"Morality" of Jacobus de Cessolis, in which the game of chess was taken as the basis of the dissertation. This was one of the most widely translated books of the day, and the first to be printed in England on Caxton's press. As a pendant to this might be mentioned the lurid picture by an unknown artistunknown probably because so tactless a moralist might have found the consequences of plain-drawing inconvenientshowing Death giving Checkmate to a king. 1 But on the whole, morality was on the side of chess. The sport of kings is seldom visited with unduly violent denunciations, and as early as the thirteenth century the Margrave of Brandenburg, Otto IV 1266-1308) is depicted in a MS. book playing chess with a lady. It should also be noted that the strictest rules of decorum could be relaxed in favour of the rules of chess. It was permissible to be received in a lady's bedroom if a man went there only to play chess. The game, however, seems to have been one in which passion was not unknown. Several murderous quarrels are recorded as having been brought, quite literally, to a head, with the aid of a chess board. For throughout the Middle Ages this was a heavy affair of wood or metal, often designed double, to combine two favourite games, and decorated with a raised border suggestive of a city wall. Meanwhile, the wild Arabs contented themselves with drawing squares on the ground and picking up stones of different sizes and shapes for men. In Sumatra the custom still holds to make new men for every game a job which only takes about ten minutes. The pieces are cut from a rod of bamboo or the midrib of a palm leaf, to a conventional pattern in which slight differ ences of shape alone distinguish "black" from "white." In Malay, where the Shafi'ite school of Moslems holds sway, it is forbidden to make a graven image of any existing form, so that conventional shapes must always be used. Chinese chessmen have often been mistaken for bronze coins; the only identification is the name of do E1

Industrial Arts en | 1936 | | page 41