[Paleopsych] New Yorker: (more Einstein and Godel) The Great Foreigner by Niccolò Tucci

Premise Checker checker at panix.com
Wed Apr 6 22:43:54 UTC 2005

The Great Foreigner by Niccolò Tucci
The New Yorker: From the Archives

    This week in the magazine and here online, Jim Holt writes about the
    intriguing friendship between Albert Einstein and the logician Kurt
    Gödel. In this piece from 1947, Niccolò Tucci describes an afternoon
    visit with Albert Einstein in Princeton, New Jersey.

    There is such a thing as being a foreigner, but not in the sense
    implied by passports. Foreigners exist, to be sure, but they may be
    found only in places where it would be impossible to discover a single
    policeman or a single immigration official--in the field of the
    intellect. A man who achieves anything great in any province of the
    mind is, inevitably, a foreigner, and cannot admit others to his
    province. If you are one of his own people, you will, of course, find
    him, because you yourself are there, but if you are not, your
    knowledge of him will be mostly confined to the petty intelligence of
    the gossip columns. Now, we all know from experience what it means, in
    this sense, to be refused entry, even as a temporary visitor, into
    this or that foreigner's domain. We meet a great man and cannot talk
    to him, because, alas, we happen not to be able to get interested in
    the thing in which he excels. Silly though it seems, this is
    humiliating, for it makes us aware of our limitations. Yet that
    feeling is soon forgotten. There are people today, however, whose
    foreignness can't be forgotten, and these are the physicists, who have
    done things to us that keep us wondering, to say the least. They have
    lessened--in fact, almost destroyed--our hopes of a quiet and happy
    future. It is true that they have also increased our hopes of
    surviving discomfort and disease, but, oh, how far away that seems,
    and how near seems the possibility of extermination! That is why, when
    my mother-in-law, who flew over from Europe a couple of weeks ago,
    said that she wanted me to accompany her on a visit to the home of her
    friend Albert Einstein, in Princeton, I was very reluctant to go.

    I had seen Einstein several times in the past eight or nine years, and
    on the last occasion--in 1942, I believe--I had been bold enough to
    invite him to come out of his inaccessible territory and into that of
    all the unscientific people, like myself. Would he, I asked, explain,
    in words rather than in mathematical symbols, what he and his
    colleagues actually meant by the fourth dimension? And he did, so
    simply and so clearly that I left his house with an uncontrollable
    feeling of pride. Here, I, the living negation of anything even
    slightly numerical, had been able to understand what Einstein had
    said--had really said, for he had said it not only in his conversation
    with me but years before in his theories. Obviously, he had explained
    to me merely what a child would be able to grasp, but it impressed me
    as much more because my schoolteachers and my father, all of them less
    great than Einstein, had never forgone a chance to make me feel a
    perfect fool (and to tell me, lest I should have missed drawing the
    inference), even when they spoke to me about fractions or equations of
    the first degree. I consequently realized that Einstein belonged to
    the extremely rare type of foreigner who can come out of his seclusion
    and meet aliens on alien ground. Yet, much as I cherished the
    recollection of that pleasant experience, I did not think it
    altogether advisable to try my luck again. "This time," I said to my
    mother-in-law, who is called Bice in the family, "he may easily make
    me feel like a fool. Besides, in 1942 Einstein's achievements did not
    keep me awake at night, as they do now. If I saw him now, I would not
    be moved by the slightest scientific curiosity about his work. I would
    much rather ask him what he thinks of the responsibility of modern
    scientists, and so forth. It might be quite unfair to him and
    unpleasant for me."

    Well, mothers-in-law must have secret ways of persuasion, because a
    few days later I gave in, not only on seeing Einstein but also on
    taking along Bimba, my six-year-old daughter. "All right," I said
    resignedly, "but you, Bimba, will be sorry for this. You don't know
    who Einstein is. He has all the numbers; they belong to him. He will
    ask you how old you are." And I must say here that Bimba, even more
    than myself, is the mathematical scandal of our family. She tries to
    count her six years on her fingers, but she forgets how high she has
    counted and must try again. Upon a guarantee from me that Einstein
    would not interview her on that delicate subject, we made peace and
    departed. On our way out of the apartment, we met my eight-year-old
    son, Vieri, who was playing ball on the sidewalk.

    "Vieri," I said, "want to come and see Einstein?"

    "Einstein the great mathematician?" he asked.

