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"LITTLE WARS" is the game of kings—for players in an inferior
social position. It can be played by boys of every age from twelve
to one hundred and fifty—and even later if the limbs remain
sufficiently supple—by girls of the better sort, and by a few rare
and gifted women. This is to be a full History of Little Wars from
its recorded and authenticated beginning until the present time, an
account of how to make little warfare, and hints of the most
priceless sort for the recumbent strategist....
But first let it be noted in passing that there were prehistoric "Little
Wars." This is no new thing, no crude novelty; but a thing tested
by time, ancient and ripe in its essentials for all its perennial
freshness—like spring. There was a Someone who fought Little
Wars in the days of Queen Anne; a garden Napoleon. His game
was inaccurately observed and insufficiently recorded by Laurence
Sterne. It is clear that Uncle Toby and Corporal Trim were playing
Little Wars on a scale and with an elaboration exceeding even the
richness and beauty of the contemporary game. But the curtain is
drawn back only to tantalise us. It is scarcely conceivable that
anywhere now on earth the Shandean Rules remain on record.
Perhaps they were never committed to paper....
And in all ages a certain barbaric warfare has been waged with