Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
Autograph aphorism signed and dated (‘A. Einstein 1925’).
In German, one page, 189 x 124mm. Provenance: Erwin Albrecht, Schliersee, Bavaria.
‘Be benevolent towards people but indifferent to their conduct and opinions’. Albert Einstein’s fundamental respect for individuality, distrust of authority, and appreciation of democratic principles is encapsulated here in an aphorism composed in 1925. Einstein had a particular talent for distilling his views on the world into elegant lines such as this; while on a lecture tour to Japan in 1922, he handed two similar autograph notes to a courier who delivered him a message at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo in lieu of payment, which read: ‘A quiet and modest life brings more joy than a pursuit of success bound with constant unrest’ and ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way’.
The German reads: ‘Sei wohlwollend gegen die Menschen aber gleichgültig gegen ihr Verhalten und ihre Meinungen’.