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

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

Postby admin » Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:18 am

The Life and Letters of The Right Honourable Friedrich Max Muller
In Two Volumes, With Portraits and Other Illustrations
Edited by His Wife [Georgina Adelaide Grenfell Muller]




Blessed is he who has found his work: let him ask no other blessedness.

-- Carlyle



• CHAPTER I. 1823-1841. Parentage. Father's death. Dessau. Musical training. School. Poetical tendencies. Nicolai School, Leipzig. Dr. Carus. Music. Letters to his mother. Examination at Zerbst
• CHAPTER II. 1841-1844. University life at Leipzig. Studies. Sanskrit. Friends. University life at Berlin. Hensels. Lectures. Hagedorn. Humboldt, Bunsen 16-29
• CHAPTER III. 1845-1846. Paris. Lonely, struggling life. Gathy. Burnouf. Rig-veda. Rachel. Dvarkanath Tagore. Boehtlingk
• CHAPTER IV. 1846-1847. London. W. H. Russell. Bunsen. Visit to Germany. East India Company and the Rig-veda. British Association
• CHAPTER V. 1848. Visit to Paris. Revolution. Settles at Oxford. Friends there. Letters to Burnouf and Bunsen
• CHAPTER VI. 1849. Death of sister's children. Froude. Visit to Lakes. Prix Volney. Publication of first volume of Rig-veda. Carus. Visit to Germany
• CHAPTER VII. 1850-1851. Dinner at Potsdam. Morier's illness. Return to Oxford. Ranch. Waagen. Appointed to lecture at Oxford. Letters from Professors Cowell and Story-Maskelyne. Visit to Froude. Article in Edinburgh Review. Made Deputy Professor and Honorary M.A
• CHAPTER VIII. 1852-1853. Member of Bavarian Academy. Summer in Germany. The George Butlers. Arrival and baptism of Dr. Aufrecht. Essay on Turanian Languages for Bunsen. Visit to Scotland. First meeting with future wife. Missionary Alphabet
• CHAPTER IX. 1854-1855. Professor of Modern Languages. Second volume of Rig-veda. Death of Burnouf. Crimean War. Languages of the Seat of War. Bunsen's resignation. Nehemiah Goreh. Visit to Germany. Froude. Kingsley. Macaulay. Visit to Malvern. Indian Civil Service Examinations. Paris. Dresden. M.A. by decree. Renan
• CHAPTER X. 1856-1857. Comparative Mythology. Commemoration. His mother in England. Vol. III of Rig-veda. Curator of Bodleian. Christmas at Glasgow. Deutsche Liebe, Buddhist Pilgrims. Examination at Exeter. Visit to Froude. Germany. Manchester Exhibition
• CHAPTER XI. 1858-1859. Letters of Philindus. Canterbury. German Classics. Fellow of All Souls. Jenny Lind. Birmingham Festival. Correspondent of French Institute. Death of Manuel Johnson. Ancient Sanskrit Literature. Marriage. Germany. Life at Oxford. Mother's illness. Correspondent of Turin Academy
• CHAPTER XII. 1860-1861. Mother's illness. Death of Wilson. Move to High Street. Sanskrit election. Birth of first child. Wife's illness. Spring at Ray Lodge. Lectures on the 'Science of Language.' Visit from his mother. Death of Prince Consort
• CHAPTER XIII. 1862-1863. Birth of second child. Exhibition. Stay in London. Ewald. Ranke. Fourth volume of Rig-veda. Second course of lectures on 'Science of Language.' Paris. Germany. North Italy. Lectures at Edinburgh. First visit to Windsor
• CHAPTER XIV. 1864- 1865. Lectures at Osborne. Schleswig-Holstein war. Birth of third child. Member of Royal Irish Academy. Weymouth. Visit of his mother. Lecture at Leeds. Member of Turin Academy. Last visit to Ray Lodge. Sub-Librarianship of Bodleian
• CHAPTER XV. 1866-1867. Easter in Paris. Sanskrit Grammar. War between Prussia and Austria. Cornwall. 'My Brother.' Gold medal from Duke of Anhalt. Illness. Bournemouth. Letter on Brahma Somaj. Death of niece. 'Parks End' bought. Cure at Ems. Chips, Vols. I and II
• CHAPTER XVI. 1868-1869. Death of sister. Visit of mother. Letter to Duke of Argyll. LL.D. at Cambridge. Professorship of Comparative Philology. Visits to Frogmore, Fulham, and Gloucester. Isle of Wight. Tennyson. Illness of children. Member of French Institute. Translations from the Vedic Hymns, Vol. I. Soden. Kiel. Denmark
• CHAPTER XVII. 1870. Lectures on the 'Science of Religion.' Keshub Chunder Sen. Franco-German War. LL.D. at Edinburgh. Letters to Dean Stanley. To 'the English People.' Work for sick and wounded. North Wales. Letters to Dr. Abeken and Mr. Gladstone. Chips, Vol. III
• CHAPTER XVIII. 1871. King of Burma. Correspondence with Abeken and Gladstone. Taine's Lectures. Peace Festival. Letter from Crown Prince. Death of father-in-law. Ems. Interviews with Emperor and Crown Prince. Dr. Stainer. New edition of Lectures on Language
• CHAPTER XIX. 1872. Memorial to Bishop Patteson. Offer of Professorship at Strassburg. Rig-veda, Vol. V. Death of sister-in-law. Strassburg. Baden. Munich. Life of Stockmar. Switzerland. Dr. Stanley Select Preacher. Freiligrath's poem
• CHAPTER XX. 1873-1874. German University finances. Strassburg Professorship declined. Schliemann. Lectures on Darwin's Philosophy of Language. Emerson. Veddahs. Cromer. Lecture in Westminster Abbey. Order pour le Merite. Member of Hungarian Academy. Prince and Princess of Roumania. Oriental Congress. Last volume of Rig-veda. American attack on Max Muller
• CHAPTER XXI. 1875. Death of Charles Kingsley. Visit to Italy. Windsor. Last visit of mother. Chips, Vol. IV. The Mumbles. Manchester. Plans for return to Germany. Maximilian Order. Oxford Girls' High School
• Portrait of F. Max Muller, aged 40 . . . Frontispiece (From a Photograph by Hills & Saunders, Oxford)
• No. 7, NORHAM Gardens, Oxford . . . To face p. 335 (From a Photograph by Hills & Saunders, Oxford)
• F. Max Muller, aged 50 . ... p. 453 (From a Medallion by Bruce Joy)


The Life and Letters of The Right Honourable Friedrich Max Muller, In Two Volumes, With Portraits and Other Illustrations
Edited by His Wife [Georgina Adelaide Grenfell Muller]
Volume II


• CHAPTER XXII. 1876. Settles to remain at Oxford, Sacred Books of the East. Life at Dresden. Visit to Berlin. Attack by Professor Whitney. Death of eldest daughter.
• CHAPTER XXIII. 1877-1878. Dresden. Switzerland. Return to Oxford. Letters to Noire. Hibbert Lectures. Graham Bell and the telephone. Malvern. Whitby. Boyton Manor. Publication of Hibbert Lectures. Death of Grand Duchess of Hesse 28-56
• CHAPTER XXIV. 1879-1880. Publication of the first volumes of Sacred Books of the East Correspondence with Lady Welby. Renan. Holland. Dessau. Visitors. Japanese pupils. Greek accents. Lowell. Keshub Chunder Sen. Visit of Renan. Speech at Birmingham. 'Shang-ti’
• CHAPTER XXV. 1881-1882. Speech at University College, London. Prize Fellowships. Deaths of Carlyle, Stanley, and other friends. Visit to the Hartz and Dessau. Oriental Congress at Berlin. Paris, Speech at French Institute. Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. Lectures at Cambridge on India. Death of Dr. Pusey. National Anthem in Sanskrit.
• CHAPTER XXVI. 1883. Death of mother. Stay at Dessau. The McCalls. Summer amusements. Bristol. The Wye. Ilbert Bill. Duffryn. Ramabai. Daughter’s marriage
• CHAPTER XXVII. 1884-1885. Lectures in Birmingham and at the Royal Institution. Stay in London. Death of the Duke of Albany. Tercentenary of the Edinburgh University. Lecture on ‘Buddhist Charity.’ Biographical Essays. Foundation stone of Wilhelm Muller Monument. Hawarden. Social life in the Oxford home. Work at Mainz. The Engadine. Italy. Letter to von Schlotzer.
• CHAPTER XXVIII. 1886-1887. English Goethe Society. Knighthood declined. Indian Exhibition. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Visits of Prince and Princess Christian. Bishop of Colombo on Sacred Books op the East, Death of married daughter. Science of Thought, Desire to leave England: Queen’s message. Lectures for Oxford Oriental School. Rukhmabai. Jubilee. Visit to Froude. Last interview with Crown Prince at Windsor. Scotland. New edition of Rig-veda, Speech at Missionary Lecture in St. John’s College.
• CHAPTER XXIX. 1888-1889. Vedic Lectureship, Elected Gifford Lecturer at Glasgow. Death of Emperor William I. Memorial oration. Doctor of Bologna. Death of Emperor Frederick. Colonel Olcott. Lecture at Bradford. First Gifford Lectures. Humble admirers. Lecture at Mansion House. Death of Professor Noire. Lectures at Sheffield, Leeds, and Toynbee Hall. Speech at Royal Academy Banquet. Daughter’s engagement. Lectures at University Extension Meeting. Oriental Congress in Sweden. Order of Polar Star.
• CHAPTER XXX. 1890-1891. School of Modern Oriental Studies. Daughter’s wedding. Second Gifford Lectures. Malabari and infant marriages. Deal. Queen of Roumania. Birth of first grandchild. Third Gifford Lectures. Attacks on lectures. Christening of grandson. Dr. Leitner’s Oriental Congress. Visit of Prince of Naples. British Association at Cardiff. Wildbad. Unveiling of monument to Wilhelm Muller. Science of Language rewritten. Resignation of Dean Liddell.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• CHAPTER XXXIV. 1898-1899. Death of Dean Liddell. Auld Lang Syne, I. Tilak. Collected Works. Death of Professor Buhler. Ems. Death of Fontane. Ramakrishnas Sayings. Indian Philosophy. Auld Lang Syne, II. Ems. Beginning of illness. Last visits to Segenhaus, 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.
• CHAPTER XXXV. 1900. Hindu 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.
• CHAPTER XXXVI. 1900. Funeral. Judgement of friends. Conclusion.


• A. Letter from Satyendranath Tagore.
• B. Max Muller’s Speech at the Peace Festival.
• C. Speech of Dean Liddell, February 15, 1876.
• D. Missionary Speech, 1887.
• E. Memorial Oration by Professor Max Muller, March, 1888.
• F. Translation of the word ‘Shang-ti’.
• G. Chronological List of Works.
• H. List of Universities, Colleges, Royal Academies, and Learned Societies which conferred Membership on Professor Max Muller.
• I.



• Portrait of F. Max Muller, aged 74 (From a Photograph by Hills Saunders, Oxford)
• The Library at Oxford (7, Norham Gardens) (From a Photograph by Hills Saunders, Oxford)
• Holywell Cemetery, Oxford (From a Photograph by Hills & Saunders, Oxford)
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Re: The Life and Letters of The Right Hon. Friedrich Max Mul

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It may be thought that the publication of these volumes is superfluous after the two works Auld Lang Syne and the Autobiography, written by Max Muller himself. But it seemed that something more was wanted to show the innermost character of the real man; for Auld Lang Syne gave recollections of his friends only, 'a small portion of the panorama of life that passed before' his eyes; and the Autobiography is but a fragment, bringing us little beyond the threshold of his career. The plan pursued throughout these volumes has been to let Max Muller's letters and the testimony of friends to his mind and character speak for themselves, whilst the whole is connected by a slight thread of necessary narrative. The selection from the letters has been made with a view to bring the man rather than the scholar before the world. His innumerable works, covering a period of nearly sixty years, have made known the scholar; the object of this book is to show 'the elevation of soul and enlargement of mental outlook which was revealed more and more as his life's work opened up before him [Funeral Sermon. — Rev. H. J. Bidder.]' — that work which he carried on to within ten days of his death.

It is a matter of regret that much valuable correspondence has been destroyed. In America no letters have been preserved to Emerson or Oliver Wendell Holmes, and only one to Lowell. In England the letters to Carlyle, Sellar, Froude, Sir A. Grant, and other intimate friends have been burnt. In Germany all to Humboldt are gone, and all except a few trifling notes to the brothers Curtius, to Carriere, Mommsen, and others. In France none have been found to Stanislas Julien, to Regnier, or Bartholemy-St.-Hilaire. From Italy, too, no letters have been recovered. The corresponding letters from these distinguished men show how much of deep interest to the public has been lost.

I here desire to express my grateful thanks to many friends and relatives who have helped me in my task, especially to Mrs. Rowland Corbet and Miss Mabel Peach, who have translated and copied innumerable letters for me; to the many known and unknown in all quarters of the globe who responded to my petition for letters; and I am also greatly indebted to Messrs. Hills and Saunders for the use of the Photographs which illustrate the work.

If at times I have found the labour almost beyond my powers, it has been a labour of love, bringing strength and solace to many lonely hours. As Mr. Mozoomdar writes to me, 'The most heavenly relation here is the relation between the living and the dear dead. We cannot draw them down to us, but they continually draw us to them.'

Ightham Mote,
September, 1902.
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Re: The Life and Letters of The Right Hon. Friedrich Max Mul

Postby admin » Thu Sep 10, 2020 10:29 am

CHAPTER I. 1823-1841. Parentage. Father's death. Dessau. Musical training. School. Poetical tendencies. Nicolai School, Leipzig. Dr. Carus. Music. Letters to his mother. Examination at Zerbst.

Friedrich Max Muller was born at Dessau, the capital of the Duchy of Anhalt Dessau, on December 6, 1823. His father was the popular lyric poet, Wilhelm Muller, Librarian to the Duke of Dessau, and master at the Gymnasium (chief school) in that place; a man of great cultivation, of most genial disposition, a general favourite, keenly alive to the enjoyments of life, in every way of noble and forcible character.

Max Muller's mother was Adelheid, elder daughter of President von Basedow, Prime Minister of the Duchy of Dessau. She was very small, but very beautiful, clever and lively, and had a fine contralto voice; and it was from her that Max Muller inherited his intense love of music. Frau Hofrathin Muller was a highly cultivated woman, understanding English, French, and Italian perfectly. She was a woman of an eager, even passionate temperament, and her children evidently suffered early from this, as Wilhelm Muller's letters are full of warnings to her not to punish too severely, and not to expect too much from her children (babies of four and five when their father died). Her father, President von Basedow, was himself the son of a man famous in Germany in his day, the pedagogue Basedow, the forerunner of Pestalozzi and Frobel.
Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (12 January 1746 – 17 February 1827) was a Swiss pedagogue and educational reformer who exemplified Romanticism in his approach.

He founded several educational institutions both in German- and French-speaking regions of Switzerland and wrote many works explaining his revolutionary modern principles of education. His motto was "Learning by head, hand and heart". Thanks to Pestalozzi, illiteracy in 18th-century Switzerland was overcome almost completely by 1830....

Influence from philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau led him to pursue a career in law and political justice.
The ideal system of liberty, also, to which Rousseau imparted fresh animation, increased in me the visionary desire for a more extended sphere of activity, in which I might promote the welfare and happiness of the people. Juvenile ideas as to what it was necessary and possible to do in this respect in my native town, induced me to abandon the clerical profession, to which I had formerly leaned, and for which I had been destined, and caused the thought to spring up within me, that it might be possible, by the study of the law, to find a career that would be likely to procure for me, sooner or later, the opportunity and means of exercising an active influence on the civil condition of my native town, and even of my native land.— Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi

During the mid-18th century the government in Switzerland condemned Rousseau's Emile and Social Contract, saying they were dangerous to the State and the Christian religion. A prison sentence was issued upon Rousseau. Bodmer, Pestalozzi's former professor, embraced the teachings of Rousseau and founded the Helvetic Society with about 20 other philosophers in 1765. Their goal was the advancement of freedom. The 19-year-old Pestalozzi was an active member, contributing many articles to the Society's newspaper, Der Erinnerer.

Pestalozzi brought to light several cases of official corruption and was believed to be an accessory to the escape of a fellow newspaper contributor. Although he was later proven innocent, he was under arrest for three days. These events caused Pestalozzi to have many political enemies and destroyed any hope of a legal career.

After the failure of his political aspirations and at the suggestion of several friends, Pestalozzi decided to become a farmer. During this time, Johann Rudolf Tschiffeli, who was also a member of the Helvetic Society, attracted widespread attention regarding his successful business model. He had converted a large plot of worthless land into several valuable farms. In 1767 Pestalozzi visited Tschiffeli to learn about his method. After a year with Tschiffeli, Pestalozzi purchased 15 acres of waste land in the neighborhood of Zürich. He obtained financial support from a Zürich banker, bought more land and, in 1769, he married Anna Schulthess.

Pestalozzi began to build a house on the heavily mortgaged property, calling it "Neuhof". The land he had bought, however, was unsuitable to farm. Unfavorable reports led the banker to withdraw his support....

After the failure of his farming venture, Pestalozzi wanted to help the poor. He had been poor himself most of his life and had observed orphans who gained apprenticeships as farmers only to be overworked and underfed. He desired to teach them how to live self-respecting lives. This led him to the conception of converting Neuhof into an industrial school. Against the wishes of his wife's family, Pestalozzi gained the support of philosopher Isaak Iselin of Basel, who published it in Die Ephemerides, a periodical devoted to social and economic questions. The publication led to subscriptions and loans free of interest. The new foundation had a short period of apparent prosperity, but after a year Pestalozzi's old faults again led the institution to near ruin... His family connections abandoned him, along with most people who had shown interest in his ideas.

Iselin remained a friend of Pestalozzi and encouraged him to continue writing. In 1780 Pestalozzi published anonymously in Die Ephemerides a series of aphorisms entitled The Evening Hours of a Hermit. They are his earliest works which outline ideas that would later be known as Pestalozzian. The aphorisms attracted little attention at the time of publication.

Pestalozzi knew the country peasant life much more intimately than his contemporaries did, from the visits of his childhood with his grandfather to his current state of poverty. He drew from these experiences and published four volumes of a story titled Leonard and Gertrude. These four volumes revolve around the lives of four characters: Gertrude, Glüphi, an unnamed parish clergyman and Arner. Gertrude is a wife and mother from the village of Bonnal, who teaches her children how to live moral upstanding lives through the belief and love of God. Glüphi, a school teacher, sees the success Gertrude has with her children and tries to model his school around her teachings. A parish clergyman also adopts Gertrude's teachings and the work of Gertrude, Glüphi and the clergyman are helped by Arner, a politician, who solicits aid from the state. Through these four institutions, harmony is achieved and a comprehensive education is offered to all people.

The first volume was very successful; however, the second through fourth volumes were not widely published or read....

In 1794 Pestalozzi visited his sister in Leipzig. During the visit, he met Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Christoph Martin Wieland and Johann Gottfried Herder. On his return trip to Neuhof, he met Johann Gottlieb Fichte. Fichte saw in Pestalozzi's ideas the key to the solution of the educational problem, and suggested to Pestalozzi that he write about his views on human nature and the problem of its development. After three years, Pestalozzi wrote and published Enquiries into the Course of Nature in the development of the Human Race. Few people read his work ...

Political changes were taking place, and when serfdom was abolished in Switzerland in 1798, Pestalozzi decided to become an educator. He wrote a plan for a school and submitted it to Philipp Albert Stapfer, the new Minister of Arts and Sciences, who approved of Pestalozzi's plan. Pestalozzi was not able to implement his new school right away, because a suitable site could not be found quickly enough....

When the French army invaded the town of Stans in 1798, many children were left without a home or family. The Swiss government established an orphanage and recruited Pestalozzi on 5 December 1798, to take charge of the newly formed institution....

Drawing from previous experience, his aim at Stans was similar to that of Neuhof: the combination of education and industry. However, he no longer looked at the products of the children's labors as a possible source of income. Any work was considered by Pestalozzi as a way to train physical dexterity, promote efficiency and encourage mutual helpfulness. He wanted to cultivate the fundamental activities of the mind—"the powers of attention, observation, and memory, which must precede the art of judgment and must be well established before the latter is exercised." It was during his time at Stans that Pestalozzi realized the significance of a universal method of education, which he would attempt to apply at future institutions.

In June 1799, the French army, after being defeated by the Austrians, took back Stans. They needed every available building to house their troops, and the school was broken up. Even during the short time of the orphanage, Pestalozzi's success was apparent in the well-being of the children.....

In January 1800, a young teaching assistant, Hermann Krüsi, offered to help Pestalozzi. Krüsi already had some practical teaching experience and followed the example set by Pestalozzi. After eight months of teaching, Pestalozzi was evaluated by school authorities who praised him for his progress. In eight months, he had not only taught children of five and six years of age to read perfectly, but also to write, draw and understand arithmetic. The school board promoted Pestalozzi to a mastership in the second boys' school where he continued his educational experiments.

Fueled by his success, in October 1800 Pestalozzi decided to open another school in Burgdorf, the "Educational Institute for the Children of the Middle Classes", in the Burgdorf Castle. Here, two educators joined Pestalozzi, Johann Georg Tobler and Johann Christoff Büss. During this time Pestalozzi systemized and codified many of his methods and ideas about education.

Pestalozzi for the second time in his literary career attracted a wide circle of readers after publishing How Gertrude Teaches her Children. The book had a profound impact on the opinion and practice of education. It is written in the form of fourteen letters from Pestalozzi to his friend Heinrich Gessner, a bookbinder in Berne.... Pestalozzi's purpose in these letters was to show that, by reducing knowledge to its elements and by constructing a series of psychologically ordered exercises, anybody could teach their children effectively.

Because of this literary success, people from all parts of Switzerland and Germany came to see the school in Burgdorf.... He communicated to the Swiss government that he would like more opportunity to educate the poor. In response it sent two commissioners to investigate his work and, following their favorable review, the government decided to transform Pestalozzi's school into a national institution. Staff would receive fixed salaries and money would be spent to publish textbooks written by Pestalozzi and his staff. Using this money, in 1803 Pestalozzi published three elementary books: The ABC of Sense Perception, Lessons on the Observation of Number Relations and The Mother's Book....

It was decided to move the institute to Yverdon....

In July 1805 the institute at Yverdon opened and attracted visitors and pupils from all over Europe. Many governments sent their own educators to study with Pestalozzi with the desire to implement a similar system in their own nations. In May 1807, Die Wochenschrift fur Menschenbildung, a newspaper published by the institute, was started by Niederer [a new addition to his staff, a former minister] and regularly included philosophical discussions about education and reports to parents and the public about the institute's progress. Some notable changes to the institute at Yverdon were that pupils of any age were educated, not just young children; German, French, Latin and Greek were taught along with geography, natural history, history, literature, arithmetic, geometry, surveying, drawing, writing and singing. At the height of the institution's fame Pestalozzi was highly regarded for his work as an educator and in educational reform.

-- Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, by Wikipedia

Friedrich Max was named after his mother's elder brother, who later on succeeded his own father as President of the Duchy, and after Max in the Freischutz, an opera which had then just appeared; Carl Maria von Weber being an intimate friend of his parents and Max's godfather. Soon after he finally settled in England he used Max as part of his surname, Muller alone, as he always said, being as distinctive a name as Smith without any prefix in England. His only sister was nearly two years older than himself, and he never had any brother. Max Muller had but a vague memory of his first home, the Librarian's house in Dessau, with its pretty garden — a memory founded more on visits to the house in subsequent years than on any clear remembrance of his life there. His recollections of his father, too, were very dim, as he was not quite four at the time of his death. Such as they were they are recorded in the Autobiography.

'Wilhelm Muller's life in Dessau was a very happy one,' wrote his friend, the poet Gustav Schwab; 'he was valued by his Duke and Duchess . . . devotedly loved by his pupils, and a favourite with all who had once recognized his character and nature; he had a clever, attractive wife, and healthy, handsome children, to whom he was a most devoted father, and with whom he would play for hours like a merry child himself. Though only thirty-three when he died, he had achieved a considerable amount of work, and evidently possessed the power of working rapidly, a power inherited by his son. The end to this happy life came with frightful suddenness. Wilhelm Muller had been to Oranienbaum, a park near Dessau, to see the Duke, and returned late, in high spirits. In the night his young wife woke to find him dead by her side! The awful shock is supposed to have brought on the deafness from which she soon began to suffer, and which became total many years before her death. Adelheid Muller, who had only a small pension as the widow of a civil servant, went for a time with her two children to live in her father's house, the house she had left but a few years before as a brilliant, happy bride.

But Wilhelm Muller's widow had not been forgotten by his friend and patron, and shortly after his death she received the following letter from the Duke of Dessau: —


'Whilst I wish again to express my sincere sympathy in the great loss you have sustained, I am anxious in some degree to lessen the cares which the education of your children must bring, and I therefore grant you, as long as you remain a widow, the yearly sum of 100 thalers [£15] till your son has completed his twenty-first year, and then for your life the sum of fifty thalers, to begin from the first of this month. I beg to assure you of the continuance of my true esteem. Leopold.

'Nov. 30, 1827.'

Max Muller tells us in his Autobiography of the gloom cast over his whole childhood by his father's death. Happily he had inherited much of that father's joyous temperament, so that the almost daily visits to the grave 'where the young mother stood and sobbed and cried' whilst her two children looked on, had less effect on him than might be expected; and the constant intercourse with various friends and relations brightened what would otherwise have been a time of dark memory for his whole life. The few left who remember those early days agree in describing Max Muller as brimful of fun and mischief, and his mother's old servant Hanna, who lived to a great age and was never tired of asking for news of her former torment, used in those early days to call him Dieser infame Junge, 'this terrible boy.'

After some years, Hofrathin Muller left her father's home and settled herself and her two children on the ground floor of a very small house. This house, though altered and improved, is still standing, a type of the old style of Dessau houses, consisting of a ground floor and one story above, with a loft under the high-pitched brown roof. The house looks into the churchyard of the Johannis Kirche, the church mentioned in Deutsche Liebe, where the effect of the Easter hymn on the musical child is so vividly described: —


'On this Easter Day ... the old church, with its grey slate roof, and the high windows, and the tower with the golden cross, shone with marvellous brightness. Suddenly the light which streamed through the high windows began to wave and seem alive. But it was far too bright to look at; and as I shut my eyes, the light still came into my soul, and everything seemed to shine and be fragrant, and to sing and sound. I felt as if a new life began in me, as if I had become another being — and when I asked my mother what it was, she said it was an Easter hymn, which they were singing in the church. I have never been able to discover what was the pure holy song which then sank into my soul, ... I have never heard it again. But now when I hear an adagio of Beethoven, or a psalm of Marcello, or a chorus of Handel ... I feel as if the lofty church windows were again sparkling, as if the organ notes rang through my soul and a new world opened to me.'

It is needless to repeat all that Max Muller has told us in Auld Lang Syne and the Autobiography of the life at Dessau, and the appearance of the little Residenz-Stadt (capital) at that time, still walled in, and with gates shut every night, its night watchman, and the oil lamps swinging across the streets. The night watchman and the oil lamps existed till late in the century. And yet with these primitive arrangements and simple life the little town was a centre of intellectual interest and cultivation. Music, such as one hears now only in a great capital; a first-rate theatre, as far as the acting and opera were concerned; real intellectual society, which hardly exists in our hurried modern life — were all to be found at Dessau, and enjoyed at so modest a cost that they were within reach of all.

Those who remember Max Muller's pianoforte playing when he first came to England will not be surprised to hear that his musical training began very early, and before he went to any school. A young musician who lived next door taught him to play, as a surprise to his mother. They had made friends over the hedge that divided their gardens, and after the musician had discovered the little fellow's genuine love of music he lifted him daily over the hedge, and gave him his lesson. For months the child kept the secret, till at last one day he sat down before several friends and played his first piece. There are easy sonatas of Beethoven with his name on them and the date, showing that he was only six years old when he learnt them. At fourteen he played brilliantly, and took part in concerts at Dessau and Leipzig, and when at home for the holidays was often sent for by the Duchess of Dessau, who was herself a fine musician, to play duets with her on the piano. Whilst still quite a child he was invited to any good music that was given in Dessau. One note written by a Dr. Otta, about the year 1831, runs thus: —


'In the hopes of giving you pleasure, I take the liberty of inviting you to hear the quintette to be played to-night at my house. I trust your mother will kindly give you permission.'

The note is addressed to —

The distinguished Musician
Master Max Muller.

When Max was only six years old Mendelssohn visited Dessau, and taking the child into the large church set him on his lap at the organ and made him play the keys, whilst he himself managed the pedals, which the little boy could not reach.

Many of Wilhelm Muller's old friends took an interest in his lively attractive boy.

There is a charming letter dated Saturday, July 31, 1830, from M. Gathy, to whose friendship Max Muller owed a good deal in later years in Paris: —


'As I could not, my good Max, have you, as I wished, last Sunday for a long visit, I keep you to your promise and invite you and your dear little sister to have breakfast with me to-morrow at half-past eight, hoping that you will both receive permission to do so. If you paid me a visit in Hamburg, I could show you many beautiful things — toys of every sort, and particularly the most beautiful coloured tin soldiers, which would delight you. But I have left them all at home, and the hobby-horse and dolls and toys I have here would not amuse you. Toys are delightful — are they not, Max? — when one receives them from one's loved parents; but other things, that one must be busy with, for other reasons, when one is older, are not nearly so pretty, or so nice to play with. Besides my brave tin soldiers, I had three beautiful collections of pictures, and flowers and butterflies. But one cannot always keep, my good Max, what one has, and, alas! everything does not last as one would wish. Everything is perishable, everything changes, and that is a great pity. Now, I still have all the pictures. I carry them about with me, yet I cannot show them to you; but the flowers are all withered, and mostly turned to dust, and my lovely coloured butterflies turn at last into crickets, [A play on the word Grillen, which means crickets, and worries.] which do not look so pretty or so pleasant. So it is with my toys, my good Max. But it does not matter; I will be like my little soldiers, which were always my greatest delight. They stood up firmly, without knowing why, and let themselves be seized and pushed about on every side, and fought bravely and never complained. And when evening came they were gathered together and placed quietly in the dark cupboard, and there was peace. But don't be frightened, Max: come here and bring your fine sword with you; we will play and talk with each other, and from the window nod to your dear mother, as I always like to do, as she goes by to church, to pray the good God that you may always be a courteous, kind, good boy, and learn diligently and thrive to your own good, and her pleasure. Adieu, dear Max; you are expected then by your friend


It is doubtful whether, inborn poet as he was, Max Muller could at six and a half have understood the beauty and pathos of this letter from the little deformed Jew.

Max entered the Gymnasium or High School at Dessau at six years old, and remained there till he was past twelve. His school reports were not remarkable, and certainly at that time he gave little evidence of the power that was in him. 'Writing bad' was the almost invariable report, and in later years he often lamented the small pains taken by the writing-master to improve it. An old schoolfellow, still living at Dessau, writes that all the other boys considered him a clever boy. 'He was full of life and much loved by all his schoolfellows.'

To our ideas the life led by the little Max was one of considerable hardship. Thinly clad and poorly fed, not from want of care and love, but from sheer poverty, his breath in winter frozen into a sheet of ice on his bed from the absence of fire, suffering from constant headaches, which may have originated from want of full nourishment such as a growing child needs, and yet nothing seems to have clouded his naturally sunny, joyous temperament. He tells us: 'As a little boy, when I could not have the same toys which other boys possessed I could fully enjoy what they enjoyed, as if they had been my own. It was not the result of teaching, still less of reasoning — it was a sentiment given me, and which certainly did not leave me till much later in life.'

He remembered how constantly he was enjoined to take care of his clothes and make them last: and when he and his sister returned from school the boots that cost so much were put away and replaced by shoes made for them by the careful mother. It was this frugal training, this life of constant self-denial and careful thought for every trifle, that gave Max Muller in after life the feeling of thankfulness, and the power of rejoicing in every little luxury and pleasure which he could afford himself. To the very last the child's pure delight in little things' gave a constant zest to his life, and made it easy for others to give him pleasure. Through his whole life he took every good thing, every honour that he received, as a gift he had not deserved.
Some of his critics, who never knew him personally, speak of his vanity, because he dwelt with pleasure and gratitude on the honours and successes that came to him in later life. Any really vain man would have shrunk from showing his enjoyment of the good things that fell to him, for fear of being thought vain. One who knew him well mentions his entire freedom from vanity as a prominent point in his character. There is a mock humility more akin to vanity than the grateful rejoicing in all blessings (his own talents included) which was a characteristic of Max Muller's whole life. It is true that he greatly valued and even desired the love and approbation so largely accorded him, but this arose from his loving nature, which craved for sympathy, and not from vanity.

One more glimpse is given us of the early life in a letter from his von Basedow grandmother. His mother had gone in the early summer of 1835 with some friends to Heligoland; and she took her daughter with her, leaving Max at his grandfather's to go to his school. The Frau Prasident writes to her absent daughter: —


'6 a.m. My dear Adelheid, — The father is out riding, Max is having his music lesson, Julie is still asleep, and I am sitting in the garden, in the summer-house, where we breakfast every morning. I think that I cannot employ my time better than in writing to you, to give you an account of us all, for Max now belongs to us. We are all, down to the youngest, quite well, thank God. Max is very good and diligent, and has given no occasion for punishment. He bathes regularly, either with Fritz or our servant, but never alone. I am much too nervous to allow that. Just now he goes with Julie, who bathes every other day in the Mulde. We shall miss him very much when he leaves us, he has become quite one of us. You would be amused if you saw him smoking a pipe with his grandfather. He can also take a pinch of snuff, and he does not refuse a taste of liqueur. The father has a very quiet horse on which he can ride alone, so you will find him quite a grown-up man in all the finer arts. His trousers indeed have a very variegated appearance from cherries, bilberries, and ink, but a young man does not think much of that.'

We have spoken of Max Muller as an inborn poet, and in later life he told a friend he had all his life tried not to be a poet. From the early age of nine he began to write verses, all of which were carefully kept by his devoted mother. They are verses written for Christmas, or family birthdays, but one on the beautiful God's Acre at Dessau attempts a higher flight.

'It is a beautiful and restful place,' he says in the Autobiography, 'covered with old acacia trees.' It was probably this association that gave Max Muller a peculiar love for acacia trees, and it was a real grief to him when one that stood in the Parks close to his house in Norham Gardens withered and died. He tells us that the inscription over the gateway of the God's Acre was a puzzle to his young mind: 'Death is not death, 'tis but the ennobling of man's nature.' It may have been the echo of these words in his mind that made him in 1884, in writing to one of his Buddhist pupils, speak of 'looking forward to a better life — I mean a life in which we shall be better.' When at school at Leipzig he constantly wrote poems in the letters he sent his mother, and there were three occasions at his school at Leipzig where he had to recite publicly verses of his own writing. There is a whole book full of manuscript sonnets and poems written during his University career, some of which were published at the time in journals and papers, and brought in a little money, most acceptable to the poor student.
During the hard battle with life in Paris and London, the muse seems to have been silent. A few beautiful sonnets exist, written later under the pressure of great sorrow, but his life was too full of other work, to which he was pledged to devote his time, for him to indulge in poetry, and except two sonnets to the Emperor Frederick (1871 and 1888), and an ode on the death of the Duke of Albany, nothing exists written in later years but a few birthday couplets. Max Muller never published any of his poems, except in his University days.

After his grandfather's death Max was sent, at Easter, 1836, to the famous Nicolai School at Leipzig. He lived in the house of Dr. Carus, an old family friend, whose only son, Victor, was of the same age. 'Max was taken as a friend,' writes Professor Victor Carus, 'and was treated entirely as a son of the family. Aunt Muller, as his mother was called by all of us, never paid anything, as my parents were intimate friends of hers. We went together to the Nicolai School, we slept in the same room, worked together, and had, in fact, everything in common.' Max was placed in Quarta, which answers to Remove at Eton. The education was almost entirely classical, and before he left the school, five years later, he could speak Latin with perfect ease. He was able to hear a great deal of good music at Leipzig, Frau Carus herself being very musical, with a fine voice, and she and Dr. Carus delighted in collecting the best musicians at their house. Victor Carus was a good violinist, and when the two young friends, Victor and Max, were about fifteen years old, they astonished Dr. Carus on his birthday by playing the whole Kreutzer Sonata by heart.

There had long been an intimate friendship between the Mendelssohns and Max Muller's parents, therefore he naturally saw much of Felix Mendelssohn, who was conductor of the Gewandhaus Concerts at Leipzig from 1835 to 1843.
He thus describes his first musical evening to his mother: —


'I went on Friday to Mendelssohn's, and already on the staircase heard the lovely music. I went in bravely, [He was little over thirteen.] and was received in the most friendly manner. I found Felix, David, Dreischock, and Mendelssohn's sister Fanny. Hensel was very kind, so was she; both spoke of you, and Hensel of my father too, whom he admired immensely. Mendelssohn stood close to the piano, and I sat where I could watch Dreischock with great comfort. He is still the first of pianists, and quite a young man. He played here last winter and was taken for Thalberg. He played really marvellously, so that Mendelssohn wondered at his skill, though he (Felix) immediately afterwards played an imitation of his composition. I must say, I much prefer Mendelssohn, even if the other has more skill, particularly in octave playing, in which he is decidedly the first of artists. Then Hensel told me a delightful story. They had already last Wednesday sent here for me, but Sophie did not understand the maid, and sent her to Dr. Muller, who lives behind this in the Garden house. And so he went in the evening, beautifully got up, and nobody knew him, or what to say to him. That was funny.'

