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Brief (017-02383)

Dear Dr Schuchardt

the state of your health, the result of too much mental work and perhaps of the neglect of its troublesome servant the body, is a misfortune for science, and makes doubly appreciable your goodness in conveying to my erratic but inquisitive and intellectually-starving mind some of your views on languages and their components both by postcard, and, to my great satisfaction, in personal talk this last week in Munich. My circumstances make me rather gloomy I fear, and you your health, so that I am not the best companion for you perhaps at present; much as it would cheer me to be able to drink in your knowledge orally and aurally. it would depress me to witness your failing health - Do not be disheartened - I bought yesterday the little treatise of I. Kant on the power of the intellect over its diseased feelings. I am not a physician, and I doubt not that you are already under medical advice. Do you not think that the pleasant Basque faces and places and the task of translating into German and Hungarian that fine book Gueroco Guero would do you good during the winter? You advise me to translate that work - I have long had this idea - I proposed to Mr. Vinson that we should publish jointly versions in English, Spanish, and French, but he rejected the plan on the ground that Axular being religious was not at all interesting! Gaidoz refuses to let me lend him the new edition of the modern Irish version of the Imitatio Christi, which he had not seen, on the same grounds, in nearly identical language. I should have supposed both these professors to be sufficiently scholarly to be in favour of these two books merely on the ground of the excellence of their linguistic style, even if to them personally the beautiful and necessary thoughts were not tasteful. You, I think, are more liberal-minded. I must say I think you, and Mr Webster, and Luchaire etc: are to blame for holding aloof from the Baskische Gesellschaft - If it is not good enough, then you should make it better, if you have any confidence in yourself. You ought all three to know that in the minds of many students your influence would be fruitful in drawing them into Basquology - Mr Webster told me he thought it was not in the right hands: but at least the members of it know more Basque than he does, though they have not lived, as he has, 20 years in Basqueland. The Basques themselves have hardly a philologist among them, except Mr A. D’Abbadie - Queen Christina has had lessons from our crack-brained friend D. Gaspar Orégui - a good example, but a bad Professor I fear, though endowed with much enthusiasm, which is perhaps the first necessity in a teacher - he gets no pupils at the Instituto de Guipuzcoa, and so I think he ought to be replaced - I understand the public Professor in Bilbao has a considerable class. Mr. Websters views are very narrow and negative, good and kind as he is as a man. Cannot you persuade some learned society to reprint the two first editions of Gueroco since that of Inchauspe omits parts and contains misprints, and also to reproduce Dechepare in facsimile, for which so many photographers and publishers at Paris offer facilities? I would willingly write also an English version of Dechepare - I hope by the end of this century to have finished my “Dictionariolum Topicum vel Concordantia Semasiologica verbi in Novo Testamento ab Iohanne Leiçarraga Vasconice reddito usitati” of which the first part, covering St Peters epistles, has already appeared in the Revue de Linguistique for 1890 and which I continued for the epistles of St. Jude and St James in a manuscript finished the 31 May last. This work involves the use of much ink, papers, time, patience, and attention. I had thought of doing it before I ever heard of Mr Stempf and his valuable works on Dechepare - I would suggest that you should write a criticism on them. He gave me one copy of his page-concordance, and I bought a second and gave it to the University of Harvard in Massachusetts U.S. If you will kindly recommend me to the Authorities of the Society for the Preservation of the Irish language I will in November or December next pay my subscription as a member of it and obtain its publications. I attended Gaidoz class in the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes this year. The world is very small but the more one sees of it the larger becomes ones mind - If I were richer I would travel more and thus learn more quickly - Any place where I am long fixed becomes a prison to me, and produces a morbid stagnation - Do not feel obliged to answer my letters, as you need rest, but, I would suggest, such rest as a voyage in a new contry would procure for you. I have none of your books but that which you sent me last year.

1Yours gratefully E. S. Dodgson

(aet[as]: 32), Gasthof zum Mohren, 14 September 1890.

In festo nominis Mariae.

2 This is a very nice hotel, on the strand of the Salzach; the weather is lovely and so is Salzburg. I go to Gastein tomorrow, and then to Innsbruck on Tuesday till Saturday next.

3 I only get 10 pounds a month, from my family; and have no home. So I am little better off than a mendicant itinerary friar of the middleage.


[1] Dodgson schreibt am linken Rand weiter.

[2] Randnotiz links.

[3] Randnotiz links.