GAMES OF SKILL CAN BE PLAYED BY AN AUTOMATON. 465
was himj9elf always andous to bring them to bear npon geology.
I am still more confirmed in my opinion of the importance of the " Theory of Isothermal Surfaces in Geology " from the fact that a few years afterwards my friend Sir John Herschel arrived independently at precisely the same theory. I have stated this at length in the notes to the " Ninth Bridgewater Treatise."
Games of Skill.
A considerable time after the translation of Menabrea's memoir had been published, and after I had made many drawings of the AncJytical Engine and all its parts, I began to meditate upon the intellectucJ means by which I had reached to such advanced and even to such unexpected results. I reviewed in my mind the various principles which I had touched upon in my published and unpublished papers, and dwelt with satisfaction upon the power which I possessed over mechanism tbrough the aid of the Mechanical Notation. I felt, however, that it would be more satisfactory to the minds of others, and even in some measure to my own, that
I should try the power of such principles as I had laid down, by assuming some question of an entirely new kind, and endeavouring to solve it by the aid of those principles which had so successfully guided me in other cases.
After much consideration I selected for my test the con- trivance of a machine that should be able to play a game of purely intellectual skill successfully ; such as tit-tat-to, drafts, chess, &c.
I endeavoured to ascertain the opinions of persons in every class of life and of all ages, whether they thought it required human reason to play games of skill. The almost constant