Iasi, September 19, 1874

"Dear Mr. Samurcas,

As I have not been let to know yet if Mr. Minister is already in Berlin or not, here I send you the first part of my Odyssey which means my archaeological and historical journey rather ended with no result.

I stayed only for five days in Koenisberg. There I dwelt at one of my colleagues from university, a trader's son. While accompanied by him along my research, I had the opportunity to talk to archives manager about the existing documents related to Polish kingdom and its bordering countries. I gathered some notes about the articles already published in Corpora documentorum, but nobody is allowed to check directly the genuine papers, unless a written permission from central government. This type of permission I should have requested by our agency there or by our External Affairs Ministry meddling. This would be not only a long way to take, but one that also stirs a tremendous mistrust in myself. It is different to undertake research for yourself, indeed, while, even if wrong, they had no official significance. But there is something else when, as a representative of one government (at least á peu prés) you entirely assume the moral responsibility and go on searching old documents - especially if settling of a militant policy might depend on their authenticity and archaic analysis. Finally, trying to open the archives doors in that intricate way of international connections makes me uncertain about my strenght, as I am not a specialist in deciphering documents; moreover, because in this respect I have more routine and common sense than ability of understanding all the difficulties and criteria that usually defeat even important writers. These are the preoccupations that I was pondering over for about two days and made me not taking any other attempt, at least not for now and not by my actual means: investigations upon documents in Konisberg archives, maybe still unpublished.

By my admitting this rule about the matter, there were still left possibilities referring only to my person. I couldeither return to Berlin or stay there for some more, as well as go back in my country for some weeks. Considering the topic from several points of view, I chose the last solution. While passing by Krakow I found out that the documents in those archives are being published and they have already issued three volumes of them by now, personally edited by the archive manager. In Lemberg, I should have liked to take shots of Movilescu family's church and of one provost marshal from Wallachia (who by time passing had became a high chancellor in Poland), but, lacking financial means, I had to give up in hiring a photographer for such a task.

The church mentioned is nowadays called the Romanian church (woloska cerkiva), although now it belongs to unified Russians.

After my arrival in the country, Mr. Minister of public education - which I have been exchanging letters for a long time, as you know - offered me a job as a librarian at Central Library in Iasi. This is really the only job not to disturb at all either my preparations for getting a doctor's title, or my occupation that will always remain within scientific and literary range. But, as for everything else, beginning is difficult here, too. Only counting and taking into evidence more than 30,000 volumes is a great deal of work, not a tough one, but wasting time-like. That is also why I could not write to you all the details by now, as well as I think that, communicating by just few rows about everything that happened to me, does not cope my intelligence, rather punctilious and analytical.

About mid-November: I shall come back in Germany for my examinations. Caelesta deorum gratia fervente is a foregone conclusion, but not meant to prevent me in any way. First of all, the purpose of my journey will be sustaining the doctorate. By then, I shall have exchanged letters with Mr. Hijdau, in order to learn from him the names of auxiliary dictionaries (concerning vulgar Latin of that age and abbreviations used), as well as all critical ways for somebody to apply on documents, so to know if they are authentic or apocryphal, because there is no permission for dreaming when dealing with critics of documents. Before my leaving, when braced with all the means necessary to such an activity, I shall let you know, so for granting me with your condescendence, as to get the issued act reminded above, which could provide me with the opportunity of visiting Prussian state secret archives.

If Mr. Minister arrives in Berlin or if he is already there, on my behalf, please be so kind to thank him deeply for his exquisite goodwill, which helped me in very difficult moments of my academic career. In the same time, do assure him that, connected to the field I use to work, if I could ever put myself to his disposal, I should be happy to do it. Please, pay my truly respects to Mrs. Kretzulescu.

I hope you and Miss Maria will keep me in your memory.


Best wishes, yours sincere
M. Eminescu"

Address: M. Eminescu, Central Library Manager - Iasi

(Translated by Junona Tutunea)

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