An entry on Meingast was written for the 1923 edition of the Grundriß der Geschichte der Philosophie (Schwabe & Co Verlag), but Meingast’s attorney wrote a short letter demanding that it not be included because Meingast did not want “to erect his tombstone quite yet.” The publisher wasn’t able to supply a draft of the entry, but they did send me copies of some of the source materials. A childhood friend from Vienna, Herbert Schmidt, supplied the publisher with the following:
Adalbert did not skip or sing in the church choir or fritter away balmy summer evenings playing “find the witch” in a hay barn, but rather he sought what fit the measure of his supple and Brobdingnagian brain: optics, rotordynamics, animal anatomy, local history, Lucian’s Kataplous. He performed a notable feat of engineering at the age of 19, during the Second Schleswig War, by lugging five sloops 5,000 Galician feet overland. At 20, his illumination began. All his rotordynamics and translation of sloops over dale and down was drawn into this ecstasy, and he threw himself into his “impractical” studies. He wrote long philosophical letters to eminent young ladies and always signed them “The Elixir of Sunbeams.” He began to wear a glimmering szablya when in formal velvet dress.