laughed out of tune.
Said John, with a strange sort of smile,

“That is remedied soon.”
He turned as he spoke, and he kissed

The small bairn at the door ;
Looked for a moment at those

He should never see more-
When breakfast was ready, the bacon

All frizzled and done,
Called Nelly, "Boys, where is yer daddy?

Run out, Jemmy, run
And tell himn to hurry and eat

While the bacon is hot ;'
And the bairns clustered round for the porridge

She poured from the pot,
But the bacon grew colder and colder,

In Nelly's despite,
And as she waxed angry, came Jemmy

All shaking and white.
“My feyther won't answer," he said

'Twixt a sob and a scream,
“But he grins at me till I'm 'maist frighted,

Just ower the beam."
It was true, and I write it with tears,

I that cut the man down,
And a poor clod of earth-that was all

That remained of John Brown.
A few folk blamed Nell, but 'twas pity

Prevailed as a rule,
“For who could have thought that the man

Would have been such a fool ?"
So they dug him a trench, and decreed

Mrs. Nell a black gown,
And the daisies bloomed fair in the spring
O'er the grave of John Brown.

Temple Bar. SYDNEY DOBELL:-Ą PERSONAL SKETCH.

BY ROBERT BUCHANAN.

In the winter of 1860, as I sat alone, comprehended by a boy in the rude flush writing, in what David Gray described of health and hope, and with a certain as the “dear old ghastly bankrupt gar- audacity of physical well-being, struck ret at No. 66", Lucinda from the kitch- me strangely then, and came back upon en came panting upstairs with a card, on my heart with terrible meaning now. which was inscribed the name of “Syd- Combined with this feeling of wonder ney Dobell ;' and in less than five min- and pity was blended, of necessity, one utes afterwards I was conversing eagerly, of fervent gratitude.

of fervent gratitude. Some little time and face to face, with the man who had previous to our first meeting, I had come, been my first friend and truest helper in a literary adventurer, to London ; with the great world of letters. It was our no capital but a sublime self-assurance first meeting. David Gray, whom Do- which it has taken many long years to bell had assisted with a caressing and tame into a certain obedience and acquiangelic patience, never knew him at all,

escence. About the same time, David but was at that very moment lying sick Gray had also set foot in the great City. to death in the little cottage at Merk- And Sydney Dobell had helped us both, land, pining and hoping against hope as no other living man could or would. for such a meeting. How about Do- For poor Gray's wild yet gentle dreams, bell ?” he wrote a little later, in answer and for my coarser and less conciliatory to my announcement of the visit. “Did ambition, he had nothing but words of your mind of itself, or even against itself, wisdom and gentle remonstrance. None recognise through the clothes a man-a of our folly daunted him. He wrote, poet? Has he the modesty and make- with the heart of an angel, letters which himself-at-home manner of Milnes ?'' might have tamed the madness in the What answer I gave to these eager inqui- heart of a devil. He helped, he warned, ries I do not remember, nor would it be he watched us, with unwearying care. worth recording, for I myself at that In the midst of his own solemn sorrows, time was only a boy, with little or no ex- which we so little understood, he found perience of things and men. But even heart of grace to sympathise with our now, across the space of dull and sor- wild struggles for the unattainable. At rowful years, comes the vision of as a period when writing was a torture to sweet and shining a face as ever brought him, he devoted hours of correspondjoy and comfort this side of the grave; ence to the guidance and instruction of of a voice musical and low, “ excellent” two fellow-creatures he had never seen. in all its tones as the voice of the ten- To receive one of his gracious and elabderest woman; of manners at once man- orate epistles, finished with the painful ly and caressing, bashful and yet bold, care which this lordly martyr bestowed with a touch of piteous gentleness which on the most trifling thing he did, was to told a sad tale of feeble physical powers be in communication with a spirit standand the tortured sense of bodily despair. ing on the very heights of life. I, at

I saw him once or twice afterwards, least, little comprehended the blessing and had a glimpse of that fellow-suf- then. But it came, with perfect conseferer, his wife. He was staying with cration, on David Gray's dying bed ; it some friends on the hills of Hampstead, made his last days blissful, and it helped and thither I trudged to meet him, and to close his eyes in peace. to listen to his sparkling poetic speech. No one who knew Sydney Dobell, no I recall now, with a curious sense of one who had ever so brief a glimpse of pain, that my strongest feeling concern- him, can read without tears the simple ing him, at that time was a feeling of and beautiful Memorials, now just pubwonder at the gossamer-like frailness of lished, of his gracious, quiet, and unhis physique and the almost morbid eventful life. Predestined to physical refinement of his conversation. These martyrdom, he walked the earth for fifty two characteristics, which would be ill- years, at the bidding of what to our im

NEW SERIES.-VOL. XXX., No. 1

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