Game and Playe of the Chesse / A Verbatim Reprint of the First Edition, 1474

Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Debra Storr and PG Distributed Proofreaders

CAXTON’S

GAME AND PLAYE OF THE CHESSE.

1474.

A VERBATIM REPRINT OF THE FIRST EDITION.

WITH AN INTRODUCTION

BY

WILLIAM E.A. AXON, M.R.S.L.

“And ther was founde by clerkes full prudent 
Of the chesse the play most glorious.”

JOHN LYDGATE.

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LONDON: ELLIOT STOCK,
62, PATERNOSTER ROW, E.C.
1883.


[Transcribers Note: This is a reprint of Caxton’s 1474 original. “Englifh” long s’s which look very similar to f’s have been transposed to s’s for readability; yogh (looks like a mutated 3) has been rendered as a 3; thorn, þ, has been left as such and macrons over letters are given as e.g. [=o]. Otherwise the text has been left as is.

The original punctutation has been preseved. Virgula suspensiva, shown here as / was in common use from the thirteenth to the seventeenth century. Often used for short pauses (such as the cæsura in the middle of a line of poetry), but sometimes was used as equivalent to the punctus. ‘9 represents a superscripted 9 and is an ancestor to the modern apostrophe. It usually indicates the omission of a terminal -us.

A small amount of text in this edition is in Blackletter, which was used in the Caxton original, and these sections have been marked up as such.

The book contains many attractive illustrations copied from the Caxton original and an HTML version exists to give a better representation of this.]

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CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION.

JJonathon Oldbuck on the Game of Chess, 1474
The First Edition: copies in libraries and at sales
Where was it printed?
Caxton’s account of the translation
The Second Edition: copies in libraries and at sales
Ferron and De Vignay’s “Jeu d’Echecs”
Jacques de Cessoles: “Liber de Moribus hominum”
Sermons on Chess
Ægidius Romanus, his life and his book: “De Regimine Principum”
Occleve’s imitation
William Caxton as a translator
Bibliography of the Chess Book:
  Colonna
  Cessoles
  Ferron and De Vignay
  Conrad van Ammenhaufen
  Mennel
  Heinrich von Beringen
  Stephan
  Caxton
  Sloane
  The scope and language of the Chess-book
  Authors quoted and named
  Biblical names and allusions
  Xerxes the inventor of Chess!
  Sidrac
  John the monk
  Truphes of the Philosophers
  Helinand
  Classical allusions
  Mediæval allusions and stories
  John of Ganazath
  St. Bernard
  The dishonest trader
  The drunken hermit
  A violent remedy
  Murder of Nero
  Theodorus Cyrenaicus
  Democritus of Abdera
  Socrates disguised
  Didymus and raised letters for the blind
  Shaksperean etymology
  Caxton at Ghent
  The history of Chess
  The ethical aim of the writer of the Chess-book

THE GAME OF THE CHESSE.

Dedication to the Duke of Clarence

Prologue to second edition

BOOK I.

This booke conteyneth. iiii. traytees/ The first traytee is of the Invencion of this playe of the chesse/ and conteyneth. iii. chapitres.

The first chapitre is under what kynge this play was founden.

The .ii. chapitre/ who fonde this playe.

The .iii. chapitre/ treteth of. iii. causes why hit was made and founden.

BOOK II.

The seconde traytee treteth of the chesse men/ and conteyneth .v. chapitres.

The first chapitre treteth of the forme of a kynge and of suche thinges as apperteyn to a kynge.

The .ii. chapitre treteth of y’e quene & her forme & maners.

The .iii. chapitre of the forme of the alphins and her offices and maners.

The .iiii. chapitre is of the knygth and of his offices.

The .v. is of the rooks and of their maners and offices.

BOOK III.

The thirde traytee is of the offices of the comyn peple And hath .viii. chapitres.

The first chapitre is of the labourers & tilinge of the erthe.

The .ii. of smythis and other werkes in yron & metall.

The .iii. is of drapers and makers of cloth & notaries.

The .iiii. is of marchantes and chaungers.

The .v. is of phisicyens and cirugiens and apotecaries.

The .vi. is of tauerners and hostelers.

The .vii. is of y’e gardes of the citees & tollers & customers.

The .viii. is of ribauldes disepleyars and currours.

BOOK IV.

The .iiii. traytee is of the meuyng and yssue of them And hath .viii. chapitres.

The first is of the eschequer.

The seconde of the yssue and progression of the kynge.

The thirde of the yssue of the quene. [Transcribers note: Original mislabels 3rd chapter as a second 2nd chapter]

The fourth is of the yssue of the alphyns.

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