Travel Letters: My Stay Hotel Du Nord, Berlin (1882)

MY DEAR GERTIE, — This is Sunday morning. It is just after breakfast, about a quarter before nine o’clock. In a shop window on this street, I see a great big clock every time I go out. It has seven faces, and each face tells what time it is in some one of the great cities of the world. The one in the middle tells what time it is in Berlin, and all around that are the other great cities ; it has not got North Andover, for that is too small ; it is not one of the great cities of the world ; but it has New York. Yesterday, as I passed it about one o’clock, I saw that it was about five in New York, so I know now that it cannot be quite three in North Andover. You will not go to church for a good while yet, so will have time enough to read my letter twice before you go.

I came here last Wednesday, and am going to stay for some time. In fact, I feel as if I lived in Berlin. I send you a picture of the house, with a line drawn around my two windows. The children at the door are not you and Agnes. I wish they were.

The children in Paris all wore blouses, and the children in Venice did not wear much of anything. Here they all wear satchels. I never saw such children for going to school. The streets are full of them, going or coming, all the time. They are queer little white-headed blue-eyed things, many of them very pretty indeed, but they grow up into dreadful-looking men and women. They wear their satchels strapped on their backs like soldiers’ knapsacks, and when you see a schoolful of three hundred letting out, it is very funny.

Only two houses up the street lives the Emperor. He and his wife are out of town now, or no doubt they would send some word to Toody.

Affectionately your uncle, PHILLIPS.