    "Yes," I said.

    "Naw," he said. "I have enough arithmetic in school."

    On the train that morning, my mother-in-law and I talked a great deal
    about Maja, Einstein's younger sister, one of two links Bice has with
    higher mathematics. But I must say that she is a weak link, because
    Maja is the opposite of all abstraction. She looks exactly like her
    brother (one would almost say that she, too, needs a haircut), but she
    is a Tuscan peasant, like the people who work in the fields near her
    small estate of Colonnata, just outside Florence. Even her frame of
    mind is, in spite of her cosmopolitan culture, Tuscan. Whatever in
    conversation does not make sense to her in plain, human terms she will
    quickly dismiss with a witty remark. But before becoming a Tuscan
    peasant, Maja was a brilliant young German student of philosophy in
    Paris. She interrupted her studies to take a job as governess in
    charge of young Bice, whose mother had just died, leaving her the only
    female of the family, surrounded by a number of older brothers and her
    father. All this happened forty years ago. Soon after her arrival in
    the family, Maja became Bice's second mother and dearest friend. Even
    after Maja resumed her studies and got married, they remained very
    close, and did not lose touch with each other until shortly before the
    outbreak of the recent war, when Maja left Italy to join her brother
    in Princeton. And today Bice, accompanied by a somewhat impatient
    son-in-law and by a pestiferous young angel of a granddaughter, was
    rushing to Princeton for the great reunion.

    On the way, we also talked pleasantly about America (like all
    Europeans who come here for the first time, Bice was eager to know
    about everything in the first week), we discussed the fate of the
    world and the wisdom of those who run it, we quarrelled over theology
    (Bice is fond of theologies, with a marked preference for her own, the
    Roman Catholic), and finally I noticed that she wasn't listening to me
    any more. She frowned, she shook her head, then she smiled and nodded,
    staring in front of her, but not at me and not at Bimba. I knew that
    she was making an inventory of her sentimental luggage. All the news
    of the troubled years, from the death of her eldest son in the war to
    the latest item of family gossip, from the bombings of towns to the
    latest method of making a pound of sugar last a year, were being
    called to mind, so that everything would surely be ready for Maja. I
    made a sign to Bimba not to interrupt her grandmother, and Bimba sat
    there and stared, somewhat frightened by this woman who was looking so
    intently at her own life.

    When we arrived in Princeton, it was quite misty, and there was a
    threat of rain in the Indian summer air. At the station, we took a cab
    and soon learned that the driver, a young student, was the son of a
    friend of ours in Florence. He was trying to make enough money driving
    a cab to finance a trip to South America. Our conversation with him
    was so interesting that only the sight of open country around us made
    us realize that we had driven all the way out of town. We drove back
    and stopped in front of a house on Mercer Street. I had forgotten the
    exact address, but this house looked like the right one. In her
    eagerness, Bice ran ahead of me toward the door, but the reunion could
    not take place, because, as we discovered when we rang the bell, it
    was the wrong house. Luckily for us, the cab was still there, so we
    drove along a little, and finally, after ringing the bells of two
    other families that refused, not without sorrow, to be the Einsteins,
    we decided upon one more house, which happened to be the right one.
    Miss Dukas, Einstein's secretary, greeted us at the door; then came
    Margot, his delicate and silent stepdaughter, who looks so much like a
    Flemish painting; and Chico, the dog, who tried to snatch Bimba's red
    ribbons from her pigtails.

    "Bimba," I said, "don't get the dog excited. Remember how he ate your
    doll five years ago. Now, if you are not very quiet today, I am going
    to ask you in front of Einstein how much makes three and

    She nodded, and whispered, "Four?"

    We were asked to wait for a moment in the small anteroom that leads to
    the dining room. Maja was upstairs; she was being helped out of bed
    and into the chair in which she spends most of her day. She is
    recovering from a long illness, which has delayed her return to Italy,
    so it was only natural that this reunion should be delayed until she
    was ready and comfortable. And yet this addition of even a few minutes
    to years of separation created an effect of absurdity. One always
    imagines that the crossing of the last span of a trip bridging years
    will be something impulsive: when all the real impediments, such as
    continents, oceans, and passports, have been overcome, friends should
    run into each other's arms as fast as they can. Still, it is never
    quite that way. We become so used to living at a distance that we
    slowly begin to live with it, too; we lean on it, we share it, in
    equal parts, with our faraway friends, and when it's gone and we are
    again there, corporeally present, we feel lost, as if a faithful
    servant had abandoned us.

