In Praise op Games
W E are probably all believers that "A merry-heart doeth good like a medicine," or to paraphrase it—that "Merriment is the best medicine," and hold that fun enjoyed in common exorcises bad tempers, banishes blues, and " happifies" people generally. We may therefore find it time not ill employed to consider such games and pastimes as may prove conducive to these beatific results.
Wellington's famous statement that the battle of Waterloo was first won on Eton playground has been often quoted, but not every one realises how essentially play is youth's rehearsal for the acts of mature life.
A boy that is earnest in play is apt to be earnest in work, and games of skill aid much in his development. They quicken the perceptive faculties, sharpen the wits, increase the imaginative powers, and social games that involve intelligence and information stimulate ambition to excel in these lines.
One meets obstacles, and is taught patience in overcoming them—the pleasure of success leading to renewed effort. When sides are taken, the mistake of one is the common loss of all—and esprit de corps is educated. New problems are continually arising, the conditions are never quite the same, and ingenuity is called upon to meet them. One must keep one's temper, play absolutely fairly—careful to take no unlawful advantage—