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CONVERSATION of a COMPANY

EPHEMERÆ;

of

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 and sweet society of the Moulin Foly, I stopt a little in one of our walks, and Itaid some time behind the company.

We had been shewn numberless skeletons of a kind of little fly, called an Ephemeræ, whose successive generations, we were told, were bred and expir: ed within the day. I happened to see a living company of them on a leaf, who appeared to be engaged in conversation. You know I under: stand all the inferior animal tongues : my too Igreat 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 liltened 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 that I heard now and then, they were disputing warmly on the merit of two foreign musicians, the one a cousin, the other a mufcheto ; 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 lire certainly under a wise, just, and mild government, since you have no public grievances to complain of, nor any subject of contention, but

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the perfections or imperfections of foreign music. I turned my head from them to an old grey, headed one, who was single on another leaf, and talking to himself. Being amused with his foliloquy, I put it down in writing, in hopes it will likewise amuse her to whom I am so much in. debted for the most pleasing of all amusements, her delicious company, and heavenly harmony.

" It was,” says he, 6 the opinion of learned philosophers of our race, who lived and flourifhed long before my time, that this vast world the Moulin Foly could not itself sublift more than eighteen hours: and I think there was fome foundation for that opinion ; since, by the apparent motion of the great luminary, that gives life to all nature, and which in my time has evidently declined considerably towards the ocean at the end of our earth, it must then finish its course, be extinguifhed 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 muft foon 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 all my toil and labour, in amassing honey-dew on this leaf, which I cannot live to enjoy! What the political struggles I have been engaged in,

for the good of my compatriot 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 Imall our progress! Alas! art is long and life is short! My friends would comfort me with the idea of a name, they say, I shall leave behind me; and they tell me I have lived long enough to nature and to glory. But what will fame be to an Ephemeræ who no longer cxifts ? and what will become of all history in the eighteenth hour, when the world itself, even the whole Moulin Joly, shall come to its end, and be buried in universal ruin ?".

To me, after all my eager pursuits, no solid pleasures now remain, but the reflection of a long life spent in meaning well, the sensible conversation of a few good lady Ephemeræ, and now and then a kind smile and a tune from the ever amiable Brilliant,

B. FRANKLIN,

MORALS OF CHESS. PLAYING

LAYING at chess is the most ancient and most 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

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{pread it over their part of America, and it begin's lately to make its appearance in these states. It is so interesting in itself, as to not need the view of gain to induce engaging in it; and thence it is never played for money. Thole, 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) fome little improprieties in the practice of it, shews, at the fame time, that it may, in its effects on the mind, be not inerely innocent, but advantageous, to the vanquished as well as the victor,

THE game of chess is not merely an idle amusement. Several 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 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 may learn,

1. Forefight, which looks a little into futurity, and 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 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 furveys the whole chels-board, or scene of action, the relations of

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the several pieces and situations, the dangers they are refpe&tively exposed to, the several poffibilities of their aiding cach 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 striely the laws of the

game,

such
as,

you

touch a piece, you must move it somewhere ; if

you

fet 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 incautioudy pri yourself into a bad and dangerous pofition, 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 ftate of our affairs, the habit of hoping for a favourable change, and that of perfevering 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 oneself from a supposed insurmountable difficulty, that one is encouraged to continue the contest to the last, in hopes of viétory by our own skill, or at least of giving a stale mate, by the negligence of our adversary. And whoever considers, what in chess he often

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