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

Postby admin » Wed Oct 18, 2023 11:52 pm

Part 1 of 2


Lectures at Osborne. Schleswig-Holstein war. Birth of third child. Member of Royal Irish Academy. Weymouth. Visit of his mother. Lecture at Leeds. Member of Turin Academy. Last visit to Ray Lodge. Sub-Librarianship of Bodleian.

'Professor Max Muller had the honour of delivering two lectures last week at Osborne before Her Majesty and the Royal Family, on the Science of Language.' Such was the announcement in the Court Circular, and the following letters give the details of this interesting visit:—

To His Wife.

Osborne, January 5.

'I arrived here all safe. I met the Queen's messenger at Southampton, and we went to Osborne in the Elfin, which had brought Prince Alfred over. The crossing took more than an hour, but I did not feel uncomfortable. I sat in the cabin with Prince Leiningen, who commands the vessel, and we had a pleasant chat together in German. I was very tired when I arrived here, and full of cold and headache, so I laid down in my own room, which was warm and cosy, and slept till dinner-time. I dined with the household at eight. I sat between Lady Churchill and Mrs. Ponsonby. All was very pleasant. Sir James Clarke was there, Mr. Ponsonby, Sir Thomas Biddulph, and some more ladies. After dinner we went to the ladies' drawing-room, where a message arrived from the Queen, who wished to see me. So I was conducted into the royal portion of the palace, and in a small boudoir there were the Queen, Princess Hohenlohe, and Princess Helena; afterwards Mrs. Bruce came in. I did my best to talk sense, but oh! my poor head. The Queen was very kind, and thanked me for coming, and said she was looking forward very much to my lectures. The conversation was in German, and you cannot imagine the dignity and graciousness of the Queen when she spoke with great composure of Prince Albert; and the reports spread abroad about her state of health are absolutely absurd. After about twenty minutes the Queen bowed, and I went straight to bed. I feel much better to-day, and hope to get through my lecture without disgrace. I received a message that Princess Helena wished to walk with me in the afternoon. Then at six there is to be the lecture, diagrams and all. Prince Arthur will be there; he was kept a day longer on purpose. The palace is full of beautiful works of art, but I have hardly had time to look at them yet.'

January 6.

'My first lecture is over, and from all I can hear it has not been a failure. Yesterday in the afternoon I had a very pleasant walk with Princess Helena and Mrs. Bruce. Princess Helena showed me their private museum, which they keep in a Swiss cottage, full of curious things which have been given them, or which the Princes have collected in their foreign travels. There were the Queen's former playthings, and a kitchen where the Princesses cook and bake, and kitchen gardens, one for each of them, and the Princess Royal every year gets her green peas from her own plot sent to Berlin, and enjoys them greatly. Everything is full of recollections of the Prince, and they all talk about him as if he were still among them. This is thoroughly German, and it always struck me in England how carefully all conversation on those who have gone before us is avoided, and how much of comfort and good influence derived from the memory of those we loved is thereby lost. After we came home from our walk, I had just time to prepare for my lecture, and to get my diagrams mounted. At six all the people assembled in the Council Chamber, and after a time came the Queen and the Princesses. The Queen had not attended a lecture for more than ten years, and everybody was surprised at her appearing. She listened very attentively, and did not knit at all, though her work was brought. After the lecture the Queen conversed •with me for a long time, asking many shrewd questions, as did her sister. Princess Hohenlohe. It was then time to dress for dinner, and then to bed. This morning I had an interview with Princess Beatrice, who however was a little shy at first, but became after a time very amusing. She talks English, French, and German.'

January 6, 11 p.m.

'Just to finish the account of my visit here, I must tell you that after I had sent my letter to you to-day, the Queen sent for me again to her drawing-room, and brought Princess Beatrice with her to make her read to me in German, English, and French. She did it remarkably well, and the Queen talked to me a good deal about education, and how she taught her children. Afterwards Princess Helena showed me all the family pictures by Winterhalter, and the splendid statues. The Princess, when you know her, reminds you much of the Princess Royal. We walked about for a long time discussing all sorts of things. I had then to prepare for my lecture, to which the Queen came again, but without any work at all. In the evening Lord Granville arrived, and the Queen was very busy. She sent me word she hoped to see me, but afterwards sent to say it was getting too late, and that she was sorry she could not have seen me, and thanked me again. In the evening I had a long talk with Lord Granville, and tomorrow morning I hope to start at 9.30 with Prince Arthur and Sir James Clarke.'

These are the concluding words of the last lecture:—

'When the two last volumes of the Veda are published we shall have saved from destruction a work older than the Iliad, older than any other literary document of that noble race of mankind to which the greatest nations in the world's history have belonged—a race which after receiving from a Semitic race, from the Jews, its best treasure, its religion, the religion of the Old and New Testaments, is now, with the English in the van, carrying on slowly but irresistibly the conquest of the world by means of commerce, colonization, education, and conversion.'

On Max Muller's return, he heard from Sir Charles Phipps how pleased the Queen had been with the lectures—'of that you must be fully aware'—and Sir Charles added how much he had himself valued the information and instruction communicated, whilst three days later Lady Augusta Stanley forwarded the following extract from a letter from Princess Helena, now Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein. Gracious permission has been given to insert it.

'We have had two most interesting and charming lectures from Professor Max Muller. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed them and value them. Do tell him so when you see him again, and how much I regret not being able to hear any more. I wish there was a possibility of my hearing more at some future time; I hope so—and Mama has not said No! You cannot think how pleasant it was for me to be able to talk to a clever man like Professor M. and one who does not inspire me with fear, as some very learned people do. The subject he treats is one which always interested me so much. Ever with much love, your affectionate friend, 'Helena.'

To Rev. G. Cox.

Oxford, January 22.

'. . . When the Rishis first perceived the necessity of one Superior Power is difficult to say. It breaks through here and there, but their religion does not become monotheistic, for this involves the denial of polytheism. It always remains henotheistic, if one may coin such a word. I mean the one single god addressed at the time shares in all the qualities of a supreme being, but soon after another god is addressed equally supreme, and their logic does not in the least revolt at this. The Etruscan names of Greek deities have about the same value as the English names of the Indian deities. I mean they are mere corruptions, partly owing to ignorance, partly to the imperfections of the Etruscan alphabet, which possessed no media, and despised vowels almost as much as the Semitic languages.'

To The Same.

January 26.

'. . . Much as I admire M. Breal's essay on Cacus, I do not the least feel convinced by his explanation of the dualism between Ormuzd and Ahriman, nor by his theory of Persian influences to be discovered in the early portions of the Bible. I am as far from prejudices on this point as M. Breal, who is a Jew, and who, like most educated Jews, looks upon the books of the Old Testament as much more than inspired—taking inspired in the modern sense of that word—namely, as real, old, historical documents. I should value any such traces of influences received from neighbouring nations by the writers of the Old Testament most highly; but such is the importance from an historical point of view that I shall not feel inclined to build any conclusions on such vague evidence as that brought together by M. Breal. . . . Any such word as Asdossodeus, if it could be discovered in the early books, would be invaluable, but though I do not give up all hope of such discoveries hereafter, I am bound to say that as yet I cannot see them.'

To The Same.

February 16.

'I am afraid I have hardly done justice to your book in my review. The fact is, I was overwhelmed with work, and, after a short introduction, I put in a portion of my lectures which I am preparing for the Press. However, I find that my article has at least startled several people who have a tender feeling for Helen and Troy, and I hope they will take to your book and try to get some more information. I may be wrong in my explanation of the relation between Helen and Paris, Sarama and Pani, but I cannot help thinking that Helena and Sarama are the same word.'

The following letter refers first to Mr. Gifford Palgrave, the Arabian traveller, who had just returned from his daring expedition, and then to the Schleswig-Holstein question which occupied so much of Max Muller's attention during the early part of this year.

To His Wife.

February 17.

'After luncheon I went to see the Jesuit, and had a very interesting talk with him about a thousand subjects. I found him clever, well-informed, and devoted to his work; quite unanglicized, however, in all his views, and strangely torn away from all the fibres of his native soil. It is a pleasant contrast to the self-seeking, money-making, place-hunting tendencies, to see a man without any ambition as far as this life is concerned, but evidently full of ambition for another life. I enclose a letter from Delane; so you see I am in for it. I am all in large print, to offer a larger target to the arrows of the enemy.'

Max Muller, both in letters to the Times and to friends in England and abroad, upheld the independence of the Duchies: 'They are sovereign and independent states, and are indissolubly united.' He advocated the claims of the house of Augustenburg, and reprobated the high-handed policy of Bismarck, as much as the pretensions of Denmark. In later years he saw that Bismarck's policy with regard to the Duchies was the first link in the chain that led to the unity of Germany. The feeling in England was very strong. Denmark was weak, Prussia and Austria strong; therefore Denmark must be upheld—people forgetting that the Duchies, whose rights were at stake, were still weaker. Max Muller was openly attacked in the papers, and received anonymous letters from Danes in England that were too vile to show to any one; in some his life even was threatened. One old friend assumed in the Athenoeum that he was the author of a pamphlet, The Dano-German Conflict and Lord Russell's Proposals of Mediation, calling it 'an ingenious mystification, the author of which wishes to be supposed to be an Englishman.' The author was an Englishman connected with the Government, and therefore could not give his name. Max Muller always signed his letters, and never masked as an Englishman.

To His Mother.

Translation. March 4.

'You will have gathered from the papers that I am quite well. I had lately to tell the English something of the truth, and though they don't like to hear it, yet they have taken it well. The common papers abuse me, but they are of little weight, and the leading ones behave civilly, though they answer with the most absurd nonsense. All this takes up my time, that is the worst, and disturbs my work; but one must do one's duty, and now that I am known in England, it fell to my lot to take up the cudgels for the truth on the German side. The affair is still very complicated. Russia, Austria, and Prussia hang together, but with bad intentions. Everything now depends on France, and the Emperor will sell himself to the highest bidder—either to England or Russia. England has plunged deeply, and will hardly come out with a whole skin. Palmerston would like war, but the people, at least in manufacturing towns and the north, are against it. The King of the Belgians arrived to-day.'

To The Same.

Contemporary Letter, March 4.

'M. has talked of writing to you for some days, as he was afraid you would share the fears of the German papers, which seem to think he must be in prison, or very near it, for his letters to the Times. Happily, here any one may speak out his mind freely without fear of any bad consequences. Such certainly is not the case in Berlin now, as we hear from Morier that Herr von Schlotzer has been sent off to Rome for having expressed his feelings against Bismarck too freely. The newspapers are all very angry with M., which proves that they feel the truth of what he says; but every newspaper almost is ultra- Danish, except the local papers of Liverpool and Manchester, and other great places of trade, where the merchants are German in feeling, and entirely opposed to any idea of war. The Queen's life is no easy one at present. Her own feelings entirely German, and her Ministers and people as entirely Danish. She must be happy just now at having old King Leopold with her, as she leans so much on him.'

Max Muller's lectures this term were on 'The Origin of Fables,' and were largely attended.

To His Wife.

Oxford, March 30.

'I had a visit to-day from the Schleswig-Holstein architect—a very nice fellow. He came to England on business: is building a grand mansion somewhere near York. He told me many things about the war, &c. He is a man of forty-five, with wife and children, in very good business. He has enrolled himself to fight as soon as the Prussians and Austrians are gone. All his friends, he says, have done the same, and are ready to die rather than submit to the Danes again. I had a visit from , who brought me all sorts of messages from Princess Hohenlohe. However, I told him nothing could be done at present. I also received an address and vote of thanks from Bremen, largely signed.'

Early in April Max Muller heard of the death of his mother's old aunt, Frau Klausnitzer, mother of Emilie, Baroness Stolzenberg. He writes:—

To His Mother.

Translation. April 5.

'The news of the death of the dear old aunt has affected me very much. She had indeed enjoyed the full measure of human life, and in her old age had a large measure of happiness; but when the moment of parting comes—come as it may—it comes always too soon. I have only had the printed notice, and know nothing of how it was. In your last letter you said she was so well and bright, and then I always thought, "Well, whilst the old aunt is so well and strong my mother has a good spell of life still before her." One only fancies the generations must follow each other, till the turn comes for ourselves. Well, for those who have had such a happy old age, and remained strong in mind and body to the last, those who are left can only thank God, and pray for a like end for themselves and for all they love. We accustom ourselves so easily to life as a second nature, and in spite of the graves around us, death remains something unnatural, hard and terrifying. That should not be. An early death is terrifying, but as we grow older our thoughts should accustom themselves to passing away at the end of a long life's journey. All is so beautiful, so good, so wisely ordered, that even death can be nothing hard, nothing disturbing; it all belongs to a great plan, which we do not understand, but of which we know that it is wiser than all wisdom, better than all good, that it cannot be otherwise, cannot be better. In faith we can live, and we can die—can even see those go before us, who came before us, and whom we must follow. All is not according to our will, to our wisdom, but according to a heavenly Will, and those who have once found each other through God's hand will, clinging to His hand, find each other again. Let me soon hear how you are, and submit to God's Will quietly and with resignation.'

All these early months Max Muller was preparing his second volume of Lectures on Language for the Press, which had been delayed by his visit to Germany the previous year. Before, however, they were ready, a fourth edition of the first volume came out, of 1,250 copies like the others. He also wrote a much-admired article on 'The Language and Poetry of Schleswig-Holstein,' with some good translations of Klaus Groth's 'Platt-Deutsch Poems.' This was reprinted in Chips, first edition. Volume III.

To Rev. G. Cox.

Oxford, April 11.

'If the old generation is uncritically sceptical, the young generation is uncritically credulous. Now the young generation, the rising scholars, to a man, swear in Comparative Philology and Mythology, and the future is theirs, I am afraid as we get older we shall be equally unwilling to change our views and examine our evidence. I hope in that case we may abstain and stand by in silence; but though I hope it, I am not quite certain on that point. Surely, Comparative Mythology is not self-evident; if it were, where would be the pleasure of having dug up some of these old bones? People who make new discoveries ought not to be angry with the world for not accepting them at once! To me, I confess, though it may sound very conceited, there is a pleasure in living in a small University. I am old enough to remember the incredulous wagging of heads when Bopp declared that the infinitive was the dative or some other case of an abstract noun: there is hardly a grammar now where you do not find this. Even now, if you tell people that two only of the ten numerals in Greek and Sanskrit are oxytone, and that this is not by accident, they think you are talking nonsense. Fifty years hence a boy will be plucked who does not know it. Now you know I am myself a great unbeliever in many mythological parallelisms, and I am quite prepared to admit that many of my own comparisons will be knocked over. It is sad that it should be so, but so it is! even old Bopp's Comparative Grammar is by this time riddled with shot and crumbling down, but something better has been put in its place. But that the principles I have laid down for the study of Comparative Mythology are sound I am prepared to prove against the world.'

To His Wife.

Oxford, June 17.

'Our garden looks so well, and I jump out of window and look at my roses, and then go back to my work. There is to me a beauty and mystery and sanctity about flowers, and when I see them come and go, no one knows whence and whither, I ask, What more miracles do we want? What better, more beautiful, more orderly world could we wish to belong to than that by which we are surrounded and supported on all sides? Where is there a flaw or a fault? Then why should we fear unless the flaws are within us, and we will not see the blessing and the rest which we might enjoy if we only trusted to the Author of all that beauty, order, and wisdom about us? It is a perfect sin not to be happy in this world, and how much of the misery which there is, is the work of men, or could be removed by men, if they would but work together for each other's good. It seems so hopeless to do any good on so small a scale as ours must necessarily be; yet I do not think we do enough, not in proportion to what is given us without any desert.'

Max Muller had very strong feelings about the duty of almsgiving, and considered a tenth of all he had the least that should be given away annually. In most years he far exceeded this sum, and even his wife never knew the constant help he gave to poor young students and literary men, both German and English. To his mother and sister he was most generous. He had been a great smoker before his marriage, and indulged in the best cigars, but he gave up smoking entirely when he had the expenses of a household to provide for, that his charity purse, as he called it, might not suffer; and it was only in the last twenty years of his life that he took to smoking again, and then only cigarettes, and very few of them each day.

As soon as his book was printed, Max Muller joined his wife and children at Ray Lodge, and on June 22 he writes to his mother that he was expecting the publication of his second volume of Lectures, and did not trouble himself as to its reception. 'One does one's best, and one says what one feels is right, and the rest one lets alone. I am not at all sorry that I have spoken out to the English, and if they abuse me, it shows they are ashamed.' And his wife wrote also: 'Max is enjoying his holiday here, for the lectures being off his hands he is giving himself perfect rest and doing nothing but lie in the hayfields or the garden, enjoying the flowers.'[/quote]

On August I Max Muller's third child, a third daughter, was born. In writing to ask his valued friend Dean Stanley to be godfather, he says:—

To Dean Stanley.

August 2.

'I always hoped to have you as godfather to my first son, if there should be one. As it seems, however, that there is to be no little Max, I shall wait no longer. I have no doubt that your family of godchildren is a very large one, but as I think you may trust G. and myself that we shall try to bring up our children in the real faith and true discipline of Christ, I hope you will be able to accede to our request, and add this one to many other proofs of real friendship which you have given to both of us. Have you seen Bunsen's Leben Jesu [Google translate: Life of Jesus]? I read it, and wrote to Madame Bunsen asking her to have it published, and translated into English, possibly into French also. I like it, and I think just now it will do good. It contains the soul, which is wanting in Renan's ghost, or rather in his corpse, of Christ. It gives all that is essential in the outward life of Christ, and then throws the burden of believing or disbelieving the divinity of Christ on every one of us, as it was thrown on those who witnessed His real life, who had to break with a religion dear and sacred to themselves, and whose senses and reason must have had to pass through a much more severe struggle than we have to pass through, before they yielded to the voice within, that Christ was the Son of God. I do not know whether you would consider it wise to have your name in any way connected with a translation of Bunsen's work, but I hope it will not be brought out with any appearance of coming from a hostile camp. It should come as a message of peace—as a minimum, a very small minimum, if you like—but with a large margin on every side, which need not remain a blank.'

In writing to tell his mother of the birth of her new grandchild, Max mentions at the end of his letter that 1,000 copies of his Lectures had been sold the first day.

To Rev. G. Cox.

Oxford, August 5, 1864.

'My dear Sir,—. . . As to annihilation, all I mean is that it is a word without any conceivable meaning, and that it might do some people good to see this clearly. We are—that is enough. What we are does not depend on us; what we shall be, neither. We may conceive the idea of change in form, but not of cessation or destruction of substance. No doubt people mean frequently by annihilation the loss of conscious personality, as distinct from material annihilation. On that point I said nothing, because it would have led me too far out of my own sphere. However, what I feel about it is shortly this. If there is anything real and substantial in our conscious personality, then whatever there is real and substantial in it cannot cease to exist. If on the contrary we mean by conscious personality something that is the result of accidental circumstances, then, no doubt, we must face the idea of such a personality ceasing to be what it now is. I believe, however, that the true source and essence of our personality lies in what is the most real of all real things, and in so far as it is true, it cannot be destroyed. There is a distinction between conscious personality and personal consciousness. A child has personal consciousness; a man who is this or that, a Napoleon or a Talleyrand, has conscious personality. Much of that conscious personality is merely temporary and passes away; but the personal consciousness remains. I do not think that Schleiermacher could have said that the last enemy that would be destroyed in us is the idea of our immortality. What he may have said is, our idea of immortality. I should like to see this subject fully and freely discussed. It is no doubt the old controversy between Nominalism and Realism under a new form. We know what stuff words are made of, and it strikes me that those who know the antecedents of words are spared many troubles and difficulties in religious and philosophical struggles.'

The middle of September the whole family party went for change to Weymouth, where they were joined by Max Muller's mother, who returned with them to Oxford and stayed on with them the whole winter.

Politics crop up again towards the close of the year, as the following letter to Morier, Secretary of Legation at Berlin, shows. Morier shared all Max Muller's feelings as to the Duchies:—

Oxford, November 10.

'My dear Morier,—For the sake of decency, if not from a feeling of personal friendship, I trust the Duchies will soon be handed over to Duke Frederick. If Prussia attempts to swallow the small morsel by itself it will stick in her throat. Hereafter it will go down together with others at one good gulp. I was so sorry not to see you again before you returned to Berlin; we went to Weymouth during September and October; my mother came to me there, and is now staying with us. We are all well, thank God, and if it were not for the dinner-parties this quiet life would be very pleasant. But I am afraid the dinner-parties will drive me sooner or later away from this country to the less hospitable shores of the Spree or Danube. Jowett's salary has again been defeated, this time in Council; it shows how low human nature can sink. It is perfectly disgusting, and I feel ashamed to accept any salary from such a body of men. The matter, however, is not to rest, and a new motion has at once been made. Is there not some great mischief brewing in all these meetings of crowned heads and Ministers? And are you quite certain that there is no mischief hatching as against England? Though John Bull does make a fool of himself now and then, the world would soon go to wrack and ruin without him. Crowned brains are just now very active, and I am sure they all consider England a bull in a china shop. There are certain fellows now very cock-a-hoop, and capable of anything in the way of spite and mischief. Yours ever affectionately.'

Christmas was spent in Oxford for the first time since i860, and was a regular German Christmas, with a tree for the children, and German Stolle (cake) and German dishes. Max Muller, who had not spent Christmas with his mother since 1849, was as happy, and entered into everything with the same zest, as one of his own children. It was never difficult to give him pleasure, for his hard early training made of every little trifle a source of enjoyment and a cause of thankfulness to the Giver of all Good.

Early in 1865 the Max Mullers received the sad news that the family home at Ray Lodge was to be given up and the party there dispersed. The long lease had nearly run out, and the owner would only sell, not let again. Max Muller's father-in-law resolved to settle in London near his younger daughter, and the sister who had lived with him over forty years, bringing up his children, preferred the country, as did Max Muller's brother-in-law, who had hitherto, with his wife and child, lived at Ray Lodge. To the Max Mullers and Walronds it was a great loss; living, as they did, in a town, the country life was a boon to their children, and only a large country house had room for them all to meet together. It was at once resolved to spend as long a time as possible during the summer in the old home.[/quote]

To Lady Augusta Stanley.

64, High Street, Oxford, February 7, 1865.

'Dear Lady Augusta,—Many thanks for the Theology of the Nineteenth Century—and, I hope, of many more centuries to come—which I believe I owe to your kindness. I read it with intense pleasure; it was almost like having a talk with the Dean, or listening to one of his sermons. I do not know the exact date of the Book of Daniel, and this, I am afraid, would be considered heresy by many of the Presidents and Princes; but of this I am certain, that in any century, even in our own, the lions cannot hurt a man who, like Daniel, is a servant of the living God. I hope you and the Dean are quite well. We have been living our quiet and happy life at Oxford. My mother has been with us the whole winter, and the children are well. With herzliche Grusse [Google translate: Best regards] to the Dean, yours sincerely, 'Max Muller.'

The following letter touches on the curious legend of the Barnacle Goose, fully detailed in the second volume of Max Muller's Lectures on Language, which had excited a good deal of attention not only in England, but on the Continent:—[/quote]

To Professor Benfey.

Translation. 64, High Street, February 26.

'Dear Colleague,—. . . I have read the little notice on fishes and birds in Occident und Orient. As it is a later addition, it would be most remarkable if the fable had really got into the Eastern fables from the West of Europe. The occurrence of the same legend in different places allows of various explanations, but especially through the passage in Genesis i. 20, to which the priests have often referred, in order to prove that all fowl are of common origin with fishes, and therefore may be eaten on fast-days.

'These commoner legends do not therefore belong to the "myth" treated by me, which does not refer to birds in general, but only to the goose which goes by the special name of Barnacle Goose. This name can be explained, and can be connected with the name barnacle-shell.'

Early in March Max Muller went to Leeds to deliver a lecture on 'The Vedas, or the Ancient Sacred Books of the Brahmans.'

To His Wife.

Leeds, March 6.

'So you see I found my way after all. It was a wretched day till we got beyond Rugby, and then the sun came out, and the country looked warm and bright. It is quite spring here, and I hope the change will do me good. I found Mr. Hincks waiting for me; he is a clergyman, though I do not know of what denomination yet. He has a nice house, and a wife and two daughters. We had a quiet dinner, and in the evening the intellect of Leeds will assemble here.'

March 7.

'We had a very pleasant party last night, chiefly clergy and medical men. The Vicar of Leeds, Dr. Otley, came, though my host is the Unitarian minister of Leeds. I was a little tired, having to talk a great deal. We had a sumptuous supper, and then to bed. This morning we started after breakfast to see the town. Very fine Town-hall, with a statue of the Queen by Noble. Then we explored a wool manufactory, with some beautiful machinery, seeing the whole process from the sheep to the shawls. Then the poor parts of the town, and the Working Men's Club—all very curious, and the weather fine. We dined at three, and in the evening the lecture is to come off. Well, I must do my best. The people are all very civil, but I shall be glad when it is over. Love to mother, and give her this wool, which I saw made.'
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Re: The Life and Letters of The Right Hon. Friedrich Max Mul

Postby admin » Wed Oct 18, 2023 11:53 pm

Part 2 of 2

The Philosophical Hall at Leeds was packed with a most attentive audience, which included many clergy of the Church of England, and ministers of all the leading nonconformist bodies, for the friendly relations between the Church and Dissent at Leeds, so marked in the days of Dean Hook, still continued in full force. The lecturer concluded by deducing three lessons to be learned from the careful study of the Vedas and other Sacred Books of the East. Firstly, that 'most religions were in their most ancient form, or in the minds of their authors, free from many of the blemishes that attach to them in later times. Secondly, that there was hardly any religion which did not contain some truth, sufficient to enable those who sought the Lord to find Him in their hour of need. Thirdly, that we learnt to appreciate better than ever what we really have in our own religion. No one who had not examined patiently and honestly the other religions of the world could know what Christianity really was, or could join with such truth and sincerity in the words of St. Paul, "I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ."' The concluding words were quoted thirty-five years later in the sermon preached in Max Muller's parish church the Sunday after his death.

Soon after his return from Leeds, Max Muller's mother, who had been with him since September, returned to Germany. With all her devotion to her son, the quiet, regular life in his house soon wearied her, accustomed as she had been from her earliest days to be actively busy in household affairs; and her deafness prevented her from sharing in the pleasures of society, especially in a foreign country. In summer, when she could be more in the open air and enjoy the beautiful College gardens, she was happier, but the long winter visits were never a success. To her son, the mere feeling that his mother was under his roof was happiness; but she required more variety and amusement than a scholar's house could give her, and it was impossible not to see that she longed for her German home, though she suffered severely when the moment of parting came.

The following letter shows that Max Muller was still occupied with the Schleswig-Holstein question. Mr. Gladstone was at this time Chancellor of the Exchequer:—

To The Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone.

High Street, April 2.

'Dear Sir,—I hope to be in London the whole of next week, and should like very much to see you. You will easily guess the subject on which I should wish to speak to you. I have felt throughout that if there is a statesman in England who will form his opinion on the Schleswig-Holstein question, not according to what seems expedient, but according to what is just and right, it is you. There may be reasons however why you might decline to speak to me on that question, but even in that case I hope you will pardon my request.'

This spring Max Muller, who had been elected a Correspondent of the Turin Academy in 1859, was chosen as one of the six Foreign Members of that distinguished society, his colleagues being Cousin, Thiers, Bockh, Mommsen, and Grote.

Before leaving home for the summer. Max Muller found time to write to his old friend Bishop Patteson, in answer to his letter of the year before:—

64, High Street, Oxford, April 16, 1865.

'My dear Bishop,—I am so thoroughly ashamed of myself that I was afraid I should never have courage enough to write to you. It has been a weight on my conscience for years, and I doubt whether I shall be able to give you any intelligible reason why I put off writing to you from month to month, and from year to year, till at last I gave it up for very shame. However, the simple truth is this. I have been very busy, and I always hoped I should find time sooner or later to devote special attention to the Melanesian languages, I wished to do so first, and before I troubled you with any inquiries; and then whenever I began to get ready for the work, I felt that I had other work to do, more necessary, and which my friends expected me to do, and that I must not attempt any new subject before having finished what I had in hand. This is the only intelligible account I can give you of my protracted silence, and now that I have done so, I can only ask that you will forgive me, though I can hardly forgive myself. My thoughts, I can truly tell you, have often been with you and your work. Many times I have envied you your choice of a life's work about which, if once chosen, there can be no doubt that it is right, useful, and pleasing in the sight of God and of men. When I first heard of your departure, I confess I was surprised. I believe I had seen you last at Dresden, revelling in ancient Italian art, and studying Hebrew or Arabic. I thought of you, as I thought of Thomson, as a future Bishop in the midst of the refined society of London, and when I received your first letter, dated somewhere latitude and longitude, I felt for a moment that you had made a mistake, and that the Church at home could ill afford to send men of your stamp as missionaries to mere savages. I do not think so now, and if I compare your lot with that of Thomson, now Archbishop of York, I feel that yours is the higher and the happier of the two.'

Oxford, May 14.

'I had the pleasure of seeing Mr. Codrington, who told me many things about you and your work, full of interest. How different life must seem to you from what it is to us! Everything so clear before you, nothing to cause you any misgivings, work to be done which must be done, a great work without any of the littlenesses which hang about our life in English society. I cannot bring myself to take much interest in all the controversies that are going on in the Church of England, and which to a great extent centre in Oxford. No doubt the points at issue are great, and appeal to our hearts and minds, but the spirit in which they are treated seems to me so very small. How few men on either side give you the impression that they write face to face with God, and not face to face with men and the small powers that be. Surely this was not so in the early centuries, nor again at the time of the Reformation? I have great regard for Stanley, because I know him personally, and know him to be strictly honest to himself, and capable of sacrificing many things he holds most dear for the sake of truth. He takes a warm interest in your work too. I suppose you received some years ago two contributions, one from Stanley, the other from Thomson (Archbishop), which they gave me to forward to you. Stanley was most anxious to send more, but knowing how he spends his money, I would not take more than £10. I still have great faith in the Archbishop of York. Unfortunately his elevation has been very sudden, and there are many who envy him and watch him: that makes him timid, and he hardly dares to be himself. But I feel certain he is averse to persecution, and ready to make every possible allowance for difference of opinion among those who seek honestly for what is true and right. If I may judge as a mere spectator, the danger of the Church lies at present in narrow-minded clamour and partisanship. Newspapers, religious or otherwise, appealing to the masses on points which men of education and special knowledge only can understand, do more harm than any political demagogues. I wish I could send you about twenty persons, both lay and clergy, to work for ten years as missionaries with you, and I feel certain that after the removal of the leaders, the Church would have peace again. But enough of this, for I want to have some space for linguistics. The skeleton grammars you sent me are very valuable, and it is most desirable that all you can write down should be printed. Of course, if the grammatical forms could be more systematized it would be better, but at the same time there is danger in systematizing; and I consider that the most important point which, in the study of languages, can be settled by such languages as yours, and by such only, is the original want of system, the influence of the individual, the family, and the class, in the formation and tradition of speech. The natural state of language is unbounded dialectic variety, but of course in all literary languages that phase is lost to us beyond the hope of recovery. Your own missionary work, the repeating of certain prayers, &c., will artificially arrest the dialectic variety of the native language. I suppose few of your Melanesian friends recollect more than their grandfathers, and therefore it is not likely they should be conscious of changes in their language. But the great variety of local dialects are the best witnesses as to the changeableness of language, and though it would hardly be worth your while to note such things, small peculiarities in the speech of certain families or settlements might throw much light on the process, the most mysterious process, how language changes. This is the great problem on which, in the end, will depend the decision in favour of one or many beginnings of human speech. Literary languages do entirely mislead us, and have misled nearly all scholars on that point. Savage languages alone can show how far languages can change. It would be very important, too, to make observations as to the number of words sufficient for answering all the purposes of a low civilization. How many words does a Melanesian know or use? How many of them convey to him an etymological meaning, i.e. are intelligible to him in their radical intention? Does he use different names for the same thing, or does he call two things by the same name? A language of 1,000 words is more easily changed than a language of 10,000. Out of two synonymes, one is sure to be lost in time, whereas the inconvenience arising from two things being called by the same name is sure to lead to an independent coining of new words, I send you, through Mr. Codrington, a book by Mr. Tylor on Ancient Civilization, with a review of mine. It will show you how valuable accurate and trustworthy observations of the habits of savages are for many important inquiries, and it may perhaps induce you to put down in writing the results of your own observations among the ancient strata of mankind cropping out in your islands. I wish I had more time for that kind of work, but I must for the next three or four years give all my time to the finishing of my edition of the Rig-veda, the work which originally brought me to England, and which, when finished, will set me free.

'We are hard at work canvassing for Gladstone. I believe he will be returned, and I believe his place would never be contested, if it were not for twenty or thirty idle agitators.'

Early in June the whole family moved to Ray Lodge for their last visit, and stayed there nearly three months, during which time there was a constant succession of family visitors, all wishing to see the last of the house that had been made so pleasant to all members of the large circle of relations. The Walronds were also there with their four children, and the summer months flew by all too fast to the two young wives in the home of their happy childhood and youth. The river was a constant pleasure. Max Muller becoming an expert oarsman, and many were the hours he spent with his wife on the river, under the shadow of the Taplow and Cliveden woods. One long delightful day was spent in a picnic at Medmenham Abbey, with the choir from Bray Church, in which his father-in-law, who had himself a very fine voice, had always taken a keen interest, and the old ruins echoed to many a beautiful glee and chorus. The loved Vicar of Bray drove over with his wife and daughters in the afternoon, in time to come down the river on the barge that held the large party, and, among other singers, Max Muller was persuaded to sing 'O Tannenbaum,' the song that nearly twenty years earlier had amused his friends in 'Billy Russell's' rooms in the Temple, with its imitation of various musical instruments, and which, if report speaks true, was a delight to the 'Monks of All Souls' at their Gaudys for many years. Drives, too, were taken through Hedsor, Dropmore, the Burnham Beeches, and Windsor Park, and all the other favourite haunts of bygone years. But a sense of regret underlay everything, and Max Muller in his letters of that summer to his mother constantly laments the loss to his children of the grandfather's house and gardens.

Throughout this year there was a frequent exchange of letters with Messrs. Longmans, Max Muller arranging for his friend. Professor Benfey, the publication in England of his Sanskrit Grammar, as one of the series of handbooks for Sanskrit which Max Muller was intending to publish. With the thoroughness that he carried into all his work, he made himself master of the details of printing, binding, and publishing, the cost of ink and paper, the proper charges for corrections and advertisements, and he used laughingly to say that the highest compliment he ever received was what Mr. William Longman, half in admiration and half provoked, said of him to Mr. Froude, 'As to your friend Max Muller, he can skin the flints in Paternoster Row!' A second edition of Volume II of the Lectures came out this year, and the fifth edition of Volume I.

From Professor Huxley.

Museum of Geology, Jermyn Street, June 15, 1865.

'My dear Sir,—I beg your acceptance of the numbers of the Fortnightly Review containing my article on Ethnology, which accompanies this note.

'I lost no time on Monday in referring to Christianity and 3fankind, and the perusal of your chapter on "Ethnology v. Phonology" leads me profoundly to regret that I had not been able to avail myself of the aid of so powerful an ally.

'But if you will continue to pull one way, and I the other, I have hopes we shall be able to get Ethnology and Phonology apart in time. Ever, my dear Sir, very faithfully yours, 'T. Huxley.'

To Professor Huxley.

Civil Service Commission, June 16, 1865.

'My dear Sir,—Accept my best thanks for your article on Ethnology in the Fortnightly Review. I shall read it carefully next week, when this examination for the Indian Civil Service is over. I have 130 candidates to examine in Sanskrit; and six hours of viva voce a day acts like an extinguisher on my reasoning faculties. I hope, however, I shall soon recover, and shall truly rejoice if, after your powerful pleading, Sir Creswell Creswell will grant a divorce to Ethnology and Phonology, two parties that ought never to have been joined together, and whose union has certainly been the cause of a succession of scientific mishaps. Believe me, yours very truly, 'Max Muller.'

To Edward Tylor, Esq.

Ray Lodge, June 23.

'I am glad to hear you are going to write an article on Wilhelm von Humboldt. Steinthal has made Humboldt far more unintelligible than he is. Humboldt is much more of a poet or seer than an exact philosopher. To attempt to make him what he is not, as Steinthal has done, destroys what he really is. But I confess, to give a faithful, clear, and consistent account of Humboldt's various and sometimes diverging views of language is by no means an easy task, and I am glad you have undertaken it. I was very sorry to have missed you when you were at Oxford. I am still deep in examination papers for the Indian Civil Service. Yours very truly.'

