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

The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Re: The Life and Letters of The Right Hon. Friedrich Max Mul

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Part 1 of 2


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.

The year opened darkly with rumours of war. Writing to Bunsen for the New Year, Max Muller says:—

Translation. 9, Park Place, January 1.

'Above all, my best congratulations for the New Year: may it be a calm and blessed one for you and yours; and may it above all things teach the Russians and the Russophiles, that Europe will not be Cossacked nor Kossuthed, and that she would prefer to see the Crescent at Petersburg to the Russian Cross at Constantinople.

'My best thanks for your kind testimonial, which arrived just at the right time; I hope it will have had its good effect in about a fortnight or three weeks' time; if not, I am just as ready to go to India as Botticher is.'

To His Mother.

Translation. Oxford, January 26, 1854.

'Since Christmas I have not had a quiet moment, though it is our vacation. ... I have had to go constantly to London to talk to missionaries and others. The alphabet is now printed, and yesterday we had a general conference at Bunsen's, where all missionary societies were represented. There are many difficulties, and I am tired of the whole thing, for it takes up so much of my time, and it is difficult to fit all missionaries with the same cap! I was quite alone here in Oxford at Christmas, to write my treatise on the alphabet, which had to be printed before the New Year. Since then I have been living between Oxford and London, and have thus met many interesting people, which is always a good thing. Bunsen now begins to believe in war, but always says, if the Russians can find a back door, they will yield. But England begins to feel it has had enough, and when they once begin war here, diplomacy can do nothing; for it is the people that make war here, not the sovereign and ministers. It was very cold early in January and I had some skating. How curious that you should just have been at Jessnitz when the old grandmother died! One need not lament her death, for her soul must have longed to be free from its old body. No doubt the soul must find it difficult in childhood to accustom itself to the human body, and it takes many years before it is quite at home. Then for a time all goes well, and the soul hardly knows it is hidden in a strange garment, till the body begins to be weakly, and can no longer do all the soul wishes, and presses it everywhere, so that the soul appears to lose all outward freedom and movement. Then one can well understand that we long to be gone, and death is a true deliverance. God always knows best, when the right time comes. I have just been reading Ruckert's poems; they are very beautiful in spite of a certain weakness, and his latest home poems are full of natural feeling.'

Though much time and thought had been given to the missionary alphabet, Max Muller's real interest was with the second volume of the Rig-veda, which was published early in this year. The preface is dated Christmas, 1853, and the printing had been finished by that date, but there was always some delay about the binding and publishing, which were not in Max Muller's hands. With the text of the Hymns in this volume there had not been much difficulty, but the MSS. of Sayana's Commentary were most defective. Max Muller, before finishing the first volume, had written to India to obtain, at his own expense, new MSS. for the second. After long delay he heard that the MSS. which Dr. Roer had secured for him in Calcutta had been lost by shipwreck. Fortunately, Professor Wilson received just at this time a complete copy of the Commentary from Benares, the most ancient copy of Sayana that had then come to Europe. This he generously gave to his young friend. It contained many emendations and corrections, which greatly simplified the editor's labour. The task had been further lightened by the work of other Vedic scholars, who, since Max Muller had begun his edition, had published many of the works alluded to by Sayana, which, for his first volume. Max had had to copy and collate for himself, before he could verify the innumerable quotations. The Sama-veda had been published by Benfey, and the Yajur-veda by Weber, whilst Stenzler, Roth, and Whitney had all been active in this field of Sanskrit literature. To all these writers Max Muller acknowledges his indebtedness, and also gratefully mentions the assistance and active co-operation of his secretary, Dr. Aufrecht, in the latter part of Vol. II—'my learned friend,' as he calls him, and adds, 'The benefit of his services cannot be too highly valued.' The preface ends with an eloquent tribute to his master and friend, Eugene Burnouf, whose death in 1852 had been an almost irreparable personal loss to Max Muller, as well as to all Sanskrit students:—

'In losing Burnouf we have lost, not only an indefatigable fellow labourer, not only a disinterested teacher, but a most respected judge; in his approval valued by all, in his censure feared, in his verdict distinguished unfailingly by fairness and by truth. . . . When I heard of his death I felt—and I believe that many engaged in similar studies shared the feeling—as if our work had lost much of its charm and its purpose. "What will Burnouf say?" was my earliest thought on completing the first volume of the Rig-veda. And now as I finish the second, in its turn submitted to the judgement of so many scholars whose friendship I value, and whose learning I admire, my thoughts turn again to him who is no longer among us, and I think, not without sadness, of what his judgement would have been.'

Early in February the long uncertainty about the Taylorian Professorship was brought to a close by Max Muller's nomination by the Curators, confirmed by Convocation on February 21. The Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Cotton, in writing to announce the unanimous election by the Curators, adds, 'I feel great satisfaction in the consideration that so eminent and talented a Professor has been elected.' He hastens to announce his success:—

To F. Palgrave, Esq.

February 8, 1854.

'The Professorship has been settled at last, and I got it. I cannot tell you how happy I feel, after the long suspense, to have at last a [x]) for the rest of this life, and to be able to look on quietly till the moving panorama comes to an end. I feel now more than ever that it is owing to the kindness of those who first received me at Oxford that I owe my further success and my present position—ce n'est que le premier pas qui coute [Google translate: This is only the first step that costs.], and after I was once in the right boat, I was sure to get into harbour sooner or later. I shall write to old Joe. I wish we could all meet again and have a jolly party, as we used to have five or six years ago, when I little thought of what was looming in the future. I hope we shall manage a little gathering after Froude is able to come. He has taken a cottage at Babbicombe for the next year. I was in London for a week, kept from day to day by alphabetic conferences, where I had to act as secretary and to write generally till 3 o'clock in the morning. I had not an hour to myself, and after it was over I had to go to Oxford in order to see that all was going right about the ship. Now it is launched, and I hope to have a pleasant cruise in it.

'Ever yours, M. M.'

Bunsen wrote at once to congratulate:—

Translation. February 8.

'. . . Your position in life now rests on a firm foundation, . . . and that in this heaven-blest, secure, free island, and at a moment when it is hard to say whether the thrones of princes or the freedom of nations is in greatest danger. With true affection, yours.'[/quote]

To His Mother.

Translation. Oxford, March 10.

'I am living in such a turmoil that I can settle to nothing, and have hardly time to write a letter. I have been made full Professor this term, and so there have been endless invitations and parties of all sorts. I am rather tired of it all, and wish I lived some miles out of Oxford, so as to have my time to myself. You can imagine I was not a little pleased when everything was definitely settled, but when one waits so long for a thing it does not give one the same pleasure as when it comes unexpectedly. But I heartily thank God that my future is now entirely secured, as far as food and raiment are concerned! At present I shall stay where I am, and I shall be very sorry to leave, but I know I must take a larger house in time. I shall stay here till the Summer Vacation, and then when I come back I will furnish a small house, in which you can perhaps help me. Or perhaps you will pay me a visit in the vacation here, instead of my going to Dresden? I have still a good deal of correspondence with missionaries, who are not always easy to deal with. Aufrecht is still working for me, but he lives in another house for himself, and gives private lessons. He is happy here, and very useful to me, but it is rather expensive. I shall not want for money, when I think with how little I managed once. I enclose a little proof of my Professorship; you will know what use to make of it. If you want to buy a book, I would recommend Tauler's Sermons; they are very beautiful, but you must get an edition in modernized German. We already begin to feel the war. Everything is dearer, and the taxes will be doubled. It can't be helped, and there is no doubt as to the result.'

On March 21, three days before war was declared against Russia, Max Muller received a letter from Sir Charles Trevelyan, then Assistant-Secretary to the Treasury, begging officially for his help in directing the officers proceeding to the East how to study the languages of the northern division of the Turkish Empire and the adjoining provinces of Russia. Some private letters had already passed between Sir Charles and the Professor of Modern European Languages, and Max Muller had written:

'That corner of Europe between the North of Italy and Turkey and along the Danube is a real linguistic rookery. All the lost daughters of the European families of languages have taken refuge there; and they exhibit, each, the lowest degradation and corruption of grammar that can be imagined. In the Albanian we recognize the noble features of Greek; in Wallachian, those of Latin; in Bulgarian, those of the Old Slavonic language; but all sadly distorted and disfigured. Very little has been done toward a literary culture of these dialects, and even grammars are scarce; there are certainly none in English, as far as I am aware.'

He had prepared a list of elementary grammars and a few simple instructions, which Sir Charles had imparted to all the commissariat officers. But the letter, dated March 20, states that something more than this should be attempted, and adds, 'If you agree with me in this, you will at once feel that there is a call upon you to help in this good work'; and Sir Charles entreats Max Muller to prepare at once a treatise, showing what languages are spoken in that part of the world, their general structure, and the alphabets used, and what would be the most useful books on the respective languages. Sir Charles concludes thus: 'I have only two further suggestions to make, (1) That whatever you do should be done quickly. Every part of this great effort is under war pressure. (2) That you should tell us at once what you know now, leaving the rest to be perfected hereafter.' So heartily did Max Muller respond to the call, that by May 16 he was able to send Sir Charles his Suggestions for the Assistance of Officers in learning the Languages of the Seat of War in the East. A second edition was required within a year.

In his introductory letter to Sir Charles he first called attention to a subject that continued to occupy his thoughts almost to the end of his life. He writes:—

'It is undoubtedly high time that something should be done to encourage the study of Oriental languages in England. At the very outset of this war, it has been felt how much this branch of studies— in emergencies like the present so requisite—has been neglected in the system of our education. In all other countries which have any political, commercial, or religious connexions with the East, provision has been made, by Government or otherwise, to encourage young men to devote themselves to this branch of studies. Russia has always been a most liberal patron of Oriental philology. In the Academy of St. Petersburg there is a chair for every branch of Oriental literature. The French Government has founded a school, 'L'ecole pour les langues orientales vivantes.' [Google translate: The school for living oriental languages.] At Vienna there is an Oriental seminary. Prussia finds it expedient to give encouragement to young Oriental scholars, employed afterwards with advantage as consuls and interpreters. In England alone, where the most vital interests are involved in a free intercourse with the East, hardly anything is done to foster Oriental studies.'

Just before the publication of his book, Max writes to Bunsen:—

Translation. Park Place, 1854.

'I am busy with my lectures, and am printing my book on the Languages of the Seat of War, 100 pages, with a very fine map by Petermann, so that I never get to bed before 2 a.m.'

To his mother he writes:—

Translation. Park Place, April 11.

'I am so engrossed with work, that I have hardly a free minute, and that will go on till vacation. I cannot feel certain about my plans for travelling. I must spend part of the vacation in Paris, as I must work at a MS. in the library there. The only thing that draws me to Germany is Auguste, who cannot well leave Chemnitz, otherwise life in Dresden or Dessau is not very attractive, and we might all meet nicely in Paris, if Emilia would come there. Time becomes more precious every year, and a quarter of a year is now as important to one as a year was formerly. This shows one is no longer young. One becomes economical with one's time, and life is so serious just now, one has no right to think of pleasure, when so many men are suffering. And yet it is a war that could not be avoided. The Russian lust of conquest and the whole influence of Russia in Europe, especially in Germany, must be thrown back on its own borders, or we should have to fight the battles which are now being fought on the Danube, on the Elbe or Rhine. It will be a terrible war, but one cannot doubt the issue, for England, when war once begins, puts forth her whole strength, and the feeling that you are fighting for a just cause keeps up the courage even in disaster.'

But whilst realizing the necessity of the war. Max Muller was to be indirectly one of the many sufferers from it. His friend and patron, Bunsen, could not approve the attitude of Prussia, and it was widely known that his recall from England was imminent. George Bunsen, Max Muller's most intimate friend of all Bunsen's sons, writes to him:

Carlton Terrace, April 14.

'Dearest Friend,—So it is. My father has not up to this moment received a recall. On the other hand, we expect to-morrow the reply to an answer sent by my father to a renewed and very impetuous offer of leave of absence. In this answer my father made his accepting leave of absence dependent on certain conditions guaranteeing his political honour. If the reply to-morrow does not contain those conditions, nothing remains but for my father to send in his resignation.'

To F. Palgrave, Esq.

9, Park Place, April 18, 1854.

'. . . I should like to have seen you when you heard of Scott's appointment. I am afraid you did not use quite parliamentary language on the occasion; I neither, particularly as, up to the last, Jowett's chances seemed as clear and certain as could be, without downright bargaining. I am sorry to see that Jowett feels it very much, and I think just now some testimonial from his friends, like the one you contemplated some time ago, would be very opportune. Could you persuade Richmond to do his portrait? I think it might be done for about £100, and I am sure we could get as much from his friends. What do you say? Vacation is nearly over, and I have not yet been away, though I intended to go to the seaside and get fresh air. But I have to do some work for the Government, and have been at it day and night, working against time. I hope we shall hear something from the Black Sea soon. The slowness of these people is intolerable; they are always a day too late. I congratulate Bunsen on having got out of the claws of the Black Eagle. I dare say he will get the next vacant seat on the Episcopal bench in England!

'Ever yours, M. M.'[/quote]

Besides the work for the Government, Max Muller was busy in printing his essay on the Turanian languages for Bunsen's book, which had grown under his hands, and had had to be put aside whilst the missionary alphabet was printing. The dilatoriness of the printers in London caused him and Bunsen much trouble, as the work had to be finished before Bunsen left England, and though Max Muller worked through half the night whenever a proof-sheet appeared, his letters are full of despair. Bunsen writes on May 10, ' \The work presses,' but did not seem to realize that the delay was not with Max nor in Oxford. In the same letter the Minister, writing for the last time from Carlton Terrace, says, 'The house is deserted, but the heart rejoices, and the soul already spreads its wings.'[/quote]

To His Mother.

Translation. Oxford, May 12.

'Bunsen's resignation is a real loss to me. I saw him in London— the house is now empty. Yet one can only congratulate him on having saved his good name, at the right moment. His leaving gave me a great deal of work and disturbance. He is just bringing out a new book in seven volumes. I had various things to write for him, and as it had to be ready by the twentieth, I never got to bed be ore two. Now I have undertaken a work for Government, which is just printed. Then came the lectures, and the Veda above all, so that I really have not a moment to think of or do anything else, and can say nothing about my plans for summer.'

To Chevalier Bunsen.

Translation. Oxford, May 22.

'I cannot believe that you think of leaving England. Surely the Prussian crisis cannot last much longer, and when it is over, you will have to return to Carlton Terrace. Whilst writing the word believe, I think of a question I meant to ask. To believe, as far as I know, means "to be "—lieben; Lat. libere and lubere.'

To The Same.

Translation. Oxford, June 8.

'Are you really leaving as soon as Acland tells me? If this is so, I must go to London on Saturday or Sunday, the only days I can get away, as I am giving my lectures. I still wait, and still hope, a new Prussia will arise, which cannot do without you here in England. England begins to feel like a strange land to me, when I think that you are really going. Will you not wait till Hippolytus is out? The printer does not seem in any hurry.'

On June 12 Bunsen, writing to his wife, who had gone to Heidelberg to settle his future home, mentions that he had had 'a delightful day with Max Muller.' Five days later, this faithful friend left England, and Max felt as if stranded in a foreign land. Too much occupied at this time with his work to write more than very short letters to his mother, in all of them he expresses his sense of loss. Bunsen's house in London had been a second home to him, where he was always sure of a welcome, always sure of encouragement and sympathy, of intellectual intercourse, and of that intelligent interest in his work and the far-reaching problems which it unfolded, which he missed so sorely in his daily life in Oxford, where hardly any one understood the work on which he was engaged, or took a real interest in it, or were capable of discussing it with him scientifically.

'In all my researches,' he writes in the Autobiography, 'no one took a livelier interest or encouraged me more than Bunsen. When some of my translations of the Vedic Hymns seemed fairly satisfactory, I used to take them to him, and he was always delighted at seeing a little more of that ancient Aryan torso, though ... he was more especially interested in Egyptian chronology and archaeology. Often when I was alone with him, we discussed the chronological and psychological dates of Egyptian and Aryan antiquity.'

The last left of the daughters of that large and happy family writes:—

To Mrs. Max Muller.

Carlsruhe, December 13, 1901.

'My memory now only recalls impressions of your dear husband. The charm of his whole being, his beautiful, almost Greek profile, his wonderful playing, specially of Mendelssohn and Chopin, and delightful power of interesting and fascinating one by his conversation, all that is still very clear and warm in my recollection; and we girls all fully understood my father's admiration, and fatherly love, and interest in him. . . . He did not live in Carlton Terrace with us, only came in and out, and of course was chiefly closeted with my father in his library below; and we only saw him at meals, or when he had time to look us up in the drawing-rooms, and there, I well remember, we tried as soon as possible to get him to sit at the pianoforte and play to us. 'Very truly yours,

'Emilia von Bunsen.'

It was soon after the parting with his friend and patron that Max Muller heard from Sir Charles Trevelyan that he was thoroughly satisfied with his treatise: 'I cannot bestow higher praise upon it than by saying that it appears to me completely to answer the important object for which it was written.' Bunsen, too, wrote: 'I read your book . . . with real delight and sincere admiration.'

The following letter from Dr. John Muir, the editor of Original Sanskrit Texts, or the Origin and History of the People of India, and later the munificent founder of the Sanskrit Professorship in Edinburgh, then just returned from twenty-five years' service in India, contains the first mention of a man of whom Max Muller always spoke with reverential affection:—

33, Sussex Gardens, June 26, 1854.

'My dear Sir,—It may interest you to know that there is at present in London a Pundit from Benares, though he has become a Christian. He has come to England with the Maharaja Duleep Singh, as a sort of tutor or companion to His Highness. His name is Nehemiah Nilkanth, the former appellative having been adopted by him according to his own wish on the occasion of his baptism. He was not a professed Pundit in the sense of being a teacher of Sanskrit Grammar, or of any of the Six Darsanas or any other branch, but he is a Sanskrit scholar, being able to write the language accurately and fluently, and having a general knowledge of the philosophical schools. At the commencement of his inquiries into Christianity, he wrote an answer to one of my tracts (a former edition of the Matapariksha), composed in Sanskrit verse. After long and painful inquiries and struggles, he became convinced of the truth of Christianity, which he accordingly embraced. He has latterly been employed as a catechist; and when Dr. Login (who has charge of the Maharaja) was leaving India, he brought Nilkanth along with him.

'If, therefore, you are curious to see a specimen of a Pundit without going beyond London, your wish can be gratified, and if you desire it, I shall be glad to go with you to Dr. Login at Mivart's in Brook Street, if you are likely to be soon in London. Nilkanth, since his conversion, has written a tract in Hindoo against the Vcddnla, which is interesting as an exposition of what he considers the doctrine of that school. He knew some English when I last saw him, and is probably improved in his knowledge of it now.

'Believe me, yours very faithfully,

'John Muir.'

Nehemiah Goreh came to Oxford to see Max Muller, and they became, after a short time, very intimate. Nehemiah had suffered cruelly for his change of religion, and on his return to India his mind seems to have lost its balance, and after some years of asceticism and complete renunciation of the world, he joined the branch of the Cowley Fathers established in India. Up to that time, he had written to and heard from Max Muller from time to time. When he revisited England and Oxford many years later, he was so completely under the discipline of the Brotherhood, that it was only the very day that he left Oxford, where he had spent many weeks, that he was allowed to visit his old friend for a few moments, and the visit gave little pleasure to either. 'He was steeped in the Christianity of the Church,' which Max always distinguished from 'the Christianity of Christ.'

In July Max Muller went to Germany, and with his mother revisited his sister and many other relations.

To Chevalier Bunsen.

Translation. Chemnitz, July 30, 1854.

'I received your last friendly letter from Heidelberg, just as I had struck my tent in Oxford, and was on my way to Germany. Since then I have been always on the move from place to place, and never had any rest or a moment for writing. Now I have finished my visits, and am going on a few longer expeditions, and your kind invitation draws me westward to Heidelberg, and thence I hope to go to Switzerland, North Italy, Venice, and Vienna. My plan is to start in a few days with my mother, to pay a few visits on the way, to see Ruckert and reach Heidelberg about the middle of August. I hope to stay there with my mother for a fortnight, and as it is not so far from Heidelberg to your house as from the City to the West End, I hope to renew the happy hours which, only a short time ago, I could spend with you in Carlton Terrace. I do not know Heidelberg, and your account has made me long to see the Academia Nicorina. Then I hope we shall be reconciled about Aryans or Iranians, about which I do not care to speak from Chemnitz, as no philological wind blows here. The middle of August I expect some friends in Heidelberg, perhaps Jowett, and we may go on together to Italy and Vienna. Unfortunately I must be back by October i, as the Election takes place then. I have not yet heard whether the Bill has been sent back to the Commons, and what changes have been made in it, but I fear I must be at my post by the beginning of term. The parties are nearly equal, and each vote tells. Dissenters are admitted, but Gladstone has done much harm, and the Commissioners are very much restricted in carrying out the needed reforms, at least in what concerns the colleges. The advance of public opinion in Oxford is remarkable, when one thinks how quickly it has come.'

After a pleasant time in Heidelberg, where he was able to introduce to his friends his dearly loved mother, of whom Bunsen writes later as ' your remarkable mother,' Max Muller joined his old friend Baron Hagedorn, and with him visited Worms, Speyer, Baden-Baden, and the Black Forest, and went on alone to spend a week at Vienna with his friend Robert Morier, then secretary at the English Embassy. Italy had to be given up on account of cholera. From Vienna he went again for a time to his mother in Dresden, and finally returned to Oxford early in October, where he tells his mother he had a rapturous welcome from his little dog Belle. He writes on his return that he is feeling so very well that he has no qualms of conscience over his three months' idleness, and adds, 'If we can be together three months in the year, free from all cares, we can bear the other nine months, and if the parting is always very painful, it is made up for by the joy of meeting.'

During the summer. Max Muller received from time to time, through Sir Charles Trevelyan, letters from officers, consuls, and others on his Languages of the Seat of War, many of them containing valuable corrections which he embodied in the second edition. The consul at Mitylene wrote, 'I have received Muller's admirable memoir, and must thank him for the pleasure and instruction it has afforded me. It is like letting in broad daylight on a subject which had been hitherto explored by a farthing rushlight.'

To His Mother.

Translation. November 11, 1854.

'I tried on your birthday to play a little, but I have no time now for such things. I have a great deal of work in prospect, and however great the delight I feel in music and art, my work comes before everything else. My free time I must give to walking, which is most necessary; and to get stronger exercise I play racquets, which makes one perspire even more than camomile tea. When one is nearly thirty-one, one must be economical of one's time, and give up many things that are a pleasure, but for which one's time is too precious. How many things I would like to read, but there is no time, and I must be content. One's delight in music always lasts, and I owe the old instrument so much—not only the enjoyment one has had, and the use my music has been as an introduction in a foreign place, but also the happy frame of mind which music unconsciously produces in one, and it smooths many little roughnesses which one often sees in those who have no taste for music. People who cannot sing are almost as badly off as people who cannot cry, but one does not always want to cry, nor always to sing; if we know that we can, it is enough.'

In this same letter he mentions that the cholera had been so bad in Oxford—worse than anywhere else in England— that the lectures had, many of them, been postponed.
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Re: The Life and Letters of The Right Hon. Friedrich Max Mul

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Part 2 of 2

To The Same.

Translation. Oxford, December 10.

'I must thank you for all your love, which is the best of birthday gifts. As I took up your birthday letter, I wondered where the smell of violets came from, and when I opened it and found them, the scent was as fresh as if they were just picked; and even now, as your letter lies on my table, they have not lost it. Your letter too is full of love and goodness, which remains ever fresh. But I must tell you I was' not in Oxford on my birthday, but in Bideford. I was first with Froude, who lives at Torquay, and then I went with him to Bideford to stay with Kingsley. He is a well-known writer, and his last novel Hypatia has made a great sensation. He is married to a sister of Fronde's wife, and they are both charming. I played to them on my birthday, and thought of you. ... I shall probably be quietly in Oxford at Christmas, unless I go to George Bunsen's wedding; he is engaged to an English lady. . . . Here one hears of nothing but the war . . . the losses are very great. Taxes are very high, six per cent, now, and we are to be prepared for ten per cent.'

To The Same.

Translation. Oxford, December 28.

'I spent Christmas quietly here, for I had wasted so much time that it was high time to begin my work again. On Monday, as I was drinking my coffee, came your letter, and soon after I received your picture, which I like very much. ... I made acquaintance this time in London with Macaulay, and had a long conversation with him on the teaching necessary for the young men who are sent out to India. He is very clear headed, and extraordinarily eloquent.'

This must be the interview so humorously described in Auld Lang Syne, where the young Professor, primed with every possible argument in favour of Oriental studies, had to sit silent for an hour whilst the historian poured forth his diametrically opposite views, and then dismissed his visitor, who had tried in vain to utter a single word. 'I went back to Oxford,' says Max Muller, 'a sadder, and, I hope, a wiser man.'

The New Year found Max Muller quietly at work in Oxford. He had been to London, intending to accompany his friend George Bunsen to Norfolk for his wedding, but serious illness in the bride's family prevented any but the nearest relatives from being present. Max's mother had been urging him to follow his friend's example—a favourite theme with her—and she amused herself from time to time in recommending him a wife.

To His Mother.

Translation. Oxford, January.

'That you are so anxious to find me a wife is very good of you! But I am afraid there are difficulties, and in such things we must take life as God sends it. A happy marriage must be a great blessing, but how few marriages are happy. I have no opportunity of really knowing and observing young girls, as one can if one lives at home, and where families know each other, and live much together. I should not fall in love with a merely pretty face, and for a mariage de convenance [Google translate: marriage of convenience ] there is plenty of time. Elise, who delighted you so much in Carlsbad, seemed to me pleasant enough; but, as I had no opportunity of knowing her better, I have never thought more about her. If you are writing, greet her kindly, but don't make any proposals for her hand! Perhaps if Krug sends you this year to Carlsbad, you can tell me if she is the sort of daughter-in-law you would like Sunday is my best day for writing letters, as I get up early, and go at eight o'clock to our chapel, and have the whole day then to myself. Getting up so early at this time of the year is not pleasant; but the chapels here in the colleges are so beautiful, so warm, and so well arranged that one is far more comfortable in them than in our large cold churches.'

Bunsen had written to him earlier in the month to express his pleasure that Max Muller 'would undertake to bring the last sevenfold child of my English love' (Christianity and Mankind^ in seven volumes) 'into public notice. You know better than any one what is the unity of the seven volumes, and what is the aim and result. Your own is certainly an important and independent part of it. But you have, with old affection, worked and thought yourself into the whole, even when the particulars were of less interest to you.' To this the following answer was sent:—

Translation. 9, Park Place, Oxford, January 14, 1855.

'Philip Pusey seems quite unexpectedly better. Acland had very little hope, but thinks it quite possible now that his life will be spared. He is living still with his brother in Oxford, and as I have had little intercourse with the latter, I cannot call there to inquire. His brother has engaged a tutor for Sidney, who now reads with him, but his chief studies are Pusey's folios, the Patres and the Haeretici. Oxford is in a sad condition; the reform has done nothing, and we are worse off than before. Balliol has declared that Dissenters will not be admitted; but the minority has appealed to the Bishop of Lincoln, who has cancelled the resolution. Gladstone's Bill has introduced a complicated and impractical system, which suffocates all proposals for the better. There is only one chance of salvation for Oxford—fellowships open to all and no clerical restrictions. If this were done we should have a very different Oxford in about twenty years. At present lay-fellows are only admitted as fellows for a certain period—if they are admitted to an open fellowship at all. What remains therefore is nothing but the coffee-grounds which nobody desires to have—clergymen without a parish and scholars without scholarships! I often long to get away. I cannot, especially as a German, take part in these things; my old friends leave, and I have no wish to make new ones, and so the MSS. of the Veda are my one consolation.

'I have written a review on the philological part of your work; I told Dasent1 [Editor of the Times.] about it a fortnight ago, but I have had no answer so far.

'I have written to Dr. Jelf, who may probably secure for him the Sanskrit Professorship at King's College, I shall look out for somebody later on, who will do the mechanical work of copying and compiling, so that I shall only have the constructing of the text to do. Aufrecht was too good for this mechanical work. I do hope he will succeed better in London than here. ... I think of going to Paris in the summer, to study there, and to get acquainted with the people, if only there were no Exhibition. And what about the war?—I hope there will be no peace till Sebastopol has fallen.'


(Continuation on Monday.)

'I received your letter this morning, which made me reflect, Alea iacta est, [Google translate: Gambling it was thrown] but where and how? The old Prussia is lost, and a new one can only rise from a Protestant, constitutional Germany. The hour for that must soon be at hand, for I do not believe in the peace negotiations. If once the struggle becomes widespread, it will be the voice of the people that will secure the welfare of the Fatherland. In war and in peace, in death and in life, the people must have a voice, and it could never wait for the word of command to emanate from one family. Peace now would be a great disaster.
'I wish the notice of your book had fallen into better hands. Dasent told me that the second part of his review of the first edition had not passed the censor1 [Mr. Walter, proprietor of the Times, saw almost all articles that touched on religious subjects.] and so had never been printed. After hearing this, I did what I could, i.e. I explained the connexion of the whole— but it is for the Times, and the times are bad!

It will be observed that in the beginning of this letter Max Muller speaks of having had little intercourse with Dr. Pusey. When he was made an M.A. of Christ Church, he attended chapel regularly, and Dr. Pusey at once announced that he would never administer the Holy Communion to him, as he had only been confirmed in the Lutheran Church —not by a bishop! The Dean, Dr. Gaisford, at once said that he had no scruples of the sort. This, of course, made a feeling of estrangement for some years between Dr. Pusey and the young Professor; but it passed away gradually, and in 1860, at the time of the election to the Sanskrit Professorship, it is well known that Max Muller had no warmer supporter or more energetic canvasser than Dr. Pusey, who sat up many nights writing letters in his favour. Max always remembered and alluded to this with gratitude. His feelings about Pusey form some of the most interesting passages in the Autobiography. Their religious views were far asunder. Max Muller, who, as he tells us, had learnt his practical religion from his mother, which remained unshaken amidst all storms, could not sympathize with the utter terror with which Dr. Pusey looked back on his own religious difficulties, as if they were in themselves a crime. Max always felt that 'religion, in order to be real religion, a man's own religion, must be searched for, must be discovered, must be conquered. If it is simply inherited, or accepted as a matter of course, it often happens that in later years it falls away, and has either to be reconquered, or to be replaced by another religion.'

How completely all distrust of Max Muller had passed from Dr. Pusey's mind, is shown by the following extract from a letter from his daughter, Mrs. Brine:—

'. . . I remember well the happy walks my father and I used to have through the Parks up to your house, when he wanted to consult Professor Max Muller on some abstruse questions. You know the very high esteem in which my father held the Professor.'

In February Bunsen writes to Max Muller:—


'I am delighted to hear that your Veda gets on. If you would only not allow yourself to be frightened from the attempt to let others work for you in mere handicraft. You have now fixed your impress on the work, and any one with the will, and with the necessary knowledge of the tools, could not go far wrong under your eye. I should so like to see you free for other work. Only do not leave Oxford. You would not like Germany, and Germany could offer you no sphere of activity that could be compared ever so distantly with your present position. So do not be low-spirited, my dear M., or impatient. It is not so much the fault of England, as of yourself, that you do not feel settled and at home. You have now as good a position as a young man of intellect, and with a future before him, could possibly have anywhere, either in England or Germany. Make a home for yourself. Since I saw your remarkable mother, I have been convinced that, unlike many mothers, she would not stand in the way of your domestic happiness, even were it contrary to her own views.'

To His Mother.

Translation. February 25, 1855.

