Morphy's Speech in England

batgirl

Here are two known speeches by Morphy:  the first from the NY testimonial banquet in his honor upon his return from Europe and the second from a similar banquet given in Boston:

 

 

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen:

Twelve months have elapsed since bidding adieu to my Western home. I sought beyond the blue waters the foreign skies of another hemisphere; and again I have returned to the land of my birth and affections. Another year has glided by and once more I find myself by the friends whose good wishes and approbation cheered my wandering course. I thank them - I most sincerely thank them for the more then cordial which has greeted my return to the Empire City. Well may they say that they have made their City the verdant spot in my sandy path - the green and ever-blooming oasis of repose where, like the way-worn traveler, I forget the fatigue and exposure of the journey, and gather renewed life and energy for its completion. Not satisfied, however, with showering innumerable attentions upon me, they this night cap the climax of their favors by presenting me, in conjunction with a large number of the citizens of New York, this beautiful piece of workmanship and a superb testimonial of their regard and sympathy. How thankfully received - how dearly prized - mere words can not portray. I shall proudly take it to my Southern home and preserve it as a precious memento of my friends in New York.

I fear, ladies and gentlemen, that lengthy comments upon the game of chess might prove uninteresting to a large portion of the highly intellectual audience before me. Of my European tour I will only say it has been pleasant in almost every respect. Of the adversaries encountered in the peaceful jousts of the checkered field, I retain a lively and agreeable recollection. I found them gallant, chivalrous and gentlemanly, as well as true votaries of the kingly pastime.

A word now on the game itself. Chess has never been and never can be aught but a recreation. It should not be indulged it to the detriment of other and more serious avocations - should not absorb the mind or engross the thoughts of those who worship at its shrine; but should be kept in the background and restrained within its proper province. As a mere game, a relaxation from the severer pursuits of life, it is deserving of high commendation. It is not only the most delightful and scientific, but the most moral of amusements. Unlike other games in which lucre is the end and the aim of the contestants, it recommends itself to the wise by the fact that its mimic battles are fought for no prize but honor. It is eminently and emphatically the philosopher's game. Let the chessboard supercede the card table, and a great improvement will be visible in the morals of the community. But, ladies and gentlemen, I need not expiate on the field so ably traversed by the eloquent gentleman who has just addressed you. I thank you from my heart for the very flattering manner in which you have been pleased to receive his too complimentary remarks, and for the numerous attentions received at your hands. I shall leave New York with melancholy sorrow, for I part from friends than whom none truer can be found. Let them rest assured that along with the memory of the chessboard I possess the memory of the heart. And now, with a renewal of my sincere thanks for the splendid token of your regard with which you have presented me tonight, and the assurance that I shall cherish in unfading memory the remembrance of my sojourn here, I bid you, ladies and gentlemen, a farewell, which I fondly hope will not prove the last.

 

 

 

 

Mr. President and Gentlemen:

I sincerely thank you. To one and all I tender the expression of my warm and heartfelt acknowledgements. But, gentlemen, on such an occasion as present, unprepared as you know I am, I must be allowed to say, gentlemen, that I rise with peculiar embarrassment and unaffected diffidence in attempting to speak before an intellectual aristocracy such as I have never before witnessed, whose celebrity and literary achievements are a part of our country's history. In such an illustrious presence, it would ill become me to make a speech. I can only tender my thanks to the committee, with an expression of my sincere acknowledgements for the pleasure of being surrounded by a company so distinguished.

 

 

Americu

He would have made a great Diplomat.

kindaspongey
batgirl wrote:

I posted this speech because a) I have never seen it published before other than in the source and b) ...

Chapter 15 of Lawson's book (pages 197-198 in the original edition).

batgirl
kindaspongey wrote:
batgirl wrote:

I posted this speech because a) I have never seen it published before other than in the source and b) ...

Chapter 15 of Lawson's book (pages 197-198 in the original edition).

Thanks.  I don't own a copy of "Paul Morphy" by Lawson and it's been 20 years since I read it.  I didn't recall reading it there.  

IronIC_U

OMG, batgirl,

Where are you getting this from?  I’ve purchased every chess book available in the 90’s and never saw this.

IronIC_U
Americu wrote:

He would have made a great Diplomat.

Well, glad you mention that.  Capablanca, who is purported to be the reincarnation of Morphy...

Was a diplomat!

kindaspongey
batgirl (quoting Morphy) wrote:

... A word now on the game itself. Chess has never been and never can be aught but a recreation. It should not be indulged it to the detriment of other and more serious avocations - should not absorb the mind or engross the thoughts of those who worship at its shrine; but should be kept in the background and restrained within its proper province. As a mere game, a relaxation from the severer pursuits of life, it is deserving of high commendation. It is not only the most delightful and scientific, but the most moral of amusements. Unlike other games in which lucre is the end and the aim of the contestants, it recommends itself to the wise by the fact that its mimic battles are fought for no prize but honor. It is eminently and emphatically the philosopher's game. Let the chessboard supercede the card table, and a great improvement will be visible in the morals of the community. ...

I do not have Lawson in front of me at the moment, but I am sure that I have seen this before.

lcshepard

batgirl wrote:

Some time ago a  friend of mine stumbled across a newspaper article and sent the page to me. Not knowing his intentions, I never published it but I think sufficient time has passed.  In the newspaper, there were two articles on Morphy, one directly following the other just as below: 


 

Sacramento Daily Union
June 10, 1859

MORPHY'S SPEECH IN ENGLAND—At the festival given in London by several noble gentlemen on the departure of Morphy from England, he said, in reply to a toast : 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—momenta 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 honor 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 acknowledgments. To those gentlemen with whom I have had the honor to contest a few friendly battles over the checkered board, I would also express my profound obligation. Their kindness, their unvarying courtesy, their demeanor, 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 have conquered their esteem is my proudest boast. And now, gentlemen, after a sojourn of near twelve months in the Old, I must seek my far home in the New World. Gladly would I here remain, in company so congenial, but the call of duty most be obeyed. To say that I regret the few months spent in Europe would be saying but little. What may be reserved for me in the future I will not venture to divine ; but this I do feel that one of the most delightful episodes of my life is fast vanishing into the pastCome 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 as 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.

"Let fate do her worst, there are relics of Joy
Bright dreams of the east that she cannot destroy,
That come in the night time of sorrow and care,
And bring back the features that Joy used to wear.

"Long, long he my heart with such memories filled
Like the vase In which roles have once been distilled;
You may break, you may shatter the vase if you will,
But the scent of the roses will hang round it still."


MORPHY AT HOME—In the bustle of the Anniversaries, the excitement incident to the recent news from Europe, and the pertinacity of the northeast " May storm," the arrival home of Paul Morphy has passed almost unrecorded. Morphy arrived in the Persia on Wednesday morning. Morphy was met at the steamer by his intimate friends, Litchtenheim and Daniel W. Fiske, with several members from the various chess clubs in this city, and escorted to his quarters at the St. Nicholas Hotel, where be was waited upon by C. D. Mead, President of the New York Chess Club ; Frederick Perrin, of the Brooklyn Chess Club ; W. J. A. Fuller, J. L. Graham, Jr., and many other distinguished admirers of the game of chess and of him who has so ably proved himself its master. In the evening Morphy and a few friends partook of a dinner at the Metropolitan Hotel. It was impromptu in its character, and intended only as a social courtesy from friends to a friend. At the close of the repast the party adjourned to the elegant rooms of the New York Chess Club, where Morphy engaged in two or three games with Perrin, President of the Brooklyn Club, giving that gentle. man the advantage of a knight and winning all but one. Yesterday Morphy was engaged in receivingIn the n calls from his friends, for the moat of the day, and last evening made visits in company with Fuller. He is rapidly recovering from the fatigues of his recent voyage and excessive mental exertion for the past few months, and appeared in excellent spirits. The stay of Morphy in this city, it is expected, will be prolonged to three or four weeks. The contemplated testimonial of the New York Chess Club will be made on on or about the 20th inst., after which Morphy visits Boston, where a public dinner has been tendered him by several distinguished gentlemen. His headquarters will be in this city until his departure for New Orleans. The testimonial is nearly complete; the chessmen have been ready for several weeks, and have probably never been equaled for costly elegance and perfection of workmanship. They are composed of gold and silver and precious stones. The board will be finished by Saturday, and has exhausted the resources of art and skill in its production. The splendid American match, which forms a part of the testimonial, will be ready during the present week, and will form an unique and specially attractive element in the presentation. During his stay in this city, Morphy's friends will have frequent opportunities of witnessing his play at the rooms of the New York Chess Club, arrangements having been made for that purpose by members of the Club.—New York Times, May 13th.

wow

IronIC_U

These are incredible jewels of chess history that 949 is afraid may be lost forever at some point.  Did batgirl transcribe these articles for the forum few?  Hopefully, these can be saved now... by batgirl for future generations.