Travel Letters: In The Tyrol And Switzerland (1870)

DEAR FATHER, — It rains today, and is very wet, miserable, and disagreeable, the second bad day we have had on our voyage. One cannot go on deck without getting wet through and his eyes full of cinders. The cabin is crowded and close, and I have slept and read till I cannot sleep or read any more ; so you see it is time to begin to write home, and report myself.

We got off safely on Tuesday, the 28th, punctually at two o’clock. Monday night I spent at Potter’s, and we went up to Thomas’s Gardens and heard music. Mr. and Mrs. Franks met me at the station, but I suppose you have seen them before this. We were a queer set who sailed together, not many Americans, — Germans, Italians, Mexicans, Danes, and all sorts of people. It makes a very interesting ship’s company. There are a lot of Jews ; nobody except Dr. Derby and his wife and the Mason family, whom I ever saw before. The ship is a good one, not equal in size or speed to the Cunard or French steamers, but more convenient in some respects.

We have had a splendid passage, only two rainy days ; most of the time clear, bright, sunny weather, and now moonlight nights. Being a screw steamer, she rolls pretty badly. I have been perfectly well and enjoyed it immensely. We shall be rather later than I expected; probably reach Plymouth some time tomorrow night, and Cherbourg Saturday morning. I shall go to Paris on Saturday night, and reach there about four o’clock on Sunday morning. I will mail this at Plymouth, and your getting it will show you that I am so far safe. You probably will have seen the ship reported by telegraph. It has been a most propitious beginning for my little trip.

I wonder what has happened at home since I left. Be sure and write me everything ; write every week, some of you. I hope you are off to Niagara before this. Love all around.

Affectionately your son,

PHILLIPS.