To His Mother.

Translation. Ray Lodge, July 16.

'I was lately invited to a luncheon in London to which the Queen of Holland had asked various people she wished to know—Professor Owen, Tennyson, Grote the historian, Lord Houghton, formerly Monckton Milnes and also a poet, the Editor of the Times, and my unworthy self. The Queen is very friendly, and very highly educated. She is a daughter of the old King of Wurtemburg, and we talked German together, though she speaks English and French fluently. My second volume of Lectures goes off very well, 2,200 copies sold in one year. It is stereotyped in America, and translated into French and Italian. Bottiger gets on slowly [with the German translation] and is not a good translator, but that can't be helped now.'

It was in this summer that Mr. Gladstone stood for the last time for election as a University burgess, and was rejected. The Max Mullers were staying at Claydon House, and from there Max came in to Oxford to record his vote. On his return that evening he brought word of the mishap to the statue of King James over the gateway into the Schools quad. Originally the statue had held a sceptre in the right hand, and a Bible in the left. The tradition in Oxford had always been that the sceptre fell out of James's hand, and was smashed on the pavement, on the day that William III landed at Torbay. Certain it is that, as the voters poured out of the Theatre, the Bible was lying in pieces on the pavement, and was seen by all voters who crossed the Schools quad, coming out of the Theatre. Max Muller was of this number, on his way to his house in High Street. Of course it was considered of great significance by Mr. Gladstone's supporters. Lord Houghton was one of the party at Claydon, and read aloud of an evening Swinburne's Atalanta in Calydon, which had not long appeared.

To The Dean of Westminster.

Ray Lodge, July 19.

'My dear Stanley,—I was in town yesterday and called at the Deanery; but as I was told you had a bad headache, I did not like to send up my card. When I returned in the evening I found your letter. I shall go to Oxford to-day and be at the station at 3.55. It will be a real pleasure to show Oxford to the Queen of Holland. I liked very much what I saw of her at your house. The only people worth knowing in the world are those who, instead of being Deans or Bishops or Archbishops, &c., are themselves, or try to be, and are proud to be themselves. She hides her crown most gracefully—and crowns, I suppose, are more difficult to hide than mitres, coronets, &c.

'Gladstone is rejected by Oxford, and I grieve to see meanness, narrowness, intolerance, and conceit triumphant once more. I suppose it is right to subscribe to the Bishop of Natal's Fund; I promised to do so, though I cannot subscribe much. I do not think that he understands the language of ancient history—it is a language full of irregularities, and to try to eliminate them all is like eliminating the irregular verbs in Greek. But though I differ from him and his school, I cannot bear to see honest inquiry squashed by the clamour of Demetrius and his craftsmen, and the attempt to starve a man into silence or submission is a discovery which will be a disgrace to the nineteenth century. Ever yours, 'Max Muller.'

To E. A. Freeman, Esq.

Ray Lodge, August 12.

'My dear Freeman,—Could you find time to send me one line if you know any book in English on the English Tell saga? I have got the Swiss books, but I want to know the history of the English tale of Adam Bell, Clym of the Clough, and William of Cloudesley. I think with you that the myth of Tell or Agamemnon makes the existence of a real Agamemnon probable, but what can the historian do with such probable heroes?'

Max Muller was singularly scrupulous as to inflicting inquiries on his friends, as he suffered himself from letters from all parts of the world, on every imaginable subject. He was most careful to answer all genuine inquiries, but when asked by one lady if football was played in England before the emigration of the Britons (whatever that meant), and by another where to get her horoscope cast, by one gentleman how to find the origin of his name Jones, by another why in learning German he might not say der but das Pferd, and by an hotel-keeper how to pronounce the word 'schedule,' and whether the term revoke or renege should be used at cards, as two gentlemen had laid heavy wagers on these points, he did not feel called on to waste his time in answers. He had a book in which these and other equally foolish letters were pasted, and in which he kept the most amusing of the envelopes addressed to him in every imaginable style.

Among the best of these envelopes are:—

'To the most celebrated and honoured Max Muller.'

'M. le Directeur, Universite des Langues, Angleterre,' came straight to him.

'Professor Max Muller, Editor of the Works of the East Indies, General Post Office, London.'

'Max Muller, Ancient Professor of University, England.'

'Mr. Rev. Max Muller.'

'Master Max Muller.'

'To very honourable Knight Max Muller.'

'Sr Magnificenz Mr. Max Muller, Rector of the University.'

'The Venerable Professor Max Muller.'

'Pundit Max Muller.'

'Mr. Max, Oxford.'

'To the great Linguist Max Muller.'

'To Father Max Muller.'

'The most noblest of the noble, Great Oriental Savant, F. Max Muller.'

'To the Head authority on Language, Oxford.'

But there was one letter which he was fond of showing though he never knew who were the writers:—

To Professor Max Muller.

March 10.

'Sir,—We are a couple of rather wild English girls, who have been trying all our lives to learn something and have not yet succeeded. We have become somewhat dissatisfied lately with our failures, and have made up our minds to master some wonderful language that few girls (or even men) would know. We intended to "go in" for Arabic, but every one says that we should never get over even the alphabet. To take only one or two you mention in your lectures, Persian and Sanskrit are as difficult as Arabic. Zend no one has ever heard of Prakrit we cannot get the necessary materials for. What are we to do? Every one seems to think we are too fastidious, but all we want is to get hold of an unusual language that is not quite beyond our capabilities. We have at length made up our mind to try and get out of our difficulties by applying to head quarters, and trouble you with our inquiries. We enclose a directed envelope in order to take up as little of your valuable time as possible. We are, yours respectfully, 'Mabel and Ellen.'

The address given was 'Holly, Post Office, Kiln Green, Twyford.'

To this the following answer was sent:—

'Dear Miss Mabel and Miss Ellen,—It is by no means easy to reply to your inquiry. To take up any work in good earnest is a most excellent thing, and I should be the last person to find fault with anybody for fixing on learning a language, even for the mere sake of learning something. Yet it is right that our work should have some useful object beyond the mere pleasure of working. Thus in selecting a language we might look at three ulterior objects— literature, travel, or science of language. Now, as I have no reason to suppose that you want to learn a language that might be useful to you in travelling, or that might furnish promising material for scientific analysis, I will take it for granted that literature would form an object of interest to you in the choice of a language. As it is to be a language which few people in England are likely to know, I should say take Portuguese, if you like Romance, or take Swedish, if you like Teutonic languages. The books for learning these languages are easily procured, and there is a literature both in Swedish and Portuguese very little known in this country, and well deserving the interest of two young ladies. But I am afraid you will consider both Portuguese and Swedish as far too commonplace. Well, in that case, take Siamese. You will have some difficulty in getting grammars and dictionaries, yet, if you are in earnest and apply to Messrs. Williams and Norgate, 14, Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, you will with some little trouble and expense get what you want. There is not a single man in Europe, I believe, who knows Siamese. The French, however, are opening the country, and some of their agents and missionaries have begun to study the language. The alphabet is troublesome, the grammar itself seems easy. There is a vast literature, as yet almost unknown. The King of Siam is a man of literary tastes, a man who reads and writes English, and who would no doubt be delighted to receive, say two or three years hence— for it will take at least that time—a letter written in his own language by two English ladies. With this little glimpse of romance looming in the distance I must close my letter, and beg to remain, with best wishes for perseverance and success, yours faithfully, 'M. M.'

Mabel and Ellen were the daughters of the well-known writer, Mortimer Collins, but they did not learn Swedish, Portuguese, or Siamese!

After another month at Ray Lodge the Max Mullers returned to Oxford^ and the Walronds to London, and the old house knew them no more. The weather in September of this year was unusually hot, and evening after evening was spent on the river, not only on the lower river, but the Cherwell, then hardly known even to boating men, was constantly explored nearly to Islip. 'We carried the boat from one river to the other,' says a letter. It was a happy six weeks before term began, and Max Muller, who was working at his Veda, without any pressure of other work, greatly enjoyed the quiet—as he tells his mother—alone with his wife and children, and a few intimate friends who were in Oxford.

He gave two public lectures in the October Term on 'Joinville's Saint Louis,' which were much appreciated, and formed the nucleus of the article on Joinville in Chips, Volume III.

It was in October that Max Muller, finding that his friend the Bodleian Librarian, 'Bodley Coxe,' could not secure the services of any Orientalist for the place of Oriental Sub-Librarian at the Bodleian, offered himself for the post. As soon as the Vice-Chancellor announced the day on which the 'nomination of Mr. Max Muller to the office of Sub-Librarian, which nomination has received the sanction of the Curators, will be submitted to the House,' disagreeable letters and protests began to appear. One man, signing as 'a Member of Convocation,' made out that Max Muller had an income of at least £1,100 a year from public funds (it was really £700, including his ill-paid work on the Veda). This was answered by the Bodleian Librarian, and by a Member of Convocation, in the following letters:—

November 4.

'Members of Convocation are respectfully informed that the necessities of the Bodleian Library require at this time an Under-Librarian specially conversant with Oriental Literature. Failing in his endeavour to secure the services of another distinguished Orientalist, the Librarian has been allowed (with the unanimous consent of the Curators) to submit the name of Professor Max Muller to the approval of the House, as one who, together with his Oriental learning, combines a large acquaintance with Modern European Literature, a department of scarcely less importance to the interests of the Library.

'It may be as well to correct three mis-statements which appear in the first of the letters now in circulation:—

1. Professor Muller's salary as Taylorian Professor is £500, not "more than £600."

2. He has resigned the Examinership for the Indian Civil Service.

3. His labours in editing the Vedas, so far from being "well paid," entail on him a considerable pecuniary sacrifice.

' H. O. Coxe, Bodley's Librarian.'

November 6, 1865.

'The letter of a Member of Convocation contained in the Standard of October 30, furnishes us with the keynote to the threatened opposition to Professor Max Muller's appointment as Sub-Librarian to the Bodleian Library.

'As this "distinguished scholar" has been always too much occupied in the duties connected with his Professorship to mix himself up in theological or in political controversies, it is difficult to understand on what grounds he can have rendered himself obnoxious in either of these capacities, except to those who regard every German as a Rationalist, and every member of Gladstone's Committee as a Radical.

'It is to be hoped that Convocation, dismissing all such irrelevant considerations, will leave it, as on former occasions, to the Head Librarian, who has never been suspected of an undue bias towards "Liberalism in politics, or Rationalism in religion," to determine, with the sanction of the Curators, what is most needed with reference to the exigencies of an Establishment for the efficiency of which he is mainly responsible. 'Member of Convocation.'

Max Muller was elected, and enjoyed the work very much; but the strain of double work was too much, his health broke down under it, and he had to resign the Librarianship after about a year and a half. He of course ceased to be a Curator of the Bodleian (he had been elected in 1856) when he accepted the post of Sub-Librarian.

To His Mother.

Translation. November 1.

'Here people talk of nothing but Palmerston's death. I have never admired the man much. I was introduced to him a couple of years ago; he looked like a dandy, but spoke in a very friendly way. He allowed himself to be more ruled by England than he ruled her. That has its good side, especially here where public opinion is well regulated, but he was entirely wanting in independence and all higher ideas of life. Stanley buried him in Westminster Abbey. I did not go up for it.'

To Dean Stanley.

64, High Street, November 23.

'My dear Stanley,—Many thanks for the second series of your Lectures1 [On the Jewish Church.] just received. I shall read them as soon as I find a few quiet days, and they will recall the pleasant time when you were settled here. If you cannot have the man, the next best thing is to have his book, yet it is but a poor substitute. Why did you not put on your titlepage, "Corresponding Member of the Institute of France"? They are rather particular about that in Paris.

'The Convocation for confirming my re-election2 [To his Professorship.] is fixed for Friday, December 1, at two. Whether there is to be a sulphurous eruption I do not know yet, but I should not be surprised. However, you must not think of coming up. If it is to be, I have no doubt it is meant for good. I have done nothing in the matter, and my rule in life has always been not to struggle against storms that are gathering overhead, but to wait, hoping they may pass, but quite prepared for the drenching if it comes.

'I think I have been treated without that fairness and consideration which, as a rule, are generally shown by Englishmen to Englishmen; but though I may have made a mistake in settling in England, and spending here the best years of my life, I shall always be thankful for having passed through this school of life. There are many things I owe to my stay in England and to my English friends, perhaps the most precious things in a man's life—things that cannot be taken away, and that I shall value all the more, if the evening of my life is to be spent in my own country. Ever yours, 'Max Muller.'

To The Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone.

High Street, November 12, 1865.

'I cannot allow another week to pass without thanking you for your essay on the Providential Position of Greece. I have read it with deep interest, and there are many things which I should like to say about it. But I live just now in the midst of a storm which will very likely drive me away from England1 [The opposition threatened to his election as Sub-Librarian on account of his unorthodoxy.], and I cannot for the moment concentrate my thoughts on any other subject. I am so glad that you have said many of the things which you have said in your valedictory address. Though no human mind can ever hope to discover or to understand the vestiges of the Creator and Ruler of mankind in the broken strata of history, yet the very search for them comforts and elevates the mind of man, and the sense of our own impotence and ignorance widens and deepens our faith in the Highest Wisdom and Power.

'With many thanks for the honour you have done me in sending me your essay.'

To His Wife.

Oxford, November 28.

'May God watch over us, and may we never forget how much happiness He has showered upon us! There is something very awful in this life, and it is not right to try to forget it. It is well to be reminded by the trials of others of what may befall us, and what is kept from us only by the love of our Father in heaven, not by any merit of our own.'

Christmas was spent in London at the grandfather's house, but to the sorrow of the two eldest children, who recollected the regular German Christmas of the year before with their grandmother, there was no Christmas tree, the house being too small to give up a room to it.
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Re: The Life and Letters of The Right Hon. Friedrich Max Mul

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Easter in Paris. Sanskrit Grammar. War between Prussia and Austria. Cornwall. 'My Brother.' Gold medal from Duke of Anhalt. Illness. Bournemouth. Letter on Brahma Somaj, Death of niece. 'Parks End' bought. Cure at Ems. Chips, Volumes I and II.

By January 2 the Max Mullers settled quietly again in Oxford, he remaining hard at work till Easter, when the ten days' vacation from the Bodleian was spent in a visit to Paris. The weather was too cold for expeditions, but many pleasant hours were spent with congenial friends—the Mohls, the Regniers, Barthelemy-St.-Hilaire, Stanislas Julien, Michel Breal, and others. To Max Muller this intercourse and exchange of ideas with friends occupied in work like his own was the greatest refreshment. It was such intercourse he sorely missed in Oxford, where the men who could at all enter into his pursuits were younger than himself, and more like pupils, whilst his older friends, with whom his Oxford career had begun, had almost all moved on to other spheres of work.

To His Mother.

Translation. Oxford, April 16.

'Our time in Paris was very amusing. The only sad thing was the recollection of so many friends whom one knew there, and who are gone. I often thought of Emilie, and of Gathy, and Hagedorn, and of my life in Paris in 1846. That is long ago, and yet I enjoy life as much as I did then, and think the grey hairs are only an outward appearance! ... I do not believe in war, have never believed in it, but I am curious to see how long men of honour and reasonable men in Germany will submit to such a scandalous government! Now I am busy again with my work, and shall not get away till August. I have been made an Academician of Turin. There are only seven, and after Thiers and Cousin comes my unworthy self.'

To E. B. Tylor, Esq.

Oxford, April 16.

'On my return from Paris I found a copy of the Quarterly, and in it your excellent article on the Science of Language. I feel not only personally very much obliged to you, but I believe you have rendered a real service to our common studies by exciting the interest and allaying the fears of that large and important class of Englishmen who are, more or less, led by the Quarterly Review. A violent onslaught from that quarter, which was by no means unlikely, might have done serious mischief, and I therefore tender you my thanks both for what you have done, and what you have been the means of preventing. What you say about Prepositions is true. I believe, however, that those which are not predicative like trans will turn out to be prenominal, local adverbs pointing to here and there. Qui vivra verra [Google translate: Who will live will see]. You have managed the Interjectionalists very well. Never did I make a greater mistake than in taking an illustration of the Bow-wow theory from Wedgwood's Dictionary, which happened to be on my table, instead of quoting the same view from a hundred other books! You have put the case very clearly, and I hope no more paper will be wasted on this unprofitable discussion. You attribute too much importance to my phonetic types or typical sounds; they were left as a mere frame, to be filled in by-and-by.'

To The Same.

Oxford, April 19.

'Many thanks for your article in the Fortnightly Review. I like it very much and agree with every word of it; only that I shall have to write a much more determined defence of the Pooh-pooh and Bowwow theory than you have done, but of course only after defining the true meaning of these theories. I cannot get over chagrin. I do not think it can be merely leather, least of all Eastern leather; but I confess I cannot get at the history of the word. I believe that the chagreen leather is of Eastern origin, but chagrin as substantive and adjective, chagrineux and chagriner—I confess that staggers me. The question is who first used the metaphor, if that is the origin of the word.'

Rumours of war between Austria and Prussia were now rife, and Max Muller wrote to warn his mother not to depend on seeing him and his in Germany in the summer.

To His Mother.

Translation. May 27.

'We can make no plans for the summer whilst there are these rumours of war. Till now I firmly believed in peace, but now I am afraid the summer will not go by without something happening. I cannot take any interest in these matters, unless it comes to a real popular war. Till now the people have not wished for war, but only the Ministers and the soldiers, and they may eat the broth they have cooked. But how any people can submit to such a way of governing, I cannot comprehend, and am thankful I am not there. I have at last finished my Sanskrit Grammar. It came out last week, and it has taken a great load off my conscience.'

In 1864 Max Muller had arranged with Messrs. Longmans to publish a series of handbooks for the study of Sanskrit. In his preface to the first of the series, the first book of the Hitopadesa, he explains that these handbooks were intended for two classes of readers: first, for those candidates for the Indian Civil Service who desired not only to acquit themselves well in the examination, but to lay a good foundation for the subsequent study of the spoken vernaculars; and secondly, for a steadily increasing number of scholars who wished to gain an elementary but accurate knowledge of Sanskrit as a key to the study of Comparative Philology. For both these classes the existing works were too diffuse, and only adapted to those who wished to make Sanskrit their lifelong study. Max Muller's handbooks included the first, second, third, and fourth books of the Hitopadesa, Benfey's Sanskrit Dictionary, and a Sanskrit Grammar for beginners by Max Muller. The text of the first book of the Hitopadesa was prepared by Dr. Kielhorn, one of the many German Sanskrit scholars for whom Max Muller was instrumental in getting appointments in India.

The Librarian of the India Office, in writing to thank him for the Hitopadesa, says, 'It is very obliging of you, in the interest of beginners, to prepare books of this description; that they are very much needed is undeniable—at last it is feasible for a student of ordinary ability to commence the study of Sanskrit without a teacher.'

Max Muller's 'sensible and well-constructed book' was praised in several reviews, whilst his friend Professor Cowell had from the first welcomed the series as * an immense help to the student. With such helps as these Sanskrit should be as easily acquired as any other language. The projected series will be invaluable.'

To His Mother.

Translation. Oxford, June 17.

'I hope that you are safe in Chemnitz, for Dresden is not the place for you. I see that the Prussians have marched into Saxony, and they are very likely to encounter the Austrians in the neighbourhood of Dresden. At Chemnitz, at all events, you are not in the immediate scene of the fighting—you have advice and help from the Krugs. Now that war has really begun things will not quiet down again so very quickly; but in the way war is now conducted, those who live at the very theatre of war will be far less disturbed than in former times. Sooner or later a war between Austria and Prussia was unavoidable, and if it is but decisive, it will lead to what all true Germans have desired for years, a united Germany. Prussia and Austria are merely names, and stand for no more than Anhalt and Reuss. The great thing is that the dualism of Prussia and Austria should be ended. Who conquers, or is conquered, is of little consequence. Germany remains Germany, and cannot be governed, even by a Roman Catholic Emperor, otherwise than she allows herself to be governed. If Prussia wins, she must cease to be Prussia; Austria the same. So wait quietly, no excitement, no partisanship. Bismarck, either with or without his own consent, may become the greatest benefactor of Germany. It is sad that your Austrian investments have fallen again! but don't make yourself miserable about it. How many people are in the same, or even worse, plight! Whatever you want, I can always give. You need have no scruples about it, for if I don't give it to you, I give it to others; and I have for years given away to others far more than I give you. What flows in so richly on me does not belong to me, and I ought to give away a great deal more than I do. So, as I say, don't vex yourself about money. Stay on quietly for the present with the Krugs. We can make no summer plans yet. France and Switzerland are the only places where it would be quiet. ... Do not make the times worse than they are by over-anxiety.'

It was in this year that Max Muller made the acquaintance of Mr. John Bellows, the head of the great printing works at Bristol. At first the acquaintance was only by letter, but on meeting they were both much attracted to each other, and a true friendship sprang up which continued to the last, though, being very busy men, they did not meet as often as both desired. In sending his friend's letters to Mrs. Max Muller, Mr. Bellows says:—

'It was in 1866 that I put before Professor Max Muller a plan 1 had for printing a skeleton dictionary in which travellers and missionaries might record the vocabulary of any particular language, or dialect, they wished to study. He entered heartily into it, and compiled for it a key alphabet for the various sounds that would have to be noted. It so happened that a Scottish firm just then offered me a quantity of paper they had made for Confederate bank-notes during the American War, but which they had failed to run through the blockade at Charleston. As this was very strong and thin, I used it for the Outline Dictionary. It answered well, I believe, as the edition all sold. It was really Professor Max Muller's work, however.'

The following letters show how minutely Professor Max Muller entered into the scheme:—

To Mr. John Bellows.

64, High Street, June 20.

'I cannot think of anything better than the inverted a to represent the a; we must not have accented letters, otherwise no doubt the Swedish S would be preferable. I do not see quite clearly the principle you follow in giving the various meanings of certain words. The book is meant for Englishmen who must be supposed to know the shades of meaning of each word; besides there is no reason to give them all. Would it not be best to give various meanings only when there is a clearly defined difference, as in Account, I narrative, 2 bill, 3 esteem? But why give "coming to the throne" under Accession? If the missionary wants to express that meaning he would put it under Accession, and if he wants to express "an accession to his income" he would place it there likewise, making a note for his own information. Why put casual, and by injury, under Accidental? Does accidental ever mean by injury, except indirectly?'

To The Same.

Oxford, June 27.

'There is very little to alter. I should put v, bought, all, as a familiar English sound, before the a of Vater. Also I should put n as optional with n; in fact I should not have admitted n at all if I had not been told that this type is generally to be found in ordinary founts. You know best whether that is so; if not, I should leave it out, and give n only. I think a little more care should be taken with the Dictionary.'

To The Same.

July 18.

'I received your envelopes and the electro-typed specimens, and am much obliged to you for them. As to your Dictionary, I am afraid there is something wrong in getting the words ready for press. Why should you not take any ordinary Dictionary, and just underline in red the words which you want? I have been collating your proofsheets with Blackley and Friedlander's Practical German Dictionary, just published by Longmans, and I really think it would take less time to underline that, than to collate the proof-sheets, to say nothing of the trouble of making the corrections in the composition. I always think that what is worth doing is worth doing well, and I feel sure that with a little more trouble at first, much trouble afterwards may be avoided.'

Since Max Muller's last letter to his mother great events had taken place in Germany. The rapid advance of the Prussians had been crowned by the great battle of Koniggratz. Austria had given up Venice to France, and the 'Seven Days' War,' as it was called in England, seemed over. The excitement and interest in England were very great.

To His Mother.

Translation. Oxford, July 8.

'All good Germans have long desired what is now happening. The methods employed might have been better, here and there, but Prussia staked her existence to make Germany united and strong, and though I thoroughly doubt whether the motives were throughout honest and pure, yet I rejoice over the results. Prussia will have a yet harder war to wage, for war with France can hardly be avoided. But in spite of all that, Germany will at last take her right place in Europe, and that she never could have done with the "Bundestag" and thirty princes. Austria will always remain a great power in the East, but in the Protestant North an independent power must be created, be it called Prussia or Germany. I often long now to be back in Germany, though I could be of no use as a soldier. Write to me very often; I am so busy I cannot always write to you, but you have plenty of time, and all you write interests me. Also letters may get lost now, so the more you write the better. Why do not you and Emilie come to England for six or eight weeks? I do not believe that we shall have peace very soon; should it come we might still go to Germany in August and September. Do not worry too much. There is always war, and always will be, like thunder after great heat. I am very sorry for Emilie at Dessau, in the midst of Prussians with her strong Austrian feelings. Where is Adolf, and what has become of Fritz Stockmarr1 [Soldier cousins of Max Muller's.]?'

The following letter refers to a communication from Max Muller's old schoolfellow, Karl Elze, of Dessau, a well-known Shakespearian scholar, later on Professor of English Literature at Halle. He wrote to tell his friend that a literary society in Dessau, which for some years had been giving public lectures, had resolved to apply the money so made to the founding of a Wilhelm Muller Prize, to be given each year in the three highest classes of the Dessau Gymnasium (public school) on Wilhelm Muller's birthday.

To His Mother.

Translation. Oxford, July 16.

'I write whenever I have something to write about, and from the enclosed letter from Elze you will see that we are not quite forgotten in Dessau. I wrote at once to Elze a beautifully written letter, to tell him how pleased I was. I at once promised him 100 thalers, and hope later on to give more, so that perhaps in time it may form a Wilhelm Muller Scholarship. So you see there is a bit of good news. One hopes now the war will soon be over; well, the quicker the better. The losses are terrible, but so it has always been, and in no century has Germany been so long at peace as in this. You can well imagine I am no admirer of Bismarck, but I am convinced his policy is the only one to make Germany strong and respected by other nations. What would have become of Germany if France had attacked Hanover, or Saxony, or Hesse, and the jealousy between Prussia and Austria had made all joint action impossible? With Italy united, with the Colossus of Russia and the great mass of France, it was necessary North Germany should be united. Austria was opposed to this union and must therefore suffer, but in spite of all defeats she will always be a great power in the East, and, if she concentrates herself by giving up Italy and Germany, will, one hopes, be strong enough, in spite of Russia, to annex Turkey, and drive the Turks back to Asia. Those are my hopes, but who knows what may come? I expected that Prussia would meet with some great defeat, and that may still happen, and would do Prussia good, as thereby she would become more thoroughly German; but these things are not in our hands, and all happens as is for the best. So do not let the grey hairs appear! much worse things have happened in the world than the overthrow of a dynasty. On the whole the world is a very small grain of sand, Europe a small quarter of the world, and Austria a very small part of Europe, and the man one calls from habit Emperor is but a man, not so much better than the thousands who have fallen in Bohemia. I wish I knew how to send you some money—the letters seem to go safely enough. Stay quietly in Chemnitz. It is possible the Prussians may have to retreat, and then Dresden might have to suffer, whilst Chemnitz is off the track. Wish Krug joy for his twenty-five years' doctorate—I shall soon attain a like honour, and yet I cannot feel myself at all old!'

To E. B. Tylor, Esq.

July 6.

'Two things have escaped me which perhaps you will help me to catch. I made a note of a passage where the name Bear, for the constellation, occurred among a race that could not be suspected of Aryan influences. But I lost my reference. Secondly, I saw a paper by Mr. Edkins on the relation between Chinese, Mongolian, and Tibetan, either in the Ethnological or Anthropological Society; but this too I cannot find again. The finder shall be duly rewarded.'

As the time for his holiday drew near, Max Muller felt more and more unwilling to risk taking his wife and children to Germany in the unsettled state of things; and he was conscious, without any vanity, that he could not travel about entirely unknown, or say what he liked unheeded. He did not wish to be obliged to express any real opinion publicly for either Prussia or Austria, and it seemed wisest to keep out of Germany till things were more settled. Even in his own family party spirit ran very high. His Dessau relatives were all for Prussia, and Max Muller's own feelings were on that side, whereas his cousin Emilie, and, influenced by her, his mother, were violently Austrian.

To His Mother.

Translation, Oxford, August 5.

'That nothing has come of our plans is very sad. I had gone on hoping we might get to Rugen, but the state of things is too uncertain for travelling, especially with children. It looks more peaceful at this moment, but I do not quite trust it; it is always possible that Austria may venture on another battle. Also the new organization in the north, and the Parliament in Frankfort, are sure to cause local disturbances, and as one can do nothing to help, it is better to stay away, and hope for happier times. . . . One cannot alter matters, and when you think that Babylon and Nineveh, and Athens and Rome, have passed away in the course of time, you cannot wonder so much at the Hapsburg catastrophe. Such things happen now and again, and the world goes on afterwards as before!'

Sir Benjamin Brodie and his family, and Professor Bartholomew Price with his, had gone to St. Ives in Cornwall for the summer, and persuaded the Max Mullers to follow their example. The one difficulty was a house; the few suited to visitors were all taken. At last Lady Brodie found what was really a fisherman's cottage close down to the beach, small and simple, but exquisitely clean, and this was promptly secured. Life at St. Ives was amusingly primitive; the butcher came once a week from Penzance, but every house had its own poultry yard to supply deficiencies. Vegetables and fruit were even more difficult to procure: there was one baker in St. Ives. The town faces north; the part where the visitors lived thirty-six years ago was out of the town proper, which was built on a broad spit of land surrounded, except to the south, by the sea. The town was entirely inhabited by the fishermen, and was almost unapproachable from the smell of stale fish. Behind the cottage which the Max Mullers occupied the land rose to the granite moors, from the top of which there was a wonderful view, south to Penzance and Mount's Bay, and back north to the Bay of St. Ives and the coast towards Perranzabuloc. The smelling town was often braved, for beyond it the spit of land ended in an open meadow, from which one could see on calm days the long swell of the green waters of the Atlantic rolling in with irresistible force, or on stormy days the foaming waves as they dashed and thundered against the cliffs; whilst the sunsets, as seen from this point, were a constant delight. Bathing was carried on from the beach in front of the Max Mullers' cottage, 'Primrose Villa,' the boulders of rock fallen from the cliff's serving as dressing-rooms. At that time of year the moors were one blaze of purple heather and golden gorse—in striking contrast to the grey limestone headlands of the sea-coast. So brilliant was the colouring that, on the first walk to the moors, the eldest child, five and a half years old, who inherited all her father's passion for flowers, gave a cry of rapture as she saw the long stretch of heather and gorse, 'Oh, Daddy, whose garden is this?' Max Muller was delighted with the country, examining the cromlechs and other Celtic remains with keen interest. But his letters shall speak for themselves.

To Mr. Bellows.

St. Ives, September.

'I have not been able to see much of Cornwall yet, owing to various reasons: my own health, my wife's health, and the weather. However, we are both well again; and in spite of the weather we have spent three days at the Lizard. Gew Graze, Pigeon Hugo, Kynance, and the coast as far as Cadgewith are full of interest. As soon as the weather settles a little, we mean to go to the Land's End. If possible, we shall do Carnbrea, when I hope to see your friend Mr. Michell, though I am afraid we are not up to descending into the mine. What you say about the accent in Cornish is very true. I did not know about the German miners, and I wonder whether one could find an historical account of them anywhere. The legends and stories of Cornwall are purely German—very little of Cornish left there. The names of places deserve a careful study. Mere etymology will not do it; you want first of all to ascertain their primitive form. As to "Carack luz en kuz1 [An old name for St. Michael's Mount.]," please remember that I am not a Cornish scholar. I consider your argument against the modern form of kuz, instead of the Cornish cuit, Welsh coed, as quite true. So far I go with you, and this seems to me to dispose of the meaning commonly given to "Carack luz en kuz," the hoar rock in the wood. What it really meant I cannot tell; I do not see that you prove the meaning of bay for the word kuz, or of holy for luz, unless you have some further evidence. Mere possibilities will not help much. Nor do I see that you prove that the Mount was a burial-place. If you can establish the meaning of bay for kuz it will be very important, but even to have shown that it could not have meant wood, is quite sufficient to guard against the extraordinary conclusions founded on that name. One more question, What is the earliest date for the name "Carack luz en kuz," or of the pilchard song in which it occurs?'

To The Same.

St. Ives, September 13.

'The weather is sadly against us here. We saw the Land's End, and walked along the coast to the Logan, with a fearful sea rolling at our side. It was magnificent. We went down Botollock Mine, which to my mind is as grand as anything I recollect. We have only one more week here. I wish I could stay here longer, it is a delightful neighbourhood and full of interest. Now and then one feels very near the old world. How careless people are about Celtic antiquities; while they send men-of-war to fetch home the lions and bulls of Nineveh, farmers are allowed to pull down cromlechs and caves, and use the stones for pig-styes.'

To The Same.

St. Ives, September 18.

'The fates have been sadly against me during my stay in Cornwall. First I was laid up with cold, &c., and afterwards the weather has been so uncertain that I have only just been able to see what was absolutely necessary. However, in spite of all, I am so delighted with Cornwall, that I am sure to come again, and if I could I should gladly give up Oxford and settle here, in a cottage by the sea-shore, and finish my edition and translation of the Veda, which I am afraid I shall never be able to finish at Oxford. The air here is so invigorating, and life so easy, natural, and uninterrupted by society, that one feels up to any amount of work. I tremble when I think of the hurry and flurry of Oxford, and the distraction and lassitude which it entails. . . . The growth of the modern name and legend of Marazion is very curious. ... I wish somebody would take up the history of Cornish names of places. There are so many names of fields, and lanes, and stones, to say nothing of houses and villages, which would yield an ample harvest. ... I should like to know the meaning of Perran, and St. Perran, and his various aliases. Can it mean "miner" or "smelter"? He seems a saint of Cornish growth, and I expect a saint who never had flesh or bone, as little as his companion, St. Chywiddan, i.e. White house, or Smelting house. Do you happen to know anything about their meaning and origin, beyond what is found in Hunt's Cornish Tales?'

So delighted was Max Muller with all he saw and heard in Cornwall—for he was never tired of the tales of Cornish saints, giants, and fairies that he learnt from various Cornish people with whom he came in contact—that he began, almost as soon as he returned to Oxford, to write the paper on ' Cornish Antiquities,' which was published the following year in the Quarterly. Another, on the question, 'Were there Jews in Cornwall?' also appeared in a periodical of the next year, and provoked long discussions; whilst a third paper, 'On the Insulation of St. Michael's Mount,' was read before the Ashmolean Society in Oxford in the autumn of 1867. All three papers were republished in the two first editions of Chips.

To Mr. John Bellows.

September 29.

'. . . I send you what I have written down about St. Michael's Mount. I wonder whether you will be able to read it, and I want much to know what you think about it before I send it to be printed. I have taken possession of some remarks of yours, to which, however, I would gladly attach your name if you will let me do so. ... I am in no hurry about printing it. I am pining after St. Ives, and Cornish rocks, and fresh sea-breezes.'

Just after his return to Oxford, Max Muller received intelligence that an impostor, calling himself his brother, was going about in London getting money from those whom he could take in. The story was always the same: he had been robbed on his way over from Germany, and had not enough to pay his ticket to Oxford. As the man or men continued the same fraud for several years. Max Muller at length put a notice in the Times, mentioning that he had never had a brother. This stopped the impostor in London after a time, but a few years later the same trick was tried in one of the Australian colonies, and Max received letters from several people who had been duped by him. The imposture continued on and off for quite five years, and there is still a large packet of letters from his victims marked in Max Muller's hand, 'My Brother.'

To His Mother.

Translation. October 7.

'The Professors in Berlin are wretchedly paid, and whenever I hear of affairs there, I feel I should never be able to fit in there. I am not rich here, but independent. I think I should long ago have been in prison had I stayed in Germany; here in England I can do what I will. People abuse me, but they cannot bite, and everybody barks at his own door.'

To Professor Lepsius.

Translation. Oxford, October 14.

'. . . The things that happen in Prussia—or shall I say Germany?— occupy one's head and one's heart. What would Bunsen have thought of it all? Many a thing has happened differently to what we should have wished, but that it has happened, and that it has advanced so far, and will advance still more and more, makes it well worth while to have lived to see it come to pass. There will have to be further struggles, but a glorious beginning has been made!'