    To fill in those extra minutes, we began to look at the furniture in
    the anteroom and dining room, and I noticed again what I had noticed
    five years ago in those same rooms: everything suggested the house of
    a faculty member of a German university. I could not trace this
    impression to any particular object. The large dining-room table in
    the center, with the white tablecloth on it, was not particularly
    German, nor was the furniture in the anteroom, but there was the same
    quiet atmosphere of culture that had impressed me so deeply in the
    houses of university professors, in Freiburg, Leipzig, and Berlin, to
    which my parents had taken me when I was a boy and spent my summers
    travelling over Europe. It is something that remains suspended in the
    air almost as stubbornly as the smell of tobacco; one might say that
    the furniture had been seasoned with serious conversation. Curiously,
    it is an atmosphere that can never be found in the apartment of a
    diplomat, even if he is the son of a professor and has inherited his
    father's furniture.

    We were finally called upstairs by Margot, who then disappeared into
    her study. Bice's impatience was such that, not finding Maja in the
    first room we entered, she said disappointedly, "Not here," and ran
    toward a closed door to open it, like a child playing
    hide-and-go-seek. This search lasted only a matter of seconds, because
    the house isn't large enough for a long search. But by the time we
    reached Maja, Bice seemed almost to have lost hope that she would ever
    get there. Maja was standing near her chair waiting, quiet, dignified,
    almost ironical, under a cloud of white hair. She never shows any
    emotion, never speaks louder than a whisper, and never more than a few
    appropriate words--just like the Tuscan peasants, with the difference
    that when they whisper, they might as well be addressing a crowd
    across a five-acre field.

    The "How well you look!" and "How unchanged you are!" were soon over,
    and then the Great Foreigner arrived, pipe in hand and smiling gently.
    He complimented Bice on looking just the same as ever, and received
    the same compliment with grace, then inquired about Michele, Bice's
    eldest brother and her second link with higher mathematics. Uncle
    Michele is a gentle little man who sits in Bern, Switzerland, and
    looks out into the world, leaning on a white beard that descends from
    almost under his blue eyes to the end of his necktie. Every night for
    twenty years, in the company of a friend, he has looked into "The
    Divine Comedy," taking time off to look into his soul with a fierce,
    puritanical spirit tempered by a great deal of natural goodness; he
    has also looked into the field of economics, trying to find
    mathematical formulae to solve the crisis of the world; and for a long
    time, in the company of Einstein, he looked into the mysteries of
    higher mathematics. We had just finished hearing all about Uncle
    Michele's health and his many grandchildren when Bice seemed suddenly
    to recall an extremely urgent matter--as if, indeed, it were the very
    reason she had flown all the way over here from Europe. "Herr
    Professor," she asked, in German (the whole conversation, in fact, was
    in German), "this I really meant to ask you for a long time--why
    hasn't Michele made some important discovery in mathematics?"

    "Aber, Frau Bice," said Einstein, laughing, "this is a very good sign.
    Michele is a humanist, a universal spirit, too interested in too many
    things to become a monomaniac. Only a monomaniac gets what we commonly
    refer to as results." And he giggled happily to himself.

