Travel Letters: Wittenberg, Germany (1882)

MY DEAR AGNES, — I was glad to get your letter, which reached me a few days ago in Berlin. I think you were very good indeed to write me, and it was a nice letter.

Did you ever hear of Wittenberg? You will find it on the map, not very far from Berlin. It used to be a very famous place when Martin Luther lived here, and was preaching his sermons in the church whose clock I just now heard strike a quarter of one, and was writing his books in the room whose picture is at the top of this sheet of paper. I am sure you know all about Luther. If not, ask Toody, she knows most everything. In the picture, you can see Luther’s table, the seat in the window where he and his wife used to sit and talk, the big stove which he had built to warm his cold room, and the bust of him-self, which was taken just after he died, and hung up here. With the exception of that, everything remains just exactly as he left it, over three hundred years ago, before your papa, mamma, or aunt Susan were born.

It is a queer old town. Just now, when it was twelve o’clock, I heard some music, and looked out and found that a band of music was playing psalm tunes away up in the air in the tower of the old parish church. My window looks out on the marketplace, where there are two statues, one of Luther, and one of Melanchthon, who was a great friend of his. Gertie will tell you about him. And the houses are the funniest shape, and have curious mottoes carved or painted over their front door. I came here from Berlin yesterday, and am going to travel about