It was in this autumn that Max Muller received a fine gold medal from his old Duke, Leopold of Dessau, who, knowing that Orders are not worn in England, except at Court, had this medal struck expressly for the student whose career he had watched with interest from his earliest childhood. On the obverse of the medal is the head of the Duke, who was a very handsome man, and on the reverse, within a broad wreath of oak and laurel leaves, the inscription:—

'Fur Verdienst um Kunst und Wissenschaft dem Professor Dr. Max Muller, 1866. [Google translate: For services to art and science to the professor Dr. Max Muller, 1866.]'

('To Professor Dr. Max Muller, 1866, for services to Art and Science.') It was the first recognition he received, except from learned societies, and was greatly prized, and always kept on his table.

To Mr. John Bellows.

Oxford, November 8.

'It is very kind of you to lend me your Cornish Dictionary; I shall take great care of it, and return it as soon as I get my own copy. It seems a very useful book, and carefully put together, only the Sanskrit comparisons are horrible. I wish Mr. Williams would publish his Celtic Grammar, but confine himself to Celtic. I guessed the riddle of the Nine Maidens as soon as I began to read your letter. I saw the stones, and I wish I had known about the missing stone, and where to find it. As to the legend, it would grow up naturally enough. If you once have the nine maidens and turned into stones, the dancing on a Sunday, &c., will come by itself. I think I could match that easily by German legends. You see that even the two pipers were soon added by popular fancy. I wish I could find out whether I am right in supposing that the two pipers, and the two stones that flank the Men-an-tol, point to the equinoctial points, and served to fix the great annual festivals. There are certainly tombs on St. Michael's Mount, and I read an ancient charter which allows people to be buried on the mainland, but still requires the dues to be paid to the Priory. I feel sure an attempt should be made to declare all real antiquities, in Cornwall and elsewhere, national property. I have collected a few cases of vandalism. If you meet with any in your readings, please let me know.'

To The Same.

Oxford, November 14,

'You have traced the extracts from the Sikh MSS. beautifully, and before I say more about it, let me ask you where you get that beautiful tracing-paper, and how much it is per quire. Well, there is very little known about the Sikh language. We possess several MSS. of their sacred book, the Granth, and of some minor works, all treating of the Sikh religion. The language is the Penjabi as spoken about 1500 A.D., a corruption of Sanskrit, like Hindi and the rest. The alphabet, too, is Devanagari, only curiously misapplied. By means of Sanskrit on the one side, and Hindi on the other, one could make out passages here and there, but that was a slow process. So I wrote through a friend of mine to some of the Sikh priests at Umritsir, asking them to write out a Sanskrit translation of some portions of their sacred code. They sent me instead a Hindi and Penjabi translation, and by means of it, and with the help of some friends who are good Hindi scholars, I made out some interesting passages. I have now written again for a literal Sanskrit translation, and when I get it I hope to publish a few specimens of the sacred writings of the Sikhs. Every book that has formed the foundation of a large religious movement ought to be accessible to scholars and theologians. It has taken me twenty years now to bring out the first edition of the sacred book of the Brahmans, the Veda; so I am afraid life is too short to embark on a second undertaking of the same kind—the one representing the oldest, the other the most modern phase of religious thought in India—the one 1,500 years before, the other 1,500 after, our era. I should be very glad some day to see Sir Thomas Phillips's collection; I know it is wonderfully rich. I wish some collector, like him, would rescue what there is still to be rescued of the ancient literature of India. Manuscripts in India, being made of vegetable paper, do not last much longer than 400 years. It was the duty of every rajah to keep a library and a staff of librarians, whose work it was to recopy each manuscript as soon as it began to show signs of decay. As soon as these rajahs were pensioned off, the first retrenchment they made in their establishments was the suppression of these libraries and librarians. They were not even allowed to present their libraries to the East India Company! Well, the result is that at the present moment literary works, which have been preserved for more than a thousand years, are crumbling away. In a few places, where there exists still among the natives an interest in their ancient literature, manuscripts are copied and some of them printed and lithographed. But the great bulk of Sanskrit literature (larger than the literature of Greece) is allowed to perish, whereas a few thousand pounds might preserve all that is worth preserving. If the interest which is now taken in the early history of mankind, in the origin of religions, mythological and philosophical ideas, continues for the next hundred or two hundred years, the Sanskrit MSS. would be valued hereafter, like the Codex Alexandrinus or Sinaiticus. Many of them will be unique. And strange to say the same manuscripts which in the hot and dry climate of India are so perishable are perfectly safe as soon as they are deposited in a European library. But no one takes an interest in these matters, and while people shudder at the supposed vandalism of Omar in destroying the Alexandrian Library, the same unconscious vandalism takes place unheeded under our eyes. I have not forgotten my Cornish articles; but I want to get rid, not only of the Jews, but also of the Saracens. Yours very truly.'

To His Wife.

Oxford, December 9.

'Life at —— may be very nice for people who have nothing to do, or think they have nothing to do, and no account to give of their days and hours. But I have not learnt life so. I still have a great work to do, and I often feel that I might have done a great deal more, if I had kept the one object of my life more steadily in view. I sometimes wish you would help me more in doing that, and insist on my working harder at the Veda and nothing else. 1 hope I shall finish that work, and I feel convinced, though I shall not live to see it, that this edition of mine and the translation of the Veda will hereafter tell to a great extent on the fate of India, and on the growth of millions of souls in that country. It is the root of their religion, and to show them what that root is, is, I feel sure, the only way of uprooting all that has sprung from it during the last 3,000 years. If those thoughts pass through one's mind, one does grudge the hours and days and weeks that are spent in staying in people's houses, and one feels that with the many blessings showered upon one, one ought to be up and doing what may be God's 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

To His Mother.

Translation. London, December 16.

'We stayed from Thursday to Saturday with the Belgian Minister, M. Van de Weyer, who has a beautiful place not far from Taplow. He is a very cultivated man and an experienced statesman, and was a librarian in Holland when the revolution broke out; then he became one of Leopold's Ministers. He married a rich American, and they live in great luxury. We had the same rooms Princess Alice had when she last paid them a long visit. It is very near Windsor and the Queen often drives over to see them.'

The Christmas was spent in London with the grandfather, the last the Max Mullers were to spend away from their own home till their children were grown up.

Max Muller had been far from well whilst in London, and on his return to Oxford was laid up with so severe a bronchial attack, accompanied by great prostration, that his medical attendant and friend, Mr. Symonds, was seriously anxious about him, and took him to London for further advice. He was ordered to leave Oxford at once for a milder climate. The weather was so severe that a journey to the Riviera was thought too great a risk, and just after the middle of January Max with his wife and children settled at Bournemouth, his old friend Professor Cowell undertaking his work as Sub-Librarian at the Bodleian, and occupying his house in Oxford, till it was fit for him to return home. At first he was almost entirely confined to the house, but as the weather improved and he gained strength he was able to enjoy the walks in the sheltered pine woods, which then stretched between the Bourne and Boscombe, or quiet rides with some relatives of his wife living at Bournemouth; and constant talks with one of these relatives, the banker Mr. Glyn, afterwards Lord Wolverton, was a great resource, as he was not fit for any hard mental work, and had been ordered by his doctor to leave his books in Oxford. Both Max Muller and Mr. Glyn were ardent Liberals, and great admirers of Mr. Gladstone, who, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, was in the habit year by year of talking over his Budget with Mr. Glyn, and a favourite point of discussion was whether the nation would accept Mr. Gladstone some day as Prime Minister. Mr. Glyn was in those days inclined to doubt it. One point on which the uncle and nephew disagreed entirely was in their estimation of Louis Napoleon, whom Mr. Glyn admired, as he attributed the commercial prosperity of France to his good government. Max Muller, on the other hand, who had often been in Paris, and knew how the respectable middle class kept entirely aloof of the Government, which they looked on as thoroughly evil, had no admiration for the adventurer.

It was many weeks before Max Muller at all recovered his usual health and strength; and though he began his translation of the Rig-veda, of which the prospectus had been published in January, he soon found that he was only up to lighter work, and he began to prepare his articles on Cornwall for the Press. The first, on 'Cornish Antiquities,' had been intended for the North British Review. When written he sent it to his friend Mr. Bellows, a Cornishman by birth, for revision, and in his letter mentions that he had a half-promise from a member of Parliament that he would prepare a Bill on the proper preservation of national monuments. It had been a real sorrow to him in Cornwall to see how the interesting Celtic remains were left entirely at the mercy of indifferent landowners and ignorant farmers, who had no scruples in using the fine stones for gateposts and farm buildings; in some cases, as with the ancient wells, pulling them down entirely to build them up in modern style, or as they described it, 'fitty.' Nothing more is to be found about this half-promise in any of the letters, and it was not till about 1873 that Lord Avebury, then Sir John Lubbock, introduced his Ancient Monuments Bill, which was not finally passed till 1882.

The second article, 'Are there Jews in Cornwall?' came out in Macmillans Magazine in the April of this year. The third article, 'On the Insulation of St. Michael's Mount,' was not published till it appeared in the third volume of Chips from a German Workshop in 1870.

Before he left Oxford, Max Muller had heard from the Dean of St. Paul's, asking him to furnish a list of books that might be of interest and use to his nephew. Dr. Milman, the new Bishop of Calcutta. On furnishing the list Max Muller forwarded a letter on the Brahma Somaj, or body of pure Theists in India, written to him by Satyendra Nath Tagore, himself a faithful adherent of the Brahma Somaj, who was the first native to pass the examination for the Indian Civil Service. As Max Muller was intimately acquainted later with Keshub Chunder Sen and Mozoomdar, leaders of the Somaj, and always took the deepest interest in the whole movement, as being, he felt, the real stepping-stone to Christianity in India, the letter is given in the Appendix. It presents the real teaching of the Somaj at that time as explained by a highly educated and enlightened follower.

To The Dean of St. Paul's.

64, High Street, Oxford, January, 1867.

'I enclose a letter from an Indian friend of mine, Satyendra Nath Tagore, which may possibly interest you, and which, if you like, you may forward to the Bishop, It will give him an insight into the religious aspirations of the best people in India at the present moment. The writer is the grandson of Dwarka Nath Tagore, whom you may remember in London, some twenty years ago, a very shrewd and amiable man. His grandson came over to pass the Civil Service Examination, and, to the great dismay of the authorities, came out as No. 6. He was about twenty when I knew him in England, and he was then at the head of the so-called Brahma Somaj, which is making very considerable progress among the lower classes in India. The movement began with Rammohun Roy, and him, too, you may have seen. His idea was to go back to the earliest form of the Indian religion, as preserved in the Vedas, and to surround the Vedas with all the defences of a revealed book. What he took for the Veda was not the original collection, but the more modern philosophical appendices, Upanishads. After his death the movement languished, I remember my young friend telling me: "Rammohun Roy put us on a wrong track—he was a trimmer. We have entirely broken with the Veda." They have certainly put an end to idolatry, they have broken with caste, and they hold the essential points of natural religion. I need not tell you that I find it difficult to meet his arguments, and to remove his doubts with regard to some points of the Christian religion which are his stumbling-blocks. I have not written to him for some time, simply because I feel I cannot grapple with him, and he is not a man to be satisfied with words. I know some other men of a similar character in India—one, a convert, a man more like the martyrs of old than anybody I ever saw. What I feel very deeply when I have to argue with such men, is that the Christianity which conquered the world was very different from our hardened and formularized Christianity, and that the old tree will never bear transplanting into a new soil, though the young seed would probably grow up on Indian soil into as wonderful a tree as anything we have seen as yet in the history of Europe. India wants Apostles enjoying all the freedom of St. Paul; but what would the Elders at Jerusalem say to that?

'Please return Satyendra Nath Tagore's letter to me when you have done with it.'

To The Dean of St. Paul's (Dr. Milman).

Staunton House, Bournemouth, February 26.

'Dear Mr. Dean,—I see no objection whatever to Tagore's letter being copied and shown to men who take an interest in the religious future of India, as he says himself I may make any use of it. I am particularly glad that Lord Cranborne should have seen it, if, as you say, he takes an interest in affairs of religion. I have myself the strongest belief in the growth of Christianity in India, There is no country so ripe for Christianity as India, and yet the difficulties seem enormous. The case of Nehemiah Goreh is a most interesting one; it ought to be typical, and yet it seems to be exceptional, and he became a Christian without, nay, in spite of, the missionaries. I have never yet seen a missionary or a civil servant who does not consider himself infinitely superior to any Hindu, and yet this Nehemiah Goreh has suffered more for his Christianity, and of his own free will, than any man I know in England or Germany. Such a man, and many like him, wants sympathy and love, and that is what they never find. Advice, reproof, and a good deal of de haut en bas [Google translate: from top to bottom] patronizing the natives receive, no doubt, from missionaries, but respectful and loving treatment I doubt whether they ever receive. The idea that a man like Nehemiah Goreh could be in any respect his superior never enters a missionary's mind, yet I confess I felt far more awed by that modest and honest convert than by many a bishop and archbishop. Twelve men such as Nehemiah might do more in India than hundreds of missionaries. I hope my health is getting better. I am not accustomed to be ill, and it makes me very unhappy not to be able to work. My chief complaint is want of strength. I am to stay here till May.'

The end of March brought great sorrow to Max Muller in the news of the death of his sister's eldest daughter, nineteen years of age, after a few days' illness. It may be remembered that she had spent part of the summer of 1863 with the Max Mullers on the Starnberger See. She had grown up into a beautiful girl and was the joy and pride of her parents. Max Muller wished to go at once to his mother and sister, but his doctor would not sanction the journey, and absence again added to his sorrow.

To His Mother.

Translation. Bournemouth, April 8.

'Augusta's letter has touched me again deeply. May God give her strength to bear this sorrow. I have spent the whole week in great anxiety and grief, and whenever I feel a little better I think I ought to have gone to you. And yet my doctor says I must still take the greatest care, and I feel myself that I only get on slowly, and the smallest change in the weather brings back the swelling and inflammation of the throat, and I might have been more of an anxiety than a help to you.'

It was during this spring that his friend Mr. Bellows brought out the Outline Dictionary mentioned earlier in this chapter, to which Max Muller contributed a valuable preface.

To Mr. Bellows.

Oxford, May 3.

'I received to-day a dozen copies of the Outline Dictionary, and was very much pleased to see the book out. I shall try to make the best use I can of these copies. I shall send one to Lepsius, Berlin Academy; Monsieur Bell, French Academy; Bishop of Melanesia, and the Bishop of New Zealand. The book strikes me as very convenient, just the right shape, and I should think missionaries would be very thankful to have such a book if they knew of it. I begin to feel so much better, now that the weather is mild, and work is again a great delight.'

Through the past winter Max Muller's thoughts had been much occupied by the idea of a possible change in his life. The University authorities at Cambridge had founded a Chair of Sanskrit, and he was doubtful whether he ought or ought not to stand for election. Six years sooner he would have felt no doubt on the question, but he had now turned his attention more to general philology and the problems of mythology. He had lived too for nearly twenty years in Oxford, and both he and his wife were deeply attached to the place, and had many valued friends there. The following letter shows how the matter had been decided for him:—

Bournemouth, April 16, 1867.

'My dear Kingsley,—I am not sufficiently up in the Luxemburg question to undertake an article for Eraser, but I have written to a friend of mine, an Englishman who knows a good deal about these matters. I hope and trust the matter will be settled peaceably. Germany has enough to do at home, and though I rejoice in a united and strong Germany, I do not like to see the drill-sergeant Government strengthened more than can be helped. The absence of England from the councils of Europe is sadly felt just now, A man must dare to have friends, and dare to have enemies—and so must a people. The natural ally of England is Germany, that is to say, a united, sensibly governed, Protestant, Northern Germany. England and Germany will represent the Teutonic element in Europe, with all that is good and bad in it; and, if united by common objects, they will stand like a breakwater between the Romans and Roman Catholics in the West and South, and the Slavs and Greeks in the East and North. You want a good statesman in whom the country trusts, a man like Pitt or Sir Robert Peel. Gladstone has a foreign policy, but matters must get much worse before people in England will find out what they possess in Gladstone. He ought to retire like Camillus, and wait till greater times call for greater men.

'Cox is a hard-working man. He wants a little sunshine—to throw off the prickles and grow into flower.

'My Cambridge plans are at an end. I had long made up my mind not to stand against Cowell. He has now decided to become a candidate. You could not get a better man. The Master of Trinity, I hear, is favourable to him. Do what you can for him, you may do it safely. Ever yours affectionately.'


The following letter contains the first mention of the work by which perhaps Max Muller became best known to the general public, Chips from a German Workshop. On receipt of Mr. Longman's answer he set to work at once on the collection and revision of his articles. The work came out in the autumn, when the fine preface was written. 'It was through the preface to the Chips that I first learnt to know and love Max Muller,' wrote one who felt he owed nearly all that was good in him to Max Muller's teaching.

To W. Longman, Esq.

Bournemouth, April 20, 1867.

'Dear Sir,—I have been looking through my essays, and I mean to revise and republish them. The first volume would contain essays on Religion, Mythology, and Traditions.

'Afterwards there would be a second volume on Language and Literature. As a general title I thought of Chips from a German Workshop. Would you feel inclined to take these essays on the same terms as the second volume of my Lectures? They will be ready for October, I think. Yours very truly, 'M. M.'

On one of the last days of April the Max Mullers returned to Oxford, and the same day they saw the announcement of the sale by auction, in a day or two, of the house Professor Goldwin Smith had built for himself across the Parks—which had already been laid out and planted, and were no longer the bare fields, with the Museum in their midst, of five years before. The house in High Street was damp, cold, and becoming too small, and on finding that 'Parks End,' which was only a bachelor's house, could easily be enlarged, Max Muller resolved to bid for it. It was a bright sunny day when he and his wife first went over their future home, the lilacs were in full bloom, and the little place looked its best. Not a single house then stood to the north of 'Parks End '— on the north side of what is now called Norham Gardens were cultivated fields—the nearest houses were in Park Town, and only two houses existed each side of 'Parks End.' Directly the house was bought plans were made for adding a drawing-room, and what Mr. Goldwin Smith afterwards irreverently called a 'baby-hutch,' and the work was at once begun, as his wife was resolved that Max Muller should leave High Street before the winter set in.

The lectures announced for this term were on the poem of the Nibelungen, on which he had lectured sixteen years before.

To His Mother.

Translation. 64, High Street, May 3.

'You will hardly guess what has kept me from writing sooner. We have bought a house, and I wanted to tell you all about it. . . . You must not be anxious about me. I am really well again: our doctor thinks me much stronger in every way. I have given up the Bodleian, and shall not have so much work. The new house is really very charming, and the children are delighted with it. It is the best built house here in every way; all the chief rooms look south, and as it faces the Parks we can never have any house built in front of us. We must add to it, for it is too small, but we are able to pay the whole out of our savings without borrowing anything. We have had very happy years here, and the children are so strong and healthy; we shall be sorry to leave this house, but we are glad to have a larger and better house, and more out of the town.'

Since her daughter's great sorrow the old mother had resolved to give up her rooms in Dresden and move to Chemnitz, a change which her son had long urged her to make.

To His Mother.

Translation. 64, High Street, May 19.

'Your rooms in Dresden must look very sad and bare, and whenever I think of poor Auguste my heart is very heavy. It is such a hopeless trial, and one sees nothing to make up for what they have lost. It is well that you have settled to move to Chemnitz, and though you will miss Dresden, few mothers have the comfort of spending their last years with their children and children's children. You can thank God for this, in spite of the many afflictions and trials He has laid on you, and then you will forget the many little disagreeables and misunderstandings which constant living together must bring. I cannot understand why you make yourself so anxious about money. I hope I shall always be able to give you as much as you want. I give away every year a fixed proportion of my income, and if it does not go to you it goes to others. The question is therefore only, whether I give it to you, or to others who perhaps need it less than you do. You should make no difficulty about such matters; there are cares enough in life without making new ones for ourselves.'

On June 9 Max Muller's youngest child and only son was born, and though he had professed to be quite satisfied with his three little girls, his letters show how he rejoiced at the birth of what is called in Germany the 'Stammhalter.'

To His Cousin, Captain von Basedow.

Translation. 64, High Street, June 30, 1867.

'My dear Adolf,—You will already have heard that at last a little son has appeared here, and I wish to ask you to be one of his godfathers. Both G. and I wish the boy not to be exclusively English, and, like his name Wilhelm Grenfell, so his godfathers should be of both countries. He can then later on choose his own home, and like the old proverb ubi bene ibi patria [Google translate: well there where the country]. His other godparents are cousins of G.'s. Of course we should prefer that you should come here yourself, but if that can't be, write if you will accede to our wish, and let me have your answer as soon as possible, as the little heathen is already three weeks old. Here, thank God, all goes on well, but after all the sorrow we have had, we cannot feel very joyful. The last few years have brought many changes, but one must not lose courage. In August I think of going to Germany, and hope I shall find you all well at Dessau. Much love from us both to your wife, your mother, Tante Julie, Rosalia, Berndt and his wife, the Stockmarrs, and any old friends who still remember me. Always in true affection, 'Max.'

Though very much stronger, it was thought wise for Max Muller to take the waters at Ems this summer, and as soon as his wife could move she and their four children went to stay with the mother-aunt near Maidenhead, and Max started for Ems, where his mother and sister and her husband joined him as his guests; and a happy month was passed together, he doing everything in his power to lighten the cloud of sorrow resting on his sister and Dr. Krug.

To His Wife.

Ems, August 19.

'We have had a beautiful walk this afternoon, and I have often wished you here; you would enjoy it so much, and I should enjoy it all so much with you. And yet what a pleasure it is to see mother so well, at least for her age, and able to enjoy all with us. And those poor Krugs—it is quite sad to see them happy, and always that fearful grief in their hearts. How often one thinks of Marie, and how she would have delighted in seeing all this beautiful scenery, and being with us. . . . Krug speaks so freely about those who are no more; I can only listen, for what can one say? Our view of death is wrong, no doubt, because our view of life is wrong: there is nothing to be feared in this beautiful world of God's own making and ordering. But parting is a wrench, even for a few weeks, and nothing can take away the pang of that long parting with those whom we have truly loved. How one grows together; how you and the children, every one of them, cling to me, and are part and parcel of myself. To lose one of them, even though one may submit to God's will, must tear a wound which can never disappear again, however time may soothe the first agony. We ought to be so grateful. I do not think of real happiness God can give more than has been given us: how can one ask for more, or wish for anything? I should like to sit quiet, to rest and be thankful, not to move, lest something should move and fall. I do long for you all, but it was right to give up something of our happiness: the more you give away the more is given you; that seems to me a law of our spiritual life. ... All send you their best love, and wish you and the children were here; and they say it is so good of you to let me go alone. Krug thinks it will be very good for me here. The evenings are glorious. We have supper in the garden at nine—the river running by, all lighted up, and in the distance lights on the hills, and then the bright stars above. People do enjoy themselves here; there are more than 2,000 here, music everywhere, splendid roses, fine halls—I am sorry to say gambling, too.'

To The Same.

Ems, August 27.

'One look up to heaven, and all this dust of the high-road of life vanishes. Yes! one look up to heaven and even that dark shadow of death vanishes. We have made the darkness of that shadow ourselves, and our thoughts about death are very ungodly. God has willed it so; there is to be a change, and a change of such magnitude that even if angels were to come down and tell us all about it, we could not understand it, as little as the new-born child would understand what human language could tell about the present life. Think what the birth of a child, of a human soul, is; and when you have felt the utter impossibility of fathoming that mystery, then turn your thoughts upon death, and see in it a new birth, equally unfathomable, but only the continuation of that joyful mystery which we call a birth. It is all God's work; and where is there a flaw or a fault in that wonder of all wonders, God's ever-working work? If people talk of the miseries of life, are they not all man's own work ? Would not the carrying out of one single commandment of Christ, "Love one another," change the whole aspect of this world, and sweep away prisons and workhouses, and envying and strife and all the strongholds of the devil? Two thousand years have nearly passed, and people have not yet understood that one single command of Christ, "Love one another." We are as perfect heathens in that one respect as it is possible to be. No! this world might be heaven on earth, if we would but carry out God's work and God's commandments—and so it will be hereafter. We must submit, but we must feel that it is a great blessing to be able to submit, to be able to trust that infinite Love which embraces us on all sides, which speaks to us through every flower and every worm, which always shows us beauty and perfection, which never mars, never destroys, never wastes, never deceives, never mocks. And would that loving Father begin such a work in us, as is now going on, and then destroy it, leave it unfinished? No, what is will be; what really is in us will always be; we shall be because we are. Many things which are now will change, many things in us which we take to be our very own will change; but what we really are we shall always be; and if love forms really part of our very life, that love, changed, it may be, purified, sanctified, will be in us and remain with us through that greatest change, which we call death. The pangs of death will be the same for all that, just as the pangs of childbirth seem ordained by- God, in order to moderate the exceeding joy that a child is born into the world. And as the pain is forgotten when the child is born, so it will be after death—the joy will be commensurate to the sorrow. The sorrow is but the effort necessary to raise ourselves to that new and higher state of being; and without that supreme effort or agony, the new life that waits for us is beyond our horizon, beyond our conception. It is childish to try to anticipate; we cannot know anything about it; we are meant to be ignorant; and, though we may imagine heaven and hell, even the Divina Commedia of a great poet and thinker is but child's play and nothing else. Here, as everywhere else, the purity of Christ's teaching appears. A teacher whose every word is believed is sorely tempted to promise rewards in a future life, and to paint in glowing colours the Jerusalem the Golden that is to receive those who believe in Him. Christ says, "What no eye has seen," and thus shows the truth of His vision, and the honesty in His dealing with His fellow creatures. No illusions, no anticipations, only that certainty, that quiet rest in God, that submissive expectation of the soul, which knows that all is good, all comes from God, all tends towards God, To say more is to deceive ourselves and others. But though we may thus look forward to what is to come, I quite agree with you that it is wrong to look away from this life, or to treat it as an imperfect or contemptible state. This life is as perfect as God would make it, and it is an incredible pride if we are to master and criticize this beautiful work of God. We have spoilt it first, and taken away its very sunshine and warmth—love—and then we complain that it is cold. Poverty is hard to bear, but a cheerful and contented mind does not feel the burden; and how much poverty might be alleviated, if we wished to do it! Illness is hard to bear, but it raises us above the cares of this life; it reconciles us to that parting which must come sooner or later; it makes death easy, which those who are rich and strong dread as the greatest of evils. Unkindness is hard to bear, but it leads us to examine ourselves, to weigh our own motives, to value all the more those loving hearts who return our love, and to look forward to a better time when we shall be known such as we are.'

To The Same.

Ems, August 31.

'We had such a beautiful evening. We drove to a forest between Ems and the Rhine, where we could see the whole neighbourhood, and all the windings of the river about Ehrenbreitstein and Coblentz. There was a Franciscan monastery with the fourteen stations of the Passion, arranged with such real taste and thought, and at the end a chapel and a beautiful church, all built by the present incumbent, an old man, who is his own architect, and has begged together the funds for the church, which is built in a very old and simple Byzantine style; and the walls and altar and pulpit are covered with crystals and stones and slags found in the neighbourhood, so that the interior is glittering with light. Though the experiment is difficult and apt to degenerate into mere stage effect, there is so much originality and thought about it, that one can enjoy it all, and feel with the old man who spent his life and energy in erecting that sacred place. As we drove home the first line of the new moon was visible, and Jupiter shone in all his beauty.'

To The Same.

September 2.

'You have no idea how beautiful this valley is—the smooth wooded hills all around, and the river reflecting the undulating landscape, and the beautiful clear sky, and the varying tints and the brilliant stars. Life seems so light and easy here. Then it is very amusing to watch all the strange people from every part of the world—Orientals and Greeks and Wallachians, to say nothing of French, English, Americans, and Jews.

'I had a kind of semi-official application to ask me whether I would not settle in Prussia. They would give me 3,000 thalers (£450), and I need not trouble much about lecturing, either at Berlin or Bonn. I said that for the present I was tied, but that, if I settled in Germany, I should prefer to live independently without taking any office, and make what I wanted by writing. I could not quite make out from whom it came, but Professor Bernays told me the offer was serious, and he is a friend of the Minister of Public Instruction.'

To Professor Bernays.

Translation. Lustgarten, Ems, September, Wednesday.

'I hope to get to Bonn on Friday night, on my return to England, and to stay till Saturday afternoon, and then start straight to London via Cologne. I trust to find you in Bonn, my best friend, for I long to have some spiritual intercourse with you before I leave. I also want to see Brandis. I shall put up at the "Stern"; Morier may be there too. What you mentioned about the German plans the other day has occupied me much, but, as I told you before, it seems to me best to remain in Oxford for a few more years. I do not deny that I should like to spend the evening of life in German air, but I stopped long ago wishing for certain things and making plans; Heaven has so far guided me so mercifully. Hoping to see you soon, ever yours.'

Directly Max Muller returned to England, the move to 'Parks End' began. The roof was already on the new part of the house, which was boarded off from the old part, in which the whole party, tightly packed, spent the winter. When once settled, his wife wrote to a relative:—

Parks End, October 9.

'You can enter into the delight it is to Max to look round and to feel that he has bought this house with his own hard work. I am sure it is a much greater delight than any house left to one could give.'

To His Mother.

Translation. Parks End, October 9.

'Do not lose heart, but thank God for all that is left you; that is the chief thing, and so I wish you joy of your birthday and of your new home. May God give you many peaceful and happy hours there, and strength to bear whatever He sends. How happy our time was together in the summer, and how seldom does everything succeed so well as our stay in Ems. It is true, the sad recollections were always there as a background; but what life is without such recollections? But we must go on, and comfort comes only when we know whose hand sends the sorrow. I hope, in spite of all your fear and difficulties, that your move is safely over, and that you do not dislike your new home.'

On his own birthday this year, his forty-fourth, he writes to his mother:—

Translation. December 6.

'Thank you for all your good wishes. I feel always as if there is hardly anything left to wish for. I can only pray God to preserve all I have! The children are all well and bright; the boy grows fast.'

To his sister he writes a few days later:—

Translation. December 9.

'I often feel how much more happiness has been given me than I deserve; and when I think of all you have lost, I often feel how all that we call our own is only lent us for a short time, and how we cannot, from day to day, call anything ours. This Christmas time will bring you and poor Krug renewed sorrow. But try and remember how much is left you, and do not let the years you yet have together pass in mere sorrow; the years do not come again.'

The allusion in the following letter is to the intention Max Muller had already expressed of dedicating the second volume of Chips to Bernays, who was at first too modest to accept it.

To Professor Bernays.

Translation. Parks End, December 15.

'My dearest Friend,—I had long looked forward to giving you a public recognition of my friendship and gratitude. Though our meetings have not been frequent of late, yet they have left the memory of many beautiful and stimulating hours, and I hope indeed that a lucky star will perhaps once more bring us close to each other for a longer period. What I miss most here in Oxford is stimulating intercourse in literary and scientific circles. That is entirely wanting, especially in my special branch of study. Altogether the Englishman seems to me to have no interest for the "Becoming" or "Growing"; it is all to be tangible and ready made. All dialectic is wanting in the true sense of the word. However, there are deep shadows everywhere, and I do not want to forget the bright sides of English life, and I am afraid that I should find it somewhat difficult to get accustomed again to the rather narrow German trousers. As matters stand now, I feel bound to stay in England as long as my father-in-law is alive; what comes after we will leave to that guidance which so far has led me so beautifully. A house on the Rhine and a Professorship at Bonn would be great attractions later on. Berlin would never tempt me; it requires too many sacrifices to the Non-L —. Here in Oxford, I must say, everything is done to make up for what has been done amiss. I have been relieved from Modern Literature, and they are thinking now of founding for me a Professorship of Comparative Philology, also of raising my salary if possible, and so I hope to get again more time for my own work. I feel very well, thank God, this winter, and I hope to get on famously with my labours for the Veda.'

Max Muller found that the change to 'Parks End' gave him more rest and leisure for uninterrupted work. In High Street he had been, as it were, in the gangway, and was liable to constant interruptions. Visitors to Oxford, with half an hour to spare, would drop in unexpectedly, more especially foreigners and Americans, with or without introductions. The distance across the Parks to his house was a barrier to such unexpected invasions, and, though he had more room in his new home to welcome and entertain his friends, his daily life was quieter and more regular.

Among Max Muller's papers there was found a small memorandum, 'Our first luncheon party at "Parks End," December, 1867,' with the names of Mr. Jowett, Bob Lowe, Huxley, H. Graham, Rev. W. Rogers.

To The Right Hon. W, E. Gladstone (who was anxious to discuss the law of copyright with Max Muller and Dean Liddell).

Parks End, December 30.

'Dear Mr. G.,—I shall be at home to-morrow at 2 p.m., and delighted to hear any news about the Greeks and their schoolmasters, the Phoenicians. If you arrive by the 1.57 up-train, your best plan would be to take a fly at the station, and tell the driver to drive to the house that formerly belonged to Mr. Goldwin Smith. That is the house I now live in, at least one-half of it, for the new half which I have added is not yet habitable. I shall ask the Dean to come to luncheon a little after two to meet you. Dr. Scott is not in Oxford, so far as I know. Yours sincerely.'

Mr. Gladstone's signature heads the long list of distinguished guests that Max Muller had the honour of welcoming to his house during the next thirty years.
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Re: The Life and Letters of The Right Hon. Friedrich Max Mul

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Part 1 of 2


Death of sister. Visit of mother. Letter to Duke of Argyll. LL.D. at Cambridge. Professorship of Comparative Philology. Visits to Frogmore, Fulham, and Gloucester. Isle of Wight. Tennyson. Illness of children. Member of French Institute. Translations from the Vedic Hymns, Vol. I. Soden. Kiel. Denmark.

A few days after Mr. Gladstone's visit Max Muller wrote to him as follows:—

To The Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone.

Parks End, January 5.

' ... I do not think that many fresh deities were introduced by the Phoenicians into Greece. The influence they exercised on the Greeks was more like that which the Greek colonists exercised on the Italians. Jupiter was not Zeus, nor Juno Hera, nor Saturnus Kronos. There was a conviction among the Greeks and the Italians that their gods must be the same, and hence any point of similarity was caught at in order to identify different deities. Something of the same kind seems to have taken place when the Phoenicians taught the Greeks their ABC. But while the names of the letters in Greek are simply Phoenician, Alpha, Beta, &c., I do not know of any names of Greek deities that demand a Phoenician etymology. It is true there is no satisfactory etymology of Poseidon, but there are hundreds, nay thousands, of words in Greek, as in English, which have no satisfactory etymology, but which no one would think of deriving from Semitic sources. , . . The subject is a very important one, and I expect will excite some interest. . . .'

Early in February Max Muller, who had suffered so much the previous year at the loss of his niece, was called on to bear a much heavier sorrow in the death of his only sister. She was ill but a day or two, and the first intimation of any anxiety was the telegram with the news of her death. It was a terrible shock, and Max Muller was quite prostrated by the blow, which seemed all the harder to bear, as his wife had to leave him a day or two later, owing to the alarming illness of her mother-aunt and two of her sister's children.

To His Mother.

Translation. Parks End, February 16.

'Poor mother, who would have thought that you must yet bear such a loss, after all the sorrow which God has sent you in your life? And yet it was His will, and He will send the strength to bear it. He has taught us that death is not so terrible as it appears to most men—it is but a separation for a few short days, and then, too, eternity awaits us. For all the sorrow, I can only think, it is well with her; she is spared much, many a heavy burden is taken from her. She had a happy youth, and in spite of many sorrows, in all that makes the true happiness of life, hers was a happy marriage. The children to whom her heart clung are gone before her, and I think she was glad to follow. I have been reading such beautiful hymns of Paul Gerhardt's on Death and Life—you will know them—but in the grief and sorrow God has sent us, one really feels how true, how deep, how beautiful they are. Yet life goes on, and its duties must be carried out. To-morrow I must begin my lectures; I could not do so this week. Try to trust in God, throw your grief on Him; He will help you to bear it. My only thought is how I can get you here as soon as possible. Perhaps you can find some one to travel with you, and I will meet you at Dover, My doctor still says I must not venture on the sea passage. I feel well, and cannot believe the trouble in my throat is of any consequence. Bring your maid with you, shut up your rooms, do everything you can to come soon.'

To The Same.


