The Life and Letters of The Right Hon. Friedrich Max Muller

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Part 1 of 2

CHAPTER XXXI
1892-1893


Last course of Gifford Lectures, Birth of second grandchild. New edition of Rig-veda published. Tercentenary of Trinity College, Dublin. Mr. Froude returns to Oxford. Ninth Oriental Congress. Fourth Gifford Lectures published. Journey to Italy, Greece, and Turkey. Stay at Constantinople. Buda-Pesth. Vienna. Leipzig. Jubilee of Doctor’s Degree, Neuwied. Birth of third grandchild. Seventieth birthday.

To Lady Welby.

January 5, 1892.

‘For all my sins I have been elected President of the next Oriental Congress, and during the last week I have had thirty letters to write to different Rajahs and Maharajahs, so what should I give for a little rest! I want to finish my fourth volume of Gifford Lectures, and my thoughts are very much where yours are. What is the origin and purpose of a Sign, and how is it that we understand a sign in what is Significance? I said long ago that the history of philosophy is the history of our fight against language and all its inevitable misunderstandings. Thence, as Herbert says, true philosophy is definition.

‘I think I shall soon elope with myself and hide somewhere in the forest.'


Early in the month the third volume of Gifford Lectures on Anthropological Religion came out, the subject being the gradual growth of a belief in something infinite, immortal and divine in man. In his preface Max Muller says: —

‘In lecturing on the origin and the growth of religion, my chief object has been to show that a belief in God, in the immortality of the soul, and in a future retribution can be gained, and not only can be, but has been gained by the right exercise of human reason alone, without the assistance of what has been called a special revelation. I have tried to prove this, not, as others have done, by reasoning a priori only, but by historical investigation. In doing this, I thought I was simply following in the footsteps of the greatest theologians of our time, and that I was serving the cause of true religion by showing by ample historical evidence, gathered from the Sacred Books of the East, how what St. Paul, what the Fathers of the Church, what mediaeval theologians, and what some of the most learned of modern divines had asserted again and again was most strikingly confirmed by the records of all non-Christian religions which have lately become accessible to us. I could not have believed it possible that, in under- taking this work, I should have exposed myself to attacks from theologians who profess and call themselves Christians, and who yet maintain that worst of all heresies, that, during all the centuries that have elapsed and in all the countries of the world, God has left Himself without a witness, and has revealed Himself to one race only, the Jews of Palestine.'


One reviewer, speaking of the attacks on Max Muller, says: ‘The Professor may well be content with expounding what he believes to be the truth with a wealth of learning which few men could rival, and a general sobriety of tone which might be an example to some of his critics; for the rest, we may remind both parties to the controversy of the old motto of another Scottish University, “They say. What say they? Let them say."' One friend, to whom the book was sent, wrote: ‘One reason why I value your book is because it is conciliatory, yet firm, and seems likely to help the advance well onward.' The Master of Balliol (Jowett), in writing about this work, spoke of the passage on ‘Miracles' at the end of the preface, in which he entirely agreed. ‘It was a very bold, and, I think, a very wise thing to make such a statement; it does great service to religion.’

Before the middle of January, the Max Mullers left for Glasgow for the fourth and last course of Gifford Lectures. These were on Psychological Religion, giving the history of the various attempts made to define the relation between the infinite in nature and the infinite in man, or the union of the soul with God. The attendance was very large, and this concluding course excited great interest. This time in Glasgow was less filled with social duties, and for the last fortnight Max Muller was alone, his wife having been summoned to her daughter, by the birth of their second grandchild.

To Madame Blumenthal.

Glasgow, January 27, 1892.

‘I quite sympathize with your indictment against Greek Grammar. But you see language is not made, but grows, and as we accept a gnarled oak-tree, we must accept the Greek language, such as it has grown up. Of course, a language was never meant to be learnt by grammar, but by ear; and the Greek children, who never heard a wrong accent or a wrong tense, never made a mistake. I think that Greek scholars also ought to be satisfied if they know a Greek form when they meet it, and not break their hearts about a solecism, when they attempt to write it. There is, no doubt, reason in all that seems unreasonable in grammar, but the reason is often very unreasonable. False analogy prevails largely, and irregular forms become popular, if used by popular poets. We must not attempt to find a reason for all media — the rules would become as fanciful as the fancy that gave rise to the media in many cases. Anyhow we must not be Pharisees. English and French are quite as bad as Greek. Why do we write le prix, but le palais [Google translate: the price, but the palace]? Why curieux, but mauvais, formerly curieuse, mauvaise [Google translate: Why curious, but bad, formerly curious, bad]? Voltaire wrote aprocher, soufrir, coroux, alumer [Google translate: approach, suffer, coroux, light]. Why are unfortunate examinees ploughed, if they write as Voltaire wrote?

‘I remember an American Grammar in which it was said that in this language all verbs are irregular; I remember a German Grammar in which it was said that the only regular verbs are the irregular. The question is, with whom rests the norma loquendi?'


To Mrs. Humphry Ward (on receiving David Grieve).

Glasgow, February 2.

'Many thanks for your new novel. I have read it, though I had no cold and no influenza. Looking at the mere workmanship, the mixing of the colours, and the putting them on the canvas, I am perfectly amazed at the mastery you have attained. I am almost afraid I shall be converted to novel-reading in my old age. I used to teach and preach against them like a young Sauk As a matter of fact, tales meant for entertainment form generally the last stages of the literature of the great nations of the world. But there is evidently no escape from them now, and who knows but I shall have to write a religious novel instead of Gifford Lectures? I have no doubt your work wall prove a great success, and I can see that there is hard and honest work in it. Still, knowing the feelings of a mother for her first-born, I know you will not feel angry if I feel more deeply interested in Robert Elsmere than in David Grieve! '


To Professor Maurice Bloomfield, Baltimore (after receiving his Contributions to the Interpretation of the Veda).

Oxford, March 23, 1892.

‘I must answer your very kind letter at once. I feel very guilty, but when you are as old as I am you will, I am sure, have pity on me. I can assure you that if I were to acknowledge all books and papers sent to me, I should simply break down. It is physically impossible. I have always read your papers with real pleasure, because they contained substantial facts, and I always look forward to an opportunity of acknowledging my obligations in public. I should have been delighted to have a translation of the Atharva-veda from you for the Sacred Books of the East, but, alas! my forty-eight volumes are full, and the Press has lately declined several new offers.’


As time went on, his correspondence weighed more and more heavily on Max Muller, and though he tried to answer some letters through his secretary or his wife, he found such vicarious answers were seldom accepted in good part. People forgot that the eye and hand are not as active at seventy as at thirty; whilst each year added to the mere number of his correspondents and to the multitude of books sent to him on all subjects.

To Professor Estlin Carpenter.

April 8.

‘Could you, without much trouble, tell me what is the latest date that can safely be assigned to Exodus iii. 14?’


Professor Carpenter having replied that probably Exodus iii. 14 is a late addition to the text, Max Muller wrote thus: —

To The Same.

April 11.

'Many thanks for your letter; it was really what I expected and wished for. The very thought struck me as not Jewish, and far too philosophical. Besides, v. 15 contradicts v. 14. But I had another reason. “I am what I am,” Ahmi yat ahmi, is one of the great names of Ahuramazda, and I could not bring myself to believe that this coincidence was accidental. In Zend the connexion between Ahuro and ah-mi, "I am,” is still felt; it hardly is in Jehovah and hayah! It seems to me a clear case of Zoroastrian influence on Judaism: what I wanted to know was the chronological limit. The mental influence between the two religions belongs to very different dates, some very early. It seems to me that the reaction against polytheism and the worship of the old Devas, in fact the very origin of the Zoroastrian religion, and the belief in one Supreme God, Ahuramazda, may have been due to contact with the Jews settled in the cities of India. It is difficult to account for this sudden change without admitting some external impulse. During the second exile the influence seems to come from Mazdaism rather than from Judaism, except in the very latest Pehlevi traditions. We have just published West's translation of the Dinkard in the Sacred Books of the East It is very interesting.’


In April, Max Muller received a letter from the Duke of Argyll, on the subject of his third series of Gifford Lectures, Anthropological Religion, which the Duke had just read. He replied as follows: —

To The Duke of Argyll.

Oxford, April 16, 1892.

‘I did not wish to enter on the question of Miracles, because I had little to say that was new; and yet it seemed to me cowardly to avoid the question altogether. What I wanted to say was that Miracles, in their true sense, so far from being impossible, are inevitable; they arise from the distance which always exists between the founders of a religion and their immediate disciples. They spring everywhere from the same source, a deep veneration felt by the great unreasoning masses for those whom they do not understand. Miracles thus receive a new and a more profound meaning. We are relieved from those never-ending discussions as to what is possible, probable, or real, what is rational, irrational, natural, or supernatural. We find ourselves before true mira, not small miracula. In a world where all is admirable, there is no room for small surprises. In a world in which no sparrow can fall to the ground without the Father, where is there room for an extra sparrow? The Greeks have brought themselves to conceive what is [x]; are we to conceive what is [x]? I confess I cannot, though as to denying the physical possibility of miracles, who would do that? My difficulty is to find anything that is not a miracle. Thus I take the resurrection, not the ascension, as a fact. Then, people will say, “Christ was not really dead." I answer, “If resuscitation excludes the possibility of antecedent death, then He was not.” But who is to draw that line? certainly not the centurion who thought that the blood running out of His side proved death, whereas medical authorities say that it proved the contrary. To me what people call a mere trance is quite as miraculous as any other deathlike state. To me it is enough that, in the case of Christ, whatever happened was not without the will of God. That is enough for me, and I dare not ask whether it required any exceptional effort. My belief in Christ’s true Divinity is based on my belief in the Logos, and so was the belief of such men as Clement, Origen, and others, who became Christians without surrendering an iota of their philosophical convictions. If only I had more time to read! There it is where the true solution of our difficulties seems to me to lie. I shall try to point out the way in my next volume, but I feel I shall break down — I cannot read what I ought to read. However, I shall try. There is not only Clement and Origen, there is Dionysius the Areopagite, then there is Thomas Aquinas, and last, but by no means least, Meister Eckhart, Tauler, Suso, and all the rest. The Cambridge Neo-Platonists are the last flicker of that ancient light, and all depends on the true meaning of Logos, both word and thought. How much more profoundly these old Platonists conceived the Origin of Species than the Darwinians!’


In the spring of this year, the third and fourth volumes of the new edition of the Rig-veda, brought out at the expense of the Maharajah of Vijayanagara, were published. These completed the work. In his preface to the first volume, Max Muller alluded to the correspondence that went on during 1884, between himself and the India Office relative to a new edition of the Rig-veda, and which has been fully detailed on p. 216, To these statements the India Office demurred, and took the peculiar step of writing to the Delegates of the Press early in 1891, complaining of these statements. Max Muller at once begged that such complaints might be addressed straight to him, that he might have an opportunity of replying personally to the points adverted to in the letter to the Delegates. This was never done. These accusations were never addressed directly to Max Muller, and would therefore not be noticed here, had not Professor Boehtlingk in his Max Muller als Mythen-Dichter [Google translate: Max Muller as Myth poet] ended his attack by bringing up these charges, saying, on the authority of a former employe of the India Office, that Max Muller’s statements were all pure inventions (aus der Luft gegriffen [Google translate: from the Grabbed air]). When the third and fourth volumes were ready for publication, Max Muller wrote a letter to the Secretary of State for India, in which he spoke of the charges as 'grave, and most offensive, if not actionable,' but he trusted to be able to prove by 'evidence that cannot be questioned, that every one of these charges is utterly unfounded. and that they reflect great discredit on the persons who invented them.' Who these were, and by what motives they were influenced, was perfectly well known to Max Muller. In his letter to the Secretary of State, he disproves all the charges, and in a letter to Mr. Curzon, then Under-Secretary of State. dated April 9, 1892, agrees not to advert to them in the Preface of the last volume, but to let bygones be bygones. In a later letter, he says that he does not ask for an official retractation of the charges, only, as they came from the Secretary of State in Council, he asks to be set right in the eyes of the Council. He concludes his letter thus: —

'I have either refuted everyone of these libellous charges, or I have not. If I have, surely the Members of Council should be informed of it; if I have not, surely I ought to be informed what charges have remained unrefuted. I therefore leave my case with perfect confidence in your hands, being most unwilling to cause a public scandal, either in India or in England, and being most anxious to see those friendly relations re-established between the Indian Government and myself, to whom in the past I have owed so much.'


Unfortunately the matter had become known on the continent, through a man who did not hesitate to use official information for personal purposes, and who assisted Dr. Boehtlingk's attack, which was widely circulated, whereas Max Muller's refutation was never known.

It was in this year also that the arrangements for the final volumes of the Sacred Books of the East were completed, and the number of forty-nine volumes filled up, though Max Muller was occupied with his work as editor to the last.

To Mr. Nanjio.

Oxford, May 1.

'I was glad to hear yesterday from your young countryman at Oxford that you were well. I was really afraid that some misfortune might have happened to you during that terrible earthquake. But now that I know where you are, and what you are doing, I write to tell you that we are printing the Sanskrit text of the Buddha Karita. I lent your copy to Professor Cowell, who had received another MS. from India, and has restored a very fair text. The book is very important as the oldest life of Buddha, also as the earliest specimen of the Kavya style in Sanskrit, which we know from Kalidasa and others who lived much later. It is not an easy book to read, and I hope Professor Cowen will publish an English translation.

'I have now two grandchildren, a boy and a girl, both flourishing. My son has passed his examination for the Diplomatic Service, which was a great pleasure to me. I myself and my wife are both well.

'If I thought you would read them, I should gladly send you my Lectures on the Science of Religion, but I am afraid you might consider me a heretic in Buddhism, and wish to burn me! I wish you would come to our ninth Oriental Congress, to be held in London next September. I shall have to act as President. It will be a brilliant gathering of Oriental scholars, and would interest you very much.'


Professor Whitney had written a violent attack on Max Muller's new edition of the Science of Language, and to this the following letter mainly relates: —

To Horatio Hale, Esq.

Oxford, May 1.

'No plagiarism, I am sure, is more delightful than that which we all commit on truth. If we succeed in stealing the same good morsel from the larder of Truth we should feel delighted, as I always feel, if others, in their own independent way, arrive at the same results at which I have arrived. We two differ on some points but agree on most, and where we differ I believe an exchange of ideas by word of mouth, and not on paper, would soon make us agree. With regard to Linguistic Ethnology, for instance, all I meant to concede was that though some of the black inhabitants of India learnt to speak an Aryan language, they are ethnologically, or, as people say, by blood, different from the Aryas their conquerors. The Celts in Ireland are Celts, though they speak English. More than that I did not mean, and from what happened at the time I believe the people at Cardiff quite understood what I meant. I feel very grateful for what you said about Whitney. I do not know whether you have followed his raids from the first. I thought at first he was honest and sincere, and took the trouble to answer him in a long paper, "In Self-Defence." In order to put an end to mere squabbling, I proposed to him to choose three judges among his own friends to submit the points in question to them, and to have done. He showed the better part of valour, and declined the trial on purely whimsical grounds. After that he went on sending me articles, anonymous or signed; in fact, he placed himself outside the pale of literary criticism. As, without losing all self-respect, I could not answer him, I have made it a rule for at least fifteen years never to read his invectives. . . . This is the man who adopts a magisterial tone in all American newspapers. I have always thought him to be exactly what you say, un-American, and I believe my American friends are much too shrewd to be taken in by his discharge of venom. I always think if a naughty boy in the street throws mud at you, it is better not to fight him, but to let the mud dry, and brush it off, or still better, wait till one’s friends brush it off for us.’


To M. Renan.

Oxford, May 2.

'My dear old Friend, — We are very anxious to have your support, if not your presence, at the next Oriental Congress to be held in London in September. I have to act as President, and an ill-natured report has been spread that French scholars could not attend a Congress presided over by a German. Now I am a German by birth, but I am a naturalized Englishman, and I doubt whether real Frenchmen, real scholars, share the Chauvinism of —. Lord Reay has asked me to write to you; all we want is your name as a member of the Congress, which entails no more than the ordinary subscription, for which you will receive the transactions of the Congress.'


During Commemoration of this year, the Max Mullers took refuge from the gaieties at Ightham Mote, and then went on to Rugby to their valued friends the Percivals for Speech Day, staying there again a week later on their way to Ireland to attend (by invitation) the Tercentenary of Trinity College, Dublin. There they were the guests of the Lord Mayor. The week was spent in incessant gaieties. On the second day the honorary degrees were conferred, Max Muller being one of the recipients, and being loudly cheered. He was one of the guests chosen to address the students on the last morning of the meeting in Trinity College. The Irish Times described his speech as follows: —

‘The cheering which marked the appearance of Professor Max Muller at the orators’ table was tremendous. This celebrated scholar is a man who rivets the attention of his audience. His style is scholarly and clear; he expresses the results of his study in the simplest of language, and there is not a trace of the pedant in his kindly manner and in his musical voice. He is somewhat above the middle height, is well-built, and his face is one of those strongly-marked, powerful, grey faces which seem to be rough-hewn from granite. His thin hair and bushy whiskers are perfectly white, and, brushed back, they added to the dignity of his highly intellectual face. His pronunciation of English is generally unimpeachable, but at rare intervals a delicately imperfect utterance, corrected almost as soon as spoken, reminded the audience of the celebrated philologist whom they had forgotten in the fluent and forcible speaker of English.'


This fatiguing week was followed by a resting visit to Lord Rosse for three days, after which the Max Mullers made their way by Cork, Glengarriff, and Kenmare, to Killarney, where they stayed with their old friends Professor and Mrs. Butcher, of Edinburgh, exploring, under their guidance, the Lakes, Muckross Abbey, and Ross Castle. The fine scenery was a great delight to Max Muller, whose love of beautiful nature was as vivid at sixty-nine as at twenty-six, when he first visited the Lakes of Cumberland. A day or two were spent at Sir Edward Verner’s at Corke Abbey, near Bray, before returning to England.

To C. E. Norton, Esq., of Cambridge, Mass.

Oxford, July 29.

‘Please accept my late, but very sincere thanks for your welcome and very helpful translation of Dante. I value it all the more, because it shows me that you have kept a place for me in your memory. Life is drawing to an end, the number of friends becomes smaller and smaller, and it is pleasant if our wandering thoughts can dwell with some, and feel that these are still among the living. I ought not to complain, for though I have lost much, much that is most precious has been left to me. I myself go on with my work, though I cannot trust to my memory as much as I did formerly, and must be very careful in verifying everything, not without considerable trouble, I have just finished a second edition of the Rig-veda, in four short quarto volumes, and my Sacred Books of the East are approaching completion as far as I am concerned. I send you a volume which may interest you more than my ordinary books. You will easily see how I try to solve the problems of Nature, Self, and God, historically, upon [x] as a Greek word. We have [x], the Dioscuri, then [x] and [x]. Then there is [x] in Aeschylus, and [x]. Could it be connected with the perfect [x], I command? It is possible, but I can say no more. I do not know whether you received a copy of my Presidential Address which I sent to Hawarden, nor do I expect that you will have time to read it. But you would see how I try to find bridges on which Egyptian and Phoenician thought could have travelled from the East to Greece. My best bridge is the Alphabet. Grant that, and all is granted. But I must not take up any more of your time. I hope I shall have the pleasure of seeing you next term, when you are to lecture at Oxford. Unless you have already made arrangements, may I venture to say that it would give us the greatest pleasure if you and Mrs. Gladstone would stay with us, while you are at Oxford, I should consider your visit a very great honour, and I should do everything to secure you rest, and quiet, while preparing and delivering your lecture.’


To recover the fatigues of the Congress, the Max Mullers joined their daughter and her husband and children at Westward Ho!, near Bideford. An expedition was made by Clovelly and Bude to Boscastle, but the trip was spoilt by the rain.

To Dr. Hosaus.

Translation. Westward Ho, October 2.

'You may feel sure I recollected yesterday the happy days in Dessau, and thought of all those who showed their sympathy by attending the Fetes, It is seldom that anything that one has wished for so long is brought to so successful an end. I shall never forget all I owe to your untiring energy. It must be a constant satisfaction to you to have the outcome of all your efforts daily before your eyes. Everything has gone as well with us this year, as one could possibly expect at our age. I certainly do not get much rest. When the Oriental Congress was over, I and my wife joined my daughter and son-in-law and two grandchildren here at the sea. I was here years ago with Charles Kingsley, when he was writing Westward Ho!, and now I am staying in the bathing-place named after his novel So life flies by. I am delighted to say that my son entered the Diplomatic Service this year, so that, as far as one can see, his future is settled. It is a fine career, and he takes great interest in his work.’


Early in December Max Muller paid his last visit to Hawarden Castle.

To His Wife.

Hawarden Castle, December 7, 1892.

‘It was a long journey, but the country looked beautiful in the snow. The old man is marvellous; he looks stronger than ever, and Mrs. Gladstone, too, wonderfully well. The French Ambassador had to leave, so there is only Lady K. staying here. It is certainly interesting to see a man at his age so vigorous, and full of interest for all things. We have not come to Home Rule yet, but I dare say that will come to-morrow.'


On December 15 Max Muller’s son left England for his first post as attache at Constantinople. The parting was a severe trial to his father, and a visit to Claremont, a few days later, was hailed as a welcome change for him.

To the Right Honourable W. E. Gladstone.

December 17.

'The letter and book from Kiel, which were sent to me to Hawarden, contained the answer from Professor Oldenberg, and the number of the Luneburg Journal which I wished you to see. The article contains a chemical analysis of a large number of ancient bronzes, and shows, as far as I can see conclusively, that bronze was gained by accident, that is by smelting ores containing copper and tin. I remember in Cornwall that people speak of the “brown rider on a white horse," when copper is found above tin. The article likewise shows that really pure copper and pure tin are later discoveries, and so is the intentional combination of the two. The article was published in 1865. If you have time to read it during your short holiday abroad, please let me know and I will send it to you.'


To His Son.

December 21, 1892.

'I should like to see the Piraeus and the Acropolis, if only for what was there once, and what we can enjoy in Greek literature. A man who has ancestors is called a nobleman, but it is our intellectual ancestors, Plato, Sophocles, &c., that give us true nobility and make us feel our place in the world. Classical education gives us a respect for the past, and without that respect, without that firm ground to stand on, we are like reeds shaken by the wind, like nouveaux riches without any heirlooms.'


The first two mouths of the year 1893 were passed quietly at Oxford, in printing the last series of Gifford Lectures, Theosophy or Psychological Religion. ‘Don’t be distressed by any comments,' wrote a friend; ‘there will be deepest gratitude to you for putting these truths so plainly and so gently.' Max Muller had purposely added the word ‘Theosophy’ to his title, because

‘The venerable name, so well known among early Christian thinkers, as expressing the highest conception of God within the reach of the human mind, has of late been so greatly misappropriated that it was high time to restore it to its proper function. It should be known once for all that one may call oneself a theosophist without . . . believing in any occult sciences and black art.'


In his preface Max Muller again defends the historical method which he had pursued, not only in these four courses of Gifford Lectures, but in all his writings on kindred subjects.

‘So long as we look on the history of the human race as something that might or might not have been, we cannot wonder that the student of religion should prefer to form his opinions of the nature of religion, and the laws of its growth, from the masterwork of Thomas Aquinas, the Summa Sacrae Theologiae [Google translate: The Summa of Sacred Theology], rather than from the Sacred Books of the East. But when we have learnt to recognize in history the realization of a rational purpose, when we have learnt to look upon it as, in the truest sense of the word, a Divine drama, the plot revealed in it ought to assume in the eyes of the philosopher also, a meaning and a value far beyond the speculations of even the most enlightened and logical theologians.’


This last volume was fiercely criticized. The Academy considered that it exceeded in interest and information all the preceding volumes. Whilst the Record maintained that it was a grave question whether the definition of the Logos could be accepted by the Christian student, another paper declared that they had read nothing better than the particular lectures on the Logos doctrine. The Inquirer quoted

‘The striking passage ... in which Mr. Max Muller refers to the difficulty which has been felt by some Christian theologians in fixing the oneness and yet difference between the Son of God and humanity at large. “It was not thought robbery that the Son should be equal with the Father (Phil ii. 6), but it was thought robbery to make human nature equal with that of the Son. Many were frightened by the thought that the Son of God should thus be degraded to a mere man. Is there not a blasphemy against humanity also, and is it not blasphemous to speak of a mere man? What can be the meaning of a mere man, if we once have recognized the Divine essence in him, if we once believe that, unless we are of God, we are nothing? If we once allow ourselves to speak of a mere man, others will soon speak of a mere God.”’


Another review says; —

‘There is, perhaps, no one of the Gifford Lecturers who has endured more vituperative criticism than Professor Max Muller; and yet to the single-minded inquirer after truth his four volumes of Gifford Lectures are full of suggestive thought, of fearless criticism, and of reverent study such as should not produce an evil result. Max Muller points out that his plan in framing these lectures was "to show that, given the human mind such as it is, and its environment such as it is, the concept of God and a belief in God would be inevitable." To accomplish this task he set himself to trace the history of religion from the earliest indications of a belief in the supernatural, and was able, as he thinks, triumphantly to show that God had never been without a witness. He traces the influences exerted by Oriental religions upon Christianity with the outspoken frankness that characterizes all his Gifford Lectures, and certainly he suggests some very hard problems for his critics to explain upon the theory of a comparatively recent revelation. In his researches he came across many curious maxims and incidents in the oldest Oriental theologies, which strangely anticipated what are deemed distinctive characteristics of the Christian religion. To him these coincidences seemed to prove the truth of Christianity and to make its divine origin more apparent. But it was not so with his critics. They imagined that these striking similarities, so far from proving Christianity, showed it to be an imposture, com- posed of fragments of earlier beliefs, the outcome of mere human intelligence. The Professor does not spare these purblind zealots. He says, "There survive even now some half-petrified philosophers and theologians who call it heresy to believe that unassisted human reason could ever attain to a concept of, or a belief in, God; who maintain that a special revelation is absolutely necessary for that purpose, but that such a revelation was granted to the human race twice only — once in the Old, and once in the New Testament.” This is very bold language, but it is the proper attitude for a Gifford Lecturer to assume. If Professor Muller has stated untruths as facts, or has drawn the wrong inferences, the most fitting reply is to set him right, not simply to abuse him, as if he were a magnified Volney or Voltaire.’


A friend, whose judgement Max Muller valued highly, congratulated him 'on having thus completed so long and laborious a work. The truths expounded arc indeed of the first importance. I rejoice that this aspect of religion should have found so powerful and persuasive an interpreter. The ease and freedom of your exposition give us all a lesson in the intelligible treatment of the most abstruse things.’

To H.R.H. The Duchess of Albany.

7, Norham Gardens, January 2, 1893.

'Madam, — I was much interested to hear that the little I said to your Royal Highness about the Word, that is the Logos, has found an echo in your thoughts. At present all my work is really concentrated on the origin and the history of that thought. Its deepest roots He in the most ancient portion of Greek philosophy; there it grows in Plato and Aristotle, and comes to full maturity in Philo. It was adopted by the Greek converts to Christianity, who were steeped in Greek philosophy and yet honestly persuaded of the truth of Christianity, such as it was in the first and second centuries. It is very different now from what it was then! My fourth and last volume of Gifford Lectures will be almost entirely devoted to this subject, and will make it possible, I believe, for honest philosophers to be honest Christians. But the work is very hard; I have so much to read, more than I have time and strength for. Still I must do my best before I can take my holidays. In the meantime I should be very glad if you and Mrs. Moreton would look at the first three volumes of my Gifford Lectures, which I have taken the liberty to send to you. They are only preparatory, and occasionally, I am afraid, somewhat tedious. But that could not be helped. One has to make bricks before one can build an arch. With the fourth volume as the coping-stone, I hope the arch will prove safe and sound. . , . With many thanks for your Royal Highness's kind wishes for the New Year, which I heartily reciprocate, I have the honour to remain,

‘Your Royal Highness’s most faithful servant.'


To The Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone.

Oxford, January 9, 1893.

‘I send you the paper on Bronze by Dr. Wibel. It has attracted very little attention, but it seems to me extremely valuable, and to remove all difficulties in the most natural way. It is founded, as you will see, on 230 chemical analyses of ancient bronze. It shows that here, as elsewhere, nature suggested the most important discoveries. It was not that people at first learnt to extract copper and tin, and then intentionally mixed the two to produce the harder metal bronze. They could not have done it, it seems, because the extra smelting of pure copper is more difficult than the promiscuous smelting of impure copper and tin ore which produced bronze. It seems to follow that this discovery of bronze could have been made nowhere but in England, where the two ores are found in close propinquity. There are a number of other hints in the paper which I feel sure will interest you, if you can really make time to read it.'


To His Son at Constantinople.

February 19, 1893.

'From what I saw of M. Waddington, his reasons for resigning seemed to me all far-fetched. Though here he is plus royaliste que le Roi [Google translate: more royalist than the King], in his heart there is some English feeling, at all events no anti-English feeling. Now my impression is that the French Government wants, by any means, to burst the Triple Alliance, and its entente with England. To throw the French upon the German army is a dangerous experiment, and a descent on Italy too would be risky. But to show the teeth to England, or bully it on one of its many vulnerable points, might trouble the waters and enable them to fish. They might then offer almost anything to Russia to excite her ambition, or they might hope to cajole England into a more friendly understanding with France, by offering Egypt or Madagascar, in fact anything that might seem tempting. Now this general policy Waddington as a sensible man would not approve, and would probably decline to have anything to do with it. I feel sure he does not go for the sake of his numismatic studies.'
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Re: The Life and Letters of The Right Hon. Friedrich Max Mul

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Part 2 of 2

Soon after this Max Muller dined at the farewell dinner to M. Waddington at the Mansion House, and then with his wife went to Ightham Mote, where they spent the whole of March with their married daughter. Towards the close of the month Max Muller delivered an address at the German Athenaeum in London, ‘My Friends in India.’ It was published in the Deutsche Rundschau, June, 1893, formed the nucleus of Auld Lang Syne, Series II, printed in 1899. Before returning to Oxford, Max Muller writes to his son: —

Ightham, March 23.

'We have had a delightful time here: the weather beautiful. I have enjoyed my stay here very much. They all seem so happy here that one trembles. Constantinople must be a lovely place but for the unspeakable Turk. I confess I belong to the bag and baggage party: there is no excuse for these Turanians living in Europe, and keeping the old Byzantine Empire in a state of semi-barbarism.’


This year Max Muller once more received a telegram from the German Emperor, conveying his hearty congratulations to the Oxford crew on their victory after the Boat-race. The telegram, which, with the exception of the concluding sentence, is in German, was as follows: — ‘By right of my old and never-failing friendship for beautiful Oxford and her brave sons, I again beg you to be the interpreter of my heartiest congratulations to the crew on winning the Boat-race. So enthusiastic a lover of aquatic sports as I am must always rejoice when young men use and cultivate their strength in so rational a way.’ (Then in English) ‘It was well done from first to last. — Wilhelm, I. and R. Berlin.’

To Colonel Olcott.

Oxford, March 22, 1893.

‘I have just been reading Professor Deussen’s Address on Vedantism which he delivered at Bombay. That is a true account of Vedantism and of Theosophy, that is what you and your friends have been looking for, that is what you will find, only far more developed, in my last volume of Gifford Lectures, entitled Theosophy or Psychological Religion. You should now try to persuade your friends in India to make a new start, i.e. to return to their ancient philosophy in all its purity. I have not forgotten your telling me once that a new religion in order to grow must be manured1 [‘Comment by Col. Olcott: — An entire misunderstanding. What I said was that, as young plants had to be manured, so I had noticed that new religions were commonly attended at the beginning by “miracles” — i.e. psychic phenomena, which gave them quickly a grip on the public mind. And the observed wonders were multiplied indefinitely by partisan writers, who thought to thus fertilize them.’]. I do not believe in that. I trust to the pure rain of heaven, and to the light and warmth of the sun, that is, to the vivifying power of truth. Everything else is of evil, particularly in India, where people are so much inclined to believe in what seems miraculous, and not in what is natural. If I have spoken and written against you, I should have done just the same against myself and my best friends, when I saw that they were seeking for the truth but were going on a wrong road to find it. You can do much good in India if you will treat the Hindus, not as children, but as men. Wait till you get my Theosophy, and then tell me whether that is not what you really wanted for India and for Europe also.

'Once more, you can do a great deal of good if you will help the people in India to discover and recover the treasure of truth in their old Brahma-sophy.'


Not content with all the trouble given before the meeting of the Oriental Congress in 1892, the following letter proves that the same mischievous spirit was still active: —

To B.M. Malabari, Esq.

Oxford, April 8.

‘If you could see an article which I have just sent to the Deutsche Rundschau, on “My Friends in India," you would not think that I or my wife ascribed untruthful articles on the Oriental Congress in your paper to you. Many people, like you and myself, have been puzzled by these London letters, and the only explanation is that money has passed between some one and the writer. You know how many things become intelligible in that way, but I must say I was sorry for it, for your sake and for the sake of the writer.

'In a fortnight I shall go away on a long holiday, and see my son at Constantinople. On the first of September I must be at Leipzig to receive my honorary diploma from my old University, where I took my degree fifty years ago! The Emperor of Germany, as you may have seen in the papers, has just sent me his life-size portrait, magnificently framed, in recognition of my life-long services to ancient Indian literature, and as an acknowledgement for my recent edition of the Rig-veda, brought out at the expense of the Maharajah of Vijayanagara, and of which the Emperor accepted a copy for his private library. The Queen also accepted a copy.

'I hope you are enjoying some rest, and are satisfied with the progress of the reforms which you started.'


To The Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone.

Oxford, April 16, 1893.

‘I hope my publishers have by this time sent you a copy of my last volume of Gifford Lectures, Theosophy or Psychological Religion. It may seem very irrational on my part, not to say very conceited, to imagine you could find time to look at any book at present. Still there are things more important than Ireland, things that appealed to human hearts before the names of England and Ireland were known, and that will continue to appeal to human hearts, long after the names of England and Ireland have been forgotten. Some of these eternal questions I have ventured to treat in my volume. I do not think you will find much to interest you, except perhaps the last three or four lectures on the Word, or the Logos, where I try to show what an immense amount of gratitude we owe to Greece in regard to what we may call Christian Metaphysics. I only wish I had more time to give to this subject, but the time for contrahere vela [Google translate: contract the veils] has come, and I have still much in hand that I should like to finish if health remains what it has hitherto been. I assure you I expect no expression of opinion from you, but I should feel glad to think that some evening you have looked at this last book of mine.'


To Mrs. Humphry Ward.

Oxford, April, 1893.

‘I have asked my publisher to send you a copy of my last volume of Gifford Lectures, which I have called Theosophy, in order to restore that old name to its legitimate meaning, I wonder what you will say to it! It seems to me to give the solution of all our difficulties. If we can find out why philosophers and men of complete independence like St. Clement and Origen embraced Christianity without sacrificing one iota of their philosophical convictions, we can judge for ourselves whether we can honestly follow their example. I believe that the Anti-Nicene theology and philosophy will supply a rallying-ground for all of us. It is strange that the German reformers should have actually neglected this Anti-Nicene Christianity. They did not see that such expressions as [x], filius unicus, not unigenitus [Google translate: only son, not the only begotten], were of Greek workmanship, that the Logos was the quintessence of all Greek philosophy, bequeathed by the Aryan to the Semitic race, though misunderstood by some of the earliest disciples of Christ. What Philo did to reconcile Greek thought with Jewish faith, sometimes very wildly and fancifully, was achieved by Clement and Origen in reconciling Greek thought with Christian faith. There was no more inducement for Clement to become a Christian than there is for — , and yet he joined the persecuted Christians bona fides. When he spoke of the Son of God, he meant nothing vulgar or mythological, he used the word in the sense in which Plato had started it.

I was asked to preside at the Religious Congress at Chicago, but have had to decline, and have sent them my book instead as an irenicon between philosophy and religion. I send it to you with the same object, for I know how near this conflict is to your heart, and you will see how here too, all we want to solve our difficulties is history, or a knowledge how things came to be what they are.'


To H.R.H. The Duchess of Albany.

7, Norham Gardens, April 20, 1893.

'... I send to your Royal Highness the last volume of my Lectures. It is the key to the whole. I have now said all that was in my mind and heart. Whether the world will understand it, is another question. But I feel certain the truth is there, and that it will be understood some day, I have had to work so hard that, almost for the first time in my life, I feel that I must rest. The springs begin to creak, and the whole carriage jolts. Threescore years and ten is the orthodox limit, and I certainly begin to feel as if la premiere jeunesse [Google translate: early youth] was gone!’


Before leaving Oxford at the end of April, Max Muller heard from Colonel Olcott, asking whether lie had rightly understood Max Muller to say that there was no such thing as an esoteric interpretation of the Sanskrit Sastras, and that he had exhorted him (Colonel Olcott) not ‘to destroy all the good he had done in helping to revive Sanskrit, by pandering to the superstitious credulity of the Hindus, and telling them about phenomena that are impossible, and Mahatmas who do not exist.’ The answer, though written later, is given here: —

To Colonel Olcott.

Constantinople, June 10, 1893.

‘Dear Colonel Olcott, — I was much pleased to receive your two letters of April 25 and May 11.