'There has not been such a winter in England for twenty years— even the Thames is frozen over, and here in Oxford the cold was unbearable, for the open fires are not as warm as a German stove. The one pleasure is the skating, which one generally gets for a couple of days only—this frost has lasted for weeks. You must have felt the cold, if you have carried out your stove-economies, and used a lamp instead of fire. I am very busy with my lectures, and am printing a second edition of my Languages of the Seat of War, and there are many other things which fill up my time. The war becomes more complicated, but we must hope that they will not make peace hurriedly, so that the victims will have fallen in vain. Here people are very much excited, chiefly from the constant change of Ministers and the incapacity of the highest officials. It is a real revolution, only such crises pass over quietly here, but the effect is the same. The aristocratic party must yield before it comes to street fighting. I have made no plans for the summer. I must stay here during vacation, unless I go to Paris for work. If you have really meanwhile found a wife for me, that may make a difference, but I am not at all inclined for one!'

In March, Max Muller tells his mother of a visit to London, where he had made acquaintance with Lord Ashburton, 'one of the richest peers in England, and a patron of literature.' He stayed with his friend George Bunsen, and laments that his pleasant, amiable, and rich wife has no sister to take the place of Elise of Carlsbad, who was going to be married, much to his mother's disappointment! True to his determination to spare his mother all anxiety, he never betrayed what his real feelings were.

To Chevalier Bunsen.

Translation. 9, Park Place, Oxford, April 15, 1855.

'. . . I chiefly work at the Veda now, and have just sent an essay on Vedic burials to the German Oriental fournal. It is always the same story with Aufrecht, and, alas, no position seems to turn up for him. Jowett has been in London for the whole term; his Commentary is printed and is to appear soon. I expect few facts, but free and open treatment of the matter. Tischendorff appeared here in Oxford with all his various Orders and MSS. I hope to get the latter accepted by the Bodleian. Are they really worth £800 after having been collated and edited?

On April 17 Bunsen wrote to thank Max Muller for an article on his Outlines:—


'You have so thoroughly adopted the English disguise that it will not be easy for any one to suspect you of having written this "curious article." It especially delights me to see how ingeniously you contrive to say what you announce you do not wish to discuss, i.e. the purport of the theology. In short, we are all of opinion that your cousin was right when she said of you in Paris to Neukomm, that you ought to be in the diplomatic service!'

The letter goes on to sketch out a new work in which Bunsen was anxious for Max Muller's co-operation, The Kosmos of Language, in four volumes—the second and fourth volumes to be entirely the work of Max Muller, and half of volume three—and Bunsen asks his friend to Heidelberg, or to Nice in the winter, to discuss the whole scheme.

Translation. 9, Park Place, Oxford, April 26, 1855.

'Alas! I cannot send any definite answer to your kind proposals. My news from home are bad. My mother has been very ill and her recovery is very slow. She is ordered to go to Carlsbad in the summer, and wishes me to go with her, and this seems almost impossible. Last year even I meant to go to Paris to study there, and to occupy myself with the collation and copying of various MSS. I have been hindered for several years in concluding and finishing various works of mine by not knowing these said MSS. My plan therefore is to spend the summer in Paris, and to give some years entirely to the close study of the Veda, and therefore meanwhile to let the Science of Language alone. The second part of the review in the Times has after all appeared amidst cries and wailing. Nobody seems to know in the least who is the writer of the article, and I have already assisted in various Common Rooms to abuse it, without betraying myself by the movement of a muscle. The gloom here is widespread. As it was said of France in 1847, "La France s'ennuie," so it may be said here now, John Bull is sulky. He has still thought it possible that men like Aberdeen, Clarendon, Palmerston, &c., could at least have brought Austria round. But as he sees that even that could not be managed, he turns disagreeable. Parliament will have to be dissolved, and a numerous national party will choose statesmen like Layard, Lowe, Bright, Cobden, &c. Whigs and Tories are done for.'

It was in this spring that Max Muller joined in a delightful geological excursion to Malvern, which he often mentioned later with unfeigned delight. The following account is from one of the party, Canon Farrar:—

'It was in 1855 that I had the opportunity of knowing Max Muller more closely, and seeing his mind employed on a new subject, Geology, in an interesting excursion to the Malvern Hills under the guidance of Professor Phillips, who wisely proposed to utilize the three days' vacation which at that time separated the two summer terms at Whitsuntide, by taking a party to visit the igneous formations of the Malvern Hills. The party was of graduates, except one gentleman commoner. The only survivor besides myself is the Rev. H. F. Tozer. We hired a country hotel at Malvern Wells, and thence made excursions under the Professor's guidance. Muller was one of the party. He had only lately taken up the subject of Geology; the practical application of it in field work was new to him, and therefore he afforded unintentionally to us the means of watching the workings of his mind, both in observation and reflection. I recall at the interval of forty-six years his looks of surprise and of intelligent delight. He was amazed by the mineralogical transformations, but what struck him most was the odd fragments which were indications of obliterated rock formations. He was fascinated by the inferences which Phillips drew. I cannot but suspect that there was in his mind the perception of the close analogy offered by his own favourite study of the history of language. These fragments of early strata were parallel to the presence of roots or old forms of words embedded in later linguistic strata. The second day of our stay was Sunday: most of the party gave themselves a holiday, and did not go to church. But Phillips and Muller accompanied me and some others to the Abbey Church of Great Malvern. I hope that I am not lifting indelicately the veil from sacred acts, if I say that it being Whit-Sunday, and there being Communion, to my surprise both Muller and Phillips stopped to partake of the Communion. I name this, for the reason that I suppose that in Oxford it would have been thought that the two men just named were, though Christians in life, most indefinite in their religious views, and probably suspected of excessive broadness. The sight of these two laymen, whose stay at the Eucharist must of course have been prompted solely by sincere religious principle, impressed me much; it was a rebuke to many of us clergymen, and led me to a lifelong conviction that a depth of Christian purpose without formal profession exists in many a heart, undiscovered by man, and I often thought of this occurrence, when Muller, at the time of his rejection for the Sanskrit chair, was unfairly charged with the irrelevant question of Rationalism. After the service, our small party mounted to the top of the hills and listened to Phillips pointing out not only the physical and topographical geography of the vast panorama, but explaining the reasons by which he reproduced the probable configuration of the country, of land and sea, at the distant period of the elevation of the hills. This again seemed to impress Muller deeply. While he revelled in the beauty of the scene, he had never before heard physical geography in a large landscape connected with geology, with the extinct flora and fauna made to live again in Phillips' description. Our next day, Monday, was spent in a fatiguing walk along the southern half of the hills. Here Muller had for the first time the opportunity of seeing two British camps; one of them, the Herefordshire beacon, of gigantic size and remarkable construction, to which ancient German camps offer hardly any parallel. Muller showed an equal interest in archaeological as in geological history.'

For the May Term of this year Max Muller announced for the first time a course of reading and working lectures, 'sine ulla solennitate,' and from this time onwards gave one such course each year. This first class was for reading extracts from German classics to illustrate the history of German literature. His lectures continued to be well attended; there are above seventy names of undergraduates in one term for certificates of attendance, and the more private classes were also very popular. The wide range of investigation which Max Muller contrived to bring within the scope of modern languages and literature and the vivacity and picturesqueness with which every subject was treated were totally unlike the usual professorial lecture, and he continued to attract large audiences till tutorial teaching gradually destroyed the attendance at Professors' lectures.

Early in June, Max Muller was placed on the commission for the examination of the candidates for the Civil Service of India, and appointed examiner in Sanskrit. The preliminary meetings he found very interesting, and the constant visits to London gave him opportunities of seeing many old friends. He was busy with the examination in July, and was then asked to undertake the German and French examinations for commissions in the Engineers and Artillery, which included the history and literature as well as the grammar of both languages.

The middle of August Max Muller settled himself in Paris, glad to have the change from England and all the work he had been doing. He found Gathy and other old friends there, and began to work at collating and copying the MSS. he had specially come to see. His mother, however, when she knew that the sea no longer separated them, became impatient to see him, and the end of the month he started for Dresden, where he stayed a fortnight.

On his return from Dresden he found Paris so full for the Exhibition that it was with difficulty he secured a room for himself, and an apartment for his cousin Emilie and her husband Prince Wilhelm. Princess Friedrich of Anhalt-Dessau and her two daughters were also in Paris, and, as Max Muller soon found, he was expected to act as cicerone to the whole party; so he gave up all idea of work, and spent the short time that remained before his return to England in a round of amusements. He tells his mother he was never quiet from morning till night, and that he had explored Paris again from end to end. There were delightful excursions to Fontainebleau and Versailles, constant visits to the Exhibition, whilst almost every evening was spent at the theatre. The princesses, accustomed to a stiff little German court, were delighted with the freedom of the life, the dinners at the cafes, and the gaiety of the city, and were very pleasant and amused at everything. Max Muller, however, was not sorry when the arrival of the old family friend, Baron Hagedorn, set him free to return to his busy, yet quiet, life in England. To his mother he writes before leaving Paris:—


'It is tiresome, though, that my plans for work were all upset, but it can't be helped; one must take life as it comes, and do one's duty by others, when it is necessary. The summer has been a happy one, and I am quite satisfied. We had a happy time together in Dresden — happier than I had dared to hope for.'

On his return home, Max Muller found himself involved in a controversy on the examinations for the Indian Civil Service. He entirely agreed that the first examination should be a test of that liberal education which can be obtained at our schools and universities, and that a small number of marks should then be given for Arabic or Sanskrit. But in the second examination he was anxious that high marks should be given for Sanskrit as the origin of nearly all the spoken languages of India, and that the vernaculars should be studied in India, when a man knew in which presidency his life would be passed, and which vernaculars he would really require. In Mr. Lowe's reconstruction of Macaulay's scheme, Sanskrit had been set aside in favour of vernaculars. Max Muller wished to see 1,000 marks for Oriental languages divided into 800 for Sanskrit and 2co for one vernacular.

The lectures this term were on 'The History of the Languages of Europe,' with again a good attendance. Great part of the term was spent in looking for a house, as the lodgings where he had lived since the autumn of 1848 were now too small for his rapidly growing library, though it had not yet attained the dimensions of later years, some 13,000 volumes. The choice of houses was very limited in those days: none of those to the north of St. Giles' Church then existed, except some half-dozen in Park Town, which was considered an impossible distance from Oxford for a Professor!

To His Mother.

Translation. Oxford, November 9.

'Everything goes on again as usual. Lectures, work, parties, and one day follows another without anything special to mark it. But a holiday does one good, and one's work goes on all the better after a time of thorough idleness. Only think, my poor Belle has been very ill ever since I came home, and cannot die; she is a perfect skeleton. The people say I ought to give her poison, but I can't do it, though she is hopelessly ill. ... I have long had fires, and the weather is cold and disagreeable, just like England, and then every night I must make myself wretched with a heavy English dinner, whilst in Paris one never felt one had eaten anything. Yet Emilie will tell you we did not live so badly there![/quote]

The end of November his faithful little companion for seven years, little Belle the terrier, so well known to his old friends, died. Max tells his mother that it had made him very unhappy, and he missed the little creature terribly.

Max Muller, who had been made an honorary M.A., as we have seen, in December, 1851, was made M.A. by Decree of Convocation on December 13 of this year.

To His Mother.

Translation. 9, Park Place, December 28.

'There is little to tell you about my Christmas. Oxford is nearly empty in the vacation, so one does not see much festivity. But the week before Christmas I enjoyed myself very much. I went to a friend (Augustus Vansittart) in Cambridge, which I had not yet seen, and most beautiful it is, in some points more beautiful than Oxford, which is saying a great deal. Everybody was very hospitable, and for a whole week I had to eat four dinners daily, for breakfast, luncheon, dinner, and supper were all like a gala dinner in Germany. Four times a day roast pheasant, and never in bed before 2 o'clock. It was real feasting, and I am only surprised that I could eat my way through without headaches. I came back through London, and dined with one of the Ministers, where I met . . . Sir Colin Campbell, the English general from the Crimea; and then I went to the Latin Play by the scholars of Westminster School. So you see one can amuse oneself here, if not at Christmas, but beforehand.'

Towards the close of this year Renan wrote a sharp attack on Max Muller's Turanian article in Bunsen's Christianity and Mankind. The attack appeared in Renan's Histoire generale des langues semitiques [Google translate: History general of Semitic languages.]. Max Muller complained bitterly of the passage in a letter to Stanislas Julien, which he, with childlike innocence, showed to Renan, who wrote a long explanatory letter to Max Muller, in which he repeated the very point that was really the cause of offence, i.e. that in that essay Max had been under the influence of Bunsen, and had written it more to command than from conviction. Owing to the indiscretion of Stanislas Julien, the quarrel threatened to become serious, as Max Muller could not but feel that his honour as a writer had been called in question. He wrote a review of Renan's Gravimaire Semitique which amounted to a fierce attack upon the book. Bunsen wrote to Max Muller:—

Translation. December 2, 1855.

'I send you these lines ... to stop if possible your wrath against Renan. He confesses in his letter "Ma plume m'a trahi"; he has partly said what he thinks, and partly said what he does not think But his note is not that of an enemy. You must deal gently with him. You will do it, will you not, for my sake?'

Renan, too, wrote: 'Pardonnez-moi. Je n'ai pas compris ce que vous vouliez dire.' [Google translate: Excuse me. I didn't understand what you wanted to say.] On this Max Muller suppressed the pamphlet, though already printed, and they gradually became great friends.

To Chevalier Bunsen.

Translation. December 25, 1855.

'. . . Your next work, God in History, will be a joy to read, for the beginning of the God-consciousness in the Veda has much occupied me of late, and has made me enter into depths of human consciousness hitherto unknown to me. The Veda alone of all works I know treats of a genesis of God-consciousness, compared to which the Theogony of Hesiod is like a worn-out creature. We see it grow slowly and gradually with all its contradictions, its sudden terrors, its amazements, and its triumphs. As God reveals His Being in nature, in her order, her wisdom, her indestructibility, in the eternal victory of light over darkness, of spring over winter, in the eternally returning course of the sun and the stars, so man has gradually spelt out of nature the Being of God, and after trying a thousand names for God in vain, we find him in the Veda already saying: They call Him Indra, Mitra, Varuna; then they call Him the Heavenly, the bird with beautiful wings;—that which is One they call in various ways; they call it Agni, Sama, IMatarisvan. The belief in Immortality is only the other side as it were of the God-consciousness, and both are originally natural to the Aryan race. "As the sun sets, yet never dies, but returns," says the old Aryan, "neither shall I go into non-existence, I but I shall live with the sun." The non-existence he denies as often as he can, and in the Veda the a sat is the night of nature, which is nothing, though it frightens man and torments him, but just on account of that very thing makes him most sensitive to belief in and to hope of the ever-returning light. The Veda is inexhaustible, and the more I long to get to a close, the more I feel how much there remains still to be done, and yet I feel it a great blessing that such work has been given to me to do as the daily occupation of my life— and then everything seems to become indifferent, even if Monsieur Renan reviles me!

'In Oxford everything proceeds slowly but well. Liddell has been made Dean; he has a difficult position, but he is surely planted, and nobody will succeed in moving him away again. It is said that the Prince of Wales will be with him, but that may only be a report. Secondly, Jowett is established, and Pusey gets angry about him, and is sure to accuse him of heresy, and so secure him much greater influence. Pusey is very dangerous, and his influence is again on the increase. He seems to have designs on me, and I am on my guard. Then there is Thomson, Provost of Queen's, honest and friendly. Vaughan is also to come to Oxford. Brodie has been made Professor without signing the Articles, my own case preceding his, but he had a stronger case, being an Englishman. Everything was tried against him, even secret surprises at the voting, after making it known that no contest would take place. Everybody was afraid of a sudden attack at nightfall; the guards were called out, and the ambuscade found itself confronted by a picket which towered above them. Everything cannot go exactly as we wish, but the avalanche rolls in the right direction.

'What a beautiful speech Prince Albert made in Birmingham! He ought not to show his cards too readily; he has to play the Brutus with the English, or else he will be treated as was Aristides. Excuse this long letter, but it is so rarely that one can speak to anybody about one's thoughts and feelings, that when I write to you my pen runs away with me.'

Bunsen later thanked Max Muller for his just, but sharply expressed and nobly suppressed, essay against Renan.
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Re: The Life and Letters of The Right Hon. Friedrich Max Mul

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Comparative Mythology. Commemoration. His mother in England. Volume III of Veda. Curator of Bodleian. Christmas at Glasgow. Deutsche Liebe. Buddhist pilgrims. Examination at Exeter. Visit to Froude. Germany. Manchester Exhibition.

In the last days of the old year, Max Muller had found a house, 55, St. John's Street, and so hard did he work that he was settled before term began, as the notice of his lectures is dated from his new house. His course was on the 'History of the German Language, and its relation to Greek and Latin.' He writes to tell his mother how comfortably he is settled, and how much he hopes she will visit him in the summer, to see his home and life in England, though at the same time he cautions her not to expect much amusement, as he is far too busy to travel about with her, or give up much time to her, as he has daily work at the Bodleian, besides all his work at home. To Bunsen he writes:—

Translation. 55, St. John's Street, March 14.

'Everything progresses well in Oxford; it seems to me there is no other country in the world so pliable as England. At the right time we shall get everything in Oxford that we wished for, and the whole academical phraseology changes visibly. Of course Jowett is preached against every Sunday; it does not hurt him in the least, however, and he is occupied with a second edition1 [Commentary on the Thessalonians, &c.]. The essay in the Quarterly is by Conybeare; I have not read it, for that sort of thing does not matter. When we grow older here in England we leave the talking and writing to others, and we occupy ourselves with the "doing"; and as I am now a member of Convocation and Congregation the committee-work and report-writing begin to occupy all my time. So I retire as much as possible and rejoice when something is really accomplished. It looks disgraceful in Prussia; the whole morality begins to be bankrupt.

'I am so glad to know that your great work1 [Egypt.] is to be concluded before the great war breaks out. I should have liked to send you my little contribution about the Veda, but Easter approaches, and till then I am actually glued to my table day after day, as I have promised Brockhaus, by contract, to hand over to him the MS. at the end of March. I am sending him a Vedic grammar as introduction to the first volume of the German edition of the Rig-veda. The text was printed some time ago, and therefore he presses me to send him the preface. So you see it is absolutely impossible to answer your questions now.

'The Flood-legend does not occur in the Hymns of the Veda, but in the Brahmanas. Burnouf considers it borrowed, and he may be right, as it only occurs in a modern Brahmana. The Fall is hinted at, not morally but only metaphysically. . . . The keynote which runs through the whole always is: We do not know; who looked on when God made the world? To whom did he mention it? I mean to stay here for the summer, and expect my mother to pay me a visit.'

To His Mother.

Translation. Oxford, March 23.

'You must lead a very quiet life, and not anger and excite yourself. The things that annoy us in life are after all very trifling things, if we always bear in mind for what purpose we are here. And even in the heavier trials, one knows, or one should know, that all is sent by a higher Power, and in the end must be for our best interests. It is true we cannot understand it, but we can understand that God rules in the world in the smallest and in the largest events, and he who keeps that ever in mind has the peace of God, and enjoys his life as long as it lasts. I am sure that a quiet, contented mind is better than all medicine and Carlsbad. I dare say a change of air will be good for you, and life in England is very healthy, if you will live quietly. We cannot travel about much, for it is too expensive and requires younger legs, but Oxford itself is sure to please you, and you will see what my life here is.'

This spring Max Muller's article on Comparative Mythology appeared in the Oxford Essays. It has been reprinted in both editions of the Chips. A contemporary writer speaks of the 'great impression made by Max Muller's essay on Comparative Mythology, published in the Oxford Essays, in which he applied the rules of comparative philology to the elucidation of Aryan myths, in a manner at once scientific and popular.' 'Max Muller,' says Professor Macdonell in his obituary notice in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society,

'was a pioneer in this country of the Science of Comparative Mythology, founded by Adalbert Kuhn. . . . Beginning with his essay on Comparative Mythology, which appeared in 1856, he wrote a number of papers on mythological subjects. . . . His mythological method, based on linguistic equations, has but few adherents in the present day, for most of his identifications . . . have been rejected owing to the more stringent application of phonetic laws which now prevails in Comparative Philology. . . . Nevertheless, his writings have proved valuable in this field also by stimulating mythological investigations even beyond the range of Aryan-speaking nations.'

Of this essay a friend wrote many years later to Max Muller:—

'When I was young I remember you were my ideal hero—the magician who admitted me into a gorgeous fairy-land. I can remember as if it were yesterday, in the early sixties, how I read the Oxford essay in the British Museum, and walked home to Clapham westward facing a glorious sunset, hardly conscious that I was a creature of this planet! And later on a new book of yours was an event in my life!'

Bunsen was busying himself at this time with questions of Indian chronology, in which Max Muller could not sympathize, feeling the ground too insecure for any real historical treatment. In one letter he says:—

Translation. April, 1856.

'I only recognize one chronology for India, the four literary periods of the Veda, which bring us to at least 1 500 b. c., and even at that time show us a formulated system of divinities and even priestcraft. Before this time the schism of Brahmans and Zoroastrians had taken place. And long before this, even, the schism between the Aryans tracking north-eastward and those tracking southwards took place; and before the nomadic Greeks separated from the nomadic Indians, centuries must have passed. There seems no doubt that the South Aryans (later on divided into Indians and Zoroastrians) had settled together in Bactria. . . . The alphabet on the Aryan coins in the north of India is no doubt Semitic. The Sanskrit alphabet has its origin from elsewhere, and I believe I shall be able to trace it to the Himyaritic. When it reached India is the great question, and that I am unable to answer. "Ophir" proves how old the commerce between India and Phoenicia must have been; for "Ophir" is Abhiva on the Indus. So you see the oldest date of the name Ophir occurring in the Bible is the latest time in which the Aryans were already settled by the sea, and at the time of the Veda they had not yet settled there. Could it be proved that Solomon knew the name Ophir, it would of course be a terminus a quo. His lion-throne made of ivory reminds one of the Sanskrit lion-seat, i.e. throne. Lassen has established the Sanskrit etymology of the products of Ophir. I am now printing my old Vedic grammar—just think that 400 B.C. each syllable of the Rig-veda had been counted, each lengthened syllable had been carefully marked, and each metrical inaccuracy had been carefully registered. But it is an awful work, and I long to return to my mythology.'

This letter crossed one from Bunsen, in which he tells Max Muller, 'It would be a great pleasure to you, my dear friend, if you could see the enthusiasm of my reawakened love for India, which possessed me in 1811-4, and which now daily overpowers me.' The letter ends, 'Send me a letter, only without " Your Excellency." I beg you will always write to me as friend to friend.'

To this friendly invitation Max Muller replies:—

Translation. 55, St. John Street, Oxford, April 25, 1856.

'Your Excellency,—Allow me to continue to call you so; it is an old habit, and reminds me of the time when first I entered your study to have my passport to Germany vise'd, in a despairing mood as I was then, without an aim, without means to carry out the one scheme which I had clearly planned for myself! How much has happened since then! Oh, when I think how I have to thank you, your encouragement, your sympathy, for the whole turn of my fate, if I consider that, I know of no other word which would better express my veneration for you, my love and my gratitude, than the one by which I addressed you with German awkwardness at the first visit I paid you, a word which, like many another one, has been much misused, but has nevertheless not yet lost its true meaning!

'With regard to Megasthenes1 [Greek envoy from Seleucus Nicator (306-298 B.C.) to Chandra-gupta (Sandrocottus). He wrote a work on India.], I do not know how I can help you. As far as I have occupied myself with the chronological question, which has never been a passion with me, I do not see in the least how Megasthenes could know more than Wilford or Sir W. Jones. Megasthenes could not know anything but what we know, for though we know nothing of Indian history, we know the history of Indian literature sufficiently well to be able to ascertain that no annals have ever been lost, simply because none ever existed. We have the most distinct traces in the Rig-veda of the schism between the Brahmans and the followers of the Zend-Avesta.

'I intend very soon to publish something about this, perhaps in the Long Vacation, when Mrs. Liddell, &c., will have no more music parties, when there are no more examinations in London and no more lectures in Oxford, and when the third volume of the Veda has been published. Now I feel so hunted that I can accomplish nothing. I have so many claims on my time during term, that I often have to do the most necessary work in the middle of the night. Froude's History is out; I have devoured the first volume, and have put the second on one side for later on. It seems to me very good. Jowett has not yet been burnt; instead of that he thinks of publishing Plato's Republic. Examinations, education, are the ordre du jour [Google translate: agenda]; in a very short time all positions will be open for competition. What a social revolution that is! It would have drawn blood in other lands. Much of it is due to Trevelyan. Gladstone made a manful speech last night—how much that means. Ever yours.'

To His Mother.

Translation. Oxford, May 6.

'I have been in London again for a week and have made many interesting acquaintances. Life in England is so grand, and I wish you could see me at such a dinner as lately at Lord Denbigh's—such pictures all round the room! I am in no want of work to do, and with all the interruptions here, I can hardly get on. ... I hear occasionally from Bunsen. I do 'not believe he means to return to England. As to your journey here, you must inquire whether any acquaintances are coming to England. I shall certainly stay in Oxford this summer, as I have a good deal of work before me. Oxford in summer during the vacation is delightful. In a fortnight I must go again to London. I shall be staying with friends in one of the best houses—very pleasant, and cheap. Then I shall hear Jenny Lind, and in a month she is coming to Oxford to give two concerts, and we shall have grand festivities; Peace festival, &c.'

To Chevalier Bunsen.

Translation. 55, St. John Street, Oxford, May 4, 1856.

'Your Excellency,—Your last letter awaited me in Oxford, as I spent all last week in London to examine there. The more I see how deeply you penetrate into Indian chronology, the more I regret that I cannot follow you as I did formerly. It would indeed be a great work if you could find a secure historical foundation for the Indian traditions. I am still at the previous question—i.e. Could Megasthenes make any discovery besides that which we have made from Sanskrit literature? This question must be answered, and there I am afraid Megasthenes with his total ignorance of Sanskrit will have the worst of it, as compared with Manetho and his knowledge of hieroglyphics, and Berosus with his knowledge of cuneiform. However, I am ignorant, and therefore unprejudiced, and I am willing to learn and to believe. My passion is now Mythology; and I see you cannot serve two masters, for at present I cannot get away from it, though so many other things claim my attention. I long for the Long Vacation, and I expect a visit from my mother, and therefore I shall not go to Germany. I hope to write something more about Mythology. I find that John Bull has taken a bite and asks for more. At present I am working at my grammar, and I am also working at a German Historical Reader, which I could not refuse on account of my Professorship. Forgive me, therefore, that I do not throw myself into Indian chronology, but I can do nothing unless I can do it with all my heart. Confident of your kind indulgence, I always remain, much honoured friend, master and benefactor, your faithful M.M.'

In April of this year Max Muller had again met his future wife, and during six weeks they saw each other constantly at her home, and in London, and at the Grand Commemoration and Peace festivities in Oxford; little foreseeing the painful three years of total silence and separation that they had to go through before their marriage was allowed. In the first days of July Max's mother arrived, accompanied by Emilie von Stolzenberg, and the faithful family friend Baron Hagedorn. They spent two or three weeks in London, seeing all the sights, going to the Opera, dining at Richmond. The mother, cousin, and Hagedorn went from London to the Isle of Wight without Max, who returned to Oxford. After the visit to the Isle of Wight, Hagedorn returned to Germany, the mother and cousin going to Oxford. From there the Baroness visited Scotland, and the whole party then returned to London, and devoted themselves to sight-seeing, till Emilie went to Germany towards the end of August, leaving the mother to enjoy her son to herself for two months longer.

On July 17 Bunsen writes to congratulate Max Muller on the visit of his mother and cousin:—


'You know it was a letter of the latter which first told me you, and made me wish to see you. And then you came yourself, and all that I prophesied of you after the first conversation in London, and your first visit to us in the country, has been richly fulfilled—yes, beyond my boldest hopes. You have won an honourable position in the first English University, not only for yourself, but for the Fatherland, and you have richly returned the love which I felt for you from the first moment, and have faithfully reciprocated a friendship which constitutes an essential portion of my happiness.'

On August 25 Max Muller sent his usual birthday congratulations to Bunsen. It must be remembered that birthdays are much more observed in Germany than in England, hence the constant references in Max Muller's letters to his own birthday or those of his mother and sister. In after-years the birthdays in his own home circle were specially marked and joyful days.

To Chevalier Bunsen.

Translation. 55, St. John Street, Oxford, August 25, 1856.

'I have thought of you with much feeling to-day, and send forth my hearty congratulations, as I think of the beautiful old age, vigorous in mind and body, with which Heaven has blest you. May this day return many a time, and find you surrounded by all dear to you; and may your life, perfect as it has been, be a pattern and comfort to the world at large. I am looking forward to the concluding part of Egypt, especially to the mythological part of it. I can well imagine that you have found a more comprehensive form of mythological consciousness. I had only just knocked at the door with my essay. I intended to prove that the mythical form was unavoidable. In the great regions of God-consciousness we ourselves still think and feel mythically, that is, language runs away with our thoughts. My essay has called forth some opposition, which makes me glad; for I thought the matter so evident, that nothing further could be said about it; instead of which I perceive that not only has a hole to be made through the wall, but that the whole wall has to be pulled down and each barricade to be got rid of. Whether I shall be able to do this is doubtful, for with all my love for antiquity and the past, my dreams for the future return again and again, and I feel somewhat drawn to India—a desire difficult to resist in the end. Only I do not know how to get there; but my life here seems so aimless and unfruitful that I shall not be able to bear it for very much longer. I thought the other day whether I could not manage to go to India with the Maharajah Dhulip Singh. He is very well spoken of, and he returns next year after having learnt in England what good things he may do some day for his Fatherland in India. It seems to me it would form the natural nucleus of a small Indo-Christian colony, and it is only necessary to create such a centre in order to exercise one's power of attraction on all sides. After the last annexation the territorial conquest of India ceases—what follows next is the struggle in the realm of religion and of spirit, in which, of course, centres the interests of the nations. India is much riper for Christianity than Rome or Greece were at the time of St. Paul. The rotten tree has for some time had artificial supports, because its fall would have been inconvenient for the Government. But if the Englishman comes to see that the tree must fall, sooner or later, then the thing is done, and he will mind no sacrifice either of blood or of land. For the good of this struggle I should like to lay down my life, or at least to lend my hand to bring about this struggle, Dhulip Singh is much at Court, and is evidently destined to play a political part in India. I wish I could get in touch with him in some quite natural way. Could it be managed with the help of Prince Albert, or would you help me to it? I do not at all like to go to India as a missionary, that makes one dependent on the parsons; nor do I care to go as a Civil Servant, as that would make me dependent on the Government. I should like to live for ten years quite quietly and learn the language, try to make friends, and then see whether I was fit to take part in a work, by means of which the old mischief of Indian priestcraft could be overthrown and the way opened for the entrance of simple Christian teaching, that entrance which this teaching finds into every human heart, which is freed from the ensnaring powers of priests and from the obscuring influence of philosophers. Whatever finds root in India soon overshadows the whole of Asia, and nowhere could the vital power of Christianity more gloriously realize itself than if the world saw it spring up there for a second time, in a very different form from that in the West, but still essentially the same.

'Much more could be said about this; a wide world opens before one, for which it is well worth while to give one's life. And what is to be done here? here in England? here in Oxford?—nothing but to help polish up a few ornaments on a cathedral which is rotten at the base. But enough for to-day! My mother and my cousin have been with me for about eight weeks, and some other friends. With the exception of my mother, who is going to stay on with me, they left a few days ago, and I have set to work again; my work was interrupted for so long. I long for Germany; and how I should like to come to you to Heidelberg, but that is impossible this year, and next year I hope to see you in England. In faithful friendship, yours.'[/quote]

The poor mother who in her Diary speaks of the quiet time in Oxford alone with her son as 'unclouded happiness,' had little idea of all these thoughts poured out to his fatherly friend!