'You must come to me and spend the last years of your life with me. You will find here all those who in life are the nearest to you. Dear Auguste knew, as she closed her eyes, that you would not be left alone in the world. But what will poor Krug do? It goes to my heart when I think of him and all he has suffered this last year. How different life is to what one thought it when young, how all around us falls together till we ourselves fall together. How meaningless and vain everything seems on earth, and how closely the reality of the life beyond approaches us. Many days were beautiful here, but the greater the happiness the more bitter the thought that it all passes away, that nothing remains of earthly happiness but a grateful heart and faith in God, who knows best what is best for us. May God strengthen and keep you. Even with my wife and children life seems so empty to me, and I keep saying, "My dear Auguste!" How delightful it was being together last summer. Oh, God, who could have foreseen this! Write to me as soon as you can, my poor mother. I wish I had you here.'

To His Wife.

Parks End, February 24.

'I had a sad, very sad letter from my mother. My thoughts are always with her, and I can hardly bring myself to believe that we have really lost our dear good Auguste. She was my oldest friend and companion, and everything in my early life was connected with her. Now that she is gone, all those pleasant recollections on which one dwells, one hardly knows when, but yet which constantly pass through one's mind, are altogether changed, all life and reality taken out of them; one's own life brought more clearly before one's mind, as what it really is, a short stay in a foreign land. And there is still so much left us, so much to be happy and thankful for; and yet here, too, the thought always rushes across one's brightest hours, it cannot last—it is only for a few years—and then it must be given up. Let us work as long as it is day, let us try to do our duty, and be very thankful for God's blessings which have been showered upon us so richly; but let us learn also always to look beyond and learn to be ready to give up everything, as my poor mother has had to give up almost everything that makes life happy, and yet she can say, "Thy will be done."'

To The Same.

March 31.

'It is true that I have plenty of happiness, but great happiness makes one think so often that it cannot last, and that one will have some day to give up all to which one's heart clings so. A few years sooner or later, but the time will come, and come quicker than one expects. Therefore I believe it is right to accustom oneself to the thought that we can none of us escape death, and that all our happiness here is only lent us. But at the same time we can thankfully enjoy all that God gives us, and few have more reason to say this than I.'

As soon as she felt able to travel, his mother came over to her son and stayed through the summer, but preferred returning for the winter to her own rooms in Chemnitz.

The following is one of the first letters of a correspondence with the Duke of Argyll which continued to within a short time of the Duke's death:—

To The Duke of Argyll.

Oxford, February 24.

'. . . I only wish I could send a more satisfactory answer, but, as far as I can judge, every attempt at translating the periods of natural growth or structure into the language of definite solar chronology has proved a failure. The history of language opens a vista which makes one feel almost giddy if one tries to see the end of it, but the measuring rod of the chronologist seems to me entirely out of place. Those who have eyes to see will see the immeasurable distance between the first historical appearance of language and the real beginnings of human speech: those who cannot see will oscillate between the wildly large figures of the Buddhists or the wildly small figures of the Rabbis, but they will never lay hold of what by its very nature is indefinite.

'The earliest historical appearance of human language takes place in Egypt. Whatever the date of the earliest hieroglyphic inscription may be, that is the earliest date of Egyptian language. I am not satisfied as yet as to the soundness of Egyptian historical chronology. The Semitic languages make their first historical appearance in the cuneiform inscriptions of Nebuchadnezzar, or, it may be, of some more ancient Babylonian and Assyrian monarchs. In real literature there is nothing Semitic more ancient than the earliest portions of the Old Testament.

'Of Aryan language the first literary relic is the Veda. With the evidence now before us, and after a careful consideration of all objections, one may honestly say that the Hymns of the Veda could not be more modern than 1200 B.C. I believe they are older, and my belief is chiefly founded on the nature of the Vedic Sanskrit as compared with the Sanskrit of the laws of Manu, the Mahabharata, &c. I shall just quote one instance. According to all Sanskrit grammars, that language, so rich in other forms, is without any trace of a conjunctive mood. And this is perfectly true if we take into account the ordinary Sanskrit only. But the Veda is full of conjunctives, and they are the same conjunctives as those we find in Greek. Greek has a medial form of most verbs, so has Sanskrit. Greek has a first aorist in the medium, so has Sanskrit. That first aorist in Greek is a compound form, [x], and is formed by an auxiliary verb that yields [x], just as I loved is formed by an auxiliary verb, viz. by did. The Sanskrit aorist is formed by the same auxiliary verb, so that [x] is represented by Sanskrit a/dik-sa-ta. The conjunctive of the first aorist in Greek takes the personal terminations of the present, and loses the augment. The same in Sanskrit, at least in the Vedic Sanskrit, where corresponding to [x] we should find dik-sa-te.

'If we take this one form, we might call it in one sense almost a work of art, though it is only a product of that art which may be called the art of nature, and which preserves amongst an infinity of possible forms those only that are really good, really adapted for the work they have to do. These conjunctives of the medial aorist exist in Homer and in the Veda. They must have existed before Greek was Greek and Sanskrit was Sanskrit, for they are formed out of materials which exist neither in Greek nor in Sanskrit. In the same manner mais and mai must have been formed before Italian was Italian or French French, for neither of these dialects have the materials out of which mat or mais could have been formed. But how little should we gain if we argued as some geologists do! It has taken so many centuries before the Latin magis dwindled down to mai and mais, therefore it cannot have taken less time to change the original type of [x] and dik-sa-te into these two forms. It is far better to look at these forms and find out how much even their typical ancestor presupposed, how much wear and tear was necessary before such a compound could become possible as we see fixed in that grammatical system which preceded Sanskrit and Greek. In that compound we have at least four elements. We have the augment, and no language, not even the most ancient, has as yet betrayed the secret as to the material out of which the augment was formed. Secondly, we have the personal termination [x] or te, clearly a pronoun of the third person, but different from the pronouns of the third person such as we find them in Sanskrit or Greek. Thirdly, an auxiliary verb [x], the Sanskrit as, to be, in as-mi, [x], &c., which loses its initial vowel as it does in Latin sum for es-um. This as meant originally to breathe (in Sanskrit as-u, 'breath'), and before it dwindled down to what we call an auxiliary verb, a mere verbal copula, again how many centuries must have passed? Can we measure them by the distance that divides the Latin status from stato and ete? I doubt it, yet we can see deeper and deeper into the shaft from which the ore of human speech is brought, and discover level after level that must have been left behind before the pure metal, and before such amalgamates could have been produced as those which we see in such a conjunctive as dik-sa-te. After that amalgamate is formed, and after it has been coined into a definite grammatical token, begins the phonetic decay, the influence, it may be, of diet, climate, and all the rest; and only after all this can we account for the fact that in the Homeric poems we find a form like [x], and in the Hymns of the Veda a form like dik-sa-te.

'In all these considerations the question how a root dik came to mean "to show" and nothing else has not been touched upon, though that again can only have been the result of a sifting process of which we can hardly form an adequate idea. If there was proof that it had taken 10,000 years to form out of given radical elements that wonderful system of grammar which was quite finished before Sanskrit became Sanskrit and Greek Greek, I should feel no surprise. Before that date we should still have the formation of roots. What we commonly call the history of language is from the very beginning nothing but a history of decay—the period of youth and growth is past before we know of any language.'

In the month of January, Max Muller had received an invitation from Cambridge to deliver the Rede Lecture in the course of the summer. The Vice-Chancellor, in transmitting the invitation, observed that these lectures were generally scientific rather than literary, but that Mr. Ruskin had been the lecturer of the previous year, adding, 'Your subject, however, is a science, whatever the Royal or any other Institution may say to the contrary.' Max Muller accepted the invitation, and in writing again in April to fix the day, the Vice-Chancellor told him that the University wished to offer him the degree of LL.D. Accordingly, the last week in May, Max Muller and his wife visited Cambridge, where they were the guests of Dr. Thompson, Master of Trinity. Commodore Maury, the American hydrographer, and Dr. W. Wright, the Arabic scholar, received the degree of LL.D. the same day. The Public Orator, Dr. G. W. Clark, thus presented Max Muller:—

'Sequitur deinde Max Muller, Taylorianus apud Oxonienses Professor, qui, cum iuvenis admodum, consiliis et auspicio celeberrimi viri Christiani de Bunsen, se in Britanniam transtulisset, hanc sibi sedem et novam patriam elegit, atque ita profecit ut si loquentem audiveris, non dubites in Anglia natum, si magnitudinem operum respexeris, Germanum esse cognoscas.

'Ad id vero potissimum navavit operam, ut Philologiam doceret, non eam quae circa verborum argutias commoretur, sed illam quae, linguis Teutonicis, Graeca, Latina, Sanscritica, inter se collatis, communem omnium originem exquirat, incunabula gentium recludat, historiam quibusvis annalibus antiquiorem certioremque evolvat.

'Quid multa? eras, ipso audito, quanta facundia difficillimas res expedire possit, omnes iudicaturi estis.'


'I would next speak of Max Muller, the Taylorian Professor in Oxford, who having while still a youth, with the advice and under the auspices of that illustrious man Christian von Bunsen, come over to Britain, has chosen this land for a new home and country, and has made such progress that, having heard him speak, you think he must have been born in England, whereas, if you consider the importance and quantity of his works, you are quite sure that he must be a German. The work he has devoted himself to especially has been the work of teaching Philology, not that branch of it which is concerned with the niceties and subtleties of words, but that which, by the comparison of the Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, and German languages, investigates their common origin, discovers the cradle of the nations, and unfolds a history more ancient and more certain than that contained in any written annals. What need of further words! To-morrow, when you have heard him speak, you will all be able to judge with what eloquence he can make the most difficult subjects clear and plain.'

The next day Max Muller delivered the Rede Lecture to a very large audience. It will be found in Vol. IV of Chips, first edition. In the middle of the lecture, Commodore Maury, who sat behind the lecturer's wife, leant over and said in a loud whisper, 'I must tell you, it's just elegant!'

During the winter months a movement had been going on in Oxford for the foundation of a Chair of Comparative Philology, which was carried out in the May Term, with the proviso in the statute of foundation that Max Muller was to be the first Professor, if he would accept the post. He was deeply gratified by this mark of esteem from the resident members of the University, and it relieved him of the duties of the Chair of Modern Languages, added to his salary, and enabled him to devote all his time and energies to his own line of studies. His inaugural lecture was delivered in the October Term. 'Professor Max Muller,' says a contemporary notice, 'enjoys the high honour—an honour the more signal as he is a foreigner—of occupying the first Professorship ever founded at Oxford by the University Corporation itself; all previous Professorships having been established either by royal benefactions or private announcements.'

Early in June Max Muller paid his first visit to their Royal Highnesses Prince and Princess Christian, then living at Frogmore. These visits were always a rest and refreshment to him, a delightful contrast to his quiet life of hard work, and the gracious friendly feeling always shown to him and his called forth his lively gratitude to the last.

To His Wife.

Frogmore House, June 1.

'I came here in good time last night, though after a long and hot journey. When I arrived at Frogmore the Prince and Princess were just coming back from a walk, and they asked me at once to take a walk with them in the garden, which just now is in great beauty. We passed the Mausoleum, and when we came back sat down and had a long and animated discussion, all in German, though the Prince speaks English very well. We then went in to get ready for dinner, and dined at half-past eight: no one present but the Prince, the Princess, Lady Susan Melville, and myself. One of the servants was in Scotch attire, but no bagpipes1 [Bagpipes were a horror to Max Muller.]. Nothing could be pleasanter. The Princess kindly inquired after you and the children, and is of course wrapped up in her own boy2 [Prince Christian Victor, who died the day after Max Muller.], whom I have not yet seen. After dinner, Lady Susan left, and we went up a small staircase to the smoking-room, the Princess sitting down in an armchair and the Prince asking me to smoke. This, however, I could not bring myself to do till the Princess had left. I sat up till nearly twelve with the Prince. He is a true Schleswig-Holsteiner, very quiet but very determined, and very frank. He has fine blue eyes, and is a decidedly handsome man. His photographs do not do him justice.'

To His Children.

Frogmore, June 2.

'My dear little Girls,—I have just come back from a beautiful drive through Windsor Forest. We drove in an open carriage— Prince and Princess Christian, Lady Susan Melville, and your daddy. There was a long avenue of rhododendrons all in flower, and we drove through it, and you never saw so many beautiful flowers together. And then the Prince took me to see the house where all the dogs live that belong to the Queen. It was like the Zoological Gardens, but all the animals were different kinds of dogs—greyhounds and deerhounds, like old Oscar, and Teckels, like those mama had at Ray Lodge; and some very scarce but valuable dogs, called "mops" in German: there are only three of them left in England, and the Queen takes great care of them. Prince Christian is a German prince, and he married Princess Helena, a daughter of the Queen; and they are very happy together, just like mama and papa, only they are very rich and have a beautiful house and garden; and they have one little boy, a little older than our boykin, and he is a very handsome little fellow, with large blue eyes and rosy cheeks.'

To Professor Lepsius.

Translation. Parks End, June 18.

'My honoured Friend,—. . . Bunsen's Life has gone straight to my heart, as it has with you. Oh, if we could even in this life forget all that is unessential, all that makes it so hard for us to recognize true greatness and goodness in the character of those with whom this life brings us into contact for a little while! How much we lose by making little things so important, and how rarely do we think highly enough of what is essential and lasting! Bunsen surely was one of the greatest spirits of our times! Where are the greater ones? To have known him, belongs to those things which have bestowed upon my life the greatest value and the greatest charm. I should much like to hear from you where something reliable and trustworthy may be found with regard to Egyptian mythology. Is Bunsen's opinion about a Phoenician origin well founded? Are not there any real Egyptian gods? And can their origin and their development be traced? . . . Some time ago I wrote for the Times a notice of Bunsen's Life, but until Parliament rises there is not much hope of its appearing; it has been clipped a good deal, and I think a little later on I shall publish it unmutilated.'

To M. Renan.

Parks End, June 26.

'My dear Friend,—I can truly feel for you in the loss which you have suffered; it will sooner or later come to all of us. But life is different after we have lost our father and mother. I have my mother staying with me, and should enjoy her presence here very much if it were not for the sad cause which brought her here—the death of my only sister, with whom she used to live in Germany. With every one of these losses life seems to become more unreal, there is less and less to live for, to care for; and if one still cares for one's work, it is because it makes one forget life as it is, and life as we thought it was or might be. ... I hear your new work is nearly finished and I am curious to see what you think of St. Paul. I hope you have seen Jowett's book on the Thessalonians, Galatians, and Romans; it is very good, original, and honest. I am able at last to work again, and I hope my health is quite re-established. I am printing my first translation of the Rig-veda; I sent you a specimen the other day, and hope to send you the first volume by September. I am also reprinting my Chips, which have just been preached against in Westminster Abbey.'

To The Same.

Parks End, 1868.

'You speak in far too laudatory terms of my own work, and I am afraid i will only raise the bile of certain people. I was amused by what you said about the Concessions aux Negres. You are right to a certain extent, but the same applies to all countries. If you want to carry people along with you, you must begin where you find them, otherwise you run on like an engine without any carriages attached to it. The best proof that I do not concede too much is that the science of religion has been preached against in Westminster Abbey by a real bishop. However, they do not mean to burn me yet, and I hope I shall still convince the Bishop that we heretical Germans are far better Christians than the most orthodox of bishops. I am printing my translation of the Veda. I had called it in my preface a Traduction raisonnee, if one may use such an expression, and I am glad to find you use that very word in your Rapports. I have also finished my edition of the Pratisakhya, in which I was forestalled by Regnier. His edition is really excellent, and I cannot sufficiently regret that he should have been taken away from Sanskrit. The school of Burnouf will become extinct with him. After carefully examining every line of his Pratisakhya while printing my own, I am bound to say there is not another Sanskrit scholar living who would have done his work as well as Regnier, It is bad enough that the throne should be usurped, but why Chairs of Sanskrit or Hebrew? However, I am afraid I am talking treason, and with Ewald's1 [He had refused in 1867 to take the oath of allegiance to Prussia and was pensioned off.] example before me I ought to be careful.'

Another pleasant visit paid this year was to the Bishop of London and Mrs. Tait, at Fulham, on one afternoon of which Max Muller and his wife were taken to the Volunteer Camp at Wimbledon, and watched the shooting for the Queen's Prize. Since the Ray Lodge days he had ceased himself to be an active Volunteer.

Soon after this Max Muller made a short visit to Gloucester and its neighbourhood, guided by his friend Mr. Bellows. Of this visit Mr. Bellows writes:—

'When at your house in 1868 I found Professor Max Muller had some thought of visiting the Phillips Library at Cheltenham to examine the Oriental MSS. it contained, and I asked him to come to Gloucester for a few days, when he could do this, besides joining one of our field excursions of the Cotteswold Club to Berkeley Castle, &c.: a little programme that was soon after carried out. I recollect that to impress him the more favourably with our Gloucestershire scenery I told him of an old friend of ours, James Atkins, a well-known botanist, having come to Painswick several years before to spend a fortnight, and that he was so pleased with the Cotswold Hills that he had stayed there ever since.

'Professor Max Muller smiled, and rejoined, "Do you know that that was what happened to me, here at Oxford! I came here to spend a fortnight, and I have been here ever since!"

'I first ventured to write to Professor Max Muller on some philological matter—I am not sure what, but I think something about the old Cornish language, about which I wanted to beg his help. When I came to know him personally I was irresistibly attracted by the power of sympathy that was his most striking characteristic, as I am sure others will admit that it was, and the secret of the charm that made him a leader of men. This power of sympathy he possessed in a larger degree than any other person I have ever met, except Count Tolstoi: for greatly as they differed in their other gifts, as well as in their entire environments, Max Muller and Tolstoi were alike in this.

'Even the high attainments Professor Max Muller unquestionably possessed did not so affect those with whom he came in contact as did this force of sympathy, to which he owed his broad-mindedness, and his insight into the essence of religion itself: I will not say of the religions of the East merely, but the general relation of the soul of man to the truth, in which all these are included. I need only refer to his preface to Chips from a German Workshop as a noble example of his sympathy for men of widely differing modes of thought. It reads like an expansion of the nineteenth psalm, where the universality of the sunlight and sunheat in the outward creation is shown as the correlative to the uncreated light and power that is unlimited in its operation, by time or space. And now he is gone, and no one will ever again take his place. This very thought is assurance, for it means that he fills a place in another state of existence for which he alone was created.'

One of the visits paid under Mr. Bellows' guidance was to Mr. Bryan Hodgson, who, as Resident at Nepal, had acquired an extensive acquaintance with the tribes and languages of the Himalayan slopes. Mr. Hodgson lived to a great age, and died in 1895. It is from his researches that our knowledge of Northern Buddhism is chiefly derived. He formed a valuable collection of above 300 MSS., a few of which he gave to the Bodleian.

To Mr. Bryan Hodgson.

Parks End, August 25, 1868.

'My dear Hodgson,—What would I give for your quiet Vihar at Alderley—your otium cum dignitate [Google translate: leisure with dignity]—doing exactly as you like, reading or writing what you like, without being driven to publish and republish, without lectures, without printer's devils, &c. &c. I can assure you I am sometimes nearly beside myself with all I have to attend to; to say nothing of mere Grihastha matters, which are sometimes troublesome too. However, it cannot be helped, and I only mention it as my excuse for not having written to you before. I have looked at your papers and the drawing, and I think it would be a great pity if those carefully executed sketches were not published. Then as to my lecture ("Stratification of Language") I cannot think that we differ so much. I have frequently availed myself of lexicographic evidence. But grammatical evidences have, as you know, a different value, and for the object I had in view in my lecture the grammatical structure of language was of the greatest importance.'

In the autumn a new edition of both volumes of the Lectures on Language was called for. It was the fifth edition of Vol. I, the second of Vol. II. The new edition of two volumes was of 3,000 copies. At the same time a large second edition of Chips, Vols. I and II, was published, and Max Muller found that his writings in this one year had brought in above;£1,200.

Except the short visits mentioned, the summer had been spent in work at Oxford, and as soon as his mother returned to Germany, he took his wife and children to Bonchurch, and gave himself up to rest and outdoor life for a fortnight. Long walks were taken with his wife in all directions, and all parts of the beautiful island were explored. One delightful day was given to Carisbrooke, where the rector, Mr. James, an early Oxford friend, received the Max Mullers, showing them the Castle and the fine Roman villa, which had not been long excavated.

Another expedition, in which their eldest child shared, was to Freshwater, where a night was spent with Mr. and Mrs. Tennyson. The poet was in rather a silent mood till after the ladies withdrew, when, over their pipes, he read out some of his latest poems to Max Muller, his rich deep voice sounding through the house till far into the small hours.

To His Mother (for her birthday).

Translation. Bonchurch, October 9.

'Each birthday, even the happiest, has its sad side. It is a station nearer death; but whilst in youth and the full enjoyment of life this thought seems terrible, it loses much of its terror as one gets older, for the parting from the few whom we leave behind is made up for by the hope of rejoining the many who are gone before us. So, though this birthday must be very sad to you, you must accustom yourself more and more to the thought that here is not our abiding city, that all that we call ours here is only lent, not given us, and that if the sorrow for those we have lost remains the same, we must yet acknowledge with gratitude to God the great blessing of having enjoyed so many years with those whom He gave us as parents, or children, or friends. One forgets so easily the happy years we have had with those who were the nearest to us. Even these years of happiness, however short they may have been, were only given us, we had not deserved them. I know well there is no comfort for this pain of parting; the wound always remains, but one learns to bear the pain, and learns to thank God for what He gave, for the beautiful memories of the past, and the yet more beautiful hope for the future. If a man has lent us anything for several years, and at last takes it back, he expects gratitude, not anger, and if God has more patience with our weakness than men have, yet murmurs and complaints for the life which He measured out to us as is best for us, are not what He expected from us. A. spirit of resignation to God's will is the only comfort, the only relief under the trials God lays upon us, and with such a spirit the heaviest as well as the lightest trials of life are not only bearable, but useful, and gratitude to God and peace in life and in death remain untroubled. May this quiet and peaceful resignation beautify and brighten the evening of your life, that is the one wish I have for your sixty-eighth birthday. . . . We were yesterday at Freshwater, where Tennyson has his house, and he invited us (G. and Ada) to stay with him. It was very interesting.'

The following letter was written to the Duke of Argyll soon after his appointment as Secretary of State for India:—

To The Duke of Argyll.

Oxford, December 16.

' ... As for more than twenty years my principal work has been devoted to the ancient literature of India, I cannot but feel a deep and real sympathy for all that concerns the higher interests of the people of that country. Though I have never been in India, I have many friends there, both among the civilians and among the natives, and I believe I am not mistaken in supposing that the publication in England of the ancient sacred writings of the Brahmans, which had never been published in India, and other contributions from different European scholars towards a better knowledge of the ancient literature and religion of India, have not been without some effect on the intellectual and religious movement that is going on among the more thoughtful members of Indian society. I have sometimes regretted that I am not an Englishman, and able to help more actively in the great work of educating and improving the natives. But I do rejoice that this great task of governing and benefiting India should have fallen to one who knows the greatness of that task and all its opportunities and responsibilities, who thinks not only of its political and financial bearings, but has a heart to feel for the moral welfare of those millions of human beings that are, more or less directly, committed to his charge.

'India has been conquered once, but India must be conquered again, and that second conquest should be a conquest by education. Much has been done for education of late, but if the funds were tripled and quadrupled, that would hardly be enough.

'The results of the educational work carried on during the last twenty years are palpable everywhere. They are good and bad, as was to be expected. It is easy to find fault with what is called Young Bengal, the product of English ideas grafted on the native mind. But Young Bengal, with all its faults, is full of promise. Its bad features are apparent everywhere, its good qualities are naturally hidden from the eyes of careless observers. . . . India can never be anglicized, but it can be reinvigorated. By encouraging a study of their own ancient literature, as part of their education, a national feeling of pride and self-respect will be reawakened among those who influence the large masses of the people. A new national literature may spring up, impregnated with Western ideas, yet retaining its native spirit and character. The two things hang together. In order to raise the character of the vernaculars, a study of the ancient classical language is absolutely necessary: for from it these modern dialects have branched off, and from it alone can they draw their vital strength and beauty. A new national literature will bring with it a new national life and new moral vigour. As to religion, that will take care of itself. The missionaries have done far more than they themselves seem to be aware of, nay, much of the work which is theirs they would probably disclaim. The Christianity of our nineteenth century will hardly be the Christianity of India. But the ancient religion of India is doomed—and if Christianity does not step in, whose fault will it be?'
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Re: The Life and Letters of The Right Hon. Friedrich Max Mul

Postby admin » Tue Oct 24, 2023 4:21 am

Part 2 of 2

The following letter alludes to a little indulgence Max Muller allowed himself more than once. The forests round Dessau are famous for their wild boar, and through his cousin, Baroness Stolzenberg, he was able occasionally to secure one from the ducal forester. The arrival of the first one entire made a sensation at the Oxford Railway Station, and a message was sent up that a dead ' Bear ' had arrived there for Professor Max Muller. The dinner given to eat the haunch was a great success, and one head of a house was observed to enjoy three helpings.

To His Mother.

Translation. Parks End, December 20.

'Yesterday we had a large dinner-party, the Vice-Chancellor, &c., and had the haunch of wild boar, which was excellent. We had already lived a week on the boar, which was a very good one, and arrived in good condition. A young man in London who comes here sometimes to work for me brought it in its skin. The skin is being dressed as a mat, the head we have sent to my father-in-law, and the rest we are slowly eating up. It has amused me having it, and brought back old days.'

The first months of 1869 brought great anxiety to Max Muller and his wife. Early in January they went with their two eldest girls to stay with a cousin at Taplow, where, after a few days, their eldest child sickened with scarlet fever. The alarm was very great, as there was a large party of young cousins living in the house, and the whole family moved at once, the mother and her sick child alone remaining isolated on the top floor of a huge country house. Max Muller, who had already returned to Oxford, had the younger children with him, and could not therefore go to his wife and sick child for fear of infection. It was a very severe case, and the eldest child was only slowly recovering when the second little girl developed the terrible illness, and was brought back to be nursed with her sister. Max Muller suffered acutely from the anxiety, which lasted nearly two months, greatly aggravated too by the feeling that they had driven the whole family from their home. Mercifully the infection did not spread. The second child lay for more than a fortnight at death's door. One night, when her case seemed hopeless, the father came to see her, but the lengthy process of disinfection made it impossible for him to repeat the visit, as his lectures had begun. His daily letters were the one support of his wife.

'How little one thinks that these heavy trials and afflictions may come upon us any day. One lives on as if life were to last for ever, and as if we should never part with those who are most dear to us. Life would be intolerable were it otherwise, but how little one is prepared for what life really is.'

January 24.

'I am longing to see you and our dear little Ada. I am afraid you do not tell me all, and I cannot tell you how I feel for your solitude in all this fearful anxiety. There is but one help and one comfort in these trials, that is to know by whom they are sent. If one knows that nothing can happen to us without Him, one does not feel quite helpless even under the greatest terrors of this life. I tremble always when I open your letters.'

One ray of sunshine came to brighten this time of gloom, in Max Muller's election as a Foreign Member of the French Institute, the youngest man ever elected. The choice lay between him and Theodor Mommsen, who was some years his senior. In writing to congratulate him, Max Muller's childlike friend, Stanislas Julien, the great Sinologue, says: 'et maintenant vous pouvez porter l'habit brode' [Google translate: And now you can wear the embroidered outfit]—the beautiful dress invented for the members of the Institute by Richelieu, and which Max Muller, before he was made a Privy Councillor, always wore at Court by the Queen's permission.

To Max Muller.

Paris, 1er mars.

'J'ai ete heureux, Monsieur, de concourir a votre nomination comme associe etranger de l'lnstitut. Precisement l'ete dernier j'avais lu vos Lectures a la British Institution sur la science et la formation du langage, et j'avais ete extremement frappe de l'elevation, de la profondeur et de l'abondance des idees que vous y avez exposees. Je ne suis pas un juge competent de vos travaux sur les Vedas, mais je me felicite d'avoir un peu contribue a vous en fournir les materiaux, et je vous remercie d'en avoir garde le souvenir, Mon seul regret est de ne vous avoir pas acquis vous-meme a la France. C'est une fortune que j'envie un peu a l'Angleterre, tout en lui en faisant mon compliment. Recevez, Monsieur et savant confrere, l'assurance de ma consideration la plus distinguee. 'Guizot.'


'I was glad, Monsieur, to contribute to your nomination as a Foreign Member of the Institute. It was only last year that I read your Lectures at the British Institution on the "Science and Formation of Language," and I was very much struck with the elevation, the depth, and the richness of the ideas which you there brought forward. I am not a competent judge of your labours on the Rig-veda, but I congratulate myself in having contributed a little in furnishing you with materials for it, and I thank you for remembering this. My one regret is, not to have secured you yourself for France. It is a piece of good fortune for which I envy, though at the same time I congratulate, England. Receive, Monsieur and learned confrere, the assurance of my highest esteem. 'Guizot.'

To His Wife.

February 14.

'One does not like to think of anything, or feel happy about anything, till this illness of the children is quite over; yet you will see from the enclosed letters that I have felt very happy to-day when I heard that I had been elected one of the eight Foreign Members of the Academy. It has been my ambition, I might almost say my foolish ambition through life, to be some day what I saw Humboldt was, when as a mere boy I first called on him in Paris, a Foreign Member of the French Institute; and now the thing has come to pass, and I do feel very happy about it. Still, what is that till we know that our little Mary is out of danger, and that we may look forward to a happy meeting?'

March 15.

'I assure you when I think of what might have been, I seem to have no room for any feeling but that of unceasing thankfulness. "Forget not all His benefits." One ought to keep up the recollection of these great blessings, for daily life is so very apt to wash it away.'

Early in January Max Muller received a pressing invitation from Professor Huxley, who had just been made President of the Ethnological Society, to lecture on the ethnological aspects of Indian Philology.

To Professor Huxley.

Parks End, January 8, 1869.

'It is very difficult to say no to such pleading as yours. But I have made a vow to undertake nothing new till what I have now in hand is finished, and it would be dishonest not to keep it. I am truly glad that you have taken the Ethnological Society in hand. I have not followed all the squabbles there seem to have been, but I feel certain that something ought to be done to raise the character of ethnological or anthropological research, and there is no one who can do it as well as you. I shall willingly help you hereafter when I am a little freer, but there are three books in the Press that must be finished first—(1) the first volume of the translation of the Rigveda, (2) the Pratisakhya, the oldest work on phonetics (this is printed), and (3) the fifth volume of the text of the Rig-veda, with the native commentaries. I hope this will all be done before the year is out, but even then I have promised Longman two more volumes of Chips.

'I should be so glad if you would come to Oxford from a Saturday to Monday and stay with us. Term begins towards the end of January; if you could let me know a week before, I could then make sure of some friends who would be glad to meet you.'

Among the many young Germans whom Max Muller was able to assist to positions in India few became more distinguished, or have done better work for Sanskrit scholarship, than Dr. Kielhorn, now Professor at Gottingen. The following is one of the many letters that passed between them:—

To Dr. Kielhorn.

Translation.'Parks End, January 10.

'. . . I am delighted with your photograph, you look so well, and the old Pundit at your side looks a veritable Guru1 [Teacher.] in the true sense of the word, I am glad that the Government is giving a grant for the purchase of MSS. I had already proposed this matter when Lord Elgin was Governor, and advised the Government not to make the matter too public, as that raises the price of MSS. at once. Well, a beginning is made.

'I have finished the Pratisakhya, and the translation is progressing. I have sent you and Buhler my second edition of Chips through the Government, also to Dr. Wilson.

'Kind regards to Buhler. I have not heard from him for a very long time, but have just received his Apastamba, which gives me much pleasure; it is an old friend of mine. What do you think of a Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum [Google translate: Corpus of Indian Inscriptions]? Could that be done in Bombay? Bhao Dagi is sure to have much material. It ought really to be begun soon.'

To The Duke of Argyll.

Taplow Court, January 14, 1869.

'It is certainly true that the religion of the Hindus, as far as we can gather it from their sacred hymns in the Veda, is free from everything that strikes us as degrading in the present state of religion and morality in India. But between the ancient religion of India and the religious worship of the present generation there have been several falls and several rises. Buddhism, in the sixth century before our era, was a reaction against the corruptions that had crept into the ancient religion even at that early time. Then Buddhism, starting with the highest aspirations, degenerated into monasticism and hypocrisy, and a most rigorous form of the old Brahmanic religion took possession of India, and drove Buddhism out of every corner of the country. Since that time there have been several religious reforms, though of a more local character, and this makes it very difficult to generalize and treat the whole religious life of India as one organic body of religious thought. Yet so much may be said with perfect truth, that if the religion of India could be brought back to that simple form which it exhibits in the Veda, a great reform would be achieved. Something would be lost, for some of the later metaphysical speculations on religion, and again the high and pure and almost Christian morality of Buddha, are things not to be found in the Veda. But, as far as the popular conceptions of the deity are concerned, the Vedic religion, though childish and crude, is free from all that is so hideous in the later Hindu Pantheon.

'With regard to the inevitable decay of religion, a difference ought to be made between two classes of religion, national and personal. There are ancient religions, like that of Greece, and that of India too, which grow up like national languages, when it is impossible to speak of individual influences, because all individual influence is determined by the silent and almost unconscious approval or disapproval of the community. In these religions I think we can watch for a time a decided progress, a gradual elimination of what is bad, i.e. what is not acceptable to the national conscience.

'But religions, like Buddhism, Mohammedanism, and Christianity too, belong to a different class. They start with a high ideal conceived by a representative man, representative either of a nation or of the whole of humanity, and that high ideal is hardly ever realized; it has to adapt itself to larger circles and lower levels, and can only be kept from utter degeneration by constant efforts at reform.'

To M. Michel Breal.

Parks End, February 19.

'I knew you would be pleased at the result of the last election, but I was glad all the same to receive your congratulations, and to know that you approve of the choice of that distinguished body, which no doubt before long will count you among its members. To me it is the highest honour that could possibly be bestowed upon me. I believe I may honestly say it has been through life the only object of what you may call a foolish ambition. That I should obtain it so soon I did not expect, and I am afraid my success will secure me many dipsus, but I have long learned that no one does us so much service as our dipsus, nos amis les ennemis [Google translate: dipsus, our friends the enemies], and I do not think my head will be quite turned, as I know too well that "merit is the good opinion which our friends have of us," as Lord Palmerston used to say. I hope I shall have the pleasure of seeing you and making the acquaintance of Madame Breal before this year is over. As soon as three books of mine which are now in the Press are finished, I hope to present them in person to the Academy. The Pratisakhya is finished, the first volume of the translation is printed as far as page 224, and there is a third little book printing, which is to be a surprise. I hope when I and my wife come to Paris, we shall find you in the full enjoyment of all the pleasures and treasures of a Grihastha. Many thanks for your Idees latentes du Langage [Google translate: Two hidden ideas Language], which I read at once with the greatest pleasure, as I do everything you write. You know how to prepare your meats, and do not expect your readers to eat raw flesh. M. Brachet's Granwiar is out. Now that Parliament is sitting, there is little chance of getting a review, but I shall see what I can do. M. Harris is hard at work translating my Chips. There is an Italian translation coming out of my lecture on "Stratification." I need not say that the lecture is quite at your service, if you think a French translation would interest people in France. Schleicher's death is a very great loss to us, more even than Bopp's, who had finished his work.'

Max Muller found that incessant work was the only help in these months of anxiety, and, as is shown in the various letters, he had been far from idle. The first volume of Translations from the Vedic Hymns came out in May. His lectures this term were on 'Sanskrit Grammar as a Foundation for Philological Research.' In the following letter to Sir George Cox, he upholds Sanskrit and Comparative Philology as the necessary foundation for a study of Comparative Mythology:—

Parks End, March 3, 1869.

'. . . I should like to see you and talk the matter of Comparative Mythology over with you. I cannot help feeling that you work at this subject under great difficulties, and I sometimes doubt whether you ought to give your principal energies to that subject. I speak to you quite openly, for I believe you would be offended if I did not. The most minute criticism of etymological coincidences seems to me the only safe foundation of Comparative Mythology. When there is no etymological foundation I should not venture to take a step, however clear the material coincidences of character, circumstances, and the general denouement might be. I believe you have done good service by pointing out the necessity of admitting a common origin, even when the evidence of the common nomenclature is wanting, but I doubt whether with those principles it is safe to enter upon the treatment of the whole subject. The dangers are very great, and much harm may be done. And when you come to fables or stories of modern date, the dangers become still greater. Here there is an immense literature to master first, i.e. the historical and purely historical evidence of the migration of fables. When the ground has so far been cleared, there comes the labour of tracing back really old common Aryan stories to their roots, whether mythical or proverbial. If therefore you ask me, I tell you openly, do not make Comparative Mythology the principal work of your life, unless you make up your mind first to study Sanskrit and Comparative Philology. I believe you can do far more real and important work in other fields of research, though I should be very sorry if we were not from time to time to get hints and impetus from you on a subject where you certainly have seen beyond the horizon of other scholars. I am just printing a curious collection of Buddhist stories contained in Buddhaghosha's commentary on the Dhammapada, and therefore not later than about A.D. 400.'

