With good reason, I pride myself in my knowledge of Paul Morphy. Thanks to thousands of hours spent on the subject and to dialogues with many experts, I'm rarely surprised at anything I find anymore. However, in perusing the Chess Monthly issues of 1859, I came across information that caught me off-guard. Some facts, mostly fine, trivial details, in this article are completely new to me.
Live and Learn.
from the Chess Monthly
published in the column titled
Wearing the laurels of old world victories, Paul Morphy finds himself once more among his countrymen. His right to wield the chess sceptre has now been proven and acknowledged on both sides of the ocean. No one dare dispute it. But more pleasant than the honors of conquest are the memories which he brings back with him from Europe—memories of kindness and courtesy, memories of friendships formed and acquaintances made, memories of a career free from any ungentlemanly act upon his side, and free, also, with but one or two unfortunate exceptions, from any disgraceful deed upon the part of bis transatlantic rivals. He has thus brought to its last page a chapter in the history of chess exceeding in interest all its former episodes. He has transferred the romance, the chivalry, the daring of the sixteenth century to the nineteenth. In him Bayard and the old knights, with their courteous courage and high sense of honor, live again.
We give a resume, as extended as our space will allow, of the late events and incidents in connection with Mr. Morphy's departure from the old world and his arrival in the new.
The Last Days at Paris.
After six months' sojourn in the city of Deschapelles and Labourdonnais, Mr. Morpliy prepared to leave Paris. On the Monday (April 4th,) proceeding his departure the chessplayers of the French capital gave him a banquet at the establishment of Pestel, the famous restaurateur. Mr. St. Amant presided, and among the persons present were Lcquesne, the sculptor, Arnous de Riviere, Journoud, Delannoy, Panseron, professor at the Conservatory of Music, Budzinsky, Lamoureux and Mr. Sybrandt, the brother-in-law of Mr. Morphy. Mr. Delannoy proposed the health of Mr. Morphy, who responded in a few words expressive of his regret at leaving the capital of the civilized world, where he had experienced so much kind attention. He concluded by asking tho company to unite with him in a toast to Mr. St Amant. The president, after returning thanks, approached the admirable bust of Morphy by Lcquesne, and with some appropriate remarks, in which he said that their guest's unassuming modesty had shrunk from such an act of homage to himself, proceeded to crown the image with a wreath of laurel amid the prolonged plaudits of the assemblage. St Amant then said " Morphy ! Our friend! Our Master ! You are, with us, immortal. In truth, to have won, so young, the highest renown of both hemispheres, and to have had your image reproduced by Lequesne, renders immortality doubly sure."
Toasts were then proposed by Lequesne, Duboil, Pogonkine and others and after many hours of festivity the large assemblage separated.
Morphy in London.
The American player reached London on Monday, April 10th, and took up his quarters at the British Hotel, Cockspur street. The same evening he attended an entertainment given by Mr. Mongredien, the President of the London Club. On Tuesday he accompanied Mr. Lowenthal to the St. James's Club. On Wednesday evening he played eight simultaneous blindfold games at the London Club, against the following well-known players :
Mongredien, Slous, Walker, Greenaway, Janssens, Medley and Jones. The affair lasted from 5 p. m. until 1 a. m., and after winning two games it was decided, owing to the lateness of the hour, to call the remaining six drawn, although the papers state that some of these the blindfold player might have won. Among the persons who witnessed this feat were Lord Arthur Hay, Marmaduke Wyvill, M. P., T. Worrall, Esq., Arnous de Riviere, Mr. Barnes and Mr. Boden. On Thursday (April 14th), the long-established London Club gave him a dinner at the Ship Hotel, Greenwich. Mr. Mongredien occupied the chair, and in an able and glowing speech called the attention of the room to the presence of the King of Chess, lauded his ability, courteous demeanor and modesty only equalled by his skill. In welcoming him back to England he expressed his regret that his stav was to be so brief, and terminated his remarks by proposing the health of the Champion of the World. Mr. Morphy, in response, alluded to the unvarying courtesy of the London Club, and gave the health of its President. Mr. Mongredien then toasted Mr. Arnous de Riviere, who replied and was followed by Mr. Morphy who proposed the health of Mr. George Walker, alluding to his just renown as an author and a player, and expressing, in warm terms, the pleasure it had afforded him to make the acquaintance of one so well known wherever chess was practiced. Mr. Walker then acknowledged the gratification which he felt in being mentioned in terms so flattering by a master Bo distinguished. After speeches by Mr. Medley, Mr. Lowenthal and others, the company separated.
On the following Saturday Mr. Morphy visited the London Club, and played a game with Mr. Lowenthal, which was drawn. On Wednesday, (20th) the St. George's Club followed the example of ite sister association and entertained Mr. Morphy at the Wellington saloon, Piccadilly. At two o'clock Mr. Morphy commenced to play eight blindfold games against Lord Cremorne, Captain Kennedy, H. G. Cattley, Lord Arthur Hay, T. H. Worrall, J. Cunningham, G. Thrupp and W. Barnes. Mr. Morphy won six and drew two games, at the end of five hours. Thereupon the banquet took place, the description of which we copy from the Era:
About sixty noblemen and gentlemen Bat down In the splendid dining room of the building. The banquet was of the most recherche description ; the viands and wines provided by the establishment were of the choicest kind; and the chef of the euisme contributed In no small degree, by a happy selection of names for his dishes in honouring the guest of the evening.
In the absence of the Earl of Eglintoun, the President of the club, Lord Cremorne occupied the chair, being supported on the right by P. Morphy. Esq., and on the left by M. A. de Riviere, the adjoining seats being occupied by the veteran player, W. Lewis, Mr. Medley, the Hon. Sec. of the London Club; Mr. Sybrandt (Mr. Morphy's brother-in-law); Herr Lowenthal, and others. T. Worrall, Esq., now so well known in England as the Mexican Amateur, worthily filled the vice-chair; and Lord Arthur Hay and Mr. Hampton, the Hon. Sec. of the St. George's, gave him, on his right and left, the usual support.
