Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Titel:
Hugo Münsterberg. His Life and Work
Person:
Münsterberg, Margaret
PURL:
https://digitalesammlungen.uni-weimar.de/viewer/image/lit38640/50/
UNDER THE HARVARD ELMS 
After James' prophetic letter, the formal invitation 
from Harvard was wired across the sea and Münster¬ 
berg’s acceptance cabled back. James wrote a letter of 
joyful exclamation, and then another: 
95 Irving St. 
Cambridge, Mass. 
May 15, ’92 
My dear Münsterberg, 
I am now in receipt of three letters from you, one written 
just before, the other just after, your telegram accepting the 
place, and the third written on the 3 of May about . . . 
I have laughed most heartüy at your psychological description 
of yourself in the last days of April, for I know just what the 
agonizing feeling of indecision is before one makes so important 
a venture. I believe that writing that letter cleared your mind 
of the cobwebs, and enabled you to say “yes” with relative ease! 
The letter will remain a valuable document humain. To us who 
live here, and find everything tolerable and comfortable, the 
tragic aspect of the case does not present itself so vividly. But 
your fears about disappointing us by not picking up the English 
soon enough I believe are groundless. The German brain always 
manages, in a couple of years, to get along with a foreign tongue. 
Even if you should keep a foreign accent, and still make some 
mistakes, I think (judging by all the analogous precedents which 
we have) that you wül be able in two years to lecture with com¬ 
parative ease to yourself. Agassiz, who came here from Switzer¬ 
land at about your age, soon became a most effective lecturer, the 
most generally popular lecturer we ever had. ... I think 
you had better dismiss all anxiety on that score. But, in fairness 
to yourself, I think it would be well that you should give during 
the first year some popular lectures in your own tongue. . . . 
Yours fraternally, 
Wm. James 
A promised visit to Freiburg came about as planned. 
Miinsterberg and bis wife found keen happiness in wel¬ 
coming Professor and Mrs. James who had brought such 
a great and significant adventure into their lives. They 
never dreamed, to be sure, at the time of how much pith 
37
        

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