Early in April he had all his children safe under his roof again, and it was soon evident that any summer plans must be made with reference to their health. The doctor prescribed a foreign bath, and it was finally settled that after Commemoration the whole family should go to Soden in the Taunus, where Max Muller's mother would join them.

Before leaving home Max Muller heard from his friend Dr. John Muir, from Edinburgh, that he had received the first volume of his Translations from the Vedic Hymns, 'in which you show a great deal of minute learning. But if you go into everything in the same elaborate way in future, you will require to live to the age of Methuselah to finish your task. I cannot but express the wish that you had translated more and annotated less; that you had given what the world expected from you, a translation at once scholarlike and elegant, and entering into the spirit of Vedic antiquity, exhibiting in short the results of profound research without much display of the apparatus of learning.' The same complaint was made by many other subscribers, and Max Muller soon found that his plan of translation was far too elaborate. A second volume was published, but not till many years later, as Vol. XLVI of the Sacred Books of the East, the volume already published, of which Dr. Muir complains, being reprinted with many additional Hymns as Vol. XXXII of that series, in place of another work of which Max Muller was disappointed. Some idea may be gained of the enormous labour bestowed on this volume of translations from the long list of works on the Veda which Max Muller had consulted, and to which he fully admits his indebtedness. The list fills six pages octavo. Max Muller held that the first translators of the Veda should be decipherers, 'bound to justify every word of the translation in exactly the same way in which decipherers of hieroglyphic or cuneiform inscriptions justify any step they take.'

In another letter Dr. John Muir expresses the wish that more light should be thrown on Buddha, and trusts that Max Muller intends to write more about him. This wish was fulfilled next year by the translation from the Pali of Buddha's Dhammapada, or Path of Virtue, the book he alludes to in the letter to M. Breal as 'a surprise.'

To M. Regnier (former tutor to the Comte de Paris, and a distinguished Sanskritist).

Parks End, Oxford, May 13, 1869.

'My dear Friend,—It is really very provoking to know that you are in England, and that it is impossible to effect a meeting. I have a lecture every day, and during the Whitsuntide holidays we have friends staying with us, and even if I could leave them for a day, I am kept here because the Archbishop of Canterbury, who is the Visitor of our College (All Souls), will be here from Saturday till Tuesday, and all the Fellows have to be in attendance. I cannot ask you to give me a day as I know how much your presence is valued by your old friends, but if you should by any fortunate chance find yourself free for a day, it would be a great treat to me and my wife to receive you at our house and show you our children, who, I am thankful to say, are either getting stronger or are really quite well again. Sunshine seems to have returned to our house with the spring, and at present there are few clouds to be seen, at least no more than we all want to make the sky really beautiful.

'I shall be busy here till about the end of June, and I hope then to go to Paris, though I am afraid I shall find few of my friends there. My plan was to take lodgings at St. Germain or some other place near Paris, and to settle there for some months with my wife and four children, taking our English nurse and a Swiss bonne [Google translate: Good] with us. But this plan has become somewhat doubtful because my mother wishes to spend the summer with us in England, and in that case I should probably go to Paris alone and stay only for a fortnight, and then go to fetch my mother from Germany. Could you or Madame Regnier give us any hint as to where and how to settle ourselves near Paris, if we carry out our original plan?

'I am now printing my last volume (second edition, Sanskrit Grammar), of which I enclose the title. Pratisakhya and Rig-veda (translation) are finished, and I look forward with great pleasure to presenting my "thrins" to the Academy.

'I had a letter from M. Guizot, which I value more than many a cordon and crachat [Google translate: cord and spit].

Shortly before leaving for Germany, Max Muller offered Messrs. Longmans a translation of Coquerel's Apostles Creed, an offer that was rejected, as Mr. Longman did not consider the book sufficiently orthodox. Against this opinion Max Muller protests in the following letter:—

Oxford, June 24.

'My dear Longman,—I am sorry to hear that you think Coquerel's book would not sell, though, if it were of so startling a character as you imagine, I should think that it would excite some interest, and have even a commercial success.

'But allow me to say, that though I should not venture to criticize your judgement as far as the commercial success of the book is concerned, I must protest most strongly against the judgement you have formed of its religious character.

'The book is written in a liberal, but in a deeply religious spirit, teaching men to distinguish between the dead crust and the living kernel of Christianity, and warning them against throwing away what is true, eternal, and divine, because in course of time it has been surrounded and almost hidden by what is conventional, changeable, and human. It is an interpretation and historical vindication of the antiquated, almost unintelligible, and certainly widely misunderstood language of the so-called Apostles' Creed, a document which, I feel sure, no educated man and no clergyman in England would take to be the work of the Apostles. The book is written throughout in the most correct language, and there are passages in it which the most eloquent of our bishops need not be ashamed of in the pulpit.

'I write this, not because I wish you to publish the MS., but because I shall be truly sorry if you think I had offered you a book to publish which would shock people far more than anything you have published.'

To The Dean of Westminster.

Parks End, June 29, 1869.

'My dear Stanley,—That book of Jacolliot's1 [La Bible dans l'Inde. (Google translate: The Bible in India.] is as silly, shallow, impudent a composition as ever I saw. It is sad to think that people can still be taken in with such a book. Would you believe that Gladstone was reading it in the midst of the Irish debate! The book quotes from the Veda! The extracts are no more from the Veda than from the Koran. I felt so disgusted that I could read no more; and then people ask me to review such a book—they might as well ask me to fight a shoe-black!

'What I sent you as a first instalment of the Veda is real and old— of course no one will read that! Nor do I care. I meant to write an unreadable book, and I believe I have succeeded.

But I shall soon send you something that is readable—a collection of Buddha's own sayings. I believe the final struggle between Buddhism and Christianity, whenever that comes to pass, will be a hard one, and will end in a compromise—there is a prophecy! that will have to be tested some thousand years hence—therefore, at all events, it is safe. But I am quite serious, and I know you would not refuse Buddha admittance at Westminster, after you have read his [x]. How small the Irish Church looks from a more (ex)centric point of view, and that is the real charm and the real blessing of researches into the ancient history of thought and faith; they make one feel happy, quiet, and strong, like Scotch mountain air.'

To The Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone.

Parks End, July 9, 1869.

'Dear Mr. Gladstone,—"Do not speak to the man at the helm" may, I suppose, be translated freely into "Do not write to the Prime Minister." If I break this useful rule, it is only for one word of explanation. The volume which I took the liberty to send to you is hardly meant to be read; I know it is perfectly unreadable, except for Sanskrit scholars. It is, in fact, but the underground foundation on which the pillars are to rest which are to support the bridge on which people hereafter may walk across from the nineteenth century after to the nineteenth century before our era. At the same time I may say that the few Vedic Hymns which I have translated, or rather deciphered, in the first volume, are genuine relics of the earliest phase of human thought within our reach. Jacolliot's book, La Bible dans l'Inde [Google translate: The Bible in India.], which I looked at, is beneath criticism, it is simply untrue. The author has been deceived, has deceived himself, and tries to deceive others. I am sorry that my ticket for Antwerp is taken for next Thursday, and that I shall not be able to avail myself of your kind invitation to breakfast, or to carry off the book which you say is waiting for me.'

The book by Jacolliot, La Bible dans l'Inde, alluded to in the letters to Dean Stanley and Mr. Gladstone, was a mere imposture, the author purporting to have found the essential features of the Biblical narrative, the Garden of Eden, Flood, &c., given in the sacred books of the Brahmans. Max Muller was in London one day during the debates on the Disestablishment of the Irish Church, when he heard a quick footstep behind him, and some one touched him on the shoulder. It was Mr. Gladstone. 'Oh, why,' exclaimed the Prime Minister, 'have you not told us of these wonderful discoveries in India?' and then poured forth, in the middle of St. James's Street, his wonder and admiration of La Bible dans l'Inde, which he had been studying, when any less versatile statesman would have been entirely absorbed in his great Irish measure. It took some time, not only in St. James's Street, but by letter, before Mr. Gladstone would give up his belief in Jacolliot's nonsense.

The stay at Soden, dull in some ways, was made interesting to Max Muller by finding an old friend, Professor Hertz, whom he had not seen since they were students together at Leipzig. He was watching over a young daughter dying of decline, and, before they left Soden, Max followed his friend's child to her last resting-place. His deep sympathy was a help and stay to the poor parents, and till he joined his loved child some years later, Professor Hertz often wrote, recalling the time at Soden and the intercourse with the friend of his youth. It was at Soden also that Max Muller first heard from Dr. Appleton, of St. John's College, his plans for starting the Academy. Max Muller had taken his whole party for an excursion to the ruins of Cronberg, on one of the hills of the Taunus range, and his children were revelling in the enjoyment of a complete day of holiday with their father, whose incessant work made such a treat a rare one. Dinner in the open air was just over, when Dr. Appleton was seen to descend from the coach running between Soden and Cronberg. He had arrived at Soden to find Max Muller gone out for the day, and, absorbed in his own schemes, did not hesitate to follow him and entirely engross him for the rest of the day, to the dismay of his children. When once started, Max Muller was a constant contributor to the Academy, till it changed hands, and entirely altered its character as a literary paper about two years before his death. From Soden the party went to Kiel, where the Platt-Deutsch poet Klaus Groth, with whom Max had formed an intimate friendship during the poet's visit to England a few years before, had secured a delightful apartment for them in one of the pretty villas that line the shores of the beautiful harbour of Kiel. It stood at the entrance to Dusternbrook, a fine beech forest, the trees of which hung over the water of the harbour. The garden of the villa ran down to the water, which is scarcely salt, and has little or no tide. Here a happy six weeks was spent, varied by long day excursions with Klaus Groth and his charming wife to all the most beautiful spots round Kiel. A two days' visit was paid to Plauen and the lakes of Holstein in one direction, whilst in another they visited Husum, 'the grey town on the grey (North) sea,' with its flat coast and dykes as in Holland, to make acquaintance with Theodor Sturm, another Platt-Deutsch poet. Later on, before leaving Kiel, Max Muller and his wife went to Copenhagen, with which they were delighted, enjoying the treasures of the Museum of Northern Antiquities, and the beautiful pictures of native Danish art in the palaces. They also visited Elsinore, and looked across to Sweden; the sea, the day they visited Elsinore, was alive with vessels waiting for a favourable wind to take them through the Sound into the Cattegat. The Max Mullers returned to Kiel by the Belts, and stayed a night at Schleswig to see the cathedral with its wonderful wood carvings of the fifteenth century.

During the stay at Kiel, the German Philological Congress held their annual meeting there, attended by people from all parts of Europe. Mark Pattison, Rector of Lincoln College, was present, M. Jules Oppert from Paris, and many others, and it gave Max Muller an opportunity of meeting many engaged in like studies with himself. He read his paper on Buddhist Nihilism referred to before (p. 192) and made his first speech in German at the farewell banquet.

Many evenings during the visit to Kiel were spent either at Klaus Groth's house, or at Forsteck, an exquisite place belonging to Herr Meyer, a Hamburg merchant, commanding a view of the broadest portion of the great Kieler Bucht, or estuary, where, at the time of the Crimean War, the whole English Baltic Fleet lay for weeks. On these occasions Klaus Groth always read out some of his Platt-Deutsch poems, which, to English ears, are more intelligible read aloud than when read to oneself: the strange spelling misleading the eye. The pleasure of the time at Kiel was greatly added to by the presence of a cousin, Captain, now General, Stockmarr, with his wife and daughter, who joined many of the expeditions. 'We have had many happy hours together,' writes Max to another cousin, whom he tried to draw to Kiel; but at that time the railway communication between Kiel and places on the Baltic shore was too complicated for short visits, especially where children were of the party. It was for this reason that his old friend Dr. Prowe, from Thorn in East Prussia, was unable to comply with Max's earnest wish for a meeting.

Early in October the whole party, including the mother, returned to Oxford, the two eldest children thoroughly restored to health. The lectures announced for this term were a continuation of the course on Sanskrit Grammar. Among the many letters waiting his return was an invitation from the Khedive of Egypt to be present at the opening of the Suez Canal, but he had to decline the honour, as taking him away too long from his work.

To Professor Benfey.

Translation. Parks End, Oxford, November 7, 1869.

'Dear Colleague,—Having returned to England some three weeks ago, I had so many letters to answer that I only now find time to thank you for your valuable present. I have, so far, only glanced at your History of Philology, but even this glance has shown me how much material you have again accumulated in this work, and how useful and instructive your book is in every way. I hope soon to have time to read it quietly, but I feel I must not delay in sending you my best thanks.

'My path did not lead me, alas! past Gottingen this time, and my hope of meeting you perchance at Kiel, at the Philological Congress, was not fulfilled. . . .

'My first volume of the Veda translation has, I hope, reached you, and I should be glad to receive your opinion about it. According to my judgement there is only one scientifically justifiable method of interpreting the Veda, viz. to settle completely every word which raises the least doubt. The work is slow and laborious, but if it is not done you never come to a conclusion, and the same questions turn up again and again. Of course, for you and me there are certain things which do not need proofs, but we also made our way slowly through all this, therefore, why not save others this trouble? why not cut off, once for all, all unfounded objections at the outset?

'I hope to send you soon a book on Buddha; that makes me think of your review of my Essays: accept my best thanks. . . . Alas! I have to get a new edition of my Sanskrit Grammar ready, which I should like to have done with. . . .'

The Christmas was passed in Oxford, a real German Christmas, with a tree, to which a few Germans in Oxford were invited, and at which the various German dishes and sweetmeats, imported by the old mother, bore a conspicuous part.
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Re: The Life and Letters of The Right Hon. Friedrich Max Mul

Postby admin » Wed Oct 25, 2023 1:24 am

Part 1 of 2


Lectures on the Science of Religion. Keshub Chunder Sen. Franco- German War. LL.D. at Edinburgh. Letters to Dean Stanley. To 'the English People.' Work for Sick and Wounded. North Wales. Letters to Dr. Abeken and Mr. Gladstone. Chips, Vol. III.

This year, that was to be so full of stirring events, opened quietly for Max Muller, who began at once to prepare the lectures he had undertaken to give at the Royal Institution in February and March on the 'Science of Religion.'

To Dean Stanley.

January 19.

'I return Clark's1 [Google translate: Public Orator at Cambridge.] letter. I quite feel with you that a man like Clark ought not to be satisfied with simply withdrawing; he ought to work and fight, and not look to others to carry a new Reformation. I do not know much of him, but all I do know of him makes me like him very much. His words would carry weight with many people. It might seem bold and imprudent in Temple, but still I think it would be right if, as a Bishop, he answered Clark's letter, and told him publicly that the Old Testament was not originally written in the language of the nineteenth century, but in old, heavy, poetical Oriental phraseology, and that, unless his difficulties extend far beyond the limits indicated by him, he might well continue to read the Ten Commandments, and afterwards preach a sermon, and tell his congregation, if they need to be told, that God never stood on a hill and opened His mouth to tell them in Hebrew what the still small voice had told Moses, and other prophets too, nay, everybody who would but listen to that voice, viz. that there are laws independent of man, nay, in spite of man, yet irresistibly present in the human conscience. . . . Then why not say, "God spake these words and said "? Is our nineteenth-century language so much better, and is it altogether free from imagery or idolism? I shall have to say much stronger things in my lectures, and I am not afraid. People know that there are far greater difficulties that must be met—downright atheism among the high and the low. It is so, I assure you, and you probably know it better than I. And then to hear people fight about Colenso's difficulties, as if true religion had anything to do with them, is disheartening. However, let us look to Rome and that hideous1 [The Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin.] performance which passes all mythology, and be thankful. Ever yours.'

The very title of the lectures at the Royal Institution excited opposition and criticism, many people objecting to the possibility of a scientific study of religions. They were, however, very well attended, but Max Muller purposely postponed the publication, hoping to make the lectures more complete, as it had been impossible to deal fully with so vast a subject in the narrow limits of four lectures. They were first published in 1873, and then only slightly enlarged, as Max Muller had found he could not give the necessary time to perfect them; but as they had been pirated in America, he was driven in self-defence to print them in England. The subject was subsequently carried out in his Hibbert and Gifford Lectures.

On March 20 he writes to tell his wife he had been offered the degree of LL.D. at Edinburgh, 'I really ought to take care not to have my head turned with all the honours; there is really nothing left that I care for now, and I sometimes think the course must soon be run and all the work over.'

The visit to Edinburgh had to be postponed to the summer, partly on account of the lectures, partly because his old mother was still with him.

To His Wife.

Frogmore, March 31.

'One line to say that I arrived safe. At the station a carriage was waiting for me, but the Prince is in London, and will only, be back in time for dinner. I am in my old room again, and all the servants seem to be the same as before, which is a good sign. Love to the mother, and kisses for the children. The Prince has just called me away.'

To The Same.

Frogmore, April 1.

'We have just come back from London, where we had a very interesting luncheon at the Deanery. No one there but Keshub Chunder Sen and the Prince and I. We soon got into a warm discussion, and it was curious to see how we almost made him confess himself a Christian. He will come to Oxford, and then I hope to see more of him. He is not as handsome as Satyendranath Tagore, but very intelligent and pleasing. Last night we had a dinner-party— the Dean of Windsor and Mrs. Wellesley, Colonel and Mrs. Gordon, who is a sister of Peel, the Fellow of All Souls, and Mr. Ruthven. We used to know him in the Berkshire Volunteers. The Princess is very kind, and asked after you and the children.'

This was Max Muller's first acquaintance with Keshub Chunder Sen, which ripened into real friendship, and they corresponded till the death of the latter in 1884. Unfortunately all Max Muller's letters to Keshub Chunder Sen, touching on the important work of the Brahma Somaj, seem to have been lost or destroyed.

Two public lectures were given at Oxford in the May Term—'On the Origin of Mythology,' and 'On the Migration of Fables.' The latter was repeated on June 3 at the Royal Institution. Max Muller writes to his wife, who was nursing her father:—

Deanery, Westminster, June 4.

'I believe my lecture ("On the Migration of Fables") went off very well; the place was as full as it could hold. But I lost all heart for it when you were not there. I must go to Oxford to-day, as Keshub Chunder Sen waits for me at the station.

'Dr. Scott has accepted the Deanery of Rochester, and Jowett will be Master of Balliol. I am truly glad, for though it comes late it will make up for many years of disappointment. Few people know what it is to see the work which one could do best taken away from one, and few people make allowance for it, and how it embitters one. I do like to see things come right in the end, though I know they are always right even if we do not see it. I do not think that Jowett's friends have always thought of what he has suffered, and I trust he will have many years to enjoy his Mastership.'

To Professor Freeman.

June, 1870.

'I have read your second and third lectures1 ['History of the Cathedral Church of Wells.'], and I have no remarks to make beyond what I said about your first lecture, that I hope they will be taken to heart. I sometimes wonder that it should be necessary to say these things again and again, but I believe the confusion in the popular mind arises chiefly from a confusion of terminology, using a terminology which was meant for linguistic purposes for historical or physiological work. Let people classify blood as much as they like, only let them use their own bottles for that, and not bottles that were labelled for the purpose of holding languages. I confess to my mind blood is an irrational and ungraspable quantity, but if people like to dabble in it, let them have their sanguinary amusement. I also confess that I consider all historical notices as to race extremely precarious until you come to writers of our own century. Before Caesar no one knew the difference between a Celt and a German, as little as many of our missionaries know the difference between a Hottentot and Bushman, or between a Tatar and Mongolian. Nearly all that is built on the statements of the ancients as to race, is built on sand; it may be very learned, but it will not stand a breath of harsh criticism. One thing I cannot understand. Who has invented the Iberians? I see them of late cropping out here, there, and everywhere. Whoever brought them to England first? It is by no means easy to get a clear idea what the ancients meant by the Iberians in Spain, and whether that name may be used synonymously with Bask. But the historical Iberians or Ebro-people of Spain never came to England, except at the time of the Armada. or thereabouts. And least of all would they explain the black colouring matter among the English, for according to Napier and Prichard the Basks are fair, their eyes blue, grey, bluish, and light brown, never dark brown. Some observations are different, and give us twenty-five brown against twenty-one blue eyes, and this is used as an argument in favour of a theory that the Basks came from two distinct ethnological stems. In some places the people with blonde hair form a decided majority. As to the skulls, the confusion is equally great; see Pruner Bey, Sur les cranes basques, 1867 [Google translate: Pruner Bey, On Basque skulls, 1867]. Then what use can the Iberians be in England? People who believe that the Iberians came to England to introduce a dark pigment, will soon believe that the Buddhists came over from India to build Stonehenge.'

And now for nearly a year to come Max Muller's heart and thoughts were to be absorbed by the great Franco-German ar. When able to fix his attention on his work he went on with the fifth volume of the Rig-veda, and was busy in preparing a third volume of Chips for the Press, of which an edition of 3,000 was printed; while this year also saw the publication of his translation of the Dhammapada.

To His Mother.

Translation. July 17, 1870.

'These last experiences are terrible; one cannot bear to think of it. A murderous attack just because it seems necessary to the Emperor to make himself popular with his army. The feeling in England is strong against France. I do not for a moment doubt the result. Germany may lose some battles, but Germany cannot be killed. The present devil's brood in France will fall after one lost battle. There is perhaps nothing better for the ultimate consolidation of Germany than this war, for no one who speaks German, be he Hanoverian or Saxon, can hold himself aloof It is the last chance for Austria. If she is great enough to forget the past and to join Prussia against France her future is secured; if she follows Beust's policy now she is done for. Who knows how long this war may last? I should like to live to see the end. The enthusiasm in Germany must be tremendous; all the young Germans in England are leaving, and I would gladly go with them. All my plans are, of course, upset. I hoped to go to Ems in August, and then we might have met, but one cannot think of that now. It is not really necessary, but it did me such good before that I would have used it as a precaution. Now we shall stay quietly here. On August i I have to go to Edinburgh to be made an honorary doctor. I put it off once, and cannot do so again. Later on we may go to the sea, but that is uncertain. My assistant. Dr. Thibaut, received a telegraphic despatch to-day, and is already on the way to Rastadt, which of course disturbs my work a good deal.'

The following letter adverts to a scheme that Max Muller had much at heart at one time, but it led to no practical results in England:—

To William Longman, Esq.

Oxford, July 12.

'What I talked about with Mr. Cox was not a volume of essays, but something very different. I shall try to explain it to you as shortly as I can.

'In Germany the plan has been adopted for some years of publishing a continuous series of lectures and essays, and it seems to have answered well, and gradually to take the place of monthly and quarterly journals.

'In a Monthly or Quarterly you must print many articles which are mere padding; the publisher has to pay for them, and the buyer has to pay for them, though neither one nor the other wants to have them. For instance, if a man wants to have my four lectures on the "Science of Religion" he must pay 10s., and then he has to cut them out, and they look untidy.

'Now if there existed a "series of essays," each essay might be sold for \s. or less, and people would then be able to get what they really want. Those who now subscribe to Quarterlies would subscribe to the whole series; those who want the Physical Science only would take those numbers only which treat of Physical Science, &c.

'You would want about six names to represent the different branches of knowledge, who should be responsible for the character of the essays, and give a character to the series. I have spoken to Huxley and others, and find a general concurrence.

'You will probably object that it would be troublesome and expensive as a matter of publishing. But, on the other hand, it gives you a constant means of advertising. The series itself would hardly require more advertising than a Quarterly: you would give a string of tides from time to time.

'I should propose as a title for the series "Our Time, a series of essays and lectures, under the editorship of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6." One series in Germany, "Populare Vortrage," [Google translate: Popular lectures] has reached to several hundreds of essays. In France you have something like it in the Revue des Cours Litteraires [Google translate: Review of Literary Courses], only that that is published every month, while my plan is to publish whenever there is fresh material.

'I am not a man of business, but I thought that Mr. Cox might act as a general editor, supported by six special editors, whose names would be a guarantee with the public.'

To The Dean of Westminster.

Parks End, Oxford, July 24.

'I send you a copy of my lectures on the "Science of Religion." I do not wish to publish them now, but I had sixteen copies taken, of which yours is one. By-and-by they will form part of a larger work, if life and strength last long enough to enable me to carry out a plan for which all my studies have formed the preparation.

'My heart is too full to say anything about this terrible war. I believe it is a cup that could not pass. France cannot break a united and strong Germany, and the reckless gambler who usurps the throne of France took advantage of this national jealousy to save himself from his inevitable end for a few years longer. But the misery it brings to thousands of happy homes passes all description! This war can only end either in the destruction of Germany, or in a revenge without a parallel in history.'

To The Same.

Parks End, Oxford, July 26, 1870.

'I feel by no means quite happy about the "Traite de paix entre la France et la Prusse. [Google translate: Peace treaty between France and Prussia.]" If it is genuine, however, then neutrality on the part of England would be criminal. Even Turkey came forward to assist her enemy Greece when it became a question of putting down brigandage. England and Germany hunted down one Corsican— they ought to combine for the same purpose now. You may have watched the feelings of those who lost a husband, a brother, a son, or a friend in the tragedy of Marathon; multiply that feeling by millions, and you may imagine then what the state of Germany must be at the present moment, when every family trembles for the life of those whom they love most, and who are to be mowed down by the French cannon, simply because one great criminal has been driven mad and desperate. War in Germany is different from war in England. It was easy for the Duke of Wellington to preach moderation at Paris. He had to revenge defeat, but no outrages, whilst every German soldier that marches into Paris (and I trust I shall live to see it!) has to revenge the blood of brothers, and tears such as only a mother can shed. I should like to see England, not Russia, as the friend and ally of Germany in this holy war.'

At the end of July Max Muller went to Edinburgh, to receive the degree of LL.D. at the same time as his friend Dr. Acland. The few days' holiday refreshed and cheered him, weighed down as he was by the thought of the war, and all that was at stake for his native country. He wrote to his wife:—

Edinburgh, July 31.

'This town is glorious and inspiriting, the true capital of England, far more royal than London. Were I King, I should reside here and leave London to be the great harbour and emporium of the country.'

The following is Professor Macpherson's speech in presenting Max Muller for the degree of LL.D.:—

' I have now to present to you in the name of the Senatus, as one deemed worthy of the same degree, another very eminent Professor in the University of Oxford—Max Muller. I do not think it necessary to mention any of the numerous University honours which he has received, or to give you a catalogue of the great literary and scientific societies that have sought to do themselves honour by enrolling him amongst their members. His name is too well known among us to require such an enumeration. Those who have not had the pleasure of listening to his delightful lectures in this city know him well through his writings. In the University of Oxford he has done more, probably, than any other man to establish the study of modern languages in what used to be considered the throne of the dead languages; and he did so at a period when he was engaged in giving to the world writings which were composed in a language which was dead long before Greek and Latin, I may say, were born. When England was engaged in the Crimean War, it was Max Muller who supplied English ignorance by writing upon the languages of the seat of war. When philologists were beating about, seeking here and there some solution or explanation of the endless facts which had been accumulating for half a century, it was Max Muller who came forward with his Science of Language. And now, when England is agitated with discussions on religious faiths and religious doctrines. Max Muller again steps forward with his Science of Religion, his lectures upon which bear all the impress of his learning and his genius, and breathe a spirit of religious love and toleration, which, if it could be extended to other religious discussions, would take from them the reproach of acrimony which has so often been cast upon them. It is a remarkable circumstance, considering the great stake which Britain has in the East, that it was left to Max Muller to bring in a worthy shape before the world the text of the Rig-veda—the value of which is acknowledged by all scholars and by all thinkers throughout the world. As to the manner in which he has done so, a verdict of approval has been pronounced by the scholars of all Europe; and as to his acquaintance with Eastern religious systems, the best testimony to that is the appreciation which his work has received from the Brahmins of India, who revere the name of Max Muller, thank him for his labours, and regard him as the great exponent of their religious doctrines in Europe. With regard to his qualifications for the performance of such a task, I know of no man who could have combined with these qualities the power of generalization which he possesses, the power of detecting truth beneath the accumulations of mythology and beneath the decay of tongues, the power of educing principle and order where apparently there is nothing but confusion and chaos. It is the combination of these qualifications which has enabled him to render such incomparable service to the Science of Comparative Philology and Comparative Mythology, and which has made him conspicuous both as a discoverer and as a presenter in the most interesting and popular form of the results of the labours and discoveries of others. No man has done so much to raise these to the dignity of a science; no man has done so much to popularize topics which formerly were considered fit for discussion only in the closet; and he has done this without departing from the method of severe scientific treatment: he has done it by the charm of the manner in which, in a pure and lucid English which the natives of his adopted country do sincerely envy while they rejoice to read it, he presents an endless array of facts in new and surprising combinations. In a word, his edition of the Rigveda, his lectures upon the "Science of Language," and his lectures upon the "Science of Religion," place him in the very foremost rank of scholars and of thinkers, whether as regards extent of knowledge, or force and originality of speculation.'

Max Muller always felt at Edinburgh, and later at Glasgow, the stimulating influence of intercourse with men ready to talk on the subjects in which they were engaged, and to which they had devoted their lives, and contrasted it with the fear of 'talking shop' that prevails in England. On his return he was again absorbed in the war, and all the work in his house for the sick and wounded.

To His Mother.

Translation. August 14.

'You can fancy all our thoughts are with Germany, and I wish I were there. Such a triumph of a good cause has seldom been seen in history. Where are Adolf and Fritz1 [Soldier cousins.]? I hope on the Rhine, perhaps already in France. The English are quite amazed at these results, and not quite pleased, but that does not matter. G. collects and works. She has collected already £100, and shrinks from no trouble. Here large collections are being made. That Emilie is still so angry with Germany astonishes me; the heart of every German must beat with joy, and all must be forgotten that recalls the old misery.'

To E. A. Freeman, Esq.

August 14.

'I ought to have written to you before, but you may imagine where all my thoughts are just now. Though I never doubted of ultimate success, I was afraid of reverses in the beginning. Now I expect the war will soon be over, and what I looked forward to for the last eighteen years almost every day as I opened the paper—the downfall of the Empire—has come to pass at last. A more demoralized and demoralizing government than that of Louis Napoleon, history I believe has seldom known. There will be a national bankruptcy too, I have no doubt, and millions of French money will be found in the English funds. Peace will be easy, for Germany wants no conquests, not even Alsace and Lorraine; the land is fine enough, but the people are not worth having. Perhaps France will in future be less eager to guarantee the status quo of Germany! Now about the Illyrians; though I do not like to quote my own books, I think I can answer your questions best if for the Illyrians I refer you to a tolerably full account of them in my Survey of Languages, second edition, pp. 50-60, and as to the untrustworthiness of classical authorities for ethnological purposes, to a note in my Lectures on the Science of Language, Volume I, p. 130.'

To The Dean of Westminster.

Parks End, Oxford, August 23, 1870.

'Yes, these are great days, almost overpowering events. If all goes well, and if the author of this atrocious war is punished, people even in England will believe again that there is a God in history; I tremble for the Crown Prince—the French will fight with fury when they fight pro aris et focis [Google translate: for home and hearth], and not for glory and empire. I think we ought on the whole to be satisfied with the state of public feeling in England. Unfortunately Gladstone's mind has taken hold of the idea of neutrality, and squeezed it and defined it till it means abdication of the right of judging between right and wrong, between war and murder. This is a most demoralizing policy, but it cannot be helped now. All liberal and independent thinkers are caught in Gladstone's ministerial net. I wish Goldwin Smith were in England—some such man is wanted just now.

'I do not wonder that there is a feeling of mistrust with regard to Bismarck. In home politics he is as bad as Lord — would be, if he were Prime Minister. But one may oppose a man as a Minister without despising him, and the same Minister, however self-willed and tyrannical at home, may be the right man as Foreign Minister. I do not love Bismarck, but I feel prepared to defend every step he has taken since 1866 against all comers. He seems to have been sans reproche [Google translate: blameless], though no doubt also sans peur [Google translate: without fear]. If he was a bird of the same feather as Benedetti, why should he have opposed the Emperor if, by merely shutting his eyes, he could have got all he could possibly want for Germany, and at the same time entangle England and France in a war? If Bismarck is to blame in his foreign policy, every German patriot shares his blame. We wanted to be united, and we have had the naivete to think, as the French papers say, that we could arrange our internal affairs without consulting France. If France thinks she has a right to interfere at Rome, at Madrid, and now at Berlin too, she must learn that this cannot be. France has been cruelly treated by the Emperor—how extraordinary that there should be no man to take his place, and to save France!

'We have collected about £120 at Oxford, though nearly everybody is away. My wife has a regular workshop going on all day long, making bandages, &c. &c. Did Lady Augusta receive my book for Princess Louise, or came it too late?'

To The Same.

Parks End, Oxford, August 30.

'. . . I cannot tell you how this war crushes me. I sometimes feel as if I could bear it no longer and must be off. What savages we are in spite of all these centuries! But surely the Teutonic race is better than the Latin and Slavonic, and the Protestants are better Christians than the Romans; and the German cause is surely thoroughly righteous, and the French thoroughly unrighteous. I always think of the simple soldiers—those who were everything at home, and are nothing in the field of battle—unknown, unnoticed, and probably better and braver than emperors and kings and generals. I cannot get my thoughts away from them.'

On August 29 Max Muller wrote the first of his five letters in the Times addressed ' to the English People.' They were reprinted, together with letters from Mommsen, Strauss, and Carlyle, in a small volume, early in 1871, and sold for the good of the Victoria Institute for German Widows and Orphans. The first letter was called forth by a violent attack made by his old and honoured friend, Sir Harry Verney, on the policy of Germany, accusing Bismarck of having been willing to accept Holland, and give up Belgium and Switzerland to France. Such had been more or less Benedetti's scheme, but it is well known now that Bismarck did not listen to these ideas. Max Muller was no admirer of Bismarck, but he felt bound, much as he disliked the unconstitutional proceedings that had marked his internal government, to protest against this attack on his public honour.

To Dr. Abeken (then acting as Bismarck's secretary)1 [Dr. Abeken had been a great friend of Baron Bunsen, at whose house Max Muller had learnt to know and estimate this upright, single-minded man at his right value.].

Translation. Oxford, September 9.

'I send you enclosed cuttings, but doubt whether you will receive them in these chaotic times. If you do receive my letter, it is to tell you that here also a German heart beats full of pride and joy, and often with pain, when it thinks of the friends who have dreamt of this great time of Germany's elevation, but who have not lived to see it realized.'

To His Mother.

Translation. September 11.

'What great times we live in! though so far away, I can hardly keep myself quiet; one lives on newspapers and telegrams. And then I had so much work that had to be done, that I was at last quite exhausted from excitement and work, and went alone for a week to Brighton. The sea air and bathing did me great good, and I came back on Thursday. G.'s father was here on a visit, so G. could not go with me, though she needs change, and I think in a few days we shall make a little tour together in Wales. You have no idea how hard G. has worked. She will tell you all she has collected. ... The feeling in Germany must be very sad, in spite of the mighty results, for what terrible sorrow there must be throughout the country 1 Here in England feelings are much divided. I have fought fiercely in the Times, and I think it has told. The best part of the nation is for Germany, but the aristocracy has strong sympathy with France. People are amazed at the gigantic resources of Germany, and the utter moral rottenness of France. Well, in the next few weeks Paris will be won; then our troops will march home. Alsace and Lorraine will be governed militarily, and in France they can then slaughter themselves as they like.'

To Moncure Conway, Esq.

September 14.

