4 4 D O C U M E N T S 2 5 , 2 6 J A N U A R Y 1 9 2 2
25. To Max Born and James Franck
[Berlin,] 18 January 1922
Dear Born and dear Franck,
Heavy-heartedly, I do have to cancel after
all.[1]
But there is no other way. I am
so behind with written and other obligations that I cannot in fact afford that esca-
pade into the El Dorado of scholarship. So I shall have to bring my homage to Hil-
bert in
writing.[2]
Also tell Courant, who wanted to engage me as a
minstrel.[3]
Laue
is fiercely fighting my experiment, or rather my interpretation of the
same.[4]
He
claims that the undulatory theory does not require any bending of rays at all. He
suggested a nice experiment for analyzing possible undulatory ray bending with
capillary waves, which exhibit strong dispersion, of course, to replace the theory
which is so hard to reach with the required rigor. There was a grand dispute at the
colloquium today
already.[5]
Next time, continuation. Don’t be annoyed; delayed
does not mean declined.
With cordial regards, also to your
wives,[6]
yours,
A. Einstein.
Mrs. Born, hearty thanks for the sweet little
picture.[7]
One evening recently I read
out to Laue and
Vegard[8]
all the verses you had dedicated to us and enthralled
them; everyone thought them a sensitive rival to Master
Busch.[9]
Out of consider-
ation for the little quarrel we had, I send you my special greetings.
26. To David Hilbert
[Berlin,] 18 January 1922
Esteemed Colleague,
I had already quite firmly decided to offer you, in person, my hearty congratula-
tions on accomplishing that period of
life.[1]
But now it absolutely does not work
out because I cannot leave. I can only grasp in a more restricted (and indolent) fash-
ion a mere fraction of your immense life-work, but just enough to divine the frame-
work of your creative mind. Add to that the humor and secure, independent view
on all things and—a uniquely hard skull, besides two strong arms to clear the dung
out of the faculty stall from time to
time.[2]
I wish from my heart that you will con-
tinue with energy and in good spirits to guide and perfect, as you should, the grand
work of art that you have shaped of your life, with the joy and ease with which you
have hitherto
proceeded.[3]
Amen.
Cordial greetings to you and your wife, yours,
A. Einstein.
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