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easy mutation corrupted into Vierge a Virgin, and afterwards into Reyne a Queen, though the old term of Ferce still continued to be used and still retained its originally limited movements, until this restraint (according to the opinion of M. Freret, whom I have already quoted,) was probably considered by our ancestors as a slavery more. consonant to the jealous policy of the East than to the liberty which European females enjoy; they therefore extended the steps and prerogatives of this piece, and with a gallantry natural to an age of chivalry and politeness, permitted the lady to become at last the most considergame in the able piece in the game. The substitution of a female at this room of the Vizier of the Orientals has been thus ingeniously explained :-" Men were soon persuaded that the picture of human life, under which they represented Chess, would be very imperfect without a woman; that sex plays too important a part not to have a place in the game: and hence they changed the Minister into a Queen, the similarity of the words Fierge and Vierge facilitating the change." During this century the Ferce could move only one square at a time, and that angularly, and never directly: thus the old romance of "La Vieille,"

"Le Roy, la Fierge, et le Peon, saillent vn point,"

so that we may consider the Ferce as having been the least considerable of the Chess-pieces.*

§ II. The Alfyn.

The Eastern name given to this piece was J Phil an Elephant. Jacobus de Cesolis calls it Alphilus, but the Italians having corrupted the word Alfil into Alfinus, or Alfin, the latter became the most usual appellation and produced the Alfin, Aufyn, and Auphin, used indifferently in ancient Chess MSS. The French, ignorant of the true meaning of the Eastern term Phil, have substituted Fol, somewhat similar in sound, but of a very different signification.t

i. e. " nec incedit porta domus suæ quovis tempore, nisi hora necessitatis ad


Innocent in the "Moralitas," is not very complimentary to this piece: "Regina quæ dicitur Fers vadit et capit obliquè; quia tam avarissimum sit genus mulierum, quodcunque capitur nisi meritò detur ex gratia rapina est et injusticia." Lydgate, in a Poem on Chess, quoted by Dr. Hyde, makes mention of this, piece :

To all folkys vertuouse,
that gentil bene and amerouse,
which love the fair plep notable,
of the Chesse most delprable,
whith all her hoole full entente,
to them this boke y will presente:
where they shall fynde and son anoone,
how that I nat pere agoone,

was of a Fers so fortunat

into a corner drive and maat, &c.

+ Dr, Hyde makes the following observation on the substitution of a Queen and Bishop into the game, instead of the Counsellor and Elephant of the Oriental players: Qui autem Reginam et Episcopum in hunc ludum introduxerunt, fortè opinati sunt eum esse repræsentationem Curiæ regalis, dum quod verè eo designatum est ignorarint; non attendentes eum natum fuisse apud Indos, qui non habent Episcopos; vel si haberent eos, tamen bello interesse non posse; nec advertentes quàm absurdum sit in hujus ludi progressu, ex gregario milite fieri Reginam, quasi ex viro fieri possit fœmina: cùm potius quodvis fictitium debeat esse imitatio veri." Thoma Hyde Shahiludium; Oxon. 1694, 12mo. p. 77. M. Freret (in his Memoir

In the thirteenth century the Alfyn had the diagonal move of our Bishop, restricted in its range of action to the third square from which it stood; or, to express myself more clearly, it was necessary that it should be distant from the adverse piece one clear square: thus, suppose a white Alfyn be on the 4th square of his Rey, he could then capture any Pawn or piece standing 1. on the adverse Rey's Chivalier's third square; 2. Reyne's Alfyn's third square; 3. his own Rey's Chivalier's second square; and 4. his Reyne's Alfyn's second square. But, as he was always incapacitated from moving to a greater or less number of squares, no piece could be either captured or considered en prise, if situated close to it, or removed at a greater distance than the third square. As a compensation for so confined an action on the board, the Alfyn had a very singular peculiarity bestowed on it: in capturing, it possessed the vaulting power of the Chivalier. Thus, if a white Alfyn be on his Rey's 4th square, a black or white Rok on the adverse Reyne's 4th square, and a black Poun on his Reyne's Alfyn's 3d square, the white Alfyn (in this or any similar situation) could capture the black Poun, notwithstanding the interposition of the Rok: but the subsequent extension of its range of action deprived him, in the course of time, of this vaulting motion.