Meantime the third volume of the Rig-veda had been published, the last volume that was brought out under the auspices of the old East India Company, and dedicated to them. There had been in the previous year some doubt whether it would be possible to finish this great work. The first calculation of the extent of the work, and therefore of its cost, had been based on defective MSS., consequently when the third volume was ready for printing, it was found that this only completed half of the work, whilst exhausting a great deal more than half of the money voted for the whole, and it was with some difficulty and after many anxious months that, owing to the influence which Professor Wilson possessed over the Board of Directors, the additional funds were voted. The preface to this volume therefore ends with an expression of the editor's gratitude to the Directors 'for having sanctioned the continuation of the work and granted funds necessary for its completion; an act of enlightened liberality which will be applauded by all persons interested in the history of India, and in the history of mankind, and by which one of the most important monuments of antiquity will be rescued from oblivion and restored in its integrity.' Max Muller was able in his preface to speak of the growing interest the work was exciting among scholars, as being—

'found to shed the most unexpected light on the darkest periods in the history of the most prominent nations of antiquity. Thus, though not yet known in its completeness, the Veda has assumed an importance which no other literary production of India could ever have claimed; and we may rest convinced that as long as a man cherishes the records of his family, in the widest sense of the word, these simple songs will maintain their place among the most natural annals of ancient history. One class of readers may have been disappointed [in the Veda]: men who study ancient literature less on account of its historical than its practical value. But the true historian values facts ancient and genuine, and a corroded copper As of the Roman Republic is of greater value to him than an imperial gold medal of the most exquisite workmanship. ... I must confess that I could have wished that the ancient poets of the Veda and their Indian commentators had been less diffuse; for though I believe that no edition of any author in Sanskrit, or any other language, for which MSS. had first to be copied, others to be collated, innumerable references to be verified, and an index to be made of every word, has ever been brought out so rapidly as this edition of the Rig-veda; yet I feel that ten years of my life are gone, and I know not whether I shall have sufficient time left to finish a work which I once undertook perhaps with too much confidence. Yet even if I should not see the completion of this work, I should not be sorry for the time I have spent on it; and nothing will ever induce me to change the principles which I have hitherto followed, and to give a hasty copy of a MS. instead of a critical edition of the text and commentary of the Rig-veda.'

Max Muller again acknowledges the valuable assistance of his learned friend Dr. Aufrecht, and his sincere 'regret that he should no longer1 [See p. 164.] enjoy this advantage, as much of the correctness and accuracy of the last volumes was due to his conscientious co-operation.'

The lectures this term were on 'The History of German Civilization and Literature, from the earliest times to the reign of Charlemagne.'

On October 30 Max parted with his mother, who left under care of a friend, going by boat from London to Antwerp, and so to Chemnitz to her daughter.

That afternoon Max writes to his mother:—


' Our happy time is over, and the winter will not bring me much pleasure. But I beg you to enjoy your time in Chemnitz, . . . and you must tell them how happy we have been here together. I cannot thank God enough for the happiness that I had in your visit, even if I did not talk much about it. You know that one feels most when one says least.'

In several of his letters to Bunsen, Max Muller refers to Mr. Jowett, whose orthodoxy was at this time suspected by many of the leading people in Oxford, and his intimacy with whom brought Max himself into ill odour with several of his more narrow-minded friends. He received early in the autumn a letter from a friend whose good opinion and affection he highly valued—a letter questioning the orthodoxy of his religious views. He answered it thus:—

To —

55, St. John Street, October 4, 1856.

'Your letter has been in my hands for some time, and I have thought about it many times, and I have tried to make it clear to myself why you should have written that letter—but at last I felt convinced that, though you must have known that it would give me much pain, you wrote it from the kindest motives, and with that anxiety which we feel for a friend only. I see clearly that in your own heart you do not believe the charge which somebody unknown to me has brought against me. For if you did, you would not have written to me, you would not have asked me. For how can I defend myself against such a charge, except by telling you it is not true, and if you believe in me, do not believe it? If I have said or written anything that has given offence to your friend, let me know it, and I shall then be able to defend myself But if some one, without giving any proof, without giving even his name, tells you that I am an unbeliever, that I do not believe in the Bible, that I do not believe in Christ our Lord and Saviour, I need not fear him. I know that there are not a few who treat our faith as such a light matter that they think nothing of charging a man with infidelity, though they would shrink from charging him with dishonesty. And some of them are honourable men, who act from pure and high motives, and whose only fault is too much confidence in themselves and too little confidence in others. But, I say again, I need not fear them. I have many friends who know me, and know my religious convictions; and though I have always avoided theological controversy, I have never avoided expressing my faith in the doctrines of Christianity, when I felt called upon to do so. I am not a theologian, and though I have been occupied for many years with the study of the ancient forms of religion, and though I have followed with a deep interest the history of our own Church from the earliest times, I do not feel competent to lay down the law, or even to express an opinion on all points, where even the best and wisest have stumbled, because they endeavoured to fathom with their human reason the depths of a Divine mystery. If you read the history of the Church, you will find that this has been the source of all heresy, and that all divisions and persecutions in the Church have arisen from the attempts of theologians to substitute their own thoughts and their own expressions for the simple language in which Christianity has been revealed to us in the Bible. And if we know the dangers of religious controversy, if we see how it is opposed to the very spirit of Christianity, how it appeals to the worst passions and destroys every feeling of charity, we ought to pity the priest or theologian who, like a physician, must enter into this pest-house; but surely we have a right to refuse to follow him, and to be dragged into it against our will. And if he tells us that we are ourselves infected with heresy, it is a serious charge indeed, but we may appeal to our friends and to a higher tribunal, and we may at least remind our accuser of one of the last commandments; nay, we may tell him that at a time when Christianity was a crime, Roman Emperors who had no scruple in making martyrs of all who professed the name of Christ, thought it fair to pass a law by which informers who could not substantiate their charge of Christianity against a Roman citizen were liable to a severe, even capital, punishment. I must say no more, for I do not wish to offend you by saying anything harsh against one who is your friend, and who may have been induced by a feeling of kindness towards you to disregard a duty which, as Christians, we owe to all men, even to a mere stranger. . . . Whatever our hearts may feel, and whatever our fleeting passions may say against it, there is no true, no lasting love, unless it has its source and life in God. . . . Through my whole life I have learnt this one lesson, that nothing can happen to us unless it be the will of God, and this I believe now more than ever. My life has been a happy one, and seeing that all I wanted, and much more, was given me, I began to think that there could be no disappointment in life. I have learnt better, and yet I feel again that there can be no disappointment in life, if we but learn to submit our will to the will of God. . . . We ought to remember also that our faith is not our faith, but that, like everything else, it is given us. Therefore we should not glory in our faith, or look down upon others whom we think poor in faith, or who may seem to differ from us. Let us wait for a little while—and to those whose eyes are turned to God and eternity the longest life is but a little while—let us wait then in faith, hope, and charity; these three abide, but the greatest of these is charity.'

Soon after his mother had left him. Max Muller was cheered by a visit from his old friend Fontane, who had been wandering about England, collecting materials for two works which he afterwards published under the titles, England, Studies in English Art, &c., and Beyond the Tweed. Fontane writes of this visit:—


'In the autumn of 1856 I paid a visit to Muller. I wanted to see the "heart of England," the midland counties, . . . and Oxford was to be my first halting-place. I was with him for two days, and count these days among the pleasantest in my memory, for the sake of Muller and the place itself I have seen a large number of the cities of Western Europe, but none have made so powerful, so enchanting an impression on me. It is difficult to say in what the superiority of Oxford consists. It is not merely its architecture. . . . But in a peculiar mingling ... of beautiful architecture, beautiful landscape, and rich historical recollections it stands alone. Since the day I left Oxford I have not seen Muller again in England.'

To His Mother.

Translation. London, December 6.

'I cannot write much to-day, as I am not quietly at home, but am staying with Walrond, and I have but a minute to tell you that I have entered my new year well, and of good courage. God has helped me hitherto, and will surely further help me and all of us, and whatever happens to us is always the best for us, even if we do not at once understand and perceive it.'

Max Muller was appointed a Curator of the Bodleian in this year, and always took great interest in the Curators' meetings. He was a keen advocate for more liberal arrangements in lending out MSS. under proper precautions, a privilege accorded by so many of the leading foreign libraries.

Christmas was spent at Calder Park, near Glasgow, with the parents of his friend Walrond. Max Muller writes from there to thank his mother for her beautiful Christmas gift, the fine bust of Goethe, which his friends will remember always stood on the top of the bookcase opposite the writing-table at which he spent so many hours of his life, and he would often look up at it as if to imbibe fresh courage for his work from the strong and noble features of the mighty master.

The year 1857 was devoted by Max Muller to the Rig-veda, and to the preparation of his German Classics. He was far from well the whole year, and out of spirits, and though forced to enter into society by his many kind friends, it is evident from his Diary, resumed this year, that it was mere weariness to him, and he buried himself as much as possible in his work. The correspondence with Bunsen was not very constant, and his general correspondence not as voluminous as usual throughout this year.

To Chevalier Bunsen.

Translation. 55, St. John Street, January 24, 1857.

'I have through this week been in such constant intercourse with you, have heard and learnt so much from you, and have so often thought of the happy time when your real presence made a home for me in a strange land, that although I have nothing to tell you, or to complain of, I must at least thank you for the mental enjoyment your book God in History has brought me. Your book is a fact, and as such must produce an effect, if there is any life left in mankind, if the retrospective look does not blind the spirit, and the eyes of the present generation are not obstinately closed to all glimpses into the future. You have said afresh what is old, unveiled what is hidden, and made dead things live. You have placed the Bible within the focus of history, so that men can perceive its real greatness, whilst to most people this book stands so close they cannot see it, or so far they cannot reach it. I can form no judgement on many single points, and I am glad of this for the present, as the whole has therefore a greater effect on me. But if I find that my strength lasts out, I too must enter on this study, when my other work is finished, which I have undertaken, and must carry out. But in that too lies many a problem, which must be solved, and I cannot reconcile it to myself, to draw the limits of God-inspired mankind so narrowly as you do in many passages in your last work. The men in India were not forsaken by God, and if we cannot join in their prayers, the fault is ours. The heart is too narrow, the spirit too proud. I do not yet despair of discovering the chord by which the dissonance of the Veda and Zend-Avesta and the Chinese Kings will be brought into unison with the key-note of the Bible. There can be nothing accidental, nothing inharmonious on earth and in history; the unresolved discords in the East must find their solution, and we dare not leave off till we have discovered the why and the wherefore. You will come to treat of this in your second volume, where the Greek dissonance resolves itself in the Apostle of the Gentiles, and it is a pity your completed work has not appeared at once. This must at all events be the case in England. I had already read the book before I received the copy you have yourself sent me, and for which I send my warmest thanks. Of my useless life here I have nothing to tell you. I am weary and worn out, perhaps things may yet go better. I remain, in true affection and gratitude, yours ever, 'M. M.'

To this his fatherly friend replied:—

Translation. January 29.

'I am not at all easy at what you tell me about yourself and your feelings. But why are you unhappy? You have gained for yourself a delightful position in life. You are getting on with your gigantic work. You (like me) have won a Fatherland in England without losing your German home, the ever excellent. You have a beautiful future before you. You can at any moment give yourself a comfortable and soul-satisfying family circle. If many around you are philistines, you know that already; still they are worth something in their own line. Only step boldly forward into life.'
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Re: The Life and Letters of The Right Hon. Friedrich Max Mul

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Part 2 of 2

Max Muller seems to have given more time again to music this year, and he tells his mother early in February, 'The two Miss Jelfs are here, and we have had a great deal of music, and have studied and sung Mendelssohn's Forty-second Psalm with chorus. It went very well, but I had a good deal to do in practising the choir. We were sixteen voices.' Mrs. Thomson1 [Her husband was then Provost of Queen's.] writes of these parties:—

'Your husband kindly conducted my concerts in the Hall at Queen's, where we got up the Lobgesang and the Forty-second Psalm by Mendelssohn, sung by amateurs. Thanks to his kindness, they were a very great success, and sounded so well in the Hall, which was furnished as a drawing-room, with palms and sofas and rugs. He seemed much pleased with the result.'

There is a photograph taken by Professor Maskelyne and Dr. Thomson of Max Muller and several members of his choir; all gone now, except Mrs. Thomson and one other friend. Max Muller tells us in the Autobiography that Mendelssohn's music was still despised by some of the old school, and that one evening Dr. Elwes, the old organist of New College, who had been listening to the Hymn of Praise, 'walked up to me—to thank me, as I thought—but no, he burst out into a torrent of real and somewhat coarse abuse of me for venturing to introduce such flimsy music into Oxford.'

It was in the February of this year that Deutsche Liebe was published by Brockhaus in Leipzig. It had been written in the autumn, whilst Max Muller's mother was still with him. So much has been written and said about this prose idyll, so many people have declared it to be autobiographical, that it is perhaps well once for all to say that it is pure fiction as far as the characters and circumstances are concerned. It was written as a relief to his own feelings, and Max Muller thought by making an invalid princess the object of those feelings no one would easily guess the author, or the reason why it was written. That the Schloss and scenery described resemble Dessau was but natural, seeing how little else Max had seen in his own country. The book came out anonymously, and for two or three editions the secret was well kept. Only to Bunsen did Max Muller acknowledge himself as author. Of his English friends, Froude alone from the first guessed the authorship, and in a review of the book in the Saturday Review says:—

'One of our first impulses on seeing the general character of this work was to turn to the "Bekenntnisse einer schonen Seele" [Google translate: Confessions of a beautiful soul] in Wilhelm Meister, and to refresh our recollection of that remarkable production. It was not without feelings of satisfaction that we laid down the volume of the great master and took up the one before us, reflecting how much half a century had done to elevate and purify the tone of society. ... It is due to the author to say that it is truly gratifying to find, in a book which touches at so many points on the domain of religion, not one expression which can offend, in the slightest degree, any reasonable and right-minded person.'

The book is now in its twelfth edition in Germany, where after forty-five years it still commands a steady sale, whilst an unauthorized translation in America, under the title of Memories, has had an enormous circulation, and continues to be a general favourite there. Miss Winkworth published a translation in English as soon as the book appeared, by leave of the publisher, and twenty years later Max Muller brought out a translation by his wife, made many years previously, which has been through several editions. One review spoke of Deutsche Liebe as a book 'full of tender grace, touching sympathy, noble compassion, impressing love. With a delicate hand the author places before us the deeper depths of a true soul. It is a humanizing, refining, chastening volume, and is worthy of the widest circulation.' Another paper says: 'These recollections touch with much delicacy of feeling upon some of the most sacred emotions and hopes. Whoever the original author or authors may be the papers reveal a very deep and sympathetic insight into man's nature; and many notable things are said of happiness, love, loss, gain, and suffering, as they constantly affect and impinge upon the human soul.' It was pronounced by Bunsen to be one of the most perfect specimens of German writing he had ever read.

To His Mother.

Translation. February 24, 1857.

'I wanted a short time ago to send you a book, written by a very intimate friend of mine, and published by Brockhaus. It is called Deutsche Libe. The author does not wish his name to be known. If you have any spare money, buy a copy, and tell me how you like it, but do not tell any one that I know the author. I was very sorry to hear of Kruger's1 [The artist.] death, though I never really saw much of him. He lived in quite another world, and his art did not appeal much to me. But he had won a good position by his work alone, and that was greatly to his credit, and one always rejoices when merit like his is recognized by a man's contemporaries. I wish I had a picture of you by him. Find out how much a good oil picture costs in Dresden, but it must be good, by Hubner or some other good artist.'

Max Muller's course of lectures this term was on 'Epic Poetry.'

To His Mother.

Translation. London, March 26.

'I was not at all well: bad colds and toothache had made me quite ill, and I needed a change and amusement I am staying with Walrond, you know where that is, and I visit old friends. I hoped to find Morier, but he has not yet arrived, though he has left Vienna. I must tell you, and Emilie also, that I am quite innocent as to Deutsche Liebe [Google translate: German love]. I know the author, but have promised not to mention his name, as he makes a point of it. He only published the book because he thought that here and there it might do some good, and might cure young people of the epidemic of so-called unfortunate love. The book contains the antidote to Werthers Leiden, and in so far is interesting; but it ought to have been more fully worked out to have much influence. I entirely agree with the spirit of the book, and am glad you like it. I do not care much for the plan of the story; it is too sketchy, and is wanting in repose and unity.'

It was in the Times of April 17 and 20 of this year that a review appeared by Max Muller of Stanislas Julien's Voyages des Pelerins Bouddhistes [Google translate: Travel Buddhist Pilgrims]. It was afterwards published as a pamphlet, together with a letter on Nirvana called forth by a protest printed in the Times of April 24, against Max Muller's view of Nirvana as utter annihilation, whereas the writer of the protest maintained that Nirvana meant union and communion with God. Max Muller's opponent appealed to the works of Mander and Creuzer, who were neither of them Oriental scholars, and who wrote before the canonical books of the Buddhists had been brought to Europe. In his answer Max explains the etymology of the word, which means blowing out. 'The human soul, when it arrives at its perfection, is blown out, like a lamp, as the Buddhists say, not absorbed, as the Brahmans say, like a drop in the ocean.' He shows also 'that Nirvana, as taught in the metaphysics of Kasyapa, a friend and pupil of Buddha himself, is annihilation, and there is no earlier document from which we can form an opinion as to Buddha's original teaching.' 'Buddhism, therefore, if tested by its own canonical books, cannot be freed from the charge of Nihilism, whatever may have been its character in the mind of its founder, and whatever changes it may have undergone in later times, and among races less inured to metaphysical discussions than the Hindus.' 'Buddha himself, however, though perhaps not a Nihilist, was certainly an Atheist. He does not deny distinctly either the existence of gods, or that of God; but he ignores the former, and is ignorant of the latter. Therefore if Nirvana in his mind was not yet complete annihilation, still less could it have been absorption into a Divine Essence.' In 1869 Max Muller gave an address at Kiel on Buddhist Nihilism, before the Association of German Philologists, in which these words occur: 'No person who reads with attention the metaphysical speculations on the Nirvana contained in the Buddhist Canon, can arrive at any other conviction than that expressed by Burnouf, i.e. that Nirvana, the highest aim, the summum bonum of Buddhism, is the absolute nothing.' Those among Max Muller's friends who know his own strong convictions as to the immortality of the soul, may perhaps feel surprised at the increasing interest he took in Buddhism as years went on. For at Kiel he declared, 'Buddhist Nihilism has always been much more incomprehensible than Atheism. A kind of religion is still conceivable, when there is something firm somewhere, when a something eternal and self-dependent is recognized, if not without and above man, at least within him. But if, as Buddhism teaches, the soul after having passed through all the phases of existence, all the worlds of the gods and the higher spirits, attains finally Nirvana as its highest aim and last reward, i.e. becomes quite extinct, then religion is not any more what it ought to be—a bridge from the finite to the infinite, but a trap-bridge hurling man into the abyss, at the very moment when he thought he had arrived at the stronghold of the Eternal.' But even from his address at Kiel, it may be gathered that by that time Max Muller had convinced himself that the third part of the Buddhist Canon, in which alone the doctrine of Nirvana in its crude form is to be found, was not 'pronounced by Buddha,' and that passages are to be found in the first and second parts of the Canon which contradict this crude Nihilism. Max Muller asks pertinently, 'Where Buddha speaks of Nirvana as the highest happiness, can he mean annihilation?' It was when preparing a translation of the Dhammapada in 1870, afterwards revised and published as Volume X of the Sacred Books of the East, that the extreme moral beauty of Buddha's teaching powerfully attracted Max Muller's sympathy for Buddhism, and this was further increased when two years later he came in contact with living Buddhists, his pupils Bunyiu Nanjio and Kenjiu Kasawara, and still later Professor Takakusu, and saw the purity of their character, their true and gentle dispositions, and entire devotion to duty. The article on Stanislas Julien's book was almost Max Muller's first introduction to Buddhism. Pali he had studied at Berlin.

After several months of silence Max Muller writes again to his old friend Chevalier Bunsen:—

Translation. 55, St. John Street, May 1.

'One may fight against physical illness, though it is difficult with persistent colds, which attack the head to-day, the teeth to-morrow, to keep up one's good-natured warmth and communicativeness; but if the cold once takes possession of the mind and the spirits, it is really the best thing to shut oneself up for a time. I have felt like this this winter. I felt I was not myself, and I did not wish to be a burden to others with my worries and blue devils. You will laugh at me and scold me, for no one has any sympathy with mental illness till it takes the worst form. But I can assure you that I have suffered a great deal, and am still suffering in spite of the approach of spring. I cannot sympathize with the fancy of most people always to appear happy. But when I feel miserable, I will at all events not be a burden to others, and so I shut myself up, and write no letters. So forgive my long silence, and have patience with me, who have so much that I must bear patiently. I received the three volumes of Egypt but recently, and I cannot find that you wrote to me that you wished for any supplement or remarks for your English edition. I have read your work here and there, and have followed with great delight your Herculean labours in the Augean stable of Indian history. But as my present work lies in quite a different direction, I have postponed the careful reading of your book to Long Vacation, and hope then to be able to say something more definite about it. It will interest you to find in the journal of the Chinese traveller Hiouen-thsang, therefore in the seventh century A.D., quotations in several places from native Indian historical works, of which we till now knew nothing, and whose existence even in the seventh century appeared to me till now very problematical. The work is full of interest, and I have written a long review on it in the Times of April 17 and 20. I have also given there the translation of a Vedic hymn, which would interest you. I have had to give up and waste my time lately on German literature. The University raised my salary, and I felt I must work for it, and so I am printing a chronologically arranged Reading Book, extracted from Wackernagel, &c. It is a sad waste of my time, for I could do better and more important work, but I cannot help myself. ... I consider Roth's conception of Yama as entirely mistaken. Yama is the setting, dying sun, thus the Beyond, the eternal life, or personified, the Lord of those who are gone, of the kingdom of death. What we call death was to the Hindus always a passage; later they called it a setting free, a word that suits us better than death. . . . You are really unjust to Froude. Even if his idea of Henry VIII is mistaken, his picture of English life is not affected by that. There are chapters in his work that are really masterly—the Irish rebellion, the Charterhouse monks; and he has described the secret workings of the Reformation among the common people with genuine feeling and sympathy. Froude's idea of Henry VIII seems to me too problematical. But at all events Henry was one of the most popular of kings, and has his admirers not only in Froude but in his people, and in such historians as Sharon Turner, and such philosophers as Carlyle. I have a great affection for Froude, for I know him with all his faults, and know that he prays and works. Kingsley is a more brilliant nature, but his. relation to Froude has never been that of a teacher; on the contrary, that of an admirer. Le roman ne vaut pas l'histoire [Google translate: The novel is not worth the story.]. How people came to look on the Saturday as Kingsley's and my organ I cannot imagine. I met the editor once in London, and have sent him a few articles. The paper is politically in the hands of decayed Peelites; in literature it is independent and active. I remember one gross attack on you in the political part of the paper, but I should have felt it unworthy of your name to take any notice of such an attack. Woe to the man who has no enemies in England—you will never want for them, but they help far more than they hurt. I have to fight my way bravely, and here in Oxford the battle never ceases. I sit on the same board with Pusey, and know the man. He will soon attack me, but I am armed. Stanley is now coming to Oxford. Liddell is better, and comes back next month from Madeira. Jowett is indefatigable, and they have not conquered him. He is printing his second edition1 [Commentary on Thessalonians.]. Vaughan is married, and comes very seldom to Oxford. Pattison is as reserved as ever, and trusts no one. It is a deep secret that he writes the article in the Westminster2 [On Bunsen's God in History.]. I live chiefly alone, and see no one but Jowett. My mother left me in October. She was not strong enough to stand an English November; but I hope to have her here again this summer. And now I have written really too much, and must again beg you to have patience with a poor melancholy invalid. Begging you to remember me most heartily to all your party, I remain as ever, yours in true reverence and devotion.'

With this letter Max Muller sent his pamphlet on Buddhist Pilgrims to Bunsen.

On May 8 Bunsen writes:—


'I must thank you, and express my delight at your letter and article. The letter confirms my fears in the highest degree, namely that you are not well, not to say that you begin to be a hypochondriacal old bachelor. But that is such a natural consequence of your retired sulky Don's life, and of your spleen, that I can only wonder how you fight so bravely against it. . . . You will soon see how nearly we agree together, although I cannot say so much of the humanizing influence of Buddhism. . . . You have represented the whole as with a magic wand. We really edified ourselves yesterday evening with it, Francis read aloud and we listened.'

This term Max Muller read the Nibelungen with his class.

To His Mother.

Translation. Oxford, May 24.

'How beautiful it must be in Carlsbad . . . how gladly would I find myself there for a couple of weeks! But I am up to my ears in work, and then just now I have so many interruptions—parties, picnics, business in London, examinations, &c. We have just begun our musical practisings again. The Jelfs are here, and other ladies who sing very well, and this time we are studying Mendelssohn's Lobgesang. There are difficulties, and it is not easy to keep twenty voices together and conduct them. And I must not swear like old Schneider! I have so much to do I shall probably take no holiday. If I do get to Germany I must go to Leipzig, where I have to print a book. But it must first be written. . . . The gardens are so lovely here now—even my little garden looks nice, and your ivy begins to grow. The heat is beginning, and what that is in these small rooms you know. In about three weeks I am going to Froude to the seaside, and to another friend who lives near Exeter, a brother of Dr. Acland.'

To Chevalier Bunsen.

Translation. 55, St. John Street, May 24.

'It really does one good to be thoroughly scolded and abused. Here no one takes the trouble to do it, and I have done it myself so long without any result that I give the Oxford Don his own way, till at last of his own accord he becomes German again. But I cannot tell you how much one has to bear in this promised land. Here in Oxford everlasting quarrels and squabbles, and lies and slander, and nowhere courage and faith, and no one can speak the truth, and any one who tries to do it brings a perfect hornet's nest about his ears. Can you believe that they have refused an excellent Orientalist, Dr. W. Wright, for the place of Under-Librarian at the Bodleian, because he has dared to affirm that the language of the Phoenician inscriptions is Semitic and not Hamitic, because he doubts that Ham was the father of the Canaanites and denies that Moses wrote the account of his own death? The man is a thorough Christian, is ready to sign the Articles; but it is no good—away with him. And no one moves a finger. Peace at any price! is the watchword. I carried my skin to market, but have been thoroughly beaten, and my friends began to be very much alarmed about me. And then these affairs waste one's time, and destroy all wish for work, so at last I shut myself in, and for weeks saw no one, and heard no one. Happily the Long Vacation will soon begin; if it only lasted the whole year, Oxford would be a real paradise. I have tried my best with the two hymns1 [From the Rig-veda, of which a prose translation had been made in Germany for Bunsen.] but they are very difficult to translate, as our words mean so much which was not yet in the old words. The first hymn contains many Manichean thoughts, as, the ray of light which falls from the realm of light into the realm of darkness, and gives the first impetus to creation. And yet I cannot consider the hymn as modern. It belonged to the collection long before the Brahmanas were written, and at the time of Panini its syllables were already counted in the sum total of the syllables of the Rig-veda. I must stay this summer in England. I must finish some work to satisfy my conscience. If I can get it done early, I may cross the water in September. With hearty thanks for your friendly and unfriendly words, I remain as ever, your truly devoted.'

In June, Max Muller took part as representing Oxford in the examination arranged at Exeter by the late Sir Thomas, then Mr. Acland, for middle class and commercial schools, which was the first practical example of the system of Local Examinations since developed and carried out by our Universities. It was the first public speech in any language Max Muller ever made. His first public speech in German was made eight years later at a Philological Conference at Kiel.

From Exeter he went to Bideford to the Froudes', to get a little rest in fine air before hurrying to London for the annual Indian Civil Service Examination. After finishing up some necessary work in Oxford he started in August for Germany, his mother joining him at Leipzig, where he spent some weeks, seeing his Reading Book (German Classics) through the Press. From there he wrote to his friend Kingsley, who was uncle to his future wife:—

Leipzig, August 10, 1857.

'My dear Kingsley,—How I long to be with you at Eversley, but my work here will keep me longer than I expected, though I have little to say in reply to your letter—nothing in fact but "you are quite right." Yet I must write to you to tell you that your clear and decisive words have brought me more comfort than pain; they have driven away a swarm of vain hopes and plans, and the sooner these are scattered the better I can wait and work; and sooner or later all this waiting and working will come to an end, for this life cannot last for ever, and it will last no longer than we can bear it. I have no right to complain. I have all I wanted—more than I ever hoped for, more than I ever deserved. A disappointment in love is hard to bear because it destroys our faith in ourselves and in everything else; a disappointment in marriage may be a life-long trial, but it need not destroy our faith in our own nature, in the truth of others, or in the wisdom of God. Life may grow more strange and awful every day, but the more strange and awful it grows, the more it reveals to us its truest meaning and reality, and the deepest depth of its divinity. "And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good." And so far, I believe, we both agree, and if there are a few words in your letter where we differ, it is better to leave them alone till we smoke our next pipe at Eversley. What you say about my going back to Germany is imaginary. It is as unlikely that I should go to Germany as that you should go to India. But if your duty should ever call you to India, would you like to find yourself fettered by a promise which no man has any right to make?—for His ways are not our ways. All I can say is that after an absence of ten years during the most critical time of life, everything is against my ever returning or settling in Germany. I am not wanted here; other people have taken the places I might have had. You will not easily get rid of me, unless you give me notice to quit. Auf Wiedersehn!'

To Professor Max Muller.

Translation. Potsdam, August 28.

'I am much touched, my honoured clever friend, by your amiable desire to see my hoary head once more. My physical powers have been steadily declining for the last nine months, but not my powers of work, nor the mental interest which I take in your creative far-reaching thoughts. I shall stay at home on Tuesday from eleven to two, and gladly expect you. With true friendship, your Vecchio della Montagna, [Google translate: Old Man of the Mountain] 'A. von Humboldt.'

From Chevalier Bunsen.

Translation. Charlottenburg, August 28.

'So there he remains in the centre of Germany a whole month, and lets one hear and see nothing of him. Your last letter was a great delight to me. The snail had there crept out of his shell and spoke to me as the friend; but now "Your Excellency" appears again, so the snail has drawn in his head again. Now, my dear friend, you ought to be thanked for the friendly thought of paying me a visit and writing to me. . . . That the Oxford Don should ask if I can "afford him a few hours" shows again the English leaven. . . . What have we not to talk over? The hours belong to the Don's gown, for you know very well that we could in a few hours only figure to ourselves what we have to discuss by turns. So come as soon as you can, and stay at least a week here. You will find my house, to be sure, rather lonely We two old people are here, however, and full of life. . . . I must tell you with what deep sympathy and melancholy pleasure your touching idyll has filled me. You will easily believe that after the first five minutes I saw you vividly behind the mask. I thank you very much for having ordered it to be sent to me. I am very glad that you have written it, for I would far rather see you mixing in the life of the present and future, with your innate freshness and energy.'

To this Max Muller replied:—


'I was glad to hear that you liked Deutsche Liebe. The story itself is only a frame. What I wished to make clear to myself and others was, why with the inborn love to our fellow creatures, we could show that love to so very few of them only; why love had to be confined almost entirely to the members of our family, to our parents, our wife, our children, and why any attempt to go beyond generally ended in sorrow. It is so, and we know not why, except again to show us that this life was not meant to be perfect, but only to give us by its very imperfections a faith in and a longing for a better life.'

Early in September Max Muller went to Heidelberg, and the following letter to his mother from Bunsen's tells her of his after proceedings. The visit to Weimar was to attend the inauguration of the great Goethe-Schiller Monument there.

Translation. Heidelberg, September 9.