Later, he writes thus of Thalberg: —


'Now I have seen and heard Thalberg. It was yesterday evening. It is indescribable. I am still perfectly enchanted by it; there can be nothing else like it. He is quite young, handsome, and very distinguished looking, beautiful hands and such skill, execution, and power.'

From the time he went to Leipzig, Max Muller began the correspondence with his passionately loved mother, which continued till the year of her death, 1883. Almost every letter has been kept, and the whole forms a complete journal of his doings when not with her. With his ardent affection for her, he felt the separation keenly, and writes on the first birthday on which he was not with her, as follows: —


Oct. 10, 1836.

'My dear good Mother, — To-day, for the first time, I have to be far away from you on your birthday, and you can fancy how sorry I am. I think it grieves you too, little mother, for I know your love for me. Oh, how I long to be with you, only for a moment, only to press you in my arms, only to tell you how I love you: but it can't be. Your birthday is always doubly dear to me, first because it is your birthday, and then because it was the first day that you roused yourself again from your sorrow, [W. Muller died Oct. 1; her birthday was Oct. 12.] to which just in these weeks of the year you gave way more than usually. You were right to grieve, and it would not have been proper to try to console and amuse you. You must have sorrowed this year more than usual, as the birthday of our good grandfather was this week. But I will not write more about this; it will but renew your sorrow. I will only say that God has replaced something of what you have lost, in giving you two beings who love you as no others do. You best know whom I mean.

'Your Max.'

These early letters to his mother show a maturity of thought and earnestness of purpose that are very unusual in so young a boy; and as life went on the relations of mother and son seem changed, and it is the son who takes the guiding and protecting tone towards the mother.

In March, 1839, Dr. Carus lost his wife, who had watched over Max with the same motherly care she gave to her own boy. His grief at the time, and his later letters, prove how sorely he missed her. In one letter he gives his mother an account of his day, which would probably have been laid out more wisely had the kind Tante (aunt) been still there to watch over him.


'You will be surprised to hear that I have arranged everything for certain fixed hours, but I am very glad to have settled it so that I am not interrupted. I get up at five, or even earlier, and work till seven, go to school, play the violoncello at eleven, the piano at twelve, then dinner, then school again, then coffee and gymnastic exercises, then work again till I can get fresh air in the garden, which is impossible in this heat, during the day. I seem quite changed to myself, and you know that such punctual arrangements were not at all in my line. I eat only a roll from five in the morning till one o'clock, and drink no coffee early, and I often feel rather faint. Then for the last week I have had constant headaches, but I am getting quite accustomed to them, and I lead a very happy life.'

In the last years of his school life he seems to have read a good deal for himself, and discusses the books he reads with his mother.


'I had already said to myself that you would not be pleased that I had read Wilhelm Meister, and in some respects you are quite right; not that it can exactly hurt me, but that it might occupy my thoughts too much. On the evil influence of reading or other temptations, I could not point out any better passage than the Latin verse in Faust which Mephistopheles repeats to the student, that God is holy and good just because He knows what evil is. This is very true if only further explained, i.e. because He knows evil, but never commits it. If we could imagine that God did not know what sin and temptation are, we could not call Him God, for we should have an imperfect God. . . . The more dangerous things I read, the stronger I become, if I am not mistaken, to wage war with them. And yet again what you say is true, for how foolhardy it would be to throw oneself into temptations without thoroughly knowing oneself, and how far one could stand firm. So a desire for dangerous reading is in itself a crime.'

And again —


'I have had a great deal of pleasure from Bettina von Arnim's letters and diary. It is full of beautiful feeling and well expressed, though towards the end it is weaker, for there it becomes laboured; at first it just bubbles up of its own accord.'

Though Max Muller tells us he had little chance of travelling during his school days, there is a journal of three days spent at Dresden and in a walking tour through Saxon Switzerland at Whitsuntide, 1839, when he was fifteen and a half years old. This visit gave him his first sight of really great works of art, for though there are some choice pieces of sculpture and a few good pictures at Dessau, the little capital naturally possesses nothing quite of the first rank. 'It was perfect enchantment,' he says, 'to step into the Raphael room, where the great Madonna standing on the globe shines down upon us, a picture that far exceeds all one's imagination, and stands there, the crown of all pictures.' The same feeling animated him in 1857, when he wrote in Deutsche Liebe; 'To stand before the Madonna di San Sisto in Dresden, and to allow all the thoughts to wake in us, which year after year the unfathomable look of the child has created in us.'

From reasons of economy he was not always able to spend his holidays at Dessau with his mother and sister, as we see from the following little note dated 'Silvester Evening,' that is December 31, probably 1839: —


'How often I wish that I were so far advanced that I could myself earn something to make your life easier — you who deprive yourself of everything and spare everything to make us happy. But I will try to be more and more diligent, and better, that, as far as I can, I may give you pleasure, which is the only possible return for all your love and care.'

Max Muller had to pass his abiturienten examination in the early spring of 1841 at Zerbst, in order to gain a Dessau scholarship for the University. This examination was more scientific than classical, but he passed easily, taking a first class, and gained his scholarship, such as it was — £6 — a mere trifle to English ideas, but an important help to him. Before the examination, Dr. Nobbe, the head master of the Nicolai School, wrote thus of him to his mother: —


'I rejoice that I can see him leave this school with testimonials of moral excellence not often found in one of his years, possessed of knowledge first rate in more than one subject, and with intellectual capacities excellent throughout. May this young mind develop more and more, and may the fruits of his labours be hereafter a comfort to his mother for the sorrows and cares of the past.'

For months before leaving school, though only seventeen, the thought of the future weighed heavily on him, and he seems, almost to the time of entering the University, to have felt uncertain as to the special line of life he should adopt. Poor and without influence, it was necessary that he should be in a position to keep himself as soon as he left the University. The following letter shows how carefully he weighed and considered the question: —

To His Mother.


'I recognized blindly that a free, unfettered life is the best, but did not reflect sufficiently on the results that might arise. . . .

'It would be indeed delightful, and my greatest wish, to be engaged actively as a philologist, and make a career at the University. But who can be certain that I shall distinguish myself? and where there is only mediocrity, this life as a philologist is miserable. Many struggle on their whole lives here as tutors (Privatdocent) and never arrive at being full Professors. Such a life costs a great deal, and how miserable I should feel, for there is something so uncertain in it, and one's success depends on how one pleases others by one's writings and lectures, and a risk of this kind in my circumstances seems too great. It is quite certain that I must have an assured support. On the grounds of prudence I consider philology alone as too uncertain a foundation, but that I wish to work in philology and philosophy is true. Remember the many works on these subjects by theologians and doctors. Think of distinguished philologists who have studied law. This influences me to look round for a certain position, that I may not attempt to erect an airy building, on a yet more airy foundation. Medicine is disagreeable to me; I am physically unfit for it. I like theology, but it is too unsettled and occupies too much time. There remains the law, which is certainly very dry and pedantic; but it may lead to more lively studies, and it also leaves time for other intellectual employments. One must begin everywhere in a small way. If other subjects of culture are added to the knowledge of law, that helps not a little — so one can lay the foundations of a satisfying life, for on good fortune or rather on God's will most things depend. If we do not forsake Him, He guides us at last to where we should be, however we may choose paths where we should like to walk. I have so far settled to choose my way, but if another road must be followed I shall not make myself unhappy. So do not be anxious about this.'

At Easter, 1841, Dr. Nobbe, in his farewell address to the boys who were leaving the Nicolai School, thus parted with Max Muller:—


'I must also mention F. Max Muller from Dessau, a highly talented youth, who has just passed the final examination in his own Duchy, and who, with far from common endowments, joins the University, where he will study philology.'

On November 26, 1900, at the gathering always held in memory of the old members of the Nicolai School who have passed away in the year, the Director thus ended his mention of Max Muller, 'He was without any doubt, next to Leibniz, one of the greatest of our pupils.'

Before leaving the house of Dr. Carus, Max writes to his mother: —


'When I remember the time that I first sent you my birthday greetings from Leipzig, and now see that this period of life is nearly over, I must gratefully acknowledge how good God has been to us in various ways, and has given us many compensations. But above all, how grateful we should be that God has preserved you, our dear mother, to us, to sweeten for us all that is bitter, to reward all effort. How I rejoice over next year, in which a new existence opens for me, a higher aim in life floats before me, and I shall have you both [His mother and sister.] with me. I cannot tell you how I rejoice at the thought of this time, when I must take another step forwards, and shall again, at all events for a time, be with my own people.'

Max Muller's old friend, Victor Carus, thus sums up his recollections of these school days: —

'Our chief recreations were pretty regular walks on Sundays during the summer, and skating in winter. There was no fencing during our school life, it was not allowed. It began at the University; if I remember, Max went to the "Fechtboden," the official fencing-lessons of the University. On the whole there was not much free time left to us, and we were happy when my parents had some music in the evening, or when we might amuse ourselves with my father's pensionnaires. Max was a handsome boy, but not so strikingly so as in later years. He was rather thin, and gave the impression of a delicate boy, but he was strong, and not once seriously ill.'
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Re: The Life and Letters of The Right Hon. Friedrich Max Mul

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CHAPTER II. 1841-1844. University life at Leipzig. Studies. Sanskrit. Friends. University life at Berlin. Friends. Lectures. Hagedorn. Humboldt. Bunsen.

Max Muller joined the University of Leipzig in the Summer Term, 1841; his mother and sister left Dessau and moved to Leipzig to make a home for him and lessen expenses. They occupied an apartment on the third floor of a house in Reichel's Garden, then on the very outskirts of the town, now entirely surrounded with houses. The arrangement was a very happy one; his clever, agreeable mother and pretty sister made his home bright and pleasant to his many student friends, whilst the mother wisely did not attempt to interfere with his perfect liberty. Of his studies and the immense variety of lectures he attended during his first term, Max Muller has given a full account in the Autobiography. He attended twelve separate courses of lectures, of which the subjects, except Greek and Latin, were totally new to him, yet he really worked hard at all these various subjects, took copious notes, some of which still exist, and read the books the Professors advised. He had no one to direct his studies, no father or older friend on whose advice he could rely. Later on, when he was elected to Hermann's Seminary and Haupt's Latin Society, these Professors gave him valuable help and guidance in his classical studies, and he did some work for them. It was probably the keen personal interest taken in him by Brockhaus, that led him eventually to turn his attention exclusively to Sanskrit. He entered the University as a philologist, and in the Winter Term of 1841-2 he began to study Sanskrit under the then newly appointed Professor, partly compelled, he says, by the charm of studying something which his friends and fellow students did not know. It was only in his last term at Leipzig that he first approached the subject he was to make so peculiarly his own, the Hymns of the Rig-veda.

During his time at the University, Max saw but little of his old friend Victor Carus. Dr. Carus had married again, and his house was in a part of Leipzig distant from that where Max Muller lived, and as the friends were studying totally different subjects they never met in the lecture-rooms. Professor Carus writes: 'I cannot tell you anything of Max's life as a student; the difference of our studies led us to different occupations, friendships, and ways.' Max Muller's chief friends were Theodore Fontane, so well known later as a novel writer, and Prowe, afterwards a master at the chief school at Thorn, with whom he formed an intimate friendship. Fontane gives an interesting account of a literary society which they frequented; it was a society of Leipzig poets, and to it belonged, among others, Fontane himself, Prowe, Wolfssohn, and Max Muller.

'All made themselves a name in the small or great world. In the really great world, indeed, only one, the last named. Wolfssohn on certain points gave the tone to our society. We others were all young people of average attainments; Wolfssohn, on the contrary, was a refined man of the world. But the great feature of our club, of course from what he became afterwards, was Max Muller. He could have rivalled Wolfssohn on his own ground, that of social distinction, perhaps even beaten him, had he not been too young, only seventeen years of age. Feeling this, he kept himself in the background, and confined himself chiefly to following with the shrewd bright face of a squirrel our rodomontades on freedom, relative to our plans "pour culbuter toute l'Europe." [Google translate: "For tumble all of Europe."] Only now and then he himself shot off a small arrow. When the Journal for the Elegant World, which we always called for short "The Elegant," changed its editor, and appointed Heinrich Laube in the place of Gustav Kuhne, Muller said, good-humouredly,
Was sich Kuhne nicht erkuhnt, Wird sich Laube nicht erlauben [Impossible to translate, from the play on the names.] [Google translate: What Kuhne does not dare to, Arbor will not allow himself]

'On the whole he went his own way, both in small and great matters. He was very much loved and respected in our circle, and that not only because, as we all knew, he had been a pattern scholar at school, but more especially as the son of his distinguished father. That he would in the eyes of the world far surpass his father, we naturally never dreamt in those days.'

Fontane seems to have left Leipzig for Dresden in 1842, and a few of Max Muller's letters to him are still extant.


'As dumb as a fish, dear Fontane. To what purpose does the Leipzig Railway go daily, when you won't even take the trouble to send me a few lines, especially as lately you have had so much that you might have imparted to me? For some time it has not been wise to mention your name to me, and yet there was so much in my heart that I wanted to say to you. I hope you have not been idle, but will soon give us something good and new. How would it be if we wrote a novel together? There are many such. The other partner must alter nothing, and it is of the utmost importance to carry on the mutual thoughts adroitly. I have written a great deal lately, but only prose. My new name is Max Dessauer, under which name you will find several things in The Planet, i.e. several very poor things, for I must not give much of my time to them.'

Max Muller speaks here of 'writing a great deal.' Various small papers of the day published in Leipzig, The Comet, The Planet, The Shooting Star, &c., contain small tales by Max Dessauer, decidedly sentimental, and giving little promise of his future power of description and clearness of expression. There is, however, one set of papers written in 1843, Camera Obscura from Berlin, which are far in advance of the tales, and are full of clever, sarcastic remarks on Berlin ways and manners, and the frivolous life of the Berlin people of that time, always amusing themselves and always full of chatter and gossip.

In the Autobiography Max Muller tells us of three duels he fought during his three years at the University of Leipzig, and justifies these affairs as the only means of keeping the rougher elements found in every German University in order. He was greatly surprised in after years, when he first visited Oxford, to hear that duels were as unknown there as they were unnecessary.

On September 1, 1843, Max Muller passed his examination for the degree of Phil. Doc. He did not tell his mother that he meant to offer himself for examination so soon, for fear of disappointing her by failure. Too poor to buy the necessary dress coat for the occasion, he borrowed one. He passed with ease, and his mother must have felt rewarded for all her efforts and cares, when her son, still three months under twenty, laid his card, Dr. Max Muller, in her lap. Among her papers after her death the following was found copied from some English book: 'The tie of mother and son, of widowed mother and only son, the tie unlike all others in the world, not only in its blessedness, but in its divine compensation.' It would seem from the following letters written just afterwards that he had been far from well all the summer, probably overworked: —


September, 1843.

'Dear Fontane, — I can well imagine that you have often cursed me not a little as I gave no sign of life for such a long time; but Morbus excusat hominem [Google translate: Disease excuse a person], and I will add, Nisi homo excusat morbum! [Google translate: If not excuse human disease?] I hope you have carried on your Latin studies so far as to comprehend the deep meaning of these words; and if a human heart still beats in your breast, you must pity me, poor wretch, for having spent nearly the whole vacation in a nervous fever, so that I must stay almost the whole of next term here in Leipzig. It is ill-luck, you will agree. Well, one could almost despair, but where's the good of it? I have quietly unpacked my books and things again, and sit in Reichel's Garden, up three flights, up which I have to climb with many gasps. I am in Leipzig incognito, for I had already paid my farewell visits everywhere, and altogether feel no inclination for society.'

To the Same.


January 4, 1844.

'Just lately I have been busy with a new edition of the Griechenlieder, [The first edition of his father's poems in which he was personally concerned.] and I wrote a preface to it, as I have included the hitherto unpublished poems and the hymn to Raphael Riego. I was very much annoyed that the preface could not be printed, as what I thought of most in the new edition was to excite a feeling of contempt for those who by their policy of friendship brought the struggles of a whole people for liberty to an end: or at least to invite sympathy for a betrayed country. But if the reader welcomes the poems, as belonging to the past, no reference to the present would find favour in his eyes, and I must satisfy myself with giving a simple literary notice. You see there is nothing left but to avoid all living subjective topics, and take refuge in the objective past. So I have picked out a work from hoary antiquity and my first Opus will soon appear, a German translation of the oldest Indian collection of fables. You will find many acquaintances of childhood's days, from Gellert, La Fontaine, &c., and the interesting thing is that one can follow the wanderings of these fables, through twenty different languages, from the oldest to the most recent times, a work which I am reserving for another time. Wolfssohn has quite disappeared, and of Schauenburg I know little except that he is closely watched in Berlin.'

The translation of the Hitopadesa was brought out in March, 1844; the book is dedicated to Brockhaus. Towards the end of his University career at Leipzig, Prince Wilhelm of Dessau, who had in 1840 married Emilie, his mother's cousin, expressed a wish to adopt Max Muller, and put him into the Austrian Diplomatic Service. 'I at once said no,' he tells us in the Autobiography; 'it seemed to interfere with my freedom, with my studies, with my ideal of a career in life.'

Max had long felt an ardent wish to go for a year to Berlin to study Sanskrit under Bopp, but more especially Philosophy under Schelling. He wanted also to examine the collection of Sanskrit MSS. which the King of Prussia had just bought in England from the executors of Robert Chambers. His sister had been married in February of this year to a young physician, Dr. Krug, and had removed to Chemnitz; and it was settled that the mother should live there with the young couple, rather than with her son at Berlin. Max Muller had his scholarship for one year more, but it was only forty thalers (£6), and in this year (December, 1844) he would come of age, and the pension of a hundred thalers (£15), granted to his mother at the time of his father's death, would be reduced to half. How Max Muller, when away from his mother, was able to live, is certainly a puzzle, but living then in Germany was extraordinarily cheap; during a hard winter the firing for the family cost about twopence a day, and everything else was in proportion. So in March, 1844, the little home in Reichel's Garden was broken up, and the mother started for Chemnitz. On his last evening at Leipzig, which had been his home, more or less, since 1836, Max Muller writes to his mother: —


Leipzig, March, 1844.

'My dear little Mother, — I had meant to write to you first from Berlin, when I had settled myself there, but I know you will be glad to get a letter from me sooner. How often we two [M. M. and Prowe] thought of and pitied you! I am sure it was an uncomfortable journey. We were very tired, but yet went late to bed. From the post-house we went to Reichel's Garden. We went up into the old rooms, where we had passed many happy hours all together. It looked very desolate, and we went home, where we had tea, and were much better for it, and talked till past eleven. I was glad when I woke early to think of you three happy and comfortable together in Chemnitz. I am full of delight at the thought of Berlin, and there I shall find a letter from my dear mother. Take good care of yourself, and do not do too much. Prowe sends many affectionate messages. Write soon to

'Your Max.'

The following letter was written soon after he arrived in Berlin: —

To His Mother.


Berlin, April 15, 1844.

'You have no doubt been expecting a letter from me sooner, and will have thought I was long ago settled in Berlin. But you know how it is in Dessau, how one is kept day after day, and so I only got here a few days ago, and have as yet done nothing but hunt for lodgings. Everything was very pleasant at Dessau, but it took some time before I found the various people at home. I went first to the Chamberlain, from whom I hoped to hear something definite as to the Leopold Stipendium [A Stipendium founded by the Duke for poor scholars, and which Max Muller hoped he might have when his scholarship ceased.]. Unfortunately he gave me no hope, nor did Bernhorst or Morgenstern. They were all very kind, and accepted the Hitopadesa. Bernhorst had told the Duke I was in Dessau, and came himself to tell me the Duke would see me. So on Wednesday early I went to the Pater Patriae, who talked to me a long time, but of the Stipendium or of other arrangements not a syllable. Then I went to Fraulein Rath, who told me I was to see the Duchess the next day. She too was most gracious and kind, asked me why I did not go to England, and I told her everything most openly, but it produced no result. When I went to Advocate Richter, I could not but tell him my position after the next, that is the last, payment of my scholarship. You see, dear mother, I have spared no pains. I must see now how I can help myself. I drew fifty thalers from my savings bank. I left Dessau at two o'clock, and arrived in Berlin about seven. Uncle and Aunt Hake said at once I was to stay with them as long as I liked, whilst I looked for a really nice room. I have done that most conscientiously, for to-day and yesterday I have seen at least forty. I am very tired with all this running about, and long for a quiet, settled life. I shall not pay any visits till I am settled, but when will that be?'


April 17.

'I have found a room, a few yards from Unter den Linden. The house is clean and light, and I like my room very much. I give for it and service and cleaning boots, six thalers (18s.) a month. It is nicely furnished, and the people of the house are clean and respectable.

'Your Max.'

It is evident from his letters to his mother and his Diary that the early part of his time at Berlin was most agreeable. He went into society more than he had done at Leipzig, and was fortunate in having the entree of several very pleasant houses, chief among which was the house of Hensel the artist, married to Mendelssohn's favourite sister Fanny. The Krugers, connexions of his own (he was also an artist), were very kind to the young student, and he dined there every Sunday, unless he had any other invitation. His aunt, Julie Hake, also had him to dinner every week. At Berlin, Max Muller began keeping a journal, and continued it fairly regularly till August. He seems to have dined, when not asked out, at a restaurant, where he paid sixpence for his dinner, which he reports as good. He matriculated as a theologian! Soon after, he writes: 'Worked early, but could not concentrate myself; and adds the same evening, 'Dreaming, and a little poetry, and a very little work. I must work more in future.' A few days later he paid his first visit to the Library in search of Sanskrit MSS., which he seems to have been unable to see owing to the absence of the head librarian.

Towards the end of April he met Fontane as an Imperial Grenadier at Kosch's, where he dined. 'He came to me at five, and we talked of many things, and finally of the Divine and Human. He is a fine fellow, and has to submit to a good deal.' Fontane writes of these times: —


'I had a strong affection for Muller from the first at Leipzig, but we only became really intimate three years later, when we were both for a time in Berlin, he at his Sanskrit studies, I as a Kaiser Franz Grenadier. He lived then on the third floor of a corner house, close to the Werder'sche Kirche, where he, greatly to his own satisfaction, lodged with a shoemaker. If only the workshop had not been next his room! The beating of leather went on the whole day long, and Muller would have lost all patience, but for the wonderful view. The whole town lay like a panorama before him, especially the royal palace with its beautiful gardens. To look at this was a real solace, and he held out against the noise. He already gave promise of becoming some one, and rejoiced in being in especial favour with Friedrich Ruckert, who in these years, yielding to the King's wish, gave lectures at the University. Max Muller was then translating, among other works, Kalidasa's Cloud Messenger. If I owe all I know of Russian Literature to Wolfssohn, I owe to Muller what little I learnt about Sanskrit poetry. He still showed the same, not ironical, but kindly, mischievous temperament which he already possessed in Leipzig.'

Max Muller had expected great things from Schelling, and in a letter to his mother thus describes his first visit to the great philosopher: —


'I went to announce myself. He receives people at four o'clock. I had not expected much, for I had heard how he had dismissed Jellinick, but I was more fortunate. I asked him if he would continue to lecture next term on the Philosophy of Revelation, He said he could not decide yet, therefore probably only a private lecture again. Then I spoke to him of my time in Leipzig, of Weiss and Brockhaus, and then we came round to Indian Philosophy. Here he allowed me to tell him a good deal. I especially dwelt on the likeness between Sankhya and his own system, and remarked how an inclination to the Vedanta showed itself. He asked what we must understand by Vedanta, how the existence of God was proved, how God created the world, whether it had reality. He has been much occupied with Colebrooke's Essays, and he seemed to wish to learn more, as he asked me if I could explain a text. Then he asked where I was living, knew my father as Greek poet and a worker on Homer, and at last dismissed me with "Come again soon," offering to do anything he could for me.'

The following letters give his mother a pleasant account of his life: —

Translation. May, 1844.

'Hensel's house is a delightful resort to me, and she is especially friendly. I go there oftener than I can really spare the time; they are always sending me invitations. I was there last Saturday, and they asked me to dinner the next day. I went at twelve, for a large musical matinee; they sang the choruses of the Antigone. Then I stayed in the garden with the tutor, and we played with Hensel a sort of ninepins; then came dinner, and they asked me to return in the evening, as Oehlenschlager, the German poet, was coming to them, so I spent nearly the whole day there. I have not played there yet, as she has not asked me to do so, but when I told her I wanted to hire a piano, cheap but not bad, she offered to lend me an English one, on which she used to play. He too is most friendly, and has given himself a great deal of trouble to get leave from the Minister for me to have the MSS. to use in my own room, which I hope will soon be granted. The Hakes too are very kind, and I can always dine there, Mondays and Thursdays. I have called besides on Bopp; Professor Hofer, who will review my Hitopadesa; Dr. Kuhn, another Sanskritist, to whom Brockhaus recommended me; Professor Petermann, whose lectures on the history of Oriental Literature I attend; Professor Schott, with whom I learn Persian; and I think everything will go well. I am also going to Schelling, from which my purse suffers. I have not had time to call again on " Bettina." As friends I have Vogel and Fontane, whom I seldom see except at dinner. At home I only have bread and butter. I drink coffee without milk or sugar. I have just received ten copies of the Griechenlieder; they are very well printed. So you see I do very well here, and nothing is wanting but my dear little mother. Now write soon, but don't say again you do not like Chemnitz; a contented spirit is happy any- where. In the Hitopadesa it says, "To the man who has leather shoes on, the whole world is covered with leather."'

Translation. May 22.

'Four days in the week I have lectures at eight; the woman cleans my room, then I stay at home till 1.30, and then dine close here. Then some days I have a lecture at four o'clock, and I am very glad to be living so close to the University, and shall be more so when the real Berlin heat begins.'

Translation. May 28.

'I have just come from Hensel's. As you see, I am a pretty constant guest. They are really so good to me, and it is the only house where I feel "you would like to go there "; generally one feels "you must go there." You say, you are glad that I don't work so hard; I can't quite understand that, for I often don't know what I should begin first, when I think of the future and on so much which I still have to do before I can take any rest. ... I do not often see any papers, as the public reading-rooms are so dear; in this respect you are better off in Chemnitz.'

Max Muller seems soon to have found out the expense of the life at Berlin, and the old doubts whether he could afford the life of a scholar revived. On June 26 he writes to his mother: —


'I must make the most of my time in Berlin, as I cannot stay here more than a year, unless I can find some chance of lessening my expenses. Where I am to go next Easter is not at all certain. I hesitate between Paris, Vienna, and Bonn. I am attracted to Vienna by the thought of studying Persian and Turkish, for which there are better means than in Paris, and they are certainly necessary should I ever have the chance of employment in the East. You can fancy that these plans often disturb me, as for the nearest future I have no certain prospect; and the University course is so expensive and wearisome, that I cannot reckon on it, as generally for the first three years, that is six years after leaving school, one is not admitted to anything. Well, one must console oneself with the lilies of the field!'

Two days later he writes in his Diary: 'I cannot give up Sanskrit, though it holds out no prospect for me.' Over and over again come the entries in his Diary: 'All day at home'— 'no dinner'' — 'dinner of stirred eggs' (which he pre- pared himself) — 'work till 3 a.m.'

At this time he began Bengali, 'which may perhaps be useful to me later, and is now for comparison with the low Indian dialects. I attend Schelling's course more diligently and with great interest; his philosophy has something Oriental about it. I am translating the Kathaka Upanishad for him with great diligence.'

The term at Berlin which had begun so cheerily was now drawing to an end. Max Muller had not found pupils or sufficient employment in copying Sanskrit MSS. to eke out his small stipend, and just before returning to Chemnitz he wrote almost despairingly to his mother: —

Translation. Aug. 19.

'I am longing to be away from Berlin, to get a thorough change of thought, as I really think I had every chance here of becoming a confirmed hypochondriac. This is no mere transitory feeling, but it is founded on my circumstances, which have cost me many sad thoughts latterly, I acknowledge that the plan of life I had formed is not to be realized; that it is difficult for me to part with all these favourite ideas you can well imagine. And yet I see that it would be folly in my circumstances to attempt a University career. You tell me that I still have 800 thalers1 [Some money left by W. Muller, and religiously guarded by his mother to start him in life.] (£120), but this would only just last till I had settled where to live, and that I should then have the prospect of living for five years as a tutor (Privatdocent) without any stipend from Government. I should therefore in this way study on to starve, just in order not to give up an idea which I had taken up for my own pleasure, and to which I had sacrificed much money and time. Had I more courage or only anywhere a firm point to cling to, I could perhaps still try my chance, but as it is, nothing remains for me but to become a sensible schoolmaster, which at all events gives one bread and butter. You will feel that a certain amount of resignation is needed for such a decision, and therefore I rejoice all the more at the thought of the next few weeks, which will repay me for many sad hours.'

He spent the vacation at Chemnitz, where the society of his mother and sister cheered and encouraged him. It is not clear how he found funds to finish his course at Berlin, but he probably used part of the small patrimony already alluded to.

He returned to Berlin early in October, and soon after his return received the pleasant news that, in answer to an appeal from his mother for a prolongation of the full pension for a time, the Duke had granted it for another five years. The Duke's letter was an encouragement to the young scholar to persevere in his chosen path: —


'According to your petition of the twenty-eighth of last month I have ordered that the pension granted you of a hundred thalers shall be continued in full for the next five years, till 1849 inclusive. I hope that your promising son may continue to give you as much cause for joy as hitherto, and I gladly take this opportunity to assure you of my special good wishes.' Leopold. 'Dessau, Oct. 10, 1844.'

He writes to his mother again on October 24: —

Translation. Berlin.

'I hope you make yourself as happy in the backstream of life as I do. As I sit here in my garret and for days together see no one I know, I fancy myself as a bird alone in its nest on a tall tree, and Leipzig, Chemnitz, and Dessau appear perfect Eldorados. But I am quite happy and amuse myself, by myself, as far as possible. But I must tell you how I kept your birthday. I thought the Hakes would have invited me that we might drink your health together; but as they did not, I invited Fontane for the evening, who brought a friend, and we brewed punch, set your picture on the table, and drank your health right joyously. I have heard from Dessau that I cannot have the scholarship for a seventh term. Well, I have enough for the present, and I think of the birds in the sky; they have no fire, yet they don't freeze, but I do freeze.'

This term Max Muller does not seem to have attended many lectures, but worked in his room on Pali and Hindustani and on translations from the Sanskrit. He finished his translation of the Meghaduta, and submitted it both to Ruckert and Brockhaus. His MS., with Ruckert's notes in pencil, still exists; and Brockhaus wrote to him as follows: —


'I have read your translation with the greatest delight. You have conquered a great difficulty, and reproduced this peculiar artificial poetry in intelligible, and at the same time poetic, language. You have wisely omitted many isolated traits in order to preserve the principal picture, and to give the reader not accustomed to such pictures a clear idea of the whole. Your idea appears to me almost everywhere the right one. In a few places, I should take a different view, but you have been able to use explanatory materials with which I am not acquainted, and which, no doubt, justify you in many points.'

Towards the end of November the old family friend, Baron Hagedorn, suddenly appeared in Berlin, and invited Max Muller to stay with him in Paris, to carry on his Sanskrit work. Baron Hagedorn was born near Dessau in the house of a forester, where his mother left him and never returned. It was evident that his parents were wealthy, as a large sum was yearly paid by a banker in Frankfort for his maintenance. As a schoolboy he had been boarded with Frau Klausnitzer, the mother of the Cousin Emilie so often mentioned in Max Muller's letters, and thus became the intimate friend of the family.

Max writes on his twenty-first birthday to tell his mother of his unexpected happiness: —

Translation, Dec. 6.

'My dearly loved Mother, — As I am sitting here quite alone on my birthday (the twenty-first) I must give myself at least the delight of writing to those who love me so, and whom I dearly love. And first of all comes my darling little mother. My best thanks for your love and goodness, which in many things are far too great. I wrote to Frau Rath to ask for a letter of introduction from the Duchess to Alexander von Humboldt. Very soon after, Frau Rath wrote in the most friendly way, sending me the Duchess's letter. I left this with my card for Humboldt. The other day I passed half an hour with him, and a few days later came a letter from him saying I should have the Sanskrit MSS. at home, which ever since Easter I had begged for in vain from the Minister. As to my Meghaduta, it has been a long time with Professor Brockhaus in Leipzig, who at last returned it. I then gave it to Ruckert, with whom I am learning Persian, and who remembers my father with great affection. He has given me many valuable hints with regard to versification, and even improved several of the verses himself. I shall send it in a few days to Mayer Wigand, as I should like to see it printed before I leave for Paris. I wish I could see you, darling mother, and talk over all the unexpected and undeserved kindness that has been shown me. I went Thursday early to Hagedorn, and we talked over everything; and the result is he has asked me to go to Paris with him, to live with him there and work. So in about four weeks from to-day I shall be in Paris. Hagedorn will tell you all this himself more fully. The only thing to settle is, shall I come for a few days to Chemnitz before I start? As you can fancy, I should like to do so very much, only I am afraid it would give us more pain than pleasure.'

During the short time Max Muller still passed in Berlin after receiving the letter of introduction from the Duchess of Dessau, he must have seen Humboldt often enough to impress the great man most favourably; for on November 27, 1844, Chevalier Bunsen, then Prussian Minister in London, wrote to his friend Archdeacon Hare: —

'I have received from a highly respected quarter1 [i.e. Humboldt, and also Baroness Stolzenberg, who herself wrote to Bunsen about her young cousin.] a very strong recommendation of a young man of twenty-two {sic) years of age, much thought of by Schelling. He has made himself known by a new edition of the Hitopadesa from the Sanskrit, and is a general scholar altogether distinguished. He desires to live some years in England. He is the son of the celebrated poet and philologer Wilhelm Muller (author of the Griechenlieder and Romische Ritornellen), of high moral character, and as far as I know of serious convictions.'

In quoting this letter in the Life of her distinguished husband, Baroness Bunsen adds: —

'This is the first indication of an important event in the life of Bunsen, the acquaintance which at once became warm friendship with Dr. Max Muller, now Professor at Oxford; and his approach is hailed as the rising of a beneficent luminary on the horizon. The kindred mind, their sympathy of heart, the unity in highest aspirations, a congeniality in principle, a fellowship in the pursuit of favourite objects which attracted and bound Bunsen to his young friend, rendered this connexion one of the happiest of his life.'

But nearly two years were to pass before Max Muller met this friend, patron, and benefactor; whose kindly influence was to alter the course of his whole life.
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Re: The Life and Letters of The Right Hon. Friedrich Max Mul

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Paris. Lonely, struggling life. Gathy, Burnouf. Rig-veda. Rachel. Dvarkanath Tagore. Boehtlingk.

Archdeacon Hare lost no time in responding to the letter of November 27 from Chevalier Bunsen, for we find a note from Max Muller to the Chevalier dated 'Chemnitz, January 1, 1845,' which implies that one, if not more letters had already passed between them as to a tutorship in an English family, suggested by the Archdeacon. But we will leave Max to tell his own further story in his Diary.

Translation. Bonn, March 6, 1845.

'Once more a new change in my life, and once more an attempt at something definite. My stay in Berlin is over; I have made many and influential friends there — Schelling, Ruckert, Humboldt, Bopp, Jacobi, Mendelssohn. My views of life become clearer and more sensible, my inner life more active and more independent of outward circumstances. There was not much to be gained in knowledge in Berlin; the learned men are too learned, too reserved, and do not attempt to gain any influence; and even the treasures of the Library were long closed to me, till a word from Humboldt put an end to the constant refusals of the librarian Pertz and the Minister. In December Hagedorn came to Berlin and asked me to stay with him in Paris, and just then I received an offer to go as a tutor to London. Great indecision. At length decided on Paris and its pleasant independence, though at the same time I did not refuse all other possible offers. I had a longing for Paris, and I soon went to Chemnitz, saw Hagedorn in Dessau, where he was dawdling. I was some time in Chemnitz and had a good deal of society, balls, sledge-parties, &c., but not a word from Hagedorn. So I started at last for Dessau, not feeling much confidence in Hagedorn. When we met we got on very well and settled everything. On February 26 I started for Paris. In Cothen the train was stopped by the snow, and we returned by extra post to Dessau. Here Hagedorn found business letters which kept him. At last, March 3, I started alone for Hanover. The 4th to Elberfeld; at night by post to Deutz, arriving early in Cologne; railway to Bonn. Table d'hote in Hotel de Treves; two English families, whom I could not understand; very cross. Afternoon to Lassen, not very interesting talk; five o'clock, lecture by Dahlmann on Publicity, Coming of Age, Jury, &c.; very remarkable, quiet, no gesticulations, irrefutable, convincing, a skilful man. In Bonn the old topics still going on — Catholicism, the Holy Coat, and Protestantism.