    Then we spoke about dreams. Bice told us two symbolic dreams she had
    had years ago; I told the dream that the grandfather of a friend of
    mine had had the day before he died; Einstein told an absurd dream of
    his. He seemed the only one to find the conversation interesting,
    which it was not. Bice was now sleepy (the emotion had been too great
    for her); Maja sat silent and ate her lunch, which a nurse had brought
    in on a tray; and I nodded to Einstein's words, searching impatiently
    for a way out of dreams to the subject of the responsibility of modern
    scientists. But the atmosphere somehow weighed on me. The mist was
    getting thicker, and it had begun to rain, with that quick, fingertip
    drumming on the leaves, on the roof, on some pail outside, that makes
    you go to sleep. It was dark in the room now. The only points of light
    were the white of the bed, the white of the nurse's uniform, and the
    white of Maja's hair and of Einstein's head against the window--and
    his laughing eyes, his voice, and the joy that sprang from him. "Damn
    the responsibility of modern scientists on a damp day like this," I
    thought. It made me both envious and angry to see this man in front of
    me who laughed so heartily at the most trivial things, who listened
    with such concentration to our nonsense, who was so full of life while
    I could see no reason even for breathing in that damp, misty air. "Why
    is he so young," I asked myself, "and what makes him laugh so? Is he
    making fun of us, or what is this?" Then I began to understand. He had
    just come from the other room; he was stretching his mind; he was
    "abroad." All these words were only formally addressed to us; actually
    they were references to some demonstration he must have received, in
    the heart of his own secret country, that something was exactly as he
    had suspected it would be. Yes, it could be nothing but this: he had
    done fruitful work that morning. I saw it now because I recognized
    myself in him--not as a scientist, alas, but as a child of seven, at
    which age it was my hobby to make locomotives with tin cans and old
    shaving brushes (the smokestack with the smoke). The situation was the
    same. When the joy of toymaking became too great, I had to interrupt
    my work and run to the living room, where the grownups were boring
    themselves to death. And I laughed at their words without bothering to
    inquire what they meant; I found them interesting, new, exciting; I
    was praised for being such good company while in actuality I was still
    playing with my locomotive--I was deciding in my mind what colors I
    would paint it, what I would use for wheels and lanterns--and it was
    good to know that no one shared my secret. "You and your toys," I
    thought, looking at Einstein with the envy that an ailing old man has
    for a young athlete.

    Lunch was announced, and we went downstairs, leaving Maja alone. The
    smell of food consoled me for my humiliation. I began to eat. Einstein
    asked Bice for her impression of America, and she expressed her
    disappointment at the bad manners of children in this country. This
    led to a family argument, in which Einstein was asked to act as
    arbiter. Bice claimed that American children (she meant mine, of
    course) have no respect for the authority of their parents, or for
    that of such people as park attendants. To prove her point, she said
    that, on the day before, Vieri and his friend Herbert had laughed in
    the face of a park attendant when he told them not to play ball. Yes,
    they had obeyed him in the end, but not without making strange noises
    in his honor. (She didn't know the name for this Bronx ceremony.) I
    conceded that this was frightful, but I reminded her that a park
    attendant in Europe was a sort of Commander-in-Chief of Leaves and
    Flowers and First Admiral of Public Fountains and of the paper boats
    in them. Even a smile addressed to him without proper authorization
    was considered daring. "When I was a boy in Italy, we never questioned
    anyone's authority," I said, "and thus we passed, with the most
    perfect manners, from the hands of our nurses to those of our

    As moderator, Einstein asked me how I had managed to lose authority
    over my children.

    "I didn't have to work much," I replied. "It was rather simple. I just
    told them, `Look at the kind of world in which we live. See what we,
    the grownups, are able to invent, from passports to radioactive

    Bice contended that nothing is gained by embittering the lives of
    children with remarks of that nature, but Einstein was in full
    agreement with me when I answered that less than nothing is gained--in
    other words, that much is lost--by lulling them into the illusion that
    all is as it should be in the world. "You, as a scientist," I said to
    Einstein, "know that the world is round and not divided naturally by
    cow fences into holy, restricted fatherlands. When you were young,
    there was still a semblance of good in governments and institutions,
    but today--see where we are today."

    He became very serious, as if he were seeing where we are today, but
    suddenly a smile lit up in his eyes, and it quickly spread all over
    his face and beyond it. He laughed happily, then said, "Let me tell
    you what happened to me years ago, before the other war, when there
    were no passports. The only two countries that required them were
    Russia and Rumania. Now, I was in Hungary and had to go to Rumania. I
    didn't know where and how to apply for a passport, but I was told that
    it wasn't necessary. There was a man who had a passport of his own,
    and he was kind enough to let anybody use it to cross the border. I
    accepted the offer, but when they asked me at the frontier what my
    name was, I said, `Wait a moment,' took out the passport from my
    pocket, and had a great deal of trouble trying to find out who I was.
    Now, to go back to your point, I agree with you that those who
    exercise any kind of authority, be it the authority of a father or
    that of a government, have a definite obligation to show that they
    deserve respect, but the trouble with grownups in our day is that they
    have lost the habit of disobedience, and they should quickly learn it
    again, especially when it comes to the infringement of their
    individual rights." He laughed again, this time like a bad boy, then,
    shaking his head, said, "These grownups. Isn't it terrible how readily
    they will obey?"

    "Take the loyalty test for federal employees, against which so few
    have protested," I said.