'How much one can get through in a week, and how fast life runs on from one thing to another. A week ago I was still with you, and here I am in Heidelberg, and ready to rush off to England, and meantime I have seen lots of people, and had a good deal of enjoyment. I suppose you are now in Dresden, where you found so much to do that you are getting over our parting, about which you again made yourself so miserable. If you only knew how you pain me by such excessive grief, you would try and bear more quietly what cannot be helped. Our being so long together this year was quite an unexpected treat, and we ought to thank God that we had such enjoyment. Think how few, even of those who live in Germany, can see each other so often and for so long a time as we do, and then do not spoil the joy of meeting by brooding over the parting. Weimar was more than I expected, and through Brockhaus I made acquaintance with many interesting people—Auerbach, Gerstacker, Rietschl, Devrient, Andersen and many others, and we met and talked together every night till one or two o'clock. I had no headaches, and all went well. The statues were very fine, and Weimar itself most interesting. I could not pay visits, for theatres, parties, and drives took up the whole day. We saw everything, and very well too. Brockhaus and his pleasant wife stayed till Monday. The Wartburg festival was beautiful and the weather was fine. The representations in the theatre were splendid. I found many old University friends, and it will always be a pleasant memory. Monday I went to Frankfort, and came on here Tuesday. I arrived after tea, and Bunsen had just received an affectionate letter from the King, asking him to go to Berlin and stay with him at the Palace. So I really only saw him yesterday, and to-day he started. I stay till to-morrow, and then go direct to Oxford, for I am longing for my work and quiet. Dr. Meyer is here and Dr. Bernays, so I stayed another day, and have seen Heidelberg again, where we once spent such a happy time together. I am very tired, such incessant excitement is too much. I could not hold out much longer.'

To The Same.

Translation. Oxford, October 7.

'Oxford does not feel like home this time, and even my work will not please me. So out of sheer ennui I went last week to Manchester with Thomson to the Exhibition. There was not a bed to be had in any hotel, and so there was nothing for it but to go on to Liverpool and sleep there, and come back next morning early to Manchester. Sir Charles Napier was in the same hotel. The Exhibition was magnificent, but much too much to see in so short a time. We were there from Wednesday to Saturday, and were dead beat when we left. So that pleasure was got through! To-morrow I am going to the country for a few days (to Kingsley's), but take my work with me. I hope to get some riding, which always agrees with me. What you write about Bunsen's Gott in der Geschichte [Google translate: God in history] delights me.

'Don't trouble yourself about Jacob. He had not a very successful life, and we learn from it that we must not measure God's wisdom in the ruling of human life according to our ideas. Then the idea of a "people of God" is purely Jewish. There is only one people of God, that is all mankind, Jews as well as heathen To-day is a day of prayer for India: there is hardly a family that has not friends and relations among the victims, and the feeling throughout England is very great.'

Max Muller undertook two courses of lectures this term, continuing those on the Nibelungen, and beginning a course on 'German Literature.'

To Professor Bernays.

Translation. 55, St. John Street, October 26.

'I suppose you are back at Breslau, and at your work again in the treadmill. It is the same with me in Oxford, and I think with regret of the beautiful summer days that are no more. I feel like Castor and Pollux in one, half day and half night, and I shudder at the thought of the winter in England, and begin already to hope again for the summer in Germany.

'I revel in Meldon's Mythology; it has helped me to see so many things more clearly now, especially about the Zeus Monotheism, which nobody has ever yet treated so simply. And what are you doing.? I have not yet received your Aristotelicum. Keep your heart warm!

'I had finished the above when your kind lines reached me. I see now your heart is quite the same. Yes, if I could have you here! The fresh air would do you much good! In Germany I am useless, here to be sure, too—but the air here is freer and purer. I have not heard from Bunsen. I believe in no improvement from above, it must come from below! The Prince of Prussia (who is Regent) will soon make everything so tedious that people will go to sleep. I have neither heard nor seen anything of Pattison, and therefore know nothing of Scaliger and his regeneration. Farewell, rejoice in life and in human beings, who are far better than we think—they are only ashamed of their good souls.'

Early in November Max Muller tells his mother he has bought a horse, and rides almost every day. His little 'Folly' soon became great friends with its master, and was happily for him a quiet creature, for unless with friends Max Muller was apt to sink into a brown study when riding, and many were the humorous stories he told against himself, and the falls and escapes he had. He parted with his little friend when he married.

To His Mother.

Translation, December 6, 1857.

'Thirty-four years old. My birthdays here are always quiet and lonely, and when one is as old as I am, one passes willingly over the new step towards the grave without marking it. I often can hardly believe that I am already so old, and you are quite right when you say that I must no longer think of marrying. Well, many have passed through life like me, and if one loses a great deal of happiness by it, I am satisfied with what God has given me. I often long for a larger sphere of usefulness, and my wish to go to India has revived strongly of late. It is quite possible the East India Company may be done away with, and that Government will undertake to rule the country. Whether my Veda will be ruined by this I don't know, but I would willingly exchange this work for a few years, for a scientific mission to India. But these are only ideas and we will await quietly what God sends. My little horse "Folly" is a constant pleasure, but it costs a good deal, and like every one else I expect to be bankrupt! I shall stay here for Christmas, though I have many invitations. But I cannot spare the time; if I dawdle away the summer, I must spend the winter in working hard.'

To The Same.

Translation. Oxford, December 21.

'You need not begin to frighten yourself about India. If I were to find a chance of visiting it, you would be as pleased as me. It is not out of the world, still less beyond God's hand. It would be of the greatest use and interest to me. But you see how difficult it is to discuss any plans with you; you make life so difficult for yourself and for others by such incessant fears, and it is so much easier only to find out and dwell on the good and bright side of things. I have had a very bad cold for above a week and am heartily tired of it. My Christmas will be very quiet and lonely whilst you are all eating your Stolle1 [Christmas cake.] joyfully. The children no doubt are rejoicing not a little at the prospect of Christmas. I wish one could look forward with delight, as one once did. Now one is only glad when something has passed by and is done with. The book Brockhaus is bringing out for me is finished at last, the extracts from German authors, from the fifth century to Goethe, with translations of the old German things and notes; but it will not be published till Easter. Then you shall have a copy and read Ulfilas and the Minnesinger. It was a hard bit of work, and I am glad to have done with it. Now I am busy on a book on Indian Religion, and the Veda too is getting on.'

To A Friend.

55, St. John Street, Christmas Eve, 1857.

'As one is getting old and looks forward with fear rather than with hope to what is still in store for us, one learns to appreciate more and more the never-failing pleasure of recalling all the bright and happy days that are gone. Gone they are, but they are not lost. Ever present to our calling and recalling, they assume at last a vividness such as they hardly had when present, and when we poor souls were trembling for every day and hour and minute that was going and ever going and would not, and could not, abide.'
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Re: The Life and Letters of The Right Hon. Friedrich Max Mul

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Part 1 of 2


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.

In the late autumn of 1857, when England was under the influence of the horrors of the Indian Mutiny, a series of papers appeared in the Times signed Indophilus and Philindus. It was soon known that they were by Sir Charles Trevelyan and Max Muller respectively. Sir Charles traced the Mutiny solely to the issue of the famous greased cartridges. The first letter by Philindus was entitled 'The neglect of the study of Indian Languages considered as a cause of the Indian Mutiny.' It points out that ignorance of the languages prevented any real intercourse with the natives, and created a feeling of estrangement, mistrust, and contempt on both sides, and mentions that in the examinations for the Indian Civil Service as many marks could be gained for Italian as for Sanskrit or Arabic. In his second letter Indophilus confirmed all that Philindus had said, and he advocated the establishment of an institution in London for the teaching of Oriental languages. In his reply Philindus repeated what he had already said on this subject in 1854, and anticipated the speech made thirty-two years later in the presence of the Prince of Wales, our present King. More letters followed from both Indophilus and Philindus, from Mr. Monier Williams and Professor Syed Abdoolah.

These letters were collected and published together as a small pamphlet, and diligently circulated; but, as is well known, no arrangements were made by Government to assist their candidates for the Civil Service of India in acquiring the various subjects for examinations; and when the East India Company ceased to exist their college at Haileybury, where so many eminent Indian civil servants had been educated, came to an end also, and it was left to the private unaided efforts of the English Universities to provide the special teaching required.

The lectures announced by the Professor for this term were on 'The Principles of Comparative Philology,' and he was also reading Faust with a class.

During January Max Muller paid a visit of some days to his friend Dr. Stanley, then Canon of Canterbury, where he met Whewell, Sir John Herschell, and others. He tells his mother, 'We were in all a party of twelve, women as well as men, guests of a young, unmarried man.' He adds that he had seen nothing of the wedding of the Princess Royal, and had always hoped it might bring Bunsen over, but he did not come. Max adds:—

'He has been made Baron without his knowledge or will, and the Prussian nobility may be proud that Bunsen has done them the honour of taking such a title. . . . Things still look bad in India; and in France they begin to laugh at England—it is only to bring down the Funds, that Morny may do a little business. But it is splendid when one sees how a small country like England can carry on war with India and China, and quarrel with America, Russia, and France, and yet is always cheerful and never loses her head.'

Truly Max Muller loved his adopted country, though he could see her faults as well as her virtues. He had been naturalized in October, 1855.

Bunsen writes in February:—


'I have read your brilliant article on Welcker in the Saturday Review with great delight. In fact everything would give me undisturbed pleasure did I not see (even without your telling me, which however you have done, as a sacred duty between friends) that you are not happy in yourself. Of one thing I am convinced, you would be just as little so, even less, in Germany, and least of all among the sons of the Brahmans. If you continue to live as you do now, you would everywhere miss England—perhaps also Oxford, if you went to London. . . . Unfortunately I have neither read Indophilus, nor Philindus; please tell me the numbers of the Times. ... I am curious about your German Reading Book. I maintain one thing—you are not happy, and that comes from your bachelor life.'

To A Friend.

55, St. John Street, February 14.

'I hear you want some translations of the Greek Classics. Oh that I could read some of them with you! They ought not to be read as if they were very wise and learned and unintelligible books, but as if they were written by a man whom we know and like. Those ancients were exactly like our modern poets and philosophers. In their time they were read and criticized by men and women not a whit wiser than we are. It is mere pedantry if, instead of reading and enjoying their writings, we sit down to interpret them, and to look grave and wise over their volumes. If Plato and Aristotle came to stay at our house, most of our young ladies, to say nothing of how shocked they would be by their manners, would converse with them as they do with Maurice, or Kingsley. They would tell them where they could not quite agree with the views of those wise philosophers, they would think now and then that they talked nonsense, and might speak more like other gentlemen, and they would thank them for anything really good and sensible they had to say. The real charm of the Classics is the simplicity with which they say things which in our modern writers would be commonplace. They had nobody to imitate, nor had they to avoid saying what others had said before. There is no effort, nothing far-fetched in their prose and poetry. And then they did not write merely because they wished to publish a book. They generally wrote because they felt they had something really important to say. They wrote with their whole heart and soul, and if we read them carefully we sometimes imagine they knew that they would be read for thousands of years, and that they wrote for mankind rather than for the drawing-rooms of Athens.

'You were right about my article on Welcker in the Saturday Review. I had lately written a good deal for that journal, and had just told the editor that for the present I could write no more, because I wanted to finish some other work. Now that I find you read the paper, I shall write again, and I daresay you will find me out, although my horrid German handwriting is changed into decent English print. There was a short time ago an article on German Mystics; I sometimes thought of you whilst I was writing it. I have not yet given up my intention of going to India; I might have had an appointment last year, but I found that my mother, though she wrote she would not dissuade me from going, was so much grieved at the thought of never seeing me again, that I felt I ought not to go as long as she lives. I do not know whether it was right, and yet I cannot bring myself to believe it was wrong.'

To Mrs. Kingsley.

55, St. John Street, February 28, 1858.

'I received your kind message and I must thank you for it myself, and tell you that I have been longing to spend a few warm and bright days at Eversley. But the spring will not come, and I am busy and have to lecture, and to write, and cannot get away. As soon as the sun comes back, and as soon as I hear from you or Mr. Kingsley that I may come, I shall be delighted. I want to lay in a new stock of happiness, though what I carried away from you last Christmas is by no means exhausted.

'I had a letter from Bunsen—he tells me he is pouring out his heart about Hypatia in a preface. Does Mr. Kingsley know of it? Please to tell him also, that my little horse is the most delightful creature, and quite a pet among the Dons and Donnas of Oxford.'

His mother writes early in March that she had been to a ball, to which Max Muller replies:—


'There is nothing of that sort for me. Giving lectures and correcting proof-sheets, those are my amusements late and early. Then it is so cold one is quite shrivelled up, and one cannot ride in such weather, and the horse eats his head off and has nothing to do! Froude has been staying with me. I have already told you my salary is raised to £500; I hoped it would be £600, and that is cheap for all the work!'

To A Friend.

55, St. John Street, March 7, 1858.

'Your letter written with the accompaniment of Beethoven's Septette was all music to me. What is time and space, and earth and life, and all that people call stern reality? While I was reading your letter I was sitting in a quiet corner of your room—watching the dark cedar tree that stretches out its broad branches to bless you and your house, and I listened to every note, and I thought of the happy days when I drank in the same strange melodies as a child, six years old, and my mother told me it was so beautiful, and I believed it because she told me so, and have believed it ever since. And why? Who can tell us the meaning of those sounds ? and whence do they come, and whither do they go? I once asked my old music-master who had taught him music, and he told me that he had a master; and then I went on asking who had taught his master, and he did not understand what I meant, and I remember how his eyes grew bright when I told him, with all the authority of a child, that I was certain that God must have been our first music-master. And now I am thinking what he wrote in my album when I left him in 1836—I was then sent to school at Leipzig. I shall try to translate it for you. "Music, echo of a distant, harmonious world—sign of the angel within us; when the word is speechless, and the eye, and the tear, and when our silent hearts lie lonely behind the bars of our breast, it is thou. Music, through whom they call to each other and mingle their distant sighs." He was a good old man. I hardly know whether he could have written those lines himself, and, as I am writing them down, I think he must have taken them from Jean Paul; but he must have been a true musician whoever wrote them. Poetry is like poverty—the true poet and the truly poor are ashamed to show what they suffer, and what they are longing for. It is not so with music, and you sometimes find men, who would be ashamed to indulge in any poetical sentiment, plunging with their whole soul into the Unknown, the Infinite, the Beautiful, and the Divine, when it appeals to their hardened hearts with the sounds of music. There is a blessing for every one, and even the cold man of the world has somewhere or other his happy valley and his quiet cottage, where he sees his old friends, his old thoughts, his old feelings, which, if they meet him in the drawing-room, he dismisses with a haughty sneer, as if he had never known them. Excuse my wandering. I must say like you—there is the music, it is all that Septette of Beethoven, which they are playing in the other room.'

The following letter was sent to Max Muller about this time, from a man who had been long in India, confirming the views advocated by Philindus:—

'There seems to be a greater stir than ever in India about education for the natives, and yet in this country young men who obtain direct commissions in the Company's service are not even obliged to have the slightest knowledge of any vernacular before starting. To such an extent is this carried, that I understand from various pupils who were educated here, that a candidate taking up Hindustani is looked upon as rather a fool for his pains. I was extremely glad to see from certain letters in the Times that the attention of the future rulers will be directed to this point. The two schemes ought undoubtedly to proceed hand in hand. The poor native ought not to be expected to make every effort to acquire a knowledge of English, without there being also a corresponding effort made by his rulers to acquire the native language.'

To His Mother.

Translation. Oxford, April 5.

'To-day is Easter Monday, but the Hare has laid no egg for me, as he used to do in the grandfather's garden. Instead of that, I have sat the whole day at work, except that this afternoon I had a visit from Sir Charles Trevelyan, and also saw Lord Macaulay, whose sister Trevelyan married. The Jelfs are here . . . and I dine there on Tuesday, and we shall have some music. A little boy was born at the Thomsons' a few days ago, and one is soon expected at the Kingsleys', or I should have spent Easter there. I have been several times in London for a couple of days. I had to examine. One evening I heard a fine concert in the new St. James's Hall. I have such a bad cold that every limb aches, and yet I have to sit and slave from morning till evening. I have had a great deal of writing about an Oriental Institute in London, to be founded by Government, and then came a change of Ministry, so now we must wait for a new Ministry. My little horse is my best friend. I must spend the summer in my furnace of a room. I am printing an English book on the Veda, and that must be finished off, if I am not first finished off myself, as you very truly remark.'

During this year Max Muller became more and more intimate with Dr. Thomson, Provost of Queen's, whose house was always a pleasant change for him from the loneliness and hard work of his own bachelor menage. Mrs. Thomson writes:—

'I know the Archbishop was more devoted to Mr. Max Muller than to any of his Oxford friends, and they met almost daily before his marriage. He retained the same warm affection for Mr. Max Muller to the end of his life, and did so enjoy having him at Bishopthorpe. The Archbishop sympathized in all the difficulties about his marriage, which were confided to him, as Mr. Max Muller had helped him in all the difficulties of his own marriage a few years before.'

At Easter Max Muller's German Classics was published, and was welcomed in Germany as warmly as in England. The Times reviewed it later in the year most favourably:—

'Unlike all other books of extracts we know, it is compiled with a view of systematizing its contents. The extracts are not thrown together at the capricious suggestion of personal taste, but the Professor has chosen only characteristic specimens, and has so arranged them in their relative sequence that they suggest, as it were, a history of the literature of his country. His brief preface shows the scope of his design, and, brief as it is, is the best History of German Literature, in its relation of social changes, with which we are acquainted. . . . We can accept this as an English class-book, peculiarly adapted for our own special purposes.'

On May 9 Max writes to his mother that he cannot ask her to visit him this year; he is so overwhelmed with work, both in Oxford and elsewhere, that she would have to be much alone. Probably the whole summer must be spent at work, but if he can find time for a week or two in Germany, he comforts her with the assurance that he will go to her. The same letter mentions the death of his old friend Gathy. 'I felt it very much. ... I had so often seen him of late years; he was a thoroughly brave and honest man. The old friends are gathering on the other side, and he must be happier there than here.' A very few days after writing the above Max Muller was asked whether he would accept a Fellowship at All Souls if it were offered to him. It was the very thing needed at that time to make his life happier and less lonely; the offer was entirely unexpected, and was accepted with great thankfulness. He often mentioned in later years that, as he entered the College after his election, he said to himself, 'My home for the rest of my life. I shall not leave this till I am carried out.'[/quote]

Letter from Sir Robert Herbert.

March 3, 1902.

'To Mrs. Max Muller,—Mr. Robarts has told me that you would like to hear from me anything I can tell you about the circumstances connected with your husband's election to a fellowship at All Souls. The story is a very simple one. The person to whom credit is principally due for a step unprecedented at that time—the election of a foreign gentleman to an Oxford fellowship—was the late Henry Coxe, the Librarian of the Bodleian. He and his wife were intimate friends of my family and myself, and I used often to pass a quiet evening with them in Beaumont Street, and meet there Max Muller, for whom Mr. Coxe from the first entertained a warm friendship. I thus became aware that while the status and home afforded by a College fellowship would be an advantage and convenience to your husband, he would, on his part, contribute much honour and pleasure to the College that might secure him as a fellow, and I cordially joined with Mr. Coxe in pressing upon the Fellows of All Souls the advisability of electing him under the special power of doing so conferred by the new statutes. Max Muller could not have failed to find in Oxford a great number of warm friends and admirers, but in the earlier days of his residence there, it must have been a comfort to him to have a home in the College which was so proud of him.—Yours very sincerely,

'Robert G. M. Herbert.'

Max Muller's large sitting-room on the ground floor next the Library, in the corner of the great Quad, commanded a beautiful view of the spire of St. Mary's and the dome of the Radcliffe Library, a view that was a constant delight to him, and was always pointed out to his visitors with loving appreciation.

To Dr. Acland.

St. John Street, May 26, 1858.

'My dear Acland,—I never thought that anything would happen to me again on which I should be congratulated, but I certainly do appreciate the very kind feeling which prompted the Fellows of All Souls to elect me, and in a dark night even the smallest light is welcome. I am looking forward with great pleasure to living in College, but at present there is no set of rooms where I could put up all my books, &c. I am confident I shall feel quite at home at All Souls for the rest of my life. Wherever our Father leads us, there is our Fatherland.'

To His Mother.

Translation. All Souls College, June 7, 1858.

'You will wonder when you see my new address. The bells have been rung again for me in Oxford, for I have, quite unexpectedly, received a fellowship in All Souls College. I have very nice rooms, but I only begin really moving to-morrow, and therefore write to-day, as I shall at first have no time for letters. I had no idea of it, and the thing has excited great surprise. A fortnight ago I was asked if I should have any objection if I were elected, and the next day I was elected. Why they elected me I have no idea: it is a great distinction. What I like best is being free from the trouble of housekeeping. My house will be let; my furniture I bring to my rooms here. The rooms are larger, three of them. But now I can't marry, or receive you as a guest. The Jelfs are here, and are very sorry that I have joined the Monks. Nearly all our fellows belong to the best families in England, several are members of Parliament, some in the Ministry. So you see monkhood is bearable, and I need not have a tonsure! The lectures are nearly over, and in a fortnight I think of going to the seaside.'

From the Dean of Ripon.

'My dear Mrs. Max Muller,—You ask me to tell you some of my recollections of your husband in the early days before you were married. I fear they are scanty; but it is pleasant, as he found it, to make an excursion into Auld Lang Syne.

'When I went up to Balliol in 1850, he had just begun to give lectures on what was then a new subject, Comparative Philology. I think he had been so immersed in the Rig-veda during the two previous years, that his powers as a lecturer had hardly been tested; but his delight in his subject, his clearness of exposition, and his excellent English, not the worse for the slight foreign accent which he always retained, carried us all away. And the ease with which he traced the startling changes of words, such as that which derived the French word meme from semet ipsissimum, came like a series of dissolving views. All such things have become common property long ago, chiefly owing to his very readable books on the science of language and kindred subjects.

'I met him only occasionally during my undergraduate course. Eight years make a great difference at that time of life. But while I was a curate at Claydon I had the happiness to come across his memorable Essay on Comparative Mythology. It was the best counteraction that could be to the narrowness which sometimes besets an earnest pastorate, and carried one into regions before undreamed of both of history and of thought. I was then a fellow of All Souls, and I went back there in 1857 to read under Stanley, who had just become Professor of Ecclesiastical History. It was then that the happy thought occurred to some of our fellows, first, I think, to my old friend Robert Herbert, to invite Max Muller to become a fellow of the College. This was done under the new Ordinance of the Commissioners for giving effect to the Oxford Reform Act of 1854, which allowed us to elect a Professor, a man of literary distinction, to an "Exceptional Fellowship," one which bound him neither to residence, nor to celibacy. He was elected in the beginning of 1858; and, though I was at that time appointed to a College living sixteen miles from Oxford, I saw him every time I drove into the city. I remember especially one such time in the summer of 1858, which (all my parishioners being in the harvest field) I spent in my College rooms, having arranged to meet one of our fellows, Godfrey Lushington, to read German together. We were puzzling over some difficult expressions in Lessing's great "Essay on the Education of Mankind," when Max came to our rescue, and devoted a large part of two days to our benefit. It was delightful to see his enthusiasm in drawing out the thoughts of one of the greatest of his countrymen, and one hardly realized—he was so simple and genial—that one was being taught by one of the leading philologists in Europe.

'The Ordinance under which we elected him demanded, though in language not perfectly clear, that we should choose our fellows according to their merits as shown by the examination; but the old custom still remained of choosing them as one would the members of a social club, and I was one of three who had appealed to the Visitor against this practice. The dispute lasted some five or six years, and I am afraid must have given Max some days of discomfort, though his lot was otherwise enviable. He tried to mediate, and asked, but in vain, that the examiners should report a small list of fit candidates between whom the choice should be made. The decision was eventually given according to our contention: but Max, though mainly on our side, had, I think, what is called a "sneaking kindness" for the old system—had he not been elected by the College as it was?—and maintained that those who, as the Saturday Review said, were chosen for "what are vaguely called social considerations," formed a pleasing variety in the monotony of Oxford residents. But though he used to complain that he sometimes suffered from being identified with us, who were spoken of as the Sepoys in allusion to the Indian Mutiny of 1857-8, I am sure he never had an enemy in the College. He was always genial, and had nothing of the mere Don in him. On occasions such as the annual Gaudy on All Souls' Day, he would become the German student again, and join with the somewhat tumultuous merriment of the younger fellows, and be induced to sing "Gaudeamus igitur." If ever there was a cloud upon his brow, it was from a cause unknown to us, and was happily dissipated by the event so full of blessing to you and to him in the following year, 1859. It has always been a dark spot of disappointment to me in the retrospect, that I was prevented by a sharp touch of fever from being present at your wedding.

'Of all that came after that event no one can speak so well as yourself. But I do not like to close this letter without a word expressive of the value that I entertained for his friendship and for his teaching. I never knew him other than a kind and generous friend, and a delightful companion. He would frankly give one of his best on any subject, grave or gay. I remember, when he brought home from Italy the cartoon of the Carita, that he asked me to look at it in his library, and to say whose work I thought it to be; and when I said that, though I was not much of a judge, I should have assigned it to Andrea del Sarto, he showed as much pleasure as if it had been the testimony of a connoisseur. But I think that his mind turned more and more to the problems of religion; and it is my belief that his researches and his teaching have done as much as those of any man of his generation to enlarge the horizon of men's views, and to win for Christian faith a truer and a wider basis.

'Believe me, yours sincerely and affectionately,

'W. H. Fremantle.'

To His Mother.

Translation. All Souls College, July 11.

'When I was in London I made the acquaintance of Jenny Lind. She has a very nice house near Richmond. I called on her twice, and heard the Swedish singers at her house. But she will not sing herself any more, and that is a great mistake. I went too to a great gathering at Harrow; Lord Palmerston was there, and Lord Stratford de Redcliffe, and all the beau monde [Google translate: beautiful world] of London, and when my name was mentioned there were great cheers. Then I went to a great whitebait dinner at Greenwich, but all this was very tiring. I went too to a concert at the Crystal Palace, 2,500 people in the chorus and orchestra, and yet it was not powerful enough, unless one was quite near.'

In July Bunsen writes to congratulate:—

Translation. Charlottenberg, July 31.

'Nothing could be more agreeable and suitable; it is personally and nationally an honour, and a unique acknowledgement. I can only add the wish that you may enjoy the dignity itself as short a time as possible, and take leave as soon as possible of the Fellow celibates of All Souls. Your career in England wants nothing but this crowning-point. How prosperous and full of results has it been! Without ceasing to be a German you have appropriated all that is excellent and superior in English life, and of that there is so much, and it will last for life.'

For several years Max Muller had been a regular contributor to the Saturday Review, and the titles of his articles show the variety of questions that interested him:—The Transactions of the Philological Society, Dialects of Algeria, Chinese Buddhist Pilgrims, Hindustani Literature and the King of Oude, The Origin of Goethe's Faust, Renan's Essays on the History of Religion, The English Alphabet applied to the Languages of Lidia, German Mystics, Anglo-Indian Phraseology, and Latham's Celtic Philology, were among the topics treated by his facile pen. He looked on these writings as a recreation, as a change from Indian Civil Service and Military examinations, from lectures, and from collating and editing the Rig-veda. He had already in 1 857 begun to put together the materials for his History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature, which required considerable research in works which at that time only existed in manuscript. The Bodleian meetings also made constant demands on his time. No wonder that he complains so often of being worn and weary, and longing for rest.

To His Mother.

Translation. All Souls, August 6.

'I returned yesterday from London, where I had to examine for a whole week from ten till six. My head at last began to buzz, and I am glad that it is over and my holidays at last begin. The summer here is delicious and my monk's life very pleasant. The front view from my windows is beautiful, and I have the whole College to myself, ten servants, &c.; who can want more? I invite my friends to dinner, and nothing is wanting but that you could visit me in my new home, and it is sad that that cannot be. I can only invite ladies for great festivities. Did I tell you that I paid Jenny Lind a visit lately and she sang to me nearly the whole of the Schone Mullerin [Google translate: Beautiful Mullerin], and so perfectly? She loves the poems, and she said to me, "I felt I must sing them to you." She sang them with so much expression that it was like a real opera; I hardly recognized the songs. Then she sang Schumann and Mendelssohn. It went on from four in the afternoon till one in the night, and then she sent us in her carriage back to London—Benedict, Joachim, and Piatti. Joachim played very well, and Piatti's cello was splendid. In fact it was perfection, and she is a most interesting woman, and when she likes very agreeable. I heard lately from Bunsen ... he invited me to Heidelberg for his birthday, August 26, but I had to write that I could not come, and I must tell you now, I must stay this summer in England. I have had too many interruptions in my work, and must use the holidays to make the time good. You know how gladly I would go to you, but I should not feel it right, for I am quite well, and do not want rest. I have been riding a great deal, which is always good for me.'

To a friend, to whom he had sent a little novel, very popular just then, A Lost Love, he writes:—

All Souls, September 10.

'Is there such a thing as a Lost Love? I do not believe it. Nothing that is true and great is ever lost on earth, though it fulfilment may be deferred beyond this short life. Marriage is meant for this life only, but love is eternal, and all the more so, if it does not meet with its fulfilment on earth. If once we know that our lives are in the hands of God, and that nothing can happen to us without His will, we are thankful for the trials which He sends us. Is there any one who loves us more than God? any one who knows better what is for our real good than God? This little artificial and complicated society of ours may sometimes seem to be outside His control, but if we think so, it is our own fault, and we have to suffer for it. We blame our friends, we mistrust ourselves, and all this because our wild hearts will not be quiet in that narrow cage in which they must be kept to prevent mischief.'

To His Mother.

Translation, September 15.

'I have just lately had a good deal of enjoyment from the Birmingham Festival, where I went to hear the Elijah and Messiah, &c. It was splendid. I was on a visit to the Minister of Education near Birmingham, and we drove in each day. English country life is so pleasant; nowhere else is there anything like it. Then I spent a couple of days at Rugby with the head master. Will you send me the book of Weber's songs with " Mein Schatz, der ist auf der Wanderschaft"? I have played it to a very dear friend of mine, and she wishes to have it. She is the daughter of Lord Denbigh, where I often go to stay; she sings well, and you would like her.'
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Re: The Life and Letters of The Right Hon. Friedrich Max Mul

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Part 2 of 2

Max Muller had carried through his resolution of spending the chief part of Long Vacation in College. He often said later he was looked at with very dubious eyes by the College servants, who were in general completely their own masters in 'the Long,' but were obliged to stay in College if a Fellow was in residence.

It is evident from the following letter that the feeling of soreness between Max Muller and M. Renan had quite passed away. The article translated by M. Renan was the one which originally appeared in the first number of Oxford Essays, and was afterwards reprinted in all the editions of Chips.

To M. Renan.

All Souls, October 27.

'I have looked over the translation of my Comparative Mythology and I think it is excellent. I am extremely obliged to you, and still more to Madame Renan, for the trouble you have taken in making my English language and my German thought palatable to the French public. The corrections I have made bear chiefly on Sanskrit words. ... In a few passages which I have marked, the chain of the argument seems to me somewhat broken by omitting some of my illustrations. But I leave this entirely to your judgement, as you know how far one may try the patience of the French public.

'I should be glad to have your name on the title-page, as introducing my essay—as you have so kindly done—in the Revue Ger7Jianique. It might perhaps be as well to add to my name, "Professeur a l'Universite d'Oxford" or Fellow of All Souls College at Oxford, only I do not know how the latter can be rendered in French. . . .

'I have received the second edition of your Grammaire Comparee [Google translate: Comparative Grammar], and I have to thank you for it in more than one sense. No doubt we shall always differ on some points in the early history of language, and I shall have to oppose some of your views with all my power. But I feel confident that no diff"erence of opinion with regard to scientific questions will ever lead again to any personal misunderstanding between you and me, and I beg to assure you of my sincere respect and gratitude.'

The lectures this term were on 'The Parts of Speech.' In the Summer Term Max Muller had given a course on 'The Origin and Formation of the French Language,' continuing also his class for reading Faust.

To His Mother.

Translation. Oxford, November 11.

