At 20 minutes of 9 o'clock, the President of the Boston Chess Club, Dr.
Richardson, arose and addressed the assembly as follows:
"In behalf of the Boston Chess Club I am happy to welcome on this occasion our
distinguished guest, Mr. Paul Morphy. and the many other eminent guests
assembled on this occasion. And they may be assured that the welcome is not less
cordial and sincere, although so brief. I now introduce to you the President of
the evening, Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes"
Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes
"We have met, gentlemen, some of us as members of a local association, some of
us as its invited guests, but all of us as if by spontaneous, unsolicited
impulse, to do honor to our young friend who has honored us and all who glory in
the name of Americans, as the hero of a long series of bloodless battles, won
for our common country ... Honor went before him, and Victory followed after ...
"I propose the health of PAUL MORPHY, the world's Chess Champion: His peaceful
battles have helped to achieve a new resolution; his youthful triumphs have
added anew clause to the declaration of American Independence."
Dr. Holmes' speech was greeted with frequent applause and at its
conclusion the band played
"Hail Columbia." Morphy, upon rising to respond, was greeted with three
times three cheers.
As soon as he could be heard he replied:
"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 the present, unprepared as you know I am, I must be allowed to say,
gentlemen, that I rise with particular 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