Before we begin, a word of caution

I read this poem in one of the board game’s description.  It would be read before a game to make sure that every player would play fair.  I think it is fantastic and that it is a great way to launch the project!  It is from a game called “The Novel and Elegant Game of the Basket of Fruit or Moral and Intellectual Dessert” which pretty much sets the tone by itself!

THE CAUTION OR FRIENDLY HINT

Before in this Game we proceed,

Permit me a few words to say;

I will not five minutes exceed,

or detain you, good folk, from your play.

I trust all around me are friends,

And will take what I say in good part;

Should a word of my CAUTION offend,

It would grieve me indeed to the heart.

But I wish to put all on their guard

Against certain tricks I have seen;

And think not my censure too hard,

When I call them both cunning and mean.

I observe even those whom I love,

If they like not the number they spin,

Will the counter, or tee-totum move,

In hope by such cheating to win.

But even in trifles like these,

Such conduct should never take place;

Mean actions get on by degrees,

Till they end in our total disgrace.

Besides, though we call this a Game,

We cannot but quickly discern

It’s only a sport as to name-

In the Play, there is something to learn:

Improvement with Mirth is design’d;

And the least we can do for such care,

While the moral sinks deep in the mind,

Is to play its rules open and fair,

The gambler all hate and despise;

For he plays but to cheat and to gain:

But we, to be better and wise;

And neither to cause or feel pain.

Well, now I have finish’d my Task;

And should any be tempted to wrong,

I have only one favour to ask,

That-they pause, and reflect on my song.

 

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