17 OCTOBER 1931, Page 18



SIR,—By the death of Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff Europe has lost her most distinguished Greek scholar. There was nobody quite like him : he was not only the great scholar but the great humanist—the combination at all times rare, particularly so in Germany to-day. But it is not on Wila- mowitz-Moellendorff as scholar or humanist that I would venture to say a word. He was a severe and an exacting critic ; his language, when occasion seemed to require it, could be devas- tating. But there was another side to this critic ; he could be, and frequently was, extraordinarily kind. He was ever ready to help those who were in search of true knowledge. It was my good fortune, not long ago, to receive several letters from him, in which he replied, very fully, to certain questions of mine with a courtesy and willingness which one does not always experience at the hands of great literary personages. He did not appear to grudge the time spent in the discussion.

Above all, I cherish the note received from him on New Year's day this year—a kindness uncalled for, and unexpected, accompanied as it was by a copy of one of his own books, duly signed, with a cordial word of greeting, on the fly-leaf. The concluding words of that note you will, perhaps, allow me to reproduce here. " I have succeeded in finding a copy of my. Geschichte der Philologie, which I beg you to accept. It cannot be compared with Sandys [W.-M. is referring to the English scholar's History of Classical Scholarship], to whom I express the thanks I owe ; but it aims at showing the great historical course of our learning via Italy, France, England, and Germany, till finally no name can be mentioned, as all civilized nations unite and an ideal is reached by ' marching apart but fighting united.' This will come again. In this belief I have lived and striven, and in it I shall die."—I am, Sir, &c.,