of men, baffle all calculation ; for oftentimes they are ignorant of their real interests, and even when they know them, are as frequently determined by caprice as by reason. The second cause of our ignorance of things which depend upon the future, arises from the limited power of the human intellect.
Thus, to determine the value of the throw at backgammon between two equal players—the value of the hand at piquet—which piece is the most advantageous at chess, the bishop or the knight— and in what ratio one is better than the others, are problems, the solution of which baffles all human analysis. All that a player has to do, therefore, is to content himself with seeking probability, and to endeavour to approach truth as nearly as possible.
These reflections will be sufficient to satisfy my readers that there are problems which it is impossible to solve, while the few I have given in the following pages will make them acquainted with the nature of those, the solution of which may be attempted with hopes of success.