‘With regard to your letter, I can quite understand your feelings for Madame Blavatsky, particularly after her death, and I have tried to say as little as possible of what might pain her friends. But I felt it my duty to protest against what seemed to me a lowering of a beautiful religion. Her name and prestige were doing real mischief among people who were honestly striving for higher religious views, and who were quite willing to recognize all that was true and beautiful and good in other religions. Madame Blavatsky seems to me to have had the same temperament, but she was either deceived by others or carried away by her own imaginations. There is nothing esoteric in Buddhism. Buddhism is the very opposite of esoteric — it is a religion for the people at large, for the poor, the suffering, the ill-treated. Buddha protests against the very idea of keeping anything secret. There was much more of that esoteric teaching in Brahmanism. There was the system of caste, which deprived the Sudras, at least, of many religious privileges. But I do say that, even in Brahmanism, there is “no such thing as an esoteric interpretation of the Sastras." The Sastras have but one meaning, and all who had been properly prepared by education had access to them. There are some artificial poems, which are so written as to admit of two interpretations. They are very wonderful, but they have nothing to do with philosophical doctrines. Again there are, as among the Sufis, erotic poems in Sanskrit which are explained as celebrating the love and union between the soul and God. But all this is perfectly well known, there is no mystery about it. Again, it is true that the Vedanta Sutras, for instance, admit of an Advaitic and a Vasishta-advaitic interpretation, and the same applies to the Upanishads. But all this is open, and nothing is kept secret from those who have passed through the proper education. Besides, in our time all MSS. are accessible, and the most important Sastras and their commentaries have been printed. Where is there room for esoteric doctrines? No living Pundit or Mahatma knows more than what is contained in MSS., though I am quite aware that their oral instruction, which they freely extend even to Europeans, is very helpful towards a right understanding of the Sanskrit texts and commentaries.

‘You may have seen Mr. Sinnett's answer to my article. It is so childish that I do not know how to answer it. He evidently wishes to step into Madame Blavatsky's place, and to claim for himself the authorship of this whole movement. He and Mrs. Besant are trying to divide the spoils. I believe that Mrs. Besant is honest— at least she was so; as to Mr. Sinnett I have my doubts. A man who can say that the pork of which Buddha died was the Boar Avatar of Vishnu is outside the pale. I have always thought that the account of Buddha’s death speaks very strongly for the good faith of his disciples. They told the truth, though they must have known that their enemies would make sport of it. Besides, what harm is there in his accepting the gift of Kunda, and what does it matter how the body dies?


‘You can really do a good work if you can persuade the people in India, whether Buddhists or Brahmans, to study their own religion in a reverent spirit, to keep what is good, and discard openly what is effete, antiquated and objectionable. If all religions would do that, we should soon have but one religion; and we should no longer call each other unbelievers and Giaurs, and commit atrocities like those in Bulgaria, in which the Christians were quite as bad as the Mohammedans. Nothing can be more useful than publications of the old texts, critically edited, and trustworthy translations. My Sacred Books of the East have opened people’s eyes in many places. I am sorry to say that I cannot continue the series. Neither the University of Oxford nor the India Office will vote more money. Still, some one will come hereafter and continue the work!

‘As to the Upanishads, I have the Telugu edition, but the Telugu letters are not familiar to me, and a Devanagari reprint would be much more generally useful. I am glad to hear that it is in preparation.

‘You can help to forward or retard the good work that has to be done in India. If I can be of any use, I am always willing to help; and, in spite of many disappointments, I have never lost my faith in man, nor in the final victory of truth.'


The end of April the Max Mullers left Oxford, and after some pleasant days with Dean and Mrs. Liddell, at Ascot, and a short visit to Ightham Mote, they started for their long-planned holiday. Stopping at Rheims and Lucerne, they crossed the St. Gothard for the first time since the railroad was completed, to Milan. A day was given to the Certosa, which had formerly been shut to women, and nearly a week was spent in Venice. Sleeping at Ravenna and Ancona, the Max Mullers left Brindisi for Patras. The ship stopped long enough at Corfu to allow them to drive to Canone, and form some idea of the beauty of the island and the luxuriance of the vegetation. The next day, landing early at Patras, they crossed the country to Athens. Max Muller’s enthusiastic delight at the first distant view of the Acropolis, rising out of the plain, can never be forgotten. Here a week was spent in the enjoyment of all that is to be seen in Athens, but the weather was too hot, and Max Muller too tired for any expeditions.

To Dr. William Russell.

Athens, May 23, 1893.

‘Your note of May 2 reached me here. We are on our way to Constantinople, and hope to get some rest there. Our journey has been delightful, but I still feel tired, and Athens, seen for the first time, does not allow much rest. I saw Tricoupi, and also the King, There has been much muddling between the two, and I expect Tricoupi will soon come back. They are in a regular mess financially. You get forty-two drachmas in dirty paper for £1. And yet they say the country is progressing, and can afford to pay its debts!'


Modern Athens, except for its horrible dust, made little impression on Max Muller.

To His Daughter Beatrice.

Athens, May 23, 1893.

‘My dear Beatrice, — I must send you a line from Athens and tell you that we are quite well, and that we have enjoyed ourselves very much. This is a place worth seeing when you can. The weather has been splendid. Just now we are back from the harbour of Phaleron, where the French fleet is lying. The sunset was magnificent, and every point you see full of recollections. Yesterday I had an audience of the King, and in the evening we dined at the English Legation to meet Tricoupi the ex-Minister, so the Greek papers declared the English Minister had given a political dinner, and were very angry! To-morrow we shall leave the Piraeus at 7 p.m., and in thirty-six hours we hope to be at Constantinople.

‘Ever your loving Father.'


The long quiet day on board, sailing through the Greek Islands, rested Max Muller, who threw off all traces of fatigue the next morning as the vessel neared the Golden Horn, and the Embassy launch appeared, with his son on board. For nearly three months Max Muller revelled in the beauties of Constantinople and the Bosphorus. The Sultan showed great kindness to him, receiving him and his wife and son (after the first Selamlik they attended) in private audience, when he presented Max Muller with the Order of the Medjidieh.

During the whole time of his visit, one of the palace Aides de camp was in attendance on him, so that he was able to see many things not open to the general traveller, amongst others, the Qurban Bairam reception, on the Feast of Sacrifices, when the Sultan having, like every other householder, slain his ram, holds court in the great hall of the Dolmabaghcheh palace, the largest audience-hall in the world. Max Muller dined at the palace, and on the occasion of his presenting the Sacred Books of the East to the Sultan, received the Liakat, or Order of Merit, being the first infidel, not in the service of the Sultan, who had received it. He also visited the Sultan’s private library and examined the books, but neither there nor in the Seraglio could he discover any trace of Greek MSS., though there is a general impression outside Constantinople that some arc still in existence. Broussa was also visited, hut the heat was tremendous, and Max Muller was very much exhausted by the excursion; still he was able to enjoy the marvellous beauty of the city, with its countless mosques and turbehs or tombs.

To Mr. Nanjio.

Therapia, July 2.

‘Here I and my wife have been staying for some time, to be near our son. The climate is most beautiful, and the complete rest has done me a great deal of good. We hope to stay here another month, and then go back through Germany, and be at Oxford in October. I had to work very hard to finish my fourth volume of Gifford Lectures, I wanted to print my translation of the Sukhavati-Vyuha, the one which I dictated to you, but I had to put it off as I felt too tired. I hope you will be able to pay one more visit to Oxford; I am now nearly seventy years old, and cannot hope to live much longer, but I feel quite well and hope to do a little more work when I return to Oxford. Kasawara saw how much truth there is in Christianity, and I think it is a serious mistake if followers of different religions always dwell on the points on which they differ; it is far better to try and discover the truths on which different religions agree. On all essential points the best religions of the world agree; there are in each inevitable fictions, and on these they differ. I hope some good may be done at the Chicago Parliament of Religions, but I did not feel strong enough to go there.'


In 1892 Max Muller had made acquaintance with Madame Butenschon, a Swedish lady, a student of Sanskrit, and she then spent some days in Norham Gardens.

To Madame Butenschon.

Therapia, July 22, 1893.

'You will be surprised to receive my answer from the East, and not from the West. We have been spending our summer at Constantinople, and on the Bosphorus, and have enjoyed it immensely. I had no idea of the beauty of this part of the world. The climate is simply perfect; for three months, when I opened the windows in the morning, there was the bright sun and the fresh air of the sea. I came here very tired and suffering from neuralgia, and I feel quite restored now, and very sorry to have soon to leave for England.

‘I was delighted to receive your letter. I had a feeling, after our pleasant meeting at Oxford, that our orbits would meet again. I am glad to see that you are not discouraged by the difficulties of Sanskrit. You will certainly be rewarded, if you persevere. You have divined what treasures there are in Sanskrit literature, and it is absurd to suppose that a woman's brain could not master the difficulties of a language like Sanskrit. I wish I could send you my last book to St. Moritz, but I have only one copy here, covered with notes. But if you would get it, you would find how fully all your anticipations about the wisdom of India are realized. It is the fourth volume of the Gifford Lectures. It contains my last word on the greatest problems of life. I am quite prepared to find that people will not understand it, but I know that there are some who have understood it, and I feel convinced that in the future the old Vedanta philosophy will hold its place of honour by the side of Plato and Spinoza and Eckhart. Perhaps you do not know the latter, but you will know him and love him.’


Leaving Constantinople by Orient express, two days were spent at Buda-Pesth, where, under the guidance of Professor Vambery, the Max Mullers explored those beautiful towns. They then passed a week in Vienna, which had been very much improved and beautified since Max Muller had visited it nearly forty years previously. Thence the travellers made their way by Dresden to Leipzig, arriving there in time for the seventieth birthday of Max Muller's old friend Professor Carus.

The following letter is an answer to one which gave Max Muller unfeigned pleasure to receive, as it proved to him that his Gifford Lectures were penetrating into circles where he had not expected that they would find a welcome: —

To Rev. R. Corbet.

Vienna, August 19, 1893.

‘A letter like yours is precious indeed, and I must thank you for it, though writing on one’s journey from place to place is troublesome, and pen, paper, and ink abominable. I well remember our meeting at Headington Hill many years ago. I hope and trust that other clergymen may find in my Lectures what you have found in them. They are the result of a long battle: I have found peace, why should not others? I may be wrong on this or that point, but on the main point, our relation to God and to Christ, history, I believe, will bear me out. We may look forward to new discoveries, light on the early stages of Christianity. I saw some curious fragments of the Gospels (pre-canonical) yesterday in the collection of papyri belonging to the Archduke Rainer. Thanking you heartily for your letter.’


To B. M. Malabari, Esq.

Leipzig, August 25.

‘Here I am at last at Leipzig, my old University. I received both your letters here, the one with the rough draft of the address on my jubilee, and the other yesterday. I like the address very much — it might have been written by a German Professor, and is quite free from Oriental phraseology. I do not see why Indian reformers should be excluded from signing it. I have all my life been an Indian reformer, though there are some reforms of which I do not approve. I have all my life been a Liberal and a Gladstonian, but I do not approve of Home Rule. I should like to see the names of such men as the Maharajah of Vijayanagara, who has been, as you know, very kind to me. But you know best, and I am very grateful for what you have done. I had some most interesting conversations with the Sultan about the Sacred Books of the East, and the relation between Christianity and Islam. He is an intelligent, tolerant, and very kind-hearted man.

‘I long now to be back in England, and in Oxford among my books. My holiday has done me much good. I hope your health and your good spirits will soon be quite restored. You are much too young to retire from the world — true youth is strong will.’


On September 1, Max Muller celebrated the Jubilee of taking his Degree as Doctor of Philosophy, and received a new diploma from the University of Leipzig. All the Professors were away except Cams and Drobisch, whose lectures Max Muller had attended more than fifty years before, and who was too old to accompany Carus when he presented the new diploma in the name of the University. Telegrams of congratulation came from many people, and various Sanskritists sent their congratulations in the form of Sanskrit slokas. Those from Professor Cowell were rendered into English by their author: —

‘Years like a stream flow past nor know return,
Youth fades away, — yet why, loved guru, mourn?
This rahu-body has its little day, —
But the bright moon of fame shines on undimmed for aye!’

-- E. B. Cowell.


Professor Maurice Bloomfield, of Baltimore, wrote: ‘You have been in the front rank of those who have liberalized and beautified the thought of the century.' The Bavarian Academy of Sciences sent their congratulations ‘to one who for more than forty years had been a Foreign Member of the Academy.'

But what Max Muller valued most, was an address from India from the Pundits, who regretted that there had not been time to collect more signatures. The address runs thus: —

'Sir, — We beg to approach you with our sincere congratulations on your having completed half a century of arduous and important work since you took your Degree at the University of Leipzig. In the midst of the congratulations that will greet you from all parts of the civilized world, we beg you will permit us, who have been your admirers in the far East, to send you this brotherly greeting. Not^ withstanding the distance that separates us, we hope that you will welcome this greeting as coming from a land which has been endeared to you by ties of intellectual and spiritual fellowship.

‘2. The last half-century has been distinguished by the vigorous and sustained effort of European thought to emancipate itself from the bias caused by the influence of race, nationality, and religion, and to move towards the conception of the essential unity of mankind. This effort has derived a great deal of its momentum from the study of the sacred language of our country and of the literatures and religions of India and other Eastern countries, which European scholars have pursued with wonderful patience and vigour. Among these you have occupied a very prominent place.

3. By your edition of the Rig-veda Samhita, with Sayana’s Commentary, you rendered possible an independent study of that, unique memorial of the early condition of the whole Aryan race, and not merely of the Indian branch of it; and by your volume of the translation of the hymns to the Maruts, you showed the way how to pursue such studies.

‘4. Your series of the Sacred Books of the East is calculated to generate and strengthen in the minds of those who read it a conviction that God's ennobling and elevating truth is not the monopoly of any particular race. It unfolds the gradual evolution of religious thought, the different stages of which were developed by different races or by the same race at different times. It has already communicated a strong impetus to the unifying movement alluded to above, and we are glad to observe that the philosophic writers of England have begun to avail themselves of the information therein laid before them.

‘5. By your numerous works on comparative philology and comparative mythology, and on the science of language and science of religion, you have materially contributed to the advance of those branches of knowledge.

‘6. Though a German by birth, you have obtained such a command over English idiom that the charm of your literary style has enabled you to spread far and wide the knowledge of the results of your labours, and of the labours of your brother scholars in the several departments of knowledge which have engaged your attention and theirs.

'7. It is in this last respect that your services to our country have been of signal value. You have, by publishing in an agreeable form the results of the study of the thought and literature of our country, enabled the people of the countries in which the English language is spoken to understand us, and raised our race in their estimation. And by your works generally, you have made it possible for us, most of whom cannot read German or French, to understand the European methods of study, and enabled a few of us to co-operate with European scholars.

‘8. In conclusion, we wish you a long and happy life, and hope and pray that health and strength may be long spared to you to enable you to continue your beneficial and useful labours.'


The following year they sent the address on parchment with many additional signatures. The signatures comprise the best-known names not only of Hindus, but of Mohammedans, Parsis, and of Civil Servants from every Presidency. The sheets containing the signatures were sent in a beautiful silver casket of Indian repousse [Google translate: grows back] work, in the form of a manuscript, having on one side a representation of the sun rising above the Himalaya mountains, with the Ganges flowing from the summit, and at the top the sacred syllabic Om; on the other side the picture of a sacred bird.

From Leipzig Max Muller and his wife went on to Dessau, and from there he wrote to his son: —

Dessau, September 4.

'I had, among many other telegrams on the 1st, one from the Queen of Roumania, asking us to see her at Wied. The Calices also telegraphed. All went off very well at Leipzig, though there was not a single Professor of the Philosophical Faculty there. Carus had been commissioned to present the new diploma to me. He came in the University carriage, with the bedell, and we made some speeches one to the other. Then we had our Doctorschmaus, and enjoyed ourselves.’


To Dr. Winternitz.

Dessau, September 4.

‘Thank you heartily for your friendly congratulations on my Jubilee. We have enjoyed our summer on the Bosphorus extremely; there is nothing more beautiful in Europe, and as one can cross over any afternoon in a small boat or caique to Asia, one is brought nearer to the East than ever before. I have experienced and seen much that was interesting, though nothing Sanskritic. How is Takakusu? He too telegraphed to me. When I return, I should like to work with him on Buddhism, especially the Mahayana.'


To Professor Weber.

Translation. Dessau, September 9.

‘My Dear Weber,— Of all congratulations and letters which September 1 has brought me, your letter of the 4th has, I may say, been the most welcome to me. When we get old, we long for rest and peace, and so I say like you, “Let bygones be bygones!” Our scientific quarrels have not been hurtful to science and learning. We have both tried to show that one is as good as the other, and we have both contributed our part to make Sanskrit philology far more advanced than it was fifty years ago. My warmest thanks therefore for your hearty letter. We both deserve a little rest now. Though I cannot complain of my state of health, yet I cannot work now as I could formerly. And you have well deserved to rest on your laurels after your arduous and pioneering labours. I passed September 1 in Leipzig on my return journey. I saw one of my old examiners. Professor Drobisch, received a new diploma and a tabula gratulatoria from the German Oriental Society. Other addresses, among others one from the Pundits in India, await me in Oxford. I hope to return home by the end of September, and then I shall see what can be done with the years that may still remain to me. I have said everything I wish to say in my last volume of the Gifford Lectures, More and more I spin myself into the chrysalis of the Vedanta—just as it should be.

‘We often dwell on the glorious days in Sweden. The evil consequences of it, I hope, have long passed away, and the next Congress at Geneva seems to promise to be a peaceful one.’


From Dessau the Max Mullers went to Neuwied to stay with the Princess Mother at Segenhaus. Her daughter, the Queen of Roumania, was staying there, recovering from a severe illness. It was during this visit that Max wrote the following lines in the Queen’s album: —

'Das Wandern ist des Mullers Lust,
Das Wandern hier auf Erden.
Doch weht ein Hauch durch unsre Brust
Von einem huh’ren Werden.
Vom andern Sein,
Von dem der Schein
Den Sinn uns hier bethoret,
O sehet ein,
Dass Schein, wie Sein,
Dem Einen angehoret.'
Translation for this book: —
'The Miller loves a vagrant life
Through Earth’s fair scenes to wander.
But still a whisper stirs the soul
Of higher Life out yonder.
The vision real
Of Life’s ideal
Pursues us unabated.
That Life to find,
Let heart and mind
Alike be dedicated.'

-- Mabel Peach.


From Wied the travellers turned their steps homewards. Max Muller far stronger and better for his long rest from literary labours.

Many more congratulations awaited Max Muller on his return to England, and amongst others one from the German Athenaeum in London. On October 18 his third grandchild, a second grandson, was born.

To Miss Swanwick.

7, Norham Gardens, November 3.

'It was very kind of you to send me the new edition of your translation of Faust It is one great advantage of getting old, that we can bring out new editions of our works, and mend our ways, if it is necessary. I must congratulate you on being able to remain young in mind. I try to say with Wendell Holmes, "I am now seventy years young,” but how long it will last, who can tell! I enjoyed the whole summer on the Bosphorus immensely. The climate of Oxford is very trying, and all one can do is to lie still and hibernate like a dormouse.'


As President of the Society of Historical Theology in Oxford, Max Muller this year delivered an address on the ‘Proper Use of Holy Scripture.’ It was published the following year in the first volume of the new edition of Chips.

On December 6 he celebrated his seventieth birthday. He had the happiness of having his daughter and her husband and his eldest grandchild with him. Telegrams came from all parts. One, full of kindness and with the expression of a wish for many more Chips from a German Workshop in England, came from the German Emperor, and this was followed next day by an announcement from the German Embassy that a colossal bronze bust of the Emperor had arrived as a birthday gift from His Imperial Majesty. The bust was accompanied by the kindest letter. Several learned societies abroad telegraphed their good wishes. An admirer who signed himself ‘One who owes to Max Muller’s enticing words his first attraction to the study of Ethnology,’ sent the following lines: —

'Hermes of varied tongues, nations’ bright star,
Be thy years many as thy glories are.'


with a Greek rendering.

The Professors and teachers of German in the Universities and Colleges in England, Scotland, and Ireland, sent him a fine illuminated address.

To Professor Althaus

(who had been instrumental in starting this address).

Translation. Oxford, December 8.

‘Many, many thanks, I cannot say anything but thanks! How small everything which one has done looks now, and how undeserved the praise from so many sides! What pleases one most is praise from those who have long known one, and are attached to one by common interests. I have long known how to value highly your unchanged friendly feelings, though our duties lead us along different paths, and we have been able to meet but seldom. As yet the so-called years of grace have dealt gently with me. May the evening of life be a peaceful one to you and your dear wife! I hope your son is prosperous. That is our greatest blessing in old age.'


To Dr. W. H. Russell.

Oxford, December 10, 1893.

'My Dearest William, and certainly always William the First; but now tell me how William the Second came to know of my seventieth birthday. You know’ I don*t fib, but I have not the faintest idea how directly or indirectly he came to know it. It was a long telegram, and full of all manner of kind things which would not have done for the Times, It is sad how even a man of seventy likes chocolate, though of a different make from that which his grandchild loves. The little man was here on my birthday, and stumped about as if the whole of Oxford belonged to him. Wilhelm III 1 [His son.] to whom at first I ascribed the imperial telegram, wrote and telegraphed .... Who is going to Constantinople, and who to St Petersburg? Morier2 [Had died November of this year.] was a very old and dear friend from my undergraduate days at Oxford. There are none left now, none to please, none to tease. Well, I hope you will hold out, and fight on, on your stumps, for many years to come. "Years of Grace” they call them in Germany, the years after seventy. Let us hope for the best!'


Christmas was spent in Oxford, his daughter and son-in-law and their three children spending it in the house of the grandparents.
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Re: The Life and Letters of The Right Hon. Friedrich Max Mul

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Part 1 of 2

CHAPTER XXXII
1894-1895


Lectures on 'Vedanta Philosophy.’ Three months in London. Picture by Watts. British Association in Oxford. New edition of Chips. Mundesley. Death of Mr. Froude. Bournemouth. Visitors from all countries. Picture by Herkomer. Dr. Barrows. Visit to Glyn Garth. Dr. Karl Blind. Sacred Books of the Buddhists. Centenary of French Institute. Last volumes of Chips.

The presence of the Froudes in Oxford, and the Colyer-Fergussons in his own house, made the year open brightly for Max Muller, even though the loved son was far away.

The following letter from Archdeacon Wilson was a great delight at the time it was received, and permission has been given to insert it here: —

The Vicarage, January 16, 1894.

'My dear Friend, —The reading of Stanley's Life has brought you much into my mind, especially vol. ii. p. 554. I was at Balliol lodge with him; he was as brilliant as ever; his conversation with Jowett and Lord Lingen was something to be remembered. But as we walked back from Carfax, where he preached, I felt his depression. There was no crowd, but few University men; he felt that he belonged to the past: he gave up this generation.

'And I am almost afraid that you think the same of yourself. Nevertheless it is not so.

'Look at Stanley’s work. His spirit does live. His treatment of the Old Testament has revolutionized all teaching of it; and much of what was so new and daring in his mouth is now in every one’s mouth. That gentle and sweet spirit has left us. There is none like him. But he did not outlive his work.

'So, if it is not an impertinence in me to say so, I doubt whether you can know or guess how much we all owe to you. Of course, only the mere fragments and epitomes of the results of your work find their way to the masses; but these have fount their way, and have done much to transform and deepen the thought of religion. I was preaching last Sunday evening, and quoted from the Vedas the saying of Brahma: “Those who honestly worship other gods, involuntarily worship me;” and a working man, as he went out, thanked me for that quotation, and told me he had been reading one of your books, That quotation in a sermon on the Epiphany, and that remark by a weaver, could not have been made but for you.

‘Science has discovered much in the Victorian era, but I think that no discovery will bear such lasting fruits as some of yours, and your great edition of the Sacred Books of the East.

'So in case the New Year finds you lonely and discouraged, I send you a word of thanks and love from this smoky, foggy town of Rochdale.

'I keep “pegging on.” I send you a tract that was published to-day. With all best wishes.

'Ever yours,

'J.M. Wilson.'


To Archdeacon Wilson. Oxford, January 24.

‘I have also been reading Stanley's Life, but I want to know a great deal more. In fact, I know a great deal more, but I suppose it could not be published. The second part is much too scrappy: they ought to have given more letters of his, and not extracts only. There were reasons why Stanley was rather disheartened towards the end of his life, yet how well his life was filled, and how much good remains! One must not imagine that one man, during this short life, can change the world, and cart away the rubbish of centuries. All we can do is to cart, and happy those who enjoy the carting. I am glad to say I can still enjoy it, though that cannot last much longer. I enjoyed my stay on the Bosphorus immensely. How I wish you and Mrs. Wilson would stay with us in our quiet house! I have many things I should wish to talk over with you. Any time would suit us. We have had B. and her husband and three children with us all January, and that was very delightful. Now we are quite alone again, and shall be till our boy comes home for his holiday in May. Happy fellow, he is in Egypt just now, basking while we are shivering. I am anxious to know what you think of the last few chapters of my Theosophy, Am I right, or am I wrong? If I am wrong, I should be glad to learn, but if I am right then the main difficulty of Christianity is solved, and solved in a way satisfactory both to historians and dogmatists. I have had many letters from Harnack, the Duke of Argyll, and from Jowett, shortly before his death, but I should like to know what you, as an experienced carter of rubbish, think of it.'


In sending the following letter to the editor, Mr. Boyes-Smith explained that he and a friend had eagerly read the Gifford Lectures, and that the last one, on Theosophy, had failed to satisfy them on two points, on which they wrote to Max Muller. The two points were, (1) The argument of the Lectures showed how Greek philosophy might well lead to the identification of Jesus with the Logos of Man, but this was a long way short of the Christian belief in Christ as the Logos of God, and they asked if the interval could be bridged. (2) The references in the Lectures to the miracles in the life of Jesus seemed to imply that a miracle means a breach of natural laws, which the New Testament does not necessarily assume; and they referred to the wonders of hypnotism, &c. Mr. Boyes-Smith concludes, ‘We valued Professor Max Muller’s reply, and have kept it carefully since, on account of this new evidence of his fearlessness and consideration, as well as his single-hearted search after truth.'

To The Revs. E. Boyes-Smith and H. B. Colchester.

Oxford, February 1, 1894.

‘I should have answered your letter before, but I was immersed in proof-sheets. Please forgive the delay. I was much struck by your letter, I have received many letters on my last book, but none of them hit the weak and yet very critical point on which you write. There is a flaw in my argument, and I have tried in vain to get over it. My position has always been this. There was no external inducement for philosophers like Clement and Origen to embrace Christianity. They lost, they did not gain by their open profession of faith in Christ. Therefore we must admit that they reasoned the step out for themselves honestly. As philosophers they believed in a Supreme Being, and they looked upon the world as His work, His thought and manifestation. In the world all individual objects were perishable, but behind the manifold individuals they had discovered something real, the types, the ideas of things. These ideas were to them not abstract generalizations, but the most real realities, without which the manifold phenomena would be impossible and inconceivable. These ideas were the thoughts or words of the Supreme Being, and they constituted in their entirety the Thought or Logos, or the Son of God; but each single idea or logos also might be called the Word or Son of God. I have not been able to find any passage which makes it clear in which of these two senses the name of Logos or Son of God was assigned by Clement or Origen to Christ. They do not seem to me to have made the difference clear to themselves. Of course the Logos in its entirety would assign to Christ the ideal fullness of the Godhead, while the Logos of manhood, if manifested in Christ, would make Him the ideal man, the perfect man or the realization of the thought of man as conceived by God. If the word was used in the latter sense, other human beings also might aspire to various degrees of Divine Sonship or ideal Manhood; if in the former sense, the fullness of the Divine Logos would dwell in Christ only. I have been hard at work to find passages which would show clearly in which sense the name of Logos was assigned to Christ by the Alexandrian philosophers, and I am still reading, but I am afraid our difficulty was not their difficulty, and after having once given the name, they felt satisfied and their philosophical conscience was appeased. If they could conceive God the Father as a person, they would conceive the Son, the Logos, the first thought of the Universe, before all creation, as a person also, as a power, the Sophia of earlier days. These early thinkers could not entirely shake off their mythological language; everything had to be either masculine or feminine, either man or woman. I should much prefer the explanation that Logos was the logos of man, realized in its original intention once and once only; but I think it will turn out that the Alexandrian philosophers adopted the other view. I think the Urgrund, or the abyss of the Mystics, is the Divine Substance of which Father and Son are the persons. The Urgrund is not personal, as little as the Atman of the Vedantists. It is shared in common, it forms the essence of both God and Man. Even [x] is already too much specialized to stand for the Self and the selves. I agree with you that we must allow to Christ great [x] in order to account for the effects which are fairly attested. Only I take the manifestation of His [x] as facts, not as [x], as they were doubtless taken by the multitudes, and are still. I wish I could have sent you a more satisfactory answer, but this is all I have to say.’


Early in this year Max Muller was made a Doctor of Letters at Lafayette College, Pennsylvania. 'We feel,' wrote President Warfield, ‘that you will confer honour on Lafayette College in accepting this degree, and I hope it may be proof of the wide recognition of your services to learning and letters. Please accept our congratulations on the years of honour and fruitful labour God has given you.'

During March Max Muller delivered three lectures at the Royal Institution on the 'Vedanta Philosophy.' The lectures were an attempt to interest an English audience in the philosophy of the leading school of the thinkers of ancient India — the school that appealed most to the mind and heart of the lecturer, so that he could, as the result of his own experience during a long life devoted to the study of many philosophies and many religions, endorse the words of Schopenhauer, 'In the whole world there is no study so beneficial and elevating as that of the Vedanta philosophy, as contained in the Upanishads, It has been the solace of my life, it will be the solace of my death.' Max Muller was most anxious to impress on his hearers that there was nothing esoteric in the Vedanta philosophy, that it was open to all; and he closed his last lecture by repeating the Sanskrit line in which a native philosopher formulated the whole teaching of the Vedanta philosophy, which Max Muller translated ‘God is true, the world is fleeting, man’s soul is God and nothing else.' Then giving the old philosopher’s deduction from this teaching, he rendered it, 'What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?’ It was Max Muller’s last course at the Royal Institution, where, thirty-three years before, he had delivered his epoch-making lectures on the ‘Science of Language.'

Towards the close of March Princess Christian and her daughter, Princess Victoria, stayed for two days in Norham Gardens. The Princess came to Oxford for a meeting in the Sheldonian Theatre of the National Union of Teachers, where her Royal Highness received purses contributed on behalf of the Benevolent Funds of the Union.

After a short visit to Brighton to recover the fatigue of his London lectures, and a good deal of troublesome work connected with the Sacred Books, Max Muller and his wife settled for three months in London, where they were joined by their son from Constantinople.

Professor Max Muller was Visitor of Manchester College as well as President of the Society of Historical Research, hence the following letter: —

To Professor Estlin Carpenter

Hertford Street, May 1.

'May I present a copy of my new edition of the Rig-veda to the Library of Manchester College, as a slight token of my gratitude, and a remembrance of your unworthy President? Yes, a list of technical Vedanta terms which were inherited by the Buddhists would be very useful. Buddhism is Vedanta popularized, and some of the Vedantists were distinctly called Prakhanns-bauddhas, Cryptobuddhists. Dr. Fairbairn's idea that the later Brahmanism was influenced by Buddhism would he difficult to prove. It is the other way. Ahimsa and similar ideas, adopted by the Buddhists, break out again in later Brahmanism. The older one grows, the more one sees how much there is that ought to be done, but I feel it is time to rest, and trust that all that is really necessary will be done and better done by younger hands.'


To Sir Robert Collins.

Hertford Street, May16.

'I was so glad to hear that the Duchess should really have waded through my Gifford Lectures. I have said in them, particularly in the last volume, all that I wished to say on the great questions which concern us all. I hope they may tell in the future even more than they have told now, when most of the theological controversies touch the surface only and leave the depths untouched. My Vedanta Lectures are meant to show how some of the greatest problems which occupy us now, occupied the minds of the earliest philosophers who are known to us. There may have been other philosophers, but they have left nothing behind. I incline more and more to believe that man, instead of being born as the grandchild of an age, was born a philosopher, whether he liked it or not. Who can help being a philosopher and asking "Why?" when he sees a man die, or the sun set? I shall send the little book to H. R. H. as soon as it is out. Please to thank her, in my name, for the interest she takes in my work. My work is coming to an end. I am just now gathering some more bundles of Chips from a German Workshop.'


To B. Malabari, Esq.

Hertford Street, May 16.

'I have often thought of you of late, and meant to have written to you about a recent case of a widow committing suicide in order to escape from the miserable life that opened before her after the death of her husband. You may have seen my letter in the Times, about three weeks ago. It elicited many expressions of sympathy, and offers of substantial help, if there was any way of bettering the lot of young widows in India. But what can be done? Would the law allow widows to escape from their families, and take refuge in such houses as Ramabai and others have opened for them? You know best whether anything can be done, and what is the right thing to do. Is not a person who is able to contract a marriage able to make a contract with, say, Ramabai, to live at her house and to fit herself for useful work in life? I shall wait to hear from you on the subject, and I am willing to do what I can. Lord Reay is now Under-Secretary of Slate for India, and he would help us, I think.

'And now let me thank you for all you have done for me. The signatures from Bengal are most valuable, and I shall treasure them with those from Bombay. I am deeply touched by the suggestion of a testimonial. But really the congratulations you have sent me from the most distinguished sons of India are more than I could have expected. If, however, the testimonial should take the form which you suggest, I could only accept it for one of two objects which I have always had at heart. If the sum subscribed is large enough, I should like to see a promising young scholar sent from India to study at Oxford, under my guidance, and to study chiefly the religious literature of India — or, if this would require too large a sum, I should like to assign the proceeds to enable me to publish some more volumes of the Sacred Books of the East, My resources have come to an end, and though I have several more important translations to publish, neither the Indian Government nor the University Press at Oxford is willing to expend more money on this undertaking. Forty-eight volumes are provided for. The King of Siam has granted me £600 for three more volumes, and there are three more volumes which I cannot get published, unless I get some help.

‘But I say once more, I am more than satisfied by what you and your friends have done already. It shows that my labours have not been in vain, and, that I have gained the good will of many people in India. My time will soon be over now, but this Indian Testimonial will remain as a most valuable heirloom in the hands of my children. My son, now Secretary of Embassy at Constantinople, is spending his five months’ leave with us. We have taken a house for him in London, and shall stay here till the end of July.’


To Professor Victor Carus.

Translation. Hertford Street, 12.

'The end is drawing near for both of us, and we must manage what is left as well as we can. 1 have been very unwell all the winter with cold and neuralgia. But one must learn to grow old, and bear the inevitable with resignation! Otherwise. all goes well with us. We have our two eldest grandchildren with us, and ought to be very thankful, and are so, though one constantly feels it cannot always be so under the changing moon. I wished not to be in Oxford during the British Association; but they have made a point of it, so I have settled to be there, and take part in it. Will you not tome to us with Gertrude? I thought we had arranged it all. You would wonder at my life here: dining out or going to the theatre almost every night, and visits all day long, so that I get quite giddy. But one goes on as long as one can. Then I have brought out another book, I suppose the last. Shall we yet meet again on this planet? Well, though the planet rolls on, it remains always the same, and so we will hope. All the old friends go though, and one feels forsaken and forgotten.'


To Madame Butenschon.

Hertford Street, June 3.

'I was very glad to receive a sign of life from you, and to learn that you had remained faithful to Sanskrit. I feel sure that you will get something really useful out of it, something to make life interesting and even happy. I send you a copy of my Vedanta Lectures, which will show you what I mean. We are settled for the summer in London, and I have to be idle, and dine out, and all that. My daughter also, and her husband. and her three children, often come to stay with us. I ought to feel very happy, mais la joie fait peur [Google translate: but joy is scary!

'I hope you have not quite given up England, and that I may have the pleasure of meeting you once more in this confused world.'


During his stay in London Max Muller heard of the illness and death of his cousin, Major von Basedow, with whom he had grown up as a boy, and to whom, though they met so seldom in later life, he was most warmly attached. The following letters are to his cousin’s wife: —

Translation. June 14, 1894.

'Dear Emma, — I have long been afraid I should have bad news from you about Adolf. We are all coming towards the end, and we can only pray, all of us, for a peaceful parting. May he not have much to suffer! He is my oldest friend, and whenever I think of my childhood, I see him at my side. If he ever thinks of me, press his hand for me. We must all learn to bow to our fate as men, however hard it comes to each one of us. You know where alone help can be found.

'Always your true Cousin.'


Translation. June 16, 1894.

'Dear Emma,— We so willingly forget that we must die, and yet we should learn it every day. I always hoped Adolf would get better; when I saw him last, he certainly looked very ill, but he still had plenty of strength and could do a good deal. The trouble about — affected him very deeply, and few were more ready to part with life than he was. Well, he has had a rich and happy life. For us old people there is no happiness so great as the happiness of our children, and he had much happiness from his children, even though he could not shield them from all the troubles of life. To me it is as if one of the oldest anchors had parted. He was my earliest friend, and I believe we never had a misunderstanding. Characters such as his become ever rarer. He lived so entirely after the old rule, Noblesse oblige. Nothing vulgar or low ever entered his mind. Even want of proper recognition he bore without remonstrance, and he hardly ever uttered a harsh word. We must all learn to mourn in silence. You still have much in your children to bind you to this life. May they be a comfort in your last years! My love to them all. I need not express in words my heartfelt sympathy.

‘Ever your truly affectionate.’


The following letter was written in acknowledgement of the beautiful illuminated address from all the German teachers in England, which was sent for Max Muller's seventieth birthday, as mentioned in the last chapter: —

June, 1894.