Paris, March 15.

'My journey is happily over. I left Bonn on the 6th for Cologne, and started on the 8th for Brussels; here I found myself already in the midst of French, which I found very troublesome. I stayed the night. On the 9th I started at three o'clock by train. On the way difficulties with the douane and my passport; the 10th at three o'clock I arrived in Paris.'

Max Muller has himself given us an amusing account of his difficulties on his arrival in Paris, owning to Hagedorn having failed either to write or appear; and though he stayed in Paris till June, 1846, as Hagedorn never came he lived at his own expense in Hagedorn's rooms, instead of being his friend's guest as was at first arranged. If he found economy- necessary in Berlin, it was far more so in Paris, where soon after his arrival he says, 'I am spending a lot of money '; though in his carefully kept accounts there are very few entries but for dinner — for which, unless he went 'hors la barriere,' he had to pay two francs — and copying paper, the amount of which shows how hard he was working. His life was very lonely; he at first knew hardly any one but some of the employes at the Library, and he says, March 17, 'I feel very lonely and forsaken, and of Paris I see nothing '; and again, 'Great inertia and fatigue, and out of spirits, no inclination for work '; and yet he writes cheerily to his mother not to distress her: —

Translation. Paris, April 10, 1845.

'Of course I have heard nothing from Hagedorn, and therefore do not expect to see him very soon. But it is well I did not further postpone my journey, for Humboldt being here has been of the greatest use to me, and he goes away now very soon. He is kindness itself, and is even thought more of in Paris than in Berlin. It is very difficult to get leave here to take out MSS. to work at at home, and the Prussian Minister, under whose protection I am here — for in Paris no one has heard of such a land as Anhalt Dessau — is so stupid that he has never given his guarantee for such a purpose, whilst all other Ambassadors, even the Turkish, are constantly doing so. Humboldt knew this, but told me he thought I should find his own guarantee considered quite satisfactory; and it is quite true. I soon had the MSS. in my hands, and was treated in so friendly a way by all the employes, that I was quite astonished, till at last I was told, "Vous etes si vivement recommande par M. Humboldt, il n'y a pas une meilleure recommandation." [Google translate: "You are so highly recommended by Mr. Humboldt, there is no a better recommendation."] As to the printed books, I have not yet got the permit, but hope soon to do so, though this is more difficult; leave is seldom given, and all Paris, learned and unlearned, sit in the reading-room, packed like herrings, and read there. I have been now for some time in full swing of work, and only wish there were more strength in the machine, for there is endless work to be done here. You will wish for a description of my life; that is soon given. I get up early, have breakfast, i.e. bread and butter, no coffee. I stay at home and work till seven, go out and have dinner, come back in an hour, and stay at home and work till I go to bed. So you see I know nothing of Paris but from my appetite, which has got over its first astonishment at the excellence of everything, and now rather wonders that the Paris restaurants are so renowned. But one thing I have seen, that is, that everything in Paris is terribly expensive. With 12,000 francs a year one could live here nicely; I am afraid I shall hardly work my income up to that. I am on the whole well, though I must live most economically and avoid every expense not actually necessary. The free lodging is an immense help, for unless one lives in a perfect hole, one must pay 50 or 60 francs a month and 10 francs for service, 60 francs dinner, 30 francs breakfast; this makes 160 francs a month without light and fire, or washing and clothes, nearly 2,000 francs a year. Theatres, cafes, &c., are very dear, particularly for foreigners, who don't know how to manage; so I have not been to any theatre, except one evening, when I had to pay 2 francs for a cup of chocolate. I thought, "Never again." But don't think I have nothing to amuse me. I can only say, one walk on the Boulevards is far better than two evenings at the Chemnitz theatre. It is a strange feeling to be so entirely strange among the thousands of faces that pass by one, and for interesting observation there is no place like this. How often I say to myself, "Oh, if mother were only here." Yesterday and to-day are called in the serious world Holy Thursday and Good Friday; here they are called Longchamps, and all Paris is driving out through the Champs Elysees in their finest clothes, but looking miserable in this cold. The hero of the day is General Tom Thumb; the Rue Richelieu is blocked the days he receives; the aristocracy vie with each other in running after him, and of course Louis Philippe at their head. I have seen both heroes without paying — Tom Thumb in his carriage, which is about as big as a child's go-cart, and the King to-day for the first time when I crossed the Place du Carrousel just as they were on parade, and the old King was riding round bare-headed with all his suite. I was only twenty paces from him; he has a very characteristic face, full, with thick grey curly hair, but in spite of his dignity some- thing cunning and crafty in his eyes. I see his likeness but too often, that is whenever I have to pay away a five-franc piece, which, alas! happens frequently. By-the-by I have just paid 50 francs for books; what do you say to that? Gathy1 [His childhood's friend. See p. 5.] sent me one day a ticket for a concert, where I saw the beau monde of Paris; he is most friendly to me. Twice a week I go to lectures at the College de France. It is some way off; but they are very good, and I pay nothing and I hear French spoken, for which otherwise I have hardly any opportunity. But enough of my fife here, which, if on the whole very simple, keeps me in good spirits as you see, and at all events does not as yet interfere with my work. But you can fancy that in this utterly strange land I sometimes feel lonely and forsaken, and would gladly find myself for a few hours in Chemnitz with you all. But the best cure for such thoughts is continuous work, and that I have. And then when I think of you all I feel I am not so far from you; I know all you would say to me if I were sitting with you, and all that you are often in your thoughts saying to me. Separation loses its bitterness when we have faith in each other and in Gods. Faith in each other keeps us close together in life, and faith in God keeps us together in eternity. But I see I am talking Sanskrit philosophy instead of simply telling you not to be unhappy, not to make yourself and others uneasy, but try to enjoy life in this lovely spring weather, whether in Chemnitz or Dresden. How gladly I would have put something in the letter for Auguste's birthday from the Paris shops, for the sight of the splendid and tastefully arranged windows is most tempting. But, alas! my purse suffers from chronic consumption; you know this family complaint, which has followed me to Paris.'

Max Muller's first visit to Burnouf was paid on March 20, and was the beginning of a friendship to which he looked back with affectionate gratitude to the last year of his life.



'Went to Burnouf. Spiritual, amiable, thoroughly French. He received me in the most friendly way, talked a great deal, and all he said valuable, not on ordinary topics but on special. I managed better in French than I expected. "I am a Brahman, a Buddhist, a Zoroastrian; I hate the Jesuits " — that is the sort of man. I am looking forward to his lectures.'

Max Muller describes his teacher as

'Small, his face decidedly German, only lighted up with a constant sparkle which is distinctively French. I must have seemed very stupid to him when I tried to explain what I really wanted to do in Paris. He told me afterwards that he could not make me out at first. His lectures were on the Rig-veda, and opened a new world to me. He explained to us his own researches, he showed us new MSS. which he had received from India, in fact he did all he could to make us fellow workers.'

In Burnouf's select class Max Muller met men who, many of them, remained his firm friends through life, as Barthelemy-St.-Hilaire, the Abbe Bardelli, Thomas Goldstucker, and a few others. Max Muller survived them all. When he was in Paris for the Centenary of the Institute in 1895 he paid a long visit to Barthelemy-St.-Hilaire, finding him, as had been his custom for years, sitting by lamplight with the daylight carefully excluded. The old man, then ninety years of age, died soon after, and his friend wrote an eloquent and appreciative account of his life and work in the Times of November 29, 1895.

Max Muller recalls also a visit to Humboldt, whom he found at the College de France: 'His friendliness and true kindness make me feel quite shy; I hardly know what to say. "If you were only a little more practical in your views," he said, which startled me. He then wrote a long letter to Reinaud and gave me his Cosmos to read, and left me with reiterated assurances of his wish to help me.'

Max seems to have gone through a good deal of drudgery in mastering French, and often took refuge with Gathy, 'to make up by talking German the tortures I suffer in talking French.' Another day he says, 'I did hardly anything but study this abominable language; how much time I have wasted on it! yet it is necessary that I should get some fluency in expressing myself.' Gathy occasionally gave him a concert ticket, and he speaks of amusing himself by making walks of discovery about Paris: 'and people look at me, and I know no one; it seems as if I hardly belong to the genus of animaux sociables' [Google translate: sociable animals].

He appears to have found it difficult at first to decide on the distinctive work he should take up; ' the same life, which has almost become unbearable; I long for work to occupy my mind.' He read a good deal of French. Balzac: 'all his works that I know treat of the analysis, the anatomy of love, before and after marriage; he knows married life and dissects it with artistic skill.' Paul de Kock: 'colourless babyish reading, often droll, some characters well conceived.' It was the influence of Burnouf that decided him to take up the Hymns of the Rig-veda, with the great native commentary of Sayana, as his distinctive work. 'Either study Indian philosophy or study Indian religion and copy the Hymns and Sayana,' said Burnouf. To the youth of only twenty-one, knowing hardly half a dozen people, living alone up five flights of stairs, often not speaking to a soul for twenty-four hours round, life may well have seemed dreary; and yet he never for one moment really regretted the choice he had made, and his old master. Professor Brockhaus, gave him constant encouragement. Brockhaus writes from Leipzig: —

Translation. June 4, 1845.

'You have delighted me very much by the few lines you have sent me from Paris, from which I see with what active interest you pursue your study of Sanskrit. It is very natural that you should turn to the Vedas with decided preference; one becomes more and more attached to these old monuments the more one studies them, and when once one can survey them as a whole, they make a much more powerful impression than one would expect from isolated fragments.'

He never allowed his letters to his mother to show the fierce struggle it was to live.

To His Mother.

Translation. Paris, May 5.

'One's money runs away here, one does not know how, and though of course it costs one more in the beginning, the daily wants do not lessen. That I am as saving as possible you may be sure, for it is my greatest wish to stay here as long as possible, where I have found so much necessary to my studies. On amusements I have really spent nothing, and have not yet been to Versailles, or other places round, though I am often tempted when I see the great placards on the walls; but that is easily set aside if I can attain my other object. I shall not order any summer things, for I need not make myself smart, that is one advantage of being unknown.'

To The Same.

Translation. Paris, June 11, 1845.

'Have I already told you that I am collecting here the materials for an edition of the oldest Veda, and gather together everything I can find? This is the oldest and most important book in India, perhaps the oldest book that exists. The Commentary written in Sanskrit fills four folios, each of a thousand pages, which must all be copied out and compared with other MSS., and this is the most important and necessary work. Now I must see what I can do — only health and money, that is the question. I have lately met a Sanskrit scholar here who has been three years in Paris, and has just come back from London. We have worked a great deal together, and I have for some weeks been with him day and night, which my portier takes very ill, and I certainly could not make him understand that I had been doing nothing but work; altogether there are odd rumours about Monsieur Max, as I am called, who drinks no coffee early, eats till evening only two dry rolls (the butter is knocked off), and writes Hebrew the whole day.'

When copying MSS. for others his plan was to work the whole night through, and the second night only sleep two hours on his bed without undressing, the third night to go to bed and then begin again. He had told his mother nothing of what he calls in his Diary an abominable time from April 26 to May 4, when he suffered frightfully and without inter- mission from toothache. 'I could do nothing, neither write, nor eat, nor go out. I felt abandoned by every one, no one to pity me or take care of me.' At length he crawled to Gathy, who sent him to a dentist. 'I went home quite exhausted; the portier and his daughter took endless care of me when they saw how weak and suffering I was, and brought me broth and chocolate. It was a black week.'

All this time no news came from his uncertain friend Hagedorn, and his want of money soon began to cause him great anxiety. 'It was indeed a hard struggle, far harder than those who have known me in later life would believe. It was a hard fight, and cannot have been very good for me physically, but I do not regret it now; often did I go without my dinner, being quite satisfied with boiled eggs and bread and butter.' He had chosen his own line, and instead of settling down in Germany as a teacher in some school with a fixed salary, as most of his friends wished, or going as tutor to England, he had taken the tiny patrimony still left him after the expenses of the University, and had determined to carry on his beloved Sanskrit studies. 'It was in my own hands whether I should sink or swim.' There is a passage in an American novel, The Increasing Purpose, by J. A. Allen, which exactly applies to Max Muller's struggles in Paris and London, and the effect on his whole character for life. One could almost fancy Mr. Allen had known him. Speaking of a man choosing his work in life, Allen says:—

'Yet happy ye, whether the waiting be for short time or long time, if only it bring on meanwhile the struggle. One sure reward you have then, though there may be none other, just the struggle, and the marshalling to the front of rightful forces, with effort, endurance, devotion, the putting resolutely back of forces wrongful, the hardening of all that is soft within, the softening of all that is hard; until out of the hardening and the softening result the better tempering of the soul's metal, and higher development of those two qualities which are best in man, and best in his ideal of his Maker, strength and kindness, power and mercy. Real struggling is itself real living, and no ennobling thing of this earth is ever to be had by man on any other terms; . . . a divine end is to be reached, through divine means, a great work requires a great preparation.'

The four years Max Muller spent after leaving his mother at Leipzig were this time of preparation, by means of a great struggle, for the brilliant success of his after-life.

It is pleasant to read of a little variety in a life of such incessant work, when in October, 1845, a friend took him one night to the Theatre Fran9ais, where he saw Rachel in Phedre.

To His Mother.


'She is a wonderful actress in her own style, but the part of Phedre is so horrible, that though one must admire the perfection of representation, one has no real enjoyment from it. Then from the beginning to the end Rachel was nothing but a pale shadow whose only life is passion and despair, but passion which fails in all tragic effect because it has no influence on one's own feelings. It is a crude and painful passion with which she is possessed, and in which there is nothing to awake our sympathy. It is a tragedy which, on the Greek stage only, could represent men in their struggle with fate, with blind unalterable fate, which avenges the sin of the father in the sex of Phedre; if this one moral motive is wanting, as on the French stage, the whole loses its deep meaning, and nothing remains but the sensual longing, which is neither great nor elevating. Then Rachel stood alone; the other actors were but foils to her. After that — so characteristic of the French, who like to see everything without feeling anything — came a comedy of Moliere, Le Medecin malgre lui, which was very well played.'

One most interesting acquaintance Max Muller made in Paris, Dvarkanath Tagore, a rich Hindoo, who, though no student of ancient Sanskrit himself, took a lively interest in the young scholar presented to him by Burnouf at the Institut de France. He invited Max Muller to his house, and they spent many an hour together talking or enjoying music, for the Hindoo was a good musician, had a fine voice, and had been fairly well taught. He liked Max Muller to accompany him when singing either Italian or French music. After a time he was persuaded to sing Persian and real Indian music, and when his hearer confessed that he saw no beauty in it, neither melody, rhythm, nor harmony, his Indian friend lectured him on the prejudices of Western nations, who turn away from all that is strange and unpleasing to them. Max pacified him by assuring him that he knew that India possessed a remarkable science of music founded on mathematics. He was present at the great party given by Dvarkanath Tagore to Louis Philippe, when the room was hung with Indian shawls, afterwards distributed among the most distinguished guests. It was at this time also that Max Muller saw a good deal of Baron d'Eckstein, who employed him frequently in copying MSS. for him.

All this while Max Muller was working hard in preparing a correct text of the Hymns of the Rig-veda, together with a perfect text of Sayana's Commentary, and the work was so far advanced that the question of a publisher had to be considered. It required a large capital to print and publish a work of six thousand pages quarto, and at the same time pay the editor enough to live on. The idea of publication by a publisher at Konigsberg, with the help of subscriptions, which is mentioned in the letters to his mother, and for which a prospectus was actually printed and circulated from London, was abandoned, when in the spring of 1847 the East India Company undertook the task. The following letter to his mother gives an account of his plans and prospects to the close of 1845: —

To His Mother.

Translation. Paris, Dec. 23, 1845.

'You know on the whole a great deal about my work, but less on the plans that depend on it. As the printing of the Veda could not be undertaken by any publisher on account of the cost and length of the work, I was obliged, though there is no chance of printing for the next two or three years, to apply to several Governments and Academies, to find out how such a work could best be carried out. I therefore made inquiries through friends in London and St. Petersburg, and received tolerably reassuring answers from both places. In London, Wilson, the father of Sanskrit literature, declared himself ready to get the work undertaken by the University of Oxford; but only on condition that he should publish the text of the Rig-veda, and I, in conjunction with other young Sanskrit students, the text of the Commentary, which is really the most important work, and fills about eight thousand pages. This, as far as it went, was very well and a great honour; but as the two other students were leaving London, one for Petersburg, the other for Tubingen, it was necessary I should settle in London, and for that I have no money. At the same time Herr Boehtlingk wrote from Petersburg that he could persuade the Academy to print the work, but with a condition that I worked with him, and gave up the publication of the text to him. As the publication of the text is, as I said, of little scientific importance, only for the credit of being the first to publish the full text of the Veda, I wrote that I was ready to accept the offer if a sum of money were promised me, to recoup me for the expense of copying this enormous Commentary, and other books necessary for reference, or that a place should be found for me in Petersburg, where I should have to live, which would enable me in a few years to put by enough to repay myself. To this I have had no answer. At the same time I thought of Berlin, and wrote to Humboldt and Bopp, and sent them a detailed prospectus of my work, and asked if any of the rich funds there could be applied to printing the Commentary. Humboldt soon sent me a very kind letter, in which indeed he gave no definite results, but said he thought it was impossible in Prussia, and urged me emphatically to accept the invitation from London or from Petersburg. This was the state of things, when within the last few days I received from Hase, one of the sub-librarians of the Bibliothbque Royale, a suggestion to go as tutor with the Bavarian Minister, Baron von Cetto, to London. Unexpected as the idea was, I at once resolved to do everything I could to obtain the post, and for the last few days have been in communication with the Baron, who is in Paris. Everything seemed arranged, when this morning, at the last visit, I discovered that the post was impossible for me, as he required me to promise, in writing, that I would never be away from the children for an hour, never go anywhere without them; in fact I should have led a monastic life. Strongly as I felt it was my duty to do all that was in my power to secure a post in which I could gain my own living, and deeply as the feeling has weighed on me, more especially of late, of being a burden to others, and well as I knew that to many of my relations such a post would appear most advantageous, such regulations seemed to me so degrading and foolish that I told his Excellency so, and took my leave. I was quite ready, though I dislike teaching, to take the post. It was a good one, all expenses paid and 3,000 francs; and then I should be in London, which however necessary for my work seemed unattainable in any other way, and before everything else it was a certain substantial position, which would free me from many disagreeables, and in which, instead of taking money from you, my dearest mother, I could have given you some little pleasure. But it was impossible, unless I sacrificed my whole future, and wasted the little I have already done; and I hope that as I feel I have little to reproach myself with, I shall not be blamed by others. I shall work on till I hear something definite from London or Petersburg; if neither negotiation leads to definite results, I must return next spring to Germany, and settle down in Berlin, or more probably in Konigsberg. That I have not thought much of myself in all this you will see, as I was ready to go into exile for four or five years, without any chance of seeing you, my dearest mother, or seeing or speaking to any creature belonging to me. They have been trying days through which I have lately lived, and trying nights too, in which I struggled to subdue my heart and intellect, with all my inclinations and ambitions, that I might do what really seemed my duty; and even now, when I can breathe freely, I feel the pressure, for I have learnt that life is difficult, and why? because of that cursed money, which so many throw away, which makes thousands miserable, and very few happy; yes, there must be a curse on money that is not won by honest toil. But enough of these lamentations, which are of no use, least of all in Paris. Melancholy and frivolity are the two scales in which men here go up and down; happy he who sits in the middle quiet and observant as an Indian Muni. Now for Paris. In the first place, I have moved now and lost my beautiful view and look into the court. The rooms are good, fifth floor; changing was very tiresome and very dear, and I have had many difficulties, caused by Hagedorn's silence, and had to arrange about his furniture and everything. As he never writes, I have again had to get 200 francs from Lederhose, and with the money you have just sent shall manage till January or February. I have sent away my piano, for it cost too much. I can well fancy that you think life here very expensive. I have been told it is dearer in Berlin, but in Berlin one can manage economies better than here; it is the actual necessaries of life that cost so much in Paris. My birthday went by very quietly. Gathy came early to see me, and I fetched some cakes and a bottle of wine which was in Hagedorn's cellar, which, bon gre, mal gre, [Google translate: willingly, unwillingly] he had to contribute as a birthday present, and we drank my health. My Christmas will be very quiet and lonely, for it is not o. festa here. I think I shall go to bed at six o'clock and dream. This old year has gone faster than any before, and I was really amazed when I said to myself, I am twenty-two years old. My wish for the New Year is a speedy joyful meeting.'

The letter from Humboldt mentioned above runs thus: —

Translation. Berlin, December 8, 1845.

I hasten — though only in a few lines, for I am harassed by many duties — to thank you, dear doctor, for your kind keepsake1 [M. M.'s translation of the Hitopadesa.] I seriously advise you to accept the offer made to you from England or Russia. After all my inquiries, and knowing what I do about the amount of contribution which may be expected from the Government here, it does not seem to me in the least likely that even Bopp and Lassen, Professors of different Universities and personally devoted to this special work, could send you means to print a thousand pages of the Veda. Life here is so much more prosaic, and it is inadvisable to raise misgivings or qualms . . . and your well-considered and well-written prospectus contains hints of spoliation. Here one is so cosmopolitan that one does not care where the Veda may appear, whether in Germany, Oxford, Paris, or St. Petersburg, I know many of your promising writings, and as I am proud of possessing warm German national feelings, I am sorry that I cannot send you a more satisfactory answer to your request. With kind regards, yours A. v. Humboldt.

spoliation: (1) the action of ruining or destroying something; (2) the action of taking goods or property from somewhere by illegal or unethical means.

-- "spoliation, by Oxford Languages

Just after the last letter to his mother, Max Muller was taken ill with influenza and rheumatism, and for a whole month was unable to work or do anything. He explains his further plans to his mother in the following letter: —

To His Mother.

Translation. February 17, 1846.

'I have been quite ill. I got a bad chill early in January (chiefly by being up in the cold nights hunting fleas), and the whole month had so much rheumatism in my head and back that I had at last to go to bed, and there for several days I was very feverish. The worst is that I have lost a whole month's work, for I got so weak I could not hold a pen. And imagine all that time, the swarms of fleas which would have driven a strong man almost mad. As soon as I was a little better, I sent for the landlord, and told him I would give up the rooms at once, if the whole were not properly cleaned out. This has been done, the wooden panels taken down and the walls behind washed with aqua fortis, [Google translate: strong water] every room fresh papered and varnished; the worst was I had to go to an hotel, for the smell was so strong. It is still like autumn here, no snow, no frost, but sitting still at work I use a good deal of wood. I have put up a stove, for the open fire is only for ornament. The season is nearly at an end, I have been out a good deal, as I have made many acquaintances; one goes at nine and is home by eleven, unless there is dancing, when one is home at one o'clock. It is not very amusing, and there is nothing to eat, only tea and cake and a little coloured water, and it does not pay for one's gloves. I did not have a doctor when I was ill, or any servant, though many days I was almost starved, for if I wanted anything I had to go out and fetch it myself. I have lately made friends with an Indian here, with whom I practise talking English and Bengali. I had already studied the latter, and have prepared a Bengali Grammar in French, but as yet I have not found a publisher. As to my plans, they are pretty nearly settled. For London and Berlin I have not money enough, and I had a most friendly letter from Bopp, in which he openly said that all he might be able to do for me in Berlin was to find money enough to publish extracts from the great Commentary. Then came a letter from Boehtlingk from Petersburg, requiring a definite answer to lay before the Academy. I should find there the means to print with Boehtlingk the text and Commentary, He writes that if I first took a post as private tutor, which he had found a good plan, some place under Government might be found for me. The Academy had sent for MSS. from India for the work; in fact everything, with one or two exceptions, seems so promising that I have decided to go there. I shall find six Sanskritists in Petersburg, of whom I know two, who write to me that they lead a very pleasant and busy life there. I have asked (for Russians are not to be trusted) for a written transcript of the decree of the Academy, and shall not start until I have received it. I don't know how much longer I shall be in Paris. But I must know how my money matters stand; I don't know how much money I have left. If the Petersburg plan succeeds I need trouble no one, but if I return to Berlin, which Bopp advised, I must borrow some money and start as a tutor (Privatdocent). I cannot say how I long to go to London, but I cannot manage it. When the Petersburg plan is settled I will write to the Duchess1 [Of Anhalt Dessau.] for introductions, for they are of great use in Russia. I went to the Theatre the other night and saw an operetta, the Domino Noir; then, on Emilie's recommendation, I went to the Masked Ball at the Opera House; it was odious, vulgar people, wretched dresses, noise, tumult, and horrible atmosphere, and at the end every one was drunk. I shall never go again. The music was excellent. I am busy learning Italian with my Italian Sanskritist, an Abbe, who is longing to convert me. Burnouf I see often, and he is very good to me. I wonder where I shall pitch my tent.'

To The Same.

Translation. Paris, Easter, 1846.

'Now I must tell you about Petersburg. I received another letter (they each cost five francs), to say that the cost of printing was provided for, and enclosing a copy of the proces-verbal of the Meeting of the Academy. It ran thus: "Monsieur Boehtlingk, Member of the Academy, will publish conjointly with Monsieur Muller of Paris the Veda,'' &c. At the same time I was asked if I would take a place in the Museum of the Academy, rooms and firing, and 1,200 francs a year pay; of course I had to decide at once, and had many points to consider. First, I did not approve of conjointly, and I was afraid from what I was told of St. Petersburg, that if I was once there conjointly would turn out to be something very different. Boehtlingk has again quarrelled with Bopp, and does not seem dependable, so that Burnouf and all other Sanskritists advised me to give it up. As to the place at the Museum, Boehtlingk had already written to me that I could not live on the pay, and must give private lessons, so that a great deal of time must be sacrificed to earning my bread. And after all one goes to Russia if one must, but then one must sell oneself as dear as possible, and I could see that a long stay there would in itself cut me off from a return to Germany, If one has the good luck to be born in Germany, or any other civilized country, one ought not lightly to throw away this blessing, and the satisfying quiet life of a German Professor outweighs with me a Russian Privy Councillorship, with all its orders and titles. So I wrote I could not take such a post, and that as far as printing the Veda was concerned, I kept to my earlier written conditions, the acceptance of which the Academy must send direct to me in writing, using my own words. I am pretty certain this will not be done, but that is no matter, for I have just had a letter from a bookseller, Samter in Konigsberg, who has set up a Sanskrit printing office, and who will print my whole work, and if possible pay me something for it. This must depend upon subscriptions, which he would open, so that I should gain my point in Germany. And now I will honestly confess I long for quiet and for home; and a life in Russia, so forsaken of God and man, would be a terrible sacrifice on my part, which one must be ready to make for science and personal usefulness, but which one need not exactly seek out.'

It was necessary to give these letters in extenso, as in 1891 Boehtlingk attacked Max Muller and accused him of having behaved at this time discourteously towards (d'avoir brusque [Google translate: to be abrupt]) the Academy of St. Petersburg. From the first, Burnouf and Goldstucker warned Max Muller against accepting any offer from Boehtlingk, but, despairing of other means of getting the Veda printed, he was ready to close with the offer on condition that some provision was secured for him whilst he was working with Boehtlingk, The latter seems to have first proposed to the Academy that they should buy the MSS. and materials which Max Muller had collected for his Vedic work, after they had been sent to St. Petersburg for inspection, and that the post of Assistant Keeper of the St. Petersburg Museum should be given him; but Boehtlingk says his colleagues demurred, and kindly adds the reason, 'because so young and unknown a person could not be safely trusted with the custody of the treasures of the Museum.' One cannot but wonder with what sort of men they had lived! All the correspondence carried on was with Boehtlingk, not with the Academy, which never made Max Muller a definite offer. How then could he have been discourteous to the Academy? The conditions he made were that the Academy should give him in writing an undertaking to complete the work of bringing out the Rig-veda. No doubt this condition was suggested by the distrust which Burnouf and others felt about the whole matter. The Academy would not accept this condition, and there the matter broke off. One fails to see why Boehtlingk was so angry with Max Muller for not telling him he had received an offer from a German bookseller to publish the Rig-veda by subscription, after he had stated to the Academy the conditions on which he could join Boehtlingk, and which the Academy rejected. As in his subsequent attack (Max Muller als Mythen-Dichter), Boehtlingk is most anxious to prove that 'under the Petersburg Academy only the representative of Sanskrit in the Academy could be meant'; one could understand his feeling personally disappointed, but one fails again to see any insult to the Academy in proposing the conditions named above. Is it not rather the other way? The Academy, according to Boehtlingk, refused to place in the Museum a man trusted and admired by Humboldt, Bopp, Brockhaus, and Burnouf. If 'the Academy' meant 'only the representative of Sanskrit in that body,' Max Muller, after this curious refusal, was right to follow the advice of Burnouf and Goldstucker, and have nothing more to do with him. 'Burnouf repeatedly warned me against Boehtlingk, and promised if I would only stay in Paris to give me his support with Guizot,' says the Autobiography. Boehtlingk boasts in his attack on Max Muller that he had prevented his ever being made a Correspondent of the Academy of St. Petersburg, and it has the distinction of being the only Society of real note throughout Europe where his name does not appear. When Boehtlingk's attack came out in 1891 Max Muller wrote to the Secretary of the Academy giving an explanation. The Secretary wrote the following answer: —

'N'ayant pu porter a la connaissance de la Conference de l'Academie que lors de la recouverture de ses stances votre honoree lettre et votre memorandum, qui me sont parvenus en ete, je suis charge par la Conference de vous informer, Monsieur, que la brochure de Mr. Bohtlingk a ete publiee personnellement par lui sans le concours de l'Academie en quoi que cela soit, et l'auteur n'a meme fait aucune communication a l'Academie par rapport a cette publication, ni avant, ni aprbs son impression, de sorte que l'Academie ne se trouve en rien solidaire avec les opinions emises par Mr. Bohtlingk. D'autre part, l'Acaddmie, n'ayant a son grand regret jamais eu l'occasion d'entrer en relations directes avec vous, honore Monsieur, il ne peut meme pas etre question de mesentendu entre la Conference de l'Academie et l'illustre sanscritologue, que notre Academie apprecie a sa juste valeur.

'Veuillez agreer, honore Monsieur, l'assurance de mes sentiments les plus distingues. Le Secretaire perpetuel.'

[Google Translate: 'Having only been able to bring to the attention of the Conference of the Academy during the covering of its stanzas your honored letter and your memorandum, which reached me in the summer, I am charged by the Conference to inform you, Sir, that Mr. Bohtlingk's brochure was published personally by him without the assistance of the Academy in any way, and the author did not even make any communication to the Academy in relation to this publication, nor before, nor after its printing, so that the Academy is in no way in solidarity with the opinions expressed by Mr. Bohtlingk. On the other hand, the Academy, having to its great regret never had the opportunity to enter into direct relations with you, honors Sir, there cannot even be a question of misunderstanding between the Conference of the Academy and the illustrious Sanscritologist, whom our Academy appreciates at its fair value.

'Please accept, honor Sir, the assurance of my most distinguished feelings. The Permanent Secretary.'

The whole of this affair is well summed up by an Englishman, a good German scholar, who has carefully examined all Boehtlingk's letters. 'It is clear that Max Muller had come to no agreement with Boehtlingk. The risks incurred by a young scholar going to St. Petersburg without some assured means of livelihood were obviously considerable, and Max Muller evidently regarded these as a last resource. After the warnings he had received, he was certainly not to be blamed for asking Boehtlingk, before he agreed to go, for a guarantee that the edition should be completed. This quite reasonable request was refused, and the project consequently came to an end. During the negotiations Max Muller was perfectly justified in continuing to look out for a publisher in Germany, or England, who would offer him more advantageous conditions. Boehtlingk's assumption that his own plan would be carried out was premature, and he had begun collating MSS. of the text of the Rig-veda before any bargain had been concluded with Max Muller. Boehtlingk had not originally meant to edit the Rig-veda, but after he had taken the matter in hand, he was evidently annoyed at having gone so far himself when the negotiations came to an end, representing the request for a guarantee of completion as a slight to the Academy. It was only natural that Max Muller should have wished to publish the whole work himself, if he could obtain the means of doing so. He entertained the idea of collaboration only because compelled to do so by circumstances.' Dr. Boehtlingk made his attack in 1891 when he was in friendly correspondence with Professor Max Muller, and did not even send him a copy of his pamphlet. He had destroyed all Max Muller's letters in 1868, his own letters exist, and by no means bear out Boehtlingk's version of the whole affair, which was drawn from an unsound and somewhat tainted memory.

A month later than the last letter to his mother, Max Muller found that he had saved enough money for a short visit to England, and the next letter speaks of his happy prospects.

To His Mother.

Translation. Paris, May 24.

'My prospects in London are good, and everything well arranged. I cannot state when I go, as I expect a letter from Hagedorn about his rooms, which should arrive on the 7th. Then I go straight to London. Baron von Cetto has written to me three times from there with new proposals. Perhaps I shall give private lessons, but am sure to make a little money by Sanskrit commissions. The prospectus for my work will be published in London in five languages, German, English, French, Bengali, and Sanskrit. It will be printed in Konigsberg. A few days ago I received offers of support from the German Oriental Society, of which I am a member, as well as from the Societe Asiatique in Paris. They offered money towards printing, and as this is no longer needed, I hope to have something for myself I have written to Humboldt. Burnouf has done so too, and Dr. Goldstucker hopes to see him about it in Berlin. I am rejoiced at going to London, and shall stay as long as I can. But whatever happens I will not stay away another whole year without once seeing you, were it but for an hour. In all that I think and do I remember you always, my dear mother, and it is my greatest joy to be any pleasure to you. I need only patience and courage! One must bend or break, and perhaps we shall find a pleasanter corner than St. Peters- burg in which to spend the next twenty-five years. Your Max.'

He went for three weeks, and lived in England above fifty-four years.
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London. W. H. Russell. Bunsen. Visit to Germany. East India Company and the Rig-veda. British Association.

Translation. 46, Essex Street, Strand, London, June 13, 1846.

'My dear Mother, — Here I am really in London; but I hardly know how to write, my heart is so full of all I have heard and seen. So I will only say, I arrived safe without being swallowed up by the world-encompassing ocean. I left Paris on the 9th, at 5 p.m., by diligence. I had met with such kindness on all sides, and had so many invitations, that it was difficult to get away. My neighbours at table gave me a dinner, so did the Marrins, Burnouf, Countess Berthoer, whom I do not think I have mentioned to you. She is a young and very agreeable woman, whose husband was killed eight months ago in Algiers. She was for some time in Lidia, and is very musical, and we have played and smoked a great deal together. Many friends came with me to the post-house, and I drove away with rather a heavy heart. I had many expenses those last days, and I am all the more grateful for the thirty thalers you put up with the shirts; the orange sugar was confiscated on the frontier — which will make you very angry, as it made me. So I left Paris, travelled the whole night, and arrived at 11 a.m. in Boulogne. At last from far off I saw the dancing, widespread sea, and I had hardly patience to get down at the hotel, but set off at once for a walk along the shore. You know that no words can describe its wondrous beauty. I wandered about for five hours, till I was forced to return to the hotel from sheer hunger. At ten at night I went on board a ship, bound direct for London. It was almost full moon, and the sea was smooth and beautiful, and except for a short time of misery I really enjoyed it. We got into the Thames early in the morning; and you can have no idea of the life and traffic. The river was alive with ships, among them huge three-masted vessels. Thus we reached the Custom House, where all my books and papers were turned out. I took a cab, and looked for lodgings, which I soon found in a pleasant, respectable street. I have a room on the first floor, looking on the street, for which I pay los. a week. The house belongs to a tailor, and as yet I am fairly comfortable. In the morning I make my tea, and dine at four or five o'clock for is. 6d. I have been running about paying visits, but found hardly any one at home. To-morrow I shall call at Bunsen's and on Baron von Cetto. To-day I went to the East India House, where Wilson was very kind, and invited me to dinner. I have been to the British Museum, and made some pleasant acquaintances. Now I have my MSS. at home, and am happily settled in quiet to work. I shall do all I can to give private lessons, for German money does not go far here. I always hope for the best, and I shall manage. Only think that I am in London, that I have seen Hyde Park, St. James's Palace, St. Paul's, Westminster, and the Tower! It seems to me impossible, and I am most fortunate; how well all goes with me, how far beyond all I deserve! Write to me soon; that is the one thing left to wish for. Life here is very wonderful, and so different from Paris. I find the language very difficult, but I shall soon manage it. Yesterday evening I spent with an Englishman, a reporter for the Times, whose acquaintance I have made, and who has already been most helpful and kind to me. I am so tired with running about that I am nearly asleep, and don't know whether you can read my scrawl.

'Your M.'

It will be seen by the above letter that Max Muller did not enter into all details in writing to his mother. The life was so different to anything to which she was accustomed, and required so much explanation, that we often find him passing over things well known to his friends on the spot. He does not recount above his first meeting with his kind friend and benefactor, the famous Times correspondent, Dr. now Sir William Russell, whose own pen shall describe the event: —

202, Cromwell Road, S.W., October 8, 1901.

'Dear Mrs. Max Muller, — My daughter is writing for me; I have to use her pen, conscious that I have too long delayed fulfilling the promise I made to recall the incidents connected with my first acquaintance with my ever dear friend, your husband.

