D O C U M E N T S 5 5 , 5 6 S E P T E M B E R 1 9 2 7 6 7 55. To Oswald Veblen [Berlin?] 17 September 1927 Dear Mr. Veblen, I received your kind telegram[1] very early this morning. It pleases and honors me that you wish to bring me to Princeton. I thank all those who have spoken in my behalf. But nothing can come of this proposal. When one has grown old in a place, one should definitely stay there an old plant should no longer be moved, because otherwise it dies.[2] Warm regards, your A. Einstein 56. From Eduard Einstein [Zurich?, before 19 September 1927?][1] Dear Papa, You seem constantly prone to the erroneous notion that there is a tacit agreement that so long as I don’t write to you, you don’t need to write to me. I utterly fail to see what gives you this notion. You have to grant that the odds are not equal: when I write to you, first I have to overcome stubborn inhibitions (childish complexes), and the fact that you don’t overwhelm me with weekly messages and moral advice can hardly be excused. In my opinion, you have precisely the duty to inundate me with moral maxims and frequent lessons about life. What happened to my upbringing?[2] It’s monotonous to live without receiving any kind of good teaching that one can ignore. I’d recommend that you make a serious effort to bring me up. Maybe this or that can still be changed in me. I wouldn’t want you, in your old age, to plunge from one horror to another over the grotesque fruits that have grown on your soil. So sit down at your desk and get busy educating me. Otherwise I’ll start educating you. I’m a born moralist. I’m still not sure whether today I should lecture you on the immorality of scien- tific activity.[3] It’s just clear that I have absolutely no time to write to you. At this very moment I should be practicing for an hour. It’s 5 o’clock. This evening I have to help my buddy get bored at a military meeting.[4] I will actively participate by reading a ballad whose subject is the preparation of volunteers for a military exer- cise and ends this way:
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