In Response to: Einstein at Princeton

Since Joel Achenbach ’82 writes about Isaac Newton in his excellent piece about “Einstein at Princeton” (May issue), it may be of interest to identify the source of his quotation from the dean who “described Einstein as a Columbus ‘voyaging through strange seas of thought alone.’” The line actually refers to Newton himself. There is a magnificent statue of him by Louis-François Roubiliac in his Cambridge college, Trinity. William Wordsworth, who had been a student in neighboring St. John’s, speaks of it in his poem The Prelude:

… I could behold
The antechapel where the statue stood
Of Newton with his prism and silent face,
The marble index of a mind for ever
Voyaging through strange seas of Thought, alone.

Leo Damrosch *68
Newton, Mass.