    "That is a case in point," he answered. "People are asked to be loyal
    to their jobs. But who wouldn't be loyal to his job? Too many people,
    indeed. Also in Italy and in Germany they used to test people's
    loyalty to their jobs, and they found a far greater loyalty to jobs
    than to democracy. But now tell me another thing. What do you give to
    your children in the way of good news about the world?"

    "Plenty," I said. "For example, I tell them about Socrates, who was
    killed by the greatest democracy on earth for standing at the corner
    drugstore and asking questions that made the politicians feel

    "That's not a cheerful story, either," he said, "but if they were able
    to absorb some of the spirit of the Greeks, that would serve them a
    great deal later on in life. The more I read the Greeks, the more I
    realize that nothing like them has ever appeared in the world since."

    "You read the Greeks?" I said.

    "But of course," he replied, slightly surprised at my amazement. And
    so I heard, partly from him and partly from Miss Dukas, that he reads
    the Greeks to Maja every night for an hour or so, even if he has had a
    very tiring day. Empedocles, Sophocles, Aeschylus, and Thucydides
    receive the tribute of the most advanced and abstract modern science
    every night, in the calm voice of this affectionate brother who keeps
    his sister company.

    "You know," I said, "that is great news. Young Americans, who have an
    idea of the pure scientist worthy of the comics, should be told that
    Einstein reads the Greeks. All those who relish the idiotic and
    dangerous myth of the scientist as a kind of Superman, free from all
    bonds of responsibility, should know this and draw their conclusions
    from it. Many people in our day go back to the Greeks out of sheer
    despair. So you too, Herr Professor, have gone back to the Greeks."

    He seemed a little hurt. "But I have never gone away from them," he
    said. "How can an educated person stay away from the Greeks? I have
    always been far more interested in them than in science."

    Lunch was over, and Einstein announced that he was going to go
    upstairs for his nap. Bice was assigned, for hers, a couch under a
    red-nosed portrait of Schopenhauer in the library-and-music room. The
    sun was shining again, so Bimba was told that she could go out to the
    garden to play, and I went for a walk around the town.

    When, after an hour or so, I came back to the house, I found Bimba
    still in the garden. I was quite disappointed to hear that I had
    missed an extraordinary event. Just after I had left and just as
    Einstein started to go upstairs, Bimba had asked him to play the
    violin for her. He had not touched his instrument for almost a year,
    but he took it out and played Bimba a few bars from a Mozart minuet.

    I saw Einstein on the porch, waving to me. I joined him there and sat
    down next to him while he stretched his legs on a deck chair and
    leaned back, one hand behind his head, the other holding his pipe in
    mid-air. I had a volume of the German translation of Plato by
    Preisendanz in my briefcase and asked his permission to read aloud a
    passage from "Gorgias." He listened patiently and was very amused by
    Socrates' wit. When I was through, he said, "Beautiful. But your
    friend Plato"--and he extended his pipe in such a way that it became
    Plato--"is too much of an aristocrat for my taste."

    "But you would agree," I said, "that all the qualities that make for a
    democratic attitude are noble qualities?"

    "I would never deny that," he said. "Only a noble soul can attain true
    independence of judgment and exercise respect for other people's
    rights, while any so-called nobleman prefers to conceal his vulgarity
    behind such cheap shields as an illustrious name and a coat of arms.
    But, you see, in Plato's time and even later, in Jefferson's time, it
    was still possible to reconcile democracy with a moral and
    intellectual aristocracy, while today democracy is based on a
    different principle--namely, that the other fellow is no better than I
    am. You will admit that this attitude doesn't altogether facilitate

    There was a silence, and he interrupted it, almost talking to himself.
    "I lived for a while in Italy," he said, "and I think that the
    Italians are among the most humane people in the world. When I want to
    find an example of a naturally noble creature, I must think of the
    Italian peasants, the artisans, the very simple people, while the
    higher you go in Italian society . . ." and as he lifted his pipe a
    little, it became a contemptible specimen of a class of Italians he
    does not admire.

    A small airplane was appearing and disappearing between treetops, and
    gargling noisily right into our conversation.