‘Dear Friends and Colleagues, — I have been much gratified by the friendly sentiments to which, on the occasion of my seventieth birthday, you have given such an artistic expression. The profession which you have chosen in England is often no easy one, but it gives you the opportunity of carrying on quietly great things not only for England but for Germany. As teachers of the German language, and as representatives of German thought, you can draw closer and closer the ties that unite Germany and England, you can encourage in the youth of England sentiments of esteem and love for Germany, you can help to prepare a future in which the people of England, Germany, and America may feel themselves to be brothers, and with united powers carry out in the world’s history those high ideals which for years have been in the minds of the best spirits of those three closely related nations.

‘Be true to your highest aspirations! You are the sails which must carry our ship of life through rain and storm to our desired haven.

'In true gratitude and respect.’


The three months in London, though tiring, hat! been greatly enjoyed by Max Muller, who saw something of many old friends from whom he had been separated for years. Among the new acquaintances he made, none was more valued than the venerable painter Watts, who had asked Max Muller to sit to him for one of the portraits for the National Portrait Gallery. Good part of each sitting was spent in conversation, till Mr. Watts would look up, 'Now we must get on a little,' and Max Muller would settle into the right attitude for a short time, and then conversation would break out again. Various short visits were paid to Ightham Mote, and the Colyer-Fergussons stayed several times with the parents in London.

The British Association met in August at Oxford. Vambery and M. van Branteghem stayed for it with Max Muller, who took no active part in the proceedings, merely attending the meetings of the Sections in which he took an interest. He was feeling tired, and soon after the meeting ended was seriously unwell for some days. On his son’s return to Constantinople, Max Muller resolved to try sea-air, and he and his wife went to stay with their daughter at Mundesley, on the Norfolk coast. Here a delightful fortnight was spent, and expeditions were taken on the Broads; several of the fine Norfolk churches were seen; a long day was spent at Blickling, where Max Muller was deeply interested In exploring the treasures of the library, especially the famous MS. of the Blickling Homilies, and other rarities. The fine old building and the beautiful gardens delighted him.

Throughout this year Max Muller had been busy in preparing a fresh edition of Chips. The first volume was entirely new, and many papers written since the original edition of Chips were added in the other three volumes. He asked permission to dedicate the work to the German Emperor, ‘as a very small token of deep-felt gratitude and sincere admiration,' and heard in September that the Emperor would consider it as 'a great honour to himself to accept the dedication of so famous a work, and that he heartily thanked Max Muller for this friendly attention.' The Emperor had in the spring of the year composed his Song to Aegir which he asked Max Muller to translate for an English version, sending him a copy marked in his own handwriting, ‘A musical chip for a German workman, with best thanks for translation. Wilhelm, L R.’

He also received, about this time, his life written in Sanskrit slokas, from a Pundit at Jodhpur. He acknowledged it as follows: —

Oxford, September 27, 1894.

‘The first thing that I do after my return to Oxford last night is to write to you and to thank you for the kind sentiments which you express towards me, and for the generous appreciation of the little I have been able to do, as a student of Sanskrit literature. Your learned Pundits in India have been very indulgent in their judgement of my work, and I am deeply grateful to them. I have done what I could, often under great difficulties, but I know but too well how little I have done and how little I have deserved all the kind things that have been said and written about me by the scholars of your country. Least of all could I have dreamt that my life and my work should have been made by an Indian poet the subject of a Sanskrit poem, such as you have composed and sent to me. No Sanskrit scholar in England could have written such a poem, least of all myself. We study Sanskrit in order to become acquainted with your literature. Our ambition does not go so far as to attempt to write Sanskrit poems or verse. In that respect we shall always have to yield the palm to your Pundits. I see what a high place you hold in the estimation of the Pundits of Benares, and I consider it indeed a very high and very undeserved honour to have had my praises sung in the language of Kalidasa.’


This autumn brought Max Muller another loss in the death of his old friend and connexion, Mr. Froude, after an illness of some months. Shortly before his death Max wrote to his friend: —

Oxford, October 3.

'My dear old Man, — Yes, old we are, but there are few old men who have made such a good fight for it as you have. After all, from the first day of our life, our life is but a constant fight with death. As long as we are young and have the best of it, life seems very pleasant, but after threescore years and ten the old Psalmist is not far wrong. However, there are few men who, after that allotted time, could walk the hours that you could, and now produce another book as you have. I was so pleased to get it, and I am beginning to read it. Many thanks for it. It will be a great treat, for I want to know something more about Erasmus, and I expect to find all that is worth knowing about him in your lectures. But I am not allowed to read much. my eyes arc still troublesome — they say it is liver; but I do not see how the liver can jump into my eyes and make me see things crooked and double. You would be pleased to see how respectfully the yapper's and yelpers speak of your last book. If you are allowed to read the Times, there was an article on the Armada that would interest you.

'I hope you will go on fighting. I do the same, though one feels that. after all, the best of life is gone, and- there is little left worth fighting for. Still Aunt Eh seems very happy on her small allowance of vitality. I wish you could come to Oxford.

'Ever yours affectionately.'


Max Muller was always ready to give a warm welcome to any foreigners who joined the University. An American undergraduate thus describes his first visit to Max Muller, to whom he had brought an introduction: —

'I had never seen Max Muller. I tried to recall my earliest knowledge of him, but could not. It seemed to me that everyone in America knew about the distinguished Orientalist. Professor Max Muller was in the best of moods, and put everybody at their ease. He is of average height, and well built. He has a high forehead, a genial countenance, and hair almost snow-white. His eyes have lost none of their brilliancy, though he wears glasses. We forgot for the moment that we were chatting with the foremost scholar of the age. That the man so genial and interesting to us had proven equally interesting and entertaining to the highest potentates in the world, and had had all sorts of honours laid at his feet, did not for the moment cross our mind. We were unconsciously as easy as if we were in the house of some intimate friend. I came away with a greater respect and admiration for scholarship. It had, in the person of Professor Max Muller, given me a newer conception of its real meaning. Since that first visit it has been my good fortune to call often at the famous house in Norham Gardens, and I have seen nothing but that which has added to my appreciation of true greatness.'


To His Son.

November 27.

'Here in London people still think the Armenian agitators have been exaggerating and making capital out of local disturbance. I should not wonder if they are in Russian pay, but one cannot see any way out of it. The Germans are angry with England in Africa, and England with Germany. That cannot be helped. In Turkey, too, Germany thinks it can keep Russia in good temper by not interfering. All that is natural, and you sec the same kind of thing in private life. But at bottom, Germany and England hold together, and the Emperor's will still counts for something there. Here political life is in a regular mess, no leader and no principles.'


Like most men of any note, Max Muller had to submit to be constantly interviewed. One of the most interesting of these interviews was reported at this time in the Christian Commonwealth from which the following extracts are taken. The writer begins with a description of his victim, and then proceeds to more important topics.

‘Erect, virile-looking, with face clean-shaven but for light side-whiskers; hair hanging in thick, silvery masses, with here and there a darker streak; alert, bright, smiling, Professor Max Muller, looking pleasantly through his pince-nez, cordially greets me, his slight foreign accent adding a charm to his clear pronunciation of the language which has become to him as familiar as his mother-tongue. The Professor, for all his long, laborious years, retains the vigour and vivacity of youth. His manner of speech is rather that of the frolicsome undergraduate than of the typical University Don. He talks in free, colloquial style, showing quite a fondness for certain of our figures of speech. Avoiding the jargon of the schools, his one object is to make his meaning clear to the person with whom he is conversing. “If you don’t understand me,” he remarked to me more than once, with kindly thoughtfulness, “ask me again.”

‘Though many may differ from Professor Max Muller’s theology, all gladly recognize his deeply religious spirit.'

‘The Best Sacred Book.

‘Would you say that any one sacred book is superior to all others in the world?’

'It may sound prejudiced, but, taking all in all, I say the New Testament. After that, I should place the Koran, which in its moral teaching is hardly more than a later edition of the New Testament. Then would follow, according to my opinion, the Old Testament, the Southern Buddhist Tripitaka, the Taote-King of Laotze, the Kings of Confucius, the Veda, and the Avesta. But this is a very rough classification, and not likely to be accepted by others. There is no doubt, however, that ethical teaching is far more prominent in the Old and New Testaments than in any other sacred book. Therein lies the distinctiveness of the Bible. Other sacred books are generally collections of whatever was remembered of ancient times. For instance, in the Veda you get a description of the Flood, simply as a deluge; in the Old Testament it takes an ethical meaning, it is a punishment and a reward; there is the difference between the two; and that distinction runs through the whole of the sacred books. There is, of course, plenty of moral teaching in the other sacred books also, but the distinguishing feature of the Old Testament is that the Jews feel themselves the chosen people of God. That idea runs through the whole book. The Jewish people always referred everything that happened to them, whether happiness or misfortune, to a Divine government; it was meant for them; there was a meaning in it; they were made to feel that God was angry or pleased.'

'Revelation.

‘How about the Bible revelation?’

‘With us things have taken a different shape; we say, not that revelation makes truth, but that truth makes revelation; the sense of truth within us is to us the sense of God; the voice of God is to us the Spirit of Truth. We do not say that the New Testament was handed down from the sky in any miraculous way. The Spirit of Truth speaks, and it is perfectly certain, and more certain than anything else, that is to us inspired.’


The interviewer then questioned him on the Oldest Sacred Book, the Primal Religion, the Origin of Language, and the Revival of Theosophy, and received clear and interesting answers on all of these topics, till he was forced to leave by the arrival of Mr. Takakusu, the Japanese pupil, who is now Professor of Sanskrit in the University of Tokio.
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Re: The Life and Letters of The Right Hon. Friedrich Max Mul

Postby admin » Thu Dec 07, 2023 3:36 am

Part 2 of 2

On December 6 Max Muller wrote to his friend, Mr. Malabari: —

'To-day is my seventy-first birthday, and though I have not been very well lately, I still feel as if I could do some more work. I fully expect to see you in England again next summer. You seem an indefatigable traveller, whereas I rejoice in my quiet forest here.'


Some years before this Max Muller bad made acquaintance with a very beautiful German girl, in whose fate he ever afterwards took a strong interest. She had married, but not happily, and Max Muller wrote to her from time to time, giving her what counsel he could for the thorny path of duty she had to tread. The following letters are to her: —

Translation. Oxford, August 3, 1894.

'To-day is my thirty-fifth wedding-day. I have suffered much, and many wounds inflicted by death bleed as on the first day. And yet, what blessings have been granted me! My daughter, very happily married with three children; my son, a Secretary at the English Embassy in Constantinople, now home on a five months' visit. One trembles at all this happiness. In spite of ray age I still have strength for work, and pleasure in it. I send you my answer to the many congratulations I have received. May you have strength to bear the weight of life! One can forgive all as one stands by the bed of death; why not, then, during life?'


Translation. December 11, 1894.

'As I had no news from you, I said to myself, let us hope all is now arranged; and when one is perfectly happy, one is self-contained and requires no outer world. But alas 1 it does not seem to be so, and I ask, how is it possible? I can, of course, form no real judgement. I only think that you, as pupil and friend of —, must have looked deep into earthly life. You know that behind the world of sense, to which we must accommodate ourselves, with all its forms and conventional opinions, our true world really lies, in which alone we can find rest and peace. However beautiful the love and self-sacrifice of a young girl may be, it is almost always a passion in the world of sense — true love lies much deeper. Appearance and beauty with all its mysterious attraction disappears, it must disappear, but as it disappears true love comes first into sight. One does not love the appearance, but the eternal that is in a human being, often as it hides and veils itself from us. Has one but once perceived the eternal, one never loses sight of it again, happen what may. A mother never gives up her child, how- ever troublesome it may be, for mother’s love is the most unselfish love; she desires nothing, she only gives. A woman’s love should be the same. She should never think of herself, she should forgive everything, trusting to the nobleness in every man, when one only knows how to call it out. But I wish I could help you. I keep thinking how miserable — would be if he could know how unhappy you are. He thought your future would be such a happy one. But one thing is clear — things cannot stay as they are. Then why wait in indecision? The sacrifice only touches the world of sense. The higher one climbs the smaller grow the human figures, the more trifling seem the earthly sacrifices one has to make. Pride, exaggerated self-respect, and whatever one may call all that, are only of this world, and must he given up, where higher interests and higher duties call us. Is there no one who can help you? Resolve firmly, if only for the sake of your children. — often did things, which no one else would have done, and was therefore often called unpractical, and yet r am sure he had many friends and admirers. And we loved him because he was so unpractical. Forgive my freedom: I wish to think of you as happy — as happy as you certainly deserve to be.'


To Mrs. Radcliffe Whitehead (Miss B. McCall).

Oxford, December 23, 1894.

‘It was very good of you to remember my seventy-first birthday. I had often thought of you, and though I wall sorry not to have heard from you, I felt that you were so happy that there was no room left for anything else. And so, of course, it ought to be; otherwise, what is the use of marrying? You seem to live in a perfect paradise; I had no idea of the beauty of California, but I have a very strong idea of the non-beauty of England at this time of year. How could human beings ever have settled here when they came from Italy? and really if this goes on, and we become more and more glacial, I should not be at all surprised if we all migrated to California, to eat peaches and apricots, and bask in the sunshine. We shall soon have a flying machine now, and then, whether invited or not, you will some day see a swallow lighting on your roof and asking for shelter. It is so right that you should be happy, and true happiness consists in making others happy; still, I cannot help grudging you to California. It is so strange to feel that one is not to see those again whom one has learnt to care for; still, I have many such, as you may imagine, and some of them seem to me to belong to me more even than when they were with us. My children are doing very well. W. gives us great pleasure; he enjoys his life, but, as he says, his pleasure is his duty, and he takes to it kindly. You should see B. with her three children and in her beautiful old home, the very picture of peace and plenty. We spent three months in London this year, and what with my young son and his still younger mother, they very nearly made an end of me. I am now slowly recovering from our dissipations, and have not dined out once during the whole terra. I lost a very old friend in Froude; he w^as so well while he was here lecturing, and then the end came very quickly. I have known him ever since 1848, and been with him through all his troubles, when he wrote his Nemesis of Faith, and was so poor that he had to sell his books; and now he seems to have left a large fortune. You probably look at American reviews; I sent an article to the Arena which will amuse you. It was really a lecture I had been asked to give to the members of an American pilgrimage to England. I have to confess that I am writing this while I ought to be at church, but this time of year it is part of our duty to feel good will towards men, and that does not exclude women. Old friends need not become cold friends, and you have my warmest wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

'Yours very sincerely.


Christmas was spent quietly in Oxford by Max Muller and his wife, and for the New Year they went to their kind and valued friends, Lord and Lady Wantage, at Lockinge.

The early months of 1895 were passed at Oxford, varied by constant short visits to and from his daughter and her husband. Max Muller was already beginning his large work. Contributions to the Science of Mythology, and brought out Volumes III and IV of the new edition of Chips. There are more frequent notices in his wife’s journal of his weariness and want of strength, though his cheerfulness and love of work never flagged, and his friends were hardly aware of the ever-increasing feeling of effort in all he did. He had entirely given up dining out during the two winter terms, as the liability to catch cold, which he had felt from his earliest years in England, increased each year. A friend who spent this winter in Oxford wrote later: ‘I close my eyes and think myself back seven years, and there I am at 7, Norham Gardens, the dear rooms; the tea-table; the Professor standing before the fire, with his face all lighted by that smile of wondrous beauty which one felt as well as looked upon; yourself behind the tea-urn, and Dr. Silver (a large Persian) climbing about as his cat-will dictated.’

To B. Malabari, Esq.

Oxford, January 8.

'Your beautiful casket has safely arrived (p. 321), as you will see from the enclosed. To have won the good opinion of so many men of light and leading in India is the best reward I could have received for the work of my life. Of course, my work has chiefly been the work of a scholar, but I have tried never to lose sight of the higher objects of scholarship, to make us understand the past in order to understand the present, to make us understand others in order to understand ourselves. Kind and generous as the feeling in England. is towards India, there still lurks the old prejudice that, after all, the people of India are strangers, different from ourselves, that allowance must be made for them, and all the rest. Now I have always held that the people of India are not strangers, but are exactly like ourselves, if we only would treat them as such. Their literature, their religion, their customs, are different from ours, but what is essential is the same in both. It may be said that I know the best specimens of Hindu society only, but the best specimens show what a nation is capable of. In literature also, you see, no doubt, the brighter side of a nation; but by all means let us see the bright side wherever we can; the light is there and will conquer in the end, whether in the East or in the West. Reformers like you have the right to disclose the dark sides, and dwell on them: but on one condition only, namely, that like you they work hard to dispel the darkness and to bring in the light. What you have done will not be forgotten, and will bear fruit.'


To His Son.

January 8, 1895.

‘My article on Agnosticism ought not to be beyond you, considering that you read Plato, and know what he meant by his Ideas. His ideas are the Stoic Logoi, and all conceived as one act of thought from the Logos, the invisible world, the pattern of the visible. These matters are quite simple: the old people two thousand years ago knew them as we know our ABC. Christianity would never have conquered the world, the educated Greek world, without the Greek philosophers of Alexandria, and their philosophical view of Christianity. However, let each man speak his own language, and do his own work.’


Max Muller’s old friend Carriere died early in January. They had known each other from their youth, and Max Muller greatly admired his friend’s poems, which are hardly known in England. Unfortunately only one of his letters to Carriere has been kept. He writes to another friend: ‘All go before me, and I often feel starved and perished with thirst, lost in the desert. Yes! I have a happy home, but the threads that bind me to the outer world are nearly all Sroken. We old people are happier than ever in our married life, and only tremble at the thought of our great happiness.'

To B. Malabari, Esq.

‘I only wish I could rouse more interest and more sympathy for India in England; unfortunately, the only thing that the large public admires in India is the folly of Esoteric Buddhism and Theosophy, falsely so called. What a pity it is that such absurdities, nay, such frauds, should be tolerated! We have had much illness here this winter, and I have lost several friends, Froude among the rest. I myself have hitherto withstood the epidemic, only my eyes have been troublesome now and then, and I feel 1 must be careful. Still, there is plenty of work I should like to do, if my life is spared.’


At the beginning of the Easter Vacation the Max Mullers went to Bournemouth to take care of their grandchildren, who were recovering from influenza. From there he wrote to his valued friend, Miss Anna Swanwick: —

Bournemouth, March 27.

‘It was very good of you, sending me your little book.1 [Evolution; or,  the Future of Religion.] I read it with very great pleasure. I have seldom read anything where I could say at every page, "How very true!" It is quite a gem, and I am not at all surprised that people who had read it in the Contemporary Review wish to possess it. What I always regret when I read a paper like yours, is that so little is done, and can be done, to give it effect. We know what ought to be, but we feel so helpless to carry out what is right. Still, nothing is lost, and at la-;t the flower springs up in the most unexpected places — such as the Parliament of Religions in Chicago, of all places in the world!

‘On one point I cannot follow you. I do not believe in what is called Evolution in History. History is the work of individuals; it is not continuous, it advances by fits and starts. To look upon everything as growing and evolving by so-called small and imperceptible degrees, would be to rub out all genius, all impulse, all individuality. When a great work has been achieved, Ave may look out for its antecedents, and so try to understand it; but that used to be called History or Pragmatic History; it made allowances for free-will, for personal character, for much in men that cannot be explained by formulas. It led to minute and accurate study, instead of lumping things together, and talking of necessary evolution, or so-called Philosophy of History. What we want are facts, minute facts, ever so many facts, which can be classified and thus rendered intelligible j but that is very different from saying that the human race has grown exactly as it ought to grow; that we are evolved from the past, as the future will be evolved from us. I do not think that Goethe was evolved. We are the children of our parents, but not our parents over again. Heredity is another of those lazy words, that save us thinking, but teach us nothing.

‘Heredity is always right, if we only go back for enough into the realm of ignorance, but surely we are more than heirs. Excuse this little digression, it only refers to the title, not to the body of your book.'


At Bournemouth Max Muller received a letter from the American Press Association, asking him to contribute one of the papers they wished to publish on the reasons fur believing or disbelieving the Immortality of the Soul. In response he wrote the article first published in this country in Last Essays, Series II, 'Is Man Immortal?’

To Miss Swanwick.

Bournemouth, April 1, 1895.

‘I must send you one line to say how true an evolutionist I am in your sense of the word. It is so pleasant to agree with others who have thought out the same problems as we ourselves. If you have time to look at an article of mine in the Nineteenth Century, “Why I am not an Agnostic,” you will see how fully I recognize, in the world of nature and of spirit, the evolution and realization of the Logos, the old Nous, but not the result of mere natural selection, struggle of life, survival of the fittest, &c. What I am just now working at is to find out in what sense Christ was called the Logos made Flesh. Was it meant for the Logos comprehending all the Logoi in the Divine Mind, or for the Logos of Man, so that he would have been conceived as the ideal man, the realization or incarnation of the Divine idea of Man? I cannot find an answer: even Harnack, to whom I wrote, cannot help me. People then, as now, were carried away by words, and thus made mythology, instead of religion.’


To The Same.

Bournemouth, April 5, 1895.

‘I should have written to Dr. Martineau, but I begin to learn what time means when a man gets close to ninety. The question which troubles me is whether the author of the Fourth Gospel meant by Logos the fullness of the Logos, or one of the Logoi, namely that of man as the Son of God. I have read Drummond’s book on Philo; it is excellent, but of course does not touch on my question. I have waded through several of Philo’s treatises myself, and after that had many conversations with Dr. Drummond, who is a most learned and delightful man. But he, too, could not help me. I am just now revising the German translation of the fourth volume of my Gifford Lectures, where I have treated the Logos question as well as I could, but nowhere can I find a passage which would answer my question definitely. While I am here I am reading Origen and Hippolytus, both overflowing with thoughts about the Logos, but neither of them answering, nay even asking the question, on which to my mind everything depends in forming a rational idea of Christ as the Logos. If you should see Dr. Martineau, and would sound him on the subject, I should feel grateful. There is time to add something in the German translation.’


To Dr. Martineau.

7, Norham Gardens, April l0, 1895.

‘Accept my very best thanks for your kind letter, and for the interesting and helpful remarks which it contains. I am afraid you are right, and that it was really the fullness of the Logos which was supposed to have been incarnate in Jesus; that He was, in fact, identified with the Demiurgos or the Second God, the world being the third God in the language of Numenius. I have been hesitating between these explanations: the Philonic, supposing that Philo, if he had known Jesus, had recognized the Logos in Him, as he did in Abraham and others; the Christian, though to me almost unintelligible view, that He was the Demiurgos; and the third, that He was taken as the only realization of the Logos or the idea of manhood, as the Son of God, The last seems to me the sense in which Christ spoke of Himself as the Son of God, as the brother of men, and the only sense in which we can honestly apply to Him the name of Logos, and see in Him the realization of all the possibilities comprehended in the idea of man, as conceived by God. I have tried to digest the materials at hand, and to work out my ideas on the Logos, in the fourth volume of my Gifford I.ectures, xii-xv. . . . I know the value of your time, and I do not ask you to waste it on my book, but you may find leisure to glance at one or two of my chapters, which will show you what I was striving after, though I am afraid, unsuccessfully. There are curious analogies to the Logos theory in the Veda, and these led me on to Philo, Origen, Clement, Hippolytus, &c., in spite of the old warning ne sutor ultra crepidam [Google Translate: let me not sew beyond the crevice], and I cannot give up the subject yet, though I feel it is high time to contrahere vela [Google Translate: contract the veils], if at seventy-one one wishes to keep afloat.

'Yours very truly and gratefully.'


One of the many curious visitors whom Max Muller welcomed to his house was a Red Indian chief, who appeared this year, under the charge of an Englishman; the chiefs name was Strong Buffalo. He remained to luncheon, conducted himself with great dignity and self-possession, and Max Muller learnt a good deal from him about the former habits of his tribe. Another visitor was a Jain priest, who had already spent a day with Max Muller at Ightham Mote, and now came to see Oxford. He was a strikingly handsome man, and was dressed entirely in yellow, a pale yellow silk robe and darker yellow turban, and he excited great curiosity as he drove about with his host — in several places they were fairly mobbed. Acquaintance was made with Madame Shimoda, a Japanese lady, sent by the Empress of Japan to study girls’ and women’s education in England. Madame Shimoda is now Head of the Peeresses' School in Tokio, founded by the Empress. Madame Butenschon also stayed in Norham Gardens this year, getting good advice from Moksha Mulara Bhatta for her future studies.

In the summer of this year a curious dispute was submitted to Max Muller. The dispute was between two learned Pundits of Wazirabad, on the right ceremonial to be observed in the performance of Sraddha, the ceremonies at the death of a father. Max Muller was chosen as arbiter by both sides, and requested to describe clearly the ceremonial as enjoined by the Veda. The letters to him were written in Hindi and Sanskrit.

This year Max Muller had further evidence of the influence exercised by his works in a quite unknown quarter. Madame de Wagner, living in Rome, wrote to him about a work written by a friend, Origine de la Pensee et de la Parole [Google translate: Origin of Thought and Word], which was based on Max Muller’s works, and leave was asked to make large quotations from his books. Leave was granted, and about two years later, in passing through Rome, Max Muller called on Madame de Wagner, whom he found to be a highly cultivated, clever woman, and then discovered that she was herself the authoress of Pensee et la Parole [Google translate: Thought and Word], at which she was still working. It was a clever analysis of several of his books. Early in 1900 the completed work was sent to him. Max Muller was then slowly recovering from his first severe illness, and could only write, 'Many thanks for your present. To-day I can only Brava! brava! But I hope to say something more as soon as I can shake off my weakness.' A little later he writes, ‘I am very busy and far from well.' Here the correspondence stopped; Madame de Wagner herself passing away not long after her valued correspondent.

To B. Malabari, Esq.

Oxford, 21.

‘I have so long wished that you should devote yourself to some other work, besides that which you have been engaged in for so many years. That work is really finished, and though the last measure of the Legislative Council has been a step backward, this can only be reculer pour mieux sauter [Google translate: back off to better blow up]. You may still have to guide the movement, but child-marriages are doomed in India, and child-widows will be under the protection of public opinion, whenever any flagrant case should arise. Now I want you to do something else. There are many Gujerathi books of which we want English translations. You are a master of both languages. Why should you not give us an English translation of Kanga’s Gujerathi translation of the Vandidad? From all I can hear, his work is scholarlike, and would be welcomed by European scholars. The work would be worthy of a man who, like yourself, has proved himself a friend of his country and a true reformer, who knows that no nation should neglect or despise their ancestors, their antiquity, their antecedents, however anxious they may be to improve on what their fathers have done for them. I believe this kind of work would give you a new interest in life, and it would help towards realizing an ideal of which we should never lose sight, a recognition of what is good in every religion, and a building up in the future of a temple in which all believers may join in a common prayer, though retaining what is national in every religion, if only it is not in conflict with the voice of conscience and the commands of reason. I am deeply touched with the expressions of sympathy which continue to reach me from different parts of India in the form of signatures to the address which emanated from you.’


To His Son. Ightham Mote, June 30, 1895.

‘I have never liked the aspect of things at Constantinople, and like it less than ever, unless Lord Salisbury is a great deal cleverer than his predecessors. How could anybody believe that Russia and France would help England out of a mess? into a mess yes, but never out of it. England will have to join the Triple Alliance sooner or later, and sooner would be better than later. The Turkish question must be solved between Turks and Christians. If only the Christians in the Turkish Empire were a better lot, but they seem as corrupt as their rulers, and they imagine that Europe will fight for them, instead of organizing themselves for the fight that is to come.'


This summer Max Muller sat to Professor Herkomer for his picture, done in water-colours in the Professor's own manner of treatment. It was thoroughly successful.

Max Muller had a great pleasure this year in welcoming to his house Fran von Basedow, the widow of his cousin Adolf, with her daughter and second son; the only relatives, except his mother and Baroness Stolzenberg, who had visited him in England. With them excursions were made to Blenheim, Warwick, Kenilworth, and Stratford-on-Avon, and Max Muller took more of a holiday from work than was his wont, and then accompanied his relatives to Ightham Mote. A short visit from his son was also a great happiness.

To Mr. Dharmapala (a Buddhist).

Oxford, July 26.

‘Nothing I have desired more than to visit India. But when I was young and able to travel, I was too poor. Now that I am able to bear the expense of so long a journey, my doctor would not sanction my running the risk. So I must be satisfied with India as I have seen it in its literature, and in some of her best sons who have come to .see me in England. Dr. Barrows, I hope, will pay me a visit here, before he goes to India. I hope he may be able to arrange another such meeting as you had at Chicago, only with some more really practical and lasting results. England would be the best place for such a meeting. In the meantime you should endeavour to do for Buddhism what the more enlightened students of Christianity have long been doing in the different countries of Europe: you should free your religion from its latter excrescences, and bring it back to its earliest, simplest, and purest form, as taught by Buddha and his immediate disciples. If that is done, you will be surprised to see how little difference there is in essentials between the great religions of the world. And this must be done with perfect honesty. Nothing not quite sincere or truthful should be tolerated. Nothing has injured Buddhism so much in the eyes of scholars and philosophers in Europe as what goes by the name of Esoteric Buddhism. Madame Blavatsky may have been a dear friend to you, but Truth is a dearer friend. I am just printing a translation of the Gatakamala (Sanskrit) which contains some very beautiful passages.'


Dr. Barrows, alluded to in the foregoing letter, had been the chairman of the World s Parliament of Religions in 1893, and visited Oxford this summer on his way to India. This Parliament of Religions had appealed powerfully to Max Muller’s imagination, and he had often regretted that he had not shared in the great gathering where hundreds of people from every part of the world had for the first time joined together in prayer to 'Our Father,' bearing witness to the words of the old Hebrew prophet, 'Have we not all one Father; hath not one God created us?' It was therefore a deep interest to Max Muller to see and talk with a man who had not only been present, but had taken so large a share in originating the idea of the great gathering. Dr. Barrows was on his way to India, to see for himself the state of religious belief there.

The following letter is to Mrs. Pauli, who had sent Max Muller the Life and Letters of his old friend, Dr. Pauli, which she had prepared and published: —

Translation. September 7, 1895.

‘I must send you a greeting and a word of grateful thanks. Reading the letters has touched me deeply. Recollections that seemed to have long disappeared rose again, and I deplored deeply that our different paths in literature had, in late years, kept us so far from each other. I have been a slave to my work, and have had to give up many things in life to finish that which I wanted to complete. What a rich life, dedicated to friendship, is unfolded in the letters of your dear and noble husband, and how he enjoyed his life, and yet how richly and well he used it! Always just the same as I knew him in Oxford, in 1849. You could not have given a more beautiful picture of him. I am still left behind, as if I had been forgotten; hardly any of the friends of my youth are alive. And yet I must not complain. I have my wife and children, and every cause to be thankful. But one gets weary, and one sits still and waits. But enough of myself. Again, hearty thanks.'


The end of September Max Muller and his wife went to stay with Mrs. Salis Schwabe, at her lovely place, Glyn Garth, in Anglesea. The house is built on the rising ground which bounds the Menai Straits, and gives a fine view of the Welsh mountains opposite; the terraced garden slopes down to the waters of the Straits. Mrs. Salis Schwabe was well known for her great benevolence. She founded a large school for poor children in Naples, and, to enable herself to maintain it, had gradually parted with the splendid pictures by Ary Scheffer, left her by her husband. Among the guests in the house were Dr. Karl Blind and his wife. He and Max Muller were already slightly acquainted, and the meeting was a real pleasure to both. 'In society,' writes Dr. Karl Blind, 'Max Muller easily unbent, comporting himself with as much pleasant joviality as simplicity. At table he was easily disposed to humorous remarks, sometimes with a dash of sarcasm of the milder kind. All possible things in science and politics were discussed, at Glyn Garth, and later in Oxford, from questions of ethnology, of language, of history and literature, to German affairs and the condition of Turkey.'

To Doctor Karl Blind.

OXFORD, October 11, 1895.

'Many thanks for the articles on Notovitch, which I return. I had not seen them. You have effectually disposed of him, but it is impossible to kill him. The Editor of the Nineteenth Century writes to me that he will bring out another article on Notovitch, and asks me to write a few lines about him, but it is a waste of powder and shot. The days at Glyn Garth were most beautiful, and I was especially glad to make your nearer acquaintance, as our ways had formerly brought us together but seldom, I am hard at work, and have four books in the Press, a new edition of the Gifford Lectures, ditto of the Chips, a first volume of the Sacred Books of the Buddhists, and the Atharva-veda, in the Sacred Books of the East. At the same time I am writing a big book on Mythology, but who knows whether it will ever be finished! I never get any rest here, and yet I am old enough for rest.'


After Max Muller had completed all the arrangements for the first and second series of the Sacred Books of the East^, consisting of forty-nine volumes, several offers were made to him of translations of important works, chiefly of Buddhist Texts, which he was most reluctant to leave unpublished. It was a great pleasure to him when the King of Siam came forward and provided the funds for three volumes of Buddhist Texts; and he was able in October of this year to publish the first volume, the Gatakamala, or Birth- Stories, translated by Professor Speyer, of Groningen. In his preface to this volume, as editor, Max Muller, whilst adverting to the great labour and unexpected difficulties he had had to encounter as editor of the Sacred Books of the East, expresses his gratitude to the great Oriental scholars of Europe and America for their generous response to his appeal for their aid. ‘It has been,’ Max Muller says, ‘a labour of love, and I shall always feel most grateful to the University of Oxford, and my fellow translators, for having enabled me to realize this long-cherished plan of making the world better acquainted with the Sacred Books of the principal religions of mankind.’

The second volume of the Sacred Books of the Buddhists came out after Max Muller's last illness had begun, and when he was already too ill to write a preface. The third volume is now nearly ready.

In October, Max Muller, accompanied by his wife, went to Paris for the Centenary of the Institute of France, of which he was, as will be remembered, a Foreign Member. They were the guests of M. Emile Senart, in his lovely house in the Rue Francois I, where the large and carefully arranged library excited Max Muller’s envy. Though not strong enough to attend all the festivities, it was a great pleasure to him to meet so many old friends from all parts of Europe. This was the last public gathering he attended, and those who met him then will recall his bright spirits, his lively conversation, and keen interest in all the topics broached. The dejeuners [Google translate: lunches] at his host’s house, where distinguished literary men were daily invited to meet the Oxford Professor, were especially enjoyed, as also a dinner given by Comte de Franqueville. The reception at the Elysee proved very interesting, and Max Muller was well enough to join the excursion to Chantilly, where the Due d’Aumale received his future legatees. Max Muller had a good deal of conversation with the Duke, whom he had often met in England, and on expressing his interest in the beautiful chateau, with all its treasures of art, and his sense of the Duke's hospitality, the latter replied, laughingly, 'You are the owners, I am only the concierge.' At the great public gathering of the five Academies of the Institute, Max Muller, in the habit brode [Google translate: He lives in Brode], sat on one of the front benches - those benches on which he used to look with awe, when, as a young man, his patron Burnouf admitted him to a seat at the far end of the hall, to hear a debate or a paper.

'Max Muller is seventy-two years young,’ wrote one of the papers at this time, 'for old he is not. White hair, to be sure; but the pink, firm cheeks, the bright eyes, the frank, quick, and animated speech that proves the full as well as active mind; the ready smile that betrays a kindly heart; the utter absence of that severe reserve with which both shallow and pedantic men seek to awe their fellow creatures, and the light humour of his occasional quips, belong to the meridian time, not the afternoon of life.'

The two last volumes of the new edition of Chips came out this year, and met with severe criticism from the modern school of anthropologists, those who maintain that humanity emerged slowly from the depths of animal brutality. Max Muller had always maintained that no evidence is older, or can be older than the evidence of language, and felt that the mere collection of myths, except by those who had a full knowledge of the language in which the myths are handed down, was almost always misleading. ‘I care,’ he says, ‘or the establishment of truth, so far as I can see it; I care very little for any personal triumph. The Science of Mythology has a great future before it, not only in the narrow field of mythology, but in the wider spheres of religion and philosophy. I am satisfied with what has been achieved so far, and I know that those who come after me will carry on the work with greater ability, with profounder learning, and with far more eminent success.' ‘Yes,' his opponents would say, ‘but not on your lines.’ It is well known that on the origin of Mythology Mr. Andrew Lang’s views were totally opposed to Max Muller’s. All the more striking, therefore, was Mr. Lang's testimony in Longman's Magazine, November, 1900, to 'the unexampled good-humour, humour and kindness with which Mr. Max Muller met my "oppositions of science." Had I been an enthusiastic disciple instead of a pertinacious adversary, he could not have been kinder and more genial. He was an example very rare among scholars, who commonly are a race almost as irritable as poets. On the point in which we did not agree he helped to introduce a stricter and more sceptical method in the interrogation of evidence. But it is to his unique qualities as a man that I would give my testimony.'

To Mrs. Bird (his wife's aunt, herself ninety-four years of age).

7 Norham Gardens, December 6, 1895.

‘My dear Aunt,— It was very kind of you to remember my birthday, the seventy-second! One cannot live through seventy-two years without encountering some of the storms of life, yet, taking all in all, how grateful I ought to be! . . . Whenever the time comes, I may leave this world without much anxiety about those who have been dearest to me in this life. You know what it is to see all one's friends going before us, and how much more one lives with those whom one does not see than with those one sees, and how much of a reality the unseen world becomes. But your life has also been a lesson to all of us never to lose our interest in this life, transient as we know it to be, and never to rest from our labours as long as it is day. Let me thank you for all the kindness you have always shown me, for all the lessons which, unknown to yourself, you have given me, and believe me always,

‘Yours affectionately, and with sincere gratitude.'


