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An excerpt from the beginning of the first chapter which is about Draughts:
THIS interesting game is considered to be of very remote origin, though no account of it, at least none specifying its character, occurs before the middle of the sixteenth century. From brief and incidental notices, it would seem to have been known in Greenland circa 1050, and probably in Wales, A.D. 943, in the time of Howell 'Dha; but be this as it may, the earliest positive account of Draughts was in the year 1551. In the seventeenth century, Taylor, the Water Poet, mentioned it, and in 1663, Monsieur Mallet, a Parisian professor of mathematics, published an elaborate treatise upon the game.
Draughts, in point of interest and complexity, is second only to Chess, and the learning of it, therefore, forms a fair prelude to the study of that most scientific game. The moves being the result of study, and not of mere chance, the game is, consequently, not employed as a vehicle for gambling, and no objections to it can possibly arise on that score, for, as the great authority John Sturges, observes, "It guards simplicity from the lures of deceit, and prevents cunning from preying on credulity; for where superior skill alone commands success, the ignorant are not mad enough to hazard their fortunes in a contest where loss is certain, and gain impossible. Considering the game as an amusement, it cannot be denied that it tends to improve those faculties of the mind which are eminently useful in every condition of life; and may therefore be made the school of wisdom, but cannot, like the gambling table of chance, become the nursery of vice."
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