'Early in June, 1846, I was in France, and was summoned back to take charge of the Parliamentary Committee on Railway Bills. I took my passage on board a steamer which went direct from Boulogne to London, landing passengers at the Custom House above Blackwall. I distinctly remember the interest I took in a young man, a little younger than myself, who was very anxious to ascertain the names of the places on the river which the steamer passed on her way from the Downs up to the Docks. He was evidently a foreigner, and had some difficulty in making himself understood by the mate, who appeared to have him in charge. I had observed him during a rather rough passage seated on the deck and holding on by one of the stays, evidently engaged in a contest with the advanced posts of mal de mer [seasickness], but he resisted stoutly, and by the time we entered smooth water he was conqueror. He was neatly and carefully dressed in a suit which showed his erect, slight, but well-built figure to advantage; the expression of his face was most engaging, regular features, fine intelligent eyes, no trace of whiskers, beard, or moustache, but thick dark hair under his felt hat; an alert air and penetrating looks. Some casual question which he addressed to one of the passengers produced a very misleading answer, and I ventured to give the true explanation of the vessels which were moored in the Downs, waiting for favourable wind or tide. The melancholy look which had attracted my attention when we were in mid-channel as he sat holding on to a rope had vanished; there was something to look at and to inquire about. Soon we became on good terms, and he told me that he was going to England to pursue his labours in Oriental literature; whilst I informed him that I was a law student residing in the Middle Temple. At the Custom House there was, I remember, some trouble about passports, and my companion produced a paper in which his name was set forth as Max Muller — an official document which satisfied the authorities. But he was soon in much distress; his portmanteau could not be found; he told me it contained all his worldly goods, with his letters and papers, and that it would be ruin to him if it were not forthcoming. All the passengers' luggage was overhauled, and still not a trace of the missing trunk. My newly made friend was in serious anxiety, and I felt for him deeply. What could he do? an utter stranger with very little money about him, almost all he possessed being in the unfortunate box that could not be found. The Custom House people having cleared all the baggage, were anxious to clear us out; so I told my young friend that I had chambers where I would be most happy to give him a shakedown for the night, and on the following day he could go back to the Custom House and see if the missing box had been landed. He was very much moved, and accepted my proposal with a charming cordiality. We drove together to the Temple, and despite his anxiety the strange new sights filled him with the greatest interest. We dined at Anderton's in Fleet Street, and when we got back to the Temple we found that the laundress had arranged a comfortable couch for him, and had laid out a sleeping-suit for the stranger. Next day we made a journey to the Custom House, and to his inexpressible joy Max Muller was shown his treasured portmanteau, which he opened for examination, and then saw passed, with the traditional chalk-mark on it, to the cab and carried to my rooms. I think it was that day that I went out with him, at his request, and found a decent bedroom in Essex Street, close by, of which he became the tenant, and where he had his breakfast every morning. Max Muller had letters for Professors at King's College, the Prussian Embassy, &c., and he was soon in communication with some of them; but I saw him every day I should think for two or three months, and every hour I did so increased my regard for him — so simple, so straight, and so learned; kindly and grave, but with a keen sense of humour, and a most bright and joyous disposition. In those days gentlemen of the press were more in favour with the dramatic world than they are at present. I could always obtain free admissions to concerts and theatres, and so we went together night after night to Drury Lane, Her Majesty's, the Haymarket, Adelphi, and so forth; and Max's enjoyment of the Opera was intense and delightful. It was the custom at that time for students after dining in hall (at the Temple) to go off to their rooms with a friend or two, and others dropped in. Max Muller was always the most welcome guest at mine, and he provided strange and wonderful entertainment for the company. For the first time the Temple was enlivened by the strains of "Edite, bibite, conviviales," [Google translate: Edited, bibite, friendly] "Crambambuli," and other Studenten-Lieder. One morceau [Google translate: piece] of surpassing excellence, as we all thought, we always encored, and Max smilingly complie1. ['O Tannenbaum! o Tannenbaum!'] It was an imitation of a whole orchestra — trumpets, drums, bassoons, and goodness knows what besides! — delivered with the greatest precision. Those of the company who had rooms in the Temple were eager to secure a special right for this diversion. There are, as far as I know, none of these now alive. At last Max went away, but whether back to Germany or to Oxford I cannot remember. In the winter I was dispatched on a special commission in relation to the famine in Ireland, and whilst there I received a letter from Max, written in a hand I could not read then, but which I made out later, in which he told me of his projects; but I did not see him again till I visited Oxford in 1848. He had established himself at Oxford, and had already gained the position there due to his character and acquirements. Then came the revolutions in Europe, ample employment for me in all quarters, so that for a good many years there could be but very short and accidental snatches of intercourse between us; but I heard of his rising fame with great satisfaction. After the Crimean War I delivered a series of lectures at various towns in England, and a visit to Oxford enabled me to renew an acquaintance always delightful and dear to me; and after I returned from India in 1859 we met several times, and engaged in correspondence concerning my experience of a country in which he was deeply interested. And now I think I may make a jump to 1870 and the war with France, when as soon as I came home we had frequent meetings; and the only cloud that ever obscured the warmth and brightness of our intercourse arose from a discussion caused by an intemperate objection I made to the opinions he expressed about the great Bismarck, then the god of the people who worshipped success all over the world. You know what happiness it was to me to make a descent upon Oxford, and spend a few days under your roof at 7, Norham Gardens, and how my wife entered fully into the great repose and comfort we enjoyed there. I shall say no more, except that I reckon your husband's friendship one of my greatest treasures, and that I shall lament his loss as long as I live.

'I am sorry to send you such a bald account, but my memory of late has melted — it is without form and void.

'Yours very truly and with great regard,

'W. H. Russell.'

Max Muller had been in correspondence whilst in Paris with Professor Wilson, the Librarian of the East India House, so there was no difficulty about borrowing MSS. and beginning work at once. The following letter to his mother mentions the momentous visit to Bunsen which determined the whole course of his life: —

Translation. 3, Wardrobe Place, Doctors' Commons, July 13, 1846.

'I have only time to tell you that all goes well with me here, that Bunsen has received me in the most friendly way as the son of his friend, and has promised me his fatherly support in every way possible. I have therefore explained my exact position to him, that my work, which interests him very much, makes a long stay in London absolutely necessary, and he assures me I have found a friend in him, who will care for me as a father for his son. I stayed two days in the country with him. His family are very pleasant and cultivated. One evening I went to a party where were the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishop of Jerusalem, and others of the haute volee [Google translate: high flying]. He is himself a very clever man, and a great favourite here, and perhaps he may find something for me. I do my best too with Wilson, but I can't do much, for I must first master the language. I have already changed my room, because it was not clean and so hot. I am not satisfied here, and must pay 10s. weekly. I have signed the contract with my publisher; the prospectus will be out November 1, and then also the Meghaduta, and I hope at Easter a thick volume of Sanskrit.'

Of Max Muller's first visit to the Prussian Legation Mme. Ernest de Bunsen writes: —

'I remember the Professor on the morning of his arrival when he joined the family party at No. 4, Carlton Terrace. The Legation was then in full swing, and Baron Bunsen and the Professor were absorbed in one another independently of our home party. I value my vivid remembrance of his first appearance, for we were astonished at his youth and cheerfulness, and immediately he gained a place amongst us.'

Max Muller had not been long in London before he wrote to acquaint his friend and teacher Burnouf with his prospects. After thanking him for his friendly counsel and encouragement, and the loan of his valuable MSS., which had helped him to continue his work when he was almost in despair, a work which he now hoped to be able to carry through and make of use to science, he adds: —


'I never can forget all I owe to you. As to my stay in London, I am on the whole thoroughly satisfied with it. The MSS. are splendid, but in such masses that to copy all that concerns the Veda and my work would take at least two or three years of merely mechanical labour. So I must stay in England, and with the MSS. at hand bring out the Veda and its Commentary. I shall do this if I can possibly, by private lessons and copying MSS., make enough to face the great expense of life here. I hope that in this way it will be possible for me to carry out the work in a shorter time than I at first expected. I do not deny that it is perhaps foolish to make such a sacrifice, and lead this anxious life for another five years without doing anything that can secure a settled post; but as I have once begun the work it must be finished, and I see no other way of doing it. Professor Wilson is most friendly, and I meet him constantly either at his own house or in the Library of the East India House.'

Burnouf replied that he thought his plans excellent, and that those who understood the magnitude of the task Max Muller had undertaken and the wealth of materials for it in London, would consider that he must work very fast, if he only stayed four years. 'Mr. Wilson will indirectly render a great service to Indian letters, if, with the benevolent liberality with which he meets all those who ask his support, he makes it possible for you to stay in London as long as the task of publishing your Rig-veda with its commentaries and indispensable indices may require.'

To his mother he writes: —

Translation. London, August 3, 1846.

'I had meant to write sooner, but I have been so busy. I am between two fires, or rather Ministers, for the Bavarian Minister, Baron von Cetto, has made fresh offers to me which are tolerably advantageous — 1,000 thalers a year and free board; so that I could have put by 600 thalers, and later he would recommend me for some place in Bavaria. On the other hand Bunsen advised me strongly to decline this offer, taking on himself all the responsibility, and told me to trust myself absolutely to him. He is really marvellously kind to me, and I am constantly in his house, early, late, and to dinner. I have not quite decided, and want to postpone a decision. Bunsen is so much interested in the publication of the Veda, which falls in with his own studies, and he urges me first to print some of it. I shall do so as soon as I can, but have still a great deal to do to it. Wilson too is very helpful, and promises to do all he can to get me some place in England, which is the height of my ambition; but that may take years, and meantime how shall I eat and drink? Bunsen sent me an article from the Augsburger Zeitung with, the heading "Max Muller"; if you have not seen it, get it, and I think even you will be satisfied! Of London I can tell you little, except that last Saturday I saw its full splendour. A friend took me to the Italian Opera, which I had not yet seen either here or in Paris. It was wonderful. A larger house than I have ever seen, and every one in full dress. The boxes filled with the nobility, and I saw Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, the Duke of Cambridge, &c. The music absolutely perfect; Anna Bolena, sung by Grisi, Mario, and Lablache; all the highest artistic perfection. And then a ballet to which there can be nothing equal, the Jugement de Paris [Google translate: Judgment of Paris] with Taglioni, Grahn, and Cerito as the three goddesses. The decorations were beautiful. The stalls cost 7s. 6d. The same friend asked me to go with him to Scotland as his guest, but I cannot, gladly as I would do so. So you see your son is still afloat, and everywhere friendly hands are stretched out to help him on his way. 'Your Max.'

Translation. August 28.

'Dearest Mother, — I have been able to arrange that your letters1 [ ] may come by messenger. They leave Berlin every Tuesday, and you must send them to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs under Bunsen's address. The letters leave here to-day and reach Berlin in five days, and Chemnitz therefore in six.'

To The Same.

Translation. August 25, 1846.

'All goes tolerably well with me. My work gets on. Bunsen is wonderfully good to me. I dine there once or twice every week, and he always gives me fresh courage and hope. When my first volume is out he hopes to get a salary for me from the Prussian Government. I must stay in England till the whole work is finished, and that will be five years. If I should then return to Germany is the question, for I am so delighted with this country. I could willingly live here always, if only a place could be found for me. But those are future plans which do not trouble me much now; at all events I feel nearer my haven here, if only my pilot holds out1 [He had to pay 1s. 6d. in England for letters on which his mother had already paid something.] To-morrow I am again invited to Bunsen's for his birthday. Professor Lepsius from Berlin is now staying at Bunsen's with his young wife; he owes everything to Bunsen. He got him a Stipendium to study, then to go to Italy, France, and England, and at last to Egypt; and now he is Professor at Berlin, with 1,500 thalers a year. I have become acquainted with Archdeacon Hare, and dined with him. He is a very kind old man, and I am on most happy terms with him. I am still in Wardrobe Place, and more comfortable, as I can dine in the house with one of the other lodgers; very good, and only 1s. He is a young German bookseller, married to an Englishwoman, with whom I can talk English, which is already much easier to me, I have not seen much more of London; the city is less interesting than the people and the life. I am well and don't feel anything of the spleen to which I am naturally inclined. I read the Times every day with great interest, while I drink my tea and smoke a pipe, and then to work. The one thing I long for is quiet and a certainty, and a pleasant home life with my dear mother. But as often as I think it is near at hand it goes again, and who knows when I may at last gain it? My work is full of interest, and keeps me straight; but sometimes one longs for more in life than this everlasting struggle. Now only quiet and content!'

In September Max Muller issued a prospectus of the Rig-veda to be published, as has been seen, by subscription by Samter of Konigsberg. This plan was given up when the East India Company undertook the publication of the Rig-veda. The prospectus contains a proposal for a German translation, and sets forth clearly the importance of the Rig-veda for the history of human thought. Soon after, he heard of the very alarming illness of his mother, and his ever faithful friend Bunsen sent him with dispatches to Berlin, to enable him to see her. Such was his anxiety to reach his mother, that he insisted on crossing, though it was a frightful storm and he was the only passenger. It took nearly six hours to get to Calais! He was able to spend several weeks with her, and returned by Berlin.

To His Mother.

Translation. Berlin, October 27.

'Your letter which I got yesterday was a great pleasure, though it made me sad, when I saw how my leaving you had excited and weakened you. Now I hope, if you really love me, you will think of your health, and spare yourself as much as possible. Remember the distance is not so very great, and that Ave can reach each other now so easily; think too that it is of great importance and use to me, and that in after years we shall find a rich reward for it. There is not much to tell you of my journey.... I arrived early in Leipzig, and went straight to Victor Cams. I went also to Brockhaus, with whom I had much to talk over, and then on to Dessau. Here they were all very well, and glad to get a better account of you. That evening I had to go with them to the theatre, and there the Duchess saw me, and the next morning commanded me to the Schloss. She was exceedingly friendly, and kept me nearly an hour. . . . She then gave me a letter of introduction to Prince Waldemar in Berlin. I have been to Bopp and Lepsius, and have still to call on Humboldt, Schelling, &c. . . . There was a large party here last night . . . where I met many interesting people. I shall be glad when I am quietly back in London.

'Your Max.'

To The Same.

Translation. Berlin, November 11.

'You will be surprised at getting another letter from Berlin, when I hoped to be already in London. But there was so much to do of real importance concerning my work and prospects that I was obliged to put off my journey, and cannot even now fix the day. The worst is I have had no rest the whole time, always running about, paying visits to Geheimrathe and Ministers. Humboldt has again been most good to me, and done all he could to support the publication of the Veda, in such a way that I should gain something by it. He gave my prospectus to the King, who had it read out to him, and spoke most graciously about it, and sent me word through Humboldt I should write him a letter regarding the religious importance of the Veda. I had to do this at once, and you know how much care and time such a thing takes. The King is unfortunately not in Berlin, but has received my letter, and already promised a considerable sum towards the undertaking. Then there was much to arrange about the Sanskrit types, which belong to the Academy, but I am in great hopes that my plans will be successful, and that I can return to London in good spirits.... I dined with Prince Waldemar, who is a remarkably charming and cultivated man. After dinner we had coffee in an Indian tent, with fine carpets and tiger-skins, everything Indian, even to the long pipes and tobacco.'

Soon after his return to London the negotiations with the East India Company for printing and publishing the Rig-veda began. The success of his plan of publishing the Veda in Konigsberg depended on the support of the East India Company — who were asked to subscribe for 100 copies, the King of Prussia and the French Government having already promised to take a large number. But when, as advised by Bunsen and Wilson, Max Muller called on the various Directors on the subject, they declared themselves averse to supporting a work carried out by a foreign country. Bunsen was ready to seize the opportunity, for he saw at once that the East India Company was the proper body to undertake the whole work.

'It was not an easy task,' says the Autobiography, 'to persuade the Board of Directors, all strictly practical men, to authorize so considerable an expenditure, merely to edit and print an old book that none of them could understand, and many of them had never even heard of. Bunsen pointed out what a disgrace it would be if some other country than England published this edition of the Sacred Books of the Brahmans.'

Professor Wilson, the Librarian of the India House, who had long been preparing a translation of the Rig-veda and often found himself hampered from want of a perfectly correct text, added his powerful advocacy, and though months of uncertainty were yet to try the young scholar, everything was finally arranged by April, 1847.

To His Mother.

Translation. London, December 25.

'I put off writing, for I hoped to give you news of employment, about which I have been busy ever since the end of November, and in constant hopes of a favourable decision, but I am still without any definite information. I can hardly tell you how uncomfortable such a position is, such uncertainty makes me unfit for anything. I can truly say I have lost the whole of December, as I could do nothing but write official letters to the Honourable Court of Directors of the East India Company, and pay official visits, &c. But if it succeeds, I shall have £150 a year, and nothing to do but bring out a Sanskrit work for the Company. You can imagine how delightful such a position would be, and can picture to yourself my intense anxiety as to yes or no! Bunsen and Wilson have done all in their power, and Bunsen especially has taken the liveliest interest in the whole affair, but such arrangements cannot be made in a hurry, and so I must be patient. My birthday passed by quietly, with no one who knew it. I dined at Bunsen's. The whole month has gone in hopes, expectations, disappointments, and rejoicings, and though it is possible I might hear to-day that all is settled, it may dawdle on into next year, and even fail entirely. So do not talk about it, and do not paint my future to yourself in rosy colours, for it may first be very grey! I feel sure I can depend on Bunsen under all circumstances. How I have deserved his kindness, I know not, for he has done me so many kindnesses, not only where his position made it easy for him, but even when it was disagreeable to him, and required great self-restraint. I was there for Christmas Eve. The whole family were together, children and children's children — in all thirty people, and then all the servants. A huge Christmas tree, and two large rooms lighted up and decorated, and presents for every one. I had a beautiful writing portfolio fitted up with everything; I was as happy as one can be when obliged to be away from home. We have been waiting five days for the courier, who comes by Hamburg, and is probably frozen in! From January 1, a letter to Germany will only cost one shilling. To-day I dine with Wilson — a large party. The English keep Christmas by eating enormously, but one needs an English appetite for it! ... I have forgotten to send my New Year's wishes — you know how I wish you all with all my heart a very happy year — and no year will be happier for me than the one when I find myself able, if only in the smallest degree, to add to your comfort! — Max.'

His life all these months had been one of very hard work and constant self-denial, and but for Bunsen's substantial help he could not have lived on in England. He tells us hov\^ he walked to and from the India House every day, his arms full of books and papers. One day he left his spectacles, which he had broken, to be mended at a shop in the Strand, and on calling to fetch them, he laid down a sovereign to pay for them. The shopman returned him change for half a sovereign, and persisted that Max Muller had only given him ten shillings. It was in vain to remonstrate, the man only became abusive to the unmistakable foreigner in a well-worn coat, and Max left the shop, sadly aware that the missing ten shillings represented several dinners, which he must give up. Some days passed, dinnerless, when one evening the man rushed out of the same shop as Max was passing it, with ten shillings in his hand, which he held out to him — 'Oh, sir,' he said, 'I have watched for you several days. You were right; I found I had ten shillings too much when I counted up my money that evening, and I have longed to get it back to you,' adding, 'for you look as if you wanted it.'

Meantime he was making friends in England. He had stayed more than once in the country at Totteridge with Bunsen, and with him had visited Archdeacon Hare. Mr. Vaux of the British Museum had become a fast friend, an intimacy which lasted till Mr. Vaux's death. Max Muller constantly attended the suppers given by his friend, where the invitation cards were adorned with pictures of Nineveh bulls and hawk-headed deities, and where clouds of not over-good tobacco smoke filled the air. 'Billy Russell,' as we know, constantly sent him tickets for concerts and theatres, so that, notwithstanding his hard work, and the uncertainty about the Veda, his early London life was far more enjoyable than the first year of his stay in Paris. There were several young German Sanskritists at work in England, and with these and the colony of German merchants, living chiefly at Denmark Hill, and the members of the German Consulate he was in constant intercourse.

Early in 1847 he went for a short time to Oxford to copy Sanskrit MSS.— his first sight of his future home. About the same time he made acquaintance by letter with Benfey, the great Sanskrit scholar at Gottingen, an acquaintance that soon ripened into a true friendship. Benfey was then engaged on his edition of the Sama-veda, and many letters passed between the friends on points of Vedic grammar.

To His Mother.

Translation. London, February 12, 1847.

'Still in great uncertainty. I have only just returned to London, for I have been staying at Oxford, working in the Library there, and have thus seen the most interesting and beautiful city in Europe. The whole town is of the Middle Ages, and consists almost entirely of churches, monasteries (now Colleges), castles, and towers, all in old English or Gothic, and the whole life is of the Middle Ages. All students in black and white gowns and black caps, and so are the Professors, &c. And then the wealth and easy life in the Universities (sic), which are more High Schools than Universities.'

Not long after Max Muller's return from Oxford he was able to write to his mother: —

Translation. 5, Newman's Row, Lincoln's Inn Fields, April 15, 1847.

'At last the long conflict is decided, and I have carried off, so to speak, the prize! I can yet hardly believe that I have at last got what I have struggled for so long, entire independence, and I am filled with the thought of how much more I have gained than I deserve.... I am to hand over to the Company, ready for press, fifty sheets each year — the same I had promised to Samter in Germany; for this I have asked £200 a year, £4 a sheet. They have been considering the matter since December, and it was only yesterday that it was officially settled. I have to read the corrections, and shall have plenty of time left to devote to my studies.... As the work will be above 400 sheets, I have a certain position for the next eight years, and the work is really so light I could take another post with it. This in fact has been already offered me, i.e. a place as Librarian at the British Museum, with £150 a year. But on Bunsen's advice I have refused this, as I would rather be free the first years to study, till something more suitable presents itself, of which there is little doubt in time. And now what do you say, dearest mother.? Is it not more than I could have ever expected? And have I not been right throughout to hold out to the very last, and devote all my time and strength and money to one aim, and pursue that to the last gasp 1 But only think that I had not a penny left, and that in spite of every effort to make a little money, I should have had to return to Germany had not Bunsen stood by me and helped me by word and deed. It has been a bad time, and now that it is over I may say so. I saw that the turning-point of my life had come, and that after all the uncertainty I was only a few steps from the goal, and yet I was not in a position to wait longer, but should be forced to return to Germany, to give up my favourite studies, if not entirely, yet mostly, in order to gain a scanty living at a school or by private lessons. I knew that none of my relations and friends agreed with me; on the contrary, that they all thought my plans foolish and exaggerated, and I had no one from whom I could expect support — I mean, who would have lent me a small sum for a few years. In fact, all my time, money, and work, indeed my whole life perhaps, would have been sacrificed and lost, had not Bunsen, who had once been in the same position, without my saying anything to him, stood by me, and in this way made it possible for me to struggle on with joyful confidence and firm faith towards the goal I had set before me. I do not know whether I should thank God more that I have at last attained my long-desired and long- sought object, or that I have gained the friendship of so noble and distinguished a man as Bunsen. It is in these last weeks that I have learned to know and value him so thoroughly. Archdeacon Hare invited Bunsen and me to spend Easter with him in the country, and so I spent the whole time in constant intercourse and conversation with these two men and Sir John Herschell, the famous astronomer, who was there on a visit, and thus I forgot all my troubles. In fact, I spent a delightful time, and when I reached London yesterday I found all settled, and I could say and feel, Thank God! Now I must at once send my thanks, and set to work to earn the first £100. Till then Bunsen will lend me some money, which will not be necessary later on, as one can live here comfortably on £150, and at first my expenses will be small. We will not make any plans yet for the future. When my work is once arranged I can easily spend a month or two each year in Germany, and when I have put by a little you might try if you could live comfortably in England. But at first, patience! My rooms here are small, but very nice — sitting- and bed-room — with a beautiful view over an old park and Gothic buildings. I pay, however, nearly £45, and that is cheap. As soon as I have earned a little money, my first purchase will be a piano — hiring is almost as dear as buying a second-hand one, which is always easy to find. What did you think of my Meghaduta? I am well and happy.'

This summer Max mentions hearing Mendelssohn several times, both in public and at Bunsen's. It was his last intercourse with the friend of his childhood, boyhood, and youth; for at the close of the year he writes: —

To His Mother.

Translation. 1, Garden Place, December 11.

'The death of Mendelssohn was a great shock to me, and yet is not his lot to be envied? and if to live is to work, has he not lived longer than many? What comes from God is right and good. How beautifully Jean Paul speaks of comfort, but how much more beautiful and elevating is another book, which unhappily through man's un- reason and man's wisdom is so spoilt for us from childhood, that we can only slowly and by degrees read and live into it again. Here the general sympathy has been expressed in so many different ways. Elijah was twice performed, all in mourning, no applause, and at the beginning the Dead March in Saul. I could not go, it was too much for me. I could not at first touch the piano. Now there is a collection for a monument, probably in Westminster, where you know Handel is buried.'

To return to his daily life, now given up to the preparation of the text and Commentary of the Rig-veda. The MS. of the first volume was rapidly approaching completion. 'I get up at five every morning,' he says (May 10), 'for I have a great deal to do, and the evenings are generally wasted in society. Summer is beginning, and there is more green each morning on the great trees before my window.'

For nearly four years Max Muller had been copying and collating the MSS. of the Rig-veda in order to publish a correct text, but this was by no means the most difficult part of his task, though it is the part that has been best understood and appreciated by the public. Real Sanskrit scholars know that his knowledge of Sanskrit was tested and shown in the critical edition of Sayana's Commentary. This work involved enormous labour, and he was often urged to work faster and less critically, but he kept to his first resolution, to publish the whole text of the Commentary, making it as perfect as possible. At the time he began his edition, many of the Sanskrit works quoted by Sayana were still unedited, whilst the references were brief, presupposing an intimate acquaintance with the works quoted. Max Muller had to trace these references, to copy the MSS. where they occur, and make full and careful indices. This he did, though often delayed by some obscure reference to Panini's Grammar or Yaska's Glossary. All these references had to be found, and their meaning ascertained, before any printing could be begun. They are now given in his edition of the Veda. He tells us he was often driven to despair by some obscure reference which neither Burnouf nor Wilson, the greatest Sanskrit scholars of the day, could help him to discover, 'It often took me whole days — nay, weeks — before I saw light. In the purely mechanical part other scholars could, and did, help me; but whenever any real difficulty arose, I had to face it by myself, though after a time I gladly acknowledge that here too their advice was often valuable to me.'

Bunsen was determined, as his young friend would live in England, at all events for several years to come, that he should make the acquaintance of influential and distinguished people, not only in London society, but in scientific and literary circles, and therefore insisted on his attending, under his guidance, the meeting of the British Association, which in 1847 was held at Oxford. He not only attended, but prepared and read a paper in English on the relation of Bengali to the Aryan and aboriginal languages of India. He had been but a year in England, and though he had completely mastered English, and wrote and expressed himself correctly and forcibly, his pronunciation was still very foreign, and it was with no little trepidation that he stood up for the first time before a large and critical English audience. His subject was one entirely new to most of his hearers, but it excited great interest, and gave rise to a keen discussion, in which the young scholar was ably and chivalrously defended by Dr. Prichard, President of the Section, against the attacks and objections of certain members who thought that no good thing could come out of Germany. Though Max Muller never reprinted this paper separately, and considered it as the crude production of a very young man (he was not twenty-four), he received, as late as 1892, a letter from a gentleman engaged in like studies with this allusion to his early essay: 'It seems to me that you have stated far more clearly than I have seen elsewhere the main facts of Bengali agglutination, and it is astonishing to me how wonderfully you have grasped them without visiting Bengal.'

It was on this occasion that Max Muller first came into personal contact with Prince Albert, for whom he ever afterwards felt the strongest admiration and sympathy. They met from time to time at public dinners, or whenever the Prince Consort visited Oxford, but both were aware that, strongly as they felt drawn to each other by common interests and national sympathies, more constant intercourse would not be wise for either of them, both being, in their different spheres of work, jealously watched as foreigners by suspicious John Bull.

After Max Muller's return to London he tells his mother that he was ' feeling mentally and physically exhausted, as the various discussions in English tried him rather.' Still, he speaks of this meeting as a delightful time, and he felt sure it would be of use to him.

To His Mother.

Translation. July, 1847.

'The suggestion came, of course, again from Bunsen, who is determined to push me in the world. He continues just the same to me, and his friendship and affection make my life very happy here. Yesterday there was a great Egyptian dinner at Bunsen's. I was there; for, after long indecision, I too have joined the hieroglyphists. The printing goes on very slowly, as new letters have to be made, and it will be a whole year before the first volume is ready: but when everything is in order, I shall make £3 or £4 a week. As yet Bunsen is still my banker, but my credit stands high with him! The death of Fanny Hensel has grieved me very much. I have not heard Jenny Lind yet, it is too expensive. How gladly would I have a quiet fortnight with you; one gets no rest here.'

To The Same.

Translation. London, July 13.

'London is really unbearable from heat and dust, and I am longing so for the country that I shall try and find a little room, if possible, at the seaside, which I know will do me good. If only England were not so very dear, especially when one wants to amuse oneself. Prince Waldemar is here, and I have seen him several times and had several good dinners with him. I enclose the menu of the largest dinner, given by the Directors of the East India Company. Each cover cost £5. It is impossible to describe it, and I assure you I had rather eat potatoes in Chemnitz! Lord John Russell was there, and the elite of society. Bunsen again did little else but introduce me to people who would be useful to me. But running about in society, eating, drinking, and talking, tires one out, and I shall get away as soon as I can.'

The printing of the Veda had now begun in real earnest, and on July 13, 1847, he was able to send to Burnouf in Paris the first two sheets of Volume I. 'How willingly,' he says, 'would I have visited Paris this summer to seek advice and information on many points from you, but I am chained here. When my first volume is ready I shall take a holiday, that I may present it to you in person. I rejoice in the prospect, for I cannot repeat often enough that I owe it to your advice and friendly sympathy alone that I am now realizing the plans I formed in my youth.'

In August he writes to his mother from 1, Garden Place, Lincoln's Inn: —


'As you see I have changed my rooms once more, as there was a bad smell in the other house in this heat, and I thought it was not healthy. I am quite away from the street, and live as in a garden. I have in fact two houses, for all day long I am in the India House, where I have my own room, all surrounded by books and MSS. I have a long way to walk there and back every day, which is very good for me. My printing goes on well, so that I am quite happy and satisfied. I had to give up my stay in the country, or at the seaside, as I had neither money nor time for it. Instead, I have hired a piano, which is a great delight. How often I have thought of you lately, and your pleasant life at Dresden. Yes, however good the life here is for the brain and soul, one's heart often longs for something else, and if I had not Bunsen and his family, life here would often be very sad to me. But I will not complain, I am determined to be as happy as I can be, for how much brighter has my whole life turned out, than I ventured to expect or hope. My life in London now is so quiet and uniform that I have nothing to tell you. The Bunsens are going into the country, where he will rest after the long season. He does a great deal of literary work, and I read or hear it all, and we often have sharp discussions, as you may imagine, as I cannot help speaking out plainly, and he also wields a sharp sword. But he is delightful, and we always remain good friends.'

To The Same.

Translation. September 1.

'My rooms in London are delightful, and my piano a real joy. In the same house lives Dr. Trithen, an Orientalist, whom I knew in Paris, and who was once employed in the Office for Foreign Affairs in St. Petersburg. Then there are a great many other Orientalists in London, who are mostly living near me, and we form an Oriental colony from all parts of the world. Dr. Bergstedt, a Swede; Kollgren, a Finn; Abbe Bardelli, an Italian; Dr. Dillmann from Suabia; Dr. Spiegel from Bavaria; Dr. Weber from Berlin. When we are all together, it sounds like a perfect Babel, and we have a good deal of fun at our cosmopolitan tea-evenings.'

By the middle of October, Max Muller was able to send the first sheet of Sayana's Commentary to M. Burnouf. He says in a letter dated '1, Garden Place, Oct. 18': —


'This first sheet has cost me much time and trouble, as they had not sufficient types at Oxford, which caused endless delay. Now that they have founded the accented letters, I hope to get on faster, but I send this first sheet because if you have any serious objections to the general plan I have adopted, conformably with my position here in London, I could still make necessary alterations. I often feel that the Rig-veda and Commentary ought to have fallen into worthier hands, but I will do all that I possibly can. I count on your indulgence, but shall, at the same time, be most grateful if you will point out any mistakes.'

To this Burnouf replied: —

Translation. November 9.

'My dear Friend, — I thank you for having sent me the sheets of your grand edition of the Rig-veda. I use the word grand, not to avoid saying excellent, because I consider it both grand and excellent, but because I must express my admiration of Professor Wilson's fine and vigorous Devanagari type. I have examined your sheets, and I must own that I am astonished that in so short a time you have been able to master the mass of materials at hand. One has a right to demand of an editor a correct list, a suitable division of the words, an indication of the Hindu divisions according to the two systems, the text so far separated from the Commentary that they can never be mistaken the one for the other, a reproduction of the Pada MS. and position of the accents according to the copies of the Rishis. You have given all this with exemplary care and completeness. But you have given us much more, and here I cannot praise you too highly. You indicate the quotations, and trace them not only to works that are accessible, but to many that are still entirely unedited. I congratulate you with all my heart on your debut, and I venture to say on your success, for your success is secured. You know me well enough, I hope, to feel the sincerity of my congratulations. We older men, who came too early to embark on the great enterprises which younger men can undertake, we have only the duty of clapping our hands to show the public what they ought to honour and esteem. Believe me, I shall not fail in doing this; and it is a great delight to do it for a man whose knowledge I admire and whose character I love. And I think I may be allowed to reflect with pleasure on any effort I may have made to encourage you to march on in entire independence, avoiding all collaborations. This is the only thing on which I can pride myself, and it again is entirely to your honour, because it only proves that I recognized all that science might expect from you. Believe me that I am more than ever filled with this sentiment, and continue to reckon me among those who follow your success with the greatest delight. 'E. Burnouf.'

To His Mother.

Translation. November 9.

'My time is entirely occupied with the Veda . . . but my work is delightful, and I feel sure that in six or seven years it will bring in plenty, and I am quite independent, and that is worth more than anything else. But the idea of marrying is absurd, and happily as yet love has left me tolerably alone, for I have other things to fill my head and heart. I have just had an offer to go to Benares, and print the Veda there, which I have refused. I correspond with the Brahmans there, and the Indian papers often mention Dr. M. M., but that is of no help.'

To Burnouf he writes: —

Translation. 1, Garden Place, December 5, 1847.

'Your last letter gave me the greatest pleasure, and I thank you warmly. I know well that you are full of indulgence and kindness, such as I must not expect from the severe critics of Russia and Germany, but I own that your favourable opinion, and that of Wilson, Lassen, and Bopp, are the most delightful reward, and the only one I wish for, and that it gives me new courage to persevere in a task that would otherwise often seem dry and distasteful. The news that I have received through M, d'Eckstein that you have successfully deciphered the Nineveh inscriptions would have astonished me, had one not been accustomed to such happy surprises from the successor of Champollion. I consider this discovery the grandest and most important of the century; it must throw light on many fundamental questions of ancient ethnography. Up to now, I have not found anything really solid and satisfactory in all the conjectures on the so-called Indian, Babylonian, and Assyrian inscriptions. I hear that Dr. Hincks sent yesterday to the Asiatic Society a complete translation of the inscriptions of Van, made by means of an Indo-germanic language. But I must examine it myself. Rawlinson has at last managed to copy a part of the third inscription at Behistun, and he writes that he now for the first time touches solid ground. Incredulous as I have been about all these promises and experiments, I am now convinced that under your guidance a new region will be opened to science, and I await the signal impatiently.'

This important year of Max's life was drawing to a close. His success had justified his perseverance in a career which had at one time seemed utterly hopeless, and he was rewarded at last for the long struggle, for the bitter self-denials of his early years.

For the first time we find a mention in his Christmas letter of a gift of money to the mother to whose unceasing care and self-forgetfulness he owed everything. This he never forgot to the last hour of her life, and it was his constant delight from this time onwards to add to her comforts and pleasures.

To His Mother.

Translation. 1, Garden Place, Lincoln's Inn, December 11, 1847.

'. . . I must now give you some commissions. Take the enclosed £5 note and change it at a banker's, and with half of it buy something very nice for Frau Hofrathin Muller; with the other half something pretty for Frau Dr. Krug, and some toys for the two little Krugs.

'Your Max.'
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Visit to Paris. Revolution. Settles at Oxford. Friends there. Letters to Burnouf and Bunsen.

The year 1848 began gaily for the young stranger. He had moved to King William Street, Strand, to be a little nearer to the Prussian Legation, though he already began to recognize the disadvantage of being so far from his printers, now that the first volume of the Rig-veda was passing through the Press. No London firm could have undertaken the work, from want of the proper types, whilst the Oxford University Press, with the help of Professor Wilson, had secured the finest Devanagari types then known. Of his gaieties he writes to his mother: —

Translation. 5, King William Street, Strand, January 27, 1848.