In the middle of December the Max Mullers went to Wombwell Hall, their son-in-law’s place near Gravesend, where a happy Christmas and New Year were spent with their children and children’s children.
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Re: The Life and Letters of The Right Hon. Friedrich Max Mul

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Part 1 of 2

CHAPTER XXXIII
1896-1897


Torquay. Commander of the Legion of Honour. Doctor of Buda-Pesth. Privy Councillor. ‘Coincidences.' Scotland. Spitalhaugh. Armenian Massacres. Rome. Naples. Florence. Venice. Pferdeburla. Member of Vienna Academy. Diamond Jubilee. Andrew Lang. King of Siam.

Quite early in the year Max Muller was able to congratulate his pupil and friend, Mr. Takakusu, now Professor of Sanskrit at Tokio, on the completion of his translation of the Travels of I-tsing; a work of great consequence, as settling disputed points in the chronology of Sanskrit literature.

‘Your book will show,' he writes, ‘what excellent and useful work may be expected from Japanese scholars. If I have gladly given my time and help to you, as formerly to Kasawara and Bunyiu Nanjio, it was not only for the sake of our University, to which you had come to study Buddhist Sanskrit and Pali, but in the hope that a truly scholarlike study of Buddhism might be revived in Japan, and that your countrymen might in time be enabled to form a more intelligent and historical conception of the great reformer of the ancient religion of India. Religions, like everything else, require reform from time to time. A reformed Buddhism, such as I look forward to, would very considerably reduce the distance which now separates you from other religions, and would help in the distant future to bring about a mutual understanding and kindly feeling between those great religions of the world, in place of the antagonism and the hatred that have hitherto prevailed among the believers in Christ, in Buddha, and Mohammed— a disgrace to humanity, an insult to religion, and a lasting affront to these who came to preach peace on earth, and good will towards men.’


To Rev. R. Corbet.

Wombwell Hall, January 15.

‘I have only to-day found time to read the pamphlet which you kindly sent me. My mind has been busy in other places, but I always like to be taken home, and I never feel so thoroughly at home as with my friends, the so-called Mystics. Why Mystics? There is no mystery here, all is clear and bright. The mystery begins outside, in the world, the senses, not within. It is a misleading and a harmful name, but it is difficult to find a better. Eckhart, Tauler, &c., called themselves Die Gottesfreunde [Google translate: The friends of God], that was better. So was the Sanskrit Atmaved, self-knowers. If you have time, I wish you would look at the Vedanta Sutras, translated by Thibaut, in the Sacred Books of the East. The first volume is published, the second is nearly ready. Of course, there is much Indian outside which has to be removed or pierced, but what remains is very wonderful and very bold. For they also had an objective Deity to deal with, and to find it in themselves, and themselves in it.'


After a month with their children, the Max Mullers settled at home, and the work on Mythology, which was growing into a big book, was taken up again. The whole work was a defence of the philological method of inquiry. Max Muller's point had always been that whatever detritus mythology may carry along with it, its original constituent elements were words and phrases about the most striking phenomena of nature, such as day and night, dawn and evening, sun and moon, sky, earth, and sea, in their various relations to each other and to man. Max Muller’s highest object was to discover reason in all the unreason of mythology, and thus to vindicate the character of our ancestors, however distant.

To B. Malabari, Esq.

Oxford, January 19.

‘Here, in England, we have no time to think at present of anything but foreign politics, Armenia, Transvaal, America. One sometimes wonders where we are. Is it possible that we should allow ourselves to be governed, that is, be driven into murder and rapine, by a few reckless individuals? Politics in America are at a low standard. . . . The President, in order to secure votes, must not shrink from risking a war between America and England, between the most advanced and civilized races, causing murder and misery, not for one or two, but for hundreds of thousands of human beings, destroying what has been built up with the greatest care, and throwing us back into real savagery. So much for republics — and now for monarchies! Has the German Emperor acted with a due sense of his duty to his own people? If England were hot-tempered, we might have had war between England and Germany; and what that means, no one can imagine. The merits of the case are of no consequence. England may have too much in Venezuela, and Englishmen have certainly acted lawlessly in the Transvaal; but should the leaders of men, whether Presidents or Emperors, speak to each other in such language without a moment's thought of what may come from it! If a man strikes a match in a powder magazine, he acts as the President and Emperor have acted. And here we sit, the so-called millions, and we can do nothing to prevent these horrors. And that is the result of our boasted civilization, and of what is called constitutional government. War may be avoided for the present, because Lord Salisbury happens to be a gentleman, but seed has been sown that will produce poison before long. I feel very unhappy when I see all this, and see no way out of it. Political life sinks lower and lower. We are governed by self-seeking, reckless, greedy people. The best people in America are ashamed of their President, but, of course, if one man shouts, the crowd falls in with the shouts, and then come blows, and then comes murder. However, enough of that.

'Tell me how Ramabai is getting on with her quiet work, and what you are doing and mean to do. I feel that I am getting old, and as I have still a few things which I should like to finish, I am working very hard. My Sacred Books of the East are not finished yet, and give me much trouble. But my chief work just now is Comparative Mythology, which means a great deal more than it seems to mean. It accounts for many cases in which the human mind has misunderstood itself, and could not help it.'


To Horatio Hale, Esq.

Oxford, January 29.

‘I have not heard from you for a long lime. I suppose we are both growing old, and retire into the forest. I must not complain, though I feel that my work will soon be over. I hope to finish one more big book. A big book is a big mistake, but it has grown and I cannot help it. To-day I write to ask you a favor. I have quoted you as comparing the serious work of scholars with the light work of so-called folk-lorists. You speak of the difficulties of really mastering a foreign language and an ancient literature, to enter into the thoughts of other people, and the easy work of cutting the pages of a book of travels, and marking a few passages. You sent me the paper, and I kept it, and cannot find it now. Can you help me? I hope at the same time to hear that you are still well and vigorous, and will give us some more of your long accumulated treasures.'


To The Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone.

January 29.

'It was very kind of you to write to me propria manu [Google translate: own hand], and I assure you I know how to appreciate the honour. My last volume of Gifford Lectures leads up to what seems to me the highest problem of Christian philosophy as distinct from Christian religion: the Logos wrongly translated by the Word, in spite of the unfortunate divorce which we have made between Word and Thought. I devoted a big book, Science of Thought, to the establishment of the inseparableness of Word and Thought, and in my last Gifford Lectures I drew the practical consequences. Am I right, or am I wrong? and are we to throw away the philosophical foundation on which the Christianity of St. John, and of Clement and the Alexandrian School, was built up? I well remember your growing library; you took me over it yourself during my last delightful visit to Hawarden. Please let me know whether you have Volumes II and III of the Gifford Lectures. I know what it is to receive books which one does not want. I had to keep a secretary on purpose for answering letters and acknowledging books; and now that I no longer have a secretary I lose two or three hours every day by useless correspondence. I cannot complain of my health; still, at seventy-two one feels the approach of the end, and I have still several things which I should like to finish. I never dine out, and have long given up paying visits, but if I may, I shall call on you some day when you are in London. I have the two volumes of your edition of Butler, and am looking forward to the third. Certainly Butler has been little noticed in Germany. The time in which he wrote was not a favourable time for philosophy in Germany. There was little of philosophy after Leibniz and before Kant, and the problems which occupied the few original thinkers were connected with the possibility of cognition, and not with practical questions. A new period of philosophical activity began with Kant's Critique, 1781, and this again was chiefly concerned with the limits of human cognition. With my best wishes that you may be allowed to finish not only Butler, but the Olympian religion also.'


In February Max Muller’s fourth grandchild and third grandson was born.

To Mrs. Whitehead (Miss Byrd McCall), on receiving a photograph of her home in California.

Oxford, March 27.

'Yes, that Italian verandah is delightful, and so is the studio, but where is the world? Are we not sent here for a little season, to live in the world, and are trees and hills the world? Socrates used to say, “Trees teach me nothing”; his only study was man. I know you must keep a corner to be alone in, or alone with one or two people, but even the old philosophers of India, who spent their whole lives in the forests, and such forests, told their young pupils that they ought to find their forests in their heart, undisturbed by the noise of the world all around them. You know what a quiet forest Oxford is; still, "our ruins are inhabited,” and in an hour you are in Hyde Park, and can shake hands with your friends, even on a bicycle, and in a few hours more you are sur le Boulevard [Google translate: on the Boulevard]. I was there only the other day for the Centenary of the Institute, and enjoyed it immensely, though I suffered for it afterwards, but that cannot be helped. We always have to pay for our little happinesses. No doubt this is all very wrong and frivolous for a grandfather with four grandchildren, but we have been very quiet ever since, and shall be till Commemoration is over; then we are thinking of going to Scotland to stay with B., where we shall get refreshed, and see some old friends. For Easter we are due at Torquay to stay with Mr. Norris, the novel writer, whom you may have met at Oxford. And all the time I am writing a very big book on Mythology, which interests me very deeply, but will not amuse many people, though it is full of atrocities in which people delight -- if they happen at the present day. W. is doing well at Constantinople, and has just returned from Egypt, Smyrna, Magnesia, and Laodecia. . . . I am getting fearfully old! I often pass your old house here, and think of many a happy hour spent there, making toffee and what not.'


In April a visit of ten days to Mr. Norris, the well-known novelist, at Torquay, was a welcome break in Max Muller's hard work, and pleasant days were spent at Dartmouth, Bury Pomeroy, and other places round.

To Professor Bloomfield, Baltimore.

Oxford, May 10.

‘When one can no longer produce much oneself, one should at all events be able to sympathize with and appreciate the work of others. Your last articles have given me the same pleasure as if I had worked out these questions myself. I sometimes chuckled, and said, “Too good to be true." But true it is for all that; the only question is, do these facts of language admit of any generalization; are they not mere lusus naturae [Google translate: freak]? However, even if nature plays and romps, we ought to attend, as you have done. I have been occupied in a very different line, or mine. My book on Mythology, in two volumes, is nearly ready, and yet it is a mere fragment — the subject is so enormous. What can one man, and that an old man, do? However, I hope I shall help to revive the interest of scholars in a subject so much neglected and despised of late. To find reason in unreason is, after all, the best we can do, and we owe it really to the race to which we belong to attempt to show that we are not descended from idiots.’


In May M. Geoffray, the French Charge d’Affaires, came to Norham Gardens to present Max Muller with the insignia of Commander of the Legion of Honour, awarded him by the President of the French Republic. The Vice-Chancellor and other leading members of the University dined to meet him. When Max Muller was made a member of the French Institute in 1869, several of his confreres told him he should apply for the Legion of Honour. But not only would such a proceeding have been contrary to his principle of never asking for any distinction, but such was his mistrust of Napoleon that he would have felt himself degraded by accepting any honour from him. The feeling with which he received the beautiful decoration from M. Faure, whom he thoroughly respected, was very different. A few days later Max Muller heard that, on the occasion of the Hungarian Millennium, he had received the honorary degree of Doctor of Philosophy at Buda-Pesth.

But a wholly unexpected and far higher distinction was now to come to him. On the morning that the list of Birthday Honours appeared in the Times, his wife, who was sitting in the drawing-room, was roused by his coming in suddenly with the Times in his hand. ‘Don’t faint!’ he said, as he gave her the paper, with a beaming face. There his English wife, who had for years smarted under the sense that while foreign countries had vied with each other in granting him distinctions, nothing had been given him in the land he had chosen, and where he had worked for nearly fifty years, saw his name, as the only man appointed a Member of the Privy Council. It was exactly the right distinction, placing him at once in his proper position. All day letters and telegrams of congratulation poured in, and he always liked to remember that the first to reach him was from the Controller and employes of the University Press. The following letter is in response to one from his wife's aunt, Mrs. Bird, aged 95: --

Oxford, May 24, 1896.

‘My Dear Aunt, -- It was very kind of you to write to me. I said to G., "I feel sure Aunt Eh will be pleased." You are the only one remaining of the old times; all the others who would have been pleased are gone before us. That is the one drop of bitterness in what has been a great pleasure to G. and me. I shall never forget that she married me when I was not a Privy Councillor, though I must confess that, even now, I do not feel at all like a member of H.M.'s Privy Council. I have received many letters of congratulation, from Lord Salisbury, the Prince of Wales, &c., but I value your letter most of all, and shall keep it among my treasures.

'Yours very affectionately.'


To Sir Robert Collins.

Oxford, May 23.

‘I am really quite upset. I had so little expected anything of the kind, and it is, of course, far too much. However, it shows the Queen’s very kind heart. I confess there always was something bitter when I received so many favours from other countries, and nothing from the country of my choice and love. One enemy can do more harm than many friends can mend. And while I rejoice over the Queen’s gracious sentiments towards me, I feel sad when I think of the many friends who would have rejoiced with me, and who are no more with us. Dean Stanley — he would have danced and wept, he could do that; we shall never see the like of him again — and Pearson (of Sonning), and Morier — they would all have hugged me; and many more — all gone before. If a few years are left to me I shall try to do some right honourable service, but I begin to feel that I cannot work as I used to do, and though I have still much to say, I shall not be able to do it or do it well. Well, we must not grumble, but rather rejoice, and go on. Please to present my dutiful regards to H.R.H. the Duchess. I imagine that some kind words of hers have done me good service.’


One of the letters of congratulation came from the Drill Sergeant of the Berkshire Volunteers, and the answer has been carefully cherished by the old man.

To Sergeant Cuss.

Oxford.

Those were bright and happy days when we were being drilled by you, and had our firing practice, and slept under the same tent — six of us— and it was raining all night. You were an excellent sergeant, though you told us, I remember, that “those gentlemen who think are very little use." Well, I believe, for all that, we have been of some use in setting an example; and old and shaky as I am now at seventy-two, I should be ready, at a moment's notice, to join our squad again, and sing

“Then let the French come over,
Well greet them with three cheers,
And tell them, hey,
They’d better get away
From the Berkshire Volunteers.”

-- ‘From an old comrade.’


On May 27 Max Muller gave an address before the Royal Society of Literature, on ‘Coincidences,’ chiefly on the many striking coincidences between Christianity and Buddhism. The address will be found in Last Essays, Series I. It called forth a good deal of criticism at the time, and Max Muller had hoped to republish it in a very extended form, and had amassed a good deal of material for the purpose. As the Buddhist Canon was written down a century before the Christian era, it is evident that if there were any borrowing, it was by Christianity from Buddhism; though it is possible that the coincidences in teaching may be accounted for by the universality of essential ethics. The Lord Chancellor, who was present, objected greatly to Max Muller’s deductions. On the other hand, a venerable clergyman wrote to him: ‘Don’t despair; you have done a great work in your time, which will bear fruit, if not sooner, some 500 years hence. The progress of truth is very slow — the purchase of blood and sweat, as I suspect you have discovered in spite of your great successes.’

In June the Max Mullers went to Scotland, and after attending Lord Kelvin’s jubilee at Glasgow, where they met again nearly all their kind friends of the University, "they went to their daughter and son-in-law, who were spending the summer at Spitalhaugh, Sir James Fergusson’s place in Peebleshire. The Trossachs were visited, and the Falls of the Clyde, and Hawthornglen, and Roslyn; a long day was spent at Melrose, Abbotsford, and Dryburgh; the Forth Bridge was carefully examined, and many Scotch friends came to stay and make, or renew, acquaintance with Max Muller.

To Herr George von Bunsen.

Translation. Spitalhaugh, June 25.

‘I have been very anxious about you: one grows more and more lonely, and we have known each other for so many years, that I felt as if another limb were about to be taken off, when I heard what I heard about you. But your own letter is full of the old courage, and we must all accept the warning, when it comes, that the evening of life is meant for rest, for reflection, for retirement. I often say so to myself, and yet I cannot get any rest. There is always some fresh call to work, or what one imagines to be a call! and so I am busy again, printing a large book, let alone other tiresome things. I am busy with a second edition of my translation of Kant's Critique, according to "the new text which the Berlin Academy is bringing out. The editor, Dr. Adickes, supplies me with the necessary material, and I find a great deal to alter. But even this is not enough; look at the July numbers of the Fortnightly and the Nineteenth Century, and in each number you will find something that may amuse you. I am staying in Scotland: delicious air and lovely views, besides four grandchildren. My son, too, was with me for a time, so I must not complain; and yet life is no longer easy, one's legs won't carry one as they once did, and one's work does not get on as it used to do. My memory no longer serves me as formerly. I must verify everything, and that worries me. Then I hum "Warte nur, balde! [Google translate: wait, soon]" How I came to be Right Honourable? I have no idea. I had no suspicion till I saw it in the Times. Is it the Queen? I don't know. Is it Lord Salisbury? I know nothing. Gladstone offered me knighthood years ago, which I humbly declined. Next week I am to kiss hands. Who would have thought that in 1847? Now, before all things, fac ut valeas [Google translate: make sure you are strong]. Fac means much. Keep your true affection for me through the evening of life.

'Ever yours.'


From Scotland Max had to go for a day to Windsor, to kiss hands and be sworn in as a member of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council. As he knelt before the Queen, she whispered to him in German, ‘I am delighted to see you here, Professor!’ On his return to Scotland, in writing to Mr. Malabari, he says: ‘I was most graciously received by the Queen. I am at present the only non-political P.C., and I am afraid there will be jealousy among scientific people.' On Max Muller's return to Oxford he heard of the death of an old friend, Professor Ernst Curtius, who unearthed the Hermes of Olympia, and he writes to a friend he had seen in Scotland: ‘It was so pleasant to meet again — but, oh, what gaps, how many empty places! One has to shake oneself to believe it all. I was rich in friends, I have hardly any left now.' [/quote]

To The Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone.

Oxford, July 12.

‘Please to accept my very sincere thanks for your kindness in sending me your Subsidiary Studies to Butler's Works. I am very curious what solution Butler may give for the Great Questions. I am just now revising my translation of Kant’s Critique for a new edition. It seems to me that the two thinkers are nearer to each other than would at first sight appear. Kant determines the limits of the possibility of human knowledge, and then breaks through the barriers he has himself created, relying on the Categorical Imperative or the Ought which serves as the foundation of his Practical Philosophy. Is not that something like Butler’s position? But I shall read Butler, at least I hope so, but, alas! the books which I like to read I cannot, and the books which I do not like to read I must. Kant’s text is more corrupt than that of any Greek classic. He lived at Konigsberg, and his book was printed at Leipzig, and for half of it he saw no proof-sheets at all His style is so fearful that one never knows what he may, and what he may not, allow himself to write. If, as translator, one makes his writing to construe, one is blamed; if one gives a faithful rendering, one is blamed also. I send you a copy of the current number of the Fortnightly Review, which contains a lecture of mine on “Coincidences.” I should feel extremely grateful if you would look at it, and let me know what you think of it. We must come to some decision. To my mind, all these questions, in whatever way they are solved, do not touch the kernel of Christ’s teaching. The Logos idea came from an Aryan, the Messiah idea from a Semitic source. Why should not other thoughts that pervaded the atmosphere of Palestine have left their traces in the Christian traditions of the first centuries? How it came about I cannot tell, neither could we tell how Christian ideas could have reached Buddhism in India. The chapter of accidents is long, but hardly long enough for this.’


In July and August Max Muller was at Droitwich, where he found Professor Palgrave, and the two old friends enjoyed being together, as in days long gone by. Max employed himself here in writing most of those papers which, after coming out in Cosmopolis, formed the First Series of Auld Lang Syne.

To The Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone.

Droitwich, July 27.

‘I always hesitate and hesitate whether I should write to you, and at last I succumb. But if you do not answer, I shall quite understand; I am, in a small way, a fellow sufferer. I cannot answer all the letters I receive. I cannot even read them all, not only because there are so many, but because they are written in so many languages which I do not understand. In spite of all my protests, people will look upon me as a second Mezzofanti -- I never was, never wished to be. "Mezzofantiasis" is a very dangerous disease.

'I am sorry that you did not consider the evidence which I put together about the Coincidences between Christianity and Buddhism, sufficient to enable an intelligent jury -- a jury is always intelligent -- to give a verdict. However, I must confess that for years I have been very much perplexed myself; and even now, though I cannot resist the impression that there must have been historical contact between the Christian and the Buddhist intellectual atmospheres, I cannot explain how it came about, I cannot point out the exact historical channel through which the communication took place.

'You seem to think that the chapter of accidents is larger than we suppose, and you mention a number of coincidences between the traditions of ancient Greece and other countries -- such as Egypt, Assyria, &c. But here we know that there was intellectual commerce between these countries, we know that the Phoenicians brought the Egyptian alphabet to Greece, and we know what influence a schoolmaster may exercise, though he professes to teach only the three R's. And secondly, are not the coincidences such that our common human nature would suffice to account for them? May Dot Madame Potiphar be matched even in our modern novels and our modern realities? As to speaking animals, they are found everywhere, and it is no wonder. Did not Schopenhauer say that, when he looked at his faithful dog, he was ashamed of mankind? There is a silent eloquence in a dog which many teachers have tried to translate into words, and what applies to dogs applies, I suppose, to Balaam's ass. The animal fable seems a phase through which most nations had to pass.

'I understand what you mean by Logos=Athene. The fundamental idea is the same, though mythologically I should say that the Sophia comes nearer to Athene than the Logos. Logos is a masculine, a man; and language, after her work is done in the creation of a word, reacts very powerfully on thought. Hence 1 doubt whether Logos could ever have become Athene, or Athene Logos. Besides, Athene is never creative, is she? Logos seems to me the true answer to Darwin and all his simperings about special acts of creation. I am a great admirer of Darwin, but he had no philosophical education, no Greek background. I knew him personally; he was charming, and very great in his own domain, but his so-called disciples have placed him in a false position, and it will take a long time before the old Logos takes its right place again, instead of a number of purely mechanical pretenders, such as Natural Selection, Survival of the Fittest, Panmixia, &c. - all mythological fictions, no better than the gods of Greece and India!'


To B. Malabari, Esq.

Droitwich, August 5.

‘I do not deny that the present situation is dangerous, but though people may threaten, they will think twice before they strike a blow at England. I wish there was more English feeling in India, and that it would show itself in words and deeds. What is the use of haggling over the pay of an Indian regiment in Egypt? It is a mere nothing compared with the true interests, the peace and prosperity of India. I can understand Indian patriots who wish to get rid of England altogether, but those who see what that would mean should take to their oar manfully, and pull a good English stroke. You are in the same boat — you can float together, and you would go down together. So it strikes me, though you know that I am generally on the Indian side.'


On returning to Oxford Max Muller had visits from two Indians, Vivekananda, the Vedantist missionary who after- wards went to America to carry on a propaganda there, and Dharmapala, the Buddhist teacher. The latter, who is a strikingly handsome man, appeared in his Buddhist yellow dress.

Early in September the Max Mullers were kept in considerable anxiety about their son, during the Armenian massacres. He wrote: —

Therapia, August 31, 1896.

'I have been more or less in the thick of it, as I had to go to town every day from Thursday to Sunday night. I had to go round to various English domiciles, which had been pillaged, or in which there were Armenians in hiding; and, what with the work, the heat, and the horrible sights I saw on all sides, I was fairly done up last night. On Friday, I paddled about in blood, in pillaged houses and foul back streets the whole morning. I can assure you that going down to town at seven or eight A.M., receiving deputations of terror-stricken British subjects, examining pillaged houses, pulling out Armenians half-dead from fright and hunger, hidden away in the foulest lofts, writing out a report as one steamed back in the launch or stationnaire [Google translate: stationary], dining at any hour between nine and ten, and then helping to telegraph home an account of the day's work, was no joke. The experiences of one's friends here, would make a volume beside which all tales of piracy and adventure pale .... I saw sights which made one's blood run cold: defenceless people clubbed to death, while the police and soldiers looked on inactive; cartloads of dead bodies, shapeless and mangled beyond recognition; then the horrible traces of massacre in the houses I had to visit, blood on the floors and roofs, on the window-sills, where they had thrown the bodies out, all down the staircases, where they had dragged them down; then everything smashed, not a table or chair, or desk, but was in atoms. What a horrible, fearful thing a human mob is when it is unchained! No pack of wolves would commit so much useless bloodshed.'


The father's quiet work at home was in strange contrast to these awful scenes.

To The Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone.

Oxford, September 11.

‘It is certainly true, as you say, that Homer looks upon the speaking of animals as a prodigium [Google translate: prodigy.] This is quite different from the animal fable, which Homer does not seem to know at all, though traces of it occur in Hesiod, Archilochus, Simonides, &c. With Homer the speaking of animals is the work of some god; it is Hera that makes Xanthos prophesy. In other cases the god himself assumes for a time an animal form, as Athene, but she does not speak after she has assumed the form of a bird, and even her metamorphosis causes [x]. So far there is agreement between the Homeric and the Biblical view. But is not the same idea expressed by the Roman Bos "locutus est" [Google translate: "spoke". ]? Such ideas are more or less reasonable, and therefore may spring up everywhere, I quite accept your idea of Athene, but I hold that there was an earlier period in which the gods represented physical phenomena, and Athene represented the light of the morning, the Sanskrit Ahana. This view of the gods is as much removed from Homer as the Xoana were from Phidias, but it existed as an historical reality. As to Egyptian and Babylonian deities, they were never anterior to the Greek names; they were engrafted on Greek rose-trees, but they did not improve them, I read your paper on the Landmarks with great interest, but I am much more sceptical as to any contact between the ancient Greeks and Babylonians and Egyptians. We can watch the whole growth of Greek mythology from Greek, or at all events from Aryan soil, and I claim Poseidon as w^ell as the true Aphrodite as entirely Aryan. My first volume on Mythology is printed; I hope I shall finish the second before the year is over. It is a subject of absorbing interest, and I only wish I were younger to be able to do full credit to it.'


To Dr. Althaus.

Translation, 7, Norham Gardens, October 11.

'I was so glad to see your handwriting, and to gather from it that you are hale and strong. I am fairly well for my age (seventy-two), only one thing I need, and that is — rest. New obligations, new editions, new acquaintances, are always cropping up. Since yesterday our house is full of Siamese princes, the brothers of the King, his adjutant, the secretary of the Embassy and his retinue. It is interesting to make the acquaintance of these men. They brought me a complete edition of the Tripitaka from Bangkok, as a gift from the King. But of course the hours fly and do not return, and I have still so much on my mind which I should like to talk about, if only I had time and rest for doing so. Well, it is pretty much the same with all of us — poor aegri mortales [Google translate: mortal patients]!

‘I am glad that you liked my musical recollections. I told some of them to my friend Sir John Stainer, who asked me to write them down, and I did this in a great hurry. I was asked to continue the recollections, but I have no notes, and so I have to depend entirely on my unreliable memory. I have no dates, and our memory alone is no chronicle, but unavoidably lapses into a mixture of poetry and reality, Dichtung und Wahrheit. So you see I can but give what lives in my memory. If it should be chronologically inaccurate, I cannot help it. Fortunately, I have my wife to help me. Do you know that George Bunsen is dying? Another tie will be gone; only a few remain. His was a fine nature; he has suffered much, and he was worthy of his father. Ah yes! Where are they? all gone!'
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Re: The Life and Letters of The Right Hon. Friedrich Max Mul

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Part 2 of 2

To His Cousin, Berndt von Basedow.

Translation. January 1, 1897.

‘Many thanks for your good wishes for the New Year, which we heartily return. Unfortunately, one does not grow younger, and even I sometimes find work a burden. But I must not complain when one sees what happens to many when they reach their seventy-third year. On the whole, we have done bravely. We are with B. They are living in his old home, near Gravesend; his property is here, and his tenants like to have him near them. The house is not so interesting as Ightham Mote, but very comfortable. The four children are all well, and a great delight to us. We ourselves have plans, if it gets any colder, for going to Naples, to warm our hands at Vesuvius. It is a long journey, but when we are over there, we shall stay with an American friend, who has a lovely palace, and where we can rest. I begin to find I am getting a little deaf, but that comes with old age, and one must bear it.'


It was whilst staying with his daughter that Max Muller heard of the death of his valued old friend George von Bunsen.

To His Son.

Wombwell Hall, January 4.

'I have just had a book on Schleswig-Holstein. It is historical, and gives letters from the Emperor and Bismarck; Bismarck, as usual, coming out very badly. What a fiasco he has turned out! I never believed in him. I knew how small he had proved himself towards his friends; and as to Sedan and all the rest, he had a splendid horse to ride, and proved himself a good jockey. He played Banco and won, that is ail If he were Chancellor still he would long ago have sent himself to prison, and rightly too. George Bunsen, who died the other day, was a dear friend of mine, and his death has been a great blow to me. He was one of the few of my true friends left. I could always trust him. He was delighted whenever anything good happened to me, and shared all my disappointments. He ought to have distinguished himself far more; but just at the most critical time of life, about twenty- five, his eyes gave way, and he had to rest for several years and take to farming. Afterwards he did much useful work in the Prussian Chamber, and in the Reichsrath, but chiefly on committees, and quietly. Bismarck hated him and all that bore the name of Bunsen, because they would not bend the knee. George, if anything, was too conscientious and too unyielding, if that is possible, A beautiful chapter of my life is closed there.’


The end of January Max Muller and his wife started for Paris and Rome. It was bitterly cold over the Mont Cents route, and snow fell till Genoa was reached. At Rome a pleasant ten days was spent, seeing many friends and visiting many sights, and Max Muller was able to enjoy all he saw far more than in his first visit twenty-two years before, when he was so constantly ill. He now made personal acquaintance with Madame Wagner, the authoress of La Pensee et la Parole [Google translate: Thought and Word]; and Count Balzani; Count de Gubernatis; Sir Clare Ford, at the Embassy; Mr. Stillman, the Times correspondent; Signor Guidi, an old friend from the days in Stockholm; and Mrs. Otto Siemens, a yet older friend, were amongst those with whom he had constant intercourse. From Rome the Max M Oilers went on to Naples, to stay with their friend Major Henry Davis at his lovely place La Floridiana, situated high above the city, on a level with the castle St. Etnas. La Floridiana was built by Ferdinand II (Bomba) for his morganatic wife the Duchess of Floridiana. Whilst in Rome Max Muller had, through his friend Mr. Grissell, Chamberlain to the Pope, asked leave to present the Sacred Books of the East to His Holiness, and soon after his arrival at Naples heard through Cardinal Rampolla that ‘the Pope would accept the gift with the greatest pleasure, as a most valuable contribution to the Vatican library.'

The house where Max Muller was staying was large and beautiful, a perfect Italian palazzo^ though with every modern comfort of electric light and warm-air apparatus so judiciously applied as not to spoil the old foreign look of the whole surroundings. The large entrance-hall and broad marble staircase were always lined with palms and flowers in full bloom; whilst in the garden, when he arrived, about 8,000 camellia blooms of all shades hung on the trees. The view from the terrace at the bottom of the garden, across the city and bay to Capri, with Posilippo on the right and the promontory of Sorrento to the left, is one of the most exquisite in Europe, and was a constant delight to Max Muller. Here, on fine days, he would walk up and down, and in wet days in the long library, in earnest talk with his cultivated host. Though the Max Mullers had been in Naples twenty-two years previously, they now had time in their six weeks’ visit at La Floridiana to see everything in a much more thorough and leisurely way. They made acquaintance with many of the Italian families, and formed a real friendship with Mr. Rendel and his family, and many pleasant hours were spent at his beautiful place, Maravale, hanging over the sea on the Posilippo promontory.

To The Right Hon. W.E. Gladstone.

La Floridiana, February 25.

'I gave orders before I left England for Messrs. Longmans to send you a copy of my two volumes on Mythology; whenever they reach you I should be glad if you would glance at them. They do not deal with what you mean by Olympian Religion. They refer to a much lower stratum of Aryan thought, presupposed no doubt, by Greek Religion and Mythology, but separated from them by intervening strata that defy chronological definition. Compared with that antiquity, the antiquity of Babylon and Egypt shrinks to small proportions, though in the absence of contemporary events, we shall never be able to determine the date of that Aryan formation which lies far beyond Homer, far beyond the Vedic poets. I have been obliged to take refuge here from the damp and the cold winds of Oxford. The weather here is quite perfect, and I hope you have derived the same benefit from the soft air of Cannes, which I have from the sunshine of the Bay of Naples. I see Capri and Vesuvius from my window where I am writing.'


During the Max Mullers' visit, their host's dear old mother, who kept house for her son, and had welcomed his guests with hearty kindness, died after a few hours' illness. They were not allowed to leave, as the rest was so beneficial for Max Muller. Other friends were staying in the house, old friends of the host, Professor and Mrs. Welsch, from Dresden, and with them a warm friendship sprang up.

To His Son.

La Floridiana. March 12.

‘I am very idle here, but the country is really too beautiful for any work, and I do not feel quite myself yet. Perhaps I never shall, and shall have to learn the lesson of being old, which is not so easy as one thinks.

‘Last week we went to Paestum and Amalfi. The three Doric temples in sight of the sea are very imposing, and so full of thought. That is what one learns to admire more and more, not so much what one sees present, but what one sees behind, before such temples to Poseidon could have been conceived. And then one sees how in all the small inlets and bays the sea woos the earth (Poseidon-Demeter); hence, after the temple of Poseidon was built, and evidently a generation later, they built the temple to Demeter. ... Two books on Rome have interested me very much, Zola’s Rome and Marion Crawford's Casa Braccio, both very powerful, though the former is, as usual, “ food for man and beast.”'


Many letters reached Max Muller at this time on his work on Mythology, One friend wrote: —

'This I hope, that, whatever difference of opinion there may be between you and me, I may follow, at however great a distance, your example as an indefatigable worker. As a writer you are just the same as thirty or forty years ago. Your style, at seventy and more, has lost none of its freshness and spirit, and I enjoy the reading of your youngest work just as much as when I was charmed by the History of Sanskrit Literature and the Chips.'


On returning to Rome, a long day was spent in going over the Palatine with Signor Barnabei, who was conducting the excavations; and then the Max Mullers joined their friends the Welschs at Frascati, where ten days of great enjoyment were spent in seeing all the beautiful places on the Alban Hills, and in long rambles about the villas of Frascati. Two days, one at Nemi, and another at Tusculum, were days of special interest and delight to Max Muller, as were the two days spent at Tivoli and Hadrian s Villa. He was far stronger than when he left England, and enjoyed himself like a boy. A week was given to Perugia, which included a long interesting day at Assisi, and another week to Florence, and the Max Mullers then joined the Welschs at Venice.

To Major Henry Davis.

Frascati, April 4.

'I send this letter to London, where I suppose you have by this time safely arrived. The delightful days of the Floridiana are over, and they have not only left a charming page in my recollections, but have evidently done me a great deal of good. I really begin to feel well again, and ought perhaps to return to Oxford and my work, but Rome and Italy altogether prove too attractive, and I cannot yet make up my mind to return to our inclement climate. I have often thought of you, and wished we could have had a little exchange of thought about Henry Drummond's book. I have been much interested in it, as showing a certain phase of thought which is evidently widely spread and popular. On certain portions of his book, particularly the biological portions, I am no judge, but I suppose he may be trusted there. But when he comes to the Dawn of Mind and the Evolution of Language, he is simply ignorant. He does not see that communication and language are different things, and dwells on the well-known instances of onomatopoeia as if they could explain the origin of conceptual language. Language begins where onomatopoeia ends. There are many instances like tick tick, puff puff, &c., but what have they to do with over 250,000 English words? Whence come our numerals, our prepositions, whence such words as tree, sky, sea, &c.? Antennae language is one thing, but Homer's poems are un autre genre [Google translate: another gender ], and there is no transition from one to the other, even if the earth had been inhabited before the Glacial Period. Why write about things which we do not know? As to his struggle of love, or his Altruism, or Atheism (horrible words), there is some truth in it, but if it affects evolution at all, it can only affect the later evolution of man. Among some races it did not even do this; and, after all, the care for children and the pride in children may be included in the struggle for life, for to have children meant to be strong. meant to be able to defend oneself, nay, love of children involves even now a certain amount of selfishness. To have a quiver-full of them meant to be a commander-in-chief, and in the Veda a prayer for children is a prayer for strong men, a prayer for strength, without any sentimental background. However, I like that part of his book, but I also understand why scientific men of business like Huxley would have nothing to say to the book. I have written another article on the Pferdeburla, and have offered my peccavi [Google translate: I have sinned] to his departed spirit, though he would probably strongly object to this dignity. We are enjoying the surroundings of Frascati immensely, only to-day we have had a regular downpour. If it is fine to-morrow, we mean to go to Nemi. Mr. and Mrs. Welsch are here, and we have enjoyed their society very much. I am sorry we shall probably have to part next Thursday. Our own plans are uncertain.

'Yours very truly and gratefully.'


The reference to the Pferdeburla in the letter above needs explanation. In the preceding year, Max received many letters on an article which he had written on Celsus in the Deutsche Rundschau, in 1895. The most remarkable of these letters was from a German in America, who signed himself 'Pferdeburla,' 'horse-herd,' which Max Muller thought so striking that he wrote a long and careful answer, and printed both that and the letter from the Pferdeburla in the November number of the Deutsche Rundschau, 1896. This called forth many replies, though none from the Pferdeburla. One of these, signed 'Ignotus Agnosticus,' was answered and printed, and the whole grew gradually into a small volume, published early in 1899, called The Pferdeburla, Questions of the day, answered by F. Max Muller. This will soon appear in an English translation.