'My wife has been collecting as much as she could get, and I know from letters received that her collection has done real good to the sufferers in different hospitals. You know that German hospitals are full of French wounded, and I believe if any distinction is made between the French and German wounded in these hospitals, it is in favour of the French. Anyhow, in the presence of death, nationality vanishes and humanity takes its place. My wife begs me to say that she will gladly forward any sum however small. She has more appeals than she can respond to. I should pay no attention to newspaper rumours as to what the Germans mean to do with regard to the conditions of peace. The King's behaviour towards the Emperor is mistaken chivalry towards a fallen enemy, nothing more. I think, however, that there ought to be a formal abdication, or a formal decree of a Constituent Assembly transferring the sovereign power from the Emperor to the Provisional Government, or to a President; otherwise it seems impossible to make a treaty of peace. I believe the general opinion in Germany requires no territorial aggrandizement, but the military authorities will probably require a better strategic frontier line, which Germany asked for at the Congress of Vienna, but which she could not obtain then, owing to the intrigues of Austria and Russia. If the inhabitants of that district are devoted to France, and cannot bear the idea of belonging again to Germany, they are free to emigrate. Surely patriotism has made greater sacrifices than this.'

During September Max Muller heard from his old friend Stanislas Julien, the famous Sinologue, in a state of almost childish panic at the approach of the German armies. He had recently lost his wife. Max Muller at once offered him an asylum under his roof; but the old man, though vivement touche [Google translate: strongly touch] at his friend's invitation, resolved to stay and guard his precious library and house, on which he had spent large sums, and he went through all the sufferings of the siege. But it undermined his health, and he died about two years later.

To Moncure Conway, Esq.

Parks End, September 16, 1870.

'I read your letter with great interest. I believe you are quite right in your estimate of Bismarck, but I think you underrate the capacities of the King. The King is a strange mixture; he was a mere soldier, but he learnt much during his long stay in Bunsen's house. He will never be guilty of such folly as to reinstate Napoleon; but the situation is difficult. Suppose Paris surrendered, which I trust it will do after the first shot, what can the German army do but go into winter quarters in Alsace and Lorraine? There may be a provisional treaty of peace, but it seems to me that, as the Constituent Assembly is convoked, it can be ratified by that Assembly and its delegates only. If the Constituent Assembly should fail, then nothing remains but to convoke the Legislative Assembly and the Senate, both of which still exist both de jure and de facto. I confess I cannot understand the enthusiasm for the French Republic. A republic is perhaps the most perfect form of government, but also the most difficult. There are good and there are bad republics, and the present French Republic seems to me the most imperfect political organization that can be imagined. I should prefer the Russian or the Chinese regime to the present state of things in France. It seems to me that the enthusiastic admirers of this republic, which has nothing but the name of a republic, exceed in folly the old Legitimists, to whom a King, however foolish and wicked, is a kind of idol to be worshipped with unquestioning devotion. It is very possible that Alsace might recover itself and become German, but I doubt whether it is wise to weaken France at the very moment that Germany becomes so much more powerful. As to making France harmless, that can never be done, and I doubt whether, for the sake of Germany, it is desirable. I hope Moltke will take as little as possible, and Bismarck will make it quite clear that what is taken is taken for strategic purposes only, and not for the sake of aggrandizement, and in order to recover some few millions who formerly were Germans. I hope you will publish your impressions of the war and Bismarck.'

To The Same.

Parks End, September 18, 1870.

'I did not know that the description of the battle of Rezonville in the Daily News was yours, and I am glad to hear that we shall have it in a more permanent form in next Fraser. I do not expect that anybody will see such fighting again, though, from what I see in the French papers, there will be, I fear, some mad attempt of fighting in and around Paris. The worst effect of Imperialism is that it has stunted a whole generation, and there is hardly one man who towers a head above the mob. They have no statesmen, and Jules Favre himself is reported to have declared that he could not make peace because his life would not be safe! Is that statesmanlike or soldierlike? Prevot Paradol would not have said that! It is fearful to see such a country as France so entirely demoralized, abandoned, ruined; it will take generations to build her up again. Circumstances so exceptional as the present state of France would seem to justify exceptional measures on the part of the other Powers. England will not act alone, and unfortunately there is no cordial feeling between England and the United States. Besides, Mr. Motley is, I suppose, no longer Minister. What I should like to see would be a journey of Mr. Gladstone and Motley to the head quarters of the King of Prussia. They would be able to arrange a peace without a single threat, for Germany is as anxious for peace as France is, and they might lay the foundations of a league between the three Teutonic Powers that would be a guarantee of peace for centuries. France would listen to America, Germany to England, and England and America would be drawn together again by the good work which they would do in common. Bismarck is quite powerful enough to make Germany feel ashamed of any wish of territorial aggrandizement; and all that Moltke wants are the house-door, the bolt and keys of Germany. I shall have to run away from Oxford for a few weeks before term begins, and I hope to be off by Tuesday for North Wales.'

To The Dean of Westminster.

Carnarvon, September 30, 1870.

'My dear Stanley,—I was so overdone that I ran away to Wales. We had splendid weather, and enjoyed our rambles immensely. Alas 1 the English Government is weaker than I expected; they do not seem to perceive that, since the destruction of the Western Empire, nothing like the present events has happened. Germany would be thankful for a little friendly coercion, but what Germany expected was a recognition of the righteousness of her cause, a fact now admitted by France, but not yet by England, except by Lord Russell. This kind of neutrality demoralizes England, and blunts the edge of her moral conscience. I expected something very different from Gladstone.'

The end of September the Max Mullers, both tired out with work for the sick and wounded, spent a delightful fortnight in North Wales, climbing Cader Idris and Snowdon, and exploring each lovely valley.

Scarcely had they settled quietly at home than the work began again, and Max Muller found himself involved on all sides in long correspondence on the subject filling his heart as well as his thoughts.

To Dr. Abeken.

Translation. Parks End, Oxford, October 6, 1870.

'Dear Sir and Friend,— . . . Gladstone is the soul of the Cabinet, a man of slow resolution, but of inflexible will if once the resolution has been made. As far as I know him, he is on our side, not from natural sympathy, but from conviction, from a feeling of right and of duty. He was the only Minister who recognized our right in the Danish question, and who called the Treaty of London a bad continuation of the Vienna treaties. His sympathies are more Latin than Teutonic, as you know, and the commercial prosperity of France had so dazzled him, that he declared hardly a year ago that France would grow to be the Queen of Europe. It will be difficult for him and for many Englishmen to take in the new position of the world calmly and from the right point of view; but he is nearly the only English statesman whose stern uprightness I have never doubted, and who is so entirely guided by noble motives even where he makes mistakes.

'I intend writing to Gladstone, somewhat to this effect:—

'1. The thought of conquest of territory and the acquisition of non-German subjects is foreign to us.

'2. It is a fate which Germany has not brought about, that has brought Alsace and Lorraine into the possession of the German army.

'3. No prince and no statesman in Germany is strong enough to give up again for any price a possession so dearly bought.

'4. The settling of the boundary requires no Congress or diplomatic understanding. It is a purely military question, and in consequence can only be decided by a Military Commission. Germany does not wish for any Frenchmen, nor for one inch of country, only what is indispensable to her future security.

'I am writing this in a great hurry to catch the post.

'Well, once more: do not give any weight to the anti-German outbreaks of the English Press; they come mostly from a French and Old- Danish source.

'The republican sympathies are absurd, and only help us and do no harm. Sir H. Verney has improved, but not enough yet: he is getting old.

'The collections in England are beautiful, larger than for their own patriotic funds after the Crimean War. A recognition on the side of Germany, especially before the French do so, would have a good effect, and might be a good occasion of mentioning some useful truths.'

To The Right Hon. W, E. Gladstone.

Parks End, October 6, 1870.

[quote]'My dear Mr. Gladstone,—If you knew what an effort it has been to me not to write to you on some of the events of the last months, you would require no assurance of my readiness to answer, as well as I can, the inquiries contained in your letter of October 4, which I received this morning. I have no hesitation in asserting that the conquest of territory inhabited by people that are not German in national sentiment is an idea repugnant to the German mind. Count Bismarck, whose power arises chiefly from his accurate knowledge of the German character, and who is simply carrying out with the prudence and courage of a statesman what all German patriots have been yearning for during the last fifty years, would never venture on a war of conquest. The tradition that Alsace and Lorraine belonged once to Germany has never been forgotten by the people. German statesmen claimed these provinces in 1815, but Russia supported France in resisting their claim. One of our most popular German poets, Max von Schenkendorf, who died in 1817, wrote:—

"Doch dort in den Vogesen
Liegt ein verlornes Gut,
Da gilt es, deutsches Blut
Vom Hollenjoch zu losen."

[Google translate: But there in the Vosges
If there is a lost good,
That's where German blood counts
To loose from the Hollenjoch."]
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Re: The Life and Letters of The Right Hon. Friedrich Max Mul

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Part 2 of 2

But an offensive war against France, to recover that "lost patrimony," would have been impossible in Germany.

'Events, however, have happened for which Germany is not responsible. France has attacked Germany with the avowed purpose of annexing German soil. The French army has been beaten back, and the German army, in pursuing the enemy, finds itself in actual possession of Alsace and Lorraine. The sacrifices on the part of Germany have been enormous: there is hardly a German family from the Vistula to the Rhine which is not in mourning. It is a mercy that there have been no German reverses, and that the atrocities of former French invasions have not been repeated. There would have been a feeling of righteous anger and fury before which no stone would have remained upon another at Paris. It is a mercy that this feeling of revenge does not exist. But a new current of national feeling has sprung up in Germany, which rests simply on facts, and which no King, no Minister, would be able to resist. Alsace, they say, is ours, and our sons shall not have died in vain. The thousands and thousands of German hearts that lie buried in Alsace and Lorraine have made that soil German once more. Were Prussia to yield Strassburg and Alsace, she would cease to be Prussia.

'In answer to your first question, therefore, I have no doubt that Count Bismarck did say what M. Jules Favre reported him to have said, that, whether the inhabitants of Alsace hate us or no, we shall hold Alsace for Germany.

'You say "it would surprise you to find that I thought these people could properly be annexed to Germany, if their heart is in France as their country." My answer is this. To conquer a province for the sake of territorial aggrandizement, and to annex people who do not wish to be annexed, would be an outrage of the moral sense of Europe. This is what France intended to do. To hold a hostile province which has been conquered in a defensive war, and with it the people who inhabit that province, is an evil, I grant, but it may be a necessary evil, and it can never be a crime. Anyhow, a culprit who is sent to prison has no right to complain that he is being annexed. I say nothing of the language of Alsace and Lorraine, for the annexation, if it takes place, does not take place on linguistic grounds. I say nothing of the friendly or unfriendly feeling of the people, for the annexation is not advocated on sentimental grounds.

'The annexation is the result of a war forced upon Germany, and the occupation of French territory must be justified on military and strategic grounds. Germany is determined to make herself as safe against France as she can make herself, and no Power in Europe would gainsay her right, nay, her duty, to do what she considers best for her future security.

'The frontier line that is to protect Germany against France can hardly be considered a matter to be settled by a Congress of diplomatists: it can be properly settled by a Military Commission only. Count Bismarck knows perfectly well that a disaffected province is no addition to the strength of a country, but he would probably bow to the judgement of Count Moltke in determining the positions that seem best to secure the safety of Germany. On such points, however, the opinion of military authorities from other countries might justly claim to be heard, and might induce the German strategists to draw the line so as to include as little as possible of purely French soil, and to annex as few as possible of purely French inhabitants. The question of Luxemburg might possibly be reopened and facilitate arrangements in Alsace and Lorraine. I believe that the statements of the hostile feeling pervading all classes of society in Alsace are exaggerated. It is true that I judge from the accounts published by German travellers; but they were published before the war, and when no one thought of annexation. As to accurate statistics, they are to be found in R. Bockh, Der Deutschen Volkszahl und Sprachgebit, Berlin, 1870. The German portion of Alsace comprises half a million inhabitants, that of Lorraine 297,500, of which one-ninth part has become French during the last two centuries. The German inhabitants of Alsace and Lorraine, though they were never considered as the equals of true Frenchmen, have no doubt been greatly humoured by the French Government; and as long as France was "La Grande Nation," and Germany no nation at all, it was easy to rouse a feeling of pride among the Alsacians, not against Germany, which did not exist, but against the petty nationalities of Baden, Hesse, Wurtemberg, Bavaria, &c. In future, when France will be no longer "La Grande Nation" though always "une grande nation, [Google translate: a great nation]" the idea of being a German, and not a Frenchman, will be less intolerable than heretofore.

'And if there are people in the annexed portions of Alsace and Lorraine who cannot bear the idea of belonging to Germany, surely it is not too much to expect from their patriotism that they should follow the example of thousands of German families which emigrated to Philadelphia when Alsace was annexed to France. When the flower of a nation is ready to die for their country, those who have the option of emigrating from Alsace to France proper are not so greatly to be pitied.

'My great anxiety through all this war has been the unfriendly feeling that is springing up between England and Germany. The whole future of the world seems to me to depend on the friendship of the three Teutonic nations, Germany, England, and America. If Germany is estranged from England, she must become the ally of France and Russia, which would mean another century of imperialism and despotism. Can nothing be done to heal the breach?'

To Dr. Abeken.

Translation. October 7, 1870.

'. . . The idea of a Congress is ridiculous, but it is much liked, especially among the diplomatists, though Gladstone does not care for it. . . . He would like to treat the matter more from a military point of view. A Military Commission would deal with the question in a more technical way, and there would be less talk about France's dishonour, and such-like phrases. Should the question about Luxemburg come up again, it would be a most natural thing to invite the Powers concerned to a Military Conference. Of course I understand nothing of all these matters, and I only speak as a member of the Parliament of "public opinion." The only thing for which I feel useful, and perhaps have been of use, is to keep up the good feeling between England and Germany. If this is also your purpose, please consider me at your service at any time. Ever yours.

'Is there no quicker way to Versailles than via Berlin?'[/quote]

To His Mother.

Translation. October 9.

'Though you wish for no congratulations on your birthday, I must still write to you, to comfort you in your loneliness. Many, many who used to meet you on this day with joy, are gone before you, and you miss their presence which you so enjoyed. But they are lost to your sight only, not to your heart, and that which really belonged to you in them, can never be lost to you. Our life here is not our own work, and we know that it is best for us all, just as it is. We ought to bear it, and we must bear it; and the more patiently, yes, the more joyfully we accommodate ourselves to it, the better for us. We must take life as it is, as the way appointed for us, and that must lead to a certain goal. Some go sooner, some later, but we all go the same way, and all find the same place of rest. Impatience, gloom, murmurs, and tears do not help us, do not alter anything, and make the road longer, not shorter. Quiet resignation, thankfulness, and faith help us forwards, and alone make it possible to perform the duties which we all, each in his own sphere, have to fulfil. May God, who has laid many burdens on you, give you the courage to bear them quietly to the end. The darker the night, the brighter the stars in the heavens.

'We have had a delightful time in North Wales, walking everywhere, as if we were as young as ten years ago. I wish Emilie had come to England, as she could not go to Paris; though, if she has no feeling for this wonderful uprising of the German Fatherland, we should not have had much peace together, for I can think of hardly anything else, and G. is more German even than I am. Even for you it must be glorious to have lived to see these great events. The sacrifice is great and terrible, but it has not been in vain. Peace cannot be far off. The French are already becoming reasonable, and should be thankful to have a province like Alsace, only half French and once entirely German, which they can give up without shame; the shame for them is in quite a different direction, not in the punishment, but in the light-hearted folly of which they must now pay the cost.

'We have still a little money by us, if anything special is wanted, and plenty of warm things for the winter. The collections in England have been splendid. Why do the people in Germany abuse England so? They could not expect England to go to war, and that export of arms is nothing. Such snarling is unworthy of Germany.'

To The Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone.

Parks End, October 9.

'Dear Mr. Gladstone,—I wish the French could be made to see that there is no dishonour in taking the punishment which this war has brought on them. If Jules Favre can bring himself to call the war criminal, can he wish the crime to go unpunished, or does he think that such a crime can be atoned for by a mere fine? Jules Favre and all who protested against the war may well say, "Delicta maiorum immeritus lues, Romane," [Google translate: Offenses undeserving of your ancestors, Roman] &c., &c.'

To Mr. Bellows.

Parks End, October 11.

'I was glad to hear so promising an account of your little Max. I have a little boy some three years old, and I imagine, just like you, there is nothing like him. I am sorry to hear of the interruption of your Dictionary. I shudder when I think of Paris. I spent some happy years there, and have still several old friends living there, and to think of that town being bombarded! And yet what is the German army to do? and is not every one of the thousands of people that have been killed more precious than the whole of Paris?'

To Dr. Abeken.

Translation. Parks End, Oxford, October 11, 1870.

'Dear Sir and Friend,— ... It is clearer than ever to me, that if you wish for a common understanding with England, you will find it best secured on a military basis. That Germany has a right to secure her position strategically is granted. It remains to demonstrate, (1) that there is no other means to such security but the annexation of Alsace and a part of Lorraine; (2) that the fortresses, which threatened Germany formerly, will not become a menace to France henceforth.

'There are in England also some voices in favour of a plebiscite in the parts to be annexed. To me it seems an un-German comedy, which however might be acted in Alsace with good prospect of success, "by desire."

'The French refugees are very numerous in England, and they make mischief in all circles of society. Germany is too great to enter upon a paper war. Also with regard to the export of arms, nothing can be done before Parliament meets.'

To The Same.

Translation. Oxford, Parks End, October 25.

'First of all, many thanks for your valuable letter. I had not expected an answer from you, for I know what you have on your shoulders now, but it was a great satisfaction to me to know that I was not mistaken, and that with regard to England our goal is the same. Much might be said with regard to the paths to this goal, but there is no time for that now. Here the situation of things is a very difficult one. Lord Granville is neither a Clarendon nor a Palmerston, but he has the best intentions, and is amiable to everybody. He has many French friends, and of course the French are everywhere in London now. The Times is very kind at present. It has printed a letter of mine to-day, which I enclose. It is meant for England, of course, or I should have used stronger language. The speech of Du Bois-Raymond is much too strong for English readers, and would only rouse ill feelings.

'You know, perhaps, that a French loan has to-day been launched on the English market. You know, of course, also that a German loan would have great success here. Though it does Prussia much credit that she seeks for no foreign loans, yet in so doing she forgoes much of the sympathy which in England, as everywhere else, is felt for one's debtors. Many of the most eager friends of the French are interested in the French funds—hinc multae lacrymae! [Google tears: hence many tears] . . .

'If I can be of any help, do make use of me. My influence on the Times is, however, nil; they only print what suits them. All I can do is to make what I write palatable.'

The second letter to 'the People of England,' in the Times of October 22, was in answer to M. Aries Dufour's appeal to the English nation to save Alsace and Lorraine. The three last letters were answers to 'Scrutator's' letters in the Times. It is an open secret now who was the inspirer of 'Scrutator's' letters. 'The hands were the hands of Esau, but the voice was the voice of Jacob;' and before he wrote his last letter Max Muller felt very certain that he ' was called on to withstand in argument one of the most powerful athletes of our time.'

It is impossible now not to see how much of the present ill feeling in Germany against England dates from the year 1870. Without swerving- an inch from the position of neutrality rightly observed by the English Government, the justice of the cause for which Germany was fighting, and the reckless wickedness of the French in attacking her, might have been acknowledged by those in power, whereas Mr. Gladstone's preference for the Romance over the Teutonic nations was well known in Germany, and the general apathy, if not antipathy, of the English to the German cause was universally attributed in Germany to his influence.

The third volume of Chips came out in the autumn, a very large edition being printed. A second edition of Max Muller's Sanskrit Grammar also was brought out. Both were well received. One review states that:—

'Every paper in Mr. Max Muller's third volume of Chips from a German Workshop is valuable. Applied to them, the term exhaustive has really a meaning. Mr. Max Muller always draws from a full cask. He does not write, as so many now do, because he is expected to say something, but because he has something to say. The subject does not make him, he makes the subject. His range, too, is something enormous.'

The Globe considered that:—

'A more delightful volume has not been published for a very long time. Bearing marks on almost every page of the profoundest scholarship, it is absolutely free from all taint of that pedantry which is the besetting sin of most German writers.'

Of the Sanskrit Grammar a reviewer says:—

'It has been the aim of Mr. Muller to produce a work which should combine the clearness of Bopp with the accuracy of Colebrooke and the native writers whom that great scholar took as his model. In this his success has been so great that the Sanskrit Grammar for Beginners is by far the best book that can be put into the hands of a student. In a word, it combines Oriental fullness and accuracy with the European method. It says much, both for the progress of Sanskrit in this country, and for the value of Mr. Muller's own labours, that this admirable Grammar has already reached a second edition.'

To E. A. Freeman, Esq.

November 12.

'I thought it possible that my new volume of Chips might tempt you to a review. I am not going to write any captatio benevolentiae [Google translate: of earning goodwill], though I am going to ask a favour. In the two essays "Are there Jews in Cornwall?" and "St. Michael's Mount," I have had to work through a good deal of matter with which no one is so familiar as you, viz. ecclesiastical antiquities. I want very much to know from some competent person whether I am right or wrong. Therefore the favour I ask is this: if you should review my book, would you look at these two essays more particularly, and give me the benefit of your criticism on any points where I may have gone wrong? I meant to have written to you to ask your advice on these essays before they were printed, but I know you are a busy man, and therefore did not wish to take up any of your time. In the essay on "Cornish Antiquities" you will find, I think, that we hold the same opinions on English Ethnology.

'I am quite miserable about Gladstone. England will never have such an opportunity again. Now it is lost, irretrievably lost. With Germany as a friend, the Black Sea question would have been solved amicably, and the German vote in America would have kept the Irish vote in order, so as to prevent mischief about the Alabama. Now the sin is sinned!'

To The Right Hon. W, E. Gladstone.

Parks End, November 12, 1870.

'My dear Mr. Gladstone,—I am surprised to hear that my new volume of Chips from a German Workshop has not yet reached you. I have written to my publisher, but I hope that by this time the volume may be already in your hands. No doubt the military authorities, who maintain that the south-western frontier of Germany is not secure without taking in part of Alsace and Lorraine, ought to be fully persuaded that they do not deceive themselves and render their hue of defence less secure than it is at present. I, of course, know nothing of military science, but I have great confidence in the calm judgement of Moltke. It was for that very reason that I thought a Military Conference the only scheme that could lead to practical results, though, as long as cession of territory was excluded on principle, discussion would have been useless. I am afraid that now a conference of military authorities is no longer possible. I have often watched with wonder a pointsman on a crowded railway station, who holds in his hands the fates of thousands, and who by a movement of his hand, hardly perceptible to others, sends one train to the right and the other to the left. ... I feel as if two trains, both holding dear friends, had just started, though not in the direction in which I hoped they would have gone.'

To E. A. Freeman, Esq.

November 27, 1870.

'My dear Freeman,—. . . I want to know whether I am right in declining Dr. Bannister's arguments. Could a man at that time have held land under a Jew? What is the most likely meaning of lejeu? not le Juif, surely? I meant Gladstone's Roman and Romance sympathies for France, and his utter inability to appreciate the character of the struggle now going on between Germany and France. He is fully convinced in his heart that every German is a heretic sive Protestant, a barbarian, and a villain. He might make a few charitable exceptions in favour of two or three Germans whom he happens to know, and who have had the benefit of a tub, physical and intellectual, in England. Happily the feeling towards England in really influential quarters in Germany is good. Bismarck's papers have never joined in the anti-English barking of the newspapers. The talk about the exportation of arms is silly. I wish the French had bought their arms in Germany. The sooner there is an end of that kind of international law the better. Let everybody sell what he can, and let everybody capture what he can; everything else is mere deception and hypocrisy. If Gladstone had ever to confess that he was the writer of the article in the Edinburgh, it might make mischief, for even Bismarck is only a man. But what the real statesmen in Germany want is an alliance offensive and defensive with England: there is no better way for securing peace in Europe. France and Russia are the disturbers of the peace; but, with the English fleet and the German army as the police of Europe, no cock would dare to crow at Paris, no bear would growl at St. Petersburg. England might have had the alliance of Germany for the asking, and at that very time the writer in the Edinburgh Review calls the King of Prussia a hypocrite, Bismarck a villain, and the German people half-civilized brutes!'

To his mother Max Muller writes:—

Translation. November 29.

'I never said I should like to be a Frenchman, but that I should like to see France strong again, for strong neighbours are good for keeping a country up to the mark, and keep it from arrogance.'

Early in December Max Muller paid the first of several pleasant visits to Hawarden Castle. He woke early in the morning to find a white world, and looking through the window saw Mr. Gladstone making his way alone through the snow to early morning church. He willingly braved the elements later in the day to secure a quiet talk with the Prime Minister.

To His Wife.

Hawarden Castle, December 10, 1870.

'I shall not have much time before breakfast, but I just wanted to let you know that here I am, quite safe. A fine large place, full of people. The Bernstorffs are not here; too busy in London. General Burnside was here, dined, and then went off to New York for a week. He is a fine fellow—just like a strong, tall, English general— and he is truly German, and has told Mr. Gladstone some useful truths. Frederick Peel is here and Mr. Haywood, all very pleasant. No talk yet with Mr. Gladstone, except about University matters, but the fight will come, I expect.'

December 11.

'There is so much snow that everybody had to stay in. However, Mr. G. and I took a walk through the snow and talked it all over, and I told him that any German statesman who gave up Strassburg deserved to be hanged, and he shook himself a little, but I think he begins to see that we Germans are not such ogres as he thought. G. is an old friend of Abeken's, but had lost sight of him.'

To Dr. Abeken.

Translation. Oxford, Parks End, December 13, 1870.

'Dear Friend,—Your letter of December 5 arrived here in good time last Friday, just when I was leaving for Hawarden Castle, where Gladstone had invited me. Count Bernstorff was to be there, but could not get away from London. General Burnside was there, a good ally of the German cause. Above all, however, I must tell you that Mr. Gladstone and Mrs. Gladstone keep your name in friendly and grateful memory; both send their kindest regards to you, and Mr. Gladstone expressed repeatedly how sad, though unavoidable, it was in this earthly existence, that the personal intercourse with men whom we had learnt to love and value highly had to be broken off. It was most fortunate that I could communicate to G. the greater part of your letter; it made a great impression on him. As I told you before, Gladstone's sympathies are by no means for Germany, neither is he familiar with the German language or literature, or the German character or ways; also the French refugees have taken great hold upon him. He distrusts Germany, especially Prussia, and certain unceremonious demonstrations have put him into a bad humour. But he would like to be persuaded, that is clear to me, and if once he perceives the justice of the German claims he is sure to be loyal to his perceptions. The Duc de Grammont has mystified him so much, that Gladstone confessed him to be unreliable. Benedetti's letter in the Standard made it easy for me to refute the Duke by means of the Count. If Benedetti keeps his promise of continuing the letters, the only thing remaining of the two cats will be the tails!

'Our conversation dealt chiefly with the provinces to be surrendered. According to G., all our feeling of human dignity is outraged by forcing even one single being to give up his nationality. Of course I could only rejoin that our feelings would be still more outraged by shooting down even one man, and that in order to avoid this alternative, i.e. war, the surrender of certain provinces with their inhabitants has to be taken into consideration. Then followed the question of the real or apparent necessity of the Vosges frontier. I could only reply that this was a question for experts in military and strategic history, and had been discussed continually since 1648, and that friend as well as foe, German as well as Frenchmen, were perfectly at one on this point.

'The question is whether a short representation of this matter, with which every lieutenant of the Prussian Staff is capable of dealing, would be adequate now. At the close I could only add that at the present juncture of affairs, and in the present mood of the German people and army, a statesman who allows himself to be compelled to surrender Strassburg by threats and not by force would be considered guilty of high treason. G. replied that the greatest mistakes of the statesmen of our century lay in giving greater consideration to the physical than to the moral powers, and that the realization of the German wishes would become a misfortune for Germany. Of course I could only reply that Germany had the right and was in duty bound to decide the question, and that she alone would have to bear the consequences and the responsibility. Many interesting conversations followed, but I do not know whether they are of any interest to you. Gladstone, of course, only spoke for himself, and he remarked several times: "This is my opinion. What the Cabinet thinks is quite a different question." He considers the feeling in England not at all unfriendly towards Germany, and I must confess that the German Press seems to me much more hostile than the English. How comes this? In England it is supposed that the German Press says nothing which is not sanctioned by highest authority. This is a general opinion, very difficult to correct. If Germany wishes an understanding with England in the future, both sides must agree to work for it. The opponents of a German-English alliance do not fail to work against it. I told Gladstone clearly that the only sure guarantee for the peace of Europe consisted in combined action between Germany and England, and if the fleet of England and the army of Germany took up again their old fraternal relations no cock in France would crow, no bear in the East would growl. I, of course, remarked in our conversations that he must consider me franc-tireur [Google translate: maverick], as I had never worn a uniform and never would wear one, and that the happiness of two sister nations, in whose union the happiness of mankind consisted, was my earnest wish. There were several members of Parliament present, and also some other influential people, and I had sometimes to maintain a sharp conflict, but "the losses on our side were not important."

'I threw in occasionally a hint that hostile relations between Germany and England would force the former to found a formidable navy, also that the German vote in America had up to the present neutralized the Irish vote. I stayed at Hawarden till last night, and, though I have accomplished nothing, we have certainly parted friends.

'I heard from the German Embassy that a messenger was leaving next Thursday, and that he might take a letter. This gives me an opportunity of sending you a volume, at the end of which you will find about eighty letters to Bunsen: some of them, I think, might interest you.

'My wife sends her kindest regards. We wish you a bright Christmas, bright through that which alone can give us true joy, i. e. the consciousness of having done our duty and having attained great things. Should you think that the sincere gratitude of one unknown might be welcome to our great dux and auspex, I ask you, should the opportunity occur, to give expression of my feelings of admiration and gratitude to Count Bismarck; you will do it so much better than I could do it myself.'

Besides several relatives, many of Max Muller's school and University friends were taking active part in the great war, as the following letter to Fontane, the novelist, shows:—

Translation, Parks End, December 20, 1870.

'My dear Fontane,—Nothing for a long time has given me greater pleasure than your letter. I had indeed seen in the papers that you had escaped with a whole skin, but I am glad to hear at first hand that you have returned to Berlin well and strong, and that all goes well with you. The feeling here against Germany is bad, and from pure ignorance; in Germany the feeling seems even worse against England, and from the same cause. It makes one wild, and I have hardly any other thought than how one can help to cure this evil. Help as far as you can!'

To His Mother.

Translation. Oxford, December 20.

'One gets no rest with this terrible war, and there seems small hope yet of peace. I had a most interesting visit at Gladstone's from December 9-12. It was a great honour, and it is possible it has done some good. He wrote the whole time, so we had to stay in the house, and many were the discussions. Bismarck is much disliked in England: he does mad things, and who knows what enemies he may make. Well, I have done my best, and heard much that was interesting. Also I get some news from Versailles, but that is between us.'

To Professor Bernays.

Translation. Parks End, December 21, 1870.

'My dearest Friend,—I feel with you the horrors of this time, and though I am so proud of the heroism of the German nation, I am nevertheless ashamed to think how often the world looked upon the great spiritual victories of the Fatherland with scorn and indifference, and now is on her knees because we have learnt to aim our bullets with accuracy and skill. However, I trust that the wild beast will soon retire, and that the spirit in Germany will attain the upper hand. At all events, Nemesis has arisen with all grandeur, and to have lived to see the fall of Imperialism is a comfort to me. I was somewhat entangled in controversy which was more of an ethical than political nature. My adversary was Gladstone, but we have parted friends. The feeling in England is not good, for many reasons; but it seems to me that the German feeling towards England is still more childish. Till Germany and England recognize that they are sister-nations, there will be no calm in Europe. We all must help to that as far as we can. I have constructed the new volume of my Chips with that thought underlying it. . . . Renan is in Paris, Mohl told me, who is in London. London is crowded with Frenchmen, which creates much sympathy with France, especially in Society. Here in Oxford everything is quiet and calm, and I am decorating the Christmas tree for my four children. My work proceeds slowly, for there is hardly any time for anything but for the reading of newspapers. And what are you doing? Pattison is well, always the same.—Always in old friendship, yours.'

To Professor Klaus Groth.

Translation. Oxford, December 22, 1870.

'Your Quickborn, received to-day, reminds me of my letter-debts, which I would gladly have paid long ago, but one lives in such a tumult, one can neither read nor write, from the quantities to read in the papers. So, first of all, my thanks for this new sign of life and affection. I shall make my way through it, as it is now vacation. I hope you have received the third volume of my Chips, which now and again will remind you of me. I have read your dedication to the Crown Prince with delight, and what you write of Bismarck is cheering and encouraging. Yes, the times are great, but I wish the deluge of blood were over, or the animal in man will become all-powerful, and we shall never come to our senses. However fine and elevating may be the heroic courage of the German nation, killing does not belong to the fine and free arts. God grant an honourable and lasting peace may reward the countless sacrifices made by the nation. For a time I felt alarmed for Kiel and its inhabitants. Your letter, which I translated at once and sent to the Times, was never published. The English like deeds and stories of horror, and their taste is for highly-spiced and peppered articles! I hope you need not report the same of Holstein. I have had to fight a good deal in the English papers. I hope that is now over. I hope you and yours are well, and that the clouds over your happiness are passing away: it grieves me to think that the sunshine is not so bright there as two years ago. But all that belongs to the small evils of life, and one learns, with such terrible evils all round one, to bear the little ones more easily. Shall we meet this year? I hope so, but one dare make no plans. On the whole, it goes well with us; the children are well. I am at times plagued with colds, as lately when Stockhausen was in Oxford, and sang beautifully, and I had to stay in bed! I saw him the next morning: he looked well, and was in splendid voice. To-day some venison and Marzipan arrived here, doubtless from Forsteck. Has your wife received the new edition of Deutsche Liebe [Google translate: German love]? Now farewell, and may our paths meet in 1871.'

In November of this year Max Muller had been elected a Delegate of the University Press. In July, 1882, he was made a Perpetual Delegate. He resigned in 1896, finding that he could no longer spare the time from his private work and ever-increasing correspondence; partly also from a growing feeling of the great responsibility resting on the Delegates in conducting such an important business, a responsibility which he felt he was not strong enough or young enough to face any longer.

To Matthew Arnold, Esq.

Oxford, December 27, 1870.

[quote]'My dear Arnold,—I wanted to read your book before writing to thank you for it, and having read it, I can thank you all the more honestly. It requires much courage to write about religious questions, because almost every word you touch is oily and befingered, and it is difficult to handle them without besmutting one's hands. But it is all the more necessary to rescue the old words, to dust them, and rub them clean, and then show them to the world in their original purity and splendour, as you have done. Your justification of St. Paul is most successful, and I expect it will tell more than many learned controversies. You know that the inevitable decay of words forms part of the science of language, and therefore your chapter on the vicissitudes of the Pauline phraseology interests me all the more. It is but a chapter of modern mythology, but a very important one. I send you by book post a copy of some introductory lectures of mine, on the Science of Religion. I have only had sixteen copies struck off, and I send one to you, because if you look at them, you will see at once what my object was in delivering them. It will take several years before I publish what I want to say on the whole subject, but in the meantime I wanted you to know that we are working in the same mine, I on a very low level as yet, you on a high level, but on the whole with the same purpose. There was one expression in your book with which I could not agree. The etymology of words is not a merely fanciful argument; the etymological meaning, if accurately elaborated, is a most important historical element. There was a time when the etymological meaning of a word represented what really was to the early framers of language the most striking feature of an object, or the most important characteristic of a new conception. To put an etymology in the place of a definition, is no doubt foolish, but in the history of thought etymology holds a most important place. Plato's chaff is only directed against those who would use etymology instead of a definition; that there could be a historical element in etymology was beyond Plato's horizon. At the same time I do not defend R.'s etymologies. I send you the new edition of Deutsche Liebe, because the translation of your poem strikes me as really successful, I was glad to hear that you feel more kindly towards Bunsen; Froude wrote to me to tell me the same. Yours very truly.'
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Re: The Life and Letters of The Right Hon. Friedrich Max Mul

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King of Burma. Correspondence with Abeken and Gladstone. Taine's Lectures. Peace Festival. Letter from Crown Prince. Death of father-in-law. Ems. Interviews with Emperor and Crown Prince. Dr. Stainer. New edition of Lectures on Language.

The year opened gloomily for France and Germany, and even for many in England, who were watching the great contest with beating hearts. Max Muller found little rest, and the correspondence with Mr. Gladstone and Dr. Abeken at Versailles was actively carried on. January found him preparing a second edition of Volume III of Chips, of which the first edition of 3,000 copies was nearly sold out.