'I had a large dinner of 1 4 and an evening party the other day. Jenny Lind was here, and would sing nowhere but at my party. It was wonderfully beautiful. You can imagine that people were very anxious for invitations and it all went very well. She came first in the morning to practise a little, then in the evening she sang Mozart's "Batti, batti," Mendelssohn's "Auf Flugel der Gesanges," Swedish songs, Schumann, and Weber's "Mein Schatz, der ist auf der Wanderschaft." She came again the next day and sang Schumann and Schubert: it was a great treat, but really almost exhausting.'

To The Same.

Translation. Blenheim Palace, December 6.

'You would be surprised to see me sitting here on my birthday, not at All Souls, but on a visit to the Duke of Marlborough, Last week I spent a few days in the country in the house of Lord Lovelace, who married Byron's daughter. It is now inhabited by one of the Judges, the same who managed the divorce of Lord and Lady Byron, a most interesting old man. Yes, you are right when you say I cannot be grateful enough to God for all the goodness He has shown me, my whole life long. My present position is really, of its kind, quite perfect, and if I only keep well I am thoroughly satisfied. Here I was called away to dinner, which was splendid; we dined in the Rubens room, and opposite me hung Rubens and his wife, Andromeda, and Phillip of Spain. We were twenty-four at dinner. After dinner we wandered about the rooms. There was a splendid Erard in one room, and we had some music; the next day I saw the pictures in the private rooms, which one cannot see otherwise, the gems, the sketches, then more music. The Duchess is musical and very friendly. They asked me to stay another day, but I could not. Two days later I had a party from Blenheim to luncheon—Lord Denbigh's family, &c. It went off very well. The Jelfs are here, and we have a great deal of music.'

To M. Kenan.

All Souls, December 15.

'I have just read your severe remarks on Oriental Studies in England, in one of the recent numbers of the Debats. You are partly right, and I was delighted to see how well you perceived the real and true value of the discovery of the Vedas for the reconstruction of the annals of the human mind, and the right appreciation of the earliest efforts of man in his search for his true home in God. But how few perceive this importance of ancient Sanskrit literature even now. How few of our best Sanskrit scholars are aware that the stones which they bring to light are the relics of a real temple, and the object of philology is not only to cut stones and collect rubbish, but to find the foundations and ground-plan of that lost Sanctuary. We are all progressing, and the importance of our studies dawns upon us by degrees. To the early Greek refugees, the Greek which they taught in Italy was not the key to a lost civilization, not the lever, as it turned out to be, that was to lift the dead weight of the Middle Ages; it was simply an accomplishment, the mark of a cultivated mind and curiosity. Surely there was something grand in the enthusiasm of the faith with which men like Sir W. Jones and Colebrooke pierced into the jungle of Sanskrit, and where should we be if Wilson had not opened to us many a smooth road into that enchanted forest? However, I know what you mean, only the absence of a bold critical spirit is not to be ascribed to the English nation as a whole, it is the languid temper of the present generation. But then there was a time when England had giants in thought, and Davids in boldness and faith. It will come again, and even now what you take for indolence and cowardice is more truly a feeling of awe at the greatness of the questions which now occupy the best minds in France, in Germany, and in England. You and your friends in Paris do much service by recognizing and patronizing what is good and genuine in the literary life of Germany. You might do the same for England, and thus raise your Revue Germanique [Google translate: German Review] to a Revue Teutonique [Google translate: Review Teutonic], including Scandinavia, England, and America. I also read another article of yours, or rather an extract from your forthcoming translation of the Book of Job, with great interest. Might I ask you whether anything has been done to carry your reprint of your translation of my Essay on Mythology through the Press? I sent you the proof-sheets some time ago, but have not heard of it since. I have been very busy, as I am printing a book on the Vedic Age. I hoped it would have been out before now, but I have so many things to read, as I am going on with my work, that it will hardly be published before Easter. In the summer the fourth volume of the Veda will be finished, if my health allows me to work hard. As soon as I have brought out my book, I have promised to write several reviews, among the rest one on your Origine de la langue [Google translate: Origin of the language], but at present I have not a single moment to spare for anything but the Veda!

Christmas was passed by Max Muller in All Souls—the only Christmas he was destined to pass inside the College walls—and the wish expressed in the following letter was to be fulfilled in a way he little imagined as he wrote it:—

To Miss Grenfell1 [The aunt who had educated his future wife.].

All Souls, December 30.

'I cannot let this old year pass away without once more writing to you. It seems such a long time since I heard from you. If I had followed my inclination you would have received many a letter from me. ... I felt convinced that even without hearing from you, I might always trust in the continuance of that friendship which has been to me a rich source of blessing for many years. I hear about you now and then from our common friend Mr. Walrond, and it is always a pleasure to listen to the cheerful account he gives of you, and all your party. I am glad you appreciate him, and the longer you know him the more you will find how well he deserves your confidence and esteem. This has been a very important year to me, and I know not whether I should be more thankful for the trials I have had to go through, or for the blessings which God has showered upon me. Much more has been given me than I ever asked for, and I feel as if I had no more to wish for in this life. I have found a home, and a very pleasant home, as you will see when you come to Oxford. I have no cares, and if my health continues there is plenty of work for me to do. It is not such a life as I thought mine would be; you know what I have lost. I wish you all a very happy New Year, and I hope that this coming year may sometimes lead us together!'

The early days of the year 1859 brought Max Muller a great distinction; he was made a Corresponding Member of the French Institute, the youngest man ever elected to this honour.

To His Mother.

Translation. All Souls, January 23, 1859.

'Your wishes for the New Year have brought me a good beginning. . . . This is really the only distinction that I have always wished for, and I have been not a little pleased at it. It is better than Orders, and I don't think that Tischendorf with all his hangings has been chosen a Corresponding Member of the French Institute. Here in Oxford and London it has been much talked about. It is so peaceful here in the holidays that I cannot make up my mind to go away, though I have a number of invitations, often from people I hardly know. But I prefer sitting quietly at my work, which is getting on. George Bunsen has been with me, and told me many things. Let us hope there will be no rising in Berlin. Then your papers would go down again, but never mind, my Sanskrit papers never go down! My life here is really perfect of its kind, and I say always, things go too well with me.'

To M. Renan.

All Souls, January 3.

'Though I cannot say with Goethe I believe that I am of the religion of Job, yet I thank you most heartily for your Livre de Job [Google translate: Book of Job]. Your introduction is excellent, but now and then one feels like a cat stroked the wrong way. I shall hardly be able to resist the temptation of saying something about it in the Saturday Review, though I have made a vow not to write any reviews till I have finished my own book. I like very much that little hint you give about Aurora, and your reasons why Hebrew remains so barren in myths. Is it not owing also to the strongly marked radical features of every Semitic word, every one telling its own tale by its three letters, and retaining its appellative power against all equivocation? How can you have pantomimes if every person as soon as he comes on the stage tells you that he is not the Lion, but Smug the Joiner? But the Aryan nations have had their revenge. When language had played all her tricks on them, they let her go, and made themselves a new language, and called it Philosophy, and that language the Semites have never learnt. I was delighted, as I need not tell you, at my election at the "Institut," and I thank you for your kind and active support. I wish I could do it in person, but till July I must slave at Oxford.'

The lectures announced for this term were on 'The Principles of Etymology,' with a catechetical class on German Classics, Max Muller's own work being used as the text-book.

Early in March, Max experienced a great sorrow in the sudden death of Mr. Manuel Johnson, the Radcliffe Observer, one of his earliest friends in Oxford, at whose house when he first arrived in 1848 he met many of the leaders of the High Church party, men of true piety, and many of them really learned, and yet, to the great surprise of the young scholar, almost entirely interested in purely ecclesiastical questions—the validity of Anglican orders, whether gowns or surplices should be worn in the pulpit, whether the candles on the altar should be lighted or not—all trifles that made Max Muller ask Manuel Johnson, 'What has all this to do with true religion?' But though Johnson told Max Muller he 'did not understand,' he remained his faithful friend to the last. Max dined almost every Sunday at the Observatory, and when his mother stayed with him she met with much kindness from Manuel Johnson and his wife. He married late in life, and in his bachelor days the large garden at the Observatory was the constant resort of men like Church, Mozley, Palgrave, Pollen, Burgon, &c. His collection of artistic treasures was a never-failing source of delight, and Max Muller tells us he 'learned much from his Italian engravings and Dutch etchings, which he delighted in showing.'[/quote]

To Dr. Pauli.

Translation. All Souls, March 13.

'The sudden death of Johnson has been a great shock. For many years I have not lost any more intimate friend, and one often forgets where one really lives, and what a little step it is which divides us from those who have gone before us. The death of our friends is an earnest warning, and as such, in spite of the sorrow, is rich in blessing. You must have experienced this in the fearful trial God laid on you. I need not say that I shared your sorrow, but I would not intrude on your grief, and did not write, though I knew you were in London. I know from experience that one would rather get through the hard struggles of life in silence and alone, and when one has done so, one can turn again slowly towards life, and to one's friends round one, without having to talk over what is past. Work is a great help and comfort, and I rejoice that you have taken up your great work again. Johnson often spoke of you to me, and especially lately. He would so gladly have seen you here as Professor of Anglo- Saxon. For an Englishman he was wonderfully liberal, and I owe my position in Oxford chiefly to his influence. I shall long miss him. He was always the same, open, hearty and joyous. Well, the sorrows of life, like all other things, pass away, and the larger the number who await us beyond, the easier the parting from those we leave behind. I wish you would come to Oxford . . . but write beforehand, as I am feeling so shaken, I may go to the seaside for change.'

This spring his sister was again in great anxiety about one of her children, and Max Muller always felt his distance from all his own people keenly when they were in sorrow. He writes:—

To His Mother.

Translation. All Souls, March 26.

'I often wish I could help in bearing some of your anxieties, for I have little here to make me anxious; however, you would say little pleasure either. But I am satisfied as it is, and thankful for the peace in which my life passes. You have little idea how comfortable the life in College is, and how one lives all day only for oneself and one's work, without being disturbed by anything. I am printing my book on Ancient Sanskrit Literature, and hope it will be ready by Whitsuntide. A French translation of my article on Comparative Mythology is just out, by Renan. I suppose I shall have to go to Paris to thank them for my election. I was elected with Lepsius, and am the youngest member.'

He finishes the letter in London, where he was examining. 'I am staying with Walrond, who is still unmarried; so you see there are other people who are as sensible as I am.'

All through this spring Max Muller worked hard at his Ancient Sanskrit Literature, in which he had embodied the Prolegomena to the Rig-veda, written ten years before, which had at the time called forth Professor Wilson's wrath. Though, through Bunsen's influence, the East India Company gave it their patronage, and promised the money for its publication, it never was published. The reason for this is explained in the preface to this new work. Ten sheets had been printed, when Max Muller's election to the Professorship of Modern European Languages, and the three courses of lectures each year which this election involved, obliged him to lay aside his general Sanskrit studies, and confine the time not needed by the duties of his Professorship, exclusively to the editing of the text and Commentary of the Rig-veda. But though ten years had elapsed since the Prolegomena had been written, Max Muller found that his original views had not been proved erroneous, either by his own later researches, or by the works of other Vedic scholars, and that the greater part of the original manuscript could have been printed as it was. In these ten years many new and young Vedic scholars had arisen, and their works were carefully examined and frequent reference is made to them throughout the book. It is in his preface to this work that Max Muller first mentions a young scholar, Dr. Buhler, then copying and collating Vedic MSS. in London and Oxford. They soon became fast friends, and it was Max Muller who obtained for Dr. Buhler the appointment in India which he filled with such distinction for nearly twenty years. During all that time the friends corresponded on literary questions, and though they often differed, their friendship was close and unbroken. After Dr. Buhler's return from India they met from time to time, and always with a feeling of warm attachment. Max Muller after Dr. Buhler's untimely death in 1898, which affected him deeply, wrote: 'We always exchanged our books and our views on every subject that occupied our interest in Sanskrit scholarship, and though we sometimes differed, we always kept in touch. We agreed thoroughly on one point—that it did not matter who was right, but only what was right.' Ancient Sanskrit Literature was carefully reviewed by the venerable scholar Barthelemy-St.-Hilaire, in five articles in the Journal des Savants, that famous periodical, now nearly 1^0 years old, the contributors to which must all be members of the Institute of France. 'This new work of M. Max Muller,' says the reviewer, 'shows considerable progress in Vedic studies; it answers and explains a number of interesting and doubtful questions, and it traces for Vedic literature a limit which according to our view is definite. It has brought order and light into the huge and confused treasure-house of the primitive monuments of the Brahmanic religion, and this systematic arrangement rests on a basis which appears well founded.'[/quote]

'The History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature will add greatly to the distinction with which the name of M. Max Muller is already so justly marked. The book of which I am writing is of so high an order that one may well doubt whether any one for a long time to come will surpass, or even equal it.'

Professor H. H. Wilson also wrote an elaborate review of the work, which appeared in the Edinburgh Review, October, i860, being the last thing Professor Wilson ever wrote; in fact the ink of the last words was scarcely dry before the fine old scholar passed away. 'It is not possible,' he says, in a brief survey like the present, to render justice to a work every page of which teems with information that no other scholar ever has, or could have, placed before the public.'

A second edition was called for within a year, but so rapid was the progress of Vedic studies at that time, that Max Muller, though often urged to do so, would not publish a third edition, being compelled, after his rejection for the Chair of Sanskrit, to turn his attention mainly to other studies.

To His Mother.

Translation. All Souls, Easter Sunday, 1859.

'I am overwhelmed with work, but I have found time to read that book of Schleiermacher of which you wrote to me, and I read it with great interest. It is an important book, more important than his writings. Whether the publication was right it is difficult to say. It is like a post mortem. Many would shrink from it, and yet one learns much from it and it may be of use. Men are so made that they seem ashamed of what is best in themselves, and then it is well to have such books to show us that men are all much better than they seem to be. I am now reading Perthes Life, which holds much that is important, but without the poetry of Schleiermacher's surroundings, I can well understand that after reading these books you long for some of the Greek Classics, but it is difficult to enter into the old simple life and thoughts; and to enjoy the beautiful and true as they were then felt and thought of, requires longer and more gradual study. You know Schleiermacher's Plato, but it is not easy to enjoy; Phaedrus is understandable, also the Symposium and Phaedon, and these are enough to give you an idea of Plato as a man. I can settle nothing about my summer plans. To begin with, war is sure to break out in Italy, and it may be that powder and shot will be seen on the Rhine.'

It was about this period that the natives of India began to speak of Max Muller as 'Moksha Mulara,' which was thus explained by one of their Pundits: 'He who by publishing the Veda for the first time in a printed form gave (ra) the root, (mulla) the foundation, the knowledge of final beatitude (moksha), he is called Moksha Mulara.' At the present day this Indianized form of his name is in common use among those who know his works.

To His Mother.

Translation. All Souls, May 29.

'I am very tired, and yet I have still so much to do before I can get away. Now there are the lectures, and I am printing and writing away at my book. Then I have four examinations before me, and then, please God, I shall start. Here in England things are quiet, but they begin to form volunteer corps. The undergraduates drill and shoot, and we are making ready for whatever comes. My horse costs a lot of money, but not so much as a wife. I have been again in London to hear Jenny Lind and Joachim—beautiful. I sat by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Then I had Deichmann the violinist here, and a party to which Mrs. Gaskell (Mary Barton) came. And so one fights one's way through life, and receives many a black eye! I am very sorry not to have seen old Humboldt again, and indeed for him it was time to rest—he has done his day's work.'

And now, after three years of silence and separation, borne submissively as the will of God, bright prospects suddenly opened, and within a fortnight of the last letter to his mother, Max Muller was asked to Ray Lodge as the future husband of her he had loved for nearly six years. His friend Walrond was engaged to her younger sister, and life appeared one dream of happiness to the two sisters. The day after his arrival at Ray Lodge. Max Muller wrote to her uncle, his friend Charles Kingsley:—

Ray Lodge, Whit-Sunday, 1859.

'Can you believe it? I cannot. I knew not that the world contained such happiness. You know what we have suffered, and now think of us, and pray for us to God. that He may help and teach us how to bear such joy and blessing. The past was so dark and awful, and the world now is so happy and bright. We shall meet on Tuesday. I long to see my new dear aunt, my old dear friend Mrs. Kingsley. Oh, this world of God is full of wonders, but the greatest of all wonders is love.'

Baron Bunsen wrote on July 23:—


'My sons knew too well what delight they would give me by their communication, which has already given us all a foretaste of the delight of your visit with your bride, and meanwhile has brought me your affectionate letter. I have felt all these years what was the matter with you. and I sympathize with your happiness as though it concerned one of my own children. I therefore now, my loved friend, wish you all the more happiness and blessing in the acquisition of the highest of life's prizes, because your love has already shown the right effect and strength, in that you have acquired courage for finishing at this present time your difficult and great work on the Veda. The work will also give you further refreshment for the future, whilst the editing of the Veda still hangs on your hands. Therefore let us all wish you joy most heartily (my wife has received the joyful news in Wildbad), and accept our united thanks beforehand for your kind intention of visiting us shortly with your young wife. By that time we shall all be united here. Beg your bride beforehand to feel friendly towards me and towards us all. You know how highly I esteem her two aunts, though without personal acquaintance with them, and how dear to me is the cultivated, noble, Christian circle in which the whole family moves.'

His devoted mother wrote, on receiving the news of his engagement from her son:—

Translation. Carlsbad, June 16, 1859.

'My dear, my happy Max,—I write to you a few lines in the greatest excitement of body and mind, so that my most ardent wishes and blessings may reach you even before I seem to be able to take in all the happiness. Yes, I thank God with all my heart for my son, who is the pride and happiness and blessing of my life! I thank God with all my heart for my son, to whom He has given his heart's desire, and I ask God that it may be for His children's blessing!

'A being whom you have chosen and whom you have known and loved for such a long time, must be worthy of you, and I will love her with you, as long as I live. My dear, dear Max, if I could but throw my arms round you and press you to my heart! Here I am all alone, so far from you, and I have nobody near who could calm and understand my over-full heart.

'Think what all those who love you so will say to it! And soon you will have a wife, and the happy time of your engagement will be very short, and I am to see you in your great happiness with your wife!

'I cannot write any more, my dear, good Max, the excitement has been too much for me; and you know all I should like to say to you, you know how I love you! And for this my love's sake your wife will love me a little! God's richest blessings be on you both! I press you to my full heart in deepest love, and I thank God with you.

'If you can, write to me soon again. You can imagine how much I should like to know everything. Farewell, my dear, good Max, and bring your G. to see me as soon as possible. With truest love,

'Your faithful Mother.'

Extracts from letters written during June and July:—

'A soul to which I cling with my soul. What is it? What is that soul? Who made it? Who sent it here? Who led it on by slow degrees till it should meet that other soul which belonged to it from the very beginning, and longed for it as for its better Self? These are awful mysteries, we cannot look into them without feeling giddy and appalled, and yet we ought to know of them, and then we can throw ourselves into the arms of God like children, utterly helpless and destitute, and yet full of faith in His love and wisdom. "Dies Leben ist doch schon, o Konigin."' [Google translate: This life It's okay, oh queen.]

'Think of us two in old Oxford again, and now it will be our home; here we shall live together under God's blessing for many years, here we shall grow old together, and from here we shall pass one day into a new and better life. There will be sorrows too waiting for you when you come here, sorrows such as no life is free from. And we shall bear them together, and remember that the same Father who now sends us so much joy, sends us grief also, and all for our real good, though we do not always see it, and though we cannot venture to fathom His wisdom in guiding our steps through this life. If we trust in Him, our life will not have been in vain, and in spite of suffering we shall be more happy than many whose outward life seems so easy and bright.'

To His Mother.

Translation. All Souls, August 2.

'This is the last letter I shall write to-night, and it is for you, to thank you for all your love and goodness, and to say that my love for you cannot be lessened or disturbed by any other love: that you know, and I need not say it. And when you see my wife, you will feel how she has given me a new life, and has only increased and raised my love for you and all who are so good to me. I know how you will love her, and I look forward to our life all together with joyous hope. No discord must disturb our happiness, no littlenesses dim our great joy. I will write again from Heidelberg as soon as I can fix the day we shall meet. To-morrow early I start: our wedding is at 11.30. Morier is here; he came all the way from Naples. I call that friendship.'

On August 3 Max Muller was married at Bray Church to Georgina, elder daughter of Riversdale Grenfell and Charlotte Elliot, his wife.

A week was spent at Eversley Rectory, lent by the Kingsleys, a spot that was very dear to both of them. On the Sunday Charles Kingsley came over for his services, and administered the Communion to the newly-married pair, being their guest afterwards at luncheon in his own dining-room. The week was spent in wandering about the lovely moors or beautiful Bramshill, when they were not occupied with the papers of the examinations on which Max Muller had been busy almost up to his wedding-day. Then two or three days were given to Heidelberg, to the fatherly friend whose affection for her husband made a deep impression on the young wife. From there they went on to Dresden, where the meeting with the mother took place, and the three went together to Chemnitz to the sister, and then to Dessau. Later on, Max Muller and his wife secured a fortnight alone in Prague and Saxon Switzerland, where they had what was a most dangerous experience. They had climbed the Papststein, opposite Schandau, one sultry evening, and whilst at the top, a bare rock without any shelter, an appalling thunderstorm suddenly burst over and all round them. The play of the lightning was terrific, and the crash of the thunder such that they could not hear each other speak, and they felt that any moment might be their last. They hurried down, but it was some time before they were off the bare rocks, and then only to find themselves in a thick wood, which was no safe refuge, and thankful they were when the torrents of rain showed that the danger was passing away.

On the return journey to England, Leipzig, Halle, Brussels, and Ghent were visited. At Leipzig, Max Muller and his friend, Victor Carus, met and played together, piano and violin, as in days gone by; and at Halle he had the interest of a long visit to Professor Pott, the eminent philologist. Oxford was reached on October 24, and Max Muller and his wife settled themselves in a small furnished house in New College Lane for a few months, till they could find something more suitable.

Pending a better house, Max had to keep his books and do his work at All Souls.

To His Mother.

Translation. Ghent, October 20.

'We both long for a little quiet, and I for my work. I have had nothing but pleasure and enjoyment these last months, and I am longing for my usual occupations. The time we spent with you was delightful; how few enjoy such happiness as we had together! Take care of your health, that you may not make us anxious this winter.'

Early in November Max Muller's mother was suddenly taken dangerously ill, and his anxiety was very great. It was happily relieved before November 17, on which day his old friend Theodore Walrond was married at Bray Church to his wife's younger sister. Max Muller and his wife were present, and stayed on a few days. 'They would like to keep us here altogether,' he writes to his mother, 'but that cannot be during the lectures, and I am so happy in my own home.'[/quote]

The committee of the Athenaeum Club had this year offered to elect Max Muller without a ballot, but as he was just going to be married, he felt he could not afford it at that time. He never joined any London club, as he was not constantly in London, and used to say £10 a year was too much to pay for a biscuit, or even a glass of wine!

This year being the centenary of Schiller's birth, Max Muller gave a public lecture on Schiller, which was very well attended. 'All Oxford went to hear him,' wrote a friend. This lecture was published as an article on Schiller in the Times, and afterwards expanded into a longer paper, published in Chips.

Christmas was spent at Ray Lodge with a large family party—Walronds, Froudes, and others; and on December 30 Max Muller tells his mother he had that morning received a diploma from Turin, as Corresponding Member of the Royal Sardinian Academy; and the same day there was a very flattering review in the Times of his Ancient Sanskrit Literature, of which the first edition was already sold out.

It was during this winter that our King was resident in Oxford, as a Gentleman Commoner of Christ Church. Max Muller was often invited to dine at Frewin Hall, the Prince's residence, and the foundation was then laid of that kindly feeling which the Prince ever after evinced for Max Muller, and to which he alluded in such gracious terms in his speech at the opening of the School of Oriental Studies in 1890, speaking of Max Muller 'as one whom ever since my undergraduate days at the University I have had the advantage and privilege of knowing.'
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Re: The Life and Letters of The Right Hon. Friedrich Max Mul

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Part 1 of 2


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 'Science of Language.' Visit from his mother. Death of Prince Consort.

The early days of this year found Max Muller again in deep anxiety about his mother, who had gone to her daughter at Chemnitz for Christmas, where she was taken suddenly and alarmingly ill, and for a day or two there seemed but small hope that her life would be spared. Her son's anxiety was piteous, so far away from her, and unable to do anything for her, or go to her for fear of exciting her. On February 12 he writes to her:—


'It was a serious warning, and the years God has added to your life should be all the more valuable and blest. How we suffered with you I need not say. The loss of our parents is the heaviest sorrow we have to bear in life, and nothing can ever blot it out. The separation must come sooner or later, but when it comes something breaks in the heart which can never be the same again.'

To Bryan Hodgson, Esq. (formerly Resident in Nepal).

New College Lane, Oxford, February 6, 1860.

'My dear Sir,—I have to thank you for your valuable papers on the Vayu and Kiranti languages. They arrived here during my absence. I was obliged to stay away from Oxford as my wife was very unwell, and I am only just beginning to resume my work. When I shall be able to go through the results of your immense labours I cannot tell at present. My time is so much taken up with necessary work that I cannot allow myself much leisure for my favourite studies, I have to print text and commentary of the Rig-veda, and a second edition of my History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature. Then I have to prepare lectures on the Literature of Modern Europe for my Chair here, not to mention a Sanskrit Grammar, which I promised to finish before the summer. Add to all this the duties of a newly-married man, and you will believe me if I tell you that I have but few moments left for following up my researches into the history of the numberless Turanian languages. I am very glad, however, to know that your important labours, though interrupted, were not left incomplete, and I trust you will find leisure in England for writing a resume' of all your discoveries in the Himalayan Babel. A linguistic map of that country would be very useful, and no one could do this as well as you. Some day or other I hope to return to those steep regions of philology, and nothing could be a better guide than a physical and ethnological map drawn by you.'

The lectures for this term were called 'Principles of Etymology,' but were really on the English language traced back through Anglo-Saxon to Gothic. They were a very popular course, and though attendance at Professors' lectures was no longer compulsory, Max Muller had a large audience. He had talked over these lectures with his wife, and explained them to her, as they walked together in the beautiful Taplow Woods in the clear winter weather, and on their return to Oxford he dictated the whole course to her. It was like the unfolding of a new world, ever reaching back and back, till lost in the hoary distance, where the forefathers of the European nations still dwelt together with the forefathers of the Persians and Hindus, before the great dispersion west and south.

To Professor Bernays.

Translation. New College Lane, February 6, 1860.

'Oh yes, a sign of life is always good, and so I thank you, my best friend, for your Child of Care. But I should like to know still more how you are, body and soul, and I should also like to know what you think of me and of my happiness. Our missing each other at Heidelberg was a fatality, for I so wished to show you my wife. I really am as happy as a "Child of Care" can be and may be; I often fear the envious Nemesis. What is beautiful is that I have to labour for my bread again, and that also succeeds fairly. I am just printing the second edition of my History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature. Have you received it? I sent two copies to Bunsen, one of them was meant for you. The Veda proceeds slowly, and other things ripen. Tell me what you are doing and planning. I have not heard from Bunsen for a very long time. George is in London, and I hope to meet him there the day after to-morrow. Nothing new happens here. As a married man I can but tell you one thing, stop being a "single" and become a "double" (Einsiedler and Zweisiedler). You can find in all women what is worthy of love, and the one who finds it in you is sure to be worthy of your love.

'I am reading Phaedrus with my wife, and we often think of you in our readings.'

To The Same.

Translation. New College Lane, March 29.

'As far as I can see, we have no MS. of the Historia Sacra [Google translate: Sacred History] of Sulpicius Severus; something by him about Saint Martin, but nothing else. If I knew that you would come over here, if such a MS. existed, I should write to Simonides1 [The famous forger of MSS.], but I am afraid nothing will induce you to come over again. It is tiresome that you have not received my History of Sanskrit Literature, the more so as it is my fault. Now the edition is out of print and I am printing a second one. My enemies praise the book, and go so far as to say that it did not come up to their expectations; what ideas people must have of me! Well, something better is sure to come, when I have come out somewhat from my present bliss. In summer I hope to go to my new house, where I shall arrange my library, and then I look for a calm sea (Meeresstille).

'I hope to send you something about Monotheism soon; I do not think you will like it, and therefore perhaps it will bring me a letter. What about your appointment? When you have received that, your double state (Zweisiedelung) must certainly assume another shape.

'And what do you think of Humboldt's Correspondence? No poetry, but much truth. The old gentleman has sat for his biography to Varnhagen, and has shown himself as Varnhagen could understand him. Unfortunately Varnhagen dies soon after, and the whole matter comes undigested before the public. I am glad to see that Humboldt on his part has justified Bunsen, though he has not put a stop to Varnhagen's chattering. But what do the court ladies say? Will there be more of this sort? I have no time for writing; but it will be better when I am in my own house and get all things into order. In faithful friendship, yours, 'M.'

To M. Renan.

New College Lane, March 27.

'If you think the chapter on the Introduction of Writing likely to interest the larger public, I shall be very happy to see it in the Revue Germanique. Boehtlingk has sent me an article of his in answer to my arguments. It does not contain anything to make me change my opinion, or rather to remove the difficulties which I feel myself on the subject. If my article is to be printed in the Revue Germanique, it might be civil to mention B.'s objections. I am printing a second edition of my History of Sanskrit Literature, and find that all my time is taken up, as I have been appointed Examiner in Indian History and Geography and the Sanskrit language for the Civil Service of India. I have, however, made time to review your Histoire des Langues Semitiques [Google translate: History of Semitic Languages], or rather one chapter of it, on Semitic Monotheism. There were two long articles in print which were to appear in the Times at Christmas, but political subjects left no space, and so they had to be postponed till Easter1 [Reprinted in Chips, Vol. I, first edition.]. We both agree and differ, as you will see, and I feel quite relieved after having expressed what I long wished to say on the subject. I am delighted to hear that you are so hard at work, your second volume progressing, and your Etude sur le Cantique des Cantiques [Google translate: Study on the Song of Songs] finished. I have promised to write a review of Barthelemy-St.-Hilaire's researches on Buddhism, for the Edinburgh Review, but it will not be out before the autumn, as all the numbers till then are filled up. With sincere regard.'

Max writes to his mother in April that he has at last found a house in High Street, near Magdalen, and that he will move in in July. In all his letters he exhorts her to lead a quiet, comfortable life, and tells her that he always has enough and to spare for her, and that at her age she ought to give herself more comforts. But it was difficult to induce her to do so, after the long years of frugal living, and to the end she saved more of the money her son sent her than she spent.


'Do not be always thinking how you can spare a few shillings, but enjoy the precious years God has added to your life, with constant gratitude, with quiet and purity of soul, looking more to the heavenly than to the earthly; that gives true joyfulness of soul, if we every moment recollect what is eternal, and never quite lose ourselves in the small or even the large cares of life. My love to Auguste and Krug, who nursed you so carefully, whilst I could do nothing to help. May God send His warm sunshine on you, and make your lives as happy as He has made mine, so far beyond all I deserve!'

To M. Renan.

6, New College Lane, May 6.

'I have been expecting to hear from you for some time, and I am almost afraid from your silence that you did not quite approve of my review of your work which I sent you at the time of its appearance in the Times. The articles have certainly attained their object in England, as I have heard from many quarters. They have drawn general attention to your work, and they have inspired others with the same feelings of respect and admiration for your labours which I sincerely entertain myself. Your works stand too high to be made the object of a merely laudatory review, and I believe that where I have ventured to express a difference of opinion I have done so, not only with that respect which is due to you from everybody, but with the warmest acknowledgement of the value of your researches, even where they did not seem to me completely to confirm the results which you derive from them. I still hope I may be mistaken in my misgivings, but if there should be any expression which could have given you offence, I trust you will tell me openly, and believe beforehand that it was used unintentionally. I am anxious to hear what you think on the main point on which we differ, though in form rather than in substance, and I look forward to your second volume for the full discussion of this question. My hopes of spending part of the summer at Paris have vanished again; my wife is not well, and we shall have to stay quietly at Oxford. Have you seen a volume called Essays and Reviews? It would interest you and somewhat surprise you, if you consider that all the writers are clergymen of the Church of England.'