The pleasure of the time at Venice was added to by the arrival of Max Muller’s cousins, the von Basedows, and the whole party witnessed the arrival of the Prince and Princess of Naples, on their first visit to Venice. The royal pair were met at the station by all the noblesse of Venice, in their old state gondolas, with the state liveries, and they escorted the royal barca to the Palazzo Reale. The gondolas were coloured in every shade of pink, yellow, blue, and green, picked out in gold or silver, and the gondoliere wore the colours of their gondola, with huge black Charles II wigs.

To His Son.

Venice, May 1.

'Things in Italy are not so bright as they look. No doubt the attentat [Google translate: attack] has made the King popular for a time, but there is wide- spread dissatisfaction, the army feels the defeat in Africa, and the taxation is very heavy. Besides, the priests are always at their work, and still hope for a return of the old regime. The state of religion is really worse than pagan; everybody knows it, but nothing happens. There was another ironclad launched here this week, but I expect there will be a financial crash. Money you see none, nothing but paper.’


On the way home, a few days were given to Milan, and from here Max wrote to Mr. Grissell about the Sacred Books of the East for the Pope.

Milan, May 11.

‘Nothing could have been better arranged than the presentation of the Sacred Books of the East to H.H. the Pope. Unfortunately I could not stay at Rome to present the books in person, and to ask for a personal audience. When 1 wrote to the Vice-Chancellor as Chairman of the Clarendon Press to have a copy of the fifty volumes forwarded to Rome, the Curators of the Press decided to send the present in their own name and in that of the University. This would, of course, give more prestige to the gift, and place the Pope's opinions on the subject in their proper light. The Vice-Chancellor wrote in person to Cardinal Rampolla, and by this time, I doubt not, the books have arrived.

'Accept once more my best thanks for the trouble you have taken. I believe nothing could have been done better, and I am proud to think that my collection will have a place in the Papal Library, and go to the Propaganda with the implied approval of the Pope.'


To Professor Buhler.

Translation. 7 Norham Gardens, Oxford, June 11, 1897.

'I have just printed a new edition of the Dhammapada. There was much written in India in the first century B.C., now they actually intend to make Panini introduce writing. I think above all things we have to cling to facts, the inductions belong to another special branch. It seems remarkable that the introduction of writing should have made so little impression in India. It was surely a greater discovery than that of powder and steam, but it is taken for granted, and Brahman as inventor of letters is only of secondary consideration. But it was impossible to keep such a light hidden under a bushel, though one cannot deny that there is a pause in India, as well as in Greece, between writing for documents and history, and writ, and writing for literature. Here writing would only have dulled the ear. So I still think that we had best cling to the inscriptions which we already possess. We cannot deny that the Senart Inscriptions open out a new channel; but if it leads to Mongolia, we get, after all, only to Semitism again. Had I but time and strength, 1 should like much to treat the question once again; on the whole there would not be much to change, only a good many things to add, for which we have to thank you. However, one gets old, and it is better to be silent than to commit blunders. The young ones ought to progress as we have done when we were young. But they want courage and perseverance.

'And when are you coming to England? In July the King of Siam is coming; he has taken the house of a cousin of my wife’s for ten weeks. He is an intelligent man, and he might collect inscriptions in Suvamadosa. There is anti-Buddhistic strata there, where there is much to be dug out still, I have not yet seen the last manuscripts from near Fayum; they are said to contain much that is new. The finder, Mr. Grenfell, is also a cousin and a very clever man.’


Just after his return, Max Muller was elected a Member of the Royal Academy of Sciences at Vienna, and to this the following letter refers: —

To Professor Buhler.

Translation. Oxford, no date.

‘I have this moment received the telegram signed by you and your colleagues. It was a great joy to receive this great distinction. Laudari a viris laudatis [Google translate: To be praised by men who are praised] does us good, even when we are standing in the last asrama. Please give your colleagues, and as I may proudly add, my colleagues, my warmest thanks. I have only just returned from the South, and I feel Italy has refreshed me bodily and spiritually, but my irritable throat still bids me be careful. How long it may still last, I do not know, but as long as it lasts I shall continue to work. I have just finished your essay on quotations from the Puranas. How strong and how tough tradition must have been in India, to preserve such literal fragments! Alas, that no Fayum, which has just produced again such wonderful treasures, can be looked for there I Well, we must be content with tradition, which has nowhere produced such wonders as in India. And yet people still shrink from believing, though they might see it with their own eyes in India, that memory is better than parchment Again, many thanks to you and those who signed the telegram. I should like best to go at once to Vienna, but I have rested for six months, and I am obliged to take up my work again now.'


To His Son.

Wombwell Hall, June 13.

‘I am so pleased that you and Moritz de Bunsen are together at Constantinople — who could have guessed that fifty years ago? I feel sure you want change, both physically and socially. You live in a rude kind of society, and do not see the finer shades of character with which you will have to deal. There is a diplomacy with the outer world, but there is a diplomacy with our inner world also, to satisfy all interests, to make hostile powers work together, to bring conflicts to a happy issue. For all that, you want to move in a different atmosphere, and more particularly to come in contact with ladies, who are not mere slaves, but, as Browning said, half angel, half bird. You will receive from them what you can afford to give, respect, love, help, as you deserve it. But depend upon it, your ideal of woman can never be too high. You elevate a woman by looking up to her, and with a will you can make everything of her, an angel or a devil.'


The Max Mullers were in London for the Diamond Jubilee, and Max took charge of his wife and another lady at night, on foot, to see the illuminations, piloting them through the crowds, quite forgetting his seventy three and a half years.

To Professor Welsch.

Translation, Oxford, June 28.

‘I am much moved by the news of the death of your daughter, and must express my true sympathy in words. It is strange how close death has twice been to us, in so short a time. I had lately often thought of your daughter, and her card has been lying on my writing-table. . . . For such partings there is no comfort unless one truly realizes that it is no parting; those who are gone are nearer to us than the living — all earthly disturbances and differences have ceased. But the wound hurts one, and can be quieted only by perfect stillness.’


Mr. Andrew Lang paid a visit to Norham Gardens this year, and Max Muller and he had some talk on the ethnological and philological explanations of mythology, which Max Muller looked on as allies, not enemies. The visit led to further correspondence: —

To A. Lang, Esq.

Oxford, July 3.

‘I am always glad if some very ancient thoughts can be discovered among modern savages, but you must excuse my scholar’s conscience, if I don’t accept even all that Pausanias says, much less what Herr von Wartegg saw. Still, let it all grow against the harvest. Your Palaeozoic myths are quite as useful as my Neozoic; the difficulty arises in the Mesozoic stratum. With regard to the passage where you thought my note contradicted the rest, surely you must have found how often my notes are not simply references in support of one view, but ad notams, meaning, “Consider, however,” &c. They generally came from marginal notes, and are intended to be useful to readers in forming their opinions, I have my own view, but I treat the opinions of others with respect. However, my bastions are there, and I shall be glad to see them tested by any amount of bombarding.’


To The Same.

July 8.

'. . . I don’t say that I should go to the stake for it, but I am perfectly certain that some good may be got from the study of savages for the elucidation of Aryan myths. I never could find out why I should be thought to be opposed to Agriology, because I was an Aryologist. L'un n'empeche pas l'autre [Google translate: One does not prevent the other]. Still less could I understand why you should have attacked me, or rather my masters, without learning Sanskrit, which is by no means so difficult as people imagine. You must have a rapier to fight a man who has a rapier, otherwise it becomes a row. I did not mean to imply that the buying mundus has been kind to me (Mythology). I have not even asked Longmans how the book sells. I meant my critics. Even the Folklore Journal, from which I expected the wildest counterblast, has been very fair. Fraser has never attacked me, and I have always touched my hat to him. He works his mine, I work mine: why should we quarrel?’


The summer brought, as usual, many foreign visitors to Oxford. After the Jubilee came the Bahadur of Khetri, and his son-in-law the Rajah Kumar of Shakpura, on their way to Birmingham. They were in full native dress, and covered with jewels. They were followed by Sri Rajah, a Zemindar of high position, and Mr. Gooneratne, who attended the Jubilee as delegate from Ceylon, and who proved a most agreeable acquaintance.

It was a great interest to Max Muller to attend, with many other friends from Oxford, the gathering at Ascot in honour of the Golden Wedding of Dean and Mrs. Liddell. The old friends never met again. Another interest of Long Vacation was the Summer University Extension Meeting at Oxford, for the opening of which Lord Ripon stayed in Norham Gardens. A considerable number of foreigners came to Oxford to attend the lectures, and the Max Mullers had two afternoon gatherings especially for them, besides small parties of them to luncheon. Max Muller attended the evening gatherings, and though he gave no lecture or address himself, he took more part than he had ever done before in the social pleasures of the meeting.

To His Son.

Oxford, September 3.

'I wonder whether you remember the anniversary of to-day, when dear Mary was taken away from us? Who could tell why? Who could understand it and account for it? And yet we must learn to see a meaning in everything, we must believe that as it was, it was right. No doubt we cannot always see cause and effect, and it is well that we cannot. It is quite true, as you say, that we do not always get our deserts. And yet we must believe that we do—only if we know it, the whole fabric of the world would be destroyed, there would be neither virtue nor vice in the whole world, nothing but calculation. We should avoid the rails laid down by the world, because we should know the engine would be sure to come and mangle us. In this way the world holds together, and it could not in any other way.’


During a visit to Droitwich in September, with his wife and daughter. Max employed himself in preparing Auld Lang Syne, Series I, for press. The end of September he had two interviews with the King of Siam, first in Oxford, and two days later at the Mansion House, and was able to tell him that the arrangements for the second volume of the Sacred Books of the Buddhists were complete. The King,’ wrote Max Muller, 'was most delightful. I sat by him, and we had plenty of talk. All went off well.’

The following interview, which was given in a religious paper this year, probably the Christian Worlds is of interest: —

'"My interest in all religions,” the Professor remarked, "is chiefly historical; I want to see what has been, in order to understand what is. Our religion is certainly better and purer than others, but in the essential points all religions have something in common. They all start with the belief that there is something beyond, and they are all attempts to reach out to it.”

‘Do you distinguish between human guesses and Divine revelation?”

‘“I believe in one revelation only — the revelation within us, which is much better than any revelations that come from without. Why should we look for God and listen for His voice outside us only, and not within us? Where is the temple of God, or the true kingdom of God?”

'“The inward voice doesn’t give us much information about future life, for instance — does it?”

'“That inward voice never suggested or allowed me the slightest doubt or misgiving about the reality of a future life. If there is continuity in the world everywhere, why should there be a wrench and annihilation only with us? It will be as it has been— that is the lesson we learn from nature: how it will be we are not meant to know. There is a very old Greek saying to the effect — to try to know what the gods did not wish to tell ns, is not piety. If God wished us to know what is to be, He would tell us. Darwin has shown us that there is continuity from beginning to end.”

‘"I believe in the continuity of self. If there were an annihilation or complete change of our individual self-consciousness we might become somebody else, but we should not be ourselves. Personally, I have no doubt of the persistence of the individual after death, as we call it. I cannot imagine the very crown and flower of creation being destroyed by its author. I do not say it is impossible; it is not for us to say either yes or no; we have simply to trust, but that trust or faith is implanted in us, and is strengthened by everything around us.”'


It is uncertain to which year exactly the following account belongs, but it would probably be this year, when so many Indians visited England. ‘One day at tea at Balliol,’ writes a friend of Max Muller, ‘we met two or three distinguished Indians. One of them said to me, speaking gratefully of Professor Max Muller: —

‘‘‘ He has done more than any living man to spread the knowledge of English in India. It is difficult for English people to realize the variety of languages in India, and how little one part of India knows the language of another part. But we all want to be able to read our Sacred Books. We now widely study English, in order to read Max Muller; though there have been imitators since, the praise must belong first to Max Muller, who invented and worked out the idea of translating our Sacred Books into English.”'


To His Son.

Oxford, November 28, 1897.

'You certainly have grown older and more serious. No wonder, considering what you had to go through! You’ll understand now my old motto Nas Leben ist ernst ("Life is earnest”), though that does not prevent us from enjoying what can be enjoyed. I wish you would grow very fond of somebody, or something: that is, after all, the secret of enjoying life; call it a wife, or a hobby, or some passion or other, even a passion for statistics, or something of the kind, but a passion. Otherwise life becomes humdrum. Dressing and washing in the morning, and undressing at night, one gets so tired of it!’


To Mr. Takakusu.

Oxford, December 2.

‘I am always glad to see the Hansei Zas-shi,1 [An illustrated journal in English.] but I wish it contained more from you and from Nanjio. I should like to know what you are doing, and how far Sanskrit scholarship is making progress in Japan. It is not enough to acquire knowledge, we must try to make it useful. There are several things to be done, by trying to find out what Sanskrit texts were known and studied by I-tsing and by Hiouen-thsang. I want you to found a school of Sanskrit in Japan, and arouse an interest in genuine Buddhism, particularly Hfna3ina. You and Nanjio might do a great deal.

‘I have published my Mythology, two volumes, and I am now writing a History of Indian Philosophy; so, you see, I do not yet give in. I have also published a new edition of my translation of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. I should like to send you a copy, but I do not know how, it is a big book.

‘I hope that you and Nanjio are both well, and that you keep up your Sanskrit and work together — two are better than one. I hope I shall stay in England this winter. If Japan were not so far, I should like to spend the winter there. Give my love to Nanjio.' [/quote]

To His Cousin, Berndt von Basedow.

Translation. Wombwell Hall, December 23.

‘I send you, from here, my best wishes for Christmas and the New Year, and many thanks that you remembered my birthday. I hope we shall yet meet again in this life. Old age indeed, with its difficulties, warns us of his approach. I am an old man of seventy-four. Still, I am fairly well, but I must take care of myself. We are here with B. for Christmas, and her children are our great delight. Only think, father, mother, and the eldest boy Max, are all three just gone out with the foxhounds; so it goes on, one generation after another. Wilhelm was here in the autumn, but had to return to Constantinople; he comes back in the spring, and probably goes to Washington. He longs to leave Turkey, after all the horrors he went through there with the massacres. We shall scarcely get to Washington, that is too far off for an old man. Best wishes to your wife and children. I used to send them to all relations in Dessau, but how few are left there! Now take good care of yourself. So course for another year!'


Max Muller was already hard at work on his last large book, Six Systems of Indian Philosophy, and was printing Auld Lang Syne, Series I. Though he was by way of resting during his visit to his daughter, his large correspondence alone sufficed to occupy many hours each day. He had for some time given up all work of an evening after dinner, and his wife read a great deal aloud to him. He had never indulged in novel- reading, and now enjoyed hearing Dickens, Thackeray, George Eliot, Lord Lytton, and other standard authors, besides the best novels of the day. Lord Roberts’s Life in India had been listened to with keen interest; Mrs. Steel’s Indian novels, too, were a source of great pleasure; Stanley Weyman’s historical tales, Lucas Malet’s and Mrs. Humphry Ward’s novels, were among those he cared for; and in the very last months of his life Rider Haggard’s Jess delighted him. The year before, Mr. N. M. Hennessey, minister of the New Congregational Church, Birmingham, who had long been a student of Max Muller’s works, sent him a kind Christmas greeting, which he renewed this year, saying at the same time that he was about to christen his little son 'Max Muller.’ ‘When he is old enough, I will tell him why he bears the name, why I love it, and how I loved its owner for the books that made me grow.’ In sending the following to the editor, Mr. Hennessey wrote: ‘The letters are treasures, which I hoard with a miser’s love amongst the dearest of the few treasures I have.’

To The Rev. N. M. Hennessey.

Wombwell Hall, December 30.

‘A kind thought or a kind word and deed always does one good, and I thank you sincerely for your Christmas letter. May your son prosper and never lose touch with a higher world, while making him- self useful in this lower world, loving his fellow creatures and loved by them! Though I am an old man now, I am still able to work, and enjoy it more than ever. Just now I am hard at work at a History of Ancient Indian Philosophy, six systems, some very strange, some very wonderful, I read in Tennyson’s Life: “The philosophers of the East had a great fascination for my father, and he felt that the Western religions might learn from them much of spirituality.” They might — but will they? People will dally with Esoteric Buddhism, Mahatmas, and every kind of absurdity, but will they discover in those philosophies some of the many roads that lead towards and converge on truth?’


About this time Max Muller received a letter from Bombay, telling him that a very wealthy native, Mr. Tata, was anxious to devote a large sum of money to enable his countrymen to take advantage of University teaching in England, more especially in physical science. Max Muller consulted his old friend Sir Henry Acland on the matter, who took up the idea warmly, and, notwithstanding his age and failing health, gave himself great trouble in thinking out some plan for giving effect to Mr. Tata’s generous ideas.

To Sir Henry Acland.

Wombwell Hall, December 31.

‘I wonder at your zeal and enterprise. If you really want to begin a new crusade, I know the very man you ought to see. A highly cultivated Hindu, who has £10,000 a year, soon to become £15,000 a year, to be spent entirely on higher education, independent experiment, and research, for the benefit of India. I may know what is desirable for India, he knows what is possible I gave him some hints, but I have never been an agitator, and am of no use for that kind of work. The money is as yet quite unfettered, and I only hope the man is still in England. He called on me at Oxford some three or four weeks ago. But I cannot even remember his address, being away from Oxford. If you care to see him, let me know, and I will try to get at him, if still in England. The money seemed quite safe, being derived from inhabited land in India. His, or rather my idea was, to get young Hindus to Oxford, to promise them a career in India, give them any amount of laboratories, &c., and employ them for practical purposes, and for becoming centres of life and leading in their own country. Now, if I could get you both together, something might come of it.

‘Yours affectionately, and with many good wishes for 1898.'
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Re: The Life and Letters of The Right Hon. Friedrich Max Mul

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Part 1 of 2

CHAPTER XXXIV
1898-1899


Death of Dean Liddell. Auld Lang Syne, I. Tilak. Collected Works. Death of Professor Buhler. Ems. Death of Fontane. Ramakrishna. Indian Philosophy. Auld Lang Syne, II. Ems. Beginning of illness. Last visits to Neuwied, Dessau, and Dresden. Alarm of German doctors. Return to Wombwell and Oxford. Oriental Congress at Rome. Message to Brahma Somaj. Attack at Oxford. Diocesan Conference. Gradual convalescence.

The new year found Max Muller and Sir Henry Acland busy about the proper use of Mr. Tata’s money. Mr. Padshah, a friend of Mr. Tata, was in England at this time, and Max Muller and Sir Henry had various visits from him.

To Sir Henry Acland.

January 2.

'I think your letter will produce a good effect on the people 2:t Bombay, and also on Mr. Padshah, who seems inclined to listen, though he has not much to say for himself. A good beginning might be made at once, by arranging a course of studies (not lectures only) for Indian students on sanitary matters, with special reference to plague, cholera, &c. Other things will follow, but India must stand in front, and special privileges be given to Indian students. I shall be glad to help, for something will have to be done for other subjects also, if that unfortunate Indian Institute did not stand in the way- bricks et praeterea nihil [Google translate: and besides, nothing]!

'Yours affectionately.’ [/quote]

Later in the year Max writes again to Sir Henry:—

‘Padshah called on me again yesterday, and I found him deeply impressed with the Museum, &c. He asked me to write down a scheme as to how to spend Mr. Tata’s money. He says that the idea for sanitation is accepted, but he thinks that the Government ought to help, which is not at all likely. I thought an Indian Laboratory would be a possible plan, but, as I told you before, the Indian Institute acts like a red rag. What all the Indians say is, that the rich Oxford University went round with the hat, promising to help Indian students at Oxford, and all the money they subscribed in India was spent in bricks and stuffed animals. That is why they do not want any Indian money to go to Oxford. However, an Indian Laboratory would be a different thing, and I shall certainly try again.’


The money was eventually used in India, as Mr. Tata declined to expend any more Indian money in Oxford.

Hardly had Max Muller settled again at home than he heard of the death of his valued friend, Dean Liddell. In a letter dated January 34, to Prince Christian, he writes: ‘The death of Dr. Liddell is a great loss to me. Liddell’s influence in Oxford was very valuable. The vulgar were ashamed of themselves before him, and rough natures were dumb in his presence. I have never known a straighter man at Oxford, perfectly trustworthy, simple-minded, and just to everybody. Such men are getting scarce.’

Auld Lang Syne Series I, came out early this year, and had a great success. The whole first edition was sold to the trade before the day of publication, the second was sold out in a short time, and a third was published. This is now out of print. Max Muller was much amused by a letter from a man in America, demanding that every word of German should be translated in the next edition, and the Royalty Recollections entirely left out. ‘They will be considered very objectionable here; you will lose the good opinion of every American who reads your book, by your toadying to royalty — it is unmanly. For your own sake, you should cut out all that foolish, child- like, unmanlike toadyism.’ To this Max Muller, in writing to the American publisher, says, ‘I thought that all were men and brothers in the Great Republic.’ The book was well received by all parties. One Church paper called it ‘ without exaggeration the most delightful book of reminiscences that has ever come into our hands. Another charm of the book, besides its rich variety, is the total absence of arriere-pensee [Google translate: ulterior motive]. The author has no spites, nor is there a word that could wound the feelings of any.' And the Times spoke of the reminiscences as ‘genial in tone, full of interest, and recorded in that easy, graceful style which the Professor has long made his own.’

The following letter shows the position taken at this time by Max Muller with regard to Tilak, who had been sent to prison for writing seditious articles at the time that the people of Bombay and Poona were so excited and unsettled by the plague relief measures as to murder a Government servant. Max Muller was blamed in England for advocating mercy, but the release of Tilak had a good effect.

To Sir John Lubbock.

Oxford, February 11.

‘Many thanks for your letter. My interest in Tilak is certainly that of a Sanskrit scholar, for though I do not agree with the arguments put forward in his Onon, or Researches into the Antiquity of the Vedas (Bombay, 1893), I cannot help feeling sorry that we should lose the benefit of his labours. I sent him my edition of the Rig-veda, but I am told now that he is not allowed to read even his Bible and Prayer-book in prison.

'You see, from the wording of our petition, that we do not question the justice of the sentence. Personally, I have wondered for years at the licence allowed to the native Press. But the warning has now been given, and none too soon, though I do not believe that there is any sedition lurking in India at present, not even in the hearts of such men as Tilak. I thought that the Government might possibly life such a petition at the present moment. It seems odd that the murderer was an ignorant fanatic, who could not even read. Such fanatics will always exist in a country like India, but it would be dangerous to identify them with the loyal, or at least contented, population of India.’


The collected edition of Max Muller’s works began to appear early this year, a volume each month, and by December the four volumes of Gifford Lectures, the Hibbert Lectures, Introduction to the Science of Religion, India — what can it teach us? and four volumes of Chips were published. The collection was continued, and there are now eighteen volumes out. In his preface Max Muller says: —

‘This collected edition will serve to place the chief object of all my literary labours in a clear light. During the last fifty years I have never lost sight of the polestar that guided my course from the first. I wanted to show that, with the new materials placed at our disposal during the present century, ... it has become possible to discover what may be called historical evolution, in the earliest history of mankind. ... At the present moment it may truly be said that what is meant by evolution, or continuous development, has now been proved to exist in the historical growth of the human mind quite as clearly as in any of the realms of objective nature. . . . Language, mythology, religion, nay, even philosophy can now be proved to be the outcome of a natural growth, or development, rather than of intentional efforts, or of individual genius.'
 
To Madame Manacieine

(a Russian lady who had called on Max Muller in Oxford).

Translation. Oxford, March 11.

'My sincere thanks for your kind remembrance, and for your book on Sleep— a subject full of interest for me. Sleep has spoilt many a sleep for me, when I have meditated upon it so as to find what "Sleep" really is. But, alas! our perception ceases as soon as sleep sets in. All that we are able to do is to search into its conditions, its hindrances and its helps, &c. But what “Sleep" really is, we shall be as little able to discover, as what Life is and what Death is. Your definition of Sleep is repos de la conscience. Certainly, it is that, but that is only a sign of it, it is not the thing itself. Who is it that sleeps? Certainly not the self-consciousness, but the Self that is conscious. What can be defined of this Self? That it is, that it perceives, and nothing besides. This perception, however, is the result of a development. We begin with a deep sleep, without perception; we proceed to a dream sleep; and then awake, with the help of the sunlight, to perception. These seem to me to be the three natural stages — deep sleep = darkness, dream sleep = dusk, morning light = awakening, perception. The outcome of perception is the development of the so-called thinking, formation of logic, word-thoughts, addition and subtraction of these word-thoughts, and so on, to conclusion and judgement. Please excuse this sketchy programme; I can say at least so much for it, that the Indian philosophers use the same terminology.  

'I have read your book from beginning to end, though I am deeply occupied with a very different work, but as we sleep so much more than we are awake, I could not put down the book. When we come to think how words, with all their roots and fibres, penetrate the soil of our consciousness, the struggle of a hypnotized person against the uttered word seems very natural, it recalls to mind many old nerve vibrations. As every word includes its opposite, i.e. black = not white, straight = not crooked, we need not call to aid Atavistic influences in order to explain bad dreams. In using affirmation we use negation, and these harmonic or inharmonic vibrations sound together in our dreams. It seems to me that we treat our Atavi badly; everything for which we do not feel inclined to pay we put to their account, and what is good we put to our own.'


To His Son.

Oxford, March 23.

‘You cannot escape from old age, whether it comes slowly or suddenly, but it comes unawares, and you suddenly feel that you cannot walk or jump as you used to do; and even the muscles of the mind don't hold out as they used. Well, so it was meant to be, and it will be pleasant to begin again with new muscles, and to take up new work. After seeing a good deal of life, I still think the greatest satisfaction is work: I do not mean drudgery, but one's own findings out. I am at work again on my Indian Philosophy. The plan of bringing out a series of histories of philosophies for different countries has come to an end, but I am glad I did what I did, though rather in a hurry, and I can. now work at it again quietly, and make it more complete.'


This letter refers to a scheme started by Professor Knight, of St. Andrews, some three years previously, for which Max Muller began his History of Indian Philosophy, but the business part of the plan had not been well considered, and was found impracticable.

To The Rev. C. E. Beeby.

Oxford, March 24.

‘Though I have not yet been able to finish your book (Creed and Life), I do not like to wait any longer before thanking you for having sent it to me, and for having written it, I have read it with great interest and satisfaction, and I hope it may produce an impression on your fellow workers among the clergy of the Church of England. I have seldom felt in such complete agreement with an author, as when reading your sermons. May you have strength to carry on your battle! The harvest is plenteous, but the labourers are few. Stanley's place is not yet filled.'


In sending the above to the editor, Mr. Beeby writes, March, 1901: —

'As you may know, my Creed and Life did not receive the welcome he wished for it. On the other hand, I was denounced in no unsparing terms, and prosecution was threatened. Meanwhile, I was treated as a leper by most of my clerical brethren. My faithful band of disciples which centre round my little village church, were greatly encouraged by the generous letter I received from your husband. We felt that his judgement on the subject I had treated was incomparably valuable beyond those of my assailants (I cannot call any of them critics, for in no case was there any attempt to meet me in argument); especially did we appreciate his words, “May you have strength to carry on your battle!” for I was hard pressed, and suffered a good deal We felt that he knew — who had devoted a lifetime to the steady pursuit of the true — the pain and anxiety involved in making the stand that we were making. It gave us the courage we needed, to come in contact with such a true man, though only by letter, in view of the ignorance and bigotry of the many, and the cowardice and vacillation of others in high position. What a power is the personal character! Professor Max Muller’s singlemindedness and integrity will remain a continual inspiration and support to others besides myself, who thank God and take courage from his example.’


To His Son (who had been in Palestine).

Oxford, April 9.

‘I have had to give up many of these dreams, but somehow one learns to see with the mind and imagination what we cannot see with the eyes: nay, in many cases I believe imagination is truer than what you see. People go to Jerusalem to see the place of some of the miracles, and they do not see the greatest of miracles, that out of that small town, in a small country, there should have risen a light to light the whole world. To learn the lesson of small beginnings is good for everybody, and particularly so for those who are engaged in diplomacy, and who often forget the small factors, and imagine that history is made by large battalions.’


Max Muller had a great shock this year in the death, by drowning, of his friend and fellow labourer, Professor Buhler, of Vienna. He mourned him as a friend, and deeply lamented the loss to Sanskrit studies. ‘He was always straightforward, there was nothing mean or selfish in him,' wrote Max Muller. ‘He was for many years the very centre of Sanskrit scholarship; he helped us, guided us, and corrected us in our different researches.’ Max Muller never ceased to feel his loss. He often consulted him about the Sacred Books of the East, even volumes in which Dr. Buhler had no personal concern, and his advice was readily given, and was always valuable and to the point.

During April Max Muller received a letter from a lawyer in Rochester, New York, telling him that a Club of Philology and Language was about to be started in that city, a gentleman having left a large sum for the purpose of publishing works on language. ‘In view,' says the writer, ‘of the fact that you are the greatest living philologist, we want very much to name our club for you,' and he begs for suggestions for the conduct of the club. Later in the year, the writer reports that the Max Muller Club is making solid progress on the lines that Max Muller had suggested to them, a study of American vernaculars, which we know had long been a subject of great interest to him, though it lay outside his own line of research.

Max Muller had still constant work with the Sacred Books of the East, he was also collecting the Sayings of Ramakrishna, a Hindu saint, for publication, and he found the enlarged form of the Six Systems of Indian Philosophy gave him more labour than he had expected. He was very tired, and went for change to Eastbourne, paying on his way home a pleasant visit to the Frederick Verneys, who then had a delightful place in Burnham Beeches.

To His Son.

Oxford, June 3.

‘“Life is earnest" is a very old lesson, and we are never too old to learn it. “Life is an art,” is Goethe's doctrine, and there is some truth in it also, as long as art does not imply artful or artificial. Huxley used to say the highest end of life is action, not knowledge. There, as you know, I quite differ. First knowledge, then action, and what a lottery action is! The best intentions often fail, and what is done to-day is undone to-morrow. However, we must toil on, and do what every day brings us, and do it as well as we can, and better, if possible, than anybody else.'


To C. J. Longman, Esq.

Oxford, June 10.

'I have ready a History of the Six Systems of Indian Philosophy; it would make a volume like my Gifford Lectures. There is no book on the subject in English, German or French, so this ought to sell I am ready with Ramakrishna's Sayings, but have not received the answer I expect from the Brahmavadin, so I must wait. The second volume of Auld Lang Syne, “My Indian Friends," now appearing in Cosmopolis, will be ready by the end of the year. This, too, ought to sell fairly well. At the end of all, I see a separate volume of Essays on Philosophy and Religion, looming in the distance. This is not bad for a man of seventy-four, but who knows what may come of it?’ [/quote]

On June 11 Max Muller was at the opening of the buildings of Reading College by the Prince of Wales, and the luncheon given afterwards by Lord Wantage. It was the last public function that he ever attended. He felt increasingly that what strength he had must be kept for his work, and that gatherings of this sort were for younger men. He had had many friends staying with him through the term, and dinner and luncheon parties at home, but he dined out very seldom, and after this term not at all. During Commemoration he went to his grandchildren, whilst their parents were abroad.

This summer Max Muller received from Mysore an earnest entreaty to bring out a cheap edition of the Rig-veda, as there was a demand for it and the Upanishads in a less expensive form. The writer stated that the old order of things was passing away. The system of committing to memory whole volumes of matter was fast dying out, and the revival of Sanskrit learning, with which no name was more intimately connected than Max Muller’s own, had created an ever-increasing demand for printed Sanskrit books. But at his age Max Muller did not feel he could undertake a fourth edition of the Rig-veda.

August was spent at Ems.

To The Princess Mother of Wied.

Translation. Ems, August 11.

‘Your Highness, — Alas! I have to say with many regrets that my great wish to see Segenhaus and its dear inhabitants once more in this life cannot be fulfilled. Two things are in the way. Twenty-eight days of bathing, &c., and two monthly return tickets. We have to drink the waters once more on Sunday, and to return straight to Oxford on Monday, where our son expects us, who is on his way from Constantinople to Washington. At my age one hardly likes to put off one’s wishes, but Ems has done us both so much good, that we must return here next year. Of course, plans should not be made at my age, but one feels all the more thankful for every good thing that falls to our lot unexpectedly. I should have liked to see Baron Roggenbach again. We have so many things to say to each other, to lament over so many losses. There are so few to live for now, so few to think of, and to think for. How often, too, my thoughts travel to Roumania, where I hope all is sunny and full of bliss, as it ought to be. I should have liked to show your Highness the pictures of my four grandchildren, to whom we are so deeply attached, and who are a new life to us. My son is well. He has met with a great deal that is interesting in Constantinople, and the little flirtation between England and America is sure to offer much that is interesting and amusing for the quiet observer. I am still at work: what else can one do?

'I remain, with sincere devotion,

‘Your Highness’s ever faithful.’


To Mrs. Welsch.

Oxford, September 26, 1898.

'I have felt the death of Fontane very much. One feels oneself quite forsaken and forgotten. As a young man he was charming, without cares, and thoughtless, and appeared just what he was, without any plan of life, without any reserve. He had to live through many hard days, and at last became a sort of Government hack, but never sank as low as Busch, Bucher, &c. His poetical talent was remarkable, and always kindly. I close my eyes, to live on. And so it goes on, hardly any day without its farewell. And what a happy end was his, just what he deserved! There is something so natural in death. We come and we go, there is no break. Many thanks for the obituary notice; it is full of feeling, but words help but little.’


To Sir William Russell.

Oxford, October 4.

‘My dear old Friend, — What can one do against the years that rush against us like so many Dervishes? Fight, fight, fight; but even that tires one, and one often longs to lie down and rest. I was so much better when I came back from Ems, quite rejuvenescent, but now the winter comes again and takes all colour out of one. ... If you wish to be disgusted, read Busch, on Bismarck. I knew Bucher, and he was not the most exalted character, but Busch! one feels ashamed to be a German. I always knew that Bismarck was a brute, but he had the redeeming qualities of a brute, but the reptiles 1 Surely a man who does a great work may be a very small, a very mean man. And now they are going to erect a monument to B. in the cathedral at Berlin! Oh! the desolation of abomination! Let him who readeth understand!’


To His Niece, Lady Lawrence (on the death of her husband).

Oxford, October.

‘It is for my own sake, not your sake, that I write. I know but too well that nothing can give us any comfort, when we mourn for one whom we loved, and who for a time has been taken from us. But my thoughts have been so constantly with you, that I want to tell you how deeply I have felt your cruel loss. Nothing can heal a recent wound; it must bleed, and the more it bleeds, the better. I have gone through this agony, as you know, for next to losing a husband, there is the loss of a beloved child. But do we really lose those who are called before us? I feel that they are even nearer to us than when they were with us in life. We must take a larger view. Our life does not end here, if only we can see that our horizon here is but like a curtain that separates us from what is beyond. Those who go before us are beyond our horizon for the present, but we have no right to suppose that they have completely vanished. We cannot see them, that is all. And even that, we know, can last for a short time only. We have lived and done our work in life, before we knew those we loved, and we may have to live the same number of years, separated from them. But nothing can be lost, it depends on ourselves to keep those we loved always near to our thoughts, even though our eyes look in vain for them. The world is larger than this little earth, our thoughts go further than this short life, and if we can but find our home in this larger world, we shall find that this larger home is full of those whom we loved, and who loved us. There is no chance in life: a few years more, a few years less, will seem as nothing to us hereafter. With all that, the heart knows its own bitterness, and the wound is hard to bear, and no one can help us. Still, it is a comfort to know that others feel and suffer with us, and I wanted to tell you how deeply I feel for you.’


To Sir Henry Acland.

November 23.

‘I hope you will go on with your work, to get, if possible, an Institute of Public Health established at Oxford, and then invite Mr. Tata personally to send some young medical students to Oxford. I am not a very sanguine, but I have always been a hopeful man. It is right to sow, though we must not expect every grain to take root and grow.

'Markby is quite right. The natives must be taken into our confidence and allowed to take an oar in our boat. They are men just like ourselves, they are not strange, or suspicious, or untrustworthy, if only they are trusted, and trusted altogether. Nothing is so bad as trusting them half-and-half. They must be made to feel that they are in the same boat with ourselves. They are a cleanly race, more so than we were a hundred years ago; they look upon digging wells, building bathing-places, planting trees, as part of their religion. Even their religion is not so bad as it looks, as I hope to show in a book just finished. I have not much faith in missionaries, medical or otherwise. If we get such men again in India as Rammohun Roy, or Keshub Chunder Sen, and if we get an Archbishop at Calcutta who knows what Christianity really is, India will be christianized in all that is essential in the twinkling of an eye. On this, too, we must be hopeful, but not too sanguine. Words pierce deeper than swords, and I feel certain that your words may do a great deal of good — old age has its drawbacks, but it has its advantages also.'

‘Ever yours affectionately.’


In November Max Muller brought out Ramakrishna, his Life and Sayings, had a rapid sale, the third edition coming out the following May. This Indian saint, who died in 1886, had many devoted followers, and from them and from various journals Max Muller collected his Sayings and materials for his life, feeling that attention ought to be drawn in this country to the utterances of men like Ramakrishna, who gather large multitudes round them, and who exercise a powerful influence, not only on philosophers but on large masses of the people. ‘A country permeated by such thoughts as were uttered by Ramakrishna cannot possibly be looked upon as a country of ignorant idolaters, to be converted by the same methods which are applicable to the races of Central Africa.’