'Last week I went to two balls in English families to whom I have been introduced. It was a beautiful sight, and the balls lasted till four. I have not treated myself to a new evening coat — my old one does fairly well, and I danced away in it. The young girls in England are very beautiful and very pleasant; one hardly sees a single ugly face in a ball-room — which one cannot say in either France or Germany — and so one spends a very pleasant evening. The Bunsens do not give balls, but most agreeable parties with good music. But my chief employment is my work at the East India House, and I hope this year to finish the first volume of about 600 pages.'

In February he found it necessary to visit Paris, to look at some MSS. in the Bibliotheque Royale, and was still there when the Revolution broke out. In the Autobiography he has described his difficulty in getting back to England, but says little of what he actually saw in Paris, and the letter he wrote to his mother immediately after his escape, for it was really that, is full of interesting details.

Translation. London, Monday, March 1, 1848.

'I went for a fortnight to Paris, partly to see Hagedorn, partly to finish some work at the Bibliotheque Royale. You will have seen from the papers what a fearful time I had there, and I thanked God when I stood safe again on English ground. I am still so excited that I can hardly describe all I have seen and done. Since Tuesday last, I have had sleepless nights from fighting, the roar of cannon, burning of houses, fall of buildings, &c., men murdered by hundreds or simply shot down in the streets. No one's life was safe, for there was neither Government, police, nor soldiers. The man in the blouse was lord of all, and blood ran in the streets, which were filled with barricades. Women on horseback, ruffians on the finest officers' chargers paraded the streets, carrying Louis Philippe's throne in triumph. The only brave soldiers were the Municipal Guards, and I saw them cut down and hacked in pieces by the mob. One could see all that went on from Hagedorn's windows; the bullets whistled on every side, and yet ladies went out on foot pour voir la Revolution [Google translate: to see the Revolution]. We did the same, and were more than once pursued by the cavalry. I saw barricades built up of omnibuses, tables, and pianos, attacked and taken, and again built up, till at last the soldiers fraternized with the people, gave up their weapons, and finally withdrew. There was nothing grand in it. The French journals have no authority, for they are written by and for the victors, who proclaimed liberty of the Press, but against whom the Press dare not assert its liberty. It might have been worse, that is the only thing one can say for the mob. The Garde Nationale were cowards, never appeared at all the first day, from fear of the Minister. The second day everything seemed over and quiet, and one rejoiced that without any loss of life a blinded Ministry had fallen, and the people had carried their point in a constitutional way. But those who had made the demonstration the first two days were not yet satisfied; the Republicans and Communists tried to profit by the public excitement to stir the people up again. On the other side the friends of Thiers intrigued, especially Bugeaud, who was Commandant of Paris, and who on the evening of the second day could still have re-established order, had he not connived with his troops to place the Ministry in Thiers' hands by letting the revolution have its own way a little. But when this was effected, it was too late; the people and the troops fraternized and streamed together to the Tuileries: the people armed, but not the military. Louis Philippe, the King of the barricades, fled from the barricades, and from the people who trusted their rights to him, and whose interests he had sacrificed in his selfish plans for his own dynasty. No resistance was then possible; the Republicans had no opposition to fear; the Duchess of Orleans with her sons was insulted, and the Republic proclaimed. The railways were already broken up, only the one to Havre had been forgotten, so over the barricades, and with shots on all sides, I got to the station at ten at night on Thursday. Next morning I reached Havre, and by six on Saturday evening, after a very bad passage, arrived in London. I am glad to have seen what I did, but seeing it was terrible. I was at one time quite close to the mob, and escaped by some side steps from the Boulevard des Capucins, where Guizot's house stands, into the Rue Basse des Remparts. In one instant came a shot, then a fusillade, and from that moment the fighting and flying never ceased, till Louis Philippe was gone and the Republic proclaimed. I could do little work, and am thankful to be back and in safety with my Veda. In spite of all this turmoil I am much better, and so my work will get on faster.'

It was Max Muller who brought Lord Palmerston the first certain news of Louis Philippe's flight.

To his friend Dr. Pauli, the Anglo-Saxon scholar, at this time settled in England, and whom he had first met in Paris, he wrote: 'It was terrible, but one learns history by it.'

On March 23 he writes again to his mother: —


'You must not trouble yourself too much with these bad times, and their reforms and revolutions. They are developments which are unavoidable in history, and such crises are necessary to get rid of all the poison that has long been collecting in society. One must not imagine that a few men who are at the head of affairs make these revolutions. Such events are not made; they happen, through a higher Will, though the tools employed do not always seem the most worthy. When one sees the beginning of a revolution, with all its details and apparent accidents, as I saw it in Paris, one quickly perceives that it is in no one's power to reckon on these movements, where often one look, one resolution, one cry, determines the fate of hundreds and thousands. In such moments a man feels his true weakness, he realizes what he is; during the quiet course of a peaceful life a man becomes so self-confident and so certain of his own wisdom, that such shocks are necessary to bring him again to himself. These lessons are specially good for the wise diplomatists who imagine they can direct mankind according to their own prudent and self-seeking calculations, and for the sovereigns who imagine mankind is only made for them. Now is the time for all to learn that nothing lasts or gives us power but what is right, and the consciousness of having desired the welfare of others and not of our own selves. I hoped this movement would pass over more quietly in Germany than elsewhere. I trusted our kings as having a more upright judgement, and higher desires, more love for their people, and a more self-sacrificing spirit. Instead of this, everywhere, either cowardice or miserable blindness and self-confidence. The punishment for this will not be wanting, and it is sad that bad teeth can only be extracted with loss of blood and much suffering of the whole body. If all those gentlemen could be sent to England to the Universities, they might learn what are the conditions which alone make a king possible in these days. Would to God they might learn the lesson! The longer they hesitate, the greater will be the demands, the more terrible the conflict. The German people are good-tempered, but can be roused by deceit, distrust, and selfishness. Here in England all is quiet, and the means exist here for making revolutions in a peaceful, lawful, and constitutional way. I am only afraid they may summon Bunsen to Berlin. He might do much good there, but it would be a terrible loss to me, and I hardly think I could endure life here without him. He is the sort of diplomatist they all should be, a true man, simple and good, desiring and striving for what is right, and leaving the rest to Providence. For this the wise Metternich pronounces him to be no diplomatist. We shall see who stands firmest. In spite of the great excitement in which one lives, I can collect myself enough to work hard — and that quiets one. I am much better since I was in Paris, and have got rid of my cough. I really feel quite well, so there is no cause for you to be anxious. Your last letter arrived some time after I had sent mine off, for the post everywhere is most irregular now. If the weather is fine, I may spend part of the summer in Oxford to be nearer my printers. The Governors of the East India House wish to see something for their money; but I have only two arms — not a thousand like Vishnu.'

During his whole life in England, Max Muller found the variable climate, and especially the damp winters, a great trial to his strength, and in his two first winters passed in London he was so constantly laid up with severe colds and headaches, and unable to do his work, that his mother was seriously anxious about him. He always maintained that the severe cold of a German winter was less trying to the constitution than the fogs, and damp, and bitter east winds of England. Early in May he went for change to Oxford, intending only to stay through the bright summer months in a place which, from his first visit in June, 1847, cast the glamour of its beauty over him, and which was to be his home for above fifty-two years. He settled himself in two small rooms in Walton Place, as being near the Press, and soon after his arrival he writes to his valued patron and friend the first of many letters: —

Translation. 17, Walton Place, Oxford, May 18, 1848.

'Your Excellency, — Beautiful and pleasant as Oxford is at this season, and happy and contented as I feel in this sedes Musarum [Google translate: seat of the Muses], it is difficult, at least on a day like this, the opening day of the Reichstag in Frankfort, to subdue the longing for one's German home; and so I hope you will allow me, at all events for a short time, to feel as if I were in my native surroundings, by writing to you. The delightful hours which you allowed me to spend with you in London are indeed the only thing that I miss here in Oxford, and that make me long sometimes to be back in old London. I therefore hope you will allow me from time to time to recall in writing those happy hours, and if my letters arrive like inopportune visitors in the midst of dispatches and diplomatic notes, please lay them aside, just as you so often used to say in your friendly way, "Now, make haste and go." It is delightful that you have chosen Schleswig, and Schleswig has chosen you. It is indeed no usual object of ambition to sit on the same bench with master butchers and cobblers, but it is a sacrifice which in these days the true Aryan is willing to make for the Father- land, when he has the right and opportunity to do so. In this indistinguishable chaos the necessary thing is to find men who can form a party, and attract a majority to them. In Germans, however, personal opinion and conviction are so supreme and unruly, that we need men who will seize the German John Bull, not, as is usual, by the horns, but in a friendly way, by his soft and weak points. No doubt there will be many good men of the State there, but few good statesmen. Everything in Frankfort will depend on how the first majority is formed, but I don't believe that any party in Germany, be it what it may, would have any prospect of influence, if, when finding itself in a minority, it resorts to violence. Modern history accustoms itself to look on majorities which have arisen naturally in the same way as the old world must have originally looked upon their "Judgement of God," but with this difference, that for the Christian world the Godlike has assumed the form of humanity and freedom, by the side of that of nature and necessity. Life here in Oxford is remarkably pleasant; the place is so beautiful, and everybody so friendly and good, many people very superior and interesting. I have not seen much of Stanley, as he is very much occupied; but I know many of the Fellows, who pursue the same objects, and with even more understanding and determination, From many different sides one hears of a wish for reforms in the life of the University, but they are afraid of the Government; and that if they once give it the opportunity it will interfere far more than they desire. They particularly dread the tendencies of the Cheap Government, which might involve them in Cheap Education, and therefore they would rather remain quiet and keep their own. I have given your pamphlet on Schleswig to Stanley, Dr. Jacobson, Dr. Plumptre, and Dr. Acland, and I hear that Dr. Twiss means to write an answer; the same man who wrote on the Oregon question. One hopes it may come post factum, like King Oscar's troops, though I must own that it would be wonderful if they could persuade the Holger Danske to listen to reason and act accordingly.'

To his mother he describes his new life thus: —

Translation. 17, Walton Place, May 21.

' Here I am at last settled in Oxford. I have already told you how beautiful it is, and now in spring it is perfect; the finest gardens I have ever seen, the old trees and the green velvety turf such as one only sees in England. I am enjoying the spring here as I have not enjoyed it for years, and feel better than I ever felt in hot, dirty, noisy London. I like the people here very much, and my work gets on much faster, which will delight you. Forty large sheets already printed, and £ 160 already spent! But I can live more cheaply here, and save a little, which as yet I have not been able to do. I have not had a piano for a long time; now I have hired one for 30s. a month. I find my music very useful in society, for they like to hear it, though few people play. Of course I miss Bunsen very much, but who can say how long he will stay in London .? and in these busy times I have seen but little of him. My speech at Oxford is published under the title, " Three Linguistic Dissertations read at the Meeting of the British Association in Oxford, by Chevalier Bunsen, Dr. Meyer, and Dr. Max Muller." I find it a good visiting card here. It is difficult to say when my first volume will be ready, as the printing is sometimes easy and sometimes very difficult; but be sure I work as hard as I can, for it is most important for me to get the first part published.'

To The Same.

Translation. Oxford, June 28.

'I live here so quietly that I often wish I had you all here, safe out of the trouble and turmoil in Germany. It is the greatest delight to walk in these gardens, where the old gables and towers peep through the green trees on all sides. I am asked to dinner nearly every day — this is at five o'clock in one of the old Colleges. After dinner we have coffee and tea in the gardens on the grass, and smoke our cigars. We have a great deal of music, and I get on very well with all these reverend sirs.'

Peaceful as his life in Oxford was, Max Muller was too patriotic not to be deeply occupied with the events in his native country, and he writes to Dr. Pauli: —

Translation. June 27, 1848.

'One needs earnest and difficult work to keep one quiet. I suppose in time one will get accustomed to this new world, but up to now I have not had courage or power even to talk about it: in time the sea-sickness will leave one, and then one can watch the storm carefully and wonder at it. You ought to come to Oxford; it is the most beautiful city I have ever seen, and one must have seen it to know England. Living is tolerably cheap, and the libraries rich in manuscript treasures. I shall stay here till October, then publish a volume and go to Germany.'

Max Muller became almost immediately on intimate terms with a number of undergraduates, as well as many younger dons, whilst several of the heads of houses and Professors showed great kindness to the man whom they remembered as reading a paper but the year before at the British Association, on a subject quite unknown to most of them, but which had provoked interesting and important discussions. Dr. Gaisford was particularly condescending to the young scholar, who often mentioned with pleasure the real courtesy of the Dean, as being the only head of a house who thought it necessary to call before sending him an invitation to dinner.

He has given an amusing account of that visit, and the attack made on the Dean by his Scotch terrier. Belle. To the few who still remember those days the name of Belle will recall many a happy hour. She was a small terrier, by no means a great beauty, and had belonged to Robert Morier, who willingly passed her on to his friend, to avoid the trouble of looking after her. She lived to a great age, and gave her new master a good deal of occupation in taking care of her and her innumerable puppies. Her devotion made her very- jealous, and when some years after a beautiful Skye puppy was given him by a much-loved friend, Belle ill-treated it so, that he had to part with it to save its life! Max Muller was always devoted to dogs, and his friends will recollect his great deerhound Oscar, Musk, a Skye terrier, and in later years his well-known dachshunds, Waldmann and Mannerl, and at the very last. Longbow and Big Ben.

Among Max's intimate friends at this time were Morier, afterwards Sir Robert Morier, who died Ambassador at St. Petersburg; William Sellar, later on Professor of Latin at Edinburgh; Palgrave, to whose advice he owed a great deal when he first began to write English books; William Spottiswoode; Alexander Grant, who, after many years in India, became Principal of the University of Edinburgh; Theodore Walrond, afterwards his brother-in-law, and whom for many years he used to call his English conscience; Earle, later Professor of Anglo-Saxon; Church, afterwards Dean of St. Paul's; George Butler; ffolliott, who in the last letter he wrote to Max Muller says, 'Your friendship has been one of the happiest elements of my life'; Thomson, of Queen's, who became Archbishop of York; Story-Maskelyne, later Professor of Mineralogy; Clough, the poet; Dr. Stanley, then Tutor of University; Dr. Acland; Manuel Johnson, the Radcliffe Observer; Professor Donkin, drawn to him by their common love of music; 'Bodley' Coxe; Jowett, then the popular young Tutor of Balliol; and J. A. Froude, of Exeter. To the two last Max Muller was a staunch friend, standing by them when their opinions exposed them to a good deal of obloquy and closed many doors against them. Most of these men remained Max Muller's devoted and intimate friends through life; from others, from circumstances of residence and occupation, he was more or less separated, though when they met there was always a hearty recollection of the 'merry days when they were young,' and enjoyed many a joke and many a discussion in their various rooms, whether in College or in lodgings. The very few left who remember quite the early years when Max Muller first settled in Oxford, recall his great powers of attraction, his lively conversation, even though in still rather quaint English, his fun, his power of repartee, above all his kindly lovable nature, to which a singularly beautiful countenance bore witness, his brilliant pianoforte-playing, and behind all this a seriousness of purpose, a loftiness of aim, with an amount of general culture seldom met with in a man of little more than twenty-four; whilst the almost entire ignorance of the great subject to which he was devoting his life only added to their wonder and interest.

Mr. Tuckwell in his delightful Reminiscences says: 'I recall the black-haired, slight young foreigner in 1846 1 [1848 it should be.] or thereabouts, known first as a pianist in Oxford drawing-rooms, whose inmates ceased their chatter at his brilliant touch.'

To Chevalier Bunsen.

Translation. 17, Walton Place, June 13, 1848.

''Tis hard to carry a full cup even. Oxford is most beautiful, but one longs for German Professors, for Greek societies and seminars! My Veda gets on; forty-five sheets are printed. I have good news from India. The Pundits, to whom I sent proof-sheets, are delighted with the plan and the way it is being carried out. As it does not seem likely that the Prussian Government will at this moment grant any money for MSS. from India, I shall apply to the East India Company. The expense is very small, 1,000 lines of thirty-two syllables for eight shillings. I think of staying here till my first volume is ready, which it cannot be before the end of the year, and then I shall go to Germany. But I must find some further occupation here, for Sanskrit alone does not yield enough to live on. It is delightful to reconstruct a chapter in the historical consciousness of mankind, especially one that is so ancient and so important for the intellectual migrations of the Aryans as is the Vedic epoch. But when mankind is at work it requires people who can wield the hammer in order to forge a new link in the chain of humanity. Only I don't know with what hammer I should try to work, but it seems to me pretty certain that for the next thirty years the Veda and such literary ruins will find few friends and explorers. For what we now see is but the prelude to wake and shake the mind, to bring it into the necessary condition, "corruptos hominum mores bellis emendare atque conterere. [Google translate: to correct the corrupt manners of men by war and crush]"'

In the following letter to his mother he describes his first Commemoration, little imagining how many more he was to see, till his own children were enjoying them from thirty to forty years later: —

Translation. July 11.

'There were great festivities for the end of term. Guizot was here, two sons of Metternich, Baron von Hugel, and many of the best English families, and a crowd of such beautiful women as I have never before seen. The festivities lasted from early dawn till night; the gardens lighted up, with music and singing, were enchanting. There were good concerts, the Messiah, the Creation, in which Birch, Tadolinee, and Lablache sang; in fact it was magnificent, and champagne and hock flowed in streams. Now every place is empty. I have the beautiful gardens to myself, and that is delightful, where I take a walk of an evening and smoke my cigar; but it would be yet better on the Terrace at Dresden! "However -- " as the English say, and I do my best to acquire an Englishman's patience and indifference.'

The summer was spent quietly in Oxford, working at the Veda and the long Introduction, or Prolegomena, of which we hear more in the following year.

To His Mother.

Translation. Oxford, August 8.

'The times are not suited for quiet enjoyment, and who knows when this struggle of the discontented masses will cease? But when one remembers all the suffering and sorrow, the thousands who are perishing from war, disease, and famine, one ought to be contented oneself, and thank God if we escape with a few inconveniences. It sometimes seems to me wrong to be sitting and working here so peacefully in Oxford, whilst so many in Germany are torn away from their scientific employments and must share all the dangers of war. One is not better than all those who die by thousands in battle or of cholera, or who see all their prospects for life ruined in a moment. And yet, surely, all this want and calamity must do some good, by teaching men that they are placed on the earth not for enjoyment but for a struggle and trial: in quieter times one forgets too easily the real earnest task of life, and the true man in us perishes. Now every one must stand fast and be ready for anything. If we do our duty and have a good conscience and trust in God, this little world cannot do us much harm. I lead a most pleasant life here in Oxford. Many of my friends come to see me, and live in the same house — Dr. Kollgren from Helsingfors, Dr. Pauli from Berlin. Then of course I do not get through so much work — we take long walks, bathe, &c.; but when they are gone I shall be able to work hard again till the first volume is ready. That will not be till Easter, as the first volume will have 1,000 pages, and only 500 are now printed. Everything seems to have quieted down in Dessau: they had not a large aristocracy to put down! I should like to see for myself how things are, for here one can form but little idea about it.'

The next letter tells of the spread of the revolutionary spirit to Chemnitz, where his mother still lived, though no longer in her daughter's house.

To His Mother.

Translation. Oxford, October 3.

'You can imagine my anxiety about you when I read in the papers of the insurrection of the workpeople in Chemnitz, of barricades and fighting in the streets, and remembered how far from strong Auguste is. From day to day 1 looked for a letter, and at last heard from you that you had escaped all danger. We must not complain of small deprivations, but thank God, who has watched over us hitherto with fatherly care. If I know that you are well in Chemnitz, and have always a sure refuge with Krug, and if you know that I am happy and well in Oxford, even if we do not see each other often, we can think of each other with perfect satisfaction; and how few can say that in these times. One cannot expect things to settle down in Germany for many years. I cannot wish to be back in Germany, however much I long for German life, for one would only be drawn into all these party conflicts, without power to effect any good. I often think it might be well to settle down entirely in England. I think one might be quite at home and happy here. If I go to Germany next year, I must look about and see what can be done there, and if any prospects open for me; if not, I must look out for some career that later on would settle me here. I like Oxford so much better than London, that I shall remain here. Life is cheaper here, and I had already saved £20, but have spent it on MSS. from India, which I need for my work. Dr. Pauli is still living here, which is very pleasant, and gives me some one to talk to. Dessau seems to set an example to the world with its liberal institutions. What does Stockmarr1 [An old and very conservative General, married to the sister of Max Muller's aunt, Frau Prasident von Basedow. The old man lived to keep his Iron Wedding (sixty-five years), and died a few days after, as did his wife, and they were buried the same day.] say to it all? Uncle Fritz, doubtless, is much amused. I should like to see it with my own eyes; it sounds a little fabulous!'

Max Muller seems to have been so much absorbed in the Veda as to let a long time pass without any communication with his revered master, Burnouf, who sent him the following gentle reminder, which shows how even the life of a quiet student was upset by the political disorders of the times: —

Translation. Paris, October 7, 1848.

'My dear Friend, — It is a long time since I heard anything of you, and enough has happened here to make me forget any one to whom I was less attached than I am to you. But I have heard of you indirectly. I received a few days ago a sign of your remembrance of me, which touched me much; and I have read your memoire with delight, and have learnt from it many curious facts of the way in which Bengali has used for its own analytic purposes concrete words borrowed from Sanskrit. The work is well done, and I have observed with great satisfaction, among other things, a virtuous attack on the modernizers of Brahmanism in the interests of Buddhism, which has nothing to gain by outraging history and good sense. I venture to assert that, notwithstanding their pretensions, the dilettante authors of these heteroclite hypotheses understand neither Brahmanism nor Buddhism. I am now working at the second volume of my Introduction to Buddhism, having been obliged to set aside the work I had begun on the Nineveh inscriptions. These researches cannot be carried on usefully in a time of political disturbance, such as the present; the tempest in the streets distracts the mind. . , . Under these circumstances, I am devoting myself to Buddhism, to occupy my mind; it is the only one of my labours for which I do not need State aid.

Yours heartily, 'E. Burnouf.'

To this Max Muller replied: —

9, Park Place, November 1, 1848.

'My Honoured Master and Friend, — . . . I was very sorry to learn that the political agitation in France has disturbed your literary work. Every one felt that the only hope of a successful and scientific deciphering of the Nineveh inscriptions lay with you, for you stand alone in such work. Yet the second volume of Buddhism will be a welcome gift to many, to some perhaps not welcome, as it will destroy their last heteroclite hypotheses. Unfortunately things look very black for literature in Germany too, and I am glad that I can give my time here in England quietly to the Veda. The first Ashtaka, with a long introduction, will appear at Easter. I am now writing the latter, and I often wish I could go to you for advice, for here in England there is really no one who takes much interest in real Indian antiquity. Wilson has finished his History of British India, which is very much liked, and is at work now on a lexicon of modern Indian names for measures, weights, and other words in daily use between Indians and Englishmen. Besides that he is preparing a catalogue of the MSS. of the East India House, as well as a translation of the Rig-veda. It is wonderful how busy he is, though one often wishes he would devote his valuable time and powers more exclusively to Indian antiquity. ... I have heard nothing of Baron d'Eckstein since the Revolution, and would gladly hear how he is. . . . My time is so taken up with printing the Rig-veda, which has reached page 608, that I have no time for any other work; for this I am very sorry, for the Commentary is terribly wearisome, and yet full of small difficulties, for which I often miss the help of MSS. from other parts of India. I have therefore ordered for myself a copy from Poonah, where your own valuable MS. was copied, and must await its arrival before I begin the second Ashtaka, as I have no collation of your MS. for that, and the MSS. here of the second Ashtaka are very imperfect. The East India Company has declared itself ready to buy Vedic MSS. if they can get them, so I hope for much new help from India.'

The following letter to Bunsen is the only allusion to a scheme which Max Muller can hardly have contemplated seriously, though a Pass Degree would have been child's play to him, and no doubt a life in College such as that led by many of his friends must have appeared more attractive than his solitary lodgings: —

Translation. 17, Walton Place, October 8, 1848.

'I think of going to London for a few days early next week to do some work at the East India House. It would be a great delight to me if I could see you for a few minutes, to ask your advice in a matter which occupies me a good deal. The revolutions in Germany have laid such hold on all the circumstances of life, and have so undermined the foundations of society, that one loses all courage to build one's future on such a soil. Unless one feels the strength and power to take an active part in initiating and settling matters, but wishes to find one's ideal of life in the narrow quiet circle of science, one has the right, I think, to seek shelter there, where science, if not patronized and aided, is at least tolerated and let alone. With all my love of the past, and with a full belief in the future of Germany, I feel more drawn at present to English than to German soil. My work will keep me in England for the next few years; and as Oxford is a very pleasant place of residence, I have an idea of entering one of the Colleges as an undergraduate, keeping my twelve terms, and then taking my degree. I should hope to defray the expense by my own work, and the competition in the Oriental market is so small, that my prospects later on would probably not be bad. It is, of course, difficult to resolve to take such a backward step, and begin again from the beginning, when my friends and contemporaries have already found their spheres of activity as teachers and Professors. My own studies would meet with many interruptions, but when one sees that the path one has hewn for oneself does not lead to the goal, it is better to turn round than to pursue the wrong road till no return is possible. My work goes on merrily; seventy-two sheets are printed, and I am writing the preface, which often overwhelms me; but I have time till Easter, when the first two volumes and the preface will appear. Dr. Pauli is still living with me, but he has a good chance of being appointed to the Advocates' Library in Edinburgh. In the hope of soon having the happiness of seeing you, I am, with my whole heart, yours obediently.'

We hear no more of the undergraduate scheme, and on his return from London he moved to pleasanter lodgings, No. 9, Park Place, now 18, Banbury Road, where he remained till January, 1856. Here he occupied the front floor, and some other German generally lodged in the same house.

To His Mother.

Translation. 9, Park Place, November 5.

'I have been staying with Bunsen in London and the country for a week. I was in his house, and we had long talks together, and I came back to my work with fresh courage. He is a delightful, excellent man, so that it is a real refreshment to see him. He is so quiet, so contented, and so confident, although living in the very midst of all the troubles; he trusts mainly to Frankfort, and his whole soul is with Germany. When I returned to Oxford I changed my lodgings. If I could afford it I should take riding lessons. Every morning crowds of students pass by in their red coats and jockey caps going out hunting; but that is very dear, so I never think of it, but work on quietly at the Veda, and when Volume I is finished, I shall pack up and be off; 620 pages are finished. It has been a hard piece of work. I have no desire to join the Dessau militia. I would rather become a naturalized Englishman. The news from Vienna is terrible, one can hardly believe it, and in Berlin it is fermenting and seething as if for something of the same sort.'

On his birthday he writes to her again: —

Translation. Oxford, December 6, 1848.

'Twenty-five years, an age that might make one sad, but we are all well and happy; though my life in a foreign country often seems too long, and I should like to get away; but it can't be helped, one must work to live, and work where one finds work. I am quite content with mine. Of course, if one could find work in Germany instead of here, and live at one of the Universities on the Rhine, at Bonn or Heidelberg, one might enjoy life more. That will come some day, and then we can live happily together and drink a good glass of Rhine wine. Hurrah! If only the Veda were not so long 1 The old Indians 3,000 years ago might have written less; 1,000 quarto pages. But work agrees with me, and I take long walks, and the life is, on the whole, very pleasant, and yet one feels as if one hardly belonged to it; people are too polite for one to feel quite at one's ease. Do you know I would willingly take the post of Librarian at Dessau if it were free? I could carry on my work there, and in these troublous times, the more retired one's life, the safer and happier for one. But those are only plans, and one must be satisfied to be independent and able to earn one's daily bread; and it is better in these days to be a bachelor, in spite of ail the good advice you give me from time to time — rich heiresses are not so plentiful, even in England. Last week Jenny Lind sang here in a concert. I had never heard her, and paid my ten shillings, which I do not regret. She sings wonderfully, has a full, strong, rich voice, but there was a want of softness. She sang Italian songs, and Weber's Und ob die Wolke [Google translate: And whether the cloud], which she sang most beautifully, and showed a real love of her art. Her Swedish songs are lovely, so original. I longed to hear her sing some of Mendelssohn's songs; but she had to think of her public, and the John Bulls have little knowledge of music. She said after- wards to a friend of mine, that she considered Mendelssohn's Suleika the most beautiful song she knew, and she loved to sing it. The people here were wild about her, perfectly enchanted; but when Beethoven's Septette was played as a finale, they mostly went away; perfect barbarians! And yet they are good honest people, with whom it is easy to live when one understands them, I get on very well with John Bull, and he does not mind when I sometimes take him by the horns and shake him.'

To Bunsen he writes the same day: —

Translation. December 6, 1848.

'You will have perhaps already seen in the paper the delightful news of Trithen's appointment as Professor here. I am as pleased as if I had got it myself, for it was perhaps the only way of making a good useful man of him, after all the disappointments which of late weighed more and more on him. Though I had myself thought of this place, and had perhaps better chances than Trithen, I feel I have acted rightly, perhaps calculated rightly; for had Trithen divided votes with me, most probably a third candidate would have appeared, whereas now Trithen was almost unanimously elected. I hope something of the same sort may be found for Pauli, for I have begged Trithen to do all he can to get the Secretaryship of the Geographical Society for him, which Trithen must give up. So one helps another, and if one only desires what is right, one feels happy and at home in that united and ever-mysterious concatenation of results and circum- stances which constitute human life. Twenty-five years of this life lie behind me to-day, and one feels involuntarily in a more earnest and solemn frame of mind at such a moment. I look back with gratitude on the first half of my life, which, notwithstanding many sad moments, leaves me with the memory of a happy youth, and which at the same time, after many struggles, has given me a firm faith in a Divine Providence, trust in mankind and peace in myself, and cheerful courage to begin the second half of my life. If it is hard to give up all the plans and hopes which might have been realized in better times, still life is worth living, be it but a life of duty. God will help me further. Only continue your sympathy and kindness to me. It will be my endeavour to show myself worthy of them.'

To this Bunsen sent the following beautiful answer, which is the first of the letters printed by permission of Baroness Bunsen in Chips, Vol. Ill, first edition. Being out of print it is given here: —

Translation. London, December 7, 1848.

'My dear M., — 1 have this moment received your affectionate note of yesterday, and feel as if I must respond to it directly, as one would respond to a friend's shake of the hand. . . . And now, my very dear M., I congratulate you on the courageous frame of mind which this event causes you to evince1 [Trithen's election to Taylorian Professorship.]. It is exactly that which, as a friend, I wish for you for the whole of life, and which I perceived and loved in you from the very first moment. It delights me especially at this time, when your contemporaries are even more dark and confused than mine are sluggish and old-fashioned. The reality of life, as we enter the period of full manhood, destroys the first dream of youth; but with moral earnestness, and genuine faith in eternal Providence, and in the sacredness of human destiny in that government of the world which exists for all human souls that honestly seek after good — with these feelings the dream of youth is more than realized. You have undertaken a great work, and have been rescued from the whirlpool and landed on this peaceful island that you might carry it on undisturbed, which you could not have done in the Fatherland. This is the first consideration, but not less highly do I rate the circumstances which have kept you here, and have given you an opportunity of seeing English life in its real strength, with the consistency and stability, and with all the energy and simplicity that are its distinguishing features. I have known what it is to receive this complement of German life in the years of my training and apprenticeship. When rightly estimated this knowledge and love of the English element only strengthens the love of the German Fatherland, the home of genius and poetry. I will only add that I am longing to see you amongst us; you must come to us before long. Meanwhile think of me with as much affection as I shall always think of you.'

Max Muller spent Christmas with his kind friends at Totteridge, but the large and merry family party did not quite make up for the distance from his own relations, and when sending his mother a little money, which he exhorts her to spend and not hoard up, he adds, 'The day will come that we shall again be all together — only patience — in time all will come right.'
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Re: The Life and Letters of The Right Hon. Friedrich Max Mul

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Death of sister's children. Froude. Visit to Lakes. Prix Volney. Publication of first volume of Rig-veda. Carus. Visit to Germany.

Max Muller returned from his Christmas at Totteridge and three days alone in London with Bunsen with renewed health and courage for his work, resolved that, whatever effort it cost him, this year should see the publication of the first volume of the Rig-veda. Not only the East India Company, but Sanskrit scholars abroad were getting impatient for a first instalment of his great work; all but Burnouf forgetting the labour and time involved in contending single-handed with such a task. His old master, Brockhaus, wrote to him from Leipzig, urging him to publish some part at once: 'You must have printed a good deal; why leave us so long in suspense? Pending your edition, all Vedic studies remain vague and unsettled.' But unmoved by such complaints Max Muller pursued his own course, determined that his work should not be injured by hurry or carelessness. He tells his mother that he hardly gives himself the time to write her his usual monthly letter, 'I do nothing but work at the Veda.'

On his return Max found his old Paris friend, Dr. Pauli, who later on became Bunsen's private secretary, settled in Oxford, in the same house in which he himself lodged; so that although it was vacation, and Oxford was nearly empty, he had pleasant companionship. A very intimate friendship sprung up between the two, and their letters show on what easy terms they were with each other; and though their different lines of study drew them apart, they had the deepest affection for each other to the last. Dr. Pauli died in 1882.

At this time, Max Muller made an attempt to take up his Diary again, in which he had written nothing for four years. This attempt lasted about a week, and the habit was never resumed, except for a short time in 1857.

Diary, 1849.

Translation. January 6.

'What a pause! By mere chance I found this book to-day, and as I read it can hardly believe I wrote it! Four years are gone, perhaps the most important of my life; well I remember them, though I have not written them down. But such short notices are interesting in later years, and so I will begin again. I conquered Hagedorn, have learnt of Goldstucker and Trithen, and stand well with Bunsen; 688 pages of the Veda are printed, and my way tolerably clear. Today I received the news of G. Hermann's death; Letronne, too, died lately; where are their successors? I would gladly have seen old Hermann again; he was so brave, and noble, and free — a real Greek, and yet a German, with his small bright eyes. He has not lived in vain! Now for politics, but where to begin? In Germany all is tottering, and only kept up by bayonets. The King is frightened at the Imperial Crown. If Bunsen only stays quietly in England! He is to-day with the Queen; one hopes it is not to take leave. Stockmar, too, is there; I have seen his picture, quiet and clever; he influences Bunsen, who, however, makes use of him. Now vacation in Oxford. I worked bravely since I spent Christmas with Bunsen. This evening at a horrible party with — in — College. Ugly men and women, bad music; escaped with Pauli and Sellar, and smoked cigars in Balliol with Weatherly.'

January 7.

'A real English Sunday, which produces a certain dullness even in one's work. Read proof-sheets, and studied Lepsius's (Egyptian) Chronology without much effect. There are no clear results there as yet, though many clever hypotheses and difficulties. There is so little in Egypt to warm one! Walked with Sellar, dined with Weatherly, who had an evening party; on the whole pleasant, but not remarkable, so that men took to horse-play; that seldom happens in Germany. Bunsen has gone to Berlin, ostensibly to be instructed on the German question, but one hopes that his letters, which he let me read in Totteridge, have had an effect, and his presence may do more — unfortunately only for the moment — in the highest circles: may he come back safely! Pity that he is a diplomatist, or that the world wants such clever men.'

To Bunsen he writes on January 24: —


'If you are really going to exchange beautiful Totteridge for the dusty Wilhelmstrasse, I am sure England will soon become strange to me. You may laugh, but pray believe that the thought of you is so closely united with my whole thoughts and wishes, however seldom I venture to intrude upon you, that I cannot accustom myself to the idea of living so entirely separated from you.'

On January 29 we find Max Muller writing to Burnouf to inquire about the Prix Volney, a prize founded by Volney for the best work on language, written in any language during the year, and sent in for competition. He asks if his paper on the relation of Bengali to the other Indian languages, read before the British Association, was of sufficient importance to have any chance of winning the prize. Burnouf had noticed the little article very favourably in the Journal Asiatique. Max Muller ends his letter thus: —

'The printing of the Rig-veda goes on very slowly, and yet I give up nearly all the day to it, and often the night also. Ninety sheets are printed, up to half of the sixth Adhyaya, but I have undertaken a little too much, and I find I have not much time to study for myself, and arrange in some sort the results of my researches, I shall have to be content with presenting only the materials to the learned world, and all I wish is that they may find the text of my edition correct according to the MSS., and that others who are more worthy, and more skilful than I am for discoveries in the highest philology, may draw the inferences. In any case the mines of the Rig-veda are not the mines of California; the grains of gold are not to be found so near the surface that the pipilakas1 [Gold-finding ants in the Mahabharata.] can find them without any effort. It is for me to act as miner and for others to sift the ore; for it is given to few persons to do both, as you have done for the Zend-Avesta.'

But occupied as he was with his work, his longing for home and German life is constantly shown in his letters to his mother; and in one of them, in utter weariness of spirit, he writes of Oxford as 'the most tedious place in the whole of tedious England.' One pleasant prospect he had this summer: he had found occupation for his old friend Victor Carus as assistant to Dr. Acland, and the letters to his mother are full of happy anticipations of his arrival.

On February 9 Burnouf answered Max Muller's inquiries about the Volney Prize. On consideration his honoured master evidently thought the treatise too short for the Volney competition, and that being printed with Bunsen's and Meyer's much longer papers might also be a disadvantage. 'Men are so made,' says Burnouf, 'that size and bulk impose even on the most enlightened people. You have plenty of time to decide, and I hope you are convinced that if you compete your work will find a zealous advocate in me. I am so occupied with all the troubles in which we live, that I have become sadly and uselessly idle, and my health suffers. I owe the Revolution a disease of the heart. Receive the assurance of my lasting friendship.'

