[ by Charles Cameron — may you and I play always among the vertues and against the vices ]
That we may discern the distance between the demonic and the sanctified, and play accordingly:
I’m curious about the elongated chess board on which our demon slaughters the very mind of the prayerful monk.
The monk prays (above, sanctified), the devil slays the monk (below, demonic)
It is four hundred years since Caxton published this book. We may be sure that so pains»taking a man did the best he could with the spelling. The alphabet he employed was inadequate to represent the sounds of the English language, and he had no other guide than the spelling of the scribes, who represented, as well as they could, the pronunciations in use in the several counties in which they lived. In the course of two hundred and fifty years, coming down to the days of Addison and Pope, a considerable degree of uniformity had been obtained, both in pronunciation, by means of travel, and in spelling, by the desire of printers to have a standard orthography for each word, in order to save themselves the trouble of thinking and comparing various orthographies.
That’s from The Game of the Chesse: a Moral Treatise on the Duties of Life … Reprinted which I ran across while searching (via the keywords “moral” and “chesse” for this quote:
Meantime, the king and queen, for recreation’s sake, began to play together. It looked not unlike chesse, only it had other laws, for it was the vertues and vices one against another, where it might be ingeniously discovered with what plots the vices lay in wait for the vertues, and how to re-encounter them again. This was so properly and artificially performed that it were to be wished that we had the like game too.
That’s from The Chymical Marriage of Johann Valentin Andreae, first published in 1616, translated into English by Ezechiel Foxcroft in 1690.
Pray, play most assiduously.