sur l'Origine du Jeu des Echecs) comments very justly on the absurdity complained of by Dr. Hyde. The arguments he makes use of are-that if the Ferz or Fierge be a Vizier, a minister of state, or a general, we may easily conceive how a Pawn, or common soldier, may be promoted to that rank, as a recompense for his valour in having pierced through the enemy's battalions. But, if the Fierge be a lady, the Queen, or the King's wife, by what strange metamorphosis does the Pawn change his sex, and, fro a soldier, turn into a woman and marry the King in reward of his valour? This sole absurdity proves that the second piece at Chess has been improperly named Virgin or Queen. The ancient writers on the game, to get rid of this anomaly, endeavour to insinuate that such Pawns as are made Ferces, were always females; but they explain this in so awkward and unsatisfactory a manner, that the point is left precisely where it is taken up. Thus, in the 5th Game (Le Guỷ des Damoyseles) of the Chess MS. Bibl. Reg. 13 A. XVIII, the following lines

occur :

Les damoiseles me vnt requis.
Ke lour guy ne seyt oblis.
E pur lamour qe a eus ay.
Lour guy en ceste esc't mettray.
Seygnoures li pou' ces mest auys.
Signefient meschines de pris.
Kar reynes faimes de pounes.
E du'kes fierces les appellomes.
E pur ceo damoy seles signefi'nt.
Non pas garconnes cu' les vnes di'nt.
Kar si li pou' males estoyt.
James femeles ne deuedroýt.

And the writer, after a few lines, concludes,

E pur ceo ke ceste guy est ou pou'.

Le guy de damoiseles appellom.

The damsels have requested me,

That their game should not be forgotten,
And for the love that I bear to them,
I have in this book set down their game.
Lordings, the Pawns, this is my advice,
Signify ladies of price (value);
For Queens made from Pawns,
Then we call Fierces;

And because they signify Damsels,
They are not Boys as some say,
For if the Pawns were males,
Then they could not be females.

* In Aben Ezra's excellent little Poem on Chess, the moves of the Alfyn are thus explained:




And because this is a game with PAWNS,
The Game of DAMSELS we call it.

anr? akin anra brani

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§ IV. The Chivalier.

The name of this piece, although European, has strictly preserved the meaning of its Eastern original; for the Arabic Pháras, the Persian Asp, the Turkish At, and the Jewish DID Sús, or wa Pharàsh, are precisely similar in signification and movement on the board, to the European Chivalier or Knight.* As this piece has undergone no variation in its power of moving, it is needless to dwell longer on it.


The Fat Actor and the Rustic.
CARDINAL Wolsey was a man

Of an unbounded stomach, Shakspeare says,
Meaning (in metaphor) for ever puffing
To swell beyond his size and span;

But had he seen a player of our days
Enacting Falstaff without stuffing,
He would have owned that Wolsey's bulk ideal
Equall'd not that within the bounds
This actor's belt surrounds,
Which is, moreover, all alive and real.

This player, when the peace enabled shoals
Of our odd fishes

To visit every clime between the poles,
Swam with the stream, a histrionic Kraken,
Although his wishes

Must not in this proceeding be mistaken,
For he went out professionally-bent
To see how money might be made, not spent.
In this most laudable employ

He found himself at Lille one afternoon,
And that he might the breeze enjoy,

And catch a peep at the ascending moon,

Deinde Elephas ad bellum prodit et accedit,
Ad latus collocatur ipse tanquam insidiator.
Sicut T8 Pherz est incessus ejus; nisi quod sit
Huic præcellentia, eo quod ille sit tantum trifarius.

