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I first met Einstein2 in 1926. The great scientist had been invited to California3 to lecture.

I received a telephone call from Universal studios,4 saying that Professor Einstein would like to meet me; I was so thrilled I gladly accepted the invitation. So we met at the Universal studios for lunch, the Professor, his wife, his secretary and his Assistant Professor.5 Mrs Einstein spoke English very well, in fact better than the Professor. She was extremely proud of him and frankly enjoyed being the wife of the great physicist. She did not even try to hide the fact.

After lunch, while Einstein was being shown around the studio, Mrs Einstein took me aside and whispered: "Why don't you invite the Professor to your house? I know he will be delighted to have a nice quiet chat with just ourselves." It was to be a small affair, and I invited only two other friends. At dinner she told me the story of the morning when the theory of relativity first came to his mind.

"The Doctor6 came down in his dressing-gown as usual for breakfast but he hardly touched a thing. I thought something was wrong so I asked what was troubling him. 'Darling!' he said, 'I have a wonderful idea.' And after drinking his coffee, he went to the piano and started playing. Now and again he stopped, reached for his pencil, made a few notes, then repeated: 'I've got a wonderful idea, a marvelous7 ideal' "I said: 'What's the matter with you? Why don't you tell me what it is?'

"He said, 'I can't tell you yet. I still have to work it out.'"

She told me he continued playing the piano and making notes for half an hour, then he went upstairs to his study, telling her that he did not want anyone to disturb him, and remained there for two weeks.

"Each day I sent him up his meals," she said, "and in the evening he walked a little for exercise,8 then returned to his work again."

"At last," she said, "he appeared looking very pale and tired. In his hand he held two sheets of paper. 'That's it!' he told me, putting the sheets of paper on the table. And that was his theory of relativity."



1.Charles Spencer Chaplin, an American actor and film director, was born in 1889 in a poor family in the London East End and at an early age became famous all over the world as a comedian. His most famous films are "A Dog's Life", "The Kid", "The Gold Rush", "City Lights", "Modern Times", and "Limelight". He died in 1977.

2.Albert Einstein, 1879-1955, a great man of science, made famous by his theories of relativity. He was born in Ulm, Germany; received a Nobel prize in physics in 1921, for his work in quantum theory. In 1933 he had to leave his country because of the nazis; he went to the USA where he became a professor at Princeton University.

3.California: the most important of the Pacific States, USA, its capital is Sacramento. The state has several universities.

4.Universal studios: the Universal Film studios in Hollywood.

5.Assistant Professor (AmE): (BrE) Senior Lecturer доцент

6.Doctor: the highest degree given by a university; eg Doctor of (Medicine, Law, etc

7.marvelous (AmE): (BrE) marvellous. It should be noted that there are certain differences in spelling usage between American and British English. Compare:

AmE: traveler; dialog; color; BrE: traveller; dialogue; colour;
  neighbor; theater; defense;   neighbour; theatre; defence;
  organize, etc.     organise, etc.  

8.exercise: моцион In this meaning the noun is uncountable.

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