Two days after this letter was written, Professor H. H. Wilson, Boden Professor of Sanskrit at Oxford, died almost suddenly after an operation. It has been already mentioned that his last piece of work was a review of Max Muller's Ancient Sanskrit Literature, which was published in the October number of the Edinburgh, and was, as the editor says in a note, 'a posthumous testimonial by the first Sanskrit scholar of the age to the erudition and worth of the most eminent of his followers.' When the funeral was over, Max Muller announced himself as a candidate for the vacant Chair, and soon issued his testimonials, which included the names of nearly every Oriental scholar of real eminence in the world. Though the election was not to be before December, the canvass, which was begun at once, occupied nearly the whole year. On May 19 Mr. W. S. W. Vaux, of the British Museum, wrote to Max Muller:—

'On many occasions, and especially the last time (about two months since, in the East India House) when I had the pleasure of seeing him (Professor Wilson), he stated that in his judgement you were the first Sanskrit scholar in Europe. I remarked that I was glad to hear him give so decided an opinion, as I and several others naturally were anxious that his successor at Oxford should be the fittest man we could procure. To this he said, "You will be quite right if your choice should fall on Max Muller."'

The two following letters, from the Bishop of Calcutta and Dr. Pusey, are of interest as showing the good they expected from Max Muller's election to the cause of Christian missions, though Mr. Jowett wrote much about the same time that he could not make up his mind whether Max Muller or his opponent would do most for missions:—

Ravenswood, Simla, July 13, 1860.

'My dear Sir,—When I heard of the great loss which Sanskrit literature had sustained by the death of Professor Wilson, my thoughts naturally turned to you as his obvious successor, and it will give me great pleasure to hear that the University make an election which is certainly expected and will be approved by every one to whom I have spoken on the subject in this country.

'I feel considerable interest in the matter, because I am sure that it is of the greatest importance for our missionaries to understand Sanskrit, to study the philosophy and sacred books of the Hindus, and to be able to meet the Pundits on their own ground.

'Among the means to this great end, none can be more important than your edition and Professor Wilson's translation of the Rig-veda. It would be most fitting in my opinion for a great Christian University to place in its Sanskrit Chair the scholar who has made the Sanskrit scriptures accessible to the Christian missionary.

'I am glad to have this opportunity of thanking you for the clear and satisfactory letter which you wrote to me a year ago, when I consulted you on a theological difficulty which had arisen between two missionaries, as to the translation of some expressions in our Articles into Bengali. Such questions are likely to multiply, and it will be a great point to have the Sanskrit Professorship occupied by one who takes an interest in them, and from thoroughly understanding the Hindu theological terms, is able to give advice on the subject, so that it may express our meaning in a manner which will be at once accurate and will avoid the pantheistic notions which abound in Hindu philosophy, and might by an ignorant translator be transferred to Christian teaching.

'You are at liberty to make any use that you please of this letter.

'With every wish for your success,

'I remain, my dear Sir,

'Yours very sincerely,

'Professor Max Muller. 'G. E. L. Calcutta.'

From Dr. Pusey.

Christ Church, June 2, 1860.

'My dear Professor,—On the first election to the Sanskrit Chair, you will have heard that we were divided before two great names. Professor Wilson, whose first-rate Sanskrit knowledge was in the mouth of every one, and Dr. Mill, who, many of us thought, might fulfil the object of the founder better by giving to the Professorship a direct missionary turn. The same thought would naturally recur to us now, and I have kept myself in suspense since our sudden loss of Professor Wilson. My first impression, however, is my abiding conviction, that we should be best promoting the intentions of the founder by electing yourself, who have already done so much to make us fully acquainted with the religious systems of those whom we wish to win to the Gospel. It is obvious that without this knowledge a missionary must be continually at fault, ignorant alike of the points of contact of which, after the manner of St. Paul, he may avail himself, or of those which present the chief obstacles to the reception of the Gospel in the minds of those whom he would win. I cannot but think then that your labours on the Vedas—while they attest your wonderful power in mastering this ancient Sanskrit (and of course of the more modern Sanskrit, through which you had access to the older), and while they evince, as I understand, great philological talent, beyond the knowledge of Sanskrit itself—are the greatest gifts which have been bestowed on those who would win to Christianity the subtle and thoughtful minds of the cultivated Indians. We owe you very much for the past, and we shall ourselves gain greatly by placing you in a position in which you can give your undivided attention to those labours by which we have already so much profited. You know that I have felt it my duty to confine myself to a different class of languages, those which bear directly upon Hebrew. I have written, therefore, on that upon which I am alone competent to write—not your great knowledge of Sanskrit, of which we have such eminent testimony, but of the great value of that special line of study to which you have devoted yourself. Your work will form a new era in the efforts for the conversion of India, and Oxford will have reason to be thankful that, by giving you a home, it will have facilitated a work of such primary and lasting importance for the conversion of India, and which, by enabling us to compare that early false religion with the true, illustrates the more than blessedness of what we enjoy.—Yours very faithfully, E. B. Pusey.'

The middle of June Max writes to his mother:—

'My time is quite taken up with the election business, and I sometimes wish I had not thought of it. It will absorb my time till December, and if I don't win I shall be very cross! Only think of 4,000 electors, scattered all over England, and each must be written to! In a week the British Association meets here, as in 1847, the first time I made an address in English.'

His old friend Carus came over for the meeting, and stayed with Dr. Acland. Max Muiller was far too much occupied to take any part in the discussions, even in opposing the fierce attack of Mr. Crawfurd (the famous Objector-General) on the doctrine of the Aryan race, and the connexion between Hindus and the nations of Europe.

Early in July Max was busy in London examining the candidates for the Indian Civil Service in Sanskrit, Indian History and Geography. On his return to Oxford, the move to the new house, 64, High Street, took place, but his wife was so unwell that he sent her away to her father's, undertaking all the trouble himself.

To His Wife.

July, 1860.

'Surely everything is ordered, and ordered for our true interests. It would be fearful to think that anything, however small in appearance, could happen to us without the will of God. If you admit the idea of chance or unmeaning events anywhere, the whole organization of our life in God is broken to pieces. We are, we don't know where, unless we rest in God, and give Him praise for all things. We must trust in Him, whether He sends us joy or sorrow. If He sends us joy, let us be careful. Happiness is often sent to try us, and is by no means a proof of our having deserved it. Nor is sorrow always a sign of God's displeasure, but frequently, nay always, of His love and compassion. We must each interpret our life as best we can, but we must be sure that its deepest purpose is to bring us back to God through Christ. Death is a condition of our life on earth, it brings the creature back to its Creator. The creature groans at the sight of death, but God will not forsake us at the last, He who has never forsaken us from the first breath of our life on earth. If it be His will, we may live to serve Him here on earth for many happy years to come. If He takes either of us away, His name be praised. We live in the shadow of death, but that shadow should not darken the brightness of our life. It is the shadow of the hand of our God and Father, and the earnest of a higher brighter life hereafter. Our Father in heaven loves us more than any husband can love his wife, or any mother her child. His hand can never hurt us, so let us hope and trust always.'

On his wife's return they settled down to their quiet busy life, feeling for the first time really at home, in their own house, with his books and all their wedding gifts round them. His joyous, happy temperament, and thankfulness for every trifle, made life very bright, notwithstanding the anxiety and hard work connected with the coming election. His little garden was a constant pleasure to Max Muller, and he often worked in it. A flight of steps led to it from his study window, so that he could step out at any moment when tired with work, and enjoy his roses, of which, next to violets and lilies of the valley, he was passionately fond.

It was about this time that Max Muller received an invitation to deliver a course of lectures the following spring at the Royal Institution on Comparative Philology. He at once accepted the invitation, and continued to lecture at the Institution from time to time for above thirty years, his last course there being delivered in March, 1894, on the Vedanta Philosophy. Beyond bringing out the second edition of Ancient Sanskrit Literature, writing a very few articles for the Saturday Review, and preparing his lectures, Max Muller got through but little literary work this year. The sunshine within the house was a delightful contrast to the weather without, for it had been a summer of almost ceaseless rain, and at the usual time of hay-harvest the hay-fields round Oxford were all flooded.

Max Muller had been kept in constant anxiety about his mother's health all through the spring and early summer, and at the end of August wrote and offered to pay her a short visit, but she felt hardly well enough for the excitement.

To His Mother.

Translation. September 7.

'I think you are right in being quiet and alone. To see you again, and then to have to leave after a week, would be almost too much for me, how much more for you? Our lives are in the hands of a Father who knows what is best for all of us. Death is painful to the creature, but in God there is no death, no dying; dying belongs to life, and is only a passage to a more perfect world, into which we all go when God calls us. When one's happiness is as perfect as mine is, then the thought of death often frightens one, but even then that is conquered by the feeling and the faith that all is best as it is, and that God loves us more than even a father and mother can love us. It is a beautiful world in which we live, but it is only beautiful, and only really our home, when we feel the nearness of God at each moment, and lean on Him and trust in His love. And so I trust God will spare you to us, as long as it is good for us; and when the hour of parting comes, we know that love never dies, and that God, who bound us so closely together in this life, will bring us together where there is no more parting. ... I wish you could see us here: our home is charming, and when I remember how I arrived here with one "box," my heart runs over when I see how God has blessed me.'

In September Max Midler and his wife went to Brighton, where he enjoyed the sea-bathing, and renewed his old love of swimming. There were several swimming competitions during their stay, and he always joined the competitors, and was glad to find that he kept up his former power of rapid and strong swimming.

To Professor Bernays.

Translation. 64, High Street, October 21.

'I found your letter on my return, and I write at once to thank you for the beautiful and flattering proof of your friendship. All that comes from you I read with true joy, as far as I can understand it, and I look forward heartily to the fresh feast. Till the middle of December I shall have no leisure. December 7 is the election: whether I am to succeed is doubtful, but I hope I shall, especially as I have lost six months with canvassing. We are all well here; my wife is in good health, our house is all in order, nothing is wanting any more, and I thank God if all remains as it is now. It is true, happiness drives nails into our soul, but all is for the best.

'I hear nothing but sad things about Bunsen. I should grieve to lose that man.

'When will you come to England again? In faithful friendship.'

In the last days of November he heard of the death of his friend and benefactor, Baron Bunsen, who passed away at Bonn, after many months of suffering, so that at first the thought that he was at rest overpowered the sense of loss. But the feeling of loss grew ever stronger as time went on, and a year later Max Muller wrote to M. Renan: 'I miss Bunsen more every day. I feel as if I had lost a limb, and I can hardly believe sometimes that one is never to see him again here below.'

On December 7 the election to the Sanskrit Professorship took place, and Max Muller was rejected. A few days before the election an unknown friend wrote to one of the papers summing up the difference between the candidates, as ' the difference between respectable and honourable proficiency, and the complete and masterful knowledge of the subject possessed by a rare genius and profound scholar, from whose authority on the subjects of Indian philology and philosophy there is no appeal in Europe,' and then, adverting to the objection to Max Muller as not being an Englishman, the same supporter adds:—

'Mr. Max Muller's English is perfect. Many who have not heard the wonderful force and clearness of his public lectures must have read, without knowing it, some of his many contributions to periodical literature. Nothing that I know of—of thought or expression—exists to differentiate Max Muller from the highest type of refined and educated Englishman.

'But the implied charge of un-English religion, and even of irreligion, is at once the most serious, the most gratuitous, and the most cruel. If the country clergy have been persuaded, as has been wittily said, to smell rationalism in the dots over the u in Mr. Muller's name, I cannot hope to dissipate the detested odour. I can only submit that there is not the slightest particle of ground for the suspicion, not the faintest show for the pretext that Mother Church is in danger. Surely the support and deferential testimonials of the men of highest character and well-known religious opinions in the University should suffice to dispose of such a vague and ungenerous insinuation. A man's personal character must stand very high, and his theological opinions can afford but little ground for animadversion on either hand, when he unites as his unhesitating supporters Dr. Pusey and Dr. Macbride.'

Dr. Pusey had worked day and night for Max Muller, and when helping to send out the final notices of the election, wrote in his own hand above those he sent: 'Max Muller has already done more for the Gospel in India than any other Sanskrit scholar, by opening to our missionaries their sacred books. His election would enable him to devote himself to that work. He is the first Sanskrit scholar living.'

It was observed by an elector that could the votes have been taken by weight, there was no doubt how the matter would have ended. There can be no doubt that it was a keen disappointment to Max Muller, but he lived long enough to trace his almost unique position later in the world of letters, and the influence he was able to exert on religious thought in England, to this very disappointment. Had he been successful, he must have devoted his great powers almost exclusively to Sanskrit, and by doing so would no doubt have remained to the last what Wilson pronounced him to be at the time of his (Wilson's) death, 'The first Sanskrit scholar in Europe.' It was the Chair of Philology, founded some six years later specially for him, his name being mentioned in the statute of foundation, that led him on from the Science of Language to the Sciences of Thought and Religion. As Professor Macdonell says, in his admirable obituary notice in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society—

'Nothing was known about Comparative Philology when Max Muller came to this country. He introduced and popularized the new science, and soon came to be regarded as its chief exponent. He was, moreover, the first to inaugurate the study of Comparative Mythology in this country. ... It was not till the latter half of the century that the necessary conditions were at hand for founding a science of religion. Max Muller was there to apply the needful stimulus . . . and to collect the requisite materials in his Sacred Books of the East. Thus there was a great opening in these highly important branches of learning, but no one man could have taken advantage of them . . ., had he not been one of the most talented and versatile scholars of the nineteenth century.'

The following letters were received soon after the election, and were kept together and always treasured by Max Muller:—

From his Father-in-law.

'I know not when I have felt more deeply for the trials of others or had more reason to admire patience and resignation to God's will than in the spirit you have shown, in what I know to be a most severe trial and bitter disappointment. But now that all is over, and I have time to think, I am inclined to believe that with such unscrupulous opponents we could not have won. They had every element of success on their side, but one, and that they disavowed as affecting the claims of the candidates, namely the vast inferiority of one to the other. It must be a bitter disappointment to feel that the path of usefulness you had proposed to follow has been cut from under your feet, . . . but it is God's will, and the time may come when you will see His wisdom in disappointing your hopes and wishes.'

From Dean (then Canon) Stanley.

Christ Church, December 8.

'You must allow me to write a few words to express what I cannot say. I have never experienced the peculiar trial under which you are suffering, but I believe, from my own bitter disappointment on your behalf, I can feel what it is for you. You will have many consolations. I need not dwell upon them. But you must also give us the best consolation that we can have, and that is the assurance that we have not been mistaken in the high expectations we had formed of you. You have it still in your power, thank God, to turn your energies from this wretched turmoil to the pursuits which have made your name what it is. You can still show that, although not Boden Professor, you are and will remain the oracle of all who wish to know the secrets of Indian literature and religion. You can still by your writings show what the Christian religion may be to India and the world, as you could not do before, lest you should be suspected of unworthy motives. You can still show us how the Christian scholar and philosopher can put to silence by Christian magnanimity "the ignorance of foolish men." [Can one not hear the beloved little Dean's inimitable chuckle as he penned these words?] You can in this crisis of your life rise to the greatness of the occasion, and make your friends more proud of you, than if they had brought you into the Professorship by a majority of hundreds. "Leave off wrath and let go displeasure; fret not thyself, else shalt thou be moved to do evil." With bitter regrets at not having exerted myself more, with the truest sympathy for you and yours. Ever your sincere friend,

'A. P. Stanley.'

It was not easy to carry out his friend's advice, for not content with the signal victory they had gained, his opponents brought various utterly unfounded accusations against Max Muller, as that he had inspired an article in his favour which had appeared in the Times, and other equally vexing and untrue allegations, which, though triumphantly disproved by men like Dr. Pusey, the Provost of Queen's, Dr. Jacobson, Professor Mountague Bernard, and Mr. Dasent, the editor of the Times, were at the time distressing as tokens of personal animosity and malice. To a man of so loving and truthful a character, these attacks were peculiarly painful. His friend Regnier expressed the unanimous feeling of continental scholars in a letter in which he says, 'I kept on declaring, in spite of what any one could say, that your defeat was impossible.'

To his mother he wrote, December 16:—

'The last days have been full of disturbance. You will have seen by the papers that I did not get the Sanskrit Professorship. The opposite party made it a political and religious question, and nothing could be done against them. All the best people voted for me, the Professors almost unanimously, but the vulgus profanum [Google translate: profane crowd] made the majority. I was sorry, for I would gladly have devoted all my time to Sanskrit, and the income was higher; but we shall manage.'
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Re: The Life and Letters of The Right Hon. Friedrich Max Mul

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Part 2 of 2

Of this election Mr. Tuckwell writes:—

'I remember the contest for the Sanskrit Professorship, wherein I voted and, as far as I could, worked for him (Max Muller): an inferior candidate being preferred before him, first because Max was a German and therefore a "Germaniser"; secondly, because a friend of Bunsen must of necessity be heretical; thirdly, because it was unpatriotic to confer an English Chair on any but an Englishman.'

Canon Farrar thus describes this event:—

'Muller himself was made to feel the prejudice in Oxford against any novelty in 1860, when he was passed over for election to the Sanskrit Professorship. It is fair indeed to allow that it was not strictly political or religious opposition that was made to him; but the Englishman's dislike to an adopted son, and the feeling that it was not necessary to go afield to choose the absolutely best man, provided the candidate was respectable. I was of course on Muller's committee; but I soon found that there was no solid ground for hoping for his success; and hardly expected that he would poll so many votes as he did. But in truth Muller's claims were incomparable, as having really performed for early Sanskrit literature that which the Alexandrian scholars of the second century B.C. had performed for Homer, editing the text and reconstructing the antique grammar. Muller himself (this shows his goodness of heart) could not imagine why any other motive could outbalance the sole question as to who was the best candidate. He did not realize the stubborn fixedness of English and Oxford preference for an old Oxford man. Muller felt his disappointment. He was especially grieved with some of his opponent's committee; for he was a man of spirit and sensibility. He could feel the virtue of resentment, but was too noble to display the vice of revenge.'

But all other feelings were swallowed up by the terrible anxiety that fell upon Max Muller very soon after the election. On December 30 his first child, a girl, was born, and for two days his wife lay between life and death, and the doctors gave up all hope of saving her. The horror of that time he never forgot, and six months afterwards, writing to his friend Palgrave, who had lost his father, speaks thus of his experience:—

Oxford, July 8, 1861.

'My dear old Palgrave,—I should have tried to see you again to-day, but I know from experience that in the presence of great grief I have nothing to say, and for a loss like yours there is no comfort till we can say by ourselves, "Thy will be done." I remember but one time in my whole life when 1 could not say that, and my trials have been hard at times, harder than I thought I could have borne. But when my wife, whom I had loved for six years without the faintest hope of ever calling her my wife, when she, after one year of a blessed life, was for two days given up as hopeless by the doctors, then I broke down, and I could not say, "Thy will be done." And yet what is the tenure of all our happiness? Are we not altogether at the mercy of God? Would it not be fearful to live for one day unless we knew, and saw, and felt His presence and wisdom and love encompassing us on all sides? If we once feel that, then even death, even the death of those we love best and who love us best loses much of its terror: it is part and parcel of one great system of which we see but a small portion here, and which without death, without that bridge of which we see here but the first arch, would seem to me a mere mockery. That is why I said to you it is well that human art cannot prolong our life for ever, and in that sentiment I should think we both agree. I have felt much for you, more than I cared to say. We are trained differently, but we are all trained for some good purpose, . . . and the suffering which you have undergone is to me, like deep ploughing, the promise of a rich harvest.'

As soon as his wife was sufficiently recovered, Max Muller took her and his child to Ray Lodge, where they remained until June, he going once a week to Oxford for his lectures there. He joined the Maidenhead Company of the Berkshire Volunteers, to which his father and brothers-in-law already belonged, drilled and marched out regularly, and was soon an excellent marksman; though his drill-sergeant used to complain of his drill, and declare over and over again that 'those gentlemen who think were a difficulty,' as they did not readily become the mere machines which even now is still considered the perfection of a private soldier. Later in the summer, and in subsequent years, he camped out with his company. This he particularly enjoyed, and often in after years laughed over their experiences on the Downs and elsewhere with his kind friend Lord Wantage, who was Colonel of the Berkshire Volunteers.

The agitation about Essays and Reviews, which had been going on ever since the publication of the book, reached its high-water mark in this spring, when Canon (afterwards Dean) Stanley's famous article on that work appeared in the April number of The Edinburgh Review. Max Muller, knowing many of the contributors to Essays and Reviews^ had taken a keen interest in the whole affair, and discussed it in many a walk with Canon Stanley; but the following is the only letter found on the subject:—

To Canon Stanley.

Ray Lodge, April 17,

'I have not divulged the authorship, but I have just finished the article, and there is but one man in England that would have written it. I think that, next to Garibaldi, you are the bravest man in Europe and the liberty you are fighting for is worth more than the freedom of Italy. I am proud to be mentioned by you in your article and in your preface. As to myself, I try all I can to forget December 7, and I begin to feel that I shall do more, as I am now, than if I were in the easy-chair of Sanskrit. But I am afraid I shall never feel at home in Oxford again, though it was the place I loved most in all the world. I feel very nervous about my lectures in London; I am afraid they won't be interesting to many people. I shall publish them as soon as they are delivered.'

In April began the lectures at the Royal Institution. There are doubtless some still who remember the enthusiastic interest they excited, the lecture-room being more and more crowded as the course went on, whilst Albemarle Street was filled with the carriages of those who attended them. Max Muller was very nervous beforehand, but by the end of his first lecture he felt that he carried his audience with him, and the interested faces of Bishop Thirlwall, the late Duke of Argyll, Dean (then Canon) Stanley, F. D. Maurice, Dean Milman, Faraday, and John Stuart Mill, not to mention many others, were an incentive to him to give of his very best.

An intimate friend who was present at the lectures reported: 'Max Muller was quite self-possessed, his wife proudly humble.' A lady who attended these lectures thus recorded her recollections years afterwards: 'I remember him then as a slight, intellectual, and interesting-looking young man, with a very clear enunciation, and a perfect command of language, and it was amusing to meet him again a few years ago as a square-shouldered, elderly grandfather.'

'These lectures,' says Professor Macdonell in Man, February, 1901, 'afterwards published in an extended form, passed through a large number of editions, and soon raised their author to the rank of the standard authority on philology in the estimation of the English public. Though much of what is contained in these lectures is now out of date, there can be no doubt that they not only for the first time aroused general interest in the subject of comparative philology in England, but in their day also exercised a valuable stimulating influence on the work of scholars in the sixties and seventies. Here Max Muller first displayed that power of lucid popular exposition, and of investing a dry subject with abundant interest, which has more than anything else contributed to make his name at least as famous as that of any other scholar of the past century.'

In a most interesting lecture given on December 2, 1900, before the University of Allahabad, by Pundit Satish Chandra Banerjee, these lectures are thus described:—

'Nearly four decades have now rolled away since Max Muller delivered at the Royal Institution in London his "Lectures on the Science of Language," and so much has been done since, and mainly by the learned lecturer himself, to educate the popular consciousness, that it is difficult for us to realize to-day the value and importance of these lectures. As I turn over the pages of these volumes, I come across much that I feel disposed to characterize as the A B C of the science, much that seems scarcely to require the abundance of explanation and illustration with which Max Muller has thought fit to enforce and support it. But we have to remember that when these lectures were first delivered, much of this was new, novel, and startling; it was in fact a new light which was breaking forth upon the dark and then uninviting fields of Comparative Grammar and Philology.'

'It is,' said a contemporary review, 'a fact of no ordinary significance that, in the height of the London season, an enthusiastic audience of both sexes crowded the benches and endured the heat of a popular lecture-room, not to witness the brilliant experiments, or be fascinated by the revelations of a Faraday or an Owen, but to listen to a philosophical exposition of the inner mysteries of language.'

Max Muller has told in Auld Lang Syne of several amusing incidents connected with the delivery of his lectures, particularly of the slight estimation in which he was held by Anderson, Faraday's demonstrator, who was so well known to frequenters of the Royal Institution forty years ago, who could not understand a man wanting no gas or experiments, not even a blackboard at first. As soon as the lectures were over, the Max Mullers returned to Oxford. The printing of the lectures began at once, and the book was out by July 9. It passed through fourteen editions, and was rapidly translated into French, German, Italian, Russian, Swedish, and Dutch, and became a most popular book in America. It was chosen by Cardinal Newman as a favourite prize-book for boys.

On July 1 Max Muller had the delight of welcoming his mother to his home, and showing her his child. She remained until the middle of October, thoroughly enjoying her son's pretty house, and going with her children to stay at Ray Lodge, and Rugby, where one of the masters, Mr. Charles Arnold, with his German wife, were old friends of hers from 1856.

The summer passed quietly and happily away. Max Muller preparing the second edition of his Lectures on Language, and working at the fourth volume of the Rig-veda, which had been delayed for a time—first, by the change of power from the East India Company to the Crown, and the doubt whether Her Majesty's Government would continue the publication of the work, and secondly, by the loss of so many months in 1860 through the Sanskrit election.

The following letter is given as among the first of the long correspondence with Messrs. Longmans, Max Muller's valued publishers, the last letter of which, in his own handwriting, is dated August 25, 1901:—

To William Longman, Esq.

Oxford, October 21, 1861.

'I am much pleased to hear of the very rapid sale of my Lectures. I hardly expected a second edition, certainly not so soon. Some of the best reviews I believe are still to come, in the Times, Eraser, Edinburgh Review, Journal des Savants, &c. You must know best whether it is prudent to make as large an edition as the first. ... I fully appreciate the advantage of publishing my books with a firm such as yours, and I ascribe not a little of the success of my Lectures, as compared with the success of my earlier publications, to the popularity of your house, and your experience and judicious arrangement. So I hope we shall have no difficulty in coming to an equitable arrangement with regard to this, or any other books which I still have in petto [Google translate: in the chest], and hope to finish if all goes well.'

To Professor Bernays.

Translation. 64, High Street, November 1.

'Some time ago I sent you a sign of life, i.e. my Lectures, and I should much like to hear by letter how you are and what are your plans for your life. I am well, and I should much wish for you the same sunshine which Heaven has bestowed upon me, though a few dark clouds and storms belong to it also.

'How delightful if we could have you here! Germany is beautiful, but England is free, and I know how peculiarly such an atmosphere would agree with you. I have had lately a visit from George Bunsen —a brave fellow—but his father I miss more and more, and I am sure you do too. I have only just read the essay on Bunsen by Abeken, but something much more complete is to be desired. I have just begun to print a second edition of my Lectures on the Science of Language, and a very large one indeed. Can you send me, when you have read it, some corrections and additions? But it would have to be by return of post, as I have begun the printing already. I should like to talk to you about some points in it, but letter-paper is not sufficient for spiritual intercourse.

'Nothing new from here. Jowett has not been burnt, and the spark has not caught fire yet. But when it begins to burn, it will burn thoroughly. Pattison has married a young wife, and is now Rector of Lincoln College. Is there anything new to read in Germany? I have only just read Strauss's Ulrich von Hutten with great interest.'

To M. Renan.

Oxford, November 17.

'I heard the other day of your return from the East, and should have written to you at once to congratulate you and your friends on your safe arrival, if M. Durand, who mentioned your being at Paris, had not told me at the same time that you were in deep affliction1 [The sister who had educated Renan died at Beyrout of fever.], and, as far as I could understand him, suffering also yourself from illness. Those afflictions are too sacred to allow any one to intrude on the sufferer, with the expression of even the most sincere sympathy. They bring us face to face with our Father in Heaven, and when we speak and struggle with Him we want to be alone, quite alone. I speak from what I felt myself about a year ago, when my wife was given up by all physicians, and at last restored to me miraculously, I mean through the mercy of God. I have gone through much trouble since I last wrote to you, but yet I feel more like myself again, and begin to see that all was as it ought to be. We both lost a true friend in Bunsen. ... I had another severe trial in failing to obtain the Chair of Sanskrit at Oxford: calumnious falsehood and vulgar electioneering tactics caused the result, and deprived me of the one sphere where I might have worked with all my heart and soul. However, I have got over that; I dare say it would have made my life too perfect, and disappointments are good discipline. Lastly, I want to send you a book, my Lectures on the Science of Language: I gave them in London, and they were well attended. I have now printed them, and am preparing a second and very large edition. I need not say I am anxious to have your opinion more than that of any one else. Whether for good or evil, the book has struck root in England, and there is to be a German translation in a very short time. I believe it contains some things that are new, some that are true, and some that will have to be given up as we advance towards the truer knowledge of the mysteries of human speech.'

Kind permission has been given to insert this letter:—

From Dean Liddell.

Christ Church, Oxford,

November 16, 1861.

'My dear Muller,—Few things, of late, have given me so much satisfaction as reading your Lectures, though perhaps I should have had yet more satisfaction if the book had been addressed to readers and not hearers. Will you bear with me if I jot down one or two points which I think require more precision or fullness of statement, in a new edition, which I hope will be (as I am sure it ought to be) wanted soon. It is humiliating to hear that these lectures have been delivered to the heedless ears of Oxford hearers.

'(1) In the last chapter, you use "as an illustration only, not as an explanation," the fact that metals, &c., ring a sound, each with its proper sound.

'How far do you mean the analogy with human speech to go ? Do you mean that each attribute denoted by a Root—as ma, ku, &c.—is expressed by that Root as peculiarly and properly as gold or silver by their respective ring? or do you mean, generally, that man as naturally expresses each general idea by some sound, as gold is betrayed by its peculiar ring, &c.? Has each general idea its own sound, or only a sound? I am unable to collect from your statements which you intend. For, while your argument seems to imply that each idea has its own proper sound, I cannot but doubt that you really mean to carry the analogy so far. If you do, I think a good deal more is required to prove the statement. If you do not, a few words are needed to guard against such a conclusion.

'(2) Is not the term "Theoretical Stage" of science somewhat inaccurate? Theoretical questions arise in the infancy of all sciences, and doubtless they cannot be answered till the process of classification is far advanced or even completed. If this is what you mean, I think your general and absolute statements respecting the three stages require modification. I am aware that (p. 20) you admit that "there have been instances" in which theoretical questions have arisen even in the first stage. I have my doubts whether this is not the rule rather than the exception. Look for instance at the ancient Physics. Look at Smith's and Stewart's Theories of Language, &c.

'(3) I note a few special points that have caught my eye—(p. 21): "I expect we shall have to do something else." This, I think, is hardly a classical use of the term "expect." It would be impertinent in me to express admiration of the almost uniform precision of your English. . . . [Various other small corrections follow.]

'Yours very truly,

'Henry G. Liddell.'

Max Muller's mother left him when the autumn weather set in, and he writes to her:—

Translation. 64, High Street, November 20.

'I have not been well enough to write much lately, but have read a good deal, among other books Varnhagen's new work. It is wonderfully interesting, and shows signs of a very noble nature, though weak and cross-grained. He misunderstands many people, and therefore dislikes them—as specially Bunsen. His expressions with regard to him are really infamous, but I don't care for that: words do not make truth, and what he says is not true. One must not mind such false judgement of really noble impulses. As a picture of political and mental efforts, of the stupidity, even madness, of the Government, the book is invaluable. How furious the people in Berlin will be! That the publication has been allowed at all shows the advance made since 1848.'

Early in December, Max Muller received a letter from a gentleman in California, who had read his Lectures, urging him to study 'the philological connexion of the Indian languages of Mexico and the Alta California, and thus possibly find a key to trace its ante-Columbian history.' Though Max always felt a keen interest in the North American Indian languages, and when the Mohawk undergraduate Oronhyatakha was in Oxford, prepared a skeleton Mohawk grammar from what he learnt from him, the subject was too remote from his own special line of study, and required far too much time for him to take it up, though he was constantly urging the duty of doing so on American students, and was always very much interested in the publications of the Smithsonian Institute of Washington.