Though Max Muller no longer dined out, this term had been one of great hospitality at home, and there are constant entries in his wife’s Diary of friends staying in the house, of dinners, luncheons, and large afternoon teas; whilst almost every day a friend or two came in about 4.30, knowing they would find a welcome at the tea-table, and Max Muller free at that hour from work and ready for a chat with his visitors. For several years his Vicar, Mr. Bidder, had been among his most valued and intimate friends, and came in constantly without formality, in the way Max Muller most enjoyed. For his birthday this year, not only his daughter and son-in-law and a grandchild were with him, but his old friend Sir William Russell, and his wife, came down for two or three days.

To Sir William Russell.

7, Norham Gardens, December 11.

‘Many thanks for your book1 [On the Crimean War.]. That is the very book I wanted you to write, but this is the first volume only, and I hope and trust you will go on with it. One for each war, and one at least for intervening peaceful occupations. I was so glad to have you and your dear wife here for my birthday. One must try to forget it. Really, three-quarters of a century is a very heavy sentence, and there has been no lack of hard labour too. Even now, when most people would rest, I am staggering under a History of Indian Philosophy, and I am not at all pleased: there are new books coming over from India which must be read, when I had thought I had finished. When we look at our- selves, and at each other, we hardly seem to be the same creatures we were fifty years ago. However, our friendship remains, and it grows stronger rather than weaker. So, after all, it is not quite winter yet.

‘Ever yours affectionately.'


For Christmas Max Muller went to his daughter’s, where his son unexpectedly joined the party from Holland — the last time they were all to be together! Other friends were in the house. On Christmas Eve there was a grand tree, on Christmas Day Max Muller had four grandchildren at church with him, and on December 30 there was a children’s fancy-dress ball at Wombwell. Into all the amusements he entered with his usual enjoyment.

Among the visitors this year were Miss Ole Bull, who had been long in India, and came to discuss religious reforms with the great Guru; the Siamese Minister; and Miss Ume Tsuda, a Japanese lady; whilst all the winter Max Muller had as a near neighbour Mrs. Nuttall, an American lady, who had studied Mexican antiquities, and whose society was a constant pleasure. They met for the last time in 1900, at Dover, where Mrs. Nuttall came on purpose to see him.

To Mrs. Abeken (on receiving the Life of her husband).

Translation. Oxford, January 2, 1899.

‘Please accept my warmest thanks. I must read the book quietly. Even a mere glance at it has interested me deeply. We want such a book just now more than ever, that the world may not believe that the brutalities of the Bismarckian regime have poisoned everything. What a pity that the book has not been translated into English! It will take long for people in England to forget the shamelessness of Busch & Co.’


To The Same.

Translation. January 5.

‘I have read the book with the deepest interest, and found nearly everything that I wished to know. How truly the best of his contemporaries loved and valued him! One sees in him the good old German type. You would hardly believe how much that book of Busch’s has degraded the whole German nation in the eyes of the world. Brutality and deceit have not hitherto been looked on as characteristic of the German people. The impression will not easily be wiped out. My old friend, Sir Henry Acland, longs to read your book, but says that at eighty-four his German is too rusty. Once more my grateful thanks for the real pleasure your book has given me. You have raised a worthy monument to your dear husband, and one that will last.’


To Sir Robert Collins.

7, Norham Gardens, January 4.

‘I send you an article of mine on Dean Liddell. Mrs. Liddell asked me to write it, as a kind of forerunner of a biography of the Dean which she is preparing. Perhaps the article may recall happy days to you. But if you come again to reside here with your new charge, you will find Oxford changed, quite a new Oxford. We buried Price yesterday, the last of a generation!

‘My boy was here for Christmas; he was presented to the two Queens1 [The Queen of Holland and the Queen Regent.] last night.’


It had been settled that the next Congress of Orientalists should meet at Rome in the autumn of this year, and Max Muller was one of the first to send in his name. ‘I write at once,' he says, 'to say that, as I could not come to Italy last year, I certainly hope to see it once more this year, and (D.V.) to be present at your Congress. You may therefore put me down as a member. I look forward with great pleasure to our meeting, and hope my wife will accompany me.' His adhesion was at once noticed in the Italian papers: ‘The President of the Congress in London, the celebrated philologist, philosopher, and mythologist, Max Muller, is one of the first adherents of the Roman Congress.’ All through the year Max Muller looked forward to a visit to Rome, and meeting many old friends there, but his illness in the autumn made it impossible.

Many letters passed this year between Max Muller and the Buddhist reformer Dharmapala, but only one from Max Muller has been obtained: —

To Anagarika Dharmapala.

Oxford, January 17.

‘Dear Friend, — I shall always be pleased to belong to a society to which you belong. You have been, and are doing, such good and honest work, that I hope you may be successful in your College at Colombo. Though I am not a Buddhist, I can join in many of your prayers, and I should consider a revival of Buddhist morality a great blessing for the great mass of the people in Ceylon, and India also. But I am a great believer in Atman, and cannot understand how a religion can do without it. You understand, no doubt, what I mean; there must be a reality somewhere. What is phenomenal always presupposes something that is real. However, these are metaphysical questions, and practical religion may well ignore them. But can real religion do so? I am just now printing a book on the Six Systems of Indian Philosophy. I believe a supplementary volume on Buddha’s Metaphysics would be very useful. Why do you not undertake it?’


It was in this year, in one of the many interviews to which Max Muller had now to submit, that when he was asked the secret of his success in life, he answered: ‘Poverty and hard work. Since I left school at eighteen, I have kept myself with the fingers of my right hand. This is the secret of most men s success in Germany.'

To Sir William Russell (on the death of his son).

Oxford, January 27, 1899.

'My very dear old Friend, — No words, but only a touch of the hand, to tell you that I feel for you, and with you. Whatever our reason may say, the heart has its own rights, and it cannot be persuaded and comforted. We know that our children are not immortal, and that the ice on which we skate through life is very thin, yet how natural is the old Vedic prayer, "Oh! let us die in order, that the old may not weep over the young.” I know what it is for an old man to weep over the young, and I feel for you with all my heart.'


To John Bellows, Esq.

Oxford, February 19.

'I see you have lost another old friend; that is what we have to pay for living so long. I stand nearly alone; my young friends, I mean the friends of my youth, are all gone, and their place, as you know, is difficult to fill. One begins to feel that one is out of date, and but little in harmony with the young people; still, I feel it a great blessing that I am still able to read and still able to write. I have, even now, two books passing through the Press. I should so much like to have a chat with you. I know you are a busy man, but could not you and Mrs. Bellows spend a Sunday with us? We shall be here for the present, I mean till April, at least, and any time that suits you would suit us, and it would be a real pleasure to have you here.'


Mr. Bellows was too busy to visit Oxford, and the friends never met again.

To His Son.

Oxford, March 22.

‘I have just finished Bismarck's Gedanken und Erinnerungen [Google translate: Thoughts and memories]. That is a very different work from Busch’s disgraceful performance. It is a hard book to read, but worth reading, and one gains a very different idea of the old growler. ... To look into the cards of a man who makes history is very interesting. Not that the game seems very complicated or to require much genius, but it is well to know how it is played, how it is won, and how it is lost. Aequam memento rebus in arduis servare mentem [Google translate: Just remember things to keep one's mind in difficulties] seems to be the outcome of all diplomacy, and of all wisdom, in ordinary life (in German, Lass dich nicht verbluffen [Google translate: do not let you amaze]!). . . . Not that I have changed my mind about Bismarck the man, but about Bismarck the politician.’


A touching letter reached Max Muller this spring, showing how his works had penetrated far and wide. A letter like this seemed ample repayment for his long life of labour. It was from an unknown American in California: ‘I have often thought I ought to write and thank you for the help and inspiration I have derived from your life and writings.’ After saying that his studies at College had upset the faith received in childhood, he continues: ‘I read your Gifford Lectures. The last volume brought me to a mountain-top. I could there see to what I had been climbing.' He then ends by saying that he had just lost his wife: ‘I want to tell you that your Deutsche Liebe [Google translate: German love] lies upon her breast, in accordance with her wish. I want to thank you, on her behalf and my own, for that most beautiful story of spiritual affinity.'[/quote]

Mention should be made of the constant help Max Muller received in these later years from Dr. Krebs, the Librarian of the Taylor Institution. He said himself that he never appealed to him in vain; whether it was the name of the author of a dictionary, or the name of Cuvier’s antagonist in the discussion on evolution, or the origin of the expression ‘Lesen, lesen, seid’s gewesen, [Google translate: Read, read, it's been you]’ or the title of a book with a letter from Heine to Wilhelm Muller, or where to find the saying, ‘Denn wer den Besten seiner Zeit genug gethan, der hat gelebt fur alle Zeiten, [Google translate: Because who having done enough for the best of his time, he lived for everyone times]' the help was always readily given.

To The Rev. N. M. Hennessey.

7, Norham Gardens, April 3.

'Dear Mr. Hennessey, — Many thanks for your kind thought of me, and for sending me your good wishes for Easter, Considering my age, seventy-six, I cannot complain, but ought to be very thankful. I can still work and enjoy life. How long it will last, who knows? I rather feel in a hurry to say the few things I still have to say. I am just printing an account of the Six Systems of Indian Philosophy, a hard piece of work, but that possibly may do good in showing how carefully the old Indians argued out the same problems which occupied Greek philosophers, and occupy ourselves to the present moment. Then I have another volume of Auld Lang Syne in the Press, chiefly on Indian friends. It may be more useful to build ships or to make roads, still it is pleasant to see that even one’s books are not quite useless in the world, and it is pleasant to be told so. No doubt, as one nears the end of one’s journey, many things that seemed very important formerly, melt away in the distance, and new problems come nearer and nearer; and one learns to look forward, and simply to trust to that wonderful wisdom which is so manifest in every new flower that breaks through the soil The flowers in church at Easter preach their silent sermons, more impressive than words, though they are only called ornaments.

‘I return your Samoan greeting — Ta-lo-fa (My love to you).'
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Re: The Life and Letters of The Right Hon. Friedrich Max Mul

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Part 2 of 2

To Mr. Takakusu.

Oxford, May 12.

‘I was glad to learn from your letter of April 10, that all goes well with you, and that you go on with your Sanskrit studies. Yes, you ought certainly to establish a School of Sanskrit in Japan, such, as it seems, existed some centuries ago, only it should be much more broadminded and much more critical. I wish I could have read more Sanskrit books with you, but you know quite enough now to be able to work by yourself, particularly if you have other countrymen of your [own] to work with you.

'I shall be away from Oxford till the end of October, as I have to represent the University at the Oriental Congress at Rome. I hope Japan will be represented too.'


The Lent Term and Easter Vacation had been spent quietly in Oxford, Max Muller working hard in printing his Six Systems of Indian Philosophy, and Auld Lang Syne, Series II.

About this time Max Muller received from a learned Pundit at Calcutta, Sri Sarat Chandra Sastri, a copy of verses which he had written in his honour in Sanskrit slokas. The following is the reply: —

To Sri Sarat Chandra Sastri.

Oxford, May 14.

‘I must send you just one line to thank you for your excellent slokas, though I confess I felt ashamed on reading them, and quite unworthy of your praise. I have done what I could to arouse an interest in the language, literature, and the religions of India, but I have done no more than others, and I know full well how much there is still left to do. I am sorry to say I can no longer work as I used to do, and I feel how much more I ought to have done. Others, I hope, will come after me, and finish what I began. Anyhow, the eyes of people in Europe have been opened to see the treasures of thought that lie buried in Indian literature. You are doing a most valuable service to Buddhist literature by your publications, for we know so little as yet of the Mahayana. We want to know its antecedents in Brahmanic literature, for everything has its antecedent. I wish every success to your valuable work under the auspices of Rai Sarat Chandra Das Bahadur. He has opened a mine in Tibet which yields treasures better than gold.'


In May, Max Muller parted with his son for Washington, and started himself the same day with his wife to Ems.

To His Son.

Ems, May 28.

‘As one grows old, one feels more and more of how little use one can be to others. It is very easy for old people to give advice, for they see more and know more, but the difficulty is how to make advice acceptable. Though the whole world is built on each generation handing on the results of their experience to the next generation, the next generation takes a long time before it learns that simple truth. All society, civilization, morality, policy, are founded on filial piety, say the Chinese philosophers, and they were not such fools as the Chinese seem to be now. The whole history of the world is one thread, say the Indian philosophers, and we must never let it be broken; it leads us to the beginning of all things, and connects even this present generation with the first man — call him Adam, or any other name, if only you remember that he was the son of God, and is so represented in the first Gospel. Think that out, and it will lead you back, not to a Pithecanthropos, but to the eternal Anthropos, who was conceived by the Father from all eternity.'


The first week at Ems Max Muller was well, and able to take long walks. He had been anxious to show Treves to his wife the year before, but the heat was too great. This year it was cooler, and he spent two days there. The weather suddenly became very hot, and Max Muller returned thoroughly exhausted from the expedition, and for several days was quite ill; after that, for about a fortnight he seemed to rally, and was able to enjoy expeditions up and down the Lahn Valley. But the improvement was of short duration, and though he carried out his plan of visiting the Princess Mother of Wied at Segenhaus, the first signs of jaundice had appeared, and he had to spend the chief part of the visit resting in his room.

From Segenhaus the Max Mullers went to Schwalbach, where it was hoped the fine air would prove efficacious, and many days Max was well enough to enjoy drives in the wooded valleys round; but the heat, which he always enjoyed when well, was too much for him, and he was a good deal exhausted when he arrived at Weimar, where he had all along planned to stay, as his wife had never seen the place which made such an impression on him in 1857. On leaving Weimar the Max Mullers went to Dessau; but the old power of enjoyment was gone, everything was an effort, and it was finally settled that they would go earlier than they intended to Dresden for good medical advice. The last Sunday in Dessau was spent by the Max Mullers alone at Worlitz, the Duke’s beautiful park, about seven miles from Dessau, associated in their minds with many a joyous meeting with those who were gone, for no visit to Dessau was ever paid without a family dinner and gathering at Worlitz. Their visit now recalled vividly a similar one forty years before, when, on their honeymoon, they escaped from the crowd of relatives, and spent a long happy day alone together at Worlitz, all their married life before them! More than three weeks were spent in Dresden; where the doctors took a very serious view of Max M tiller’s case, hardly expecting him to live more than three months. All idea of the visit to Rome was now abandoned, and it was settled to return as soon as possible to England. The Max Mullers were joined in Dresden by their daughter and son-in-law and a friend, who were at Baireuth, and came off at once on hearing the serious opinion of the German doctors. Victor Carus came from Leipzig for two or three days to see Max Muller, and the old friends parted, knowing they should meet no more. The journey was accomplished with very little fatigue to the invalid, who was delighted to find himself under his daughter’s roof. The English doctors took a more hopeful view of his case, and he certainly felt himself better. On his return he wrote to his son at Washington: —

Wombwell Hall, September 8.

‘I am afraid they have frightened you more than was necessary. Of course, I am far from well, the doctors take a very gloomy view, but I don’t feel so ill as all that. At seventy-six, one must be prepared for everything, and need I tell you I am prepared to go? It would be strange if I were not, with such a long life behind me, and most of it devoted to religious and philosophical questions. What is more natural in life than death? and having lived this long life, so full of light, having been led so kindly by a Fatherly hand through all storms and struggles, why should I be afraid when I have to make the last step? I have finished nearly all my work, and, what is more, I see that it will be carried on by others, by stronger and younger men. I have never piped much in the market, I gladly left that to others, but I have laid a foundation that will last, and though people don’t see the blocks buried in a river, it is on those unseen blocks the bridges rest.’


After a fortnight with his daughter, Max Muller returned to Oxford with her and his wife, who were cheered by an improved account from his doctor. Telegrams were received both from the Queen and the Prince of Wales asking for news, and the Queen telegraphed again a little later.

To His Son.

7, Norham Gardens, September 30.

‘I feel so altogether under a Higher Power that I wait with perfect equanimity, I know to a young man death has something terrible, not to an old man — it seems so unnatural in youth, so natural in old age. I have had my years of struggle, sometimes of very hard struggle, but I could never look forward to so much real happiness after the heat of the day was over.'


Sir William Hunter was named by the University of Oxford to attend the Oriental Congress in Rome in the place of Max Muller, who had written a letter to the President of the Congress, regretting his inability to be present, as he had so ardently desired for many months. This letter was read at one of the first meetings, and the following report appeared in the Times: — Rome, October 10.

‘A profound impression was produced in the Oriental Congress yesterday, by a letter from Professor Max Muller, at Oxford. In pathetic but dignified terms the venerable scholar bade farewell to the Congress, on the ground that his illness precluded any hope that be would again take part in its proceedings. He narrated the progress which he had made to bring to completion the translations of the Sacred Books of the East, and presented a copy of that magnificent series to the Congress as a testimony of his good will and of the encouragement and help which he had, during many years, received from its members. The communication was received with deep emotion, for the amiable personality of Professor Max Muller, the wide range of his scholarship, and his rare combination of genius with learning, have given him a unique place amongst the Orientalists of Europe.’


Sir William Hunter wrote that not a day passed without Max Muller’s name being mentioned in the Congress, or in one or other of its sections, with admiration and love. His presence had been looked forward to with so much pleasure, that to many of the members the Congress seemed incomplete without him. Sir William reported that his beautiful letter produced a genuine outburst of emotion in the Indian Section.

The two books which Max Muller had published just before leaving England, The Six Systems of Indian Philosophy, and Auld Lang Syne, Series II, ‘My Indian Friends,' were beginning to attract attention.

The Times thus speaks of them: —

‘The serious illness of Professor Max Muller gives to these two books a peculiar interest. In the Six Systems of Indian Philosophy, he brings within the compass of some 600 pages the vast area of Sanskrit speculation and ethical thought. His object is not chiefly to restate the mere tenets of each system. His aim is rather to present a comprehensive account of the philosophical activity of the Indian mind, and to show how intimately both the religion and the philosophy of India were "connected with the national character of the inhabitants.”

'Auld Lang Syne (Second Series) belongs to a widely different sphere of literary effort. It consists of the amiable armchair recollections of a veteran scholar, and is especially devoted to his Indian friends. His Indian acquaintances were not all of his own time, and he introduces us in many charming pages to the great thinkers and reformers of the past, whom in the truest sense he has made his friends. From the Rishis of the Rig-veda to the apostles of mediaeval Hinduism and the great theistic teachers of the India of to-day, he makes a procession of noble and venerable figures to pass before our eyes. Happy the man who has gone through life in so goodly a fellowship!’


The book was most warmly greeted in India, and its author received letters from unknown friends all over the Indian empire, expressing their delight and gratitude.

To Sir William Russell.

Oxford, October 30, 1899.

‘My very dear, poor Friend, — That is really too much for one man, two sons and one grandson! Who can understand it? That an old man like me should be summoned off the stage is natural enough, and I confess it did not surprise me. After all, what difference can one or two years make? The King's private physician at Dresden told my wife that I had only a few weeks, or months to live. Fortunately, I could get home, arrange all my things, and then wait patiently. What puzzled me was my own vitality. I saw the mischief, liver and bile, quite clearly, and that will possibly never be healed; but otherwise I have held my ground, and the doctor thinks I have even made a step forward. I sleep well, I eat well, and feel well. What more can a man desire? I am spoilt like a baby, and since June have done nothing. B. is here to help her mother. Fortunately I could stop Wilhelm coming home from Washington, though he had secured his passage. We all attach ourselves too much, and then comes the time when the barbed arrow has to be taken out, and it hurts. But the young people live on as if nothing could happen to them. They little know. I spend the forenoon in bed, and the afternoon goes, and then I am taken to bed again. This began in June, on my way to Italy. I tried again and again, but at last had to give in at Dresden, and get back to Oxford as well as I could. Here, however, and in London, the doctors gave a less desperate account, and began to feed me up, and for all I know they may be right, though I shall be an invalid for life. Well, I have had my sunshine, and now I must learn to bear rain and mist, and all the rest.'


When Max Muller was at Ems he wrote a long letter to Mozoomdar, the leader of the more liberal portion of the Brahma Somaj, which is of such importance that considerable portions are given here. The matter was very near Max Muller’s heart, and as his illness was already beginning when this letter was written, it has something of the nature of a dying message to the Brahma Somaj: —

To P. C. Mozoomdar.

‘My dear Friend, — You know for how many years I have watched your efforts to purify the popular religion of India, and thereby to bring it nearer to the purity and perfection of other religions, particularly of Christianity. You know also that I have paid close attention to the endeavours of those who came before you, of men like Rammohun Roy, Debendranath Tagore, Keshub Chunder Sen, and others, in whose footsteps you have boldly followed, and whose work you have faithfully carried on, as far as circumstances allowed you to do so. What I have much admired, both in yourself and in your noble predecessors and fellow workers, is the patience and the even temper with which you have prosecuted your religious and social reforms. I know that you have met with many disappointments and many delays, but you have never lost heart and never lost patience. I confess that I have several times felt very unhappy about the mischances that have befallen your good cause; but even when Keshub Chunder Sen was forsaken by a number of his friends and followers, on utterly insufficient grounds, as far as I could judge, and again, when he was taken from us in the very midst of his glorious work, I never lost faith in the final success of his work, though I began to doubt whether I should live to see the full realization of his hopes.

‘If you once know what truth is, you also know that truth is in no hurry. Truth is, truth has been, truth will be, whether it is accepted by the whole world or by a small minority only. ... Your departed friend, Keshub Chunder Sen, had the firm conviction that the way which he and his predecessors had indicated was the only possible way out of the present state of confusion, and out of the misunderstandings that had arisen between him and many of his own countrymen, and likewise out of those which still separated him from his Christian friends and sympathizers.

‘Now it seems to me that the first thing you have to do is to try to remove the differences that still exist among yourselves, and to settle how much of your ancient religion you are willing to give up, if not as utterly false, still as antiquated. You have given up a great deal, polytheism, idolatry, and your elaborate sacrificial worship. You have surrendered also, as far as I can judge, the claim of divine revelation which had been so carefully formulated by your ancient theologians in support of the truth of the Vedas. These were great sacrifices, for whatever may be thought of your ancient traditions, to give up what we have been taught by our fathers and mothers, requires a very strong conviction, and a very strong will. But though this surrender has brought you much nearer to us, there still remain many minor points on which you differ among yourselves in your various samajes or congregations. Allow me to say that these differences seem to me to have little to do with real religion; still they must be removed, because they prevent united action on your part . . . If you are once united among yourselves, you need no longer trouble about this or that missionary, whether he come from London, Rome, Geneva, or Moscow. They all profess to bring you the Gospel of Christ. Take then the New Testament and read it for yourselves, and judge for yourselves whether the words of Christ, as contained in it, satisfy you or not.

‘I know that you yourself, as well as Rammohun Roy and Keshub Chunder Sen, have done that. I know one countryman of yours who wrote a searching criticism of the Old and New Testaments, and then joined the Christian Church, as established in England, because there was something in the teaching and life of Christ which he could not withstand. I know this is not an argument, jet it is something to reflect on.

‘Christ comes to you as He comes to us in the only trustworthy records preserved of Him in the Gospels. We have not even the right to dictate our interpretation of these Gospels to you, particularly if we consider how differently we interpret them ourselves. If you accept His teachings, as there recorded, you are a Christian. There is no necessity whatever for your being formally received into the membership of one or the other sect of the Christian Church, whether reformed or unreformed. That will only delay the growth of Christianity in India. All that has grown up in the Church after the death of Christ, or the Apostles, does not concern you. You will want, no doubt, some kind of constitution, some government, some Church or Somaj. Have a baptism, or Upanayana, if you please, as an outward sign of that new life which baptism signified among the early Christians, and which was well known also to your great teachers of old. Remember, before all things, that you can be followers of Christ, without being Roman Catholics, Anglo-Catholics, or Greek orthodox Catholics, without assuming the names and fashions of Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Unitarians, or any other Dissenters. Keep aloof of all of them, they have proved only stumbling-blocks in the progress of Christianity. Keshub Chunder Sen used to say that, after all, Christ was in many respects an Oriental, and was better understood by Orientals than by Occidentals, Whether this be true or not, you have, at all events, as much right to constitute and regulate your own Church, your own Parishads, your own Samgha, as the Greeks, in their time, had at Alexandria, or the Romans at Rome. You have nothing to do with popes, bishops, priests, ministers, et hoc genus omne [Google translate: and all this kind], unless for some reason or other you wish, besides being Christians, to belong to one of the historical associations also that have sprung up. ... I do not like to appear sailing under false colours. I am, myself, a devoted member of the English Church, because I think its members enjoy greater freedom and more immunity from priestcraft than those of any other Church. There are, no doubt, many things in that Church also, which still require reformation. But though we are not altogether free from the evils that seem inseparable from the establishment of any priesthood, we have thrown off many of the hideous accretions which nearly took the life out of Christianity during the long night of the dark ages. The real Church, you should remember, before you take any steps towards framing a constitution of your own, consists of the laity alone. It was the laity that appointed its ministers, but these original ministers — such is human nature — have almost invariably become the masters of their masters. The English Church, however, though it has sometimes forgotten the supreme and indefeasible rights of the laity, has never surrendered them formally and altogether; and the highest seat of authority, in matters of faith as well as of public worship, has always remained with the laity and the civil powers, and has never been surrendered formally to the clergy. . . . Try whether you cannot join the Church of England as lay members, but have nothing to do with their ecclesiastical constitutions, and keep aloof from all discussions on so-called orders or their validity. Lay members of the English Church are perfectly free, and I have never repented having joined it. . . .

‘Only remember, that there is no reason whatever why you, in forming your own Christian Church, should join any of the European Churches. That idea is what has delayed your progress so long. You have declared in so many words (New Dispensation, March 5, 1899): “We regard the words of Jesus Christ as our authority, and consider Him to be our Master.” How can any one dare to call men who say this pagans, to be converted like so many Negroes or Hottentots? What keeps these men away from us? They tell us themselves in the same paper: “We cannot accept the teachings of popular Christianity, that is, of the missionaries in India. Their teaching seems to us too anthropomorphic. We are asked to believe in a Deity who does one thing to-day and repents of it to-morrow. He is represented to us as revengeful, changeable, and imperfect. To-day He blesses the children of men; to-morrow He sees their sins, and becomes vindictive, curses them, and seeks their destruction.” These may be the teachings of certain missionaries in India, but students of the Bible might easily convince themselves that they are really exaggerations of some of the Jewish views of the Deity, surrounded by a legendary mist. The doctrine of the Atonement also, as preached by certain missionaries, has evidently proved a great stumbling-block to many who felt drawn towards Christ. . . . But surely this, too, is a one-sided and exaggerated view of the Atonement; it is the view of certain theologians, but not of the Gospels. The very name of atonement never occurs in the Gospels, and but once in the New Testament, namely in Romans v. 7, and means there no more than reconciliation.

‘You would be surprised if you knew how many honest Christians feel exactly what you feel about the Atonement, and that in this case also, those who compass sea and land to make one proselyte are the very people who prevent you from becoming proselytes, from coming to Christ and to us.

‘And if there is nothing that should prevent the Brahmos, with all their objections to certain theologians and missionaries, from coming to us, let us see now whether there is anything that should prevent us from going to them. We read in the same paper: “The Brahmos believe in a perfect and immutable God, whose beneficent purposes in creating man can never be frustrated. If God has created man to be saved, he is doomed to be saved. In virtue of his free will, he may for a time resist the Divine will, but he cannot for ever carry on a war with the infinitely wise and infinitely loving God. The Bible distinctly says: The Lord will not cast off for ever. . . . God, who is unchangeable, and in whom there is not a shadow of turning, loves the sinner, whether he sins, or becomes a saint. The change is in man. Whenever man sins, darkness comes over his soul He trembles and cannot see the smiling face of God. He discerns only terror and fierceness in His countenance. But whenever he repents and resolves not to disobey, the cloud passes away and the light of the benign face shines upon the sinner, and he finds reconciliation or forgiveness.”

'I can see nothing in this view of the Deity that is not Christian, and would be objected to by any bona fide Christian. You do not see how near you really are to us, and how it is a mere fiction of your own minds that the preachings and teachings of certain missionaries and bishops could possibly form a barrier between you and Christ. Every religion, nay, every philosophy also, varies according to those who receive it and teach it. Neither missionaries nor bishops even are infallible authorities. Christianity is free to all men, every man has his own Christianity in his own heart, and in the Gospel, as understood by him. Neither the Pope nor the Archbishop of Canterbury is infallible, yet both are Christians; then why not you and your friends? The people of Europe at the time of the Reformation did what you ought to do. When they saw that the old Church of Rome did not teach the pure original Gospel, they protested and became once more true Christians, yielding to no authority but to that of Christ, as preserved in the Gospels. If you think that our various missionaries, reformed or unreformed, do not bring you pure Christianity, why should you hesitate to do what our Reformers did, go back to the Gospels and establish your own Christian Church, and defend it against all-comers, whether from East or from West? You are fond of saying that Christ Himself was an Oriental, not an Occidental. Then why not have your own Oriental Christ, your own Oriental Christianity? Only beware from the very first of the leaven of Oriental pharisees. Every religion has been founded by laymen, by men of the people; and every religion has been ruined by priests!

'I have told you already that Keshub Chunder Sen, in intimate conversation, told me that to all intents and purposes he was a disciple of Christ, and when I write to you, and when I think of you, I cannot resist the feeling that you too are a true follower of Christ. . . .

‘Tell me some of your chief difficulties that prevent you and your countrymen from openly following Christ. I shall do my best to explain how I and many who agree with me have met them, and solved them. I do not hesitate to say that on some of these points we may have to learn from you more than we can teach you, and I say this honestly, and from personal experience. That too will be a lesson difficult to learn for our bishops and missionaries, but in Christian humility they will have to learn it. From my point of view, India, at least the best part of it, is already converted to Christianity. You want no persuasion to become a follower of Christ. Then make up your mind to act for yourselves. Unite your flock, and put up a few folds to hold them together, and to prevent them from straying. The bridge has been built for you by those who came before you. Step boldly forward, it will not break under you, and you will find many friends to welcome you on the other shore, and among them none more delighted than your old friend and fellow labourer.

‘F. Max Muller.’


This letter remained unanswered for some time, though Mozoomdar published it, with a rejoinder from himself, in some of the Indian papers. The following is part of Mozoomdar’s rejoinder: —

'What disconcerts me is the half-expressed contempt which Christian leaders, even of the liberal school, seem to have of the Hindu ideal, and spirituality. When I express my ardent love for Christ and Christianity, they are kindly in sympathy: but the moment I say that Christ and His religion will have to be interpreted in India through Indian antecedents and the Indian medium of thought, I am suspected of trying to bend Christianity down to heathenism. So we must either renounce our national temperament, ... or renounce Christ, ... or re-embody our faith and aspirations under a new name, and form, and spirit. We have taken this third course.’


Max Muller’s suggestion that the followers of Mozoomdar should call themselves Christians, led to attacks from many different parties. One writer, who signed himself a Hindu, maintained that the early belief in God, as shown in the Vedas, was enough to adequately satisfy the craving of the human heart after a high ideal, so as to render recourse to Christian teaching, and change in one’s faith, unnecessary and undesirable. The Duyanodaya of Bombay, a missionary paper, though not thinking that the Brahmos were as really Christian in their belief as did Max Muller, thought one good would come of the letter. ‘Every one hitherto had claimed that Max Muller taught that Hinduism is as good as Christianity, and that it is not important to be a Christian. No one can fairly say so again. He is not satisfied with even the reverence paid to Christ by Brahmos. He appeals to them to openly take the Christian name.’

The Enquirer, another missionary paper, also spoke of Max Muller as coming to the aid of the missionaries, and making his own characteristic contribution to mission-work. Yet, in spite of the views of many in India, an attack was made upon him at the Meeting of the Diocesan Conference in Oxford this autumn; made at the very time that all Max Muller’s friends were watching with deepest anxiety the struggle that he was making against fatal illness. The attack made on him by the Principal of Pusey House was to the effect that, in his letter to Mr. Mozoomdar, Max Muller urged the members of the Brahma Somaj to call themselves Christians without believing in ‘that central doctrine on which the faith and life of the Church was founded.’

Max Muller’s valued Vicar replied to the ill-judged attack in a letter to the editor of the Oxford Times: —

'Sir, — From your report of the Diocesan Conference, as well as from several independent witnesses, I learn with surprise and pain that my friend and parishioner, Professor Max Muller, was attacked by one of the speakers (the Principal of Pusey House). As one privileged to minister to his closing days, and well acquainted with his religious convictions, I cannot allow the reckless assertion made against Professor Max Muller to go uncontradicted in his own city. The Principal of Pusey House asserted (unless I am misinformed) that? the Professor invited the Indian people to declare themselves Christians and to join the Christian Church, at the same time informing them that they could do so without believing in the divinity of our Lord. Of such an assertion I say without hesitation that it is a complete and utter reversal of Professor Max Muller’s opinions, and, in particular, of what he wrote last June to one of the leaders of the Brahma Somaj, of which the gist is as follows: — You have been led by God to recognize in Jesus the Son of God, and to own Him as your Lord and Master; then declare yourselves as what you really are, Christians, and form yourselves into a national Christian Church, with- out troubling yourselves about the distinctive tenets and quarrels of the contending sects which send their missionaries among you.

'For many years the conversion of the enlightened classes of India has interested the Professor; during the last few months since his illness, it seems to be absorbing more and more of his thoughts, and the letter referred to above and addressed to the Rev. P. C. Mozoomdar, was the very last literary effort which he has been able or perhaps will ever be able to make. It is published in the current journal of the Brahma Somaj, which is now before me, and I venture to quote a few lines of Mozoomdar himself in the same journal in justification of the Professor's attitude in offering him and his followers the right hand of Christian fellowship. "To me the way and the truth is in the supreme personality of the Son of God, who reigns over India, Europe, and the best part of the world, and whom you too” (he is addressing the Brahmos) “have accepted, though you do not know it and do not say it. In the course of a long life (so this noble confession of faith proceeds) in pain and sin and grief and desertion, in loneliness, in injustice and disappointments which have overtaken me, Jesus Christ has given me a strength and rest which nothing else can equal. And in all the great unknown that is in store for the future, nothing can I endure or do except in His Spirit, under His leading. But God is not for Christ, Christ is for God. God only can reveal Christ, and then Christ will reveal God. God is first and last, God is All-in-All.” T 0 men who can write thus, have we not the right, nay, are we not bound in duty to say. You have received the like faith with us, you are Christians?'


The weak rejoinder in the paper the following week from the Principal of Pusey House, showed that he had either seen a garbled form of Max Muller’s letter to Mozoomdar, or that he had entirely failed to grasp its real meaning. To this letter Mr. Bidder again responded, ending with these words: —

‘In taking up the cudgels on behalf of my sick parishioner and his Indian friends, a misgiving seizes me lest, after all, I may seem to have been betrayed into something like an impertinence. If it was excusable to feel some indignation at this gratuitous and undeserved attack upon a good and wise man, perhaps I ought to have remembered that he enjoys a position in the greater world of religious thought — to say nothing of an inward strength and serenity — which place him beyond the reach of attack either from private bigotry or from the Oxford Diocesan Conference.

‘Your obedient servant,

‘H. J. Bidder.'


In answer to Max Muller's long letter, Mozoomdar at length wrote: ‘A wholesale acceptance of the Christian name by the Brahma Somaj is neither possible nor desirable, within measurable time; it would lead to misconception, which would only do harm. But the acceptance of the Christ spirit, or, as you term it, “the essential religion of Christ,” is not only possible, but an actual fact at the present moment. Liberal souls in Christendom will have to rest content with this at least now, and let the name take care of itself.' This letter had crossed one from Max Muller: —

Oxford, November 3, 1899.

‘It seems to me a real marvel that about three weeks ago my illness suddenly gave way, and I begin slowly to mend. Of course I am very weak, but I can read again, and I hope that what remains of my time on earth may not have to be spent in a mere invalid life, of no use to anybody! I have seen some of your Indian papers, and I gather from them that my letter to you, and your own paper, have produced a certain impression. Of course, I have been abused by the Indian papers, and by the journals in England. Let me answer one point in your very kind letter. The name to be adopted by your own reformed Hinduism would be a merely geographical expression. Hinduism as a religion would mean the religion of the Hindus or of India, and thus would comprise every variety of religion practised in India, Durga-worship, Buddhism, Mohammedanism, &c. It would be the name of a mere congeries. You object to anything like Christian, even Christian Brahmos is not satisfactory to you. But surely you owe much to Christ and Christianity, your very movement would not exist without Christianity. One must be above public opinion in these matters, and trust to truth which is stronger than public opinion. However, the name is a small matter. Only I thought that truth and gratitude would declare in favour of Christian Brahmos, or Christian Aryas.

‘However, we shall have more important questions to discuss, and I shall require as much courage here in England as I recommend to you in India. Keshub Chunder Sen was a very bold man, and his followers must show the same courage, if they want to carry on his great work. I am too tired to-day, and must not write any more. But if health and strength return, my last years shall be at your service.’


All these months, which the German doctors had pronounced to be his last, Max Muller was slowly mending, and recovering strength. He was able to see many of his friends singly, and enjoy doing so; he drove whenever it was fine; and, though unable to work, he could take an interest in politics and all that was going on, and enjoy the many books, chiefly, it must be owned, novels, that were read out to him. His valued Vicar saw him generally twice a week. Max Muller’s greatest pleasure during these months was in constant visits from his daughter or son-in-law, generally bringing one of his grand- children, and letters from the dearly loved, far-off son. The following letter was sent at this time to Max Muller: —

Calcutta, November 7, 1899.