Max Muller received about this time a Burmese letter from the Minister for Foreign Affairs at Mandalay, conveying the thanks of Mindoon Min, the enlightened King of Burma, for his translation of the Dhammapada, and expressing his great pleasure in hearing of the desire of the learned Professors of Europe and America to know more about the doctrines of Buddha, and ending with a promise to print the three 'Beedaghats1 [Pitakas, the sacred canon of Buddhism.]' in Pali, and send copies for distribution to the English Commissioner. If this work was ever begun, it was doubtless stopped by the accession to the throne of the savage Thebaw, and the subsequent conquest and annexation of Burma by the English. It was reserved for King Chulalangkorn, the present enlightened King of Siam, to print the whole Tripitaka.

To Sir Charles Murray (Minister at Lisbon).

Parks End, Oxford, January, 1871.

'My dear Sir,—I should have answered your letter before, but Christmas brings many duties and distractions to a man with a family of young children, who at the same time enjoys the privilege of Christmas dinners in College, and has to perform important duties at College meetings. The Warden, to whom I mentioned your letter, told me he would write to you and send me his letter, but he has not done so. I believe his chief object was to remind you of your portrait for our hall.

'Now with regard to "metaphor": that seems to me an inexhaustible subject, and one that can be approached from many points. No single writer could treat it with anything like completeness, and every contribution, however special, would be useful. The array of languages which you can either command or call to your assistance is ample for making a successful attack, and I should think that the library of the Academy at Lisbon would give you the opportunity for verifying any statements for which you do not like to trust to your memory. A book on metaphor, even in English alone, could be made not only very instructive, as revealing the secret working of the national mind, but very amusing, particularly if the languages of the people and their slang expressions are taken into account—a stunner, a fizzer, a brick, &c. I have myself treated the subject of metaphor in its most general aspects in the eighth lecture of my second series, and as you may not have that volume by you, I send you a copy, the Foreign Office having kindly relaxed the extreme rigour of their recent rule against sending anything in the Ambassador's bag. How such a treatise on metaphor should be arranged is more than I could venture to suggest. If it was arranged according to the principal subjects from which metaphors are borrowed, it would become interesting as a study of national character, for "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." But any collection carefully made, with reference to authorities, so that it might be used and quoted by subsequent writers, would certainly be well received.

'If at any time my services can be of any use to you in your literary researches, please to command them at all times in the name of the Mallard1 [The All Souls crest. Sir C. Murray had been a Fellow of the College.]. Yours faithfully,
'Max Muller.'

To Dr. Abeken.

Translation. Oxford, Parks End, January 3, 1871.

'Dear Friend,—Many thanks for your last letter. I greatly value your full answers to my letters, when your whole time and strength belongs to the sacred cause of the Fatherland, when your heart, your head, and your hands are sure to find little time and rest. If I could only do more here! The desire to do so is not wanting. I have again had an interesting correspondence with Gladstone. I sent him the pamphlet by Seidewitz (1867), Prussia s Rights with regard to Luxemburg, and as he wrote to me that the last Luxemburg telegrams had made him less hopeful about a better understanding, I communicated to him in English form your opinions with regard to Luxemburg. His answer of December 29 was good. He knew of no answer then to Lord Granville's letter, which had been sent via Berlin, but he admitted that there is no doubt that military urgency might justify, in given circumstances, a Power actually at war in taking into its own hands provisionally the settlement of certain questions, which could only be finally disposed of by a joint authority. The Whigs are very angry at Lord Stanley's famous interpretation of the Luxemburg affair. . . .

'It seems to me it is necessary to think of the future even more than of the present, and I confess that all my hopes of a great future for Europe are based on the alliance of the two great Teutonic sister-nations on the Continent and in the isles. Everything else seems artificial and only temporary; this alone is organic and lasting. But it is indeed a hard task. In England the war has now become a party question: the Tories will make it a reason for their attack on the Government. That is good on the whole; it will lead to a combination of Tories and Radicals, and so the great Liberal party—the support of the Government—will be forced to take up a firm position with regard to foreign policy. Even a change of Government, though not probable at present, would not do any harm, for it would concentrate English power and English opinion. It would be wiser if Germany did not underestimate England's military and naval power, and thus weaken the desire for an English alliance. England's fleet is stronger than ever, her people are strong and patriotic, her credit is the best in the world. (That makes me think the German loan in England ought to have been introduced differently—a better godmother, and a fatter or finer child!)

'My wife sends kindest regards. She is German through and through, and she and my three girls, the youngest only six years old, work indefatigably for the wounded. Henry Acland is doubtful about the German cause, but he was much pleased with your thought about him, and he reciprocates your kind messages.

'I consider Count Bismarck's message to me the greatest reward for the little I have been able to do.'

To Professor Bernays.

Translation. Parks End, January 5, 1871.

'I should have answered your last letter before this, if I had not waited to send you a copy of the Letters on the War, which arrived to-day at last, and was sent off at once. You will see in them the character of the controversy between me and Gladstone, even without having the letters written by "Scrutator" at hand. I am quite convinced that Gladstone's accomplice has muddled a good deal, for Gladstone, in spite of all his weaknesses, is after all a very fine fellow. One does not become Prime Minister of England without having a very strong back. His sympathies, alas! are altogether Norman, not Saxon, but his feeling for what is right is stronger than all his other feelings. It is not true to say that he could have prevented the war, for, in spite of his great majority, he would have become impossible for his office, had he threatened France, or tried to interfere in the struggle between France and Germany. Now matters stand very differently in England. The war has become a party question: the Tories, with the extreme Liberals, will attack the Ministry on the basis of foreign policy. This will force the powerful Liberal party to a decided and recognized policy, and that is best for us. The German feeling towards England is incomprehensible to me, and the Government does not in the least encourage it. The war-power of England is greater than it has ever been—the fleet is ready to strike, the whole nation is patriotic, and the wealth is colossal. It is worth while to have such an ally, and Germany, conscious of her own greatness, ought to speak as peer to peer, not as a hysterical housewife to a housemaid. Well, we will hope for the best.

'Just think, I have received the warmest thanks from Bismarck from Versailles!'

To His Mother.

Translation. January 7, 1871.

'I have sent you a little book with my letters on the war. I lately received from Versailles, through Abeken, most grateful thanks from Bismarck. I will copy the letter for you: "First, my thanks for what you have done and are doing for Germany, for our holy cause! This expression of gratitude is not from me alone. I write in the name of Count Bismarck, who spoke to me only yesterday with a full and thankful recognition of your great and influential activity during this time, which he has heard of through the newspapers. He is rejoiced to have such an ally." What can one desire more?'

To The Same.

Translation. January 15, 1871.

'The news of John's1 [His cousin, John von Basedow, shot by franc-tireurs.] death was a great shock: what misery for his poor mother. . . . The whole land must be full of mourning—even here one cannot enjoy life, when one reads every day of these battles, and one sees no hope of peace. Here in England sympathies are much divided; pity is naturally on the side of France, and Bismarck's policy has alienated many people in England. But, on the whole, all goes well. The screams in the papers signify little: much of it comes from French refugees, who swarm in London. The better classes are inclined to Germany, but not to Bismarck! I am not an admirer of his, highly as I prize the work he has done for Germany, and truly as I recognize that the whole aim of his life has been the welfare of his Fatherland. Such work cannot always be carried out with perfectly clean hands. On the other hand, I cannot agree with the German abuse of the French nation. The French as a nation fight bravely, and show that they are by no means so depraved and perishing as the writers in the German papers think. At all events I hate such hectoring, as if the Germans were the general guardians of morality, and privileged possessors of all virtues. If this war goes on long, all Europe will be a desert, and one must be ashamed of mankind. The wild beasts behave better.'

To The Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone.

January 29.

' ... As long as one reads the pages of Comte de Gasparin's pamphlet, one seems to live in a pure and bracing atmosphere, one begins to breathe freely, one's heart expands, everything around seems bright and full of hope. But we cannot live on mountain-tops, we must live and work in the low cloudy valleys, and when one is brought again face to face with real life and real men, the heart fails and all hopes vanish. I knew there were such men in France as the writer of this pamphlet. There is the true and noble ring of the old French mettle in all his words and all his thoughts. If a country can still produce such men, it need not despair about its fate. I feel quite ashamed when I see German writers speak of the whole of France as one vast Babylon, implying at the same time that Heaven has granted to us the exclusive privilege of all virtue and godliness. The only pity is that in France the good men withdraw from the front of political life; Gambetta rules, while Gasparin retires to Switzerland.

'Count Gasparin's scheme seems to me quite perfect. It gives in reality far more to Germany than she will get by annexing Alsace and Lorraine. It would be a blessing to Germany, to France, to Europe.

'But can it be? First of all, there is a large and at present very powerful party in Germany, which is no longer accessible to any arguments. We must take men as they are, and we must take nations as they are; and a nation flushed with victory and crushed by grief is not like a nation in its right mind. It is with nations as with individuals. How often do we see a friend rushing into misery, whom we might save if we could hold him by the arm, or make him listen to reason. That fight against the irrational and unconquerable powers of life is the most distressing; yet I do not say that reason should not fight against unreason: I only fear that in this case the fight is hopeless from the beginning.

'Suppose Germany and France placed their fate in the hands of Count Gasparin, what could he do? Could he persuade the Great Powers to guarantee the neutrality of Alsace? Such a guarantee implies a readiness to go to war for the sake of others. If it does not mean that, it means nothing. Does that readiness exist in England? Is there any party in England strong enough to carry such a measure, and to commit the country to such contingencies? Depend upon it, Germany would demand very stringent guarantees, for Lord Stanley's words after the conclusion of the treaty for the neutrality of Luxemburg have been a terrible lesson. I should consider England capable of the most generous and heroic efforts, but from what I see of the temper of the people, and the strange attraction between the most opposite political centres, I have grave doubts as to the possibility of such a guarantee receiving the approval of Parliament.

'Then comes the question about Russia, and whatever the personal character of the present Czar may be, no Russian statesman would help to heal that sore to which he trusts as the best security for the success of the Russian policy of the future.

'Count Gasparin's pamphlet has no doubt been sent to Count Bismarck. If not, I should gladly send it through Dr. Abeken. It is a masterpiece in every sense.

'If Alsace is too small by itself, why not make it a Canton of Switzerland? It would thus join an established political system, and enjoy the traditional prestige of Swiss neutrality. But I have no hope.'

The growth of feeling in England against Germany and for France, was often a sore trial to Max Muller, but he was refreshed from time to time by sympathetic letters from many English friends, and especially from Mr. Goldwin Smith, at that time living at Ithaca in the United States, who took a wide, unprejudiced, historical view of the whole question. He was always for the annexation of Alsace and Lorraine, 'provided a good natural frontier could be formed,' and considered the bombardment of Paris 'a disagreeable necessity'; whilst he asked, in a letter to Max Muller, ' what demon had entered into his countrymen, that when they are delivered by a wonderful display of German heroism, and at vast expense of German blood, from the peril which has always been hanging over them, . . . they, instead of blessing, curse their deliverers?'

To The Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone.

Parks End, February 2.

'Before thanking you for your letter, I wrote to Mr. Delane to ask him whether he would allow me to write a review of Count Gasparin's pamphlet, and thus bring his ideas before the English public. I have his reply to-day, and he simply declines. He evidently considers the matter as settled. I have sent the pamphlet to Dr. Abeken. Unfortunately there were some remarks in it which are sure to offend Count Bismarck, particularly where he tells him that by his decision about Alsace he has to prove whether he possesses mere habilete [Google translate: skill] or political genius. However, the real difficulty is that even Count Bismarck is not strong enough, supposing he was influenced by the future rather than by the present, to oppose the military party, and I believe the feeling in Germany is so strong that for any statesman now to give up Strassburg would be simply to abdicate. There is a poetry about Strassburg which is stronger than all prose. Nations have their roughhewn destinies to fulfil; at present I see no help. I just see the morning papers: I do not believe in the conditions of peace; it would be a challenge to Nemesis, and people in Germany have not read history to no purpose. But it is hard to mediate between intoxication and madness.'

To His Mother.

Translation. February 7.

'The feeling in England is less excited. They must yield to the inevitable. So I have not packed up, but have had to let people know I could live in Germany as well as, if not better than, here! I have not anything to complain of, and continue to have most interesting letters from Gladstone, the Prime Minister. He is a very clever and honourable man, and would willingly do his best, but he has a difficult position.'

The following letter is given by permission, as showing the feeling of an unbiassed historian on the recent events:—

Somerleaze, Wells, Somerset, February 19, 1871.

'My Dear Muller,—I have got a wild scheme in my head, in which you may possibly be able to help me. It seems pretty certain that the German troops are to march into Paris. Now that is a thing which does not happen much above once in a thousand years, and a thing for which I have been earnestly longing ever since 976. For the first time in my life, I wish to see a military spectacle. I have said ever since 1851, that, if L. N. Buonaparte was to be guillotined, and they would only send me word, I would come and see the show, in whatever part of the world I might be. And this show will be quite as satisfactory as the other. But is it possible? Is it safe? I do not doubt that you have means of finding out; you doubtless know some of the swells at Versailles or somewhere. If you could give me a lift, I should be deeply obliged. If I could get to see the Emperor's triumph without jeopardizing mine own self, I should greatly enjoy it, and I might make something of it for the public advantage. If I did go, I should like to get Bryce, Pindar, or somebody to come with me.

'I hope you have by this time seen both my Pall Mall letters. To my utter amazement, the Times has gone and reprinted the second of them. That paper has hitherto made it a fixed rule never to mention me or any writing of mine, or to let my name appear, except at the Mid-Somerset election, when they could not well help it. What does this mean?

'I am sending for the Academy, as I see you have been writing in it. Do you altogether forbid me to say "Kikero"?

'Yours very truly, Edward A. Freeman.'

To Dr. Abeken.

Translation. Parks End, February 20, 1871.

'Dear Friend,—I enclose the letter of a friend of Germany, Mr. Freeman. I do not know if his name is familiar to you. He is one of the best historians and public men in England—a man like Treitschke, indefatigable with his pen, and always to the point and incisive. He has been faithful to our cause to the end, from solid true conviction. His letter will show you his desire, and I thought it worth while to send it just as it is. You know the English too well to think that a man like Mr. Freeman would keep anything in the background. He is one who has belonged to us from a deep conviction; he keeps himself, however, quite independent, and the only thing it is possible to do for him is a kindness like the one he asks for. We need all the help in England which we can procure by honest means. I often ponder now over the change of affairs at the death of Peter III, and I still hope that we may win the battle of Burkersdorf, though it be only on the diplomatic battle-field, but may we win it before it is too late. Do not underestimate England: she has only twenty million inhabitants—but they are Englishmen, and they come from Schleswig-Holstein.'

The answer to Mr. Freeman's request was as follows:—

March 10, 1871.

'My dear Freeman,—I had a letter from my friend at Versailles: he says it was impossible to write, for nothing was settled from hour to hour about the entry, in fact there has been no entree triomphale [triumphal entry]. It is curious that, in spite of all provocation, my friend—and he reflects Bismarck, I believe, most faithfully—clings to the idea of a friendship between England and Germany as the only safety for the future. Have you seen "Scrutator's" book? I have not, but I heard from a friend this morning that it is simply libellous, and that legal action should be taken. If so, I am certain that Gladstone had nothing to do with it, but that it is, pur et simple [Google translate: pure and simple]!

The following letter shows that, amidst all the excitement of the times, Max Muller did not allow his work to flag:—

To The Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone.

Parks End, February 21, 1871.

'You will think me very unreasonable, I am afraid, if just now I trouble you with a question about Homeric Mythology and Religion, I should not venture to do so, did I not think that you or your son could answer my inquiry by a simple Yes or No. The fact is, I am preparing a new edition of my Lectures on the Science of Language, and as they are to be stereotyped, I have to revise them carefully once more. When I came to the passage in my Second Series where I had tried in a few lines to explain your view of the origin of Greek Mythology, I did not know what to do. From reading your book I certainly thought that you admitted an early stratum of Jewish thought, on which, by metamorphic and other processes, the religion and mythology of Homer were built up. In a letter which you did me the honour to address to me, you proposed a different theory, or at least you gave me a new insight into your views on the subject. You seem to admit there an independent origin for the religious and mythological opinions of the Greeks and the Jews, and to be satisfied with the admission of a later contact between Aryan and Semitic ideas. Under these circumstances I thought the best plan would be, if you allowed me, to print in a note some extracts from your letter, and I therefore send you the original, that you may look at it once more, and tell me whether you object to my proposal. In either case, whether you say Yes or No, I must request you to return me the letter, for I hope my children will hereafter value it as much as myself.

'PS.—I sent Count Gasparin's pamphlet to Dr. Abeken, but I have not heard from him lately. I am almost afraid my last letters, which I sent through the English Post Office, and not as before through the Prussian courier, may not have reached him. I feel as strongly as ever that Count Gasparin's proposal is the right one, but I cannot believe that at present it is possible. Though I am an extreme Radical in University politics, I was glad that Professor Fawcett's amendment was rejected; it would have weakened our position in the conflict which is coming. But I feel convinced that the sooner the last trace of protection is removed from the study of Theology at Oxford the better. At All Souls our Fellowship Examination is entirely in Modern History and Law, and no clergyman ought to have any chance of being elected; yet out of fifteen fellows elected under the new Statute, four are clerical. They won in a fair and open field. 'M.M.'

From Dr. Abeken.

Translation. February 21, 1871.

'It is a decisive week on which we have entered. The armistice ends with the end of the week, unless there is a guarantee for peace. It would be a terrible misfortune if war had to begin again; the indignation of our army would be greater than ever. At this moment Thiers is sitting with Prince Bismarck for their first exchange of views in the same salon in which, at the beginning of November, he was discussing an armistice. He might then have had just the same conditions as now, and what must he feel when he thinks what his country might have been spared, had he or his colleagues then listened to reason! We too should have been spared much, if falsehood and vanity had then been less powerful in France. People tell us to be moderate; they forget what moderation is required if, after our new efforts and sacrifices, we make no harder conditions than we made in November. You say, "Make peace with France and make peace with England." No one can long for it more truly than we. Every alliance is repulsive to us except friendship with England. But the tone of the debates in Parliament, nay, even the tone of the Queen's Speech, which tries to deal equal measure to both sides, and for that very reason deals unequal measure, cannot advance peace and friendship. What might England have done, what misery might England have prevented, if, at the beginning of the war, it had possessed the moral courage to call Good good. Wrong wrong, Right right. Crime criminal! It has turned out well for us that England did not act, now that the world has witnessed this new act in the solemn drama of history. The French sentiments of the people of Alsace and Lorraine prove to me all the more strongly that we are in duty bound to bring back this German race to the German Empire. We have to cure them of a fearful disease, that future generations, though blushing at the disgrace of their forefathers, may grow up to a healthy life. It is inconceivable how, while German language and German morals remained unchanged, the love for the old German Fatherland has become almost extinct. Think of the Protestants of Alsace, of the Evangelical clergy of Alsace! How can they be so blind as not to see that the fate of the Evangelical Church in Alsace depends on their union with Germany, while union with France implies its certain extinction? The Roman Catholics in Germany are not so blind; and their leaders, whose home is not in Germany, but at Rome, do all they can to prevent the union of Alsace with Protestant Germany.'

To Dr. Abeken.

Translation. Parks End, February 24, 1871.

'Dear Friend,—I received your letter this morning, and I am indeed glad to hear that the Crown Prince remembers me so kindly. I wrote to him at once, and enclose the letter, asking you to look through it and hand it to the Crown Prince with a copy of the Letters on the War. I send the book by post, just as it is; there was no time to have it bound. I have also written to Gladstone, after having received your letter: alas I the Protestant argument has no effect on him. Lord Shaftesbury is the man for that; he has already done something in the matter, but his views are very narrow. Public opinion is getting more moderate in England. The only thing now is to wait—perhaps our enemies may do good service to us.

'I sent you a pamphlet of Count Gasparin. Gladstone is delighted with it, as you may have heard; the spirit of it is good. I could not help telling Gladstone that Russia would never think of helping to heal the wound: many plans for the future are built on the reopening of this wound.

'With regard to Freeman, do what you can; ... he has a powerful, indefatigable pen, and is German through and through. Could you not persuade old Carlyle to write or to say something very amiable?'

To The Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone.

Parks End, February 27, 1871.

'My dear Mr. Gladstone,—I received your letter this morning, and I look forward with great interest to the short Memorandum to which you refer. I believe there is no scholar occupied with the study of the growth and spreading of religious ideas, who has not had to modify some of his own opinions on the subject during the last ten years. The evidence has become so much larger and richer and deeper, that we are forced, whether we like it or not, to assume a new standpoint in order to command the whole field that is open before us. I sent you the extract from Abeken's letter as it stood, but I marked it private, private as it were, even to you, intended for the dispassionate spectator of the grand drama of history, not for the Prime Minister of England. Otherwise I could not have left what Abeken said about Moral Courage without incurring the charge of impertinence. I have told him what I think on the subject, and that it is easy to be wise post factum [Google translate: after it]. With the same intention, I sent you his frank confession about the state of feeling in Alsace and Lorraine. I admit it was a surprise to me, and I could quote statements from recent travellers in those provinces that would lead to different conclusions. But before all things it is right that the truth should be known, and I wanted you in particular to know it. Lord Granville possesses, no doubt, information on the subject of public feeling in Alsace and Lorraine from independent sources, and he would not quote Abeken against Abeken, in discussing the dangers which this Peace may bring on Europe. The difficulties are doubtless very great, yet blood, language, and religion are three powerful allies in the struggle which will now begin. Yours sincerely.'

To The Same.

February 28.

'Dear Mr. Gladstone,—Accept my best thanks for the Memorandum, of which you sent me a copy. I should be very happy to discuss some points with you in more peaceful times; this Peace is no peace. Yet do not judge the statesmen of Germany too harshly. After the sad experience which they have had of the French, they cannot bring themselves to believe that a people who could not forgive Sadowa, would ever forget Sedan. It is their duty to think, first of all, of the safety of the country committed to their care. They are convinced that war will begin again whatever they do, or at all events they think that the only chance of peace is the hopelessness of a new attack on the part of France.

'As you told me in your letter that a new Bill on Clerical Fellowships would soon be presented to Parliament, I have taken the liberty to send you a few remarks on the subject of Fellowships in general. I have watched their working now for more than twenty-two years, being in fact one of the oldest residents at Oxford, and I confess I should like to see these magnificent resources of the University more usefully applied than they are at present. My remarks on Fellowships in general I should be quite prepared to send to the Times, if you thought it could be of any use.'

To M. Renan.

Oxford, March 7, 1871.

'I was so pleased to hear that you and Madame Renan had not suffered during the last months, and that you are well enough to resume your work. Let us forget, or let us at least be silent on the past; it has been too horrible. I know you are as strongly French as I am German, but that does not prevent both of us, I think, from feeling deeply the shame and degradation which that war has brought on the race to which we belong as men. We feel ashamed if we are told that our ancestors, our most distant ancestors, were simious; is there one race of animals so savage, so brutal, as man can be? nor does there seem to be any hope of progress or improvement with regard to our ideas respecting war. We all share the guilt of it, we are all ready to take part in it, and we are actually proud of our efficiency in manslaughter. I know of one redeeming feature only in war: it shows that there are some things for which men are ready to die; that there is in man the gift of martyrdom, which I suppose the brutes do not possess; but, apart from that, we must all hide our faces in shame and grief. No doubt the best you and Madame Renan can do, is to go away for a time so as to have complete change. In a few weeks more England will be lovely in the warmth and colours of spring. We shall certainly be at Oxford till June, and my wife asks me to tell you and Madame Renan that she hopes you will come and stay with us at Oxford. There are two rooms at your disposal, you would find plenty of work at the Bodleian Library, and nothing could give her and me greater pleasure than to have you quietly staying here as long as you are able. If you would only let us know a few days before when we may expect you, you will find everything ready for you. I had a letter from M. Taine to-day; I hope the University will invite him to give us a course of lectures. I did not venture to propose you, for, though we are advancing, we advance slowly. He would lecture in French on some period of French Literature. It is not settled yet, but I hope it will succeed.'

To His Mother.

Translation. March 10.

'One begins to live quietly again, now that peace is made: it was a fearful time, and one keeps thinking, who knows when it may begin again? The joy in Germany must be immense. The Crown Prince sent me word I ought, as an old friend, to have sent him a copy of my Letters on the War. I have done so now, and I wrote a beautiful letter too!'

On March 31 Max Muller delivered an evening lecture at the Royal Institution on Mythology, which was, as usual, largely attended. It was some years before this that his friend Lord Strangford wrote: 'Here (in England) there is no school of Philology, and I do not quite hold Max Muller guiltless for not having founded one, instead of going off into Comparative Mythology.'

As the Professorship of Modern European Languages had been abolished when Max Muller accepted the new Chair of Comparative Philology, it was resolved from time to time to invite celebrated foreigners to lecture on some foreign language or literature, and this year the Curators were anxious to secure the services of M. Taine. The following letter gives an account of the scheme, with some hints on lecturing:—

To M. Taine.

Oxford, March 17, 1871.

'I hasten to answer your kind letter as far as I can. First, as to the time. The fact is that our Summer Term is over the first week of June, and very little work is done during the last week. Therefore if you could begin before Whit-Sunday, you would probably have a better audience. Your course of lectures is the first beginning of a new experiment, and everything will depend on your success. Oxford is an extremely difficult place to lecture in, because all audiences are very mixed. You have young students, you have fellows and tutors, you have Professors, and for your lectures ladies also, I think. It is difficult to hit where there are so many targets. I do not expect that you will have many young students, and you may therefore aim a little higher. I should lecture as if I were addressing a highly educated lady, not taking much for granted, making everything clear by a full statement of facts, but then drawing out the very best lessons that the facts will yield. For that purpose your philosophers and moralists would be more useful, perhaps, than your dramatists, but I dare say you are right in selecting the latter. My only fear is that the classical dramatic writers are a little too well known, and that they may not prove sufficiently attractive. A picture of the thoughts and manners of the times in which they lived would remedy that defect, and you would know better than anybody else how to place before us the political and intellectual stage on which Racine and Moliere were themselves the actors. Lastly, as to the language: it has been decided, not without some opposition, that the lectures should be given in French. But, of course, many of your hearers would have difficulty in following, and therefore a slow and very distinct delivery would be a matter of great consequence. The lectures are open to every member of the University, and the invitation to lecture comes to you from the Vice-Chancellor, in the name of the University. The lectures are delivered at the Taylor Institution, because the funds for paying the Lecturer come out of Sir Robert Taylor's bequest. It is not an easy task which you are undertaking, but I feel very sanguine as to its success. If you want any further information I shall be most happy to give it.'

M. Taine accepted the invitation, and arrived in Oxford soon after the above letter was written.

Though M. Taine was not actually the guest of the Max Mullers, residing in their house, he was constantly with them, and, after he had received the degree of Honorary D.C.L., they gave a very large party, at which they gathered together all the leading spirits in Oxford to meet the distinguished foreigner, who charmed everybody by his easy and agreeable conversation. The next morning the appalling news of some of the worst deeds of the Commune was in the papers, and the brilliant Frenchman was an altered being; he was wounded to the heart by the savage acts of his countrymen, and seemed as if unable to look any one in the face. Happily his lectures were already finished, and he left immediately, deeply commiserated by Max Muller, to whom he acknowledged that it was far worse than the humiliation inflicted by the war with Germany.

To Rev. G. Cox.

'I looked at Gladstone's book Homeric Synchronism—it is very disappointing. So great a man, so imperfect a scholar! He has no idea how shaky the ground is on which he takes his stand. The reading of those ethnic names in the hieroglyphic inscriptions varies with every year and with every scholar. I do not blame them: their studies are and must be tentative, and they are working in the right direction. But the use which Gladstone makes of their labours is to me really painful, all the more so because it is cleverly done, and I believe bona fide.'

During the month of April Max Muller accepted the invitation of the committee who were arranging the German Peace Festival in London, to deliver the address on that occasion. The Festival took place on May 1, and was a brilliant success. The music, the artistic tableaux vivants, the expression of deep gratitude, of exultant patriotism, tempered by the thought of all that the victory had cost the Fatherland, can never be forgotten by any of those present. Max Muller's speech throughout struck the right note, and he could feel from the first how he carried his audience with him. The translation, which is given in the Appendix, had the benefit of being corrected by him.

To His Mother.

Translation. Oxford, May 3.

'My speech will be printed, and I will send you a copy. It has been much discussed in the English papers. It was not an easy task. The audience was a very mixed one. The Ambassador was there, and the republicans, &c. Yes, it went off very well, and I am glad I undertook it. The next day Lord Granville, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, asked me to dinner. To-day I received a most kind letter from the Crown Prince, written by himself. ... It was very good of him, for doubtless he has many letters to write.'

By gracious permission of His Majesty the German Emperor the letter from the Crown Prince is inserted here:—

Berlin, 1. Mai 1871.

'Ich habe mit aufrichtigem Danke und ganz besonderem Interesse Ihre Letters on the War entgegengenommen, welche Sie die Freundlichkeit hatten, mir zu ubersenden.

'Mit der einmutigen Hingebung unseres Volkes wahrend der grossen Zeit, die wir durchkampft, steht in schonem Einklang die patriotische Haltung, welche unsere deutschen Bruder, oft unter den schwierigsten Verhaltnissen und mit Opfern aller Art, bewahrt, und durch die sie sich fur immer einen Anspruch auf die Dankbarkeit des Vaterlandes erworben haben.

'Dass die Erfahrungen, welche die Deutschen in England wahrend unseres ruhmvollen Krieges gemacht, nicht immer erfreulich waren, ist mir freilich bekannt. Grunde der verschiedensten Art kommen zusammen, um eine Verstimmung zu erzeugen, die huben und druben von alien einsichtigen und patriotischen Mannern gleich schmerzlich empfunden ist.

'Meine feste und zuversichtliche Hoffnung bleibt es aber, dass dieselbe bald jenem herzlichen Einvernehmen wieder Platz machen wird, welches die Natur unserer gegenseitigen Beziehungen und Interessen verlangt. Dieses Ziel wollen wir verfolgen, unbeirrt durch Aufregungen und Eindrucke des Augenblicks, uberzeugt, dass es fur das Gedeihen beider Lander ebenso heilsam wie fur den Frieden Europas unerlasslich ist.

'Sie haben Ihrerseits niemals aufgehort, in diesem Geiste thatig zu sein, und es ist mir deshalb Bedurfniss, Ihnen meine dankbare Anerkennung fur Ihr erfolgreiclies Wirken hierdurch auszusprechen.

'Ihr wohlgeneigter Friedrich Wilhelm, Kronprinz.'

Translation. Berlin, May 1, 1871.

'I have received with much interest and sincere thanks your Letters on the War, which you so kindly sent to me. The courageous devotion of our people during all the great time of the war is in beautiful harmony with the patriotic feeling which our German brethren everywhere have shown, often under the most difficult circumstances, and which they have proved by sacrifices of all kinds, thus securing for themselves for ever the gratitude of the Fatherland. I know also, only too well, that the experiences of the Germans in England during our glorious war were not always happy ones. Reasons of all kinds combined to produce a discord which makes itself felt as painfully here as in England, by all really discerning and patriotic men.

'My firm and confident hope, however, remains, that this discord will soon give way again to the hearty understanding which is the natural expression of our mutual relations and interests. Let us struggle towards this goal, unhindered by the excitements and impressions of the moment, convinced that this common understanding is as necessary for the development of both countries, as it is indispensable for the peace of Europe.

'You, for your part, have never ceased to act in this spirit, and I therefore feel impelled to give expression to my grateful recognition of your successful efforts. Your well-wisher,

'Frederick William, Crown Prince.'

The end of May, Max writes to his mother: 'The scenes in Paris are awful, and one thinks what these furies would have done in Germany if they had got there.'

During the latter part of the war Max Muller had carried on an interesting correspondence with the venerable diplomatist Lord Stratford de Redclifife, whose sympathies were entirely German. It has not been possible to recover Max Muller's letters. Lord Stratford sent him a poem at the close of the war in praise of Germany, which was published in Germany in a collection of poems on the war, and had a large circulation.

Only a month after the Peace Festival Max Muller lost his father-in-law, after a very short illness. As he had already settled to visit Ems again this summer for the waters, he resolved to start as soon as he could, and take his wife for a change, and his little boy with him. They joined his mother at Chemnitz, from which place he wrote to Dr. Abeken, telling him of his plans, and adding, 'From year to year we seem to visit the dead more than the living, and the old happy, beautiful times of meeting do not return.' Shortly before leaving England Max Muller had received a visit from a German, consulting him on the advisability of starting a general subscription among Germans living out of Germany for a monument in commemoration of the war. Max explains his views in the following letter. We know how thoroughly they were realized by the great Germania on the banks of the Rhine.

To Professor Bernays.

Translation. Oxford, June 12.

'I write by return; Mr. Lang called with a verbal recommendation from Count Bernstorff. I liked the idea, but I told him at once that the impulse must come from Germany. He told me a little while ago that all went well in Germany: a million has been promised in Mayence alone. His plan has the fullest approval from the highest classes. I have not written to him, but to Dr. Heine, who sent me a description of the monument in question; I wrote some encouraging words to him. Let the man work!

'A monument only in Berlin is one-sided. I should like to see a German monument on the banks of the German river, protected by a German fortress; and he who does not understand the " German Michael1 [Nickname for the German soldier.]" can hold to the archangel instead. So you see, I think: Let it grow—should it prove to have no substantial foundation it will fade of itself.'

During the stay at Ems the Emperor came there to drink the waters, and Max Muller had the honour of dining with his Imperial Majesty, whom he had last seen in 1849 at Bunsen's house in London, a refugee from the revolution in Berlin. The Emperor was most gracious and cordial, and thanked Max for his letters to the Times. But it was the meeting again with the Crown Prince—' Unser Fritz,' as the troops called him—which gave him the most unfeigned pleasure, and he has described in Auld Lang Syne the affectionate welcome accorded him on the occasion, to the surprise of the great officers and officials present. Abeken, too, was at Ems, and the friends met for the last time. The troops were returning from France, and many a regiment turned up the Lahn valley to greet their Emperor and Prince. On these occasions the town supplied refreshments, whilst the visitors subscribed for cigars and waited on the returning heroes.

Max Muller and his wife were among the few admitted to the railway station to see the Crown Prince off for Munich, where he was to hold a great review of the South German troops. The following note to Dr. Abeken alludes to the dinner with the Emperor:—


'Before I leave Ems I must thank you most heartily once more. I know it is not easy to jump over the magic ring which encircles crowned heads everywhere, but with your support it all went capitally. It will always be for me a "historical moment." I wish the Emperor could read my speech at the London Peace Festival, so that he should know how highly I value the honour which he has bestowed upon me.'

Contemporary Letter.

'Monaco,' Ems, July 20, 1871.

