Autobiography of Andrew Dickson White - Vol. 1

By Andrew Dickson White | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXXI
MEN OF NOTE IN BERLIN AND ELSEWHERE -- 1879-1881

M Y acquaintance at Berlin extended into regions which few of my diplomatic colleagues explored, especially among members of the university faculty and various other persons eminent in science, literature, and art.

Writing these lines, I look back with admiration and affection upon three generations of Berlin professors: the first during my student days at the Prussian capital in 1855-1856, the second during my service as minister, 1879-1881, and the third during my term as ambassador, 1897-1902.

The second of these generations seems to me the most remarkable of the three. It was a wonderful body of men. A few of them I had known during my stay in Berlin as a student; and of these, first in the order of time, Lepsius, the foremost Egyptologist of that period, whose lectures had greatly interested me, and whose kindly characteristics were the delight of all who knew him.

Ernst Curtius, the eminent Greek scholar and historian, was also very friendly. He was then in the midst of his studies upon the famous Pergamon statues, which, by skilful diplomacy, the German Government had obtained from the Turkish authorities in Asia Minor, and brought to the Berlin Museum. He was also absorbed in the excavations at Olympia, and above all in the sculptures found there. One night at court he was very melancholy, and on my trying to cheer him, he told me, in a heartbroken tone,

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