This year began Max Muller's great intimacy with J. A. Froude, which continued till the death of the latter in the autumn of 1894. On the publication of the Nemesis of Faith early in this year, and the consequent loss of his Fellowship, Max Muller was one of the few people in Oxford who stood by Mr. Froude and took a deep and active interest in his future plans of life. A remarkable letter from Bunsen on the subject will be found in the third volume of Chips (first edition). The following letter is in response to this: —

Translation. 9, Park Place, May 9, 1849.

'Froude has asked me to tell you that he will be in London in the course of a few days, and that his great wish is to see and talk with you. It would be very sad if talents such as Froude's fell into the hands of English Radicals, Chartists, and Unitarians, who are already opening their arms for him. You will see that Froude, on the contrary, has all the best elements of the High Church party in him, that the unity of the Christian Church is his ideal, for which he would sacrifice as much as a German for the unity of Germany. I am quite convinced that the regeneration of the English Church can only come from the High Church party. It alone has influence, and the respect of the English people, and possesses the best intellectual power. Newmanism is now taking a direction of which formerly one had no idea, and which with all its bad motives must produce, nolens volens [Google translate: and refuse to willingly], the finest effect. In order to prove the necessity of belief in authority, men forget, to a certain degree, the danger of the use of the sacred writings, their contradictions and difficulties with regard to chronology, astronomy, and geology. "Give me the Bible," said Socinius, "and I will prove all my heresies." Ewald's name is constantly mentioned here; he has proved as a grammarian that the five books of Moses were not written by Moses, thus destroying the theory of inspiration, and faith demands new guarantees. This the old Fathers foresaw, and therefore kept the Bible from the people. . . . Whence then come all the difficult passages in the Bible? Because with your idiotic theological grammarians, you cannot enter into the language of the Bible. Where is there anything in the Bible of your inspiration a la Houdin?1 [Google translate: A great conjurer.] It is not the language, but the spirit of the Bible which has become strange to us. . . . Newmanism was originally natural and honest in the English Church. The soil and air spoils it and inclines it to Romanism, but even this spoiling must work for good, and bring the English Church into a state of fermentation out of which she will come purified and reformed. Mere transference and translating of German works would never have any influence in England, but if men like Froude, who know the English nation, could show the practical results of German investigations and give them to the people not as a foreign, but as a native product, it might be possible for England to complete its reformation. There are people who believe as little in English mental power as in German marine power, but I have seen so many excellent gunboats launched here, and think that one might risk an Eckenforde2 [An engagement in the Danish-Prussian War, 1849.]. Froude is already more of a little steamship, that need not fear the salt water, but he wants more ballast, and that he must fetch from Germany, or he will suffer shipwreck. Vise his passport for a German port, where, spite of all storms, there is less danger than on the Dead Sea.'

Whilst working hard and almost entirely absorbed in the Veda, his thoughts were unexpectedly turned into another channel by the almost sudden death of two of his sister's children within three weeks of each other. The devoted young mother never really recovered from this sorrow.

To His Mother.

Translation. Oxford, April 4, 1849.

'The news of the death of my little godson was wholly unexpected, and filled me with sorrow, especially for poor Auguste, who, doubtless, feels this first loss deeply; but if the poor little fellow was so weakly, it is a blessing that God called him back so quickly to Himself. I know that it is useless to look for comfort in such thoughts, or that they lessen the grief and pain. Nor should they, for sorrow is necessary and good for men; one learns to understand that each joy must be indemnified by suffering, that each new tie which knits our hearts to this life must be loosed again, and the tighter and the closer it was knit, the keener the pain of loosening it. Should we then attach our hearts to nothing, and pass quietly and unsympathetically through this world, as if we had nothing to do with it? We neither could nor ought to act so. Nature itself knits the first tie between parents and children, and new ties through our whole life. We are not here for reward, for the enjoyment of undisturbed peace, or from mere accident, but for trial, for improvement, perhaps for punishment; for the only union which can ensure the happiness of men, the union between our self and God's self, is broken, or at least obscured, by our birth, and the highest object of our life is to find this bond again, to remain ever conscious of it, and hold fast to it in life and in death. This rediscovery of the eternal union between God and man constitutes true religion among all people: religion means binding together again. The impression made on me by the look of a child who is not yet conscious of himself and of the world round him, is that of still undisturbed godliness. Only when self-consciousness wakes little by little, through pleasure or pain, when the spirit accustoms itself to its bodily covering, when man begins to say I, and the world to call things his, then the full separation of the human self from the Divine begins, and it is only after long struggles that the light of true self-consciousness sooner or later breaks through the clouds of earthly semblances, and makes us again like the little children "of whom is the kingdom of heaven." In God we live and move and have our being — that is the sum of all human wisdom, and he who does not find it here will find it in another life. All else that we learn on earth, be it the history of nature or of mankind, is for this end alone, to show us everywhere the presence of a Divine Providence and to lead us through the knowledge of the history of the human spirit to the knowledge of ourselves, and through the knowledge of the laws of nature to the understanding of that human nature to which we are subjected in life. The death of a child is as if the flash of the Divine eye had turned quickly away from the mirror of this world, before the human consciousness woke up and thought it recognized itself in the mirror, often only to perceive for a moment, just as it closes its eyes for the last time, that that which it took for itself was the shadow or reflection of its eternal self. All this is not written in the Bible, but enough to guide the thoughtful Christian. It cannot be given to men, but each must find it for himself, and many paths lead to the same goal. If you think differently, there is no harm, for the difference lies only in the form, in names and words; on the whole we agree, and if a difference of life and occupation, if especially the powerful impressions of the moment bring greater joy or greater sorrow, and often lead to excitement, to doubts, one recovers oneself and finds that the doubts and difficulties lie where we ourselves have made and seek them! Each one must help himself, for it is difficult to discuss such things! A good conscience is better than all knowledge; that alone gives the peace we so sorely need. It is not enough to believe and pray, we must work and try to make ourselves useful. With a firm, upright will one can conquer everything. A good sailor is as self-possessed in a storm as in fine weather, for he knows no wave can rise higher than God wills. Those are the best statesmen in the present crisis who do their duty according to their conscience, unheeding party strife and noise. There is no rule of statesman's craft like "Do right and fear no one." Instead of this the wise diplomatists believe that they can do better with their tricks and stratagems, on which they place more reliance than on the eternal law of universal history, that what is good bears good, what is evil, evil fruit. And what applies to statesmen applies to every individual, and this ever-lasting vacillation and hesitation in Germany and elsewhere are more the result of infidelity, selfishness, and vanity than of anything else, and must naturally meet with their reward. I consider myself most fortunate in not being drawn into this whirlpool, and as little as I should hide my convictions, if so circumstanced that they might produce some good, so little would I exchange my study for a club (political) and my Veda for newspaper-writing, from ambition, passion, or sloth. These are the three powerful levers of our modern state-craft. Buy something for me for Auguste's birthday and give me credit till I come, which will be some time yet. But I won't grumble; I know this first volume of the Veda is of the greatest importance for me, and that I must do everything in my power to make it as good and perfect as possible. I will not tell you how much I long for home, but I should not enjoy it, if I had neglected anything in my work, for when I come I mean to enjoy myself; but spring, summer, and autumn may pass first, though I work as hard as I can without hurting my health. Bunsen has invited me several times to stay with them, but gladly as I would do so, I have always refused, so as not to waste time. I expect Victor Carus in August, so that I can myself introduce and settle him here. I shall be glad to have him, and he seems very much pleased with the post, though he only gets £100 a year.'

The following letter is interesting, as containing a mention of Tennyson, whose poems Max had learnt to admire from Palgrave, who gave him the earlier volumes: —

9, Park Place, April 27.

'My dear Palgrave, — When I went to London a fortnight ago, I hoped to see you there, but all my plans were upset, and instead of staying in town three days (this was all the furlough I could get from myself), I was there only for about six hours, and spent the rest of my time near London. London is certainly not the place to see one's friends, but Oxford is, and I hope you will keep your promise as soon as your duties as Ministre de l'Instruction Publique will allow you. Although I can offer you no lotus, you will find a good weed, which, you may tell Tennyson, does just as well. I can quite imagine how you must rejoice in his acquaintance, and I am afraid you will soon look down from the poetical height of the Tennysonian Olympus pitying that unhappy set of mortals who through their philosophical spectacles see only forms and shadows, while you, a poet amongst poets, enjoy life and light. However, you read old Goethe — he is more than a poet, and more than a philosopher, he is a full man, a whole humanity in himself I wish I could read him with you for my own sake, not for yours, for you are not the man to misunderstand him. Did it not strike you in Froude's Nemesis how the death of the child is a beautiful echo from the Wahlverwandtschaften? Oxford is flourishing again. Stanley, Jowett, &c., are up. Old Froude, however, has left a blank, and if you saw how they have pulled down your house, and how the fireplace where we smoked so many a jolly cigar is exposed to the eyes of the vulgus profanum [Google translate: profane crowd], you would find it a subject not unworthy an elegy. Plans for the summer I have made none, but think that my work will keep me till September. Then I shall go to pay homage to the German Emperor, or to the President of the German Republic, an alternative which will be decided in a very few days. Bye, bye, old fellow. Don't forget Oxford and the old set, who send you their love.'

To Dr. Pauli, who had settled in London, he writes: —

Translation. Oxford, May 14.

'My printer rides me nearly to death. I must soon unseat the fellow and go to grass. You would do better if, instead of working till you are weary and worn, you were to come here to us, where you would amuse yourself thoroughly.'

After all the sorrow that his sister had passed through, her mother had taken her for a few days' change to Dresden. They had hardly arrived before the Revolution of 1849 broke out. Max Muller saw in the papers the serious aspect of affairs, and for days had no letter from his mother. He writes to her: —

Translation. 9, Park Place, May 22.

'I can hardly tell you the anxiety with which I awaited your last letter. I never had a line for more than a month, and was afraid that you were ill from all the sorrow; and then came the terrible days in Dresden, and I read each day in the papers of the fighting and destruction spreading more and more towards the part of the town where I knew you were. Thank God that you escaped! but when you write that cannon-balls flew right over you, you cannot wonder that I am terrified. If this goes on in Germany I cannot leave you there without protection, and I am really thinking of giving up my work here, and going to you. In times like this all other considerations must give way, and many plans be given up. Why should one live on here in peace and quiet whilst others have to make such sacrifices? If I could only have you here with me! I have been thinking it over day and night, not the cost only, but if you could bear it here, so entirely alone, I all day at the Library or busy at home, and you with no one you could understand. I do not urge you to come, I only suggest it, and if you come I will gladly give up my plans for travelling when Vol. I is out. Your account of little Agnes' death1 [She died three weeks after her baby brother, aged four years.] was heartrending. I cannot tell you how hard it is to hear all this from far away, and then not to have a moment's rest from the incessant pressure of work and care and sorrow. Wherever one looks all is black and hopeless: I am so out of spirits that for weeks I have been nowhere, and find no peace unless I forget myself in work. If I could do anything to give you a pleasure, that is the only happiness I wish for.'

Some time before this he had written to Dr. Pauli: —

Translation. Park Place, 1849.

'My dear Pauli, — I expect every day to receive marching orders, or else be denounced as a deserter and unworthy son of my Dessau Fatherland! The young Dessauers have marched; the old Dessauers, such as the old Fritzes, are, alas! no longer to be found in our days. It seems hardly possible to avoid a civil war; folly has grown to madness, and one shudders in thinking of the consequences. Well, for the present, I shall stay quiet with my Veda, notwithstanding all Dessau Prime Ministers. One lives from day to day, till the real marching order comes. If you see the Minister Pulski, tell him that in the old Tory University of Oxford, at the last debate at the Union, a vote of sympathy with Hungary was carried by a large majority.'

To His Mother.

Translation. Oxford, June 15.

'As I opened your last letter the little lock of Agnes's hair fell out; dear little child, how much you have lost in her, especially as she seemed so devoted to you, and was already so useful to you. I own that my hopes for a speedy solution of the difficulties in Germany disappear more and more, and though I still trust my later life will be spent there, I shall now begin to look about for a settled position in England. I am convinced that after a time it would not be difficult to find a settled and remunerative occupation, where I could give you a pleasanter life than in this student's housekeeping. The great advantage of my present post is, that for the next six or eight years, I can live decently and am not forced to accept the first appointment that turns up. God will help further, and, notwithstanding the loneliness and the strange climate in which I have now lived so long, I recognize with deep thankfulness how much better off I am than many of my friends, though I have not deserved it. I lately received such a kind invitation from Bunsen for a party, that I went to London, and stayed with him two days. He lives in another house, a very fine one, one of the best in London. They had asked 750 people — the whole Corps Diplomatique, and the elite of English society. The whole house was like a garden, the balconies covered with awnings from which one had a splendid view over London, the garden of the house illuminated, beautiful music, German songs with a full chorus, from the German Opera now in London. I cannot describe the diamonds and the dresses, but I have never seen such a crowd of beautiful women and girls together. Guizot was there, and Palmerston; in fact, all the lions and lionesses of the season. The next evening I was invited to Lord Ellesmere's, one of the richest men here, whose collection of pictures is famous. Only think of looking round in the middle of a conversation and seeing on all sides Raphaels, Titians, Murillos, Carlo Dolces — all originals! This sort of thing only exists in England. Bunsen is unchanged in his affection; in spite of all he has to do, I always get a few lines from him as soon as anything of interest happens. He always hopes for the best, though prepared for the worst.'

After telling his mother she is wrong in entirely shutting herself up, he ends with these words: —

'Every one carries a grave of lost hope in his soul, but he covers it over with cold marble, or with green boughs. On sad days one likes to go alone to this God's acre of the soul, and weep there, but only in order to return full of comfort and hope to those who are left to us.'

Knowing the general ignorance in England at that time as to the value and meaning of the Rig-veda, Max Muller had been busy in writing a full and explanatory preface to the first volume. This, when finished, he gave to Wilson, who corrected and praised it, and had nothing to object to, but when Max Muller on June 1 showed him a letter he had written on the subject to the Directors, he suddenly turned round and seemed determined it should not be printed, and also told Max that he, Wilson, would never hear of his returning to live in Germany till the whole of the Rig-veda was finished. Though Max Muller had kept to his bargain and prepared his fifty sheets a year, Wilson, whose translation depended on his edition, scolded him like a schoolboy, telling him he might do more if he chose. The next day Wilson seemed to repent of his ill humour, and said he would like to see the preface printed as a separate work, not with the Veda. Max Muller concludes his account of the whole scene with these words, 'I cannot make that old man out. He is honest and straight-forward, of great power and energy, but nothing to grease the wheels.'

In his letter to the Court of Directors Max Muller mentions that in this preface, which consisted of 300 pages quarto, he had given for the first time an account of the Vedic literature and its three distinguishable periods, and had explained the relation of the Vedic to the rest of Sanskrit literature.
He had evidently discussed the matter with Bunsen, for in a letter written about the middle of June he says, 'I have at once copied again the letter which you were so good as to correct, and for which you have personally secured a good reception, and enclose it, begging you, if all is right, to post it,' and in September he writes to Bunsen: —

Translation. Park Place, 1849.

'The news of the success of my petition was a complete surprise — therefore all the more joyful, and all the more so that I again owe the success to your friendly services. Your proposal, which the Directors accept, gives me far more than I asked. Of course I shall print and publish it in England, but first I shall go to Germany, and spend the winter there. Are three months of holiday really too much after three years' work and absence from home?'

After the pleasant visit to Bunsen in June, he writes to him: —


'I have returned safely to my Isola Bella [Google translate: beautiful island], as though after a fairy voyage. The awaking after such a beautiful dream is not always pleasant, and so I will employ the first moments of my solitude here, whilst my Sanskrit does not yet attract me, in thanking you for the refreshing hours which your kind invitation secured me. ..."Nil desperandum Teucro duce et auspice Teucro! [Google translate: Nothing guide the desperate and look after thee!]" But what would have become of me had not such a Teucer taken me up? Now I do not despair of finding a new Salamis, wherever it may be! If the wind improves, then up with the sail; if it is against one, then "pull away," and perhaps at last one will reach a safer and German port. Oxford is so beautiful just now, I wish I could show it to you. . . .'

It was not long before his unremitting work began to tell on him. He says in a letter at this time, 'I am writing all day,' and worse almost than this was the constant worry of trying to hurry on the printers. At length he acknowledges that 'the English will not be driven, one must take them as they are.' His headaches became almost incessant, and his doctor at last insisted on his taking some rest, so Morier carried him off to the Lakes to join a reading party under Jowett, Froude being also in the neighbourhood. He writes from there to Burnouf: —

July 26, 1849.

'The reason I have left your last friendly letter so long unanswered is that I wished to send you an essay for the Prix Volney. I have followed your kind advice, and instead of sending in the printed essay, I have put together a special one for this purpose from my Collectaneum. It treats of the history of the civilization of the Aryan nations before the fifteenth century B.C., as far as one can construct it from the researches of comparative philology. I was very much grieved to hear that your health has suffered of late, and that your work has been therefore interrupted. I hope you are now feeling better, and are able to carry on your important investigations with renewed vigour. I have been ill again and had to leave Oxford to recruit here at the Westmoreland Lakes. I hope soon to be so far better as to be able to finish the first Ashtaka. Rawlinson will soon come to England, and has promised the explanation of the Babylonian inscriptions. Wilson is busy with an English translation of the Rig-veda; he does not consider the translation of Langlois literal enough. I hope soon to go to Germany, as I cannot stand the climate of England; incessant headaches make any fatiguing work impossible.'

Two days later he writes to his mother: —

Translation. Grange, Derwentwater, July 28.

'I have been for a fortnight in this beautiful country, with two great friends, who were going to spend their holidays here, and asked me to go with them. We take long walks every day on the mountains, or row on the lakes, or ride, which we enjoy very much. I was knocked up with incessant work, but I feel perfectly well since I came here, and hope soon to be able to return to Oxford. The beauty of England is so great that one cannot understand why the English always go to the Continent in search of beautiful scenery. There is nothing so beautiful as being alone with nature: one sees how God's will is fulfilled in each bud and leaf that blooms and withers, and one learns to recognize how deeply rooted in one is this thirst for nature. In living with men, one is only too easily torn from this real home; then one's own plans and wishes and hopes and fears spring up; then we fancy we can perfect something for ourselves alone, and think that everything must serve for our ends and enjoyments, until the influence of nature in life or the hand of God arouses us, and warns us that we live and flourish, not for enjoyment, nor for undisturbed quiet, but to bear fruit in another life. When one stands amid the grandeur of nature, with one's own little murmurs and sufferings, and looks deep into this dumb soul, much becomes clear to one, and one is astounded at the false ideas one has formed of this life. It is but a short journey, and on a journey one can do without many things which generally seem necessary to us. Yes, one can do without even what is dearest to our hearts, in this world, if we know that after the journey which we have to endure we shall find again those who have arrived at the goal quicker and more easily than we have done. Now if life were looked upon as a journey for refreshment or amusement, which it ought not to be, we might feel sad, if we have to make our way alone; but if we treat it as a serious business-journey, then we know we have hard and unpleasant work before us, and enjoy all the more the beautiful resting-places which God's love has provided for each of us in life. We have all of us, in these last years, had such a long rest, and enjoyed life so quietly, that now, when we have to fight on again, we have quite forgotten that our power for fighting was meant for something more than parades and reviews. Look how the true soldier rejoices when a real battle is at hand, and so the true man should rejoice, when God calls him to an earnest life struggle; and when the last friends fall right and left, one goes into the conflict with yet more determined courage to gain that object which is set before each of us. You may think this too serious a view of life: I assure you it is this view of life which has given me my cheerful spirit, and helps to keep it up, and which makes it possible for me with firm faith to contemplate fearlessly the struggles of life that are still before me. The one thing I desire and hope is that God will give me strength to maintain my independence by unremitting work, so that I may always pursue that way in life which according to my convictions appears the right one. If God gives me more, and it is granted me to lead a quiet and happy life with you, it is more than I deserve But courage—nothing can happen to us in life, but what is really the best for us. And now for my plans. I have about 100 pages more to print, which may be ready in six weeks. Then I shall go to Germany and spend the winter with you, wherever you like. I shall look about in Germany, to see if I can find a place in any University, preferably at Bonn, and see if it would be possible to prepare my MS. in Germany, and to come over every year for a short time to England for the printing. That would be delightful—but I won't build any castles in the air, as there is much to consider. If this does not answer I would return to England, and you could come and visit me. Then I should alter my plans and build my hopes on England and on finding a post here, where you could be quite comfortable, and live with me and keep house. The longer one lives in England, the more one longs to be back in Germany. A stormy is better than a dead sea! The English grow more like the Chinese with each year, and nature herself has built a Chinese wall round their lovely country. But if one makes oneself into a Chinaman, one gets on well with them.'

He writes to Dr. Pauli from Borrowdale:—


'The neighbourhood here is glorious, and we are just in from a walk with old Morier. We can jump out of our windows into the water, we fish for trout, and smoke a weed. Then there are boats, ponies, carts, and no living soul except dogs and sheep, and an old farmer's family with a lingo which is difficult to understand. I shall stay some time, and wish you could come here, for it is really unique, and whilst I write I hear the sound of waterfalls on all sides, for they are swollen by late rains. Froude lives close by, and I am going to stay with him. Mary Barton, Miss Martineau, and other literary swells live about here—and the Veda may see how it can do without me.'

Whilst at the Lakes Max Muller copied out his treatise on the 'Results of the Investigations of Language as to Ancient History,' forming part of the Prolegomena to the Veda, which he sent to M, Burnouf for the competition for the Prix Volney. In writing to acknowledge the safe arrival of the MS., Burnouf says:—


'We shall need all the forces at our disposal, for the number of competitors is large, and from what I hear powerful, and many of these will be supported by very active friends. I have been entrusted with the first examination of your Essay, and shall receive it to-day. But if we must fight, we will fight—you know we French do not fear blows, we like them, alas! only too much. Good-bye, my dear friend. Take care of your health. I am very sorry to hear that it has suffered from overwork. But to work, one must live.'

To Dr. Pauli he writes after leaving the Lakes:—

Translation. August 24, 1849.

'I have at last finished my holiday, and yet, long as it was, did not get to Scotland. But we amused ourselves to the last day. I was a fortnight with Froude, boating, and fishing, and whatever other amusements there are, whereby we grow older but not wiser. Morier and Jowett are gone to the Isle of Man, but my old love, the Veda, drew me back to Oxford.'

On returning to Oxford he found his friend Dr. Acland contending almost single-handed with a serious outbreak of cholera. It was the depth of Long Vacation, the members of the University were away, and most of the medical men taking their summer holiday. Max Muller put himself at his friend's disposal, and worked with him in tracing out cases, attending to the sick and giving relief, till he himself nearly succumbed to a sharp attack, and Dr. Acland would not allow him to do any more visiting. On recovering he writes to Bunsen:—


'I enclose a letter from M. Reinaud for you to read. I think I can now feel pretty confident of receiving the prize. I am delighted at the result, and feel how much more good comes to me than I have ever deserved. But I will now begin again to work in all earnest, if God gives me health, which has again in these last weeks lost me much time, and German air will, I hope, prove better medicine than all I have been swallowing here.'

In September his old friend Victor Carus arrived, and settled in the same house with Max Muller. They breakfasted together, and then separated for their work, Carus working at Christ Church, and they dined together, when not asked to dine out. Carus finally left Oxford at Easter, 1851, but he had been absent for many months of the time, working in the Scilly Isles, and the last few months of his stay in Oxford he lived in Dr. Acland's house, so that the friends were really less together than they had expected.

Early in October came the welcome news that he had gained the Prix Volney. Burnouf writes:—

Translation. Paris, October 5, 1849.

'My dear Friend,—I hasten to announce to you, that on my report, the Commission of the Institute, who have to adjudge the annual prize founded by M. de Volney, has accorded you the first prize of 1,200 francs. A second prize of 1,000 francs has been awarded to another work, curious in fact, but not sufficiently serious in form. I held that the first prize must be adjudged you, as much for the merit of your work, as for the dignity of those great studies, of which, in a very short time, you will be one of the chief ornaments. No one can feel greater pleasure than I do in announcing your success to you. Everybody entertained the kindest feelings towards you. Remember, you are not to mention your success before the 25th, as it is not till that day that the prizes are announced at the public seance. Your devoted friend,

' E. B.'

And now, after four years of labour in collecting the materials, the first volume of the Hymns of the Rig-veda, with Sayana's Commentary, was printed and nearly ready for publication. The text had been prepared from MSS. in the Bibliotheque Royale of Paris, the East India House, and the Bodleian Library, for in the whole of Germany no MSS. were to be found, except some very old and imperfect copies of the text and a few worm-eaten fragments of Sayana at Berlin. The MSS. in France and England had been collated and copied by Max Muller's own hand, entirely without help. The MSS. of Sayana were most imperfect, made by copyists who did not understand their subject, and were therefore full of mistakes, which had all to be rectified to produce a correct text. It abounds moreover in obscure quotations, and many of the works quoted had not been edited at this time, and yet every quotation had to be verified and explained. It was a gigantic undertaking for so young a scholar, and in his preface he gratefully acknowledges the constant encouragement he had received from men like Burnouf and Wilson, and the readiness with which the librarians of the public libraries in Paris, London, and Oxford spread their treasures before him, whilst Burnouf and Dr. Mill generously placed their private collection of MSS. at his service, and Dr. Rieu, Sub-Librarian of the British Museum, aided in the correction of the proof-sheets of this volume.

So after three years of absence he was able to hurry off to his own family, with the restful feeling that he had well earned his longed-for holiday. He thus takes leave of Bunsen:—

Translation. London, October 20, 1849.

'In the hurry of my journey it is not possible to answer your kind letter, which is very precious to me. Your confidence in me gives me fresh courage, and an earnest resolution to work on bravely; but do not expect too much from me, that I may not fall too far short of your expectations. The love of science and desire of distinction are often too weak to overcome the vis inertiae [Google translate: force of inertia] and the longing for rest and retirement, especially in these days of barbarism, of mental poverty and godlessness, where one finds no hearing for research, let alone the hope of starting anything useful. I owe you much, very much, were it only that the thought of you keeps alive in me the love of duty, and the desire to win the approbation of good men.'

Immediately on his arrival in Berlin Max Muller sought out his friend and patron, Alexander von Humboldt, who continued to the end to take a deep interest in the scholar whom he remembered from his Berlin student-days. Unfortunately all the letters from Max Muller to Humboldt have disappeared, but permission has been given to use one or two of Humboldt's notes to Max, though there is nothing of special interest in them, as showing his friendly feelings towards the young Sanskritist.

Translation. Potsdam, November 2, 1849.

'It is with the greatest joy that I greet again on German soil so talented and industrious a scholar as Dr. Max Muller. An unforeseen absence from home robbed me the other day of the joy of your visit. I expect you, therefore, the day after to-morrow, Friday, between 1 and 2 o'clock, if that suits you. The Prolegomena to the Veda will be of the greatest interest to me, and I shall hand it to the public with pleasure, if you wish me to do so. With kindest regards, yours,

' A. v. Humboldt.'

From Berlin Max Muller writes to his friend and master Burnouf:—

9, Schadow Strasse, Berlin, November 8.

'Dear Sir,—My best thanks for your kind letter. You can imagine how happy I am, after having received from the French Academy this unexpected distinction, but what gives to this distinction its highest value is that this honour has been bestowed on my essay on your recommendation. I knew very well your kind intentions towards me, and was persuaded that I should find in you a kind judge. But I was also too well acquainted with your character, to expect that your kindness for me could exercise any influence on those principles on which you act. Having received therefore this prize through you, I think I have solid reason to feel happy about it, and to consider it as a good omen for my future studies. The first volume of the Rig-veda has at last appeared. I left it finished before I went to Germany, and though I am afraid there will be some delay by the bookbinder, bookseller, &c., I hope you will soon receive a copy of it at Paris. I have not yet given up my plan of coming to Paris, before I return to England. There are many things connected with the Veda, which I have treated in my Prolegomena to the Veda, on which I should like very much to hear your opinion before it is printed. I hope no other Revolution will come between it, as the last time when I came to Paris, for I see also here at Berlin that revolutions leave the minds of men not in a favourable disposition for discussing questions connected with the history of bygone nations. I hope your health will soon be entirely restored, and I shall find you again at your morning upanishads, animated by the same lively interest, and with the same warmth of discussion and conversation, as three or four years ago.

'Believe me, dear sir,

'Yours very gratefully and faithfully,


From Berlin he writes again to Bunsen:—

Translation. Berlin, November 12, 1849.

'After spending a short time in Dresden and Leipzig, I have come to Berlin, and my mother with me, and shall stay here till Christmas. I have found many of my old friends here, and satiated with politics the interest in scientific pursuits seems to be slowly reviving. The feeling of dejection in Prussia and Germany is great, and the good see with dismay that the pendulum of the State machinery, which in March was swung too far to the left, now, with the same want of caution, is swung too far to the right. That from that point there will again be a reaction every one seems to forget. They fancy they can hold the pendulum fast to the right, forgetting that either the clockwork must break, or the weight must fall back with the same force. Yesterday, I received a letter from Oxford, in which I am told that my Oxford friends are taking pains to secure me a place in the British Museum, and have written to you about it. It is the place of Keeper of the Oriental MSS., with £450 income. I shall not stand for the place: the tastes of the late librarian led him to collect a wealth of Arabic, Syriac, and Persian MSS., but Indian and Old Persian were totally neglected. I should not suit the place, but might not Rieu get it ? His knowledge exactly fits him for it, and this appointment would assure his whole future and be a great advantage to science. Lepsius is very well, and is just going to bring out another volume, chiefly drawings. Lepsia, too, and Lepsiuncula are well. Bopp is just the same, unchanged; but one cannot expect anything more from him for Sanskrit. It is to be hoped that Weber by his work will soon gain a Professorship, not only in his own interest, but also for the sake of his work. I have not yet seen Humboldt; he is in Potsdam, and I will wait till I have received the copies of the Rigveda. I am going to-day to the Chamber for the first time. The seats in the Chamber are already getting empty, and ennui will do more service than a state of siege. To see men like Dahlmann1 [Died 1860] taking a part in these transactions is really sad. He is too good an historian to be a politician. I occupy myself here with the revision of my Prolegomena; I cannot alter it much more. Yours in true devotion.'
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Re: The Life and Letters of The Right Hon. Friedrich Max Mul

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Dinner at Potsdam. Morier's illness. Return to Oxford. Rauch. Waagen. Appointed to lecture at Oxford. Letters from Professors Cowell and Story-Maskelyne. Visit to Froude. Article in Edinburgh Review. Made Deputy Professor and Honorary M.A.

After a pleasant Christmas at Chemnitz with his mother and sister, where also his friend Morier joined him, Max Muller, with Morier, returned to Berlin, where the latter meant to spend some months studying German. Max writes to his mother from Berlin:—

Translation, Berlin, Jan. 30.

'I am very comfortable with Goldstucker, but I am tired of being idle, and am longing to be back in Oxford now I am no longer with you. I have been visiting old friends, Bettina von Arnim and Varnhagen; they have both become red republicans.'

He had met Humboldt, who told him that the King had expressed a wish to see him before he returned to England, and soon after brought him a command to dine at Potsdam. He sends his mother a lively account of the dinner:—

Translation. Berlin, Feb. 2, 1850.

'Dearest Mother,—I must tell you all about my visit to the King. Early Friday came a messenger from the palace to invite me to dinner at Charlottenburg, and at 2.30 Humboldt came in his carriage to take me there. He told me it would be quite a small party, but when we arrived we found about thirty people already assembled, and we all waited for the King. Humboldt introduced me to various people, and the ladies and gentlemen of the Court were evidently much surprised at my presence, as I was the only man without epaulets and about ten Orders. At last came the King and Queen. I was again the only person who had not yet been presented. So I was taken through all the ladies and gentlemen and presented to His Majesty. "Brahma is great, but fear not!" I thought, as I looked at the King, only separated from me by his mountainous embonpoint [Google translate: overweight]. He asked me where I was born, and told me that in the Dessau library he had seen the poet Muller. Then he talked of the Duchess, and at last asked how I liked England, and then saying "Wunsche Ihnen guten Appetit" (I wish you a good appetite), bowed and dismissed me. Then the Queen came up to me, and was asking me about the Duchess, when the King hurried up to her, gave her his arm, saying as Berlin wit, "Monsieur, s'il vous plait, dinner is served." Then we went into the next room. I sat between two officers, and enjoyed my dinner, which was a very good one. I took the liberty of letting my knife and fork go with each course, till I remarked that the servants looked askance, and then I saw to my great surprise that the ladies and gentlemen round me eat everything with the same knife and fork! What to do ? to imitate them ? No, I went quietly on to the last dish, and let the footmen and my neighbours and vis-a-vis think of me what they pleased; but I was amused. After dinner we had coffee in quite a small room. The King came up to me again, and asked if I knew English, and other kindly questions, and then joined the Queen. I had some talk with some of the Gentlemen in Waiting, Count Puckler, &c.; then their Majesties went away, and I drove home with Humboldt. He was very sorry that the party had been so large, but said the King was so much occupied it was difficult to see him alone. It amused me very much to have this peep into the royal circle, and it may be useful to me later on. Humboldt was delightful. I have been busy for him on the names of the Dogstar in Sanskrit, which he will mention in Cosmos. That is better than dining with the King, but I knew you would want me to describe it all, but you must not repeat it to everybody. I am often afraid on this account of telling you everything when I write. There was no talk of an Order, which would do me more harm than good.'

Max Muller had arranged to leave Berlin directly after the dinner at Potsdam, but his friend Morier was taken suddenly ill with quinsy, and he was obliged to stay on and nurse him through a most alarming attack, and it was not till quite the end of February that he was able to start for Paris, where he received his 1,200 frs. for the Prix Volney and saw Burnouf and many of his old French friends.

Meantime Professor Wilson—always a cold, hard man, unable to enter readily into the difficulties and engagements of other people where they were contrary to his own views—became very impatient for his return, and wrote to him as follows:—

Oxford, Feb. 26, 1850.

'My dear MULLER,—I had hoped to have seen you in Oxford on the occasion of my visit there, but it is now drawing to a close, and I understand there is no prospect of your early arrival. I regret this much, as unless we can proceed a little quicker than we have done with the printing of the Rig-veda, I fear I shall scarcely live to see it finished, in time at least to finish the translation; unless I do as Langlois has done, and go to work upon the MSS. only. In that case I should have to walk off with all the India House copies, and leave you to the Bodleian alone. The only other expedient I can think of is to summon some other Vaidik—Roth, for instance—to your help; but seriously I wish you would soon resume your labours. It is high time to put a stop to all the wild fancies that a partial knowledge of the light and a reliance upon such equivocal guides as the Brahmanas and Sutras seem likely to engender. I want you also to help in the distribution of the copies. I have the Court's sanction to the presentation of above 100 copies to different public bodies and eminent individuals both here and abroad. If I cannot expect your assistance in carrying this sanction into effect, I must do as well as I can without it, but it is a task that will give me some trouble. I have finished the translation, and printed about half of it. It will be completed, I hope, in about six weeks. Trithen and your other Oxford friends are all well, and will be glad to see you again amongst them. Yours sincerely,

'H. H. Wilson.'

Max Muller had written from Paris to his mother:—

March 8.

'It was an unfortunate thing being kept in Berlin, but I have the happy feeling that I was doing what was right, and so I must be satisfied.'

He was scarcely settled in Oxford before he writes to Bunsen:—

Translation. March, 1850.

'My best thanks for your friendly welcome to England. I hope your health has not suffered from the various efforts and excitements of your journey to Germany. I have seen with great interest in the publication of the Prussian Circular Note the realization of the ideas to which you gave expression before the end of last year. And so, suddenly, the Gordian knot of the Austrian diplomatic tow-rope is cut to pieces, and Prussia at last appears as primus inter pares [Google translate: first among equals.]. That the idea of an Emperor is put down as a possible impossibility is sad, but as it had become a subject of scandal it was better to give it up. Should the thunder-clouds of civil war really burst over Germany, the German Emperor would come, not from Schmerling or Gagern, but by the grace of God. How much I wish to see you, how many questions I would gladly have answered! But your invitation now in the midst of all your business is too much for me to accept, though I cannot be certain that a strong influence may not drive me to London for a few hours. I am expecting a lot of MSS. from India, which I have bought for myself, as I did not think that the Berlin Library would receive permission for such things at this moment. I am in direct correspondence with the Asiatic Society in Calcutta. My old Veda is a real comfort to me, despite all the wearisomeness of the difficult and yet mechanical work of revision, but it will require much time and labour before the end is possible. Mr. Langlois, Professor of Rhetoric, has made the task much easier to himself. Without commentary, and, as he proudly says, without philological considerations, he has translated the Veda straight away very cavalierement [Google translate: cavalier]: the two first books have just appeared at Didot's. One cannot enter into discussion with a man of this sort, and yet it is provoking, for the book is easy to read, and from the first page will give ideas of the Veda which will afterwards cost much trouble to remove, just as people now use and quote the translation of the Ezour-veda by Voltaire. An approximate translation of the Veda can be made, and I believe that even Wilson's English translation will only be approximate. And yet if I had to wait ten years, I would not translate a single line till the whole Vedic antiquity with its wealth of thought lay clearly before me. If you take a hymn from the last book of the Rig-veda interesting for social considerations and moral ideas, as a whole it is clear, but the sequence of ideas is very difficult. Forgive this long scrawl. You need not read it all, and to-morrow is Ash Wednesday, when all diplomatists must do special penance for last year. The poor Pope must cover his head with ashes, and the new Roman Commonwealth will be a common misery. Gioberti seems to have had his day of Damascus, and wishes to make himself an Italian Gagern. The worst are always the best when once the scales fall from their eyes. They won't believe this in Berlin, but Messrs. Brandenburg, &c., are really too good for these bad times.'