'I know you will be interested in hearing that Max dined with the Emperor on Monday, at 4.30. Max and the poet Von Redwitz were the only civilians present, and Max the only man without any decoration or order! They were a party of eighteen. The Emperor began by saying to Max: "I know of your great fame as an Oriental scholar: what made you take to that line of study?" Max told him he first heard of Sanskrit as a boy from the Duchess of Dessau, the Emperor's cousin; and they talked about her, and then of his life in England. Everything was so simple, and yet, as they sat at table, Max said, as he listened to the kindly, simple words of the Kaiser, he felt, "Here is a man who hereafter will hold a place second only in German history to Charlemagne." After dinner the Emperor talked to him again, about Bunsen. Max called him "a true German Ambassador." "But not very practical," rejoined the Kaiser. "No," said Max, "but prophetic." "Yes," said the Kaiser, in the most hearty way, "if he had lived, how he would have rejoiced now, how happy he would have been!" Tuesday evening came the Crown Prince. We saw him arrive, looking hardly older than eight years ago; but his countenance, always so good, had gained depth and experience, and he was, indeed, as our friends the Bradleys said, "a noble fellow, the very type of a hero." He sent for Max early yesterday, and he had an hour's intensely interesting talk with him. When Max got there he was told to wait, as some one was with the Prince, but he had hardly sat down in the ante-room, when the door was thrown open, and in came the Prince, both hands stretched out: "But, Maximilianus, why do you wait here? I have no secrets that you cannot hear 1 Now sit down, put down your hat. We asked for you everywhere in England and could not see you; and now I find you here in Ems, and I may take your greetings to my wife, may I not?" Then they plunged into the war, and the Prince openly said how he had hated it; and when Max said something about all he had done, he said: "Oh, no compliments, please; I only did my duty." Then he discussed the union of North and South Germany, and how to unite Catholics and Protestants; and said he feared they were not ready yet for a new Reformation in Bavaria: "It wants more than a mere dogma to effect that, it must spring from the hearts of the people," and he added with deep feeling, "and have we Protestants of the North so much to offer them: have we advanced in religion the last 300 years?" He talked of his very hearty reception everywhere in England, and spoke of various people there with an insight into their characters and opinions that was remarkable. " We dined at Gladstone's, and" (with a knowing laugh) "we talked a great deal about Art and Literature!' He then told Max how deeply grateful he felt for the efforts he had made to keep up a union in feeling between Germany and England, and added: "You must forgive my not thanking you directly for your letters on the war; and when I did write, I had not time to say half I wished, I have so much to do." He ended by hoping Max would return home in time for both him and the Princess to see him, and added: "It is twenty years since we first met." He left at three o'clock yesterday afternoon. We went to see him off, and he sent for us, coming almost to the door of his room to meet me, and he shook hands in the most hearty way, and as I rose from my curtsy, he said, looking at Boy, "But what then is that?" Max said he was the youngest German sailor, and the Prince shook hands with the small thing; and then talked to me of our visit to Potsdam, and of Oxford, and told me he had my photograph. He talked to us two till the train was ready, when he again shook hands with us both, and went off. I heard Max, as he left, say in German: "Splendid, noble fellow"; and so he is, indeed. He is far handsomer as a man of forty, and, as I said before, there is an earnestness, depth, and grandeur in his face, whilst it has lost none of its bright, genial expression. He is one's ideal of a really noble man. The night he arrived here, one of the hills was illuminated in his honour. It was a most fairy-like scene. At a rocket signal every point in the high hill burst out in bright sheets of Bengal fire, red, white, and green, so that every bush and twig were visible from the base to the summit, and the figures of the men feeding the lights looked like busy gnomes who had created the magical scene.'

Whilst at Ems Max Muller received a note from Dr., afterwards Sir John, Stainer, and later Professor of Music at Oxford, wishing to dedicate his work on Harmony to him. The following letters are interesting as showing Max Muller's continued love of music, though he had almost ceased to perform himself, and only took up his playing again later to accompany his children in their singing:—

To Dr. Stainer.

Ems, July 2.

'I hardly know what to say, and whether I ought to accept the dedication of your work on Harmony. I always feel like a traitor among my musical friends, and quite unworthy of any honourable mention. However, if you think otherwise, I can only say that I shall consider it a great, though most undeserved, honour to have my name connected with your work, and thus to keep a place in the musical annals of Oxford. Some of my happiest recollections date from the years which I spent in the musical atmosphere of Leipzig, when Mendelssohn was there in the full vigour and enjoyment of his genius, and these recollections have often been revived at Oxford when listening to your masterly playing in Magdalen Chapel.'

The dedication is as follows:—


To The Same.

October 6.

'On my return to Oxford I found your book on my table, and I must thank you once more for your great kindness. I feel ashamed and almost saddened when I read your dedication. There was a time when I thought I should devote the whole of my life to music, and a very happy time it was.

'But new interests carried me away in quite a different direction, and though I tried for a time to keep up my music, I soon found out that music was not a thing to play with, and that one should make up one's mind to be either its priest and minister, or a silent worshipper.

'There is a story of a young clergyman exclaiming, "What is the use of the laity?" I am glad you do not share that feeling with regard to music, but consider mere listeners like myself (and particularly silent listeners) an essential element of the musical community.'

On his return to Oxford Max Muller settled down to work, finishing the new edition of his Lectures on Language, which were now stereotyped, and getting on with the fifth volume of the Rig-veda. His wife was away from home for some time, the mother-aunt being very ill, and requiring some one constantly with her.

To His Wife.

Oxford, September 17, 1871.

'Sharing the happiness of other people, entering into their feelings, living life over once more in them and with them, that is all that remains to old people. I suppose it was meant to be so, the principal object of life being the overcoming of self in every sense of the word.

'In fact, as one gets older death seems hardly to make so wide a gulf: a few years more or less, that is all. Meantime, we know in whose hands we all are, that life is very beautiful; but death has its beauty too.'

In the November of this year Max Muller had the gratification of hearing from India that his Sanskrit Grammar, of which the second edition had appeared in 1870, was extensively used there. A friend wrote from Benares, 'Your Grammar seems now very near perfection. Your Hitopadesa (the first of the handbooks for the study of Sanskrit) is used in the English department of our College, and is valued by the boys, but not much bought—they are too poor.'

To F. Palgrave, Esq.

Parks End, December 26, 1871.

'My Dear Palgrave,—As a Christmas treat I have been reading Shakespeare's Sonnets—as marvellous as ever, but even more difficult! Now can you tell me (p. 81 of your edition), how do you construe "Will bestow it"? Is it will enrich it, endow it, viz. my wit? Why did you leave out the sonnet—
"A woman's face with nature's own hand painted"?

How do you construe p. 76—
"I will not praise that purpose not to sell"?

These are only a few queries, and they refer to points where I believe I am simply stupid; as to other matters, one might go on asking for ever. On the whole I like Massey—he leaves me freest. Best wishes to you and yours.'
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Re: The Life and Letters of The Right Hon. Friedrich Max Mul

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Memorial to Bishop Patteson. Offer of Professorship at Strassburg. Rig-veda, Vol. V. Death of sister-in-law. Strassburg. Baden. Munich. Life of Stockmar. Switzerland. Dr. Stanley Select Preacher, Freiligrath's poem.

From the moment that it was settled that the University of Strassburg should be reorganized under German auspices, Baron Roggenbach, who was entrusted with the arrangements, endeavoured to attract to it many of the leading German Professors. The Baron had discussed the subject with Max Muller on his return from Ems in 1871, and through the winter the thought of possibly settling in Strassburg as Sanskrit Professor was constantly before him. Max determined to come to no decision before trying how life in Germany really suited him, and therefore only undertook to give a course of lectures at Strassburg in the summer semester of 1872.

To His Mother.

Translation. January 1, 1872.

' My dear good Mother,—The first letter of the new year must be for you, and may God make it a pleasant year to you—as pleasant as it can be at your age. I hope we shall have a happy meeting this year. I have not yet made any plans for the summer, though I have an idea, if I am well and strong enough, of giving a course of lectures at Strassburg. I have had a very cordial invitation to do so, but I have not yet accepted, for it will give me a good deal of work, and too much work does not pay. It is possible the opening of the University may be postponed till the autumn, and at that time I could not leave Oxford. Well, that is just an idea for the new year. At all events I intend to make an early start from here, and settle somewhere for the summer in Germany with all my belongings. It is not good for the children to travel about, and is also too expensive. Where do you think we had best go? We had a quiet Christmas. The Meyers sent us venison and a Marzipan, and Trubner sent a Stolle, so that we had some German Christmas things. Have I told you that Klaus Groth is coming in the spring to Oxford to give three lectures before the University on German literature? He gets £50, and he and his wife will slay with us. I am going this week for a couple of days to Woburn Abbey, the Duke of Bedford's.'

From Woburn Abbey he wrote to his wife:—

January 4.

'Here I am in the grand old place. I had a pleasant drive from the station, some seven miles—beautiful sunshine, and the Park looked as green as in summer. Mr. Hastings Russell and his son received us very kindly. We walked about, saw the Park and the Sculpture Gallery and the Chinese Dairy, &c. What an extraordinary nest for one human bird to build himself for his passage through life! When Bunsen was here he told the late Duke, after admiring everything in the way in which he could admire, that he was truly thankful he was not Duke of Bedford. Mr. Russell seemed quite to understand what he meant. I try to keep up my reputation as a historian, but it requires great presence of mind when you are told of every picture: That was the famous Lord A., that was his beautiful daughter-in-law, the Duchess of B., and so it goes on—enough to pluck a first-class man. My great difficulty is to find my room1 [Max Muller had not the least bump of locality.]. I wander and wander, till at last some kind person takes me in tow. However, here I am, landed safe in my room, and when the dinner bell rings I hope they will send for me!'

In February Max Muller wrote a letter to the Times advocating a memorial to his friend Bishop Patteson, whose murder in one of the Melanesian Islands had been mentioned this year in the Queen's Speech. He received letters of thanks from many members of the Bishop's family. 'To have known such a man,' says Max Muller, 'is one of life's greatest blessings. In his life of purity, unselfishness, and devotion to man and faith in a higher world, those who have eyes to see may read the best, the most real Imitatio Christi. In his death, following so closely on his prayer for forgiveness for his enemies—"for they know not what they do"—we have witnessed once more a truly Christ-like death.' From this time onwards Max Muller felt an interest in the Melanesian Mission above any other.

To His Mother.

Translation. March 3, 1872.

'I should have written sooner, but I have had so much correspondence lately about Strassburg that I had time for nothing else. They have made me all sorts of offers, but I have come to no decision, though I am often drawn towards returning to Germany, The Government offers me 4,000 thalers a year (£600), and will keep the Professorship open for me till Easter, 1873. I have hit on this plan: I will leave this early in May and give a course of lectures in Strassburg, during the Summer Term, on "The Results of Comparative Philology." This binds me in no way, and I can form an idea as to whether I am suited for the work of a German Professor or not. Roggenbach writes I could live near Baden-Baden and go in by train on lecture days. G. and the children will not come till the end of June, so as not to interrupt the children's classes. The lectures end early in August, and I can then make further plans; so as soon as you feel up to it you can come to Strassburg and keep house for me. In the winter I shall in any case return to Oxford, whatever I may ultimately decide on doing. You can fancy how all this has occupied me. I think with an income of 10,000 thalers, of which we need not lay by anything, we could lead a far pleasanter life than we can in England. Naturally, the children are my chief thought, and whether their future would be more successful in Germany than here. But all depends on whether I feel I can be of use, and I can fairly judge that after a term. The weather is so mild that the crocuses and violets are in flower in the garden.'

Hardly had this letter been sent off than Max Muller was taken seriously ill, and for some days typhoid fever was feared. The attack resolved itself into violent neuralgia in the head, and he was for many days in bed, unable to move. At the end of the time he wrote the following letter to his mother. After giving an account of his illness, he continues—


'Then came the death of Goldstucker1 [Whom he knew in Paris and London.], which I felt very much— we had worked together so long. So one goes after the other, and one becomes more and more lonely. He really caused his own death: would see no doctor, though begged to do so, and died from the results of a cold. I was better off, for I had no want of careful nursing. So in May I really am going to Strassburg. The money they offer is a good deal for Germany. They tell me it is the highest salary ever offered to a Professor. As I do not know the life at all, it is pleasant to be able to try it before deciding.'

No sooner had the German papers announced that ' Professor Max Muller will kindly give a course of lectures during the Summer Term,' than various attacks, some in anger, some in ridicule, began to appear in the French papers. 'We suppose some advances were made to M. Max Muller, but it would have been too great a condescension on his part, too heroic a sacrifice, to exchange the fat (sic) endowments of Oxford for (from the English point of view) a very modest Stipendium.' 'It will be a great honour for the Prussians of Strassburg, and it is only bare politeness on their part to announce that M. Max Muller will kindly give a course of lectures.' 'Many people in France will be astonished that M. Max Muller, a Foreign Member of our Institute and pupil of Burnouf, should hasten, at the first moment, to deliver German lectures on a soil that we can never cease to consider French!' 'M. Max Muller would have done well if out of regard to France, where he has many friends and admirers, he had waited till the second term, and not associated himself with the inauguration of this University.' The same paper, in mentioning Deutsche Liebe as published anonymously, says 'the author perhaps shrank from putting his name to a novelette, or probably was afraid of arousing feelings of retrospective jealousy in the wife he had married in England.' Deutsche Liebe came out in 1857, two and a half years before he married. Finally, the article declares that M. Max Muller is determined to aid in the Germanizing of Alsace by the lectures he has kindly consented to give at the German University.' So sensitive did the French continue, that it was only in the late autumn of 1881 that Max Muller, who was elected in 1869, ventured to take his seat at the French Institute and make his address of admission, which was constantly interrupted in the beginning by the younger members with disagreeable and sneering remarks, till his friends succeeded at last in enforcing silence.

To Dr. Kielhorn.

Translation. Parks End, April 6, 1872.

'I did indeed hope that you would make your return journey via England, and that I should be enabled to congratulate you and your future wife in person. So I must do it now at least by letter and in a great hurry. May you be as happy as you deserve to be, and may the Indian years of exile be followed by a happy return to the German home. Write to me soon, when you have arrived in Bombay or Poonah. I have been ill over a month; however, I am better now, and Volume V of the Rig-veda is completed, with the exception of the last four pages. I must send it to you to India, also a little keepsake from me for your wedding, which I hoped to have given you in person.

'I have felt Goldstucker's death much; I had known him for such a long time, and small literary differences disappear entirely when we stand at the grave of a dear old friend. I hope to acquire his library for Strassburg. Your old countryman, 'M. M.'

The fifth volume of his great work was now ready. The difficulties of restoring a correct text of Sayana's Commentary increased with each volume. The MSS. were more and more faulty, probably because the last part had been less studied and used, and therefore the MSS. were not corrected and kept up with the necessary care. No pains had been spared in scouring all India, even the Southern Provinces, for MSS., but in vain. Max Muller says in his preface to Volume V:—

'There is not one doubtful or difficult passage in the whole of this work where I have not myself carefully weighed the evidence of the MSS.; not one where I have not myself verified the exact readings of the MSS., even in those portions which were copied and collated for me by others, except where the originals were out of my reach. I believe I have acknowledged, without stint, whatever assistance I have received from other scholars during the progress of my work. They themselves have assured me that I had said more than they deserved or expected. But, as it has been broadly hinted that for certain portions of Sayana's Commentary I had parted with my editorial responsibility, I take this opportunity of stating, once for all, that there is no page, no line, no word, no letter, no accent, in the whole of the Commentary for which I am not personally responsible. Nothing was ordered for press that I had not myself carefully examined and revised, and though for certain portions of my edition, as I stated in the preface to each volume, I was relieved of much preliminary labour, the decision in all critical passages, whether for good or evil, always rested with me.'

In this volume is published the first part of the Index Verborum, which was made before Max Muller began the publication of the Rig-veda and Sayana's Commentary, and it was by its help only he was able to make his way through the difficulties of Sayana. Professor Benfey, of Gottingen, the veteran Sanskrit scholar, on seeing a few proof-sheets of this Index, wrote: 'I see what extraordinary assistance the publication of this Index Verborum will afford to Vedic studies. It will hardly be possible to render you sufficient thanks for it. I in particular expect to derive the greatest help from it for my Vedic Grammar.'

To Canon, now Dean, Farrar.

Parks End, April 14, 1872.

'I quite know what it is to be overworked, and how new thoughts take possession of one's brain, and make us for a time forget everything else. You must suffer more than I do in that respect, though I assure you just now, with three books printing in English, and proof-sheets of a French and of a German translation, and lectures every day, I sometimes feel quite bewildered. I shall value the dedication of your Lectures1 [Lectures on the Families of Speech.] very much, and it is very kind of you to have thought of it. Do not suppose that I am unable to value researches which lead to conclusions different from my own. I know it is my own fault if you think so, for I feel so conscious that I cannot express a difference of opinion without giving offence, that I have given up all criticizing. Were I to criticize —— 's book he would never forgive me, so I leave it alone. There are people who can criticize without offending, but I know I cannot—why I cannot tell. Whenever you print your Lectures I shall be very glad to receive the proof-sheets if you like; but, without having seen it, I shall always consider it an honour to have my name connected with any one of your publications.'

In April the Platt-Deutsch poet Klaus Groth and his wife, with whom the Max Mullers had formed an intimate friendship in 1869 in Kiel, paid a visit to Oxford, where he delivered three lectures before the University in German on Platt- Deutsch and its close affinity with English. The genial poet and his charming wife stayed with the Max Mullers, and the visit was keenly enjoyed by both hosts and guests. It was the last time they were to meet. Frau Klaus Groth died a few years later, and after her death the poet remained quietly at Kiel till his death. During their visit Max Muller's sister-in-law, his wife's only sister, to whom Max Muller was warmly attached, was taken alarmingly ill, and though there was a short rally, it was but delusive, and she died May 12, leaving six young children.

To His Mother.

Translation. May 12, 1872.

'My dear good Mother,—I have just had a telegram from G. that her sister died to-day at two. She had been ill for some time. I am going to London, where G. is, by the next train. One of the boys is here and I must take him to London. It is a terrible sorrow.'

To the Same.

Translation. Bonn, May 19.

'Only a line to tell you where I am. On Saturday at noon was the funeral, in the same church at Bray where they were married. It was a most affecting scene. That night I started by Dover and Calais for Bonn. To-morrow Roggenbach will meet me here. Wednesday I must give my first lecture.'

His wife remained in England till Max Muller had found a place for her, the children, and his mother. A very few days showed him that Strassburg was impossible for his family: no houses were to be had, and he began looking for one in the neighbourhood. On his way to Strassburg he had been threatened with a terrible misfortune. On arriving at Bonn the large portmanteau containing all his notes and manuscript books, representing the labour of his life, was missing. It had been registered and plombe for Bonn in London, together with a smaller one containing clothes. All inquiries at first seemed in vain. The Crown Prince heard of the disaster, and caused a message to be sent to all principal stations (railways in Germany are all Government possessions) that the portmanteau must be found. The right effect was produced after a time, and the portmanteau with its contents untouched was returned from somewhere near Hamburg; but no explanation was ever given. Max Muller was nearly ill with anxiety, for the loss would have been irreparable, and really have wrecked his life, as far as his work was concerned; but he never told either his wife or mother at the time all he was going through.

To His Mother.

Translation. Strassburg, May 22.

'Yes! really in Strassburg—raining, as everywhere. I have found a lodging, but a very small one—two rooms and a very small bedroom. The want of rooms is terrible. Write and say how you are, and whether and when you can come. It can be done, but I cannot promise you much enjoyment till we have a house in the country.'

Max Muller soon found that the life in Strassburg would not do, even for his mother alone, and postponed her arrival. His time at Strassburg was a thorough success, in spite of the discomforts. He found that he could lecture in German without any of the physical fatigue that his English lectures always gave him. He had fifty hearers, the largest class of all, and gave private Sanskrit lessons as well. But what he most enjoyed was the constant intercourse with men, each of whom was a distinguished representative of his own particular line of studies. As there were no arrangements for food in their various lodgings they formed a sort of club at an hotel, and met every day for early dinner and supper. Max Muller made many acquaintances with the rising scholars in Germany who had gathered at Strassburg, as the French papers said, 'to Germanize the French inhabitants.' On June 1 he writes to his wife:—

'No rooms fit for mother; every one is complaining. We are mostly "grass widowers" or bachelors and don't mind. There are no servants. The lectures in themselves are a great pleasure to me, and I see they are liked, but they take a great deal of time. I have to lecture six times a week, and one is not accustomed to that in Oxford, where I only give twenty-four lectures in the whole year!'

Max Muller's inaugural lecture, 'On the Results of Comparative Philology,' has been translated and printed in Chips, Volume IV. It was published by request as soon as delivered, and widely circulated in Germany.

To Professor Bernays.

Translation. Strassburg, 4 Regenbogengasse, May 31, 1872.

'My dear Friend,—I should have written before, but I had to wait a little to see how matters arranged themselves. Up to the present time I like it very much, and I find it much easier and much less of a strain to speak German than English. I have about forty to fifty hearers for Comparative Philology, and ten to twelve for Sanskrit Grammar. Whether this will continue I do not know. What is wanting here is a guiding spirit. We seem to be like a carriage without a driver—it can't go on like this very long. There is an immense deal still to arrange, two Roggenbachs are hardly sufficient for all there is to do. Lodgings are like lake-dwellings (Pfahlbauten). I cannot find a house for my family, but I feel quite well notwithstanding. Yes, after four sleepless nights, my portmanteau arrived. It caused me real suffering. My box of books is still on the road.'

To His Wife.

Strassburg, June 4, 1872.

'Why is there so much suffering in this world? I cannot think it improves us much, and yet it must have its purpose. All these are questions far too high for us—we are like children, and more than children when we come to think of them. All we know is that when we catch a glimpse of God's handiwork, either in the natural or moral world, it is so wonderfully perfect, so beyond all our measures, that we feel safe, as in a good ship, however rough the sea may be. Whatever we may believe or hope, or wish for, will be far exceeded by that higher Will and Wisdom which supports all, even us little souls.'

Strassburg, June 6, 1872.

'My work here answers well, and the young men seem to like it. To me it is no effort, and quite a new sensation. I had no idea that the effort of lecturing in English was so great. What takes up my time here is preparing the Lectures, particularly as I have few books, and have to hunt up things wherever I can find them.'

On June 12 Max Muller was commanded to Baden-Baden to dine with the German Empress. He had first seen the Empress some years before at Coblentz, and always considered her to be one of the best educated women he knew.

He thus describes the scene to his wife:—

'I was really overwhelmed with kindness. First the Empress made me a speech in the presence of the whole Court, thanking me for all I had done for Germany in England, and which she said had had more influence than I knew. Then she thanked me for the sacrifice I had made in giving up my summer vacation and rest for the new University of Strassburg, and hoped my example would lead others to do the same. Lastly, she said she knew from her last stay in England what people felt there at the thought of my going away. In fact I was quite overpowered. At dinner I sat opposite to her, and she talked to me a great deal; and after dinner, when all were going away, she called me to her, made me sit down, gave me her hand, and again thanked me most heartily. I stayed half an hour, and we talked of many things. It was very interesting to see and speak with the first German Empress thus face to face.'

To Herr George von Bunsen.

Strassburg, June 17, 1872.

'I am still quite alone here, but my wife and children come from England, and my mother from Chemnitz in about a week. I have taken a house in Baden-Baden; I shall lecture here from Tuesday to Friday, and Friday to Tuesday live in Baden-Baden. The lectures are a delight to me. It is a real pleasure to speak without any effort. I cannot think of future plans. For one thing Strassburg is not what it should be. We want not only one, but four Roggenbachs (one for each Faculty, and one for the University) if we are to create something new and great.'

To Professor Bernays.

Translation. Strassburg, 4 Regenbogengasse, July 4, 1872.

'My dear Friend,—It is beautiful here, but it is impossible to get to know about anything, so I come to you. I have found a quotation assigned to Aristotle to the following effect: "God, who is One, receives from us names according to the various visions which we come to see." Can you verify this quotation for me, and may it be assigned to Aristotle? Ever faithfully yours.'

The end of June Max Muller's wife and children arrived at Baden-Baden, and were joined the next week by his old mother. A pleasant summer was spent in the pretty villa he had secured there in the Lichtenthaler-Allee on the out-skirts of the town, and when the lectures were over at Strassburg, constant excursions were made by the whole party to all the beautiful places in the neighbourhood. His kind old friend Baroness Bunsen and two of her daughters were living at Carlsruhe, and several visits were paid them there. The end of July, Max Muller attended the fourth centenary of the University at Munich as delegate from Oxford. On the day of his arrival, after a long night's journey from Baden, he found the place already crowded; more than 3,000 guests had arrived.

To His Wife,

Munich, August 11.

'It is hard work here, but I get through it very well. Yesterday was the reception of all the deputies. I had to speak for England, Holland, and Sweden. It went off very well. In the evening I saw Lohengrin, but after two acts the music was too much for me, and I went home. I had telegraphed for my silk gown, hood, and cap, and they have arrived; so to-day, in the public procession, Oxford will be grandly represented. After the procession there will be speeches, dinner, &c.'

August 2.

'The amount of festivities one has to go through is great, but I am still afloat. I suppose you see the accounts in the newspapers. During the procession yesterday, my gown, hood, and cap were much admired. We dined in the Odeon, about 400 people. Dollinger presided; on his right and left the two Bavarian Princes, then the Prime Minister, and then I. I was surrounded with stars; I believe I was the only man of the 400 who had not some little star or ribbon. Last night it poured, so I went home; I don't know whether there was a torchlight procession. To-day again festivities from morning till evening.'

The festivities ended with a great Commers, or evening gathering, of all the students in one of the Beer Gardens, at which the Bavarian Princes were present, and to which all the delegates, professors, &c., were invited. The total number of guests was 3,377. Dr. Bollinger was then Rector Magnificus. At the opening ceremony, as it was impossible that all the delegates should deliver congratulatory speeches, the assembled delegates elected Professor von Sybel to speak for the German, and Max Muller for the foreign Universities. In his speech Max Muller reminded his hearers that when he was a German student it was highly criminal to believe in a United German Empire; that day he stood before them having just finished a course of lectures at Strassburg, the first University of the United German Empire.

In his reply Dr. Dollinger complimented Max Muller as nobly representing the bond which united the Munich University with the Universities of the whole Teutonic race.

'By education and culture, as by birth, you belong to Germany . . . the splendid task has fallen to you—and I believe it is the first instance in the history of England—of acting as interpreter of German science ... in that University in which the flower of the English nation receives its education. We look up to Oxford as an elder sister, for she existed centuries before us, and has had a glorious history, such as no German University has had, and our wishes are that Oxford may for ever remain what she has been for centuries, both to England and the world.'

To Dr. Moritz Carriere1 [Philosophical writer and poet—a friend from Berlin University days.].

Translation. Baden-Baden, Schillerstrasse, August 4, 1872.

'My dear Friend,—I have returned well satisfied, but also very tired, to Baden-Baden this morning. Many thanks for all your kindness, and for the great pleasure which you procured for me. I had till now no idea of such a festival, and I must send a short description of it to Oxford, to the Vice-Chancellor. My words about Oxford are easily reported, but not the words of warm sympathy which Dollinger uttered in his reply. Do you think that they could be found in print anywhere? I have the gist of his speech clear in my mind, but the ipsissima verba [Google translate: Eusebius] would of course produce a far greater impression in Oxford, and coming from Dollinger they are of historical value, and deserve more than an ephemeral existence. . . . My kind regards to Baron von Liebig. Ever yours.'

Early in this year Max Muller had made arrangements with Messrs. Longmans to publish a translation of the Life of Baron Stockmar, the intimate friend of King Leopold, the Queen of England, and Prince Albert. It was written by Stockmar's son, and threw a new light on many things connected especially with the life of King Leopold—his first marriage, the death of Princess Charlotte, the offer of the Greek throne, and the final election to Belgium. Max Muller's old friend Morier had been asked to find a translator. The book appeared in the autumn, and a large edition was sold. It had, of course, the advantage throughout of Max Muller's careful superintendence.

To R. B. D. Morier, Esq. (Minister at Munich).

Baden-Baden, August 12, 1872.

'My dear Morier,—I was very sorry when I was at Munich that you were not there. Everything else was quite perfect, but it took me nearly a week to recover from the feast, both material and intellectual. There were many inquiries for you; I hope you are better by this time. There is nothing so good after a bout of gout as Baden-Baden; the neighbourhood here is most charming, a real Paradise. Now I want to know when we may have the introduction to Stockmar, We are getting on well with the translation, and Longman wants to begin printing as soon as possible. Abeken's death is a great loss. He was a faithful friend, the only respectable element in the Pool of Varzin.'

To Herr George von Bunsen (who was coming to the Black Forest).

Baden, August 21.

'This is delightful—at present we are still tied to this place. We intended going to Switzerland, but our governess has fallen ill in Hanover, and so my wife cannot leave the children. So I hope we shall be able to see much of you. It is so beautiful here, and we three generations, grandmother, mother, and children, enjoy our time here much. . . . Shall we meet at Gernsbach on Friday?'

Early in September Max Muller presented to the University of Strassburg a magnificent gift from the University of Oxford, 650 volumes of the publications of the Clarendon Press, uniformly bound in calf, every volume containing the inscription—


The books were all ranged in order in one of the halls, where a large company gathered to hear Max Muller's address, in which he gave a sketch of the constitution of the University of Oxford, so totally unlike all foreign Universities, and of its principal institutions, buildings, &c. Later in the month Max Muller and his wife made a short excursion in Switzerland, visiting the Bernese Oberland for the first time. During the stay at Baden Princess Hohenlohe, half-sister of our Queen, died, and Princess Alice (Princess Louis of Hesse) came to Baden to attend the funeral ceremonies. Max Muller had more than one long interview with the Princess. He was much struck by the depth and earnestness of her mind, and her great dignity coupled with a remarkable charm of manner. On his return to England the Princess sent Max Muller the last work by Strauss, Der alte und der neue Glaube [Google translate: The old one and that one new faith], as 'Her Royal Highness was persuaded that, quite apart from the question of argument with its contents, either in whole or in part, he would read the work with great interest.'

To His Wife.

Oxford, November 4.

'I had a letter from Strassburg. There are more than 400 students, eighty more in the philosophical faculty. I do not know how it is, but I cannot bring myself to write yet. I wait for some hint, for something to happen, which will show me what I ought to do. I have always found a finger-post on my way through the world; I cannot find one just now.'

To The Dean of Westminster.

November 17, 1872.

'My dear Stanley,—What I meant was that kings, like Ministers, like members of Parliament, like judges, et hoc genus ovine [and this kind of sheep], are men, and it is foolish to frame theories according to which they are supposed to be anything else. We do not want friendless or heartless sovereigns, and in a constitutional State the responsibility of the Ministers ought to cover, not only the sovereign in the abstract, but the sovereign as he is, surrounded by wife, children, friends, &c. After all, the sovereign cannot act except through responsible Ministers, and would at every crisis have to choose between his Ministers and his friends. The absurdity of certain constitutional theories reached its acme when people complained that Prince Albert acted as the friend and adviser of the Queen. Stockmar is very strong on that point in his Memoires, and I confess his remarks seem to me full of political wisdom. I should not at all be surprised if the book caused a commotion.

'We shall meet at dinner on Saturday at Balliol—to meet Baron Rothschild.

'I have been reading Strauss's last book, and I should like to know what you think of it. I suppose it was sent to you as it was sent to me.

'Stockmar will not be out before the 30th, but I hope to give you a copy next Saturday.'

To The Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone.

Parks End, November 23, 1872.

'I have asked my publisher to send you one of the early copies of Baron Stockmar's Memoires. I feel certain you will find the book interesting, and I only hope you may not think the English too German. Though the two languages are so closely related, one hardly ever finds a word in English that will completely render the purport of a German word. Those words which are etymologically and historically the same in German and English are the most treacherous, for they never mean exactly the same in the two languages. One learns here, too, the old lesson that those who differ little are far more apt to misunderstand each other than those who differ toto coelo [Google translate: in all heaven]. I have tried in my preface to smooth certain susceptibilities, which no doubt are perfectly justified, but which I should regret to see discussed in public any more than has been done already.'

It will perhaps be remembered that Dean Stanley was this year nominated by Council as one of the Select Preachers. A most determined opposition was started by Mr.—afterwards Dean—Burgon and Dean Goulburn, aided by Mr. Golightly, the champion of the Evangelical party in Oxford. The following letter alludes to this:—

Parks End, Oxford, December 8, 1872.

'My dear Stanley,—We may win, and that is good—we may be beaten, and perhaps that may be better, in order to open people's eyes to the intolerable intolerance to which Oxford has to submit. Convocatio delenda est [Google translate: Convocation must be destroyed] ought henceforth to be the watchword of all friends of the University.

'For the present we mean to act. Edwin Palmer is very angry; Gathorne Hardy and Mowbray disapprove; Pusey and Liddon abstain. Bernard attended our meeting. Prince Leopold is quite irate! The great question is, can the London lawyers come down to vote?

Ever yours full of hope, but very savage, 'Max Muller.'

The London lawyers, headed by the venerable Sir Stephen Lushington, came down in numbers to vote. Max Muller, who had delivered a lecture at Liverpool the night before, returned to record his vote, much to the dismay of the friends at whose house he was staying, and who were having a large evening party in his honour. Broad Street was nearly filled when the Balliol M.A.'s turned out to support one of the most illustrious and well-loved of their scholars: the great public schools sent up their masters, and the victory was a very complete one. As the numbers were read out Mr. Burgon and Dean Goulburn were seen to wring each other's hands in the area, as if to say 'better luck next time.' When Dean Stanley preached his first sermon, and stood again in the University pulpit after nine years, St. Mary's was densely crowded, every inch of standing room being filled.

The following letter to his mother gives a glimpse of Max Muller with his children. The birthdays of the father and mother were joyfully observed, and as the children grew older they always had some little surprise ready for the day, besides their long-prepared presents.

To His Mother.

Translation. December 12.

'I wish you had been here, and especially in the evening, when the children acted for us very prettily. One thing was really very good. You should have seen Ada as Spring, when she recited Die Herzen auf, die Fenster auf [Google translate: The hearts open the windows.]. She did it with such spirit as quite surprised me. The whole poem prestissimo [Google translate: very soon], and really so well done, it could not have been better, and she had arranged and thought it out quite alone. Then they came in dressed up with wigs and coloured eyebrows, Beatrice as a Marquise, Wilhelm as Schneewittchen, so that one could not recognize them. They sang several songs in English and German —in fact the whole was a great success.'

To The Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone.

December 23, 1872.

'I have just been reading your speech at Liverpool. There are some notes in it which delighted my German heart, though I am afraid that much of what you say of the simplicity of German life and love of knowledge for knowledge's sake applies to the past rather than to the present. The dangers of success and prosperity are clearly discernible there, particularly in the large towns, and the two most important elements in the political life of the nation, the Schoolmasters and the Civil Servants (the much-abused but in Germany invaluable Bureaucracy), find it almost impossible to hold their own, and to command the respect which was formerly paid to them. I read with deep interest what you said about Strauss's new book. Not quite a fortnight ago I had wrestled with Strauss before a Liverpool audience, though I did not mention his name. The book in itself seems to me slight, but it acquires great importance as being the last confession of a man such as Strauss. The only strong position in his book is Darwinism, or Revolutionism, which counts as many believers in England as in Germany, if not more. The problems started by Darwin, H. Spencer, Haeckel, &c., are matters of life and death, and they must become the battlefield for the next philosophical campaign. I confess I have no reply to some of their arguments, and I should have liked very much to hear from you with what weapons you think that the victorious progress of their philosophy is to be stopped. It is impossible to decline battle, though no doubt it is fraught with dangers, nor do I see a chance of victory unless many positions which have become untenable are freely surrendered. I am preparing some lectures on the subject for the Royal Institution in March, but I feel far from confident. I am afraid I shall not be able to avail myself of your kind invitation to Hawarden Castle; I have been a martyr to toothache lately, and there is such an accumulation of work that I shall want all my time when I am able to work. Allow me to send you two lectures of mine on German and English University life.

'With the best wishes of the season.'

At the close of this year there was great suffering in North Germany owing to a terrible storm in the Baltic. The sea rose to a fearful height and devastated miles of coast, causing great loss of life and property, especially in the island of Rugen. The poet Freiligrath wrote a beautiful poem, which he called 'Wilhelm Muller, a Spirit Voice,' in which he represented Wilhelm Muller, some of whose best poems had been written from Rugen, as calling on his countrymen to aid the sufferers. The poet's son saw the poem in a paper, and it elicited not only substantial help, but the following letter to the author.

To Herr Ferdinand Freiligrath.

Translation. Parks End, Oxford, December 25, 1872.

'Dear Sir,—I have only lately seen your beautiful poem in the Augsburger Zeitung of December 8, and therefore my thanks come very late. But I must give utterance to what I, as the son of Wilhelm Muller, felt in reading your poem, and I thank you from my heart that you have put in the mouth of a poet, now half-forgotten by the largest portion of the German public, words which most poets would have kept as their own utterance. This has given great delight not only to his son, but to his widow, who is still living, and they both send you their thanks. May the recollection of the too early departed poet, and the love of the German people for the living poet, bring a rich response to your appeal. Fate has hitherto kept us from meeting in England, and it is therefore all the greater satisfaction to me to shake you by the hand, if only in spirit. With true respect,

'Your more than thirty years' admirer,

'Max Muller.'

On December 30 Max Muller writes to his mother:—


'Stockmar's Life came out on November 30 and seems very much liked, and is selling well. The first week 1,900 of the 3,000 copies were sold, and 500 in America. We sent one to the Queen. Prince Leopold complimented G. very prettily on her knowledge of German. He is here as an undergraduate, and came here one day to five o'clock tea. He does not dine out. He is so simple and unaffected.'

Another large edition of the Lectures on Language (the seventh) was published this year.
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