To His Wife.

Oxford, November, 1861.

'It is so difficult not to grow very fond of this life and all its happiness, but the more we love it the more we suffer, for we know we must lose it, and it must all pass away. Does love pass away too? I cannot believe it. God made us as we are, many, instead of one; Christ died for all of us individually, and such as we are—beings incomplete in themselves, and perfect only through love to God on one side, and through love to man on the other. We want both kinds of love for our very existence, and therefore in a higher and better existence too the love of kindred souls may well exist together with our love of God. We need not love those we love most on earth less in heaven, though we may love all better than we do on earth. After all, love seems only the taking away those unnatural barriers which divide us from our fellow creatures—it is only the restoration of that union which binds us altogether in God, and which has been broken on earth we know not how. In Christ alone that union was preserved, for He loved us all with a love warmer than the love of a husband for his wife, or a mother for her child. He gave His life for us, and if we ask ourselves there is hardly a husband or a mother who would really suffer death for his wife or her child. Thus we see that even what seems to us the most perfect love is very far as yet from the perfection of love which drives out the whole self and all that is selfish, and we must try to love more, not to love less, and trust that what is imperfect here is not meant to be destroyed, but to be made perfect hereafter. With God nothing is imperfect; without Him everything is imperfect. We must live and love in God, and then we need not fear: though our life seem chequered and fleeting, we know that there is a home for us in God, and rest for all our troubles in Christ.'

To M. Renan.

Oxford, November 30, 1861.

'I was touched when I saw to-day in the Journal des Debats your thoughtful and sorrowful lines on the death of our old friend d'Eckstein. I had long been without news from him, and now that he is gone I regret and I reproach myself for not having written to him more frequently. His death reminds me of the happy time in 1846 when I was at Paris attending Burnouf's lectures, and when d'Eckstein helped me and encouraged me, and when I was fighting my way through difficulties which now would seem to me almost insurmountable. And yet I was never so happy as in those days, when sometimes I had to go without a dinner because I could not pay for it, and when I used to copy for d'Eckstein, who paid me for my work in his own generous way. Yes, we have lost many men whom we can hardly afford to spare; we still suffer from Burnouf's death, we shall long miss the presence of our friend Bunsen, but when I think of what we have lost I feel it all the more a duty to live, to work in their spirit, and thus to keep alive, as it were, some small portion of their spirit. I am sure you will feel the same, for you have a great work before you; you are wanted and you will not fail. I should like to hear from you that you are well, in body and mind, and that you do not lose your faith in the work which you have begun, and in the work which is still before you. The revival of learning in the fifteenth century was the dawn of Reformation, and I believe a similar era is approaching to fulfil what the Reformers intended, but which was frustrated by political events. You have an element in France which, if properly advised and directed, might become a most powerful engine for good, as it may be, if left in bad hands, for evil. Germany must follow the example of Italy, and must look not only for political union, but for religious union on high and neutral ground. In England too there is a yearning after real Christianity, though the struggle will be a hard one. It is a time worth living for, and I feel convinced that you will be wanted even for a greater work than that of finishing your Histoire des Langues Semitiques [Google translator: History of Semitic Languages].'

Max Muller and his wife were at Brighton at the time of the Prince Consort's death. Though he had seen but little of the Prince, Max had the truest admiration for his character, and seems to have felt strongly how much the country which misunderstood and misrepresented the noble Prince to the last, really owed him. He had sent his Lectures to the Prince as soon as published, and they had been most kindly acknowledged. They were by the bedside of the Prince at the beginning of his illness, as if lately read. Gracious permission has been given to insert the following letter, written nearly twenty years later, when the Queen sent Max Muller the last volume of the Prince Consort's Life. The five volumes, each with Max Muller 's name written and signed inside by the gracious Sovereign whose subject he was proud to be, will remain a precious heirloom to his children and children's children.

'Oxford, den 13ten Mai 1880.

'Eurer Majestat lege ich meinen tiefgefuhlten Dank unterthanigst zu Fussen fur den letzten Band des Life of the Prince Consort von Sir Th. Martin.

'Der Verfasser hat von neuem seine sichere Kunst, seinen richtigen Takt, sein tiefes Verstandniss und seine ehrfurchtsvolle Auffassung der ihm gewordenen Aufgabe herrlich bewahrt, und das Geschick, mit dem er die ihm anvertrauten "goldenen Faden" in sein eigenes Gewebe hineingewebt, so dass Jeder, der Augen hat, sie sieht und fuhlt, und sie doch nie die Harmonic des Ganzen storen, beweist die geubte Hand des wahren Meisters.

'Mit ernsten Gefuhlen schliesst man das Buch und trennt sich von ihm wie man sich schweren Herzens von einem lieben Grabe trennt. Wie anders hatte die Welt sein konnen, wie viel Gutes ware moglich, wie manches Unrecht unmoglich, wenn zwei Augen sich nicht so fruh geschlossen! Auf das Warum, das immer und immer wiederkehrt, kann die menschliche Vernunft keine Antwort geben. Nur ein fester Glaube an eine Weisheit und eine Liebe, die Alles ubersteigt, was wir Weisheit und Liebe nennen, bringt, wenn auch nicht Trost, doch Ruhe und Frieden auf den einsamen Lebensweg. Was wirklich unser war, das kann keine Macht uns rauben, und nichts auf Erden bleibt uns so sicher als der Besitz vergangenen Glucks.

'Mit wahrer Verehrung habe ich die Ehre zu verbleiben

'Eurer Majestat dankbarer und unterthanigster Diener,

'F. Max Muller.'


Translation. 'OXFORD, May 13, 1880. YOUR MAJESTY,—I beg most humbly to offer the expression of my deeply-felt gratitude for the last volume of the Life of the Prince Consort, by Sir Theodore Martin. The editor has again nobly proved his sure skill, his true tact, his deep sagacity, and his respectful comprehension of the task committed to him. The dexterity with which, without disturbing the harmony of the whole, he has spun the "golden thread" entrusted to him into his own material, so that every one who has eyes sees and feels it, shows the practised hand of the true master. One closes the book with solemn feelings, and leaves it with a heavy heart as one leaves a loved grave. How different the world might have been, how much good had been possible, if two eyes had not been closed too soon! Human reason can give no answer to the wherefore that returns over and over again. Only firm faith in a wisdom and a love that is far above all we call wisdom and love, brings —if not comfort—yet rest and peace on the lonely path of life. What was really ours, no power can take from us, and nothing on earth remains so surely ours as the possession of bygone happiness.—With deep respect, I have the honour to be your Majesty's grateful and most obedient servant, F. Max Muller.'

To His Mother.

Translation. December 15.

'What will you say to the death of Prince Albert? He died last night at eleven of gastric fever. This will involve great changes. The Queen can hardly bear the whole burden alone, so there may be a Regency, probably with the Prince of Wales, at first for three months only. It is a fearful loss for the Queen, who has no one who can so help her: and the whole country will long feel his loss. So everything teaches us that our home is not here, but beyond, and that here there is no lasting happiness. How many have gone before us these last years! Would that we were convinced that we must soon follow, and that everything here is but a preparation for what is better!'

To M. Renan.

Brighton, December 16.

'My dear Friend,—I have read your letter with deep interest and sympathy. Such trials as you have had to pass through are not sent without a purpose, and if you say that they have changed your views of life, such a change in a character like yours can only be a change in advance, a firmer faith in those truths which have been revealed to the dim sight of human nature, a stronger will to resist all falsehood and tampering with the truth, and a deeper conviction that we owe our life to Him who has given it, and that we must fight His battle when He calls us to do it. I am not afraid that you could ever desert the post which you have so nobly occupied, and though I am rejoiced to hear that a sphere of honourable activity will be open to you as a successor of Quatremere, I cannot believe that Science alone will ever fill the whole of your heart. I cannot help believing that we are on the eve of great religious and philosophic struggles. There is a longing after true and primitive Christianity in the best spirits of England, France, and Germany, and there is a general desire after an outward union and communion, which is possible only on the basis of that faith which was in Christ as the Son of God, and which is the lifespring of all religion, however different the wordings of formulas and sects. With the restitution of the Papacy to its true function, a great step will have been made. Germany at the time of the Reformation objected to an Italian Pope much more than to the head of a Church. So did England, so to a great extent did France. As soon as the Pope has ceased to be Prince of Rome, a movement will begin in which the true purposes of the Reformers will be realized and through which negative Catholicism, as you call it, will become positive Catholicity. In that movement much will turn on France, and on your Emperor, and that is why I wish to see at his side honest, wise, and learned men. I am staying at Brighton with my wife, who has been very ill, but is now much better. I have just finished my second edition o^ my Lectures on the Science of Language. I should like to know what you think of them. I know we differ, and in my second volume I shall have to fight with you, but I hope and trust that our literary differences will only draw us more closely together. There is that charm about your views and opinions, that they are carved out of marble and not out of plaster. They stand out clearly and firmly and one may grapple with them, but when I read a work of Steinthal's, and even many parts of Humboldt, I feel as if walking through shifting clouds. It may be my fault, there may be much depth of wisdom in all that darkness and vagueness, but I cannot help thinking that there is nothing that cannot be made clear, and bright, and simple, and that obscurity arises in all cases from slovenly thinking and lazy writing. Adieu. Yours with sincere regard.'

To Professor Benfey.

Translation. Oxford, December 17.

'Though I have put my Oxford address at the head of this letter, I am sitting in reality in Brighton, and from my window I look upon the sea about twenty steps from here. Both of us, I as well as my wife, needed sea-air, and so we hope to enjoy this refreshing atmosphere here till Christmas. Many thanks for your letter. I have also made use of Strabo's remarks about the population of the Caucasus. In a few days a second edition of my Lectures on Language will be ready. My chief aim has been reached: the book has been read and has excited great interest in the science of language. It is my conviction that we know nothing really which we cannot teach (I think Aristotle was of the same opinion), and that nothing exists which cannot be clearly and intelligibly expressed. It requires time and trouble indeed, but it is effective, and that is the greatest reward of all work and study.

'The death of Prince Albert is an incalculable loss. It is only now people seem to realize that something good can come even from Germany.'

Christmas was spent at Ray Lodge, quietly, as it was throughout England. The thought of their widowed Queen, and the sad Christmas at Osborne, weighed on all hearts, and the universal mourning, not only in the upper classes, but among servants, tradespeople, and even the poor, showed how the nation was sorrowing with their loved Sovereign.
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Re: The Life and Letters of The Right Hon. Friedrich Max Mul

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Part 1 of 2


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.

On their return from Ray Lodge to Oxford, Max Muller settled down to work at the Rig-veda, determined that the fourth volume should appear this year. In fact, the whole year was one of strenuous work, for a second edition of his Lectures on Language came out before the end of January, and a third in May, before the book had been out eleven months, each edition being of 1,250 copies.

Towards the end of January he went to Lord Ashburton's for a couple of days, and from there he writes to his wife:—

The Grange, Alresford, January 24, 1862.

'I had a miserable day for travelling, pouring all the time. However, I found all my trains quite right, and arrived at Winchester about one. There I went to Mr. Moberly, one of the masters, and had luncheon. They have a baby five days older than ours, but she cannot run yet. Then we went to Dr. Moberly's, and with him all over the school and cathedral. He explained it all most excellently, but we must go there together. The cathedral is magnificent, but when I have you with me, and sunshine, it will be much more magnificent.... At half-past three I started for a nine miles' drive, and arrived here in time for tea. Lady Ashburton seems very pleasant, and he is a perfect English nobleman—I mean what he ought to be. I got your letter this morning, and I hope you got mine. Yes, we are very happy^ and I feel as if this life could give us no greater happiness than has been ours these two bright years, and that if we are called away sooner or later we ought to part cheerfully, knowing that this earth could give no more than has been ours, and looking forward to our new home as to a more perfect state, where all that was good and true and unselfish in us will live and expand, and all that was bad and mean will be purified and cast off. So let us work here as long as it is day, but without fearing the night that will lead us to a new and brighter dawn of life. I wish you had been here with me, for it is a delightful place, and very pleasant people. Mrs. Sartoris is the Mrs. S. Adelaide Kemble, and she still sings most beautifully. The Bishop of London, too, appeared at dinner, and is staying here. To-night I hear the Bishop of Winchester is expected. The house is full of the most exquisite treasures of art, such pictures! Van Dyck, Titian, Velasquez, Andrea del Sarto, &c. This morning it was bright, and we had a long ride; we started with about twelve horses, and such beauties they all were, and even your old husband had a splendid gallop, but came home quite drenched with rain. We were caught by a pouring shower, and when I came home I had no second coat, and had to appear at luncheon in my Volunteer cape—a splendid figure. Then I found I had not got my grey trousers, but had taken an old pair. However, I contrived to hide them in my cape, and looked a regular night watchman. In the afternoon I sat in my room and read, and now I am looking forward to to-morrow, when I shall have you and the little one again. They have a little one here, eighteen months old, a very nice girl, but no boy coming—and that must be a disappointment with such a place to leave. We have had a very pleasant time, and if they ask us both I shall be very glad to come again.'

On February 31 his second child, another little girl, was born, and he writes to give his mother the good news, adding, 'A little boy would have been nicer, but I am quite as pleased with a little daughter, and girls give less trouble and anxiety than boys.'

To Professor Bernays.

Translation. 64 High Street, February 23.

'Sooner than I expected I have received from my publisher the prospect of a third edition [of the Lectures], and I write therefore to remind you of your kind promise to send me some "corrections and additions"; it would be the more welcome, as a translation into German by Professor C. Bottger in Dessau is to appear at the same time, and the German reviewers have sharper eyes than the English ones. Last week I lived in great disquietude, and the day before yesterday I became father for the second lime. Thank God, all passed over happily, but the anxiety and trouble is so great, I feel quite exhausted and ill, and the doctor sent me to bed, but I did not stay there long.

'I had a visit to-day from a Mohawk Indian; he has learnt Latin and Greek, he has come to Oxford to study here, but fancy! he has brought his feather garb with him, but according to the statutes of the University, I am afraid he may not wear it. I found the man very intelligent, and the savages more tolerant than many a civilized man.

'Aufrecht has got the Professorship of Sanskrit in Edinburgh. It was offered to me (£500), but I could not make up my mind to leave Oxford, and I am so glad to know that Aufrecht is now so well provided for. I do not know whether you have ever met him. He is just thinking of publishing a new edition of his Umbrian and Oscan Inscriptions.

'Have you read the hyper-sceptic and somewhat arrogant book of Sir Cornewall Lewis, Historical Survey of Ancient Astronomy? Lepsius and Mommsen ought to answer him.'

Oronhyatakha, the Mohawk mentioned above, was a most interesting man. Dr. Acland had met him when he was in Canada with the Prince of Wales, and said something which the Indian interpreted as an invitation to Oxford. At all events, early in 1862 he appeared, having been helped in his passage-money by friends. With a wild man's feelings about hospitality, he expected Dr. Acland to receive him in his house, and provide for him. He had been well taught in Canada at a missionary school, and funds were soon collected to enable him to study at Oxford. He used to come regularly to Max Muller, who by dint of much questioning extracted a skeleton grammar of the Mohawk tongue from him. Not that he knew what grammar meant, but by getting him to translate the English equivalents, a student could arrange the grammatical framework. One day, when writing down some declension or conjugation, Max Muller suddenly saw an irregularity, and stopping him, said, 'Why do you say that? It ought to be so-and-so.' The Mohawk looked puzzled at first, and said, 'What you say is the way my old grandmother talked, but we now say as I have told you,' thus showing the rapidity with which an unwritten language may change. Oronhyatakha went on very well in Oxford, but some unfavourable accounts were received of him from some of the missionaries to the Red Indians, and it was thought best to send him back to Canada. He was very unhappy, and the day he came to say good-bye to Max Muller he looked very fierce, and said, 'I buried my tomahawk, but I know where to find it.' He quieted down, however, on arriving in Canada, where he trained as a medical man, and as such has done good work among the settled portion of his own people.

The following letter was written by Max Muller to his old friend Baroness Bunsen, on hearing of the death of her daughter, Baroness Ungern-Sternberg; it shows that in the midst of his own happiness he did not forget to 'weep with those that weep.'

64, High Street, April 2.

'I saw in the papers the sad news of the new loss you have suffered, and though I fear almost to intrude on your grief, which is sacred ground, yet I cannot but send you a few words of sympathy to tell you how deeply I share in your affliction. Your husband's death I feel to-day as keenly as when I first heard of it. I feel it as an affliction that has fallen, not on you only, but on all of us; the world is changed since he has left it. Life has lost something of its brightness since those bright eyes and that bright sound of his voice closed. Some part of ourselves is dead in his death. I did not write to you then, because words are such poor things, but I have mourned for him; I always shall, not only as for a friend, but as for a man such as I shall never see again. When I saw the loss of your young, blooming daughter, all the happy days of Carlton Terrace came back like a dream. How perfectly happy your life was then; it was happiness even to watch it. And yet God knows that we want rain and storm as much as sunshine, and He sends us both as seems best to His love and wisdom. When all breaks down. He lifts us up. I have myself suffered deep grief—for three days my wife's life was despaired of. But when we feel quite crushed and forsaken and alone, we then feel the real presence of our truest Friend, who, whether by joys or sorrows, is always calling us to Him, and leading us to that true Home where we shall find Him, and in Him all we loved, with Him all we believed, and through Him all we hoped for and aspired to on earth. Our broken hearts are the truest earnest of everlasting life. May He who alone can send comfort help you to bear the affliction which He has sent. My wife begs me to add the expression of her deep sympathy, and I remain, with sincere regard, yours very truly, 'M. M.'

To His Mother.

Translation. Oxford, April 6.

'I am hard at work, and am printing my Veda and a third edition of my Lectures. Our garden is very gay, full of tulips and hyacinths, and is a great amusement to us. I get but little time for reading. I read the Mendelssohn letters with great delight. They are interesting to those who knew the man, and show his great amiability, but the right pith is wanting sometimes. They have been translated into English. I have not yet seen Varnhagen's new volume. The weather here is very bad, and Oxford is surrounded with water.'

To His Wife.

Oxford, April 19.

'It is so difficult not to lead a selfish life, placed as we are, with all our duties at home and with hardly any duties to fulfil which are really painful. I feel I ought to work, and do nothing but work, but then I like my work, and though I believe in the end it will answer some good and important purpose, yet whatever I do redounds to my own benefit too. ... I sometimes think I ought to give more time to you and to society, but I have a feeling that time is so precious, and I have a good work before me, and I should like, with God's assistance, to finish it. It will serve to show the glory of God in the government of the world from the beginning; it will show that there was no portion of mankind ever forsaken by our common Father; and though His ways with the various races of men are wonderful, and at first very perplexing, we must learn from God and not attempt to prescribe to Him how He might better have brought about His mysterious purposes with the sons of men. Well, I feel I ought not to forsake that work; small as it may seem, it will be an important element hereafter for a true appreciation of the history of the world—that great drama in which nothing is without a purpose and a meaning, from the beginning to the end. Much of my work at present is only clearing away rubbish, and would not interest you, but there is a temple underneath, as will appear by-and-by.'

M. Stanislas Julien had persuaded him to send in his Lectures on Language in competition for the Prix Volney. On July 29 he received the following letter from M. Flourens, the head of the Commission, announcing his success:—

Institut de France, July 28.

'Monsieur,—Permettez-moi de vous annoncer que la Commission du Prix Volney a decerne, tout d'une voix, le prix a votre bel ouvrage.

'Le plus ignorant de vos juges, et le plus heureux de votre succes,



Translation. 'Sir,—Allow me to announce to you that the Commission of the Prix Volney have unanimously adjudged the prize to your beautiful work. The most ignorant of your judges and the most happy at your success,—Flourens.'

It will be remembered this was the second time the prize had been awarded to Max Muller, as author of the best work on language, written in any language during the year.

To His Mother.

Translation. Oxford, May 29.

'I am very well, though I have so much work. I do not know often how I shall get through it all. I have so many examinations— six to get through in the next two months. It is tedious work, but brings in money. How I wish you could see our garden! The roses and pinks are coming out, and all looks so fresh, and is a great delight to us. The middle of June we think of going to London for a fortnight to see the Exhibition.'

The Kingsleys came to stay with the Max Mullers this year for Commemoration, bringing their eldest daughter. Jenny Lind, who came for one of the concerts, dined one evening at the Max Mullers', and as many people were asked to meet her as the rooms would hold. Deichmann, the violinist, was of the party, and there was also some good amateur singing, but the host and hostess could not ask their distinguished guest to sing. At last, she herself walked to the piano, and sang, accompanied by her husband, five songs by Schumann, one after another. It was very hot weather, and the windows were all open, and High Street filled rapidly at the first sound of the great singer's voice, which rang out into the night, and was heard for a considerable distance. Mr. Tuckwell recalls the scene in his reminiscences;—

'I was his guest sometimes in his pretty house opposite the Magdalen elms, where played Deichmann—

Whose bowing seemed made
For a hand with a jewel—
where Jenny Lind warbled, and Charles Kingsley stammered in impassioned tete-a-tete!

Another reminiscence of Mr. Tuckwell's belongs to this year. Max Muller 'consulted me about two matters in which, strange to say, I was better informed than he—the art of budding roses, and the conduct of marine aquaria. He watched me one day in our garden putting in some buds, and tried his hand, but gave it up presently, saying, "While you are budding a dozen standards, I can earn £5 by writing an article."'

During this year more than one letter passed between Max Muller and his old friend Dr. Patteson, the Missionary Bishop of Melanesia, who had found the Lectures on Language a great help to him in studying the many dialects of his scattered diocese.

The Rev. R. H. Codrington writes:—

To Mrs. Max Muller.

St. Richard's Walk, Chichester, March 6, 1901.

. . . 'One thing I very well remember, and that was the Bishop's personal affection for your husband. I don't see that Miss Yonge has mentioned in her Life of the Bishop that they met at Dresden when both were young men. The Bishop certainly cherished the memory of those times, and when he talked, as he often used, of the great work of the Professor at Oxford, he used always to speak as a warm friend, not as fellow worker in languages or a learner. He always gave a copy of the Lectures on the Science of Language (when he could get one) to men who joined the mission, and he advised us to start with as much knowledge of that book as we could get. For my own part, I am sure that I never should have made any progress in the study of Melanesian languages but for the help and encouragement that I got in that way, and afterwards when on my return for a time to England I was wishing to write something. My own gratitude will never fail. . . . Yours very sincerely,

'R. H. Codrington.'

From Bishop Patteson.

Auckland, N. Z., May 30, 1862.

'My dear Muller,—I am very glad to have your book, and more glad still to have a copy of it from you. Edwin Palmer sent me a copy two or three months ago. I have not read it yet, reserving it as a treat for my sea life, which begins again now in about ten days. I wish I could write to you fully about these Melanesian languages. I don't know enough of them to write briefly, and I don't want to take up your time. Gabelentz has sent me his Grammar. I am in communication with him. He is on the right track, and has done a great deal with exceedingly scanty materials.

'The division usually made between Polynesian and Melanesian dialects is an arbitrary one. It is true that east of the Fiji group the Polynesian language is met with in a much purer form than in the| West Pacific, but Fiji is more than half Polynesian; its structure almost wholly so; and the Polynesian element is carried, to my certain knowledge, through all the Banks Islands and all the New Hebrides, and it comes out very clearly in several of the Solomon group; and I found it well developed the other day when I first landed at Ysabel, and found that I could talk somewhat to the people after a short time.

'I believe I might say almost as much of the Santa Cruz Archipelago, but I don't know as much. The Loyalty Islands contain but few affinities with the Polynesian. I don't mean to say that these dialects cannot be classified by one who knows a little of philology; I could prove it to you, if you were here, in five minutes, I am sure; and I am satisfied that if a man had the ability and knowledge of all the dialects, he could reconstruct the original language, or something very near it, just as one puts together a child's puzzle. Practically, till one knows a good many of them, they of course appear to be, and have to be learnt as, separate unconnected languages; the difference of dialect being often very wide.

'What an indication of the jealousy and suspicion of their lives the extraordinary multiplicity of these languages affords! In each generation, for aught I know, they diverge more and more; provincialisms and local words, &c., perpetually introduce new causes of perplexity.

'Well, enough of this; and indeed I have no time to study these languages scientifically, so how can I write about them? I need not tell you that I heartily regret the blunder about the Sanskrit Professorship. From Sir Wm. Martin I have heard something of you; he met you, you may remember, at Oxford. If you can find time to send me a line, I shall be very glad; but I know you are much occupied.

'I am, my dear Muller, very sincerely yours,

'J. C. Patteson, Missionary Bishop.'

When the Commemoration was over, the Max Mullers spent a fortnight in London, to see the Exhibition. They dined out constantly with their many friends. At a dinner at Mr. William Longman's, a Frenchman who was of the party, and was particularly anxious to make Max Muller's acquaintance, was overheard in the course of the evening to say, 'I did not know a man so learned shall be so very young!'[/quote]

To Mr. William Longman.

Oxford, July 27.

'I know that you will be glad to hear that my Lectures have just been awarded the Prix Volney by the French Academy. The prize is given for the best work on Comparative Philology, and it is open to all countries. The prize is only 1,200 francs, but it is very pleasant to have got it, and I hope it will help to sell the third edition.'

To His Wife.

London, July 7.

'All I can say is that I have heard and read the worst that can be said against our religion—I mean the true original teaching of Christ; and I feel that I am ready in mind, if not in body, to lay down my life for the truth of His teaching. All our difficulties arise from the doctrines of men, not from His doctrine. There is no outward evidence of the truth of His doctrine, but the Spirit of God that is within us. He testifieth to its truth. If it does not, we are not yet disciples of Christ, but we may be hereafter. But more of that later. Be certain of this, that to repress a doubt is to repress the spirit of truth; a doubt well spoken out is generally a doubt solved. Only all this requires great seriousness of mind—it must assume an importance greater than anything else in life, and then we can fight our way through it. God is with us in our struggles.'

To Rev. Charles Kingsley.


'Ranke (The Popes, &c.) is staying here for a week, and very anxious to make your acquaintance. Could you come here for a day to see him? He dines with us next Saturday, but any other day will do. Next Monday Ewald will be here; he has been here for a fortnight, but comes back all the way from Penrith to see Stanley. If our spare room is occupied (we expect the Walronds), we can always get you a bed close by. I think you would like Ewald—more even than Ranke.'

Ewald's visit has been fully described in the Autobiography, and the way he was cross-examined by some of the younger M.A.'s. He was a most lovable old man in private intercourse, though a fiery opponent of anything like political tyranny. His power of work was almost phenomenal; he would spend the whole day at the Bodleian, moving across to the Camera when the great library closed, sometimes returning there again after a late dinner. Canon Farrar records an incident of this visit of Ewald to Oxford:—

'Ranke and Ewald were both in Oxford in the middle of the Long Vacation. I determined to ask them to dinner together, though I dreaded a little friction between them, of Gottingen versus Berlin, and of Theology versus Modern History. I asked Canon Stanley and Muller to meet them. It was due to Muller's extreme tact that conversation was kept up and yet friction avoided. Ranke, oddly enough, had his head full of the probable danger to be apprehended in reference to European politics from Servia and Bulgaria (which afterwards proved true), and we could not get him to talk with interest on anything else. Muller showed his cleverness and shrewd common sense by imparting a vein of humour to the conversation, which prevented a painful outburst of disagreement; for Muller had a vein of true humour. It was not sallies of wit, abrupt outbursts of the comic, but a playful fun which flowed like a purling brook, intertwining itself with conversation, and which put crooked spirits in harmony.

'I have already implied that Muller had remarkable powers of conversation: he was always lively and always instructive. His mastery of English, both in voice and pronunciation, and of purity of style in writing, was a marvel. To this ought to be added a pellucid clearness of exposition and description, even in most abstract subjects, which is seen to some extent in his German tracts as well as more conspicuously in his English writings. His syntax was so free from entanglement, and his language so forceful and expressive, that no reader had to halt to ask himself the meaning of what he read.'

It was in the course of the summer that Max Muller received an interesting account from Dr. Martin Haug, director of Sanskrit studies at the College of Poona, of a great assembly of Brahmin Pundits held outside the town, in order to correct their MSS. of the Rig-veda by the three first published volumes of his great edition. The Pundits would not touch the books themselves, as the printing made them impure, an idea having got abroad that cows' blood was used in mixing the ink employed. But they sat in solemn conclave for some days, and Max Muller's carefully prepared text was read aloud, and the MSS. corrected by it. 'Their judgement,' says Dr. Haug, 'is to this effect. This edition must be written by a great Pundit versed in the Vedas and Sastras (veda-sastra sampanum), the highest title of honour of a learned man in India.' Dr. Haug then speaks of the difficulty of getting trustworthy copies of ancient Sanskrit MSS. 'Not that there are no good MSS. existing, but they are to be found generally in the possession of rich superstitious Brahmans, who do not admit Europeans to their libraries, and when copies are made for Sahibs, they are made intentionally bad and incomplete. One of my Brahman friends told me this the other day.'

The following letter is the first of a correspondence which was carried on till within a few months of Mr. Gladstone's death. An ardent Liberal from his University days, Max Muller was a great admirer of Mr. Gladstone, and a member of his Oxford committees till his rejection by the University in 1865, But Max Muller could not follow Mr. Gladstone's Home Rule policy, and was a determined Unionist, a Liberal Unionist, and in the contests in the borough of Oxford voted 'blue' for the last ten years of his life, though his deep respect for Mr. Gladstone's intellectual gifts, and the spell cast by his personality, remained in full force to the last.

To The Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone.

64, High Street, September 7, 1862.

'My dear Sir,—I beg to thank you for your kind letter. It was a true gratification to me to hear that my Lectures have attracted your attention, and that on the whole you approved of them. I am fully and painfully aware of the many and doubtful points in them, but I am quite satisfied if I have only succeeded in engaging the interest of a few thoughtful scholars in favour of a science which I feel convinced has still to teach us many important lessons. The sooner my book is superseded by a better one the better. I hope next spring to give a new series of lectures on the same subject, and intend then to enter more fully into the relation between Language and Thought, particularly in ancient times. One of the most important fields where the influence of language on thought—the Tartar's bow, as Bacon calls it—has been at work, is Ancient Mythology, but at the same time nothing is so beset with difficulties as the scientific analysis of mythological names. They belong to a very primitive stratum of language, and are full of anomalies; yet even these anomalies point to laws which determine their formation. Until these laws are discovered, until we can account for every letter, whether radical or formative, in the names of the Arian gods, all guesses at their original conception must be checked. It is almost a truism, but nevertheless a very important truth in the Science of Language, that the first meaning of every word is its etymological meaning. That meaning may grow and change, it may shift to the opposite pole of the compass; yet, if we want to know the first impulse which led to the formation of certain names and notions—of nomina or numina [Google translate: names or deities]  —the only answer, if any, must be given by etymology. Now as to the name of Ares to which you refer in your letter, I confess that I know nothing at all satisfactory as to its etymology. I cannot find out (1) whether [x] shows any signs of an initial digamma, viz. whether the root from which it is derived began with a semi-vowel or with a vowel; (2) I am puzzled by the accent of [x], for in adjectives in [x] the accent is generally on the last; (3) I am perplexed by the declension, where, as far as I know, no crasis ever takes place in the gen. eos, &c. Till these difficulties are removed, it is impossible to fix on any etymology, or rather, I should say, no etymology can be satisfactory which does not account for all these anomalies. I think it was in your book on Homer that I read the last account of Ares (I have not got it by me to-day), but I have no doubt that you are right in representing Ares as a Thracian god. The coincidence between Aria as the name of Thrace and Ares is therefore curious. But how are the two words to be reconciled.? If Ares shows traces of an initial digamma it could not come from the root from which we have Aria; nor could Ares be an adjective or other derivative of Aria. I know of no god named originally from a country, rather are the names of countries derived from the names of gods. But again in this case [x] would never lead to [x], it would be [x]. These are nothing but doubts and misgivings, and I have nothing else to say on the subject, but as to [x] its etymology is clear. It has the initial digamma and is identical with the Sanskrit vrishan. [x] again is, I believe, the Sanskrit nara or nri, man. In Greek words there is frequently a vowel prefixed to an initial N, D, L, Bh; for instance:—

Sk. naman, name, [x].
Sk. nakha, nail, [x].
Sk. bhru, brow, [x].
Sk. navan, nine, [x].
Sk. rudhira, red, [x].
Sk. laghu, light, [x].