‘My grandmother, the mother of the late Keshub Chunder Sen, has heard with regret about your illness, and anxiously inquires to know of your health. We, the members of the Sen family, pray to God for your peace and happiness. We are highly indebted to you for what you have done for the elevation of India in the estimation of the enlightened world.’


The following is Max Muller’s answer to the inquiries from the venerable mother of Keshub Chunder Sen: —

Oxford, November 27, 1899.

'Please to tell your dear grandmother that I feel much touched by her sympathy. Yes, I have been very ill; but after six months of illness, there has been, quite unexpectedly, a change. I am not allowed to read and write, but I wanted very much to write this line to thank your grandmother for her kind interest. I miss her son very much. He might have done so much good to India, but God knows best why he was taken from us so early, and before his work was finished. But finished it will be, sooner or later, and the fire he has lighted in India will never be extinguished again. He was so kind, so gentle, so good a man too, and his mother ought indeed to be proud to be the mother of such a man.

‘With kind regards to her and to you,

‘Yours very truly.’


To Professor Deussen, of Kiel.

Translation. 7, Norham Gardens, December 4, 1899.

‘I have received lately many letters and papers from India. The Vedanta is working there too, and when I am gone a heavy burden will fall on your shoulders. It will mean not only to make the Vedanta intelligible to Europeans, but also to Indians. They possess everything in the Vedanta, but they do not know it, and millions of souls have to be taken into account there. The Alexandrian-Christian philosophy is understood by the Indians, but they would like to derive it as self-developed from the Vedanta. Well, the thing is not impossible, if only we could find facts. Of course, Alexandria was so close to India and so close to Athens that spiritual intercourse was quite possible. But what good can possibilities do to us? The Syrian Bardesanes had heard something about India, much sooner than the Alexandrians, but, as it seems to me, from ambassadors to Rome from India. I have so far carefully withheld from the idea of Indian influence on Alexandria, but of course the possibility must be faced.

'I should be so glad if you would both come to Oxford at Easter; I hope to be much better by then, at all events I hope to be here. We have a very thorough Alexandrian here, Dr. Aal from Christiania, who has treated the Logos idea. It is curious that what is with the Indians Maya and Avidya, appears to the Alexandrians as Sophia or Logos.

'Now I must stop. I enclose something from India, which will show you how the Vedanta is beginning to take hold of the Indians. Here in Oxford I have once more been violently attacked as a heretic. Woe to him, who is not a heretic, who does not choose for himself!’


The last birthday was a very happy one. His daughter and son-in-law and two grandsons were with him, and letters and telegrams poured in; lovely flowers were sent from far and near: indeed, Max Muller’s library was kept all along like a garden by his kind friends. Though still weak, and leading an invalid life, those who watched him were cheered by daily small signs of improvement, and hope again sprang up in their hearts, that the life, so valuable to so many, might be spared for some years to come.

To Sir William Russell.

7, Norham Gardens, December 17, 1899.

‘My dear old Friend, — I hope indeed you are getting better. I can say the same of myself, though I never thought that an old machine like my poor body, weakened, for six months, by every kind of trouble, could recuperate as it bas done. Even my brain is getting less muddled than it was, and I begin to look around with a certain amount of cheekiness. But it is really a marvel -- the only question is, will it last? I wanted to go to London to-morrow, for an important meeting, and felt quite up to it, but my doctor put his veto on it. It is quite clear that he does not consider me so well as I do. I have been most obedient throughout, and now I begin to see that I have my reward. What would have become of us without our wives? I have been so spoilt that I sometimes think I shall go on as an invalid, and be coddled like a baby. This cold weather is against me, but I sometimes drive out and face the north-easter like an old Teuton. That war makes me feel quite miserable. I am afraid our soldiers won’t fight under such generals, and no wonder. The war itself seems to me inevitable. It is just Eke the French and English in India. Out! out! -- either you or me. But the English generals ought to have been better prepared, and not an inch of the country should have been left without a strategic survey, I am told they have no maps. I believe any German lieutenant knows more of the distances than General — . It will cost much blood now, but England won’t give in -- in fact, cannot. Germany and Russia seem safe for the present, but France is ominous, and the Exhibition alone keeps it quiet.'
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Re: The Life and Letters of The Right Hon. Friedrich Max Mul

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CHAPTER XXXV
1900


Indian prayers for Max Muller. Letters on England’s rights in the Transvaal. Dover. Tunbridge Wells. Increase of illness. Visit of a Yogin. Mozoomdar. Last literary work. Death. Letters of sympathy.

The early days of January were marked by a rapid improvement in Max Muller's health, and by the middle of the month he was able occasionally to take a gentle walk. He liked to drive out of Oxford, and take his walk in better and higher air, and where he was not liable to be met every few steps and stopped by kindly inquiries. He could even have three or four friends at a time to luncheon or tea, besides the single visits which he had so much appreciated from his Vicar, and other intimate friends, during the worst time of his illness. Quite early in the month of January he received the following quaint but touching letter from Madras: —

'When I saw the Professor was seriously ill, tears trickled down my cheeks unconsciously. When I told my friends who are spending the last days of their life with me, and read with me the Bhagavad-gita, and similar religious books, they were all very much overpowered with grief. Last night, when we were going to our temple as usual, it was suggested to me that we should have some special service performed by the temple priest for his complete restoration. All my friends followed me to the temple, but when we told the priest of our wish he raised various objections. He could not, he said, offer prayers and chant hymns in the name of one who is not a Hindu by birth; if he did so, he would be dismissed from the service, and excommunicated by his caste. We told him that Professor Max Muller, though a European by birth and in garb, was virtually more than a Hindu. When some of my friends offered to pay him ample remuneration, he consented, and when the next day at eleven o’clock at night we came to the temple with cocoanuts, flowers, betel-leaves, nuts, and camphor, which we handed to the priest, he began to chant the Mantras and offer prayers to God for about an hour or so. After everything was done, the priest returned to us some of our gifts, and requested that we should send them to Professor Max Muller.'


Such a service has never been performed before for one who is not a Hindu.

In return for this letter Max Muller sent the writer, L. Vasudivan, his Six Systems of Hindu Philosophy with a letter, and Vasudivan writes later to acknowledge its safe arrival: ‘Your valuable book is the best book I have ever read. Myself and my friends take great delight in reading it over and over.’ On getting Max Muller’s letter saying how much better he felt, he ran up to tell his friends, ‘and I can’t really express the joy we felt on the occasion.’ And he then says that they had arranged to offer up prayers for Max Muller at the temple once a month. Later in the month, when a false report of his increased illness appeared in the papers, his Indian friend writes: ‘I am sure that the Almighty will not leave my constant prayers for you without effect.’

Another Indian friend wrote from Calcutta: ‘I express the fervent hope that God in His infinite grace, even to us the Indian people whom you love, would extend the term of the lease of life which He has just renewed.’

Before long Max Muller was able to undertake a little easy work, for the enforced idleness of his illness had been one of his greatest trials, though borne with that serene resignation and patience which never left him, even under the depressing influence of months of jaundice. Those who tended him never heard a hasty or fretful word, and as one of his faithful servants said after he had passed away, ‘It was a privilege to do anything for him.’ His mind remained unclouded to the last, and his letters on the Transvaal question, and the three articles on Chinese Religions, showed his old vigour, as well as grace of diction.

The state of feeling in Germany against England, on account of the war in South Africa, was a source of much anxiety to Max Muller, and he wrote several letters on the subject to Prince Christian, who fully shared Max Muller's views as to the mischief caused by the general ignorance in Germany on the rights of the question, an ignorance wilfully fostered by the newspapers.

To Prince Christian.

Translation. January 2.

'Your Royal Highness, — I enclose the cutting from the Berlin Monday Journal. The state of public opinion in Germany is very sad, not that it can have any influence with the Government, but it is a pity that newspapers should do so much harm. The Germans do not indeed think of sending any Pomeranians to help Kruger, but the entire misunderstanding of the position of England is very grievous. It was different in the old times, but even England’s old friends in Germany are misled. How much I should like to step in, but my bodily strength still fails me. Lying low for six months weakens not only the muscles of the body, but the activity of the mind, and though I never expected a recovery such as mine is, I feel I shall never be again what I was before.

‘I hope that you have good news from your son. How much he has already seen of the war, and the people of England will not be unmindful of it. There has never been such a war as this. Who could send an army a distance of 6,000 miles? But all this is forgotten, and England is only abused. Success is the one answer which will be understood.'


To Bunyiu Nanjio

(who had sent over a beautiful dress of brocade silk, a pale yellow, with white azaleas on it).

Oxford, January 29.

‘My dear Friend, — Your silk arrived to-day early. It is most beautiful, only it is much too precious for us, and I know how many calls a Buddhist Bhikshu has; however, I accept it as a sign of your kindness and your remembrance of me. I am now without any pupils, and I often wish I could have some again like you and Kasawara. You two and Takakusu worked well, and I hope you have found new interest in your life, and that you will help towards founding a school of Sanskrit and Pali in Japan. Your discovery of a work in a 1000 fasciculi on the History of Buddhism in Japan sounds very astonishing. I placed the matter before the Oriental Congress at Rome, in a letter, as I could not go in person.'


To Prince Christian.

Translation. Oxford, February 6, 1900.

‘Your Royal Highness will see by the enclosed letter from the Editor of the Deutsche Rundschau, that I followed your advice and sent him an article on the correctness of the English view as to England’s rights, relative to the Transvaal Republic. I had no idea of the sad state of things in Germany, and that no newspaper there ventures to comply with Audiatur et altera pars [Google translate: Let the other party], and listen at least to the other side. I saw from letters of former Anglophil friends, how Leyds and others have taken Germany in, but I certainly did not imagine matters to be quite so bad. I treated the affair historically, from the time of the Vienna Congress to the Treaty of 1884, when England’s suzerainty over the Transvaal Republic was accepted by the Boers. I hardly mentioned the present complications; I only referred to the readiness of the Times to open her columns to me, when at the time of the Schleswig-Holstein question, and again at the time of the Franco-German War, I wished to publish my opinions which were so unpopular in England. Whatever I write, I sign with my name, and so I did this time, adding; “Strike, but listen!”

‘I am indeed astonished. Shall I expose the German Press?’


The article referred to above was the letter which ultimately appeared in the Deutsche Revue, after it had been refused by the Deutsche Rundschau, to which Max Muller had been a contributor from the first. Professor Mommsen wrote a rejoinder in the same paper, of which a friend said: 'It is very disappointing to see a man of Mommsen’s ability spoiling himself by writing on a subject he has never taken the pains to inform himself upon. He has not even an outline knowledge of the facts.'

In writing to Prince Christian on February 8, Max Muller says: ‘I am quite ready to take the blows on myself which are sure to fall. I know what I am about, and that renders one shot-proof.’

It was a great pleasure to Max Muller to be elected this spring a member of the Berlin Academy, and to receive the information through Professor Weber, who had at one time entertained no friendly feelings for him.

To Professor Weber.

Translation. 7, Norham Gardens, February 8, 1900.

'Dear Colleague, — Many thanks for your letter, which seemed at first unintelligible. I have deciphered many a handwriting, but try as I would, I did not seem able to read yours! Yet I felt unwilling to tell you so, knowing well how difficult my own handwriting is to read. It was kind of you to tell me so early the news of my election as an Honorary Member of the Academy. I am, of course, very much pleased about it, and I know that I have to thank you for it in many ways.

'It is wonderful how much better I feel. I am not allowed to work yet, and am obliged to stay in bed till eleven o’clock every morning. However, I hope spring will mend all this. I have still to finish so many things, though the chief things are done, and I shall have to content myself with being allowed to look on for a little while longer. Sir W. Hunter is a great loss to me. Dr. Hoernle has shown me the most remarkable MSS. from Turkestan, &c., a new world altogether, but not for me any more. We have to learn, after all, to close our eyes. What a pity that Buhler is no longer here to take the thing in hand!’


The following is the last letter written by Max Muller to his friend Mr. Mozoomdar, again urging on him and his followers to speak out and declare their real faith, and their entire separation from modern Hinduism. The appeal has produced no tangible results. Mr. Mozoomdar came to England in the summer, but was at first engaged in London and elsewhere, and when he came to Oxford in the autumn, Max Muller was unable to enter fully into the subject that had so long filled his heart and thoughts.

To Mr. Mozoomdar.

Oxford, March 11, 1900.

'My dear Friend, — Though I have long wished to write to you, my health is not yet quite restored, and I must put off many things till I feel stronger. I shall try, however, to . . . remove a false impression which my letter seems to have given you. You ought to know me enough to know that I am not trying to convert you and your friends to Christianity. If you are not a Christian, you must not call yourself a Christian. But I confess when I judged from Keshub Chunder Sen’s writings, I thought that he was, as you were, more of a Christian than many who call, themselves so. And if that is so, then the name of Brahmos or Hindus seemed to me a mere misnomer, and so far not quite honest. When you think of the popular Hinduism of the present day, with its idol-worship, its Pujahs, its temple-service, its caste, its mendicants, surely you do not approve, you rather shrink from them. It is easy enough to come to an understanding with you individually, and with Brahmos who have a philosophical culture. You would admit at once that all these things are not essentials, though they may have some kind of excuse in their historical origin. You want something of that kind for the great masses of uneducated people. All that is true; but what you know to be false and dangerous should be distinctly condemned, and should not be tolerated as part of your religion. Think how much of useless and even dangerous ceremonial the Christians gave up at the time of their Reformation, and 1 do not deny that some ceremonial, which is nothing but ceremonial, should be given up even now in our Church. But you never have told me what you object to in our Reformed Christianity, nor have you ever clearly formulated what you hold to be essential in your present form of religion. If you would do that, I feel convinced that we should not be so far apart as you imagine. I go even further, and maintain that there are several things in your religion which we might well adopt, and which would render our Christianity more perfect. Religion must always be for the wise and the foolish, for the educated and uneducated, and your religious philosophy might teach us many things that are worth knowing and believing. Then may I ask you the question whether you and your friends would consider yourselves bound by “An Appeal” in Unity and the Minister, February 18, 1900? You say there that your country cannot do without Christ — that India is Christ’s, and Christ is India’s. You speak actually of an Indian Church of Christ. Now these words can have one meaning only. You are Christ’s, and in that sense you are Christians, without being Roman Catholics, or Anglicans, or Lutherans. I do not want you to join any existing Church or sect, I only wish you to give honour to the name of Christ, to whom you owe the best part of your present religion. If you have more truth to bring into the Christian Church, do so by all means. Tell me what doctrines you wish to profess, and it would not be difficult to tell you whether they are compatible with Christianity or not. But you will have to speak definitely, so that we may understand each other.  

'Anyhow, do not suppress any objections you may feel against the Christianity of the English Church. That Church contains, no doubt, good and bad elements, but in no other Christian Church do you enjoy so much liberty. As to myself, no doubt I have been much attacked, but I have never been interfered with. Liddon was my dear friend, so was Stanley. To hold these two men, a Church must be very large, and whatever certain dignitaries may say, it was meant to be so. England, that finds room for so many nationalities and languages, has found room for many forms of religion also, so long as religion is what it ought to be, pure, holy, and tolerant.

‘Do not be afraid, do not leave things unsaid which you hold to be true, but which will not be popular in India. There is a great work open to you, a work that must be done, and which may include Brahmans and Mohammedans as well as Christians. But to do that work well we require perfect sincerity, we require men like Keshub and like yourself.

‘I wish I were younger and stronger, but as long as I can I shall fight for religion in the true sense of that word. Religion should unite us, not separate us. It should unite us to God, and unite us in love to our fellow men.'


Throughout March there are constant notices in his wife's diary, proving the real increase of strength, and though in most letters Max Muller complains of inability to work, he carried on a large correspondence, and prepared a second article on England’s rights in the Transvaal, in spite of what he says to the contrary in the following letter: —

To Prince Christian.

Translation. March 29.

‘Your Royal Highness, — I see my essay in the Deutsche. Revue has made an impression. I receive the most amiable letters, of which I enclose an example. I was threatened with the "gallows," should I venture to show myself in Germany!

‘It is said that the twenty-fifth degree would include the German possessions! Now the Vienna Congress only dealt with Eastern Africa, Western Africa at that time was still no man’s land, and even Prussia would not have thanked any one for it in 1814. I have no intention of answering, and only say, what Lady Augusta said of the Dean of Westminster, “Never so well as when beds in hot water!’”


This second article in the Deutsche Revue provoked still more angry comments in Germany, comments which proved that his arguments had really struck home. At all events, no counter-arguments were generally attempted, and those advanced by Professor Mommsen were disproved in a short letter of Max Muller’s, dated April 29. With Professor Mommsen’s consent, the whole correspondence was translated and published in a small pamphlet, and disseminated very largely by the South African Association. It is well to add that this epistolary warfare did not in the least affect the friendly feeling which had existed for long years between Max Muller and Professor Mommsen. So angry was the German public that the Leipzig branch of the Pan-Germanic League (the Alt-Deutscher Verein) drew up a solemn protest against Max Muller’s apologia for England. The protest closed with the words, ‘You have no longer the right to call yourself a German’; and one newspaper expressed its wish to see ‘Max Muller hanging on the same gallows with Chamberlain and Rhodes, and the Aasvogel (vultures) picking his wicked bones.’ But these vituperations made no impression on him; he only smiled, and felt that the day would come when the eyes of his countrymen would be opened. Yet even after his death, in many of the foreign obituary notices, offensive paragraphs appeared in connexion with this subject, and one of his countrymen in this country did not hesitate to speak of the ‘cloud of obloquy which thus suddenly overshadowed his name, and dimmed the lustre of his renown near the end of his laborious life.’ If his countrymen allowed themselves to write in this tone, the feeling in the country of his adoption was very different. The Prime Minister wrote that Max Muller’s letters formed an excellent statement, and wished him to know how much he had been impressed by them. The Queen accepted a copy; Sir Mountstuart Grant Duff called it a capital pamphlet, adding, ‘ Mommsen sustains a poor case very poorly.’

So much had Max Muller’s health improved that he was able to attend the Easter General Meeting of his College, and was deeply moved by the warm greeting he received as he entered the hall. He was not strong enough to attend the Gaudy dinner at night, and was away at Whitsuntide, so that this was the last gathering of the Fellows at which he was present.

A few days after this, Max Muller heard of the birth of his fifth grandchild, a second granddaughter, and the following week he felt well enough to go to London for the day to see the little creature and its loved mother.

To Prince Christian.

Translation. Norham Gardens, May 6.

‘I have treated Mommsen most indulgently. If one is rude, people think one is hurt. I have always acted on this principle, and with good effect, especially in Germany, where they can be so very boorish!

'My friends in Germany, and their number is small, complain that they cannot obtain my articles, whilst Mommsen’s are distributed gratis. That is called fairness!’


A young friend, travelling at this time in Germany, asked for Max Muller’s letters at every station where the train stopped between Frankfort and Hamburg, and could not get a single copy, though he found Mommsen’s rejoinder everywhere.

On May 9 Max Muller had the honour of receiving King Oscar of Sweden as his guest, and of showing him Christ Church. Merton and Magdalen were visited under other guidance, whilst Max Muller went to All Souls to rest, where he afterwards received His Majesty at luncheon in hall, and showed him the College. The King took tea at Norham Gardens, the Crown Prince of Siam being present to meet him. Nothing could be more genial, even affectionate, than His Majesty’s whole manner to Max Muller, so anxious that he should not be fatigued in his still easily-tired condition, and the parting was most hearty.

A few days later, the Max Mullers went to their daughter in London for a short visit, and then on to Dover, where their friends Sir William and Lady Russell had been spending the winter. The old friends met whenever the weather would allow, but during the three weeks of the Max Mullers’ stay there was constant rain and fierce, cold winds, bad for invalids, and they hardly saw as much of each other as they had hoped.

Among the friends whom Max Muller had seen go before him during the last few years, none had been more sincerely mourned than Herr George von Bunsen, with whom, of all Baron Bunsen’s sons, he had formed in early days in Carlton Terrace the most intimate friendship. The following letter is to Fraulein Marie von Bunsen, the eldest daughter, who had just written her father s life, which she sent to his old friend: —

Translation. Grand Hotel, Dover, May 23, 1900.

‘Dear Daughter of my Friend, — It was good indeed of you to send me the life of your noble and excellent father. I am astonished to see how well you have succeeded, for I must confess I did not consider it an easy task for a daughter to write her fathers biography. Yes, indeed, it gives him just as he was. Often I feel quite startled when I think of him, and then suddenly recollect that he is no more here amongst us! I have thought of him often in little and in great things, though we wrote so comparatively seldom.

‘Conquered! Was he conquered? He has lived such a beautiful life, and he must have felt how many good seeds he had sown! I knew so little of his good, practical work. He has not written any thick volumes, nor was he ever made a member of the Government; books die, members of Government are forgotten, but a good word spoken at the right moment can never die — it grows and grows, and that is what the Buddhists call Karman, which is so often misunderstood.’


To Professor Mommsen.

Translation. Tunbridge Wells, June 13, 1900.

'I enclose the English translation of our correspondence. It is to be circulated by the South African Association, as widely as possible. We are not so far asunder, as you will see. As to the historical position of the Transvaal to England, you are even more emphatic than I am. Therefore, once again, “let us agree to differ,” if we do really differ, which I don’t quite believe. I am still seeking fresh health and strength, but don't find them, which after my long illness and at my age is natural. If you wish for copies, I can send them, but what pleases in England offends, alas! now in Germany.’


Nearly all June was spent at Tunbridge Wells, where, however, in spite of fine, even hot weather, and the good Max Muller did not seem to gain any increase of strength, though he could enjoy the drives in the lovely neighbourhood, and even moderate walks. He had settled to go from Tunbridge Wells for a long summer visit to his children at Ightham Mote, but repairs were going on there which closed the house, and before it was ready to receive the family Max Muller, who had returned to Oxford, was less well, and never left his own home again. It was pathetic how his thoughts this summer turned to Ightham Mote, and he often spoke of his great wish to see it again. But it was not to be.

Even at this time, when those nearest him were anxiously watching each day as it passed, Max Muller impressed strangers as still full of life and interest in everything. Dr. Cruwell, of Vienna, who was working this year in the Bodleian, described Oxford in a German paper, and after speaking of the emptiness of the place in Long Vacation, he says: —

‘One person is in Oxford; Max Muller, suffering from illness, has not been able to leave his charming Oxford home. But he keeps it hospitably open for foreign birds of passage, who find their way to Oxford, from all corners of the universe. In his delightful library, bordered by bookshelves and looking on the shady garden, he welcomes the wandering student with that friendly charm which distinguishes this courteous scholar, and helps him with good advice and active kindness. Or he receives us in the garden by the side of his wife, surrounded by friends, imbibing at the same time tea and wisdom. Glad to hear and speak his native language, he asks a great deal about Vienna, which he knows and loves. How young this old man still is! As an evidence of his activity and love of work, he shows me the MS. of a new, far advanced book, which will be of great value to the world, the third volume of his Memories “Old Oxford” (Autobiography). If any hand can reveal the treasures hidden by these old walls, it is his, who at once a poet and a student, has added more than any one else to the knowledge of our times.'


The year previously Max Muller had received from Paris the information that it was intended to hold a Congress on the History of Religions, during the great French Exhibition of this year, and that it was hoped that he, as the founder of rich, branch of studies, would attend. ‘The Congress without you would be uncrowned,’ wrote M. Reville. In July of this year Max Muller received a letter from M. Reville telling him of the great regret felt by all those who were arranging this International Congress on hearing that there was little chance that his health would allow him to be present. ‘The esteem, the admiration, and the gratitude of all specialists in the History of Religions would have acclaimed you, without any possible contest, the President of our first gathering.' M. Reville ends by expressing his own sense of indebtedness to Max Muller for the direction given to his religious views, and in his professorial and scientific career. In August the Secretary, M. Jean Reville, wrote to beg that Max Muller would write the President a letter conveying a message of encouragement to the Congress, and giving them some advice on the method and meaning of the history of religions. This he proceeded to do, as his strength allowed.

To His Son.

Oxford, July 21.

'All my friends are going, and here I am still left; though not for long, I should say. You know what I wished from you, but what is the necessity of a name, or a family, or a Stammhalter? We must learn to look higher and further than that.’


Among the visitors in July were the Zemindar of Shurmuhamedpuram, the Rajah of Juggarau with his secretary, and the Gaikwar of Baroda; and towards the end of the month one of the Secretaries of the Swedish Legation arrived, bringing the Grand Cross of the Polar Star from the King of Sweden. Max Muller’s daughter, a few days later, photographed her father with the Grand Cross and in the habit brode of the French Institute. He was already looking very ill again, and the once tight-fitting uniform brought the wasting effect of his illness painfully before those who were watching over him.

The early part of August was the last period during which Max Muller was able to keep about, and enjoy seeing his friends, and he even wrote at this time an article for the Forum, an American journal, on the anti-English feeling among the Germans in America. The article was violently abused in Germany, where the papers seemed unaware that the Forum is published in America, and that the article was addressed to the Germans there. The virulent feeling of his countrymen against him was a constant amusement to Max Muller this summer. About the 17th he had a bad attack of shingles, which showed his great weakness, and from this time his strength gradually declined.

On August 7 Max Muller had a visit of unusual interest Quite early in the morning his wife was told that two Hindus were at the door, and inquiring for Max Muller. She found two strange figures, one dressed in a flowing robe, with his bare feet in slippers, and a turban on his head; the other a much younger man, who could speak a little English. He explained that his companion was a most holy Yogin, by name Agamya Yogindra, from India. They had reached London a few days before, and hastened to Oxford to take counsel with the only man whose name they knew. Max Muller was unable to come downstairs before eleven o’clock, so they went away and returned at that hour. Agamya Yogindra was a genuine Mahatma, or Yogin, who had mastered all that was to be gained by the ascetic discipline of the East. His position, as a teacher and holy man, was a very high one in India, as was shown by letters that arrived later from Bombay, with anxious inquiries as to the impression he had produced on Max Muller. He is the only saint or Yogin who has ever come to England. Impelled by the pure desire to impart what he believed to be the highest knowledge, he had braved the voyage to this country. ‘He had come,’ as he told Mr. Bidder later, ‘to teach men the subtle enigmas of existence, but England was like a poisonous fruit, fair and attractive to view, but full of deadly juice; there were no good men, no one who wanted to understand knowledge; only in this house have I found a good man and one who knows! In his simple ignorance of the world the Yogin thought that his name and fame must be known in England as in India, and he fully expected to be met at the station in London by admiring crowds. Had it not been for the kindness and sagacity of a porter, the poor man would have been lost. The porter, seeing the Yogin and his chelah, or disciple, sitting disconsolately on the bundles that contained their cooking utensils and food, managed to gain some idea of who they were, and took them to a psychical club, the members of which passed them on to Oxford. It had been arranged that Mr. Mozoomdar should spend the day at Norham Gardens, and he arrived not long after the Yogin and Max Muller had begun their discussion on the Vedanta philosophy. The Yogin received Mr. Mozoomdar with great severity. During his few days’ stay in London, he had been in communication with Mozoomdar, and had commanded a visit from him at a day and hour, when he was engaged to lecture outside London, and therefore could not go. It was impossible to make the Yogin understand that anything could interfere with a command from himself, the saint, the holy man, and it was evident that Mr. Mozoomdar was in great disgrace, and, what was most curious to observe, he quite accepted the position, and acknowledged the crime of which he had, most unwillingly, been guilty! This gave the bystanders a greater idea than anything else of the position held by Agamya Yogindra in his own country. What follows is in the words of the Rev. J. Estlin Carpenter, who, with Mr. Bidder and Mr. Mozoomdar, was present at the interview: —

‘The powerful personality of the teacher at once arrested attention. He was tall and strongly built; and in a face of somewhat unusual breadth the deep-sunk eyes, the wide but firmly closed mouth, the resolute chin, all spoke of long practices of meditation and self-control.

‘The interview soon revealed the presence of one well versed in philosophic texts. “He is a first-rate Sanskritist,” said Professor Max Muller to me, but the effort of maintaining a conversation, partly in Sanskrit with one who pronounced it in an unfamiliar fashion, and partly in the imperfect English of the Swamy, proved too much for his declining strength, and he was obliged before luncheon to seek a temporary rest. But at table, Max Muller’s conversation never flagged; it seemed impossible to me that one so full of life could be in the grip of mortal disease. The Yogin would not sit down to eat with us, and remained in the library. We all joined in friendly talk afterwards over the coffee-table on the garden terrace. I saw the Swamy looking fixedly at his host, almost as one who would read the lines of destiny; I recall my anxiety that the party should not overweary the Professor’s endurance; and we separated early, Mr. Bidder taking Babu P. C. Mozoomdar with him, and I leading the Yogin and his follower to my own house.’


Mr. Bidder recalls the parting thus: 'I shall never forget the scene on the garden terrace, when this representative of ancient India took a last farewell of India’s friend and champion. "My life is nearly over,” said the Professor, “I shall never be able to do any more work; ” and the other, placing a hand on either shoulder, and looking long and fixedly into his face, replied, “Yes, I see death has come near you, friend; he has looked you in the face.”’

Mr. Estlin Carpenter continues: —

‘Professor Max Muller listened carefully to the reports of my subsequent intercourse with the Yogin. He had come to this country, he said, “to teach the subtle apprehension of reality." On that first day, as he sat in my study, he showed me that he could entirely suspend the normal circulation of the blood, and his pulse ceased to beat as I laid my finger on it.1 [This was afterwards verified for thirty seconds by the late Mr. F. W. Myers and Dr. Hodgson at Cambridge with proper medical aid.] But he was very anxious that it should not be supposed that he had come over to this country to excite faith by performing wonders. “These,” he said with great earnestness, “are for little people; they are not for the full-grown.” In October the Yogin yielded to our advice, and returned to his own country.'


The day after the Yogin’s visit, Max Muller heard from Mr. Knowles, editor of the Nineteenth Century, that an article he had finished since his return from Tunbridge Wells would be most acceptable for his review. ‘It is so absolutely up to date, that I immediately close with your offer.’ This was the first of three articles on the ‘Religions of China’ which came out in September, October, and November of this year, and which are republished in Last Essays, Series II. The first was on Confucianism, the second on Taoism, and the third on Buddhism and Christianity; the proof-sheets of the last Max Muller corrected within a fortnight of his death. In speaking of these articles, all written in the last four months of his life, the Athenaemum says: ‘They are remarkable, if one considers how recently they were written, for they show the grasp which the author retained to the last on the bearing of current events.’ The writer in the Athenaeum concludes his notice in these words: —

'We thus take leave of Max Muller the worker and thinker, in his chosen walk of scholarship surpassed by some few in his own and other countries, but as a scholarly writer second to none in his century. No scholar, perhaps, ever gained by his writings so large a share of attention from the ordinary public throughout the world, or, like him, succeeded in giving stimulus not merely to general reading,” but also to a far more important work, the gaining of recruits in all countries for studies that still need far more help than they receive.'


In this month the last two letters to his publishers of forty years were written, and show how bravely he was working on, in spite of increasing weakness.

To C. J. Longman, Esq.

Oxford, August 16.

'I have been thinking a good deal about the new volume of Chips. We might make an independent volume, and not call them Chips. It would make a large volume of about 500 pages; or how would it be if we made two small volumes of Chips? I see Ramakrishna is only 200 pages. Two small volumes of 200 or 250 pages could be sold at 5s. each, and be at once incorporated in my complete works. What do you think of that?'


And again: —

Aug. 25.

‘As soon as I felt a little better I was attacked by a new illness — shingles, if you know what that is? Anyhow, it is most painful, and makes work next to impossible. I see I cannot hope to get my two volumes of Essays ready before Christmas or Easter. What do you think of Milliaria as a name? It would require explanation, viz. milestones on my journey. I should give the explanation in the Preface.'


The volumes alluded to above were brought out after Max Muller s death, under the title of Last Essays.

Though too weak by this time for driving out. Max Muller spent some hours each day on the terrace before his house, reading to himself, chiefly the many journals and periodicals sent him from India.

The following letter to the editor is from the Rev. J. Estlin Carpenter: —

‘Before quitting Oxford at the end of August for the Congress of the History of Religions held in Paris, I saw Professor Max Muller for what proved to be the last time. He was full of eagerness about the approaching meeting, and made me the bearer of his greetings to many friends whom he expected to be there. At session after session of the Congress his name never failed to evoke applause, and he was repeatedly cited as the real initiator of the modern comparative study of religions.

‘I cannot close without once more expressing the admiration which his genius awakened in me. When I came to Oxford, he at once opened to me the privilege of intercourse with him. He was happy in retaining to the last the freshness of his memory; and as one topic after another arose in his vivacious talk, it was adorned with some vivid reminiscence, or set off with apt suggestion, quickening a younger mind to further inquiry. The habits of industry which he had practised in early life were never abandoned. Nothing but the most punctual and patient labour could have enabled him to keep up the continuous amount of work which he unweariedly performed, and maintain his extensive correspondence with all parts of the world. In the wide fields which he had done so much to open up and explore, it was not possible for him to follow the progress of discovery in every department with equal attention. But in the history of religion he had early found the guiding thread of all his studies. Here was for him the real justification of faith; it was inwoven with an experience which was practically universal. He had the sympathy of the poet, with all the imaginative elements which religious thought calls to its aid, and the clear insight which enabled him to disengage the permanent essence from its varying forms. It was especially in the parallel developments of Indian and European thought that he found certain great harmonies of belief; and it was his delight to show that the springs of trust are for ever inexhaustible, and well up with fresh force in new minds from age to age. This was the secret of his interest in the modern movements of religious life which produced such men as Ramakrishna and Keshub Chunder Sen, Again and again he would read some of the sayings in which the Hindu spirit found striking expression, and his voice trembled with responsive feeling. No other scholar has so successfully interpreted India to the West. Looking at the confidence reposed in him by the multitude of her own learned men, it may also be said that no Western teacher has done so much to interpret India to herself.’


On September 13 Max Muller’s daughter came for a short visit, and the dear father dined down for the last time, ^he next morning he was decidedly worse, and his son was sent for from his post at Washington. And yet, though only able to leave his bed each day for a few hours, he busied himself in correcting by dictation the article on Taoism for the October number of the Nineteenth Century. He also received at this time the proof-sheets of a new French translation of Deutsche Liebe, and finding that the translator had failed to see the true meaning of the extracts from the Theologia Germanica, he himself translated them into French, dictating them to his wife.

As late as September 30 there is a notice in his wife’s Diary: ‘M. busy with me on the German article on Lao-tze.’ This was an article for Die Woche, a German periodical to which he had contributed several short papers. She recalls vividly the animation with which he dictated, and his clear treatment of a by no means, easy subject. Ten days later he corrected the article on Buddhism and Christianity for the November number of the Nineteenth Century, dictating an entirely new ending to the article.

The loved son arrived on the first of October; the daughter and her husband were already settled in the house. Max Muller was still able to move into another room for a few hours each afternoon, and the mornings were spent in dictating parts of his Autobiography to his son. All this time, and to the end, his rooms were like a bower, from presents of the choicest flowers, whilst other friends sent grapes and peaches from their hot-houses, and the feeling of strong interest and affection shown by so many were a constant source of pleasure to him, and called forth his lively gratitude. Those who had the precious task of watching over him, could but thank God that He was calling His faithful servant home so gently — for there was no suffering, only the malaise of increasing weakness — and his spirit was indeed entering day by day into living peace. For themselves! ‘How often they reproached themselves, for when Death stands at the gate, conscience grows very sensitive regarding any lapses, real or imagined, of duty towards those for whom that dread messenger waits.’

On October 11 the following letter was received from Princess Christian, and permission has been given for its, insertion: —

Balmoral Castle, October 10.

‘Dearest Mrs. Max Muller, — It does not require any words to tell you of the sorrow which fills my heart, and I am writing to tell you first in my dear mother's name of her true sympathy with you, and her distress at the news. She would like to send her kindest remembrance to the dear Professor, and to assure him of her thought of and for him. And I would send him my fond love and gratitude for all his kindness, all his true friendship, ever since I was a girl . . . .

'Your very affectionate

‘Helena.'


On October 17 Max Muller left his room for the last time. Princess Christian telegraphed to ask if she might come down and see him once more, but Mr. Symonds, his kind medical attendant and friend, forbade the exertion it would entail on him. To the Princess, to whose unfailing kindness he owed many happy hours, he dictated his last letter.

To the end he enjoyed being read to, and took keen interest in the newspapers, and all that concerned the war in South Africa. His valued friend and Vicar, the Rev. H. J. Bidder, was often with him, and a fortnight before he passed away administered the Holy Communion to him, his wife and children. The very day that he left his room for the last time, the British Committee of the Indian National Congress passed a resolution at their meeting: ‘That this Committee desires to record its deep concern on account of the illness of Professor Max Muller, the revered friend of India; and, while expressing its admiration and gratitude, earnestly trusts that he will soon be restored to health.’ In acknowledging the resolution, his wife wrote to Sir William Wedderburn, chairman of the British Committee, that her husband was deeply touched by it. ‘You know,’ she wrote, 'how he loves and has worked for India, and the recognition of this love and work has gratified him very much.’

