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243. From John G. Hibben
[Princeton,] December 24th, 1920.
My dear Professor Einstein:—
I have received your
and am greatly obliged to you for your kindly cour-
tesy in replying to my inquiry concerning your possible visit to Princeton.
Unfortunately we are still struggling with the problems of reorganization, after
the war, and we find ourselves financially straitened so that it will be impossible to
consider the honorarium of $15,000 which you request for your
It is a
great disappointment to me personally, as well as to the members of the Depart-
ments of Physics and Mathematics, that we shall not be able to avail ourselves of
your presence for a while in the midst of our academic life.
With the assurance of my high regard, believe me
John Grier Hibben
244. From Michele Besso
Berne, 7 Cäcilien Street, 24–27 December 1920
Today I read your speech of May 20 in Leyden—on the
It was yet an-
other one of those serene moments for me that you brought down from the stars. I
do think, though, that you in fact gave that word the only possible meaning in the
new domain, so that people who cling to it, Lorentz in particular, are not intimidat-
ed even further by apparent divergences—hence, something humane. Yet also
something humanely beautiful.
Do you remember, when visiting you 8 years ago in Zurich, how I couldn’t make
head or tail of tensor calculus, despite all the fine sounding-board discussions about
Now, that is how stuck I am in virtually everything. Financially,
despite the exchange losses, it could have gone on like this for a few more years,
even without good old Haller’s
albeit with growing worry, of course;
but that empty-headedness of those days has progressed strongly. And the order
that was supposed to compensate for the resinification due to aging never set in.
May it do good. I’d like to continue with my lamentations, but it doesn’t settle
I was pleased recently, when I saw Maja for a quarter of an
to hear the
excellent news about your health. Also heard of the planned
you complain about not being able to work because of all sorts of hindrances. Sure-