Max Muller devoted nearly all the year after his return from Germany to the Veda, and only gave himself a few days' rest from time to time, as he continued to find the Oxford climate very trying. He writes to his mother:—

Translation. Oxford, April 26, 1850.

'One thing is necessary above all things in order to live peaceably with people, that is in Latin humanitas, German Menschlichkeit. It is difficult to describe, but it is to claim as little as possible from others, neither an obliging temper nor gratitude, and yet to do all one can to please others, yet without expecting them always to find it out. As men are made up of contradictions, they are the more grateful and friendly the less they see that we expect gratitude and friendliness. Even the least cultivated people have their good points, and it is not only far better, but far more interesting if one takes trouble to find out the best side and motives of people, rather than the worst and most selfish. I write to you what I have often said to myself when I was brought in contact with strangers, and because I find that on the whole I get on well with them. This may appear very artificial, but life is an art, and more difficult than Sanskrit or anything else. A kindly nature can win us by taking pains, but an unkind nature fails, notwithstanding all art and cunning. I am so busy that one day goes after another. I hardly see any one; then I have caught cold, and have constant toothache and headache. But one must faire bonne mine a mauvais jeu [Google translate: do good mine has a bad game.], and if we have no one to pour out our ills to, we must get on as well as we can. I meant to write sooner, but I have been out of sorts the whole time.'

To Bunsen, who had begged him to go 'with bag and baggage to 9, Carlton Terrace, to one who longs to see' him, he writes:—

Translation. Oxford, May 17, 1850.

'How gladly would I accept your kind invitation; the hours I am allowed to spend with you are not only the happiest, but the most instructive and most remunerative; but I have sold my freedom and made myself a day labourer, so at all events I must not leave the cart sticking fast as long as it is in human power to move it. I have a section of MS. ready, which I can print with a good conscience. What will happen later I don't yet know myself, but hope for an interim fit aliquid [Google translate: Meanwhile, something happens.]. I hope, however, to make myself free for a couple of days as soon as I can—that is, as soon as Wilson leaves; he comes next week to Oxford for his lectures. I have heard nothing of Froude for a long time, except that he is very happily married. I don't believe he is the author of any "red and raw" articles, and as far as I can discover he has only written one literary article for the Leader, but I cannot answer for this, as I don't know the paper. I cannot get Rawlinson's treatise. His brother says he told him that you are the only person in London with whom he can talk about Babylon.'

A little later we find Max Muller paying a visit to Morier's father and mother at Bath. He was delighted with the place, and still more with the affection shown by the old people to one to whose devoted nursing their only son owed his life— a debt of gratitude never forgotten by any member of the family, who all remained his faithful friends till called away before him one after another.

To F. Palgrave, Esq.

9, Park Place, Oxford, June 18, 1850.

'My dear Palgrave,—I hope I shall be able to get away from Oxford about the end of this week, so if you can give me a bed I should like to come to Kneller Hall on Friday or Saturday. I am thoroughly tired of Oxford, and hope I shall feel jollier again when we sit together on your tower and smoke a weed; but no In Memoriam, rather something about airy, fairy Lilians and other sweet creatures without a soul. However, I do not mean to say that Tennyson's last poems are not very beautiful, yet I do not like those open graves of sorrow and despair, and wish our poets would imitate the good Christian fashion of covering them with flowers, or a stone with a short inscription on it.'

From Kneller Hall Max Muller went for a week to Bunsen, from whom he always gathered fresh courage for his hard work and more or less lonely life. Of this visit Max Muller tells his mother:—

Translation. Oxford, July 22, 1850.

'I met Rauch the sculptor in London, who was staying at Bunsen's: a really delightful old man, who lives only for the beautiful, and has no eyes for anything else. He came to Oxford with me, and was quite enchanted with it, and I enjoyed it more than ever with him. He was quite ill with the wealth of the buildings, monuments, churches, halls and pictures, and the beauty of the scenery, and really when seeing the most striking things he seemed hardly able to control himself One day I went with him to Blenheim. . . . Later on I had a visit from Professor Waagen, the Director of the Berlin Museum, and one of the best German connoisseurs of art; I had to show him about. Then came Professor Ennemoser from Munich, and lastly George Bunsen, who only left me yesterday. He sings beautifully, and we had a great deal of music.'

From the following letter it is evident that his Vedic studies were beginning to attract general attention, and that an article on the subject was desired for one of the great Quarterly-Reviews:—

To Chevalier Bunsen.

Translation. 9, Park Place, Oxford, July, 1850.

'Your Excellency,—I feel much refreshed spiritually by having been in your presence, which always acts like fresh spring rain on dusty fields; physically I feel better, though I cannot say well yet, and though the body ought to be subject to the spirit, still the spirit has only too often to follow the lead of the body.

With regard to Empson's and Dr. Wilson's letters, it is difficult to advise. I have no doubt whatever, that something can be written about the Veda which would reach even the dullest ears. Whether Dr. Wilson can undertake that task is another question. You know the dry hard shell in which the Veda is presented to us, and which seems still harder and more wooden in the English translation. Nevertheless I of course shall be glad if the Rig-veda is dealt with in the Edinburgh Review, and if Wilson would write from the standpoint of a missionary, and would show how the knowledge and bringing into light of the Veda would upset the whole existing system of Indian theology, it might become of real interest.'

Only a few days after writing the above, Max Muller heard from Bunsen that Eastwick, the translator of Bopp's Comparative Grammar, wished for a review of it in the Quarterly, and urging him to undertake it. This is the first mention of the article which appeared ultimately in the Edinburgh Review in October, 1851, and which was the first of several articles written by Max Muller for that periodical.

To Chevalier Bunsen.

Translation. Oxford, July 14, 1850.

'I accept with pleasure the proposal with regard to an article on Bopp's Comparative Grammar, translated by Eastwick, and thank you for it. I must ask you to be good enough to assure Mr. Lockhart of my readiness. I do not think that a short review will cost much time and labour, and if you will allow me, next week, when I shall be in London for a few days, I will call and get some directions and hints from you. God help Schleswig-Holstein, and not punish Prussia in His wrath. If the Schleswig-Holsteiners are conquered and annihilated, they have fought for their rights and have fallen gloriously on the field of honour, after the will of history. But if a power, to which all Europe has offered the leading position, allows itself to be intimidated by the threats of the Danes and Russians, and withdraws a given promise, that is worse than a retreat before a battle.'

Two days later he writes to Palgrave:—

9, Park Place, Oxford, July 16, 1850.

'My DEAR Palgrave,—If you have ever amused yourself in spending a whole Long Vacation in Oxford—of which I do not think you have ever been guilty—you would know that it is more like purgatory than anything else. Yet here I am, and I cannot get away on account of one miserable MS. which I must go and look at every day while I am carrying my Rig-veda through the Press. I should have liked very much to spend a few weeks with you and Froude, and I have tried everything to accomplish my plan, but it was impossible without stopping my work altogether, which for many reasons I could not do. I shall be tied to Oxford for a month or two longer—a pleasant prospect, as then the fine season will be over, and no chance left for refreshing one's soul except in the cold weather. However, it is no use writing epistolae ex Ponto! [Google translate: letters from Pontus] I am glad to hear that Froude gets on so well, and that his choice has been such a happy one. Johnson is back, and looks very joyful, as well as his bride. Professor Waagen is staying with him, and I am sure you would enjoy their conversation. I can only admire their skill in admiring the most ugly, stiff and out of joint pictures: however, such is art.'

From the very moment that his own position became tolerably settled by the patronage bestowed on his Rig-veda by the East India Company, Max Muller was always trying to help others in some respects less fortunate than himself. A long correspondence exists as to the place of German teacher at Rugby, which he tried in 1849 to secure for Dr. Pauli. Soon after the latter became private secretary to Bunsen, Max heard of a place vacant at the University of Berlin, and writes to Pauli:—


'If Bunsen is interested about it, he should not forget Weber. He is older than —, and has done more, and then has a wife and child. Please do not forget to mention this.'

And in the following letter, whilst presenting his father's poems to Bunsen, he tries to do another friend a good turn:—

Translation. Oxford, October 9, 1850.

'I am sending the new edition of my father's poems which I brought out during my German "Winter-journey." There are many new things in it, and I trust the work will help to keep alive the memory of the poet who died so early! You have spoken of him to me so often, and in a manner so grateful to my feelings, that it is a great pleasure to be allowed to send you this new edition. Then I wish to ask your advice. I visited Froude this week to make the acquaintance of his wife and daughter. He is thinking of an article on German poetry since Goethe. He has collected some good material, especially very successful translations from Uhland, Heine, and a few poems of my father's. Do you think that the Quarterly would open its columns to an article on Uhland, Muller, Heine, Lenau, &c., and is it too much to ask you to persuade Lockhart to take such an article ? It is quite understood that the subject would be treated purely from the historical and aesthetic point of view.'

Towards the end of this year, after an almost continuous summer of labour at the Veda, Max Muller was seized with a sudden feeling of utter weariness of England and his life here, and writes to Bunsen:—

Translation. Oxford, November, 1850.

'As soon as I received your letter I wrote to Froude. I do not think that he can write as comprehensive an article as you describe. What he could best write would be a small genre picture of German lyric poetry since Goethe, the time when the old man tripped over the roots of the trees he had himself planted; an estimate of the (compared with Goethe) poetae mediocres [Google translate: mediocre poets] to whom with Horace one willingly denies all right to existence, because they have never, like Homer, Dante, Goethe, and Byron, visited the devil in hell. If Froude once left this sphere to sketch a picture of the mental and religious struggles of the Fatherland since Goethe, he would from want of accurate knowledge fall into extremes; and the Edinburgh, which is not far behind the Quarterly in anti-German feeling, would be closed against him. The prospects for Germans in England get steadily worse: happy he who can live in his own land. Things look very grey. The conferences in Bregenz and Warsaw have made a new revolution a duty for every German, and those who are by nature inclined to a bouleversement modere [Google translate: moderate upheaval] rub their hands. But a stormy sea also is splendid, and shows who are true men. We must expect that some of our stately steersmen will be seasick, but there are men who fear neither wind nor weather, and who do not think that Germany's peace is too dear to buy at any price. I am thinking of writing to Lassen to ask him whether he can employ me in Bonn. I am heartily tired of England, and if there is nothing in Germany I will try India. My work is entirely at a standstill, my MSS. from India lost for the second time by the shipwreck of the Manchester. I must therefore come to a decision. The problem of the Egyptian language occupies me very much, but it is difficult to find guiding principles when the comparison depends on the mere mass, not on the organization of the language. Benfey's researches prove the Semitic character of the Egyptian grammar beyond all doubt, and much will become simpler and clearer by the old Egyptian grammar. But in the comparison of words with the Indo-European, we expose ourselves to many dangers, especially as long as a sufficient number of Indo-European, or rather common roots in Semitic also, are not authenticated. To-morrow Wilson comes to Oxford, with whom I have a good deal to discuss; then a decision must be made as to beginning a new life.'

Bunsen's answer came by return of post: 'Your letter has frightened me by what you tell me of your strong impulse to go to Bonn or Benares. This is the very worst moment for Bonn. . . . The crisis in our country disturbs everything,' and ends by urging him to go up to London at once and stay at the Legation. To this Max replied:—

Translation. Oxford, November 5, 1850.

'How willingly would I have accepted your invitation to London, were I not kept by two lectures which take up my whole time, one on astronomy by Professor Donkin, and another by Wilson to learn Hindustani. An interruption would throw me out too much, especially in the astronomy, which I can only follow by the closest attention. I have spoken to Wilson; he advises me to stay in England, or to go to India, but I do not think he would make difficulties if I had a definite purpose in Germany, that is if I could tell him that I really expected a position in a University. Therefore I think it is best first to hear Lassen's views, to know whether he would recommend the faculty in Bonn to give me an appointment, or whether he would rather keep Sanskrit to himself. I am quite ready to stay another year here, to print my Introduction, but I should like to have a certain prospect and not live on at random. My early Oxford friends, with whom I felt at home, leave this one after another, and it is not worth while to make new acquaintances. And then in spite of all disorders and crises I am drawn back towards Germany, or if I must live in a foreign country, I would rather go to the Antipodes than live in suspense in England. That I am not in my right place here, I know and feel more each day. So away, and the sooner the better, and God will help me further.

'Wilson received a letter from Benares the other day, which says that the learned Brahmans there shook their heads mightily at first, but now, after having received and read a specimen of 200 pages, they are highly pleased with the edition of the Veda. They have settled among themselves, and it is common talk in Benares, that a colony of Germans will come and settle there, and turn Brahmans. So if all my plans fail, I may perhaps find a refuge there.'

It was in the very midst of all this uncertainty that he was asked by the Curators of the Taylor Institution to undertake two courses of lectures as deputy for his friend Trithen, who had suddenly fallen into a state of melancholia, quite incapacitating him from work. He tells his mother on December 14:—


'I received for my birthday a quite unexpected present, a letter from the University asking me to lecture in the place of Trithen, who is very ill. He lectures on modern literature and languages. I cannot say I care very much for it, as it must break into my other work, but as my Oxford friends and also Bunsen were very anxious I should undertake it, I wrote to accept. The first course will be on the History and Origin of Modern Languages, and the second on the Nibelungen. If they make me a Professor, I shall not object to it, though I should prefer a German Professorship. Well, we shall see.'

Though wishing Max Muller to accept the offer to lecture in Oxford, Bunsen had written to him on December 18, urging him to pay a flying visit to Bonn before Christmas to see what the prospects there were, adding: 'As a friend of many years' standing, you will forgive me if I say, if the journey to Bonn is not financially convenient to you just now, I depend on your thinking of me,'[/quote]

To this letter Max replied:—

Translation. Oxford, December 13, 1850.

'Many thanks for the kind sympathy which, even in the storm and Stress of these evil times, you, an always faithful friend, have shown me. I quite acknowledge how well it would have been had I been able myself to reconnoitre the position at Bonn. But before I received George's answer, I had written to Lassen, to ask his advice in this affair. So I could not change things; the first impression had been made, and could hardly be altered by my cursory presence. I will now quietly await what he writes, and have meantime accepted the Oxford invitation to give two courses of lectures. I only hope they won't cost too much time, for if I go to Bonn at Michaelmas, and wish first to finish the second volume of the Rig-veda, and the Prolegomena in which a Latin catalogue of the Bodleian MSS. is to appear, I have my hands full. If Lassen makes difficulties I must decide to stay in England, till a kindly fate leads me out of the Oxford hermit's cell, into free German air, or into a forest solitude in India. Here is the review to which you were good enough to promise your powerful recommendation. I should be very glad if the Edinburgh would take it, but I am afraid I have hardly hit off the right tone, though I tried hard in writing it to think of ladies uninterruptedly. The advice "think of a lady whilst you are writing "does not come direct from Lockhart, whom I never saw, but from Eastwick, whom Lockhart taught.'

Among the references which the Taylorian Curators received before they appointed Max Muller as a deputy for Trithen, the following was sent in by Wilson. Though it in no way guarantees Max's gifts as a lecturer on Modern European Languages, it shows what Wilson, the Nestor of Sanskritists as he has been called, thought of his young friend as a Sanskrit scholar:—

November, 1850.

'His knowledge of the Sanskrit language I regard as most comprehensive and critical, and displaying a more than usual familiarity with the principles of its structure as established by native grammarians. I consider him also as extensively conversant with the general literature of the Hindus, especially with that part which relates to their traditions, institutes, and laws, and I look upon him as without an equal in that interesting and important department of it to which he has particularly devoted his attention, the Literature of the Vedas, the study of their ancient texts, and of the many voluminous and difficult subsidiary compositions which are indispensable for their elucidation.'

Of Max Muller's position at Oxford, even in these early days, Canon Farrar gives an interesting account:—

'The first time when I met him, was at dinner in the Hall at Balliol about 1850. At that time, before society in Oxford was broken up into sets during the transitionary period of University reform, there were hardly any private dinners. Certain days each week were assigned in each College for inviting graduate friends from other Colleges to the high table. On the night in question I was dining with Jowett, and Max Muller with Walrond. Though the talk during dinner was not strictly literary, some point of literature turned up, and Muller's opinion on it was asked across the table by Walrond. Instantly there was silence among the twenty men at table. All listened to this stripling (as he appeared). Stanley, who was sitting next to me, and who had been discussing the memoir of Sterling, stopped and listened attentively. Muller replied to the question with great modesty, though with self-possession, and with a brevity which allowed conversation to flow back soon into its previous course. I instantly asked Jowett who he was, and learnt that he was a young German of great promise who had been in Oxford for about two years and was employed in editing the oldest Sanskrit literature. I name this as a sign of the profound respect which at so early a period was shown to him in an elite society like that of Balliol.'

Christmas of this year was spent in Oxford, though Bunsen had invited his young friend again to Totteridge, but Max had already promised Victor Carus that they should spend it together; and he tells his mother they had a tree, and gave each other many presents, and with Belle's assistance passed as happy an evening as they could with their thoughts far away in their German homes.

The year 1851 was the determining point of Max Muller's future life. Forced to continue his stay at Oxford, to print the Rig-veda, he found it necessary to have some other means of support than the Veda alone, in order to live the rather expensive life of a young man in Oxford society. This was found for him in the invitation to lecture in his friend Trithen's place. At first he was only asked to give two courses of lectures, but they were so well attended and made such an impression, that he was invited to continue his task, and was appointed Deputy Professor as soon as it became apparent that Trithen was hopelessly ill, and on his death was elected to succeed him in the Taylorian Professorship. The close of this year too saw his first connexion with the Edinburgh Review, and from this time on he added to his income by constant contributions to various periodicals in England and Germany, and some years later in America also.

About his article for the Edinburgh he writes to Bunsen:—

Translation. Oxford, January 27, 1851.

'I have been waiting for Stanley's return, to talk to him about the article for the Edinburgh. He tells me he can write neither a head nor a tail to it: he thinks it wants no head, though a tail might perhaps be useful. Jowett and Morier have promised me to provide the perhaps needed additions; I think Stanley is too busy and has no time for it. If you agree to this, and will show me the friendly service of sending my MS. to Empson with a few words, the thing can perhaps be carried through, and I believe it will be of great use to me here in Oxford. My lectures are written, and your kindly advice as far as possible followed. Jowett is now Select Preacher, and preached an excellent sermon last Sunday. I hope he will publish it with the others. Even the heathen acknowledge it was beautiful language. Sir R. Inglis was present, but seemed little edified.'

To his mother he wrote the same day:—

Translation. Oxford, January 27, 1851.

'I went to London lately to a party at Bunsen's, most interesting, where I met Macaulay, the historian and former Minister, Lord Mahon, Radowitz, and many other celebrities. Old Bunsen is always cheerful, and studies Egyptian and Chinese to drive politics out of his head. In a fortnight my lectures begin. I have only undertaken them for six months, but Bunsen persuades me strongly to remain, and I am thinking it over carefully. If I undertake it entirely I should have £400 a year for giving twenty-four lectures, and more than half the year vacation. I could go on with the Veda, and should have an income of about £600, with which one can live well in Oxford, and then you could come and pay me a visit for as long as you liked. But do not talk about it—it is all still uncertain, and I have not myself determined to take it, but would far rather be a Professor in Germany, if I could only at the same time carry on printing the Veda, for that is still my chief business. At all events, my prospects are not bad, and God will help me further. I have hired a piano again, though I have not much time for music, but my Oxford friends expect it, for they all like to listen, though few of them play.'

Of these early days and first lectures, Professor Cowell (now Professor of Sanskrit at Cambridge) writes, December 24, 1900:—

'My dear Mrs. Max Muller,—It has occurred to me that I could not better illustrate Max Muller's influence on his contemporaries than by briefly describing his influence on my own career,

'I went up to Oxford as a married undergraduate in January, 1851. I had previously studied the classical Sanskrit poetry by myself, and I eagerly embraced the opportunity of reading with the Boden Professor. I used to go to his lodgings at the end of the High Street. It was on one of these afternoons that the Professor suddenly stopped our reading and said, "Dr. Max Muller is going to deliver his first lecture on Comparative Philology at two o'clock to-day; let us walk up to the Taylor Buildings and hear it." The lecture was a written one, and was delivered to a large and attentive audience, and to most of those present, as well as myself, it was an introduction to the new world of Comparative Philology. It was the first of a series of such lectures, all of which I carefully attended. After the lecture, Professor Wilson introduced me to the lecturer, who kindly invited me to take tea with him that evening. We soon became fast friends, and I found in him the very guide and counsellor that I needed. He was especially suited to inspire a younger student with enthusiasm. He soon discovered that I was fairly acquainted with the classical Sanskrit and its literature, but knew nothing of the grammarians, the commentators, or the Rig-veda; and he read with me some of the first volume, then just published, of his great edition of the Rig-veda.

'During the six years of my life at Oxford, Max Muller was my constant guide in my Sanskrit studies; he taught me to read Sayana's Commentary and some of the philosophical works, but, above all, he imbued me with his own enthusiasm for Indian literature and his deep sympathy with the Hindu mind. When I went out to Calcutta in 1856 I tried to carry out many of his suggestions, and devoted my spare time to further studies on the lines which he had first pointed out to me; and my Brahman pandits only carried on the work which he had commenced for me in Oxford.'

Mr. Tuckwell may again be quoted:—'I remember that Sir Thomas (then Mr.) Acland and I went together to Max Muller's opening lecture. Acland was disturbed, fidgeted, bit his nails—"It frightens one," he said. ... I attended Muller's stimulating philological lectures, learning from his lips the novel doctrine of the Aryan migrations, and the rationale of Greek myths; the charm of his delivery heightened by a few Germanisms of pronunciation and terminology.' Mr. Story-Maskelyne writes of these early Oxford days:—

Basset Down House, Swindon, October 13, 1901.

'Dear Mrs. Max Muller,—In reply to your letter, I regret to tell you that I cannot put my hand on letters from Max. My acquaintance with him began almost immediately after my being called to Oxford to take the duties of one of the Chairs held by Dr. Buckland, at the time when his genial and energetic nature was clouded by mental failure. Max was summoned—I think in the same term as myself, in 1851—to fulfil the duties of the Chair of another Professor under a similar eclipse. My impression is that I first made his acquaintance at the house of Donkin, the Professor of Astronomy, a fine mathematician and scholar as well as musician; one, indeed, like Henry Smith, of those men of refined and beautiful nature that one meets only occasionally in the world, and who leave it too soon. There Max was at home. In that congenial atmosphere there also moved Cams, a physiologist and friend of Max. Often would he, a master of the violin, accompany Max, under whose hands the piano became a poem in music. I am no musician, but even to-day I can remember with enjoyment the dual music that Max and Cams used to produce; occasionally, too, in my own queer little rooms under the Ashmolean, where I retained a piano that would suggest this use of it.

'You know that Max and I were nearly of the same age, and I am now seventy-eight, with a memory, alas I no longer quick and vivid. The figure of Max is, however, never dimmed in my vision. Though near my age, I never looked on him as less than ten years older than myself, in wisdom, tact, experience of life, and knowledge of men. "Klug" was the term Bunsen applied to him, and though he seems from the beginning to have lived with the Olympians, whether intellectual or social, it was they who sought him rather, I think, than he who climbed into their company.

'He lived in those days in a little lodging in a terrace in the Banbury Road, with a little companion. Belle his dog. Many and many were the walks—Oxonice, constitutionals—which we three had together in those years, 1851-7, and many of the interests of my later life had their germs planted then.

'Johnson, the Radcliffe Observer, was one of his Oxford friends. Frank Palgrave, Froude (of course), Morier were among the contemporaries outside of Oxford whom one met with him.

'Well do I remember his lectures. I think his first course1 [It was his second course] was on the Nibelungen-Lied. They were given in the Taylor Building, and were remarkable in various ways. It was a new star in the Oxford firmament. Probably not half a dozen of his audience knew anything of the old epic or its history. Before the best of the men from the Common Rooms—a considerable gathering—stood the young German Professor, and the weird old tale, or redaction of old tales, he illuminated with side-lights from sagas and myths gathered from the folk-lore of Iceland and of Gamle Norge; and through the whole ran the sad refrain so often recurring in the rugged music of the poem. But for pure, terse English and luminous exposition I do not think any Oxford man—unless it was Church of Oriel (afterwards Dean of St. Paul's)—could have given such a course of lectures. It was a new light, a new idea of literature and lecture, that Max imported into the grey old walls of beautiful Oxford. Mr. Philip Pusey rode over all the way from his place near Faringdon with his boy-son to hear each lecture, an early homage to the rising fame of the redactor of the Rig-veda. I had to sit at the back of the audience, and to offer faithful criticism on idiomatic expression and on pronunciation. I had little to offer, though of course now and then Max's fine English touched an inexact note, more particularly in the latter difficulty. He received such criticisms with great kindness. But, in truth, the lectures were too interesting to allow of one's thinking of such very slight and by no means unpicturesque foils to them. Natural Science was not in high vogue then at Oxford, but the leaves on the trees were beginning to stir, so that when Max proclaimed his thesis that Comparative Philology and the historical development of language should rank with the Natural Sciences, there was a little rustle of scepticism, though in fact he was anticipating the assertion of evolution being the key to Natural Science.

'I should be tiring you—perhaps I may say any one but you—were I to continue reeling off these phonographs of a somewhat clouded memory. But these shadows of the past, as they seem to grow into images and visions, call for my pen to record them as they flit across my memory. Yours very truly,

'N. Story-Maskelyne.'

Max Muller's first course was on 'The History of Modern Languages,' in the Lent Term of 1851; his second on 'The Home of the Nibelungen'; and the third, in the Autumn Term, on 'The Origin of the Romance Languages.' The Science of Comparative Philology was then little known in England, and these lectures of the young foreigner struck a new, almost strange note, amid the classical studies of the old University, opening out a dim vista of life far older than the times of the Greeks and Romans, and of a language more perfect than Hebrew, and with which, as the elder sister of the Teutonic tongues, Englishmen ought to become better acquainted.

To His Mother.

Translation. Oxford, March 13, 1851.

'My lectures are nearly at an end, and did very well. I had an audience of from fifty to seventy people, mostly Professors and tutors, and a number of ladies. I must prepare my course for next term, and I get no rest and the Veda gets on very slowly, and so my finances suffer. I have not yet decided whether I shall stay here. My friends persuade me to do so, but it has its difficulties and disagreeables, as no foreigner can have the position an Englishman would have. I shall quietly wait what comes, and if they make me a good offer take it; at all events, for the near future.'

The next day Max Muller writes to Bunsen:—

Translation. March 14, 1851.

'For some days I have been intending to write to you, to thank you warmly for your friendly recommendation of my article to Empson. I should like, as there is so much time, that Empson should return me the MS. to look through again, before it is printed. During my lectures some jokes have occurred to me, which appear to amuse John Bull, and which I should like to add. The lectures are nearly over; to-day is the last but one. They went off better than I expected. Many people took real interest in them.'

The same day Bunsen writes:—

Translation. London.

'It is such a delight to be able at last to write to you, to tell you that few events this year have given me such great pleasure as your noble success in Oxford. The English have shown how gladly they will listen to something good and new, if any one will lay it before them in their own halls. Morier has faithfully reported everything, and my whole family sympathize in your triumph, as if it concerned ourselves.'

Through this vacation, Max Muller stayed quietly in Oxford to prepare his next lectures, and seems to have been far from well, suffering, as usual, from the Oxford climate. He writes to Dr. Pauli:—

Translation, April, 1851.

'I have long wanted to write to you, but I have been so unwell the whole time, that I could not manage it. Cold, cough, headache, and toothache are a quartette that makes one quite miserable; now I only have the solo of toothache, but that is enough to spoil life. I would willingly have gone to London, but I cannot now, I have lectures to write, &c. Have you got any treatise on the Nibelungen you can lend me?'

'To Chevalier Bunsen.

Translation. Aprils 1851.

'After the end of next term I hope to go to London, and there are many things that I wish to tell you, and consult about with you.

'I shall lecture this term on the Nibelungen, chiefly with reference to the Homeric question. For the relation of the poetical order to the legendary material I take Firdusi; for the fact of preservation in the memory, the Mahabharata; for the loss and historizing of the legend, Niebuhr's Rome; for the changing and misunderstanding of epic songs, the Nibelungen compared with the Edda. The whole is to be a continuation of comparative philology, brought about by the transition into the Epos, in its three grades of legends of Gods, Heroes, and Men.'

Yet, notwithstanding his hard work, Max Muller could write to Dr. Pauli:—

Translation. May 9.

'In spite of wind and weather we are very jolly, and play Beethoven trios, duets, and solos every evening, and two little singing birds from London have settled here, and so we Mendelssohn a good deal.'

To His Mother.

Translation. June 1.

'I am glad my lectures will soon be over, and that I shall then return to my regular work. I have again had a good audience, and people have shown great interest. How it will be later I do not know, and trouble myself but little about it. If the Professorship were definitely offered me, I would take it for five years. It is a pleasant position, and independent, and affairs in Germany are such, that I don't desire any Government appointment. But I shall not carry on the lectures provisionally, as they hinder me so much from my other work, and I can earn much more money by the Veda. If I could only send you something from time to time, that you might make your life a more comfortable one, but I have myself to be so very careful to manage to live here in Oxford, that I don't think I can take a journey in the vacation. I shall go to London when term is over, as Bunsen has invited me to his house, but I shall probably stay with Morier, where one feels freer. I have been up for the day to see the Exhibition, but it is quite impossible to give you the least idea of the impression this house of glass makes on one. I had lately a visit from the young Prince of Prussia1 [The Emperor Frederick] who came to Oxford, and I had to take him about the whole day. He seems to me very clever, very natural, has the greatest admiration for England, and is evidently in good hands. I do not envy him his future; he will have a difficult life, however happy and free from care it may now appear as he looks on. In the evening we dined together, and I accompanied him to the railway, where he took leave of me in the most hearty manner.'

In July Max Muller went to London to Morier, and tells his mother that he has been asked to continue his lectures with a higher salary as Deputy Professor, and that he has accepted. His health at this time was better, and his headaches less frequent, owing to a plan of treatment his doctor had adopted, so that he could work on with less interruptions. 'How much time would have been saved had I known of this medicine sooner!' He tried to persuade his mother to visit England this year to see the Exhibition, and assured her, if she would do so, he would be able in a year's time to repay her her expenses, though just at the moment he had no spare money.

From London Max Muller returned to Oxford, and then went to Wales to the Froudes', and from there writes to his mother:—

Translation. Plas Gwynant, August 21.

'I am staying with a friend whom I knew earlier in Oxford, Mr. Froude, a very gifted writer. He has written some novels which have made a great sensation in England. He has been married nearly two years; his wife is very highly educated and agreeable, and here they live among the mountains, and he enjoys the dolce far niente [Google translate: sweet doing nothing], fishing, shooting, riding, and writing. The situation of the house is perfect. ... I shall stay here a fortnight. The only thing I miss is my beautiful piano, which I bought in London, It is a grand square by Collard, and by Neukomm's help, who is a great musician, I got it for £50. It is in splendid tone, but is so large it could not be got up the staircase, but with great difficulty was hoisted through the window. You may now address me as Professor if you like, but not Professor and Doctor together.'

He says later: 'The time in Wales was delightful, and I was idle, which set me up.'

To Dr. Pauli.

Translation. Oxford, September, 1851.

'A few days ago I found at the Bodleian the copy of Alfred1 [Life of Alfred, 1851] you sent there for me. My best thanks for it. I have only read a little of it, which interested me very much, especially the critique on Asser's Gesta. Do you really think that Asser wrote for his countrymen? If so, they must have been different fellows to the present Welsh, who really are more like Wallachians. I made acquaintance with them at Fronde's, where they broke into the house at night, and we had to sleep with loaded pistols to make our lives safe. But notwithstanding I enjoyed myself there thoroughly. I bathed every morning in the waterfall, and all day long we walked, and fished, and shot. Snowdon is beautiful, and the lakes beyond description. When I have finished Alfred I shall send it to Froude, who will be delighted with it. He has, as you know, written the life of St. Neot in the Lives of the Saints, and does not trust Asser. He may be able to write a readable review on it. He is very happy with his wife and baby, and I would gladly have stayed longer, but it was so beautiful I could do no work. So here I am again in Oxford, busy with the Veda and lectures.'

On returning to Oxford he put the last touches to his review of Bopp's Comparative Grammar, which appeared in the October number of the Edinburgh. It excited considerable interest at the time, and many were the guesses made at the authorship, though probably there are not many now alive who remember reading it. Bunsen and Stanley and other valued friends wrote to congratulate. Bunsen says: 'Early this morning I read it through at last, and joyfully and heartily utter my macte virtute [Google translate: with great power]. Your examples and particularly your notes will help and please the English reader. The introduction is as excellent (ad hominem and yet dignified) as the end.' The end is perhaps one of the most melodious paragraphs that Max Muller ever wrote. The article has never been reprinted. It ends thus:—

'And now that generations after generations have passed away, with their languages—adoring and worshipping the name of God—preaching and dying in the name of God—thinking and meditating on the name of God—there the old word stands still, breathing to us the pure air of the dawn of humanity, carrying with it all the thoughts and sighs, the doubts and tears, of our bygone brethren, and still rising up to heaven with the same sound from the basilicas of Rome and the temples of Benares, as if embracing by its simple spell millions and millions of hearts in their longing desire to give utterance to the unutterable, to express the inexpressible.'

In October Max Muller received a visit from Dr. Bernays, the eminent philologist, later Professor at Bonn, 'a very capable and delightful man,' and a very close friendship, as we shall see later from their constant correspondence, sprang up between the devout Jew and the young Professor.

To His Mother.

Translation. Oxford, November 16.

'My dear Mother,—I am well accustomed to decipher MSS., but still it is not a little labour to read your letters, especially when, like the last, they are written with more water than ink. If I could send you a bottle of good English ink, I would gladly do so. But I think if you look about in Dresden, you will be able to get some decent material for about a penny.

'I am not worrying my head with plans for the future, but let it go as it best may. I have not at all made up my mind to spend the rest of my life in Oxford, though I quite see it would be folly to turn away from the prospects opening for me here. But one misses a good deal here that one has in Germany, especially pleasant intercourse with learned men: for there is little talk here of literary work. If all is quiet, I thought of going in the vacation not only to Germany but to Italy—but this will be only if I continue to lecture in Oxford. If I do so, I must learn to talk Italian, and this one can only do in the country. But these plans are all vague—and who knows what may happen first? . . . We stand every moment in God's hands, and He knows best what is for our real welfare.

'Trust in God is the only happiness on earth: without that our whole life is but anxiety and care. ... I send you £5 to buy Christmas presents for yourself and the Krugs.'

On December 4 Max Muller was made honorary M.A., and a member of Christ Church. He writes at once to tell his friend Dr. Pauli, and through him the Bunsens:

Translation. December, 1851.

'To-day I have been made member of a college, no less than Christ Church, where the Common Room is now the most agreeable. The old Dean performed the ceremony in the pleasantest way, and feels free from all scruples, because he has found a precedent in Graevius, who was made a member of Christ Church some hundreds of years ago. Without that he would hardly have given his consent! Happy old England! ... I can hardly help laughing when the black gown flaps about my legs. But one gets accustomed to everything, and with each year one is older and more middle-aged—that is sad— but one cannot escape it here in Oxford.'

Of Max Muller's associates in Christ Church Common Room in the early fifties very few are left. Mr. Prout recalls Max's freshness and originality, which made him a very popular member of Common Room, and the genuine regret of the other members when the time came for him to leave, on his election as a Fellow of All Souls. And Dean Kitchin remembers how much he enlivened the party, and how he was 'always brimming over with good things.' The Dean had, however, known him earlier in his career in Oxford, and says: 'Max Muller left on me an enduring picture of himself— the young eager student, with his handsome face and sympathetic manner and bright, expressive eyes. He was then seeing his Veda through the Press. I remember how I with my German sympathies was attracted by his clever pianoforte playing—the Sanskrit I took for granted.'
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Re: The Life and Letters of The Right Hon. Friedrich Max Mul

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Member of Bavarian Academy. Summer in Germany. The Butlers. Arrival and baptism of Dr. Aufrecht. Essay on Turanian Languages for Bunsen. Visit to Scotland. First meeting with future wife. Missionary Alphabet.

