There is a story of Prince Henry, son of William
afterwards Henry I., that is so frequently recorded in the old
that it is doubtless authentic.
The following version of the incident
taken from Hayward's Life of William the Conqueror,
"Towards the end of his reigne he appointed his
Henry, with joynt authoritie, governours of Normandie;
the one to
suppresse either the insolence or levitie of the other. These went
together to visit the French king lying at Constance: where,
the time with varietie of disports, Henry played with Louis, then
Daulphine of France, at chesse, and did win of him very much.
"Hereat Louis beganne to growe warme in words, and
respected by Henry.
The great impatience of the one and the small
forbearance of the other did strike in the end such a heat between them
that Louis threw the chessmen at Henry's face.
"Henry again stroke Louis with the chessboard,
drew blood with
and had presently slain him upon the place had he not been stayed by
"Hereupon they presently went to horse, and their
claimed so good
haste as they recovered Pontoise, albeit they were sharply pursued by
Now, tradition—on this point not
trustworthy—says that the chessboard
broke into the thirteen fragments shown in our illustration. It will be
seen that there are twelve pieces, all different in shape, each
containing five squares, and one little piece of four squares only.
We thus have all the sixty-four squares of the
puzzle is simply to cut them out and fit them together, so as to make a
perfect board properly chequered.
The pieces may be easily cut out of a
sheet of "squared" paper, and, if mounted on cardboard, they will form
source of perpetual amusement in the home.
If you succeed in constructing the chessboard, but
arrangement, you will find it just as puzzling the next time you feel
disposed to attack it.
Prince Henry himself, with all his skill and
it an amusing pastime.