I confess I know of no instance where in Greek an a is prefixed to an initial n; it is always e or o, but we find a before s, in

Sk. star, Engl, star, [x] (stella = sterula).

Whatever therefore may be the etymology of Ares, [x] and [x] point to two distinct roots, and neither of these would yield a satisfactory explanation of Ares. I should have answered your note before, but I had promised to send the MS. of the fourth volume of my edition of the Veda to the Press by Saturday night, and I had to work from morning till evening to keep my promise. I hope you will excuse the delay of my answer, and I only regret that it is so little satisfactory. Believe me to be, my dear sir, your obedient servant and sincere admirer.'

The fourth volume of the Rig-veda was now finished. The preface had required long and careful work, as Max Muller had to answer various criticisms on his Ancient Sanskrit Literature, and the dates he had there assigned to the Hymns of the Rig-veda; Wilson and Whitney agreeing in considering these limits as too narrow, whilst other critics considered them too wide. In his preface therefore Max Muller felt it necessary to enter fully into the question as to whether the age of the Vedic Hymns could be fixed by astronomical evidence—and this led to the further question whether the Indian Nakshatras or divisions of the heavens into twenty-seven equal parts were of Indian origin, or derived from a foreign country; a controversy which had been carried on with some acrimony, Biot the great astronomer claiming to have proved the Chinese origin of the Nakshatras, in which he was supported by Lassen.

The theory which now counts the greatest number of supporters attributes to the Nakshatras a Babylonian origin, whence they spread eastward to both Hindus and Chinese. Max Muller in his preface tried to establish the Indian origin of the Nakshatras, and adds some valuable notes from Professor Donkin and Mr. Main, the Radcliffe Observer, giving the positions of the moon and planets 1424 B.C. All this was reprinted as a separate pamphlet under the title of Ancient Hindu Astronomy and Chronology. He further defends himself against various critics who complained that he ' did not enter into all the controverted points, the theories, guesses, doubts, assertions, and counter-assertions of various scholars,' and assures them that he did not shrink from the trouble of examining them, but that he believed it 'to be our duty to learn to distinguish between what is important and what is not. We only retard the discovery of truth by entering into every bypath on the right and on the left. The straight line is always the best, the simplest machinery the most perfect. If we can prove our point without a great apparatus of so-called learning, it is our duty to do so. He sweeps cleanest that makes the least dust.'

Max Muller apologizes for the delay in bringing out this volume in these words:—

'For a time it was doubtful whether the funds necessary for the completion of the Rig-veda would be provided. This caused uncertainty and delay. When I resumed my work, my time was no longer my own, and there were more urgent occupations which left me but scant leisure for the prosecution of my Sanskrit studies. Had I been allowed to devote, I do not say the whole, but at least one-half of my time to the study of Sanskrit and the carrying on of my edition of the Rig-veda, the present volume would have been published long ago. The MSS. of the Commentary of Sayana are very inferior for these later portions, the number of passages hopelessly corrupt and imperfect is constantly increasing. There is many a short line in these notes which represents the results of hours, nay of days and weeks of hard work.'
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Re: The Life and Letters of The Right Hon. Friedrich Max Mul

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Part 2 of 2

Max Muller again acknowledges the help given him by Dr. Aufrecht, who, though he had long ceased to be his secretary, had been living on in Oxford. The preface contains a warm tribute to the memory of Professor Wilson: 'Wilson had lived through almost the whole history of Sanskrit scholarship, and had taken part in nearly every important work that marked an epoch in the study of Indian literature, history, and religion. Every one of his own works represents a new conquest. He never followed, he was always first.' Finally, in dwelling on the translation of the Rig-veda, begun by Wilson, to be carried on by Ballantyne, Max Muller points out the great difficulty of making a thoroughly clear translation of the whole:—

'Some portions, I confess, I consider as hopeless, as likely to resist all attempts at interpretation, but there is no reason to despair. The Rig-veda is the most ancient book of the Aryan world. Every Hymn, every verse, every word that can be deciphered in it is a gain. These Hymns represent the lowest stratum in the growth of the human mind that can be reached anywhere by means of contemporaneous literature.'

Max Muller was so thoroughly exhausted by the summer's work, that he found it necessary to get a change before term. He and his wife went for a fortnight to Tenby, which he thoroughly enjoyed, visiting Manorbier, Carew, Pembroke and other ruins with keen interest, and searching for sea animals for his aquarium in Oxford with the zest of a boy. On their way back a visit was paid to a relative near Swansea, where the large copper-works of his wife's family were inspected with great interest, Max Muller particularly enjoying the part-singing of the men employed at the works, during their dinner hour. He had not heard Welsh singing and voices before, and was much struck with the natural and national turn for music, as a strong contrast to the absence of it in the English labourer and artisan.

To Professor Bernays.

Translation. December 14.

'I will not let the old year slip past without once more shaking hands with you—as well as it is possible from this great distance. It is so long since I heard from you, or from any of my German friends. I am afraid it may be my fault. I wanted to finish the fourth volume of my Veda, and so I could not find time for anything else, nor did I think of anything else. But now I have finished, and I feel like a snake that has just cast her skin, and is now going forth for further prey. In the new Germany I see no sign of life, and I doubt whether we shall live to see what our fathers hoped for, realized. Uhland, one of the last noble, faithful, patriotic men, had been hoping for so long, but he too has been called away without having lived to see the morning dawn. When I think of Bunsen in 1848, and of his sure, prophetic hopes! and he too is gone, and owls sit in the eagle's nest which he had built up here in London. Here in England we possess personal and political freedom, and that is such a blessing—it is like the fresh sea-air, but it is habeas corpus, not habeas animum [Google translate: have a mind]. The spiritual struggle proceeds slowly, and the dogged resistance is great, and the passion of persecution would do honour to the sixteenth century. Bishop Colenso appeals to the English mercantile understanding; it makes more impression than all that tastes of mind.

'The book will amuse you. Jowett has somewhat retired, and is at work at his edition of Plato's Republic. Stanley fights very bravely; he has just published Lectures on the Jewish Church, first series, which produce an effect in England, but will hardly be appreciated in Germany.

'Pattison sits still, says little, but thinks so much. His young wife is a little too young for him, I am afraid, but he is well and of good cheer. To-morrow night there will be some acting at his house in the College! How is your work getting on, and what are your plans for the future? Shall we meet anywhere next year? I hope to go to Germany next summer, but before that I have to give a course of lectures in London, about the material and spiritual element in Language. My old lectures are appearing now in a German translation, also Italian and French translations are to appear, and I am reproduced in America. I hope the next volume will be an improvement, but whether people will like it is another question.

'How I wish you could see my home here in Oxford! I wish indeed for no better. I have altogether given up having any wishes at all, and I enjoy the most beautiful happiness which life has to offer  —a good wife and two healthy children.

'Aufrecht is Professor in Edinburgh, happily married to a pretty, cultured wife with independent means; he writes most happily, and the sunshine has driven away the old clouds of envy and suspicion. In old friendship.'

The Christmas was spent at Ray Lodge, but very quietly, for the awful distress in Lancashire, owing to the ' cotton famine ' caused by the American War, weighed on all hearts and all purses. Superfluous luxuries were cut off in almost every household, and except a tiny Christmas tree for the children, there were no presents, all money that could be spared going weekly to the fund for the thousands starving in the North from no fault of their own.

By the middle of January Max Muller was quietly settled again in Oxford, and busy with the preparation of the second course of lectures on 'The Science of Language' for the Royal Institution. His course of lectures this term in Oxford were on 'Bopp's Comparative Grammar.' Towards the close of the month he heard that the fourth volume of the Rig-veda, the first dedicated to the Queen, had been received at Osborne, and that 'Her Majesty appreciated the learning and erudition that must have been employed in its production, and that it and the three first volumes sent at the same time (beautifully bound in morocco and gold) would form a valuable addition to the Royal Library.' Soon after he heard from his old friend and teacher Professor Brockhaus in Leipzig: 'Your Lectures on the Science of Language have, as you know, found many admirers here, and every one is looking forward to your new volume.'

The London lectures were even more crowded than the first course. Max Muller found them more fatiguing, for the course was longer, and he went up and down from Oxford, only sleeping in London if engaged to dine out. Towards the close of the course he delivered a Friday evening lecture on 'The Vedas' to an enormous audience, people sitting on every step of the staircases, and standing in the gangways. This lecture was repeated in substance two years later at Leeds, and will be found in the first edition of Chips, Volume I.[/quote]

To Professor Bernays.

Translation. Oxford, March 3, 1863.

'What you say about the German translation is just what I feel. I have not wished for a translation, but cannot prevent it being done, and therefore have to leave the rest to the judgement of the publisher. In no case should I undertake to write differently for Germany than for England. My manner of writing may look learned or unlearned, that is the same to me. I know it costs more labour to think out a subject so that it can be clearly stated, than to bring it to light half digested and with all its threads entangled. I work for no class in particular, nor for a definite purpose, and I recognize only one duty which renders our work responsible, i.e. the promoting of truth; and nothing is true which is not perfectly clear. There are some hard nuts hidden in my lectures, the cracking of which has tried the teeth of some obscure scholars; but the honest ones among them will confess this, and will gratefully accept the cleanly peeled kernel, I could have made an immense noise, had I cracked all my hard nuts before the public, and many empty ones might have been mixed up with them without the readers noticing it. But that sort of thing I consider wrong, and I shall never be infected by the aristocratic arrogance of scholars. I can well believe, that if I had written five unreadable volumes instead of one small volume, the sale in Germany would have been more rapid.

'What I have worked out may be good or bad, but each cultivated man, be he an Englishman or a Kaffir, knows what I am driving at and how matters stand. That was not always the case with Bunsen. With all respect for his knowledge, his proofs were not always absolutely convincing, firm or healthy. But I am quite prepared to see my translation abused in Germany; never mind, failure with an honest conscience is better than success with a sacrifice of what one really thinks. If you want to read obscure books about language read Humboldt, or should you wish to read obscure, superficial books, read Steinthal, &c., &c. How such things can be endured in Germany, I do not understand, and I expect no political or religious freedom till the literary cobwebs are swept away. Now, you will say, "Lion, you have roared effectively!" [Lowe, gut gebrullt! [Google translate: Lowe, well shouted!]] but I think we understand each other in spite of it all. I have not yet seen Bunsen's Letters, but I will try to get them. I sit here toiling away at the Veda, and feel heartily tired of the whole business. In faithful love.'

To His Wife.

Oxford, March 14.

'I shall live this week like a hermit and try to get on with my lectures. You see, I must work hard, for that is what we are all meant to do, and though it may seem to deprive us of some of the enjoyment of life, it really increases real happiness; it makes one feel that one does not live for nothing, and one enjoys one's holidays with a much stouter heart. I hope our summer will be a very happy one, but till then there is still a good deal of work to be gone through.'

To His Mother.

Translation. Oxford, March, 1863.

'I live in one perpetual trot, and shall be glad when my lectures in London are over. In the summer I will amuse myself. If I can get away early in June I think of going with G. to Paris; the middle of July I must return for the examination of the Indian civilians, which lasts a fortnight. When that is over we shall go to Germany. But I must have good air, so I think we will meet you in Dresden, and all go together to the Lake of Geneva, for I feel in myself that I want bracing, and Dresden does not do for that. I only grieve that we shall thus see so little of Augusta and Krug. Our great difficulty is about the children. The little one certainly must not go—the doctor forbids it—so the question is about Ada. I don't think I could bear to be so long without her, nor G. either, and yet the long journey is not good at her age. We discuss it every day, and can come to no decision. I can make no fixed plan yet, I am so overpowered with work; but I hope all will be as we wish, and that we may enjoy the summer happily together.'

To Professor Tyndall.

Oxford, March 14.

'Accept my best thanks for your kind help in providing me with a most excellent Siren for my lecture yesterday. My audience seemed delighted with it, though I am sorry to say it took up more of my time than I had to spare. I shall have to finish my lecture next Saturday, but I shall not trouble you either for the Siren or for any other experiment, as I must get on with my subject, and cannot afford any more amusements. I am much pleased with Helmholtz's book, and should give a great deal to be able to hear your lectures on "Sound," and to see some of the experiments which, though so well described by Helmholtz, are yet imperfect and unsatisfactory on paper.

'Do you not think that if our scales were properly constructed, all harmonies would be necessarily harmonious, and not inharmonious, as they now are after the 7th?'

Easter was spent at Ray Lodge, with many old friends staying in the house, who all 'enjoyed Muller's music,' says a contemporary Diary.

To His Wife.

April 7.

'When I ordered your fly, I found Mrs. _____ in great distress; her baby had died on Sunday quite suddenly. I went to see the little child, and it looked so calm and peaceful, and yet that poor mother would have given her very life to have had that little soul back. It was heartrending to see her, and I could give her but little comfort, but it was a solemn sight. What a small line it is that separates us and all that we love here from that life which waits for us, and why should we be so unwilling to go home, for here our home is not, and the great wrench must come, and happy are those who have passed through it. Yet when I looked on that little child that had been playing about but a few days ago, and then thought of our little darlings, I felt it must be fearful to part with them, if one did not feel that a happier life is in store for them than what they would have found here. And with all this misery going on everywhere, one lives on and laughs and takes it all as a matter of course, whereas if one looks into life as it is, one wonders how one can ever forget it again, and ever care again for the littlenesses of which our pleasures and our pride consist here. Ernst ist das Leben [Google translate: Life is serious], so says the German proverb, and very true it is.'

It was at this time that Max Muller first met with Sir George Cox's admirable books on mythology. Sir George seems to have sent him The Tales of Thebes and Argos, and the following letter is the beginning of a correspondence on Comparative Mythology, spread over many years. The editor owes these letters to Sir George Cox to the kindness of the Rev. R. W. Rees of Manchester, into whose hands they had passed.

To Rev. G. Cox.

Ray Lodge, April 16, 1863.

'Dear Sir,— ... I was delighted when reading your Tales1 [Of Thebes and Argos], and I feel convinced that in the form in which you have given them these myths are nearer to what they originally were than in any of the works of the mythographer, whether ancient or modern. I never felt so strongly that on the whole the principles of Comparative Mythology are right than when I saw them applied as you have applied them. I do not despair that we shall discover and disentangle many more of the complicated myths of the Aryan nations, though I know but too well that the ground is treacherous and requires great caution. Yours with sincere regard, 'Max Muller.'

The end of April Max Muller went to London as one of the deputation from the University of Oxford, to present the address of congratulation to the Prince of Wales on his marriage. The Prince of Wales graciously promised to honour his Alma Mater with his presence at Commemoration, accompanied by the Princess. As is the custom on such occasions, His Royal Highness sent in the names of those whom he desired should receive the honorary degree of D.C.L. Among these appeared the name of Charles Kingsley, one of the Prince's chaplains. At once Dr. Pusey opposed the degree in Council, on the ground that Hypatia, Mr. Kingsley's finest work, was immoral. Charles Kingsley's friends, among whom may be mentioned Dr. Stanley, Dr. Rolleston, and Max Muller, were very indignant, and the day that the name was finally to be voted on in Council, Dr. Stanley appeared armed with a copy of Hypatia borrowed from Max Muller, which still has all the passages marked in it, used by Dr. Stanley in opposing the Professor of Hebrew. But though the name might have been carried in Council, a vote of non placet [Google translate: it does not please] was threatened in the Theatre, in the very presence of the Prince, and to avoid so scandalous a scene, Charles Kingsley's friends withdrew his name. A few days later Max Muller had a letter from Mrs. Kingsley which is given here by permission. In sending it on to his wife, who was away from home. Max says: 'I enclose an excellent letter from Mrs. Kingsley, for which she deserves more than a D.C.L. degree. I am curious to know how the Prince will take it, and I am only afraid that he will never know how badly people behaved.'[/quote]

From Mrs. Kingsley.

Eversley Rectory, Wednesday.

'My dear Max,—Charles is away at Whitchurch fishing, so he will not receive your most kind letter till to-morrow. I have written by this post to the Rollestons that they may fill up their rooms, merely saying that unavoidable circumstances will keep us at home on June 15, and I do hope they will not think us ungrateful and changeable. I have no doubt there is some wise reason for this great disappointment, and perhaps the great honour under all circumstances which we should have felt it to be, would have been very bad for us. It is so difficult to be perfectly single-minded, even in a little parsonage, that perhaps it is a great blessing to be saved the Theatre of Oxford, which may not be the best soil for the growth of such a virtue; and I am sure I longed too vehemently for the sight of my dear husband in a scarlet gown for it to have done me any good. Depend upon us both for not mentioning the subject. It will always be associated with the pleasant and grateful remembrance of your kindness, dear Max, and Dr. Stanley's, and I shall try hard to let it obliterate Dr. Pusey and his Christian hatred. Oh! it is a great mercy to live in a parsonage remote from courts and courtiers, and even doctors of divinity. Best love to dearest G. and delicious Ada. Yours ever affectionately,

'F. E. Kingsley.'

Early in June the Max Mullers went to Paris, leaving their children at Ray Lodge. Here they passed a delightful month in constant intercourse with many of the most distinguished members of the literary world of Paris, a world that all along kept entirely aloof from the brilliant but evil Court of Louis Napoleon. One evening was spent with the Mohls, Madame Mohl still keeping up on a smaller scale the Salon of the earlier part of the century. On this occasion Madame Mohl, who was about to start for her annual visit to London, amused her guests by parading all the bonnets she had provided for her expedition, and trying them on, one after another. Only those who remember Madame Mohl's quaint, almost bizarre, appearance can imagine the droll effect as one by one the smart Parisian bonnets were essayed, and the verdict of her guests, male and female, eagerly expected. Renan's house too was often visited, with its rooms hung with some of the best portraits by Ary Scheffer, Madame Renan being his niece, daughter of Henri Scheffer, whose fine portrait occupied a conspicuous place. Max Muller attended the meetings at the Institute as a corresponding member, and he and his wife were both present the day that M. Mignet pronounced the doge on Lord Macaulay. It was a fine scene; the hall surmounted by its great dome was well filled by the members of the Institute, all wearing the beautiful habit brode [Google translate: He lives in Brode] chosen by Richelieu, and ladies in the gayest of summer dresses. Mignet 's melodious voice sounded clearly through the vast assemblage, and his words were so distinctly pronounced, they were like words cut out of marble, whilst it was a pleasure to watch each movement of his singularly beautiful mouth. The oration itself was magnificent.

The following letter must be about this date:—

To Rev. F. (now Dean) Farrar.

'My dear Sir,—I am so sorry that we can never meet in peace and exchange views; letters and books are cumbersome ways of mutual explanation, and I do not know how it is that I can never bring myself to believe that people hold different views on matters accessible to scientific treatment, unless for some reason or other they wish to do so. When I read your books I can fully enter into all you mean, and yet I do not feel the least disturbed in my own views. Our real differences refer to facts, and these fortunately are amenable to scientific tests. In my lectures, as you say quite rightly, I have not said half of what I meant to say, perhaps what I ought to have said. It did not seem to me the place for it. But I mean to give another lecture specially on the Antiquity of Language, and then you, or at all events your friends, will be surprised to see how little we differ, although we seem to be diametrically opposed. I could have explained this to you in half an hour of conversation, but I cannot do it by letter, and I shudder at controversy, and have had that horror all my life.'

After three weeks in England for examination work, Max Muller and his wife started for Germany, leaving both of their children behind. They stopped at Bonn to see Baroness Bunsen and Professor Bernays, but Max Muller was again disappointed in making his intimate friend acquainted with his wife, as it was the time of the Black Fast, the fall of Jerusalem; and Bernays could not go anywhere, and only saw Max Muller for about an hour. After joining his mother at Chemnitz, and taking her and his sister with them to Leipzig and Dessau, the Max Mullers went on to Berlin to see Max's friend Morier, and whilst there were commanded to Potsdam to dine with the Crown Prince and Princess of Prussia. Nothing could exceed the kindness with which they were received, though the visit was shorter than had been intended by the royal hosts, as the Crown Prince had been suddenly summoned to Gastein, where the King and Bismarck were taking the waters. On arriving the guests were driven about the park till the two o'clock dinner. It was intensely hot weather, and the dinner was in the open air. Afterwards the royal children were brought in by their English nurses; Princess Charlotte of Saxe-Meiningen, the present Emperor, and Prince Henry, hardly a year old, to play round the table, and talk to the English guests. The sight of this happy family life made a deep impression on the visitors. A few days later the Crown Princess wrote, through Countess Bruhl, to say what pleasure it had been to receive the Max Mullers in her own home. Things at that time were at an unhappy pass in Prussia. Old Professor Bopp mentioned to Max Muller, as a mere on dit, something about the Court which had appeared as a fact two months before in the English Times, adding, 'It is impossible here to find out the truth'; and in one of the confidential talks that Max had with his Paris friend von Schlotzer when they were alone, for in public it was not safe to talk of politics, von Schlotzer said, 'I would give anything to be English for a day, to know what political freedom means.'

From Berlin, Max Muller and his wife went by Nuremberg and Munich to Leoni on the Starnberger See, taking his mother and his eldest niece with them. Here a delightfully quiet month was passed in a comfortable pension close to the lovely lake, where they bathed and rowed constantly, taking long walks in the beautiful country round. From the higher ground behind the house they could see the snow-covered mountains to the south of the lake. One scene deserves to be recalled. The Vocal Club (Sanger-Verein) from Munich came out for the day, and gave an open-air concert on the summit of a hill crowned with pine woods that rose over the lake. It was a picturesque sight, the gay banners, the club members in their many-coloured scarves, and the groups of peasants in their national costumes—the men in high hats, and their coats covered with large silver buttons; the women with their bright petticoats, and black bodices with gold or silver embroidery, with chains and earrings of gold or silver, and small black caps with embroidery to match. The part-singing was beautiful, the voices rich and melodious in themselves, and the expression and light and shade carefully observed. Of course there was plenty of eating and drinking, and at last dancing, but, though all seemed very free and easy, there was no rudeness, nothing objectionable in the gathering.

From Leoni the mother and niece returned to Chemnitz, the Max Mullers going across the Brenner to Italy. It was their first taste of Italy, after which Max had, he tells us, hankered all his life. Venice especially was like a dream realized, though the sight of the Austrian soldiers everywhere roused his indignation. It was found on visiting the Doge's Palace that many of the best pictures were being cleaned. One that he particularly desired to see— Venezia trionfante, by Paul Veronese—was not to be seen, and he was lamenting it one day to the old Italian librarian, a true patriot, who, when he found a kindred soul in Max Muller, not only in books but in politics, had many a talk with him on the state of Venice. At his last visit Max Muller said he looked forward to coming again to Italy, adding significantly, 'And then I hope to see Venezia trionfante [Google translate: Triumphant Venice]!' At their next visit it was so, but the old librarian had passed away, though he lived long enough to see his beloved city free from the hated foreigner. The travellers returned by Turin and the Italian Lakes, the St. Gothard, where the first snows had fallen, and which they crossed on foot, and rapidly through Switzerland to England.

Max Muller's lectures began as soon as he returned to Oxford, and he was as usual overwhelmed with letters on all subjects.

To Rev. G. Cox.

Oxford, November 4.

'I was not at Oxford when Dr. Pusey preached his last sermon. I have not read it, nor have I heard any remarks about it. But I can quite understand the impression which it made on you.

'There are not a few points on which Dr. Pusey's ideas have become perfectly hardened; one cannot reason with him about them, nor is he able himself to handle them. They have become fixed ideas—they do not bend, but threaten to crack.

'With all that, I have a strong personal regard for Dr. Pusey. He is a man of great learning and a vast experience of life, in fact, one of the two or three interesting men at Oxford. Besides that, he has always shown me great kindness, though he knows my opinions, and though in University matters we have had fierce fights together. In spite of that, and though we were hardly on speaking terms at the time of the election for the Sanskrit Professorship, he offered me his help unasked, he sat up day and night (in the literal meaning of the words) writing letters to his friends—whereas my liberal friends, for whom I had worked hard on several occasions, did hardly anything for me, and some of them, on whom I thought I had claims, failed me altogether. Stanley and Pusey were my chief supporters, and the only men who, I believe, felt for me when I failed to obtain that position in which I might have been really useful, and might have been able to finish the work of my life. However, I am not blind to the dangerous consequences of Pusey's teaching. I consider his alliance with the Low Church as a most fatal mistake. But I look at all these things very much ab extra; I keep entirely aloof of University politics, and I look more and more to Germany as my real home and the centre which attracts my interests. I shall stay in England to finish the work which brought me here, but I look forward to spending the last years of my life among my old friends in Germany.'

Max Muller had been invited in the spring to deliver two lectures at Edinburgh on 'Language.' He accepted the invitation to lecture, but begged that the lectures might be on 'The Origin of Mythology.' On November 9 he went to Edinburgh to deliver these two lectures at the Philosophical Institution.

To His Wife.

Edinburgh, November 10.

'One lecture safely over. I had an immense audience; the place was as full as it could hold. Whether people were pleased or not I don't know; they applauded and all that, but I think I aimed a little too high. There were all the Professors and learned men, however, and they seemed pleased; also Dr. John Brown, a charming man, of whom I shall see more.'

November 11.

'How thankful we ought to be every minute of our existence to Him who gives us all this richly to enjoy! How little one has deserved this happy life, much less than many poor sufferers to whom life is a burden and a hard and bitter trial. But then, how much greater the claims on us; how much more sacred the duty never to trifle, never to waste time and power, never to compromise, but to live in all things, small and great, to the praise and glory of God, to have God always present with us, and to be ready to follow His voice, and His voice only. Has our prosperity taught us to meet adversity when it comes? I often tremble, but then I commit all to God, and I say, "Have mercy upon me, miserable sinner!"

'Let us keep up our constant fight against all that is small, and common, and selfish; let us never lose our faith in the ideal life, in what we ought to be, and in what, with constant prayer to God, we shall be.

'My work here will soon be over. We had a pleasant dinner tonight at Mr. Muir's. I had a drive in the afternoon with Dr. John Brown, a most charming, excellent man, with whom you would have been delighted. He is a good friend of Lady A. Bruce and of Stanley, and he thinks they are worthy of each other. I shall be glad when my lecture to-morrow is over. People are very civil and kind here. Prince Alfred sent me a message to say how sorry he was he could not come to my lectures, but that every one of his evenings had been engaged this week.'

The following description was sent at the time to a connexion of Max Muller's wife in London:—

'I went on Friday night to hear Max Muller on "The Origin of Mythology." It was most interesting. I never liked a lecture more. It required close attention, yet was quite clear and intelligible. He seemed to open new worlds, dim, half-revealed, mysterious, and this dimness gave a fascination—wide stretches of thought and conjecture retreating into darkness yet to be explored, when the Veda, "still with seven seals upon it," shall be adequately translated.

'His inquiry into the origin of the name of the Supreme Being— alike in Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, and Teutonic—was intensely interesting, and his manner was so reverential on these subjects.

'He looks quite young, and his manner and voice were most pleasant. The hall was crowded.'

To Rev. G. Cox.

Edinburgh, November 10.

'Mythology no doubt springs from scattered tales, and to single tales it should be reduced before we attempt to explain it. This is what I thought so particularly happy in your books, that you should have told the tales singly, as they might have been told by any grandmother in any small village of Greece, long before the encyclopaedic treatment of Greek fables began. I have been trying my hand at something of the same kind in German, on the pattern of Grimm's Marchen, but I have failed. The story of Oedipus has just been dissected by M. Michel Breal very cleverly, though I doubt whether people will be convinced by it.

'"Always the Sun, and always the Sun," people exclaim, and yet it is not our fault if the Sun has inspired so many legends and received so many names. And what else do you expect at the bottom of mythology, if not the reflection of heaven and earth in the mind and language of man?'

To The Same.

Oxford, November 29.

'. . . I cannot bring myself to enter into or to adopt Kuhn's theory of clouds and thunderstorms being at the bottom of all Aryan mythology, a view which I see has just been strongly advocated by Mr. Kelle in his Indo-European Traditions. He gives a most incomplete representation of Kuhn's labours. I should have thought that Grote had entirely dispelled the belief that there was any historical substratum in the legends of Troy, or at least any more than in the legends of Charlemagne taking Jerusalem, &c.'

To His Mother.

Translation. Oxford, November 28.

'I must just tell you we are very well, though we get no rest. Last week a visit from Princess Helena and Princess Louise, to whom I had to show everything; last Wednesday a ball at the Duke of Marlborough's, where G. and I danced in the beautiful library; and to-day a visit from the Crown Prince and Princess of Prussia. They were with Dr. Stanley, and we went there for luncheon, and have been walking about with them till now. To-night a dinner, where we are to meet the Due d'Aumale and Lord Lawrence, the Viceroy of India. Then next week I am ordered to Windsor to the Queen, then my lectures here—in fact, my head is in a whirl, and I am longing for rest. I am happiest when quiet with my children, who are darlings and thrive so well.'

Just before this letter to his mother, Max Muller was graciously commanded to Windsor for the first time. A day was named for him to go to luncheon: 'The Queen is anxious to see him,' and it was considerately added, 'if the day mentioned is not convenient to him another can be named.'

To His Mother.

Translation. Oxford, December 11.

'I was with the Queen for three-quarters of an hour, quite alone. Her Majesty received me in Prince Albert's room, and said she had long wished to see me, and hoped it would not be the last time, and then she talked in the most brilliant and interesting way, and spoke German better than I do. The Queen asked me to tell her about my work, spoke a good deal about Bunsen, about Prince Albert, about Schleswig-Holstein, and I could often hardly believe it was the Queen of England talking to me! The Crown Princess was not at Windsor, but sent for me on Tuesday, and we talked for an hour and a half. She too was most charming. The Princess soon returns to Berlin, which cannot be a pleasant place to her at present. She is a very remarkable woman, very liberal, and full of enthusiasm for Germany.'

To Rev. G. Cox.

Oxford, December 10.

'The Basque is a most interesting language to study as the type of an agglutinative form of speech, but though it agrees in form most strikingly with the Turanian language, the Finnic more particularly, no one has yet discovered any similarity between the natural elements of the Basque and any other language. How far the Basque was spoken in former days has been shown by Humboldt in his Essay on the Original Inhabitants of Spain, before him by Hernas. Michel's derivations of Basque words are copied from earlier writers , mostly theologians, who, in a language such as the Basque, easily found all that they looked for. They are worth nothing. If year was called inundation, this is no more than if we call year either spring, or autumn, or winter. But the Basque is a language which, in the hands of an unscrupulous philologist, will be made to say anything.'

On December 21 Max Muller writes to his mother: 'I am very much excited, for I have been commanded to Osborne to give some lectures before the Queen and the Princesses. The days are not fixed, but probably early in January.'

Christmas was spent at Ray Lodge, and then Max Muller went back alone to Oxford to prepare the royal lectures.

To His Wife.

Oxford, December 28.

'Here I am at work, and getting on very well, I hope. I dine with Stanley to-night, to hear from him and Lady Augusta what to observe and what to avoid at Osborne. I am sorry to be away from you, but I feel I ought to do my very best, and I can write better when I am here alone and have all my books.'

To his mother he writes, December 30; 'I go to Osborne on the third and stay till the sixth, so you can think of me.'
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