On February 2, 1852, Max Muller writes to his mother that he has just had the most agreeable surprise, having been elected a member of the Royal Bavarian Academy at the same time as Bunsen and Macaulay. Max had only just completed his twenty-eighth year, and to be elected with two such confreres, men whose names had been before the world when he was a mere student, was no slight compliment. He writes to Dr. Pauli:—

Translation. Oxford, 1852.

'Dear Pauli,—The Diploma from Munich has arrived safely; as I knew nothing about it, I was very much surprised. It must have been Bunsen's recommendation: I should like to know this that I may thank him. The news of Eliot Warburton's death touched me deeply, as we had seen him so lately, and well and happy.

His lectures during the first two terms of the year were on the 'History of German Literature in the Seventeenth Century,' and were well attended. These early lectures and his influence over his audience were described many years later by one of his hearers:—

'There has seldom been any one less like the typical German workman than Professor Max Muller. He is a marvellous example of how a foreigner may use the English tongue with more fluency and elegance than even the ordinary cultivated native; and how a man trained in other than English conditions may be all the better qualified to stimulate and instruct the English mind when he speaks its own familiar language. It is now more than half a century since he began to act as a fertilizing agency in what was then the rather arid field of English scholarship. His quick and sensitive intellect, so easily touched, so rapidly assimilative, had been moved on the philological side by men like Burnouf, on the philosophical by Schelling, and on the religious by Bunsen. And this combination of masters saved him from falling into the detached specialism which has been the note of so many German workmen, and supplied the sort of co-ordinating idealism which has been the mark of all his work. He had thus the instincts and training of the scholar, and also, in a rarer degree, the genius of the popular expositor. The quick and sensitive and assimilative qualities of his mind made him, especially in the earlier part of his career, all the more stimulative a teacher. He was a kind of prophet of the dawn, while as yet it was dark—i. e. he interpreted to the slow-paced English mind things especially touching language and religion which had never entered into its heart to conceive, but which had been exercising the higher scholarship and the newer philosophy of both Germany and France.'

One of the great pleasures of this year was the return of his old friend Mr. George Butler with his brilliant young wife to live in Oxford. Mrs. Butler was a very good musician, and the possessor of a fine grand pianoforte, and for the next five years, till the Butlers left Oxford, Max Muller was on the most intimate terms with them. Mrs. Butler recalls his gaiety, his readiness of repartee, his brilliant powers of conversation, his fresh, almost boyish enjoyment of everything: whilst the common bond of music drew them much together. Numerous were the excursions and picnics in which Max Muller took part with his friends, whose house was constantly full of young guests, sisters or other relatives of the Butlers. With the exception of Professor Donkin's family, and the Observer Manuel Johnson, there was no house in those days where Max felt so completely at home, or was so welcomed and liked by all the inmates.

Some years later Mrs. Mericoffre, Mrs. Butler's sister, wrote:—

'I recall one afternoon, a few days before the old Duke of Wellington's funeral, when we hunted Max Muller out of his Sanskrit den, and made him take a long walk with us. He bought some fresh eggs at a farm-house, and put them in the tail pockets of his coat. On returning we climbed some fences, and we sat upon some stiles, and on reaching home Muller found an extensive omelet in his pocket.'

But agreeable and bright as his life was at this time, which he fully recognized, the old longing for Germany constantly breaks out. 'I long so often to be back in Germany,' he writes to his mother, ' that if any sort of favourable prospect offered, I would willingly exchange my pleasant life in Oxford for a simple German menage![/quote]

To F. Palgrave, Esq.

9, Park Place, March 21, 1852.

'I was at your gate on Saturday afternoon as I had written to you the day before. I was very sorry to have missed you, and still more when I heard the sad reason1 [His mother's dangerous illness.] which kept you at home. It is the hardest trial which we have to go through, I think—at least there is nothing which I dread so much. I feel for you and with you more than I can say; however, nothing strengthens our hope of meeting again as much as the loss of those we love. Oxford has been very quiet, and I have been hard at work on the Veda as my lectures did not give me much trouble. The English book has been stopped, but it will be finished before the Long. In summer I hope to go to Germany, but I have a good deal to do before I go. . . . Jowett is hard at work, and has finished the Romans. Stanley lives with Conington, and writes reports in the tower at University. Whenever you are back at Kneller Hall, I hope to pay you a visit, unless you prefer to come to Oxford.'

Max allowed himself only a day or two of holiday in the Easter Vacation. 'I feel that every day I waste now, I lose a day of my summer holiday,' and as his headaches were less frequent and also less severe when he did have them, he could work on vigorously. He tells his mother that he means to be thoroughly idle in Germany and amuse himself. He will not visit either Leipzig or Berlin. He writes:—

Translation. April 18, 1852.

'I am nowhere so happy as in Dessau. You will laugh at this, but had you been living for six or seven years among strangers you would understand how delightful it is to see well-known faces and well-known streets and houses round one. If I had independent means, I would live in Dessau, and by choice in my grandfather's house with the garden, where I know every tree. If we stay some time there in the vacation, I had rather not stay the whole time with my uncle. Perhaps we could take some rooms, or live in the hotel?'

In June he writes like a schoolboy expecting his holidays: 'the joy of meeting makes up for the long separation, and, as old Goethe says, it is not necessary to be always together to remain united.' He had to take his part in the Grand Commemoration of that year, and a few pages of Veda to finish, and then he was free. On June 14 he writes to his mother:—


'You will have heard the sad news of Burnouf's death. In him I have lost a good friend, and the loss to literature is irreparable. Many of his books remain unfinished, and as there is no good Sanskrit scholar in Paris, I have half promised his friends to go there to advise with them about his library and MSS. It may be this will only be later, when the Will is known. He leaves a widow and four daughters. But I should only have to spend a day or two there, and should be glad if it could be on my return journey.'

Early in July, Max Muller left England, joined his mother at Dresden, where his friend Palgrave met him for a time but was summoned back to England by his mother's increased illness, and after a visit to his sister at Chemnitz took his mother to Carlsbad, and from there he made an excursion to Munich and the beautiful scenery of the Salzkammergut. From Munich, after many hours in the Pinakothek, he writes to his mother:—


'I am more than ever convinced that the Italian, Spanish, and French schools together are not so fine, and true, and strengthening, as the old German and Dutch schools. J. van Eyck, Hans Hemling, Rembrandt, Durer, even Holbein and Cranach, were very fine. The Raphaels, Andrea del Sarto, Palma Vecchio, Perugino, . . . Leonardo, &c., are also wonderful, but they make so much parade of their art, and they are more bent on showing how beautifully they can paint, whilst the Germans just paint away because their heart is in it.'

He had plenty of time to visit all the beauties of Munich, as he was detained there several days through some difficulty about his passport for Austria, as he intended to visit the Tyrol. It must have been during this visit to the Tyrol that he found himself in great danger. After a long lonely day on foot he arrived late at a most forbidding-looking little inn, but it was too late to go further. The people of the inn were rude and evil-looking, and he was thankful to be able to barricade his door with a heavy piece of furniture. The door was twice attempted in the night. In the morning he found that the only guide to be had over a lonely road was a surly-looking man, but he made the guide keep in front of him the whole way, and was himself armed with a strong walking-stick. He always said that had he shown the least fear the man would have attacked him. It must be remembered that in 1852 the Tyrol was less explored and known than it is now.

On rejoining his mother they spent some happy weeks together, and Max returned to Oxford by Leipzig and Berlin, visiting many old friends. He tells his mother on his arrival in Oxford:—


'One cannot always have such a happy time as I spent this summer. I cannot tell you how comfortable I was this time at home, but I will not complain, but only hope that it will be so again another time, if God wills. We owe to Him all the good that befalls us, and what He orders is best. Take care of yourself, and don't be unhappy, all goes with us so much better than we deserve, and than with many others. The recollection of all the happiness is a comfort too, and never has the recollection of our time together been so bright and undisturbed as this time. You were so good to me, my dear mother. I would willingly live in Dresden, but as that cannot be, you must come to Oxford when the weather is fine.'

To F. Palgrave, Esq.

9, Park Place, October 22, 1852.

'I need not tell you how I felt your loss. I should like to shake your hand—but these losses must be borne in silence. Do come to Oxford if you can, and let us talk about our little expedition to Dresden. I had such a pleasant journey afterwards to Carlsbad, the Tyrol, Salzburg, Munich—how I wished you had been with me. As to art, Munich beats everything, and the people are so much nicer, much more genial than at Berlin. Their beer is excellent, and it makes them good-natured. And such pictures, particularly from the German school . . . you must go there next year, I am sure you will be delighted. That old king was after all a great genius, whatever Lola may say of him, and however bad his poems and his prose may be. Walrond is going away; Conybeare going to be married; Morier going to Australia: so one begins to feel alone, and that is bad, and the only thing to be done is to work. Please remember me kindly to Temple.'

His lectures this term were on the 'Classification of Languages,' but he had hardly began them before he was again laid up from Oxford fogs and damp.

November, 1852.

'Dear Mrs. Butler,—It is very kind of you to cheer me up from time to time with kind inquiries, good admonitions, dear messages, and other how-do-you-do varieties. I wish I could return thanks myself, but in this weather the doctor tells me I must not go out for a week. I am quite resigned to my fate, and begin to understand what it means that you are nowhere freer than in prison. I read and write, and get a good deal of work done, which has been weighing heavily on my conscience for some time. I need not go out and eat many dinners, or make many calls. I can smoke without fear of detection. I get my friends one by one to see me and talk to me, which is so much better than if you have them all at once. I need not deliver lectures; altogether I am as happy as mortal man can be with November fogs and earthquakes all around him, not to mention gout, rheumatism, sore throats, and divers kinds of diseases to plague him. . . . Thomson asks me to write him an article on Indian Logic for the third edition of his Laws of Thought, which I am doing just now;—and here I was interrupted by Miss Grey's visit, and could not even go downstairs to speak to her, for I am so thoroughly Germanized in appearance that I must not show myself to any lady, and here a visit, so I must give it up for to-day, and remain yours truly, M. M.'

This attack of illness determined him to follow the advice Bunsen had long given him, and take an assistant for the more mechanical part of his Vedic work. Bunsen seems to have mentioned Dr. Aufrecht from Berlin to him. Max Muller entered into negotiations with Dr. Aufrecht, who arrived in Oxford in December. Early in that month Max writes to Bunsen:—

'. . . I expect Aufrecht daily. You have always advised me to seek help, and I could no longer get through my work alone, with the many interruptions caused by my health. Aufrecht is a very conscientious scholar, and as far as the rest goes that will all be right.'

Max Muller writes to his mother telling her of the new arrangement:—

Translation. December 19.

' Dr. Aufrecht is a very clever man, a Sanskritist, &c. We work togethe, and he helps me at my Veda, for which I pay him enough to live here. We shall try the plan at first for six months, and I hope it will all go well. It is very pleasant for me to have some one with whom I can talk about literary things, and my time is so filled up that I am very glad to have some one to whom I can leave part of my work: but I must wait awhile to see how it works, and whether it brings me in as much as it costs. I must spend Christmas in Oxford, as I cannot well leave him alone. The weather is dreadful, and I have constant headaches, mostly from severe colds. Otherwise I have got quite accustomed again to the English way of living, and if I would often rather find myself in Germany, you know it is not my way to grumble. We must take life as God sends it, and it would be ungrateful did I not acknowledge the many comforts I have here, and only dwelt on what I miss.'

Aufrecht lived in the same house with his employer.

The following letter alludes to the book known as Church's Essays and Reviews, a title that had not then become notorious:—

9, Park Place, December 22, 1852.

'My dear Palgrave,—I thought you would be sure to come to Oxford for the Exeter College election, else I should have written to you before this, and asked whether you would put your name to a testimonial which we intend to present to Church. You know he is going to leave Oxford, and take a small living to marry. Some of his friends are going to ask him to allow them to print a selection of his articles—not theological—and to make him a present of the whole edition. We have already a large subscription, about forty names. The subscription will be £3. Please tell me whether you wish your name to be added. Acland, Donkin, Butler, Marriott, &c., take great interest in the matter, but until the whole expense is secured by subscription, it must not be talked about. If you can get some of your friends to join, please write to them. Grant and Sellar have been written to, and have sent their subscriptions. You know probably that Sewell is going to leave Oxford. Why do you never write? Have you heard from Froude? He is staying at his father's, and very happy.'

The early part of this Christmas Vacation was spent by Max Muller in Oxford, in order to initiate his secretary Aufrecht in the work he had to do. The great floods of 1852 had left the place in a very unhealthy state, and before his lectures began again his friends the George Butlers, who were spending the vacation with their father Dean Butler at Dover, asked him to pay them a visit there. On his return he writes:—

To Mrs. Butler.

9, Park Place, January, 1853.

'I have not had a quiet minute since I came back; there was a friend from Germany waiting to be lionized all over Oxford: then all sorts of people who came to vote, and at the same time to walk and talk: then Aufrecht with lots of questions: then dinner-parties again: and letters to answer, and proofs to correct. I really wish I could sport my oak like an undergraduate, and have done with the world altogether, at least for an hour or two, that I might be able to tell you how much I enjoyed my trip to Dover, and how happy I felt among people who seemed all to be so very happy themselves. Please to translate into as good English as possible my best thanks to the Dean and Mrs. Butler. I am glad to hear that you have had a few fine days; the weather is getting better at Oxford also. As to the floods, they will not be gone before March, but the late storms have made the atmosphere quite healthy again. I do not know anything about the election; in fact, I have not seen a paper since I came back. Belle is in the most flourishing condition, so Oxford cannot be such an unhealthy place after all.'

To His Mother.

Translation. Oxford, January 30, 1853.

'. . . My lectures begin next week, and give me a good deal of work; and then I was away for a week at Dover. Dover was beautiful, especially in the storms. The waves almost beat on my windows. From the land a stormy sea looks grand. I would willingly have stayed on, but I could not leave my house companion longer alone. He is a capable man, but a little difficult to get on with. At present he takes up a good deal of my time, as I must tell and explain everything to him; but I think later he will be an advantage. I must give more time to my lectures, for England expects every man to do his duty. I do not worry about money, and would rather live more economically than let my work suffer. ... I often feel now how much time I lost from my work during my long holiday last year—that must not happen again, life is not long enough for such pauses—and yet when I am with you I always think, "You can make up the time afterwards in your work; enjoy the time together as long as you can." . . . We have had a great business here with the Parliamentary election. Gladstone, who was elected, and is now Chancellor of the Exchequer, was here on a visit a few days ago. I have seen and talked with him several times; he is an interesting man, and a very good speaker.'

To Chevalier Bunsen.

Translation. 9, Park Place, February 2, 1853.

'I get on better with Aufrecht, but not so very well yet. He decidedly desires to be baptized, but he does not feel inclined to talk to others on this point or anything connected with it.

'It is possible that when he has once taken this step he may get to feel more inner satisfaction and confidence in friends, which is prevented now by morbid impressions and imaginations. I am convinced he is a true and honest soul, but he is unsympathetic. His knowledge is thoroughly sound and comprehensive. He works well, and he seems to like his position, as he desires to stay in England. But there can be no question about working together, for as soon as one presses him a little hard he draws his head into his shell like a tortoise, and one must then leave him alone. But I still hope that in time things will take a better shape, as they are already far better than they were at first.'

The Deputy Professor was to lecture this term on 'Declension,' and so popular were his lectures, that he had a large proportion of ladies among his audience, a greater proportion than was convenient in a small lecture-room, and on being asked by a rather pompous Don what the title of his lectures meant exactly, he was ungallant enough to reply, 'I wish it might mean that I decline ladies!' This must have got abroad, to judge from the next letter to Bunsen:

Translation. 9, Park Place, February 19, 1853?

'. . . I am very well now and very happy. Aufrecht begins to " thaw." My time is almost entirely taken up with my lectures, which for the first time give me great pleasure. I have fifty hearers, all undergraduates, and many of them capable and industrious men. I write nothing, but speak extempore to them, and I feel that I can be really useful to them. My former hearers were mostly curious and suspicious Dons, and I got tired of writing rhetorical essays to be read to them. Now everything gets into much better shape, and I only hope that next term I may receive my definite appointment. I have now got to the old Latin inscriptions, Columna Rostrata, &c., and it is incredible how little one can rely upon copies; in almost every edition you find inaccuracies and variations. If only somebody would at last give exact facsimiles.'

A day or two later he writes again to Bunsen, in answer to a letter advising him to give a course of lectures on Greek Literature:—


'I shall have finished my lectures in about a fortnight. The holidays will only last three weeks, then lectures begin again. I dare hardly venture to undertake a course on Greek literature, for my subject must always be more or less in connexion with modern languages. This is possible with tides like "declension," "conjugation," &c., including a few words about modern formations, and then concentrating on Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit. But "history of Greek literature" would hardly fit into anything. I shall hope to continue next term my lectures on Declension, and to prepare lectures on Italian Ethnology. One has to read up what is fit for the examination; and the population of Italy according to Livy and Niebuhr belongs to the standing questions. I am getting on better and better with Aufrecht, and I hope in time we shall get on capitally.'

To His Mother.

Translation. Oxford, March 5, 1853.

'The uncertain weather we are having in Oxford is very unhealthy. And yet I feel better than I have felt for a long time, and my work gets on well. I do not know what the papers have been saying again about me. My position has not as yet changed in the least, but I hope to get my full salary in October. The uncertainty is unpleasant, but I shall not starve, and everything else can be borne! My assistant costs a good deal, but that will in time be repaid, and his company, at least for literary discussion, is very useful. Of course there are many difficulties, but in time they will be set right. I correspond pretty regularly with Bunsen; he writes one book after another, but writes too much and too quickly. The events in Milan are terrible. But how can the Austrians imagine that England will interfere? That England will never give up a political refugee is well understood. England has always been a refuge for dethroned kings and popular leaders, and the English would rather go to war than give up their right.'

In accordance with Dr. Aufrecht's own wishes about his baptism, Bunsen suggested that his eldest son, the Rev. Henry Bunsen, Rector of Lilleshall, should receive him, and perform the ceremony in his own parish church. This scheme was carried out. On his return Max Muller writes:—

Translation. 9, Park Place, April 3, 1853.

'Your Excellency,—We have passed the Easter holidays most agreeably at Lilleshall, and I, as well as Aufrecht, am most grateful to you for the great help you have given us in this somewhat difficult matter. Nowhere could the act have been performed so simply, so solemnly, and so undisturbedly as by your son at Lilleshall. The friendly welcome we received has not missed its impression upon Aufrecht, and I hope that in future matters will improve with him more and more . . .'

To his mother he writes:—

Translation. April.

'I would gladly go with you to Carlsbad, but after careful consideration I see that it is impossible for me to leave my work this year for the whole summer. I have begun several things which have been on my conscience for several years, and I owe it to myself to finish them; and this I can only do here in England, and in the Long Vacation. And now I am busy with my lectures, and the decision as to my full salary occupies my time too. I have indeed a fair prospect that there will be no opposition; but of course there is a prejudice against a foreigner, and I must do my best to keep all straight.'

On May 12 Bunsen wrote to urge Max Muller to join him at St. Leonards, but the Taylorian Professorship was vacant, and it was necessary to be on the spot.

To Chevalier Bunsen.

Translation. 9, Park Place, May 15, 1853.

'The business is more complicated than I expected, and the steering more difficult the nearer one approaches the harbour. I am prepared for disappointment, but do not give up hope. The new difficulties arise from the fact that the Curators are intending to raise the salary considerably: this would be delightful, if I already had the appointment, but now it brings other interests into play, and entices others to stand as candidates. But still my prospects are good, and my opponents have but one card to play, that they are Englishmen, I not. In Oxford the tables won't dance. I have wasted some hours in trying my hand at it, but the whole thing seems perfectly useless, especially as it is purely mechanical.

'Aufrecht is going on all right—he does not wish to return to Germany.'

Bunsen wrote cheerily in reply, and says he had written to his 'brotherly friend Pusey' (the squire) to help in the canvass. 'I know few men so able to give good advice; besides, he is very much attached to you.'

To The Same.

Translation. 9, Park Place, May 28, 1853.

'Contrary to my expectations, my affairs get more hopeless and involved. The Curators have at last had a meeting, and settled to postpone the election till after the Long Vacation. It is a hard trial of one's patience, especially as it is still uncertain whether my election may not after all be opposed, and 1 should then have lost four years' time and work. For three years I have laid all aside, and given my whole time to this office. I felt Spartam nactus es, hanc exorna [Google translate: You've got Sparta, dress it up], and if I had thus provided for my material wants for the rest of my life, I could well be satisfied, and should have had time and leisure to make up what I had lost. Now I really don't know what to do, and whether it is not best to return to Germany and finish up and publish what I have already done on the Veda. My friends advise me to stay on here, and they assure me Convocation would veto the election of any one else, if the Curators attempted it. For myself, I am almost indifferent. I shall probably have another year of this uncertainty, of which I have had enough in the past three years. However, such is the world, says John Bull, and tries to console himself. I am doing my best to follow his good advice.'

To this Bunsen replied:—

Translation. May 30.

'It is a great trial of patience, but be patient, that is wise. One must never allow the toilsome labour of years of quiet reflection and of utmost exertion for the attainment of one's aim to be destroyed by an unpropitious event. It is most probably the best for you that the affair should not now be hurried through. Your claims are stronger every quarter, and will certainly become more so in the eyes of the English through good temper and patience under trying circumstances. I don't for a moment doubt that you will be elected. Germany would suit you now as little as it would suit me, and we both should not suit Germany. So patience, my dear friend, and with a good will.'

Early in May, Bunsen had written to Max Muller asking his help in the work then occupying all his leisure time and thoughts, 'The Philosophy of Universal History applied to Language and Religion,' being Volumes III and IV of Christianity and Mankind. Bunsen says:—

'In working over the historical part I put aside a chapter, "The Primitive Languages in India," but find out, just as I intended to make you the heros eponymus, that you only dealt in your lecture (before the British Association) with Bengali. . . . Could you not write a little article on this for my book? The original language in India must have been Turanian, not Semitic; but we are bound in honour to prove it.'

This invitation led to the pamphlet On the Turanian Languages, which is now out of print as a separate publication, but it forms, under the title, 'Last Results of the Turanian Researches,' the second half of the third volume of Bunsen's Christianity and Mankind, and though not published till 1854, owing to incessant delays in printing, was almost entirely written in 1853, and involved a constant correspondence with Bunsen through the rest of this year. It is many years since Max Muller gave up most of the views enunciated in his essay on the Turanian languages of India, views which were disproved as these languages were more fully known and studied. The concluding paragraph is perhaps worth quoting as applicable to all linguistic studies:—

'And now, if we gaze from our native shores over that vast ocean of human speech, with its waves rolling on from continent to continent, rising under the fresh breezes of the morning of history, and slowly heaving in our own more sultry atmosphere, with sails gliding over its surface, and many an oar ploughing through its surf, and the flags of all nations waving joyously together, with its rocks and wrecks, its storms and battles, yet reflecting serenely all that is beneath and above and around it; if we gaze and hearken to the strange sounds rushing past our ears in unbroken strains, it seems no longer a wild tumult, but we feel as if placed within some ancient cathedral, listening to a chorus of innumerable voices; and the more intensely we listen, the more all discords melt away into higher harmonies, till at last we hear but one majestic trichord, or a mighty unison, as at the end of a sacred symphony.

'Such visions will float through the study of the grammarian, and in the midst of toilsome researches his heart will suddenly beat, as he feels the conviction growing upon him, that men are brethren in the simplest sense of the word—the children of the same father—whatever their country, their colour, their language, and their faith.'

This was the year of Lord Derby's installation as Chancellor of the University, and Max Muller resolved to take refuge from all the gaieties with Bunsen, who had long been pressing him to come to Carlton Terrace.

Besides the treatise on the Turanian or nomadic languages of India, Bunsen asked his help in tracing the relationship of the Vedic language with Zend, urging him to gather the results of his investigations into a separate chapter.

To Chevalier Bunsen.

Translation. 9, Park Place, July 3, 1853.

'When you spoke to me in London about printing your work on Egypt, you told me that you expected my contribution in September. I therefore began at once to arrange and carry out the part with regard to the comparison of Egyptian and Aryan roots. The work requires great care, and if the essay is to be printed just as I write it, and under my responsibility, I cannot really promise its completion before September. The relation between Egyptian and Aryan is much like that which would exist between Sanskrit and French, did we not possess the connecting links. Mere, pere, frere, and soeur [Google translate: Mother, father, brother, and sister], set against matar, patar, bhratar, and svastar, show a systematic parallelism and a common origin. But if one had to compare Sanskrit asru with larme, how could one prove their identity without the connecting links? Well, I will try, but it is quite impossible for me to solve the problem so quickly. Also in the matter of the relation of the Zend and Vedic peoples I will gladly formulate and prove the conclusions at which I have arrived, but I am a slow coach, and fear accidents in an express train. I hope, especially if there is no war, that you may have so many diplomatic occupations, that I may be ready before Egypt comes to be printed. I work every day at the Bodleian from nine till four, at the catalogue of the Sanskrit MSS.; then I am printing the preface to the second volume of the Veda, which is ready: then I am writing a treatise on the burning of bodies in the Veda, which is nearly ready (widows were not burnt). Then comes the essay for Lepsius on the Indian alphabet. Then the first volume of the Prolegomena must be printed before the end of the vacation; and lastly comes a course of lectures for next term. Where am I to find time without robbery? Professor Stenzler, of Breslau, is now here, a very capable man of the last generation, but who advances with modern progress, and has taken refuge from Alexander's India in Vedic antiquity. He is Weber's teacher.'

To Chevalier Bunsen.

Translation. Park Place, July 7, 1853.

'I am sorry that I must again trouble you for an explanation as to the extent, as well as the sort of essay, on the original inhabitants of India and the Zend emigrants. You write that it is for your philosophical work. Is that "The Prophets" which I saw when I was in London, or is it an addition to the philosophical Aphorisms of Hippolytus? If it is for the Aphorisms, it ought to fill a couple of pages at most; but if it is for the great work on the "History of the World," it must be much more diffuse. Or is it another book at which you are working?'

It is not surprising that Max Muller was puzzled by the multiplicity of Bunsen's works, for nearly all of which he asked for help from his young friend. At this time he was expecting immediately three separate papers from Max Muller—on the Zend Avesta, the Rig-veda, and the Turanian languages of India, and later in the year Bunsen hoped for a linguistic chapter for his work on Egypt.

On July 11 Max Muller sent Bunsen the chapter on Persian Researches which will be found on p. no of Volume III, Christianity and Mankind, and which was reprinted in the original edition of Chips, Volume I, but was omitted in the last edition as 'not up to date.' On July 13 Bunsen writes:—

'"What one desired in youth one obtains in old age." I felt this as I read your chapter yesterday. It is exactly what I first wished to know myself in order to tell it to my readers. You have done it after my own heart—only a little too briefly, for a concluding sentence on the connexion of the language of the Achaemenian Inscriptions with Zend is wanting.'

On July 30 he writes to his mother:—


'Sunday is my best day for letter-writing. During the week work goes on from early till late, and my head is so full of Sanskrit I feel quite stupified. I am very glad I stayed here this summer. I had so many books to read and work through, for which I have no time in my lectures, and yet one must keep up with literature, or one would have to sing, like the Austrian militiamen, "Immer langsam voran." [Google translate: Always progress slowly.] That it was hard to give up my plans for travelling, you can believe; but one must remember the duties as well as the enjoyments of life, and so we will look forward to next year, when, please God, we shall be together. I am very well, and the harder I work the better I feel.'

At this time, when his old friend Carus was about to be married, he writes to his mother, who was always exhorting him to follow so good an example, 'I have not yet any plans of the sort. I think one has trouble enough in making one's own way through the world. If such a thing presents itself— well; but I have no wish to take much trouble in looking about.'

Max Muller writes to Bunsen for his birthday:—

Translation. 9, Park Place, August 24.

'First of all I wish you joy of this day with all my heart. May this day often return to you in the midst of all your dear ones, and in the full tide of all your work and labour. If to grow a year older means to have completed a new work, we can stand the growing older very well—it is not then a growing older; but it is growing, working, and getting young again, and our strength grows with every year that has been made use of, and with every work that has been completed. A fresh and powerful Senatus is after all the real strength of a country, the real support of the res publica in politics as well as in spirit. The Juventus is too much occupied with itself, and youth is often more hindering than useful when it comes to losing sight of oneself as much as possible. Allow me to continue to find courage and counsel with you, and have patience with a passenger who would like best to sit still in the carriage corner, and though not asleep would fain close his eyes till he has arrived at the last station.'

The sad tone of the last sentence is fully accounted for in the next letter to Bunsen, written the end of August:—

Translation, August 28.

'I feel what the English call knocked up, and I must get some fresh air before I can get to work again. You shall receive an essay on Vedic Antiquity from Wales, where I go to-morrow. It is possible that there may be, among the Persians, people or even races whose forefathers were Turanian or Semitic, but they acquired Persian just as the Normans acquired Saxon, and the Persian language has always remained the same. If it comes to classification of languages, it does not depend on who speaks the languages, just as little as a botanist troubles himself to know whether a potato has grown in Europe or America. I always use the term Aryan instead of Indo-European, Iranian only for Persian and Median. Both together I take as the South-Aryan branch, in contrast to all the rest of the Aryans who turned to the north-west. The collection of Hymns of the Rig-veda was completed towards 1000 B.C. That cannot of course be proved like 2 + 2 = 4, hut it is as sure as all our knowledge of these times can be. I enclose a sample translation which is to find a place in the Veda article: do you know of a poet who could Miltonize it a little more? He must add nothing however, for so far the translation is literal, as far as this is possible with the old thoughts.'

Max Muller went to the Froudes' in Wales, but his enjoyment of this visit was spoilt by the weather. He tells his mother it rained day and night, and the mountains were too wet for any expeditions. On his return to Oxford he writes to Bunsen:—

Translation. Oxford, September 21, 1853.

'I returned yesterday. My holiday was longer than I expected, and I hasten to send you the introduction to the Aryan chapter. I went first to Wales to Froude, who is very well, and hard at work. He has just published an article on John Knox in the Westminster. In the next number there will be an article on Job, and in the Edinburgh one on Spinoza. From Wales I went to Glasgow, where I stayed in Calder Park near the city with my friend Walrond, With him I made excursions to Oban and Ardtornish, then to Inverary, Loch Lomond, the Trossachs, and back to Glasgow, then to Edinburgh. The scenery was beautiful, and the fine air very enjoyable, and I hope my work will go on all the better for it.'

The expedition to Ardtornish, to stay with the parents of their old friend W. Sellar, nearly proved fatal to Max Muller and Theodore Walrond. They crossed from Oban, and a sudden storm coming up, the row-boat in which they were was in great danger. The crew, who only spoke Gaelic, to quiet their fears, imbibed so much whisky that they seemed incapable of managing the boat, and both Max and his friend had to lend a hand at the oars. But they were well repaid on their arrival by the beauty of the scenery round Ardtornish, and the next morning, the sea being calm, Max Muller, who was all his life a good swimmer, ran down to the beach for a dip. Putting his things, as he thought, in safety under some stones, he enjoyed his bath to the full. But he had not calculated on the force of the wind, and on emerging from the waves he found his clothes scattered far and wide, and some gone for ever. The stony beach was covered with a sort of prickly growth, probably a sea-holly, and the search was long and painful, and resulted in the recovery of only a few necessary garments. In this guise he had to make his way back to the house, the hall of which was used for breakfast, and where the family were already assembling. He used to say, in recounting the story, that the horror of the moment always came back upon him in full force.

On September 24 Bunsen writes:—

'You have sent me the most beautiful thing you have yet written. I read your Veda essay yesterday, first to myself and then to my family circle, including Lady Raffles your great friend in petto [Google translate: in the chest.], and we were all enchanted with both matter and form.'

The article of which Bunsen speaks will be found on p. 128 of Volume III, Christianity and Mankind, and was republished in Chips, Volume I, original edition, but like the Persian chapter was omitted in the last edition. In diction it well deserves the praise bestowed on it by Bunsen.

We constantly at this time, in his letters to Bunsen, find Max Muller complaining of the dilatoriness and carelessness of even the best London printers, as compared with the University Press at Oxford. In the latter years of his life he would consent to print nowhere else.

The lectures this term were on 'The Origin of the Romance Languages,' and he tells Bunsen his 'audience is larger than ever.' How he managed to get through all his work is a marvel, for besides his lectures, his Vedic work, the Turanian article for Bunsen, and a new work forced on him by his indefatigable friend, of which we shall hear presently, he was collecting testimonials for the Curators of the Taylor Institution, who had definitely fixed the election to the Professorship for the beginning of the January Term. Meantime they had been so satisfied with the result of the lectures, that, as he tells his mother, he is already receiving this quarter the full salary. The testimonials, the originals of which must ever be a precious treasure for his children, are from Humboldt, Bunsen, Bopp, Lepsius, Canon Jacobson (later Bishop of Chester), W. Thomson (later Archbishop of York), Mr. Jowett, Professors Wilson and Donkin. Mr. Jowett says of him, 'There are few persons in whom so much judgement is combined with so much imagination. It would be unnecessary to add, except to those who do not know him, that, during his stay at Oxford, he has been universally beloved and respected.' Mr. Donkin says, 'He can be elementary without being (in the bad sense) popular, and scientific without ceasing to be intelligible and interesting to beginners.'

And now we come to an event that was to alter and influence the whole remainder of Max Muller's life, though for several years to come the outer tenor of it may have seemed unchanged, and only one or two intimate friends knew the influence at work within him. On November 26 Max and his future wife met for the first time at her father's house. Mr. Froude, her uncle by marriage, had often spoken of his clever young German friend, and his brother-in-law asked him to bring Max Muller for a Saturday to Monday visit. Years after, he told her that as soon as he saw her, he felt, 'That is my fate.' The party assembled at Ray Lodge was a pleasant one, and he at once fascinated all present by his brilliant, lively conversation and exquisite music. He was very dark, with regular features, fine bright eyes, and a beautiful countenance full of animation, and it was difficult to reconcile his youthful appearance with his already great reputation. Two days later they met again, this time at Oxford, where the family from Ray Lodge went for a meeting of the leading Church choirs of the Diocese. Max Muller was their constant guide, and Magdalen, Merton, Christ Church, the Bodleian, &c., were visited in his company. He was asked to spend Christmas at Ray Lodge, but fealty to Bunsen and the work he was engaged in for him kept him at Oxford.

To Chevalier Bunsen.

Translation. Oxford, December 9, 1853.

'I gladly accept your invitation for next Tuesday (to meet Kingsley), and I hope by then the first half of my essay will be printed. Aufrecht is very busy. A week ago he left this house and has taken a lodging for himself. He feels more independent, and I too feel more free. I wish one could find a secure place for him. He has been a year here, and I have never seen a man so totally changed, and certainly only for the better.'

It was almost at the close of the year that Bunsen asked Max Muller to help him in a scheme which was occupying his own mind a good deal, i.e. a Uniform Alphabet to be used by missionaries in reducing languages to writing for the first time. Lepsius had been occupied with this problem for some time, but his alphabet seemed too complicated for cheap printing. Max Muller at once took up the subject, and so hard did he work that his pamphlet. Proposals for a Uniform Missionary Alphabet, was ready to lay before the first conference held on the subject at Bunsen's house early in January, 1854. Max Muller's alphabet was very simple, employing italics for the modifications of the usual alphabet, whereas Lepsius's plans represented these modifications by signs, in some cases as many as three, over each letter. In one letter to Bunsen, Max Muller says, 'If we come to a common understanding with regard to the thirty-five definable consonants, and the twelve to fourteen vowels, let us thank God.' And again, 'If conferences are first to be held, I think it would be best I should not appear, but ask you to play the part of pleader. I have spoilt so many things through undue eagerness, that I prefer managing everything by writing. But I await your orders. If my proposals are not likely to be accepted, it is not worth the trouble of printing. If it is accepted, I am ready to publish them in golden letters on parchment! I promise Lepsius that if his alphabet is accepted, I will not print a word but in that, even if each letter has three accents.' So carefully and thoroughly did Max Muller go into the whole question, that he spent several days dissecting throats with Dr. Acland. 'I could give the whole alphabet anatomically drawn,' he says.

In the Life of Baron Bunsen we find some extracts from the diary of one of his daughters:—

'To breakfast came Sir C. Trevelyan, Sir J. Herschell, Mr. Arthur, Professor Owen, afterwards Mr. Venn and several missionaries and men of learning, to take part in the long-planned conference on the comparative merits of two systems of transcription for all alphabets. According to that of Max Muller, italics would take the place of all accents, lines, dots, used by Lepsius. The conference lasted uninterruptedly till half-past one o'clock.

'Bishop Thirlwall dined with us, and the conversation was animated between him and Lepsius (who arrived on the 27th) and Max Muller and my father. The alphabetical conferences take place every day.

'Lepsius has returned to Berlin. The last conference to-day leaves the matter undecided.'

And so it remained, after all the labour and time Bunsen and Max Muller had expended. The English missionary societies now mostly follow a system used by the Bible Society, but there is not entire unanimity.
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