Of these last days Mr. Bidder writes: —

'During the last weeks of his illness it was touching to see how, against much discomfort of body, his spirit would still struggle to assert its wonted brightness and energy. I knew that he always had his daily portion of Scripture and his daily prayers read to him, and when I visited him I made it my aim to let him testify, if only by a few words spoken with difficulty, to the faith which was in him. The future life of the soul was a subject which naturally occupied his thoughts; he felt the difficulties which beset our belief in the immortality of the individual; for the immortal part seems just that which does not belong to ourselves, whilst all that is most distinctly our own is bound up with and conditioned by the temporal and material world. "It is the old question,” I said, “of the principium individuationis [Google translate: principle of individuation], in which I could never see my way clear.” "No, indeed,” he replied, “for it is the same question as the origin of the phenomenal world: we cannot explain Creation.” I gathered his views to be that the material world was only the temporary instrument and condition for perfecting individual realizations of the universal, whilst at the same time the individual was always striving to overcome his material conditions. And how,” I asked, about friends and family ties in another world?” "Well,” he answered, "of course all that is earthly must perish; but it is not all earthly; it is sometimes what is best and highest in us.” On a subsequent visit I returned to the subject by referring to Dr. Martineau’s argument to the effect that all the training and discipline of the soul pointed to a continued and progressive existence, though we could not particularize. He was evidently too poorly to enter into any discussion, but I remember he quoted some favourite verses from St. John: "If it were not so, I would have told you" and “What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shall know hereafter." This was, I think, the day before he received the Holy Communion for the last time, with all his family round him.

'No one can really know the thoughts and beliefs of another, least of all when the thoughts are greater than our own. But there is no mistaking the evidence of a life consistently lived in the presence and the love of God; there is no mistaking the influence which we experience ourselves, of a mind habitually occupied with high thoughts and noble aims. Of such men we may say, whether living or dead, their citizenship is in heaven.”’


The week before the end his brother-in-law with his wife came down to see him. His absolute serenity of mind struck them deeply. ‘It is indeed,' said his sister-in-law, as she left the room, ‘the peace of God, which passes all understanding.' Each night, as his wife repeated a few texts and prayers, he gave some word of earnest, hearty assent. On the night of Saturday, October after repeating his favourite text, ‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: . . . trust ye in the Lord for ever, for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength,’ she waited for the usual response, but he only said with a gentle sigh, 'I am tired,’ and turned on his side. These were his last words. No one had an idea the end was so near, even his devoted nurses thought he would still last some days, but by early morning he was unconscious, and at half-past eleven, without any struggle or suffering, with those dearest to him watching round, the spirit passed through that gate of death he feared so little, to the immortal life, and the rest he had longed for for many years.

That afternoon telegrams were sent to the Queen at Balmoral, to Princess Christian, and to relations in Germany and England: ‘Professor Max Muller passed away peacefully to-day.’ Very early the next morning came a touching telegram from the Sovereign whom he so honoured and revered, and who in the last few days had sent more than one message of inquiry and kindly sympathy: ‘It is with the truest concern that I learn that your dear and excellent husband passed away to-day. Pray accept my deepest sympathy, and at the same time the expression of my sorrow at the loss of one who was so distinguished a man, and who will be greatly missed. I pray that you may be supported in this hour of overwhelming affliction. V.R.I.'

All day telegrams and messages of love and regret poured in, from the Prince of Wales, Princess Christian, the Emperor of Germany, the Empress Frederick, the King of Sweden, the King of Siam, the Prince and Princess of Wied, the Gaikwar of Baroda, and many, many friends. One of the most beautiful came from the Queen of Roumania (Carmen Sylva): ‘The King and I are most deeply affected by the death of our most excellent and beloved friend. We pray God to be your stay and staff in your immeasurable grief and loneliness. May the rays of past blessings light up the hour of darkness. Elisabeth.’

Later in the day came a wire from his friend Mr. Malabari, from Bombay; ‘All India mourns with you.’

Scarcely any of his own contemporaries were left to mourn his loss, either among relatives or friends, but the general expressions of sorrow were very striking, and the testimonials in the Press of all countries and in all languages to his influence and the value of his work, showed that though sometimes he might have been envied and misunderstood, his death was felt to have caused a real blank in the world of thought and letters; whilst the expressions of genuine grief from India, both in letters and newspapers, were most touching. Public meetings were held throughout that country, and in innumerable places the native schools were closed for a day. The letters from India were from Parsees, Hindus, Buddhists, Mohammedans, and Jains alike. The letters from Max Muller’s Japanese pupils showed deep and genuine sorrow. Professor Takakusu wrote: ‘For a week I could give no lectures.’ A few typical letters are by permission inserted here.

From a Lady of High Position in Germany.

October 30.

‘Just as I had sent my letter yesterday the sad news came that your beloved Professor’s earthly life was past, and that he was called home. Most heartily I grieve with you and yours, and feel for and with you in this sorrow.

‘At such a moment one has no right to speak of oneself, and yet I cannot help adding: I sorrow too for the loss of a friend and one to whom I owe much more than he or you can imagine. How am I to say it? He helped me to arrange my thoughts, and brought reason and understanding to my vague feelings, and that helped towards strength, and now I feel the greatest strength is the conviction of life eternal; that nothing is or has been in vain, and that those who have been nearest to us are so still, perhaps all the more near, because this world cannot separate us any more. So I must tell you this as a kind of greeting from him who passed from you to the full light. I am grateful to the Professor for his friendship, and I think you know that. God comfort you and uphold you, and give you peace!'


From the Rev. A. Butler (late Tutor of Oriel).

14, Norham Gardens, November 8.

‘I cannot let this week pass, the first week of realization that you, and all those who honoured and in their various ways loved your husband, have yet had, without assuring you of our deep and heart-felt sympathy. He was our last great man at Oxford, and yet it is not so much of his great pre-eminence in knowledge that we are all thinking; it is of his fine character, his loyalty to friends and principles, his charming courtesy, his singular brightness and naturalness, that we feel most strongly.

‘As Bidder said on Sunday in his noble sermon, he made one better, when one talked with him. Even last year, when he was just a little recovering from his first great illness, his composure, his unflagging interest in all good things, his cheerful hopefulness, still remain indelibly in my memory as a type of what we should all be in sickness. And, indeed, I think the mind, so resolute and so calm and steadfast, must have had much to do with that new lease of life that was then accorded to him. What a loss he will be I here, abroad, in India, to all who want encouragement to pursue the student's life; to all who feel the greatness of learning, but seldom carry it out to a conclusion; to crowned heads, to simple learners, to those who wish to know the basis of religion, as well as those who rejoice in its completed work; above all, perhaps, to Englishmen who have to understand and govern their Indian dependencies! From all of these there comes a voice of sorrow, though at the same time they feel that rarely has any life been taken so little prematurely, so literally when its work was done. For myself, I can truly say, that though I did not often like to intrude upon his studies, I have often felt, while passing your house, that sense of something great being there enshrined, which it was good to have known, and an abiding lesson to all lower aims and less devoted industry and energy. We could not all have his great powers, but we could feel inspired by his great example. With all respect and sympathy for your loss and sorrow.

‘Yours very sincerely,

'A. G. Butler.’


From the Bishop of Ripon.

'Indeed our hearts are with you. We grieve, for our memories hold so many happy and grateful reminiscences of his kindness, I felt that in speaking to him I could say what I would, and that he would understand. His own frank sincerity provoked — sweetly provoked — sincerity in all. His knowledge, his quickness, his wide intellectual sympathy gave to his sincerity a rich value, so that to meet and to talk with him was a gladness and a strength. I feel that I may at least write thus much to you, for I ever felt that in you both we had true-hearted and kind friends.’


From Archdeacon Wilson.

Rochdale, November 2.

‘I have purposely waited a few days. You must have been overwhelmed with letters of respect and love for his memory. We all feel alike, and it is of no use trying to say it in different words. But he was such a friend to me that I must say a word of my own. When I first met him in Switzerland, I was a raw and crude man, not a youngster in whom such crudity was excusable, and he was infinitely kind and helpful. I showed him something that I was writing; he gave me advice and suggestions, which turned my brass into gold, and he encouraged me, which was just what I wanted. And so it was always since; with all his great and distinguished friends he found a place in his memory and kindness for me. I shall never cease to honour and love him.'


From the President of Magdalen College.

Magdalen College, November 1.

‘ . . . You know (and I think he knew) something of what I thought of Professor Max Muller years ago before I came to Oxford. I delighted in his books. They were the talk and admiration of my home and friends at Clifton. When I came up, I rushed, I may say, to his lectures, and enjoyed them, and profited by them greatly. Then little by little I came to know him, and found the great man and the distinguished savant, distinguished throughout Europe and the world, honoured and loved by scholars and princes, a most charming and most kindly personality. He accorded me, more and more, a measure of friendship for which I must ever be grateful, and you all gave me the entree of your house and home in a manner which went to make then many of the pleasantest hours, and now some of the brightest memories of my Oxford life. It is much, a great privilege, especially in a University, to have known such a man, and such a mind. Alas I that Oxford and her sons can have it no more I Others may come, but seldom, very seldom, can come a personality so varied: touching so many points, religion, philosophy, learning, art, men, life and affairs, and yet so gracefully, so harmoniously blended — never can there come just what he was again. What must be his loss to his own home — but that is sacred ground.'


From the Great Buddhist Teacher, Anagarika Dharmapala.

Calcutta, November 29.

'Blessings to you! I was in the holy city of Benares when I received the mournful news of the departure of your beloved husband, the illustrious scholar, from this plane of action to another life in the evolution of existence. So useful a life, indefatigable in the search after truth, one meets only after long intervals. Personally your late husband was kindness personified, and he aided my labours in the cause of eternal truth. When I was yet in my teens I was brought under the influence of his writings, and I have been a reader of his works since 1883.

'In obedience to nature's law, the physical body of the illustrious individuality known as Professor Max Muller has ceased to-exist, but his name will continue to exist in influencing future generations. I now offer the deepest sympathy of all Buddhists in your bereavement; and I repeat the noble words of our Lord Buddha, which he uttered 2,489 years ago: "Do not grieve at my passing away, since it is natural to die.'"
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Re: The Life and Letters of The Right Hon. Friedrich Max Mul

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CHAPTER XXXVI
1900


Funeral. Judgement of friends. Conclusion.

Max Muller was laid to rest on All Saints’ Day, November 1, 1900. Early in the morning the coffin was moved to St. Mary’s, the University church (as his own parish church, St. . Giles’s, where he had worshipped for more than thirty years, was too small for the numbers expected), and placed in Adam de Brome’s Chapel, where the mourners assembled. As his old friend the Bishop of Oxford was too ill to be present, the service was read by the Vice-Chancellor, a friend of many years, the Vicar of St. Mary’s, and his own Vicar. Though no invitations were sent out, the large church was entirely filled, for not only all those who had loved and honoured him in the University and neighbourhood attended, but many friends came from far; representatives from Cambridge, Dublin, and Edinburgh, of which Universities he was an honorary doctor; from the Royal Asiatic Society, the German Athenaeum, the Goethe Society, the Royal Society of Literature, and the University Extension Delegacy; and, being the time of the annual Gaudy at All Souls, a very large proportion of the Fellows of his College were able to be present. The Queen and the Emperor of Germany sent representatives, and the Crown Prince of Siam was present himself On the coffin lay the wreaths from relatives, from the Emperor, bearing the inscription, ‘To my dear Friend,’ and from the King of Sweden. The full church, the beautiful music (the volume of sound as the congregation joined in the hymn ‘Rock of Ages’ produced an effect never to be forgotten), the deep feeling shown by many present, were a meet tribute to him, who had come to Oxford, fifty-two years before, an unknown youth, and who had made himself a name loved as well as honoured in all quarters of the world. Nearly the whole congregation followed on foot to the beautiful Holywell Cemetery, where he was laid to rest not far from the grave of his daughter Mary, his own Vicar reading the prayers at the grave; the ground all round covered with the beautiful flowers sent from far and near. A friend wrote afterwards: —

‘The funeral was most beautiful, so quiet and full of dignity. Many of his friends around us in the churchyard were in tears. I dare say you will not have noticed the little bird which sang all through the service, mixing its song with the words of tender consolation. I thought that he would like its song — he who so loved all living, helpless creatures.'


Over the grave his wife has placed a tall Cornish cross of white granite. At the foot of the coping are the words which were his motto through life, ‘Wie Gott Will’ — ‘As God wills.’

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The Sunday following Max Muller’s funeral, allusions were made in many churches to the great teacher who had passed away. In his own parish church, where his Vicar preached a noble sermon, in the University pulpit, in Westminster Abbey, and in many other places, it was shown that his memory was indeed cherished with love and respect.

The following letters and notices on Max Muller’s life and work enable us to see what effect he produced on his generation. His old friend Canon Farrar, of Durham, has often been quoted in these volumes. He thus sums up his estimate of Max Muller’s work: —

'I ask myself. What did he contribute to Oxford life and study? What to Literature? When the lovableness of his personality is unknown, and future students shall know him only by his books, what is likely to be deemed the outline of his varied literary work? What the chief points which he contributed to intellectual improvement?

‘First, he was the means of introducing into England, and popularizing, Comparative Philology) especially the comparative study of the Aryan family of languages. He carried out that which Bopp had begun in Germany; and in some degree extended it, by studying the influence of early Aryan tongues in unveiling the steps in the organic development of language, and in exhibiting the influence of language in the growth of Mythology. Already the progress of investigation necessitates some modification in matters which he emphasized, but the attention given in England to the study generally is due to his acting as pioneer.

‘Secondly, he so showed the importance of Sanskrit that he went far toward making it to be “a third classical language,” a sine qua non for the knowledge of the origines of Greek and of Latin. His books in this line need revision or supplementation; but the originality and suggestiveness in opening up a new range of knowledge are unquestionable.

‘Thirdly, earlier in point of time, and closely connected with the last head, is his laborious edition of the Rig-veda, the earliest surviving poetry of Sanskrit literature. He collated manuscripts, determined the text, created a canon of the hymns, and explored the antique grammatical forms, which make the basis of a satisfactory translation.

‘Fourthly, he introduced into England the science of the Comparative Study of Religions. Max Muller opened the subject about thirty years ago in lectures, reprinted at a later time, on the Origin of Religions; wherein I venture, however, to think, he has overestimated the influence of language on thought, in a way which subsequent investigations have modified. He traced the influence of language on early religious thought, in creating, and not merely expressing, religious ideas; in a similar manner to that of Bishop Hampden, in his Bampton Lectures in 1832, in tracing the influence of the Scholastic Philosophy on Christian Theology. But the plan designed by Muller, and partly executed by him, of furnishing a translation of the Sacred Books has no relation to this theory of his, and must remain a classic work for students in generations to come. Though Max Muller treated the subject from the purely scientific point of view, he has offered to the believer in the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures the means of showing, in many respects, their exceptional superiority to the Sacred Books of other religions, not only in degree but in kind. Muller, in his suggestive Gifford Lectures, has fully expressed his view of religion; but there is a special value in the theological instruction offered when he is treating of pure literature; the more powerful, because unintended.

‘I count it to be a privilege to have known him. While I live, I shall from time to time re-peruse some of his books. I revere his memory, and in the language which he used in a brilliant lecture, in 1859, on the centenary of Schiller’s birth, I say of him that Max Muller is a writer who excites my love.’


Mr. Andrew Lang's short notice of Max Muller in Longman's Magazine, in December, 1900, has already been quoted. The following letter gives the views of this kindly opponent more fully:-

'Marloes Road, Kensington, W., March 26, 1902.

'Dear Mrs. Max Muller, — You kindly permit me to say a few words about Mr. Max Muller, and I am glad to take the opportunity. My own relations with Mr. Max Muller were those of an amateur, or casual inquirer, who ventured, on a single point, to oppose the conclusions of a man eminently learned. We approached the subject, that of the origins of myths, from different quarters, and saw different sides of the shield as in the old apologue. Neither of us was fortunate enough to convert the other, though on other points in the study of early religions we were in agreement, where the majority of inquirers differed, and still differ, from both of us. Such oppositions of opinion must inevitably exist. But what I am anxious to say is, that Mr. Max Muller always met my criticisms, often petulant in manner, and perhaps often unjust, with a good humour and kindness perhaps unexampled in the controversies of the learned and the half-learned, I shall always remember with pleasure certain occasions when Mr. Max Muller turned my own laugh against myself, with victorious humour and good humour. Our little systems have their day, or their hour: as knowledge advances they pass into the history of the efforts of pioneers. But that history would offer reading much more agreeable, if discussions were always conducted (they almost never are) in the genial and humane temper which Mr. Max Muller displayed in dealing with an "opposite” so unworthy as myself.

'It was not often that I had the honour and pleasure of meeting him personally, as I did at St. Andrews, and under your own roof, but these were opportunities which I must always recall as happy hours; and our agreement, on certain important points, became closer, as I learned more, or thought I learned more, of one of the subjects of which he was a master. Even where I, or others in this country, ventured to differ from him, we did, and do, acknowledge him as our teacher and initiator, but for whose guidance we should never have entered the enchanted lands of old religions; while his criticisms of our methods made for sobriety, and exactness, and discrimination.'


One of the best reviews of Max Muller's work and life appeared in the Open Courts published at Chicago, from which the following extracts are given by permission: —

‘With the death of Friedrich Max Muller, on October 28 of this year, one of the most notable personages of the academic world passed from the stage of history. To the unlearned world at large he was the personification of philological scholarship, — a scholarship which he knew how to render accessible to his public in inimitably simple and charming style. He was the recipient of more academic honours, orders, titles, royal and imperial favours, perhaps, than any other scholar since Humboldt, and he bore the greatness that was thrust upon him with the grace and dignity of a born aristocrat. Many were the pummellings he received from the hands of his less favoured colleagues; yet their buffets of ink but served to throw his Titanic figure into greater relief, and to afford him an opportunity by his delicate, insidious irony to endear himself still more to his beloved public. Apart from his great and sound contributions to the cause of learning and thought, which none will deny, Max Muller’s indisputably greatest service was to have made knowledge agreeable — nay. even fashionable.’


In dwelling on Max Muller’s famous doctrine of the Identity of Language and Thought, the writer continues: —

'His definition of thought is, upon the whole, arbitrary and made pro domo. The barrier between man and animal is not so impassable as he liked to imagine. But the beauty of style, the wealth and breadth of learning, the controversial skill with which he advocated his doctrine are undeniable, and the controversies to which his zealous championing of his cause led have advanced the cause of truth immeasurably. And this, he avers in an impersonal moment, is his whole concern:

'“You say I shall never live to see it admitted that man cannot reason without words. This does not discourage me. Through the whole of my life I have cared for truth, not for success. And truth is not our own. We may seek truth, serve truth, love truth; but truth takes care of herself, and she inspires her true lovers with the same feeling of perfect trust.”

'And again:

'“Scholars come and go and are forgotten, but the road which they have opened remains, other scholars follow in their footsteps, and though some of them retrace their steps, on the whole there is progress. This conviction is our best reward, and gives us that real joy in our work which merely personal motives can never supply.”

As to his personal belief, we may say generally that Professor Max Muller was a Vedantist. He was a believer in the Brahman doctrine of the atman or soul-in-itself, the monad soul; he believed in a ‘'thinker of thoughts," a “doer of deeds,” a Self within the person, which was the carrier of his personality, and a Self without, which was the carrier of the world, “God, the highest Self”; these two are ultimately the same Self.’

'How deeply these views entered his being is apparent from the following beautiful passage quoted from Persona (Open Court, Vol. I, p. 505): —

'“We are told that what distinguishes us from all other living beings is that we are personal beings. We are persons, responsible persons, and our very being, our life and immortality, are represented as depending on our personality. We ask what this personality means, and why we are called personae: the answers are very ambiguous. Does our personality consist in our being English or German, in our being young or old, male or female, wise or foolish? And if not, what remains when all these distinctions vanish? Is there a higher Ego of which our human ego is but the shadow?

'“Let us remember that persona had two meanings, that it meant originally a mask, but that it soon came to be used as the name of the wearer of the mask. We have a right to ask: Does our personality consist in the persona we are wearing, in our body, our senses, our language and our reason, our thoughts, or does our true personality lie somewhere else? It may be that at times we so forget ourselves, our true Self, as to imagine that we are Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, or Prince Hamlet. Nor can we doubt that we are responsible each for his own dramatis persona, that we are hissed or applauded, punished or rewarded, according as we act the part allotted to us in this earthly drama, badly or well. But the time comes when we awake, when we feel that not only our flesh and our blood, but all that we have been able to feel, to think and to say, was outside our true self; that we were witnesses, not actors; and that before we can go home, we must take off our masks, standing like strangers on a strange stage, and wondering how for so long a time we did not perceive even within ourselves the simple distinction between persona and persona, between the mask and the wearer. . . .”

'And now the great philologist himself has passed away; his Self also has been merged in the All-Self, creature in Creator. The fullness and purport of his life are such as have been granted to few; his mission has been fulfilled to the utmost; and it was with this consciousness that he departed. As Tacitus said of Agricola, “Let us dwell upon and make our own the history and the picture, not of his person, but of his mind. . . . For all of him that we follow with wonder and love remains and will remain for ever in the minds of men, through the endless flow of ages, as a portion of the past.”'


It is a matter of regret that none of Max Muller s letters to his friend Baron Roggenbach (under whose auspices he went to Strassburg in 1872) have been preserved, Baron Roggenbach finding it at one time prudent, for political reasons, to burn all papers. The following appreciation of his friend has been furnished by the Baron: —

Segenhaus, June 4, 1901.

'Now as to the impression your regretted husband made on my mind when first I met him. I must say that never before, and never since, in my life, have I met with a more taking and charming personality than his, with all the gifts nature lavished on him. Though he kept the unique grace of his manner and sympathetic bearing to advanced age, it would be difficult to describe at its full value the effect of his cultivated mind, and his kindly nature open to all high feelings, when combined with the charm of youth.

‘He certainly was the representative man of the best result that could be produced by solid German mental training. He had the happy fate of being transplanted with his stock of knowledge and exalted aims to the best soil for the full development of his rare powers — the English soil— and at such an early period of life, that all the blessings of the far advanced free British civilization could exercise its full and lasting influence upon him.

‘So he realized in his person, and certainly in his mind, the type of what a close alliance and transfusion of German and British spirit could best produce, and has been a living example of what would be the result for humanity, for civilization and intellectual progress, if both nations would closely unite their best powers, instead of sinking, as they are doing, into the abyss of mutual national hatred, arising from the vile envy of industrial competition and commercial rivalry. In all that really makes the worth and historical value of the German nation, the large views on all human, moral, and religious subjects, the universality of knowledge and science, the courage of unlimited investigation and perfect freedom of thought, he certainly had no equal; but he never would have attained so high a standard, had he not had the good fortune to spend the life he owed to a gifted German family, in the serene atmosphere of English social and political life. Certainly both nations may be equally proud of one who has been an intellectual son of both. I hope the time will come in which the value of such a character as your regretted husband will be judged and recognized in its full value, and that he will be ranged amongst the greatest leaders of civilization for the advancement of humanity. In a certain sense he was too far advanced in his victorious views for the period of recurrent barbarity on which we have entered through the ravaging effects of military glory. But I feel sure that, after this eclipse, the advancement and progress of humanitarian views will set in with new energy, and then the high ideals to which your husband devoted his busy life, will earn for him and his memory new and lasting laurels.

'There are now few friends of his left, to appreciate what they possessed in him, and what they lost by his death. May you succeed in bringing out his picture, as it should be; then he will find new friends in the generation which is springing up, and his memory will be cherished by many more than those who now deeply deplore his loss!’


Dr. Kielhorn, now Professor of Sanskrit at Gottingen, and who spent many years in India, in a post obtained for him by Max Muller, published a paper on his friend’s Sanskrit work, from which, by his permission, some extracts are given: —

Translation.

'To-day, after a lapse of more than fifty years, we can only realize with an effort the great difficulties which Max Muller had to overcome, before he could publish the first volume of his edition of the Rig-veda, a volume which was exclusively his own work. An edition of the text only of the Vedic Hymns would have been useful, and comparatively easy, for this text has been handed down to us for more than two thousand years unaltered. Max Muller determined from the first, and this will always be his great glory, to prepare a critical edition of the Indian Commentary, not of small portions only, chosen at will, but in its entirety. People have disputed warmly as to the value of the native Commentary. But in any case we must know the so-called traditional explanation of the Vedic text. When Max Muller began his task there was no perfect lexicon, still less editions of the innumerable texts incessantly quoted by the commentator. Now, we possess, besides the great St Petersburg Dictionary, complete texts of the extensive grammatical literature, and yet every one would confess that it is even now by no means easy to understand Sayana’s Commentary in all parts. Max Muller had these works only in more or less imperfect MSS., he had himself to construct their texts, and to provide at least the most important with indices, before he could even enter on his own special work. It is everywhere acknowledged that he accomplished this task brilliantly. Any one who watched him, as I did, labouring at the Veda, knows how conscientiously he worked, and that he was not the man to print a single line of the Commentary, until he had thoroughly conquered its meaning. Did we possess but the first volume of his Rig-veda, we must place Max Muller amongst the first Sanskrit scholars of the last century.

'I must mention also two epoch-making works which Max Muller brought out during the publication of the Rig-veda: his careful edition of the Rig-veda Pratisakhya, and his History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature, which is not even now superseded by any other work. The enormous amount of this literature, the inaccessibleness of its monuments, and the circumstance that they are so difficult to understand, required long-continued and indefatigable study, united to most uncommon sagacity. We all owe Max Muller a deep debt of gratitude, not only for all he himself brought to light, but for the paths which he opened up for future workers.'


A few short extracts from letters, showing Max Muller’s influence on people in very different spheres of life, are subjoined.

The hard-working wife of a parochial clergyman in America writes: —

‘I feel almost as if I could burn incense daily to the memory of Professor Max Muller! To me he lives, and of late in all my spare time I am reading his books, and learning what it is to think of the greatness of the love of the Eternal One; and more than any of the devotional books I have read, Max Muller's teachings help me to understand what religion means. You know that in the rush and whirl of what is called Church life, one does not reach the highest. In my own little room, with Professor Max Muller I spend all my leisure moments. It is not his memory, but he himself, who in his strong, brave, beautiful life of searching for Truth, now helps me.’


A country clergyman says: —

‘I often used to correct the erroneous ideas of people in regard to your husband’s faith, for I knew from my long friendship what a good Christian he was. I shall never forget the family prayers in Norham Gardens, and his impressive reading of the Psalms in the (to me, unfamiliar) Bible Version.'


A letter from Madame de Wagner, from Rome, written directly the news of Max Muller’s death had been received, ends thus: —

‘Yes, dear Friend, he has entered on the true life, which he undertood so well even here. I do not feel that we must regret that he is no longer here working for us; his task has been perfectly accomplished: at his age he could hardly have done any fresh work. It is for us to ensure that he has not laboured in vain.'


A Memorial Meeting was held in Columbia University in America, of which Mr. Moncure Conway gives the following account: —

‘The large assembly of cultured people was addressed by eminent educators, men occupied with various branches of learning, and the most striking feature of every tribute was its pervading sentiment of personal gratitude to the teacher whose labours had ended. None of the speakers had known Max Muller personally, and only one had seen him, but each had his grateful debt to pay. He had opened for one his field of research; he had stimulated others to their tasks; he had enriched all by his literary and linguistic masterpieces. What are incidental errata of a pioneer in unexplored regions compared with the creation of a scholarly race able to correct the mistakes? The master sat at his mighty task, assiduous, unwearied: now his hands are folded on his breast; his case goes to the jury of scholars, and their verdict will everywhere confirm that of the Professor of Philosophy in Columbia University: "In a generation rich in scholars, no one could be called greater than Max Muller."'


The letter which follows, from the Vicar of St. Giles’s, forms a fitting close to these notices of Max Muller’s life and work: —

To Mrs. Max Muller.

St. John’s College, September, 1902.

'I shall always count it as the greatest privilege of my life to have known your dear husband, and, above all, to have enjoyed such intimate converse with him upon religious interests. He had the gift of putting any one at their ease; in my own case it was sometimes a few kind words of encouragement on the last Sunday’s sermon as we sat together on that terrace of yours; sometimes a searching question which went to the root of the matter; always a free confidence in stating his own convictions, which invited a like confidence in return. Yet his manner was never magisterial or patronizing; it was always rather the case of “iron sharpening iron,” and of clearing up our views by mutual discussion. It was only in later years that I learnt the full depth of his religious convictions; but at a much earlier period I had occasion to observe a mystical side to his character, the influence of which, I think, may be traced both in his own religious life, and in his theories upon the nature and history of all religion. It had, indeed, no resemblance to that spurious mysticism which generally stands for what is confused and unintelligible. It was rather the consistent recognition of that “immediate” or intuitional element which is the necessary condition in all knowledge, as in all religious belief. The Infinite as a “Besetting God” when we contemplate the world; God as a present reality to the soul; Christ embraced as the very embodiment of God under human conditions; the love of Christ as a constraining power in our lives; the hope and foretaste of reunion with the Divine, enjoyed in the highest exercise of devotion: these characteristics of the true mystic were his, and in all he wrote upon the origin and history of religion we can see his eagerness to discover blind and tentative efforts which pointed in the same direction. On one occasion, when we were talking about Eckhart and Tauler, he told me how he had once contemplated, and even commenced, a translation of some of their sermons. Later in life, when his appointment to the Gifford Lectureship afforded him, as he said, ‘‘an opportunity for summing up the whole work of his life," be returned to his old favourites, and treated the German mystics in their proper historical connexion with earlier and kindred seekers after God, from the rise of the Vedanta philosophy to the Alexandrian School and Scotus Erigena. But, meanwhile, all his labours on the meaning and history of the religions of the world had gone to justify his early faith in Christ, and his personal interest in the German mystics.

'In accordance with these convictions and lifelong studies, his message to the world was twofold. On the one hand, it was to vindicate the claims of Natural Religion to be as “the impregnable rock of eternal and universal truth”; and, on the other hand, to show how the religion of Christ fulfils, and only by fulfilling can supersede, all other religions of the world. “No one," he said, in concluding his lecture at Leeds upon the Vedas — “no one who has not examined patiently and honestly the other religions of the world can know what Christianity really is, or can join with such truth and sincerity in the words of St. Paul, ‘I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ.'" It was only a fortnight before he was taken from us that I made bold to remind him of this utterance, finishing the verse of St. Paul. “Yes," he replied, trying to raise his voice, “ I remember, and in that I have never wavered."’ On the other hand, he held that the principal cause of unbelief at the present day was “ the neglect of our foundations, the disregard of our own bookless religion, the almost disdain of Natural Religion.” To base religion upon the verbal inspiration of a book, upon miracles, or upon ecclesiastical authority, was like trusting for the support of a building to wooden props or scaffolding, with the decay of which the whole building must fall. "Natural Religion,” he concludes, “may exist without Revealed Religion; Revealed Religion without Natural Religion is an impossibility.”

'These studies naturally gave him a great interest in missionary enterprise, though he would not in every case approve of missionary methods. “While some of our missionaries,” he writes, “are delighted when they meet with some of the fundamental doctrines of our own religion expressed almost in the same words by so-called pagans, others seem to imagine it robbery that any truth at all should be found in non-Christian religion.” This is why we find him referring so often to the speeches of St. Paul at Lystra and at Athens, which boldly assert that even among the heathen God had not left Himself without a witness, both in the bountiful gifts of Nature and also in that unsatisfied want of the soul within, which prompted them to “ seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us.” Again and again in his writings we find him pausing, it may be in some noble passage of the Vedas or Upanishads^ or it may be in some traveller’s account of rude and savage races, to dwell upon the testimony which they afford to the universal truths of religion and of human nature. . . .

'Although his faith in Christ was so firm, and his acceptance of Him, as indeed the Son of God, was so heartfelt and sincere, it is hardly necessary to say that it was not based upon the miraculous element contained in the Gospels, much less upon any form of ecclesiastical authority. What substratum of fact lay behind the traditional miracles, he was not particular to determine. With his friend, Baron Bunsen, he thought that the Resurrection was probably a temporary resuscitation, and when I argued that this did not afford a ratio sufficiens [Google translate: a sufficient reason] for the effects which followed, he would reply that these were due to the Ascension. This, of course, he did not conceive of as a physical ascent through space, but as a change which came over the Apostles’ idea of Christ after His bodily presence had been withdrawn. This change consisted chiefly in their spiritual enlightenment as to the nature of Christ’s person and doctrine; and to it he ascribed the Fourth Gospel, which he was constantly reading and quoting, and to which he attached the highest value. “What difference does it make,” he would ask, “whether it was written by the son of Zebedee or some other John, if only it reveals to us the Son of God? ”

‘Similarly, the story of the Nativity he held to be the inevitable form which the belief in the Divine Sonship would assume as soon as that belief became widely spread and popular. But he did not love it the less, and no one could appreciate the holy joy of Christmastide, with its hallowing of motherhood and childhood, with more genuine devotion. . . .

'I was interested myself at this time in the writings of Albert Ritschl. Although he agreed with much that Ritschl contends for as to Christ being the unique source of our knowledge of God, he held fast by the metaphysical speculations which he thought connected Christianity through the Alexandrine school with Plato and even with the Vedanta philosophy. In this connexion he would defend the Athanasian Creed, partly I think in earnest, but partly also perhaps from a playful delight in posing as more orthodox than his Vicar!’


In October, 1901, in laying down his post as Vice-Chancellor, the President of Corpus spoke thus of his old friend: —

‘lisdem fore diebus e vita excessit vir Praehonorabilis Fredericus Max Muller, Collegii Omnium Animarum Socius, per 49 annos, primo linguarum et litterarum Europaearum quoad tempora recentiora, deinde scientiae quam vocant Philologiam Comparativam, in hac Academia Professor, totius orbis litterati decus atque ornamentum, vir omni doctrina, praesertim Orientali et speciatim Sanskritica, eruditus, eaque non solum quoad linguas, sed etiam quoad mores, religiones, historias illarum gentium de quibus scribebat. Nec tantum ob doctrinam eius amplam et variam deflendus est. Erat moribus humanus, sermone facundus, amicitia constans. Itaque fratrem nostrum, morte abuptum, ut sodalem lugemus, ut magistrum desideramus atque veneramur.’

'About the same time ' (i. e. as Sir Henry Acland’s death), ‘there departed from this life the Right Honourable Friedrich Max Muller, Fellow of All Souls College, for forty-nine years a Professor in this University, at first of modern European languages and literature, and then of the science of Comparative Philology— the glory and ornament of the whole world of letters, a man skilled in all learning, but specially in the languages, the manners, the religions, and the histories of the East, of which the Sanskrit language and literature may be particularly specified. Nor was it for his learning only that his friends lamented his loss. In his manners he was kindly and courteous, fluent in conversation, constant in friendship. And so it is that we mourn for our brother, snatched from us by death; as our comrade we miss his presence, and we venerate his memory as our master.'


It may be mentioned here that Max Muller’s library, consisting of about 13,000 volumes, besides eighty-one valuable Sanskrit MSS., and several finely illustrated books, was, in accordance with his wish, sold en bloc, and bought by a rich Japanese nobleman, Baron Iwasaki, at the instance of Professor Takakusu, and presented to the University of Tokio, where a hall, to be called the ‘Max Muller Library,' is being erected to contain it. Nothing could be more in accordance with his own wishes.

And now these memories must close. An endeavour has been made, imperfectly made, to carry out Max Muller’s own definition of a biography, and to show the three lives which he says, in an article on his faithful friend and patron Bunsen, every great and honest man leads: the life which is seen and accepted by the world at large; the second life, seen by a man's most intimate friends; and the third life, seen only by the man himself and by Him who made him; a life of aspiration rather than of fulfilment. The man, the father, the husband has been shown behind the brilliant scholar, the successful man of letters; and glimpses have been given behind the man of his ‘angel beholding the face of his Father which is in heaven,’ thus teaching us that our greatest men can be our best men, that freedom of thought can exist with true and deep religion. Max Muller’s life was an eminently successful life. No doubt he owed much to his natural gifts of mind, to his attractive manners and physical beauty, which won him friends almost at first sight; but he owed still more to his indefatigable industry and indomitable courage, which poverty and hardships could not daunt. In him was literally fulfilled the promise, ‘Seest thou a man diligent in his business, that man shall stand before kings.’ ‘ He had little idea through life how he was envied, for the lesson that success breeds envy is one that men of real modesty seldom learn until it is too late.’ These are Max Muller’s own words of Bunsen, and they may be exactly applied to himself.

Some, in reading these volumes, may think his character is drawn in too bright colours, but only those who lived with him in the close intimacy of daily life can tell what he was. His love never failed; pure, patient, and strong, first to his mother, and then, for forty-seven years, to his wife and children. And is that love dead? No: for he is not dead. As his dear friend Charles Kingsley says: ‘Those who die in the fear of God, and the faith of Christ, do not really taste death; to them there is . . . only a change of place, a change of state; they pass at once into some new life, with all their powers, all their feelings unchanged, still the same living, thinking, active beings, which they were here on earth. Rest they may, rest they will, if they need rest. But what is the true rest? Not idleness, but peace of mind. To rest from sin, from sorrow, . . . from care, this is true rest.’

‘I know we shall meet again,’ wrote Max Muller to Baroness Bunsen after her husband’s death, ‘for God does not destroy what He has made— nor do souls meet by accident. This life is Ml of riddles, but Divine riddles have a Divine solution.’

The last chapters of this book have been written under the heavy pressure of new and deep sorrow. The last loved daughter, whose perfect married life was a prominent element in the happiness of Max Muller’s last years, has been summoned, after a short illness, to the eternal home, and has joined those ‘not lost, but gone before,’ and desolation rests on the earthly home where her father passed so many happy hours.

And yet, ‘Death is not death, if it gives us to those whom we have loved and lost, for whom we have lived, and for whom we long to live again.’
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