"O friend; O son!" exclaimed the old man when he had come close. "Now hearken! For, verily, this is the only way! "It is an ancient custom of the Merucaans that any man captive or free, can ever challenge our chief, whosoever he be, to the death-combat. If the chief wins, he remains chief. If he loses, the victor takes his place. Many hundreds of years, I know not how long, this has been our way.
Morphy or Staunton, on whose calculations, I will suppose, you have staked £100, brook your insane solicitations to spare this pawn or withdraw that knight from prise, on the board which is but the toy type of that dread field where all the powers of eternal intellect, the wisdom from above and the wisdom from beneath the stupendous intelligence that made, and the stupendous sagacity that would undo us, are pitted one against the other in a death-combat, which admits of no reconciliation and no compromise?