1 7 0 D O C U M E N T S 1 6 2 , 1 6 3 M A R C H 1 9 2 8 162. Aphorism on Johann Sebastian Bach[1] [Berlin, after 24 March 1928] Here’s what I have to say about Bach’s lifework: Listen, play, love, admire re- vere and—keep your trap shut![2] 163. From Heinrich Zangger [Zurich, 26 March 1928][1] Dear friend Einstein, Your wife’s card says that you would arrive at the home of the Karr family on Etzelstrasse 30 on Saturday, and that you have something wrong with your heart.[2] I telephoned Karr on Saturday, because I know what that sort of thing means. Mrs. Karr says she will tell me as soon as you arrive she has also been expecting you since Saturday, but by Monday noon had still not heard from you. Monday evening I receive a letter from[3] Davos saying that you look bad, and have apparently fallen sick, that is, also show peripheral cardiac symptoms. If I had any idea where you were, I would come to get you, but you probably fled to Berlin.[4] Could you please[5] be careful in the sense that you deliberately physically avoid anything that automatically leads[6] to increasing blood pressure: climbing stairs, talking, eating a lot, or even sitting, talking and eating together. The Romans already knew that. Also standing up quickly any kind of intensive, impulsive decision increases pres- sure, because that is physiologically necessary. There is no patient as grateful as a fairly good heart. But people usually continue to mistreat the heart until a condition that is tolerable but nonetheless inhibited is the result. Don’t make a lot of experiments, for the time being, keep far away from everything harmful. If your wife[7] is convinced of this, she will certainly do it en- ergetically.— Lying in bed, resting, sleeping well, lots of fruit is the best way to recover if medicines accelerate improvement, you shouldn’t hesitate to use them. Today, I know people, even colleagues, who have been regulating their hearts this way for 20 years. In Berlin, I will hunt you down on 3 April, immediately after I arrive. Get well soon, Zangger[8]
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