On May 25, 1859, there was seen in the chapel of the New York University a very brilliant and numerous company. There were great lawyers and merchant princes, there were women of fashion, there were learned professors and sportsmen, there were "divines, heroes, and poets." These persons had assembled for a singular if not unprecedented purpose. It was that of binding a chaplet of victory on the youthful brow of Mr. Paul Morphy, and of laying at his feet a costly and magnificent token of admiration for his exploits in Europe as a chess player.
Nor was this enthusiasm unshared on the other side of the sea. The press of London and the Continent teemed with Morphy's praise. Public banquets had just been given in his honor by London and Paris clubs. His bust had been crowned with laurel the Cerele des Echecs. The great chess-players whom he had vanquished were foremost in proclaiming his supremacy. "He can give odds to any living player," cried St. Amant, the old opponent of Staunton, and the acknowledgments of Anderssen and others are equally historical.
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