The restricted movement of this piece to the 3d square only, is what Aben Ezra describes by the Hebrew word


MS. Sloan. 4029. says,- Secundus Alphinus, qui currit tres punctos ; qui sursum et deorsum capiat,' &c. The Morality of Pope Innocent states, that ‹ Isti Alphini obliquè transeunt et capiant tria puncta pertranseundo,' &c.; and the poem in the Bodl. Library (quoted by Dr. Hyde) has a very particular allusion to the powers of this piece:

Cædit Calvus per transversum tertiam ad tabulam,
Sedet semper in occulto quasi fur ut rapiat,
Sæpe namque suo furto separat victoriam.

MS. Bibl. Regiæ, 12 E. xxi:

Miles ab obliquo puncto mediante relicto
Prosilit, et fortem prosternit fortior hostem.

'Miles vero in capiendo duo puncta transit directa, et tertium obliquat, in signum quòd milites et domini terram poterunt justè capere redditus debitos et justas emendas à delinquentibus secundum exigenciam, sed tertium punctum obliquat cùm talliagia et injustas exacciones extorquent a subditis suis.'-Moralitas Innocentii Papæ.

Out of the town he took a stroll,
Refreshing in the fields his soul
With sight of streams and trees and snowy fleeces,
And thoughts of crowded houses and new pieces.
When we are pleasantly employed time flies ;
He counted up his profits, in the skies

Until the moon began to shine,

On which he gazed awhile, and then

Pull'd out his watch, and cried-" Past nine! "Why, zounds, they shut the gates at ten !"— Backwards he turn'd his steps instanter,

Stumping along with might and main ;
And though 'tis plain

He couldn't gallop, trot, or canter,

(Those who had seen him would confess it,) he March'd well for one of such obesity.

Eyeing his watch, and now his forehead mopping,
He puff'd and blew along the road,
Afraid of melting, more afraid of stopping,
When in his path he met a clown
Returning from the town.


"Tell me," he panted in a thawing state,
"Dost think I can get in, friend, at the
"Get in!" replied the hesitating loon,
Measuring with his eye our bulky wight,-
Why-yes, Sir, I should think you might,
A load of hay went in this afternoon."


The Bank Clerk and the Stable- Keepers.
Shewing how Peter was undone
By taking care of Number One.

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OF Peter Prim (so Johnson would have written)
Let me indulge in the remembrance ;-Peter!
Thy formal phiz has oft my fancy smitten,

For sure the Bank had never a completer
Quiz among its thousand clerks,
Than he who now elicits our remarks.

Prim was a formalist, a prig,

A solemn fop, an office Martinet,
One of those small precisians who look big

If half an hour before their time they get
To an appointment, and abuse those elves
Who are not over-punctual, like themselves.
If you should mark his powder'd head betimes,
And polish'd shoes in Lothbury,

You knew the hour, for the three-quarter chimes
Invariably struck as he went by.

From morning fines he always saved his
Not from his hate of sloth, but love of Mammon.

For Peter had a special eye
To Number One:-his charity

At home beginning, ne'er extends,
But where it started had its end too;
And as to lending cash to friends,
. Luckily he had none to lend to.
No purchases so cheap as his,

While no one's bargains went so far,
And though in dress a deadly quiz,
No Quaker more particular.

K 2


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Some days elapsed, and no one came
To bring the bill, or payment claim :
He 'gan to hope 'twas overlook'd,
Forgotten quite, or never book'd-
An error which the honesty of Prim
Would ne'er have rectified, if left to him.
After six weeks, however, comes a pair
Of groom-like looking men,

Each with a bill, which Peter they submit to;
One for the six weeks' hire of a bay mare,
And one for six weeks' keep of ditto:
Together-twenty-two pounds ten!

The tale got wind.-What, Peter make a blunder!
There was no end of joke, and quiz, and wonder,
Which, with the loss of cash, so mortified

Prim, that he suffer'd an attack

Of bile, and bargain'd with a quack, Who daily swore to cure him-till he died; When, as no will was found,

His scraped, and saved, and hoarded store Went to a man to whom, some months before, He had refused to lend a pound.


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