Travel Letters: Hotel Rydberg, Stockholm (1872)

DEAR WILLIAM, — The stream of communication this summer seems to flow all one way. Since father’s letter, dated just a month ago today, there is not a word from my beloved family, or anybody else in America. I hope they are well, but either they have not written, or Jay Cooke is faithless, or I have been running about too fast for letters to catch me. I hope Fred has been more fortunate than I. Here I am now in Stockholm, one of the nicest, brightest, gayest looking cities I have ever seen. I am very much delighted with it. It runs all about over a quantity of islands, in Venetian sort of style, and little bits of steamboats go racing back and forth. The people are bright and good-looking, and there are gardens and cafes everywhere. Friday evening, I went to the Deer Park to a concert, and the whole scene was as pretty as anything in Paris or Vienna. After I wrote last week, I came back to Christiania, and thence sailed down to Gottenburg, and thence by the Gotha canal here. It was a lovely day on the canal, and the scenery was very pretty. Yesterday, I went to Upsala, where is the great Swedish university, the old cathedral, and the oldest relics of their history. Under three great mounds, their Odin, Thor, and Freia are said to be buried.

Tomorrow morning, I am going off to Gottland, where there are some strange old relics of architecture, and the whole place is said to be very picturesque and curious. It is a trip of two or three days, and then I come back here. After that, probably to Russia, where I expect to arrive next Sunday.

There are very few Americans in these parts, — a good many English, and lots of Swedes. I like the Swedes very much. They, are brighter and more cheerful than the Norwegians, and very kind and willing to oblige. The country seems prosperous and happy. The environs of Stockholm are beautiful. Come here, and look at this pretty town, when you bring Mary and Agnes to Europe.

I hope they are well, and that you are not having the absurdly hot weather with which you began the summer. Already, we are within sight of the end of it. How strange it will seem to be settled down again to the old round for another winter. Paine is on his voyage home by this time. I suppose you may see him before this reaches you. If you have not written to me, pray write, and if you have written, write again,

PHILLIPS.