After full justice had been done to the bounties of the table.
His Lordship proposed the usual loyal toasts, and next proceeded to the toast of the evening, observing that it was never agreeable to say in a gentleman's presence all the nattering things that he could couple with the name of Paul Morphy, that every gentleman present was aware of his skill as a Chess player. All had witnessed his modetty, undated by repeated triumphs, the courtesy that characterized his communion with each and all of bis fellow-players; and it was sufficient to give his name merely to ensure for it that hearty reception of which he was so highly deserving.
The proposal of the noble Chairman having been accepted with a burst of cheering such as we have never heard given, the young Champion rose, and made the following eloquent response:—
I hardly know, my lord and gentlemen, in what terms to acknowledge the high compliment of which I this day find myself the unworthy object. There are occasions when a language must be spoken of far more difficult utterance than the ordinary speech which obtains among men—moments when the full heart can find no expressions commensurate with the intensity of its feelings—when every word seems cold—when language itself becomes powerless. Of such, I feel, is the present occasion. When I look before and around me, and see gathered in my honour so select an assembly of Chess-loving gentlemen, I feel that mere words could never adequately express my deep sense of indebtedness. The only return I can make is to tender to each and every gentleman here present my warm, and I would beg you to believe, my heartfelt acknowledgements. To those gentlemen with whom I have had the honour to contest a few friendly battles over the chequered board, I would also express my profound obligation. Their kindness—their unvarying courtesy—their demeanour, always marked by the most polite attentions—I shall not easily forget Let me hope that they who, for a few brief hours, were foes in the mimic strife, have become warm personal friends. To bare conquered their esteem is my proudest boast. And now, gentlemen, after a sojourn of nearly twelve months in the Old I must again seek my far home in the New World. Gladly would I here remain in company so congenial, but the call of duty must be obeyed. To say that I do not regret the few months spent in Europe would be saying but little. What may be reserved forme in the future I will not venture to divine, but this I do feel that one of the most delightful episodes oi my life is fast vanishing into the past. Come what may—be pleasure or pain my lot hereafter—the remembrance of the golden days passed in your midst will ever be dearly treasured here. Should fortune smile on my future career I shall dwell with delight on the auspicious morn that heralded the bright and happy day; and should adversity—as soon it may—lower around my pathway of life, I shall derive from the remembrance of other and better days a consolation of which nothing shall deprive me.
Some other toasts having been duly proposed, honoured, and responded to, the company separated after one of the most delightful Chess reunions at which it has ever been our lot to assist.
On Tuesday (26th), Mr. Morphy conducted at the St. John's Club, five games simultaneously, against Lowenthal, Arnous de Riviere, Barnes, Boden and Bird. Barnes won, Liiwenthal and Boden drew and the others were scored by Mr. Morphy. Soon after, Mr. Morphy left London, and on the following day sailed from Liverpool.
Mr. Morphy arrived in New York in company with his brother-in- law, Mr. Sybrandt, by the Persia, on Wednesday, May 10th, and ever since, his rooms at the St. Nicholas Hotel have been thronged from morning until night by his friends and admirers. Congratulations have poured in upon him from all parts of the country. Earnest invitations to visit them have been received from many of the large cities of the Union, from Boston, Providence, Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Richmond, Charleston, Clcaveland, Cincin- natti, St. Louis. It is Mr. Morphy's intention to accept as many of these as his time and his route to New Orleans will permit. In every case a week's notice of his coming will be sent.
Photographers and autograph hunters are not among the least assiduous and persistent of Mr. Morphy's visitors. But in the midst of all this the young hero's unaffected modesty and admirable courtesy are more apparent than ever. His days are spent in receiving his friends at his rooms, or ia writing; his evenings have been passed in entertainments at the residences of prominent citizens of New York, or in play at the club, with Mr. Frederick Perrin, late Secretary of the New York Club, and now President of the Brooklyn Club. Mr. Morphy has played a match of six games in which he gave the odds of the Queen's Knight. The result was Morphy 5, Perrin 0, Drawn 1. Before commencing the match four games of the same kind were played between Mr. Morphy and Mr. Perrin three of which were scored by the former and the fourth by the latter. With Mr. James Thompson, Mr. Morphy, at the time we write has played two games, also at the odds of the Knight, of which each player has won one. In an evening spent at the Union Chess Club, Mr. Morphy played four games, two with Mr. Isidor, the President, and two with Mr. Beneke. In each instance he gave a knight and won.
A dinner has been proffered to Mr. Morphy by the Boston Club, at which it is expected Mr. Everett, Mr. Holmes, Mr. Sparks, President Walker and a host of literary and political celebrities will be present. Arrangements have also been made on a large scale, both in Philadelphia and Baltimore to receive him properly. In our next we shall give an account of the New York festivities which will have taken place before this number of our magazine reaches many of its subscribers. The day appointed for the presentation of the superb and costly chessmen and chess board, and of the watch, was Wednesday May 25th. Addresses were to be delivered by Mr. John Van Buren, Mr. W. J. A. Fuller and others. On the following evening the Union Chess Club, an association composed chiefly of Germans, was to give Mr. Morphy an entertainment, during which a handsome silver wreath would be presented to him, in the name of the Club.
A Card from Mr. Morphy.
Mr. Morphy regrets that he has been able, during his stay in Europe, to devote so little time to the Chess Monthly. Hereafter, however, the departments of analytical and practical chess will be exclusively superintended by him.
Zatrikiology is defined as the science of problems