THE LIFE AND CHESS OF PAUL MORPHY                                                                                                                                                                                Edge to Fiske - July 6, 1859



Frederick Milns Edge's letter to Daniel Willard Fiske August 6, 1858  
from David Lawson's Paul Morphy: the Pride and the Sorrow of Chess, pp. 108-110

On August 6, Edge began a letter to Fiske concerning the Löwenthal match:

At the commencement, before in fact the match had begun, Morphy bet Lowe that Löwenthal would not score 5 games, and it now stands M.7 -- L.2 -- Drawn 1, leaving 2 games for Morphy to gain to pocket the 100 Spondulicks. I need not send the games inasmuch as you will find them in the Illustrated London News, accompanied by those mean, sneaking notes, which have constituted Staunton the "Chess Pariah" of the London world  . . .  After the second game, which Morphy won, the first being a "draw", the Rev. John Owen, alias "Alter" who is one of Morphy's seconds, came up to Löwenthal and said to him in my hearing "Never mind, one swallow don't make a summer."  This reverend gent . . . is more inimical to Morphy than any man in London. God knows how he became Morphy's second; Morphy did not choose him. After each game Löwenthal lost, he would come to Morphy and tell him that he had won by L.'s oversight, and that he had played much below his strength, or he would not beat him. Morphy has become so disgusted by his ungentlemanly conduct, and thickheaded observations on the games, that he has challenged him to a match, giving him odds of Pawn & Move, and this may probably come off, before the match with Staunton . . .
     But Owen states that he does not look upon the result of the match with Löwenthal as conclusive of Morphy's superiority, nor does he think that Morphy having gained of himself 4 out of 5 offhand games, in which Owen took an average of ¼ hour to a move prove anything, and that he wishes to play two matches  simultaneously with him, one at even, one at Pawn & move - alternate games . . .
     Staunton has shown his willingness to play after the Birmingham meeting by allowing a committee to form in his favor at the St. George's, to raise funds to back him &c. but if Owen can make a match with Morphy at even, Staunton will be justified in saying" "I have made every preparation to play, but Mr. Morphy's procedure has prevented my doing so. Mt. Morphy plays Mr. Owen even, - I give Mr. Owen Pawn and Move. Mr. Morphy playing Mr. Owen even, must also accept Pawn and Move from me." Paul Morphy very properly will not consent to pay him [Owen], therefore, even, and Lord Arthur Hay backs him up in such determination. This nobleman, a splendid looking officer in the Queen's Guards, and a member of St. George's is much taken with Morphy and always comes to his assistance when such jealous devils and Owen & Co. are besetting him. You may rely upon the match coming off with Staunton in September.

The same letter continues, under the date August 13:

The Rev, John Owen (alias "Alter") consented to play the match at Pawn and Move on Tuesday last [August 10]; the terms being the winner of the first five games (5) for a set of Ivory Staunton Men. If Owen won, Morphy to play him afterwards even; if the contrary, Morphy to give him Pawn and two.  Staunton gives Own Pawn and one, and loses the majority of games, and the impression was at St. George's that no man could give him these odds in a match. The first game Morphy won in 18 moves, time 2½ hours, whereof Owen took 2 hours. The second game was drawn, after 6 hours play; the 3rd and 4th were both won by Morphy, leaving Owen at Zero. This is considered Morphy's greatest performance since his arrival in Europe, and the folks at the St. George's believe now that Alter will not get a game. The match is resumed tomorrow [August 14]; when it will probably be finished [it was].
     Morphy had not played anyone during the continuance of his match with the Hungarian [up to August 6]. We have been constantly together, and have seen most of the sights in London. I look particularly after his health, which I am happy to say is capitally good: his nerve is excellent, and I think he is at least a pawn and move stronger than when he played here at first, for he was then somewhat fatigued from his voyage.

Lawson, p.112: "In his composite August 6 and 13 letter to Fiske, Edge reaffirms his own confidence that the match [Morphy-Staunton] would occur:

You may rely upon the match coming off with Staunton in September, and Morphy is too much a diplomatist to commit any faux pas, which may give Staunton a loop-hole to escape . . .
     You can state positively that the match between Staunton and Morphy for £500 a side will commence the first week in September; the sorer of the first eleven games to be the winner.