Travel Letters: Old Bible Hotel, Amsterdam (1877)

DEAR MOTHER, — I want you to understand that you must answer this letter yourself, with your own hand. I think it must be ten years since you have written me a regular letter, hardly since I was in Amsterdam before, so remember !

They call this hotel the Old Bible Hotel because the first Dutch Bible was printed in this house some two hundred years ago, and now we are lodged here, yesterday and to-day. This morning we went to a Dutch church about six hundred years old and heard some awful singing and a very earnest sermon, of which we did not understand a word. This afternoon we went into the country to a place called Zaandam, and saw all sorts of queer sights among the country people. On the whole, our first week on the Continent has gone first-rate, and we shall spend this week entirely in Holland, bringing up at Cologne on Saturday night. We are both well and are having a good time. In England all went nicely. I saw a good many people in London, and they were pleasant and civil. General Grant was the great sensation. I dined with him on the 4th of July at the American minister’s. He did not say much, but was simple and dignified. We saw a great deal of Dean Stanley, who is very pleasant.

I am so glad to hear how well father is, and that the summer goes so happily with you all. Our time is one third up, and it will not be long before we are talking of home again. A letter from James tells me that I am a Doctor of Divinity at Harvard. I am very sensible of the honor, but I hope people will not begin to call me by the title. My best love to father and the aunts, and I am forever

Your affectionate son,