    "In the past," said Einstein, "when man travelled by horse, he was
    never alone, never away from the measure of man, because"--he
    laughed--"well, the horse, you might say, is a human being; it belongs
    to man. And you could never take a horse apart, see how it works, then
    put it together again, while you can do this with automobiles, trains,
    airplanes, bicycles. Modern man is besieged by mechanics. And even
    more ominous than this invasion of our lives is the rise of a class of
    people born of the machine, so to speak--people to whom certain powers
    must be delegated without the moral screening of a democratic process.
    I mean the technicians. You can't elect them, you can't control them
    from below; their work is not of the type that may be improved by
    public criticism."

    "Yes," I said, "and they are born Fascists. What can you do against

    "Only one thing," he said. "Try to prevent them from becoming a closed
    society, as they have become in Russia."

    "This is why," I said, "now that we have lost the company of the
    horse, we may get something out of the company of men such as the
    Greeks were."

    "It may be an antidote to conformism," he said.

    "Don't you think that American youth is becoming more and more
    conformist?" I asked.

    "Modern conformism," he said, "is alarming everywhere, and naturally
    here it is growing worse every day, but, you see, American conformism
    has always existed to some extent, because American society, being
    based on the community itself and not on the authority of a strong
    central state, needs the coöperation of every individual to function
    well. Therefore, the individual has always considered it his duty to
    act as a kind of spiritual policeman for himself and his neighbor. The
    lack of tolerance is also connected with this, but much more with the
    fact that American communities were religious in their origin, and
    religion is by its very nature intolerant. This will also help you
    understand another seemingly strange contradiction. For example, you
    will find a far greater amount of tolerance in England than over here,
    where to be `different' is almost a disgrace, for everyone, starting
    with schoolboys and up to the inhabitants of small towns. But you will
    find far more democracy over here than in England. That, also, is a

    "Tell me, Herr Professor," I said. "This has nothing to do with what
    we were discussing, but what are the chances that a chain reaction may
    destroy the planet?"

    He looked at me with sincere sympathy, took his pipe slowly out of his
    mouth, stretched out his arm in my direction, and explained why his
    pipe (now the planet) was not likely to be blown to bits by a chain
    reaction. And I was so pleased by his answer that I didn't bother to
    understand the reasons.

    "Tell me," I now asked, "why is it that most scientists are so cynical
    with regard to the issues of war and peace today? I know many
    physicists who worked on nuclear reactions, and I am struck by their
    complete indifference to what goes on outside their field. Some of
    them are as conspicuous for their silence as they are for their
    scientific achievements."

    "So much more credit for those who talk," said he. "But, believe me,
    my friend, it's not only the scientists who are cynical. Everyone is.
    Some people sit in heated offices and talk for years and write reports
    and draw their livelihood from the fact that there exist displaced
    persons who cannot afford to wait. Wouldn't you call this cynicism? I
    know that you were going to ask me about the responsibility of the
    scientists. Well, it is exactly the same as that of any other man. If
    you think that they are more responsible because in the course of
    their research they found things that are dangerous, such as the
    atomic bomb, then also Newton is responsible, because he discovered
    the law of gravitation. Or the philologists who contributed to the
    development of languages should be considered responsible for Hitler's
    speeches. And for his actions. If scientists were to refrain from
    investigation for fear of what bad people might do with the results,
    then all of us might as well refrain from living altogether."

    "In other words," I said, "it would amount to a form of censorship on
    all our actions and thoughts."

    "A rather useless censorship," he said, "for you can trust man to find
    other channels of evil." Then he laughed heartily and added, "You may
    underestimate man's ability to do evil."

    It was time to go. I ran upstairs to say goodbye to Maja and call
    Bice. "We heard you laugh a good deal," said Maja. "You must have had
    a good time downstairs."

    "Indeed," I said. "And it was a great honor to have Professor Einstein
    spend such a long time chatting with me."

    "Macchè onore d'Egitto," said Maja, which means, in colloquial Italian
    "Honor, hell."

    Einstein went slowly back into his study. I caught a glimpse of his
    face; he was miles away from everybody, back in his foreign land.

    As Bice, Bimba, and I were walking to the station, Bimba began to cry
    because she had lost the hat of a paper doll Miss Dukas had given her.
    She wanted to run back to look for it, but there was no time for that.
    To console her, Bice said, "Think, Bimba, when you grow up, you will
    be able to say that Einstein played the violin for you."

    "Oh, come," said Bimba, "it isn't true."

    "Why?" I asked. "Didn't he play for you?"

    "Call that play?" she said, making a sour face. "He had to use a stick
    to play it."

More information about the paleopsych mailing list