1 9 8 D O C . 2 3 4 D E C E M B E R 1 9 1 9 they appeal to me much more. Misfortune suits mankind immeasurably better than success. Debye still does not seem to have reached a firm decision, as he wrote me. Intense efforts are being made to keep him here.[4] He is a very talented and com- petent person you could hardly have made a better choice. Even his whole manner fits Zurich very well. Here, something like a genuine republican way of thinking is gradually forming beyond the official intelligentsia. The finest fellow of this type that I have met up to now is the current Minister of the Interior Heine [5] you would like him too. Is Albert staying with you already?[6] I often miss him. He is a person with a mind of his own already, whom one can talk to, and so thoroughly sound in his honest way. He rarely writes but I know that it is not his sort of thing. He has the kind of feeling that whatever he would say does not need to be said. It’s good that he did not grow up in the big city with its superficiality. But I beg you please to give me moral support in easing the change of residence for the three of them to Durlach in the spring.[7] Everything should be made much easier for them. The congress in Basle is not taking place, so I do not need to travel now.[8] I am no longer lecturing at the University of Zurich. Physics is so well represented in Zurich now that it would be presumptuous [to lecture], and it would also be difficult for me to spare so much time.[9] For I am only getting more stupid with fame, which is a quite common phenomenon, you know. The disparity between what you are and what others believe, or at least, say about you, is far too great. But you have to bear it with humor. My friend Besso is going back to the Patent Office.[10] The poor fellow sets himself far too much apart from the animals—all conception and no will, the embodiment of Buddha’s ideal. He would fit better in the East. This occurred to me particularly the night before last when I spent some time with a few refined Chinese they have none of our obsession with purpose and practicality. Too bad for them and for the Chinese Wall! Cordial regards from your Einstein. 234. To Robert W. Lawson Berlin, 26 December 1919 Dear Colleague, While reading your friendly postcard of the 21st of this mo.,[1] a thought came to me. Could you not perhaps suggest to the translation publishers of the booklets by Mr. Schlick and Mr. Freundlich that these gentlemen also receive a small sum
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