THE LIFE AND CHESS OF PAUL MORPHY                                                                                          Boden's comments from the Dec. 4,  1858 issue of the London Field


     Boden's comments on the Morphy-Staunton affair that appeared in the December 4, 1858 edition of the London Field.

Now it cannot be denied that the English, as a nation, are too fond of finding fault with their descendants, on the score of a deficiency in honorable conduct in their transactions between man and man. For this reason we cannot but deplore the humiliating position into which English Chess-players have been plunged by the proceedings of their champion, Mr. Staunton, towards his American rival, Mr. Morphy.
     This gentleman crossed the Atlantic in the most chivalrous manner, with the determination of "trying a fall" with the European masters of the game, and, immediately on his landing, threw down his glove to Mr. Staunton in particular (to whom he allowed his own terms), and, in the meantime, was ready to play all comers. Nothing could be more straight-forward than Mr. Morphy's conduct throughout the long period of time in which has been kept in suspense, and during which time he has displayed an amount of patience and good temper, only to be equalled [sic] by himself when finally engaged over the board.
     On the other hand, we are driven to contemplation of the shifts to which Mr. Staunton has been induced to resort, and which are so ably detailed by our correspondent, "Pawn and Two," whose condemnation of them is shared by nearly all the leading players in Paris and London. National pride would lead us to support our own side, if we could do so without compromising our national honor; but since it appears that in the present contest, the former is doomed to succumb, let us guard the latter all the more carefully, and while we pity the feelings of the individual, let us show, that as a nation, we do not sympathize with his actions.
     For him the excuse might possibly be made that he could not afford to risk his position as the acknowledged head of English Chess; but no apology can atone for the attitude which he has assumed toward Mr. Morphy, from the moment that he found there was a certainty of being compelled to come to a definite conclusion; and so far from his manoeuvers [sic] being successful, they had quite the opposite effect. We cordially agree, therefore, with our correspondent, that a new champion must be sought for; but we can hardly expect to meet with a player of Mr. Morphy's strength in our hour of need, and we are afraid that Europe, as well as England, must bow the neck to America, and acknowledge themselves.
     At the same time, let us cooperate with "Pawn and Two" who himself stands high among the metropolitan players in the laudable attempt to remove everything which tends to the disparagement of this noble game, and, above all, let us do homage to such talent as is exhibited by Mr. Morphy, without considering whether he is English or American.