L. Dora Schmitz an Ernst Haeckel, London, 12. Februar 1901
12 Leamington Road Villas
February 12th 1901
My dear Professor Haeckel
The 16th of February has become a red letter day to me since I learned lately, through a charming „Lebensbild” by Bölsche, that it is the anniversary of your birthday. And I do not mean to let my opportunity slip of recalling myself to your kind & friendly remembrance; so I venture today to send you these lines which carry my warmest congratulations for this coming 16th of February. I trust you may spend the day in the best of health & happiness ‒ even, that you may be feeling younger than when you wrote to me last & when you said: „ich werde alt, ‒ bald 66 Jahre”! ||
Since then however, you have been again in far-off lands ‒ in Java so the papers said ‒ busy as ever in your endeavour to enlighten your fellow mortals, often so wilfully blind.
Bölscheʼs little volume was given me in Glasgow by your friend Paul Rottenburg who is also a good friend in the house of my sister’s & brother-in-law there. I have been delighted with it & have made excellent friends (mentally) with some of the Sethe family, especially the dear old „Tante Bertha”! I am now reading Huxley’s Life by his son, wherein, happily, I again meet & hear of you ‒ among a goodly company assuredly. ‒
I do not know that you have || returned home yet, & hope nevertheless that these lines may reach you & that you will give them a kindly welcome for „auld lang syne”, the days when I was honoured and „beglückt” by a visit from you in my „Studirzimmerchen”. ‒ How great was my regret not to be able to translate your „Welträthsel”! Well the grand work is selling well among English speaking nations ‒ so the „Literary Guide” says, but the press has purposely given the book little or no notice. I wonder if you are satisfied with with the English title, I find it sounds much less dignified & to fall short of your German one ‒ there is to me almost || a semi-comic sound about „Riddle”.
Well, I must not weary you verehrter & lieber Herr Professor so will come to an end, & with renewed good wishes: “Viel Glück zum Geburtstag”
I sign myself
Yours most sincerely
L. Dora Schmitz
Professor Ernst Haeckel