No, this is not a comment about the new anti-matter mutual fund group. It’s just that yesterday I made a passing reference to a handwritten Albert Einstein letter I had acquired — the smartest man in the world (fight promoter Don King, I am guessing, is second smartest, judging from the hair) writing on the subject of infidelity.

He was replying to a distraught colleague who had apparently written to solicit his advice: her husband was cheating on her.

A couple of you — I won’t name names — were curious just what his advice was.

For what it’s worth (and without naming the lady, even though it was 43 years ago):

Dear Dr. ————–:

I can empathize with you well, that the situation you describe is very painful for you. But as a mature, knowledgeable person you should attempt with all your strength to overcome this situation from within yourself, rather than feeling deceived or mistreated.

I am sure you know that most men (as well as quite a number of women) are not monogamously endowed by nature. Enforced faithfulness, however, is a bitter fruit for everyone involved. Instead of letting anger towards your husband arise within you, you should pity him, since fate has forced him to balance between two women that are very likely hostile towards each other because of him. This is not an enviable situation and for a well-meaning person there is no satisfactory solution to this problem.

If he is a benevolent and just person and his general conduct is decent towards you, you should be able to respond to this with a smile and not make a case of war out of it. Anyway, you should not take the view that your honor has been violated by his behavior. When you get angry, tell yourself that you are still in the simpler and less incriminating position that he.

With friendly greetings,

A. Einstein

Now, when I said up above “for what it’s worth,” I naturally meant his advice. But what is the letter itself worth — handwritten in German. I’m not selling it, but I thought it would be fun to try an experiment.

If this intrigues you at all, just tell me what you think a letter like this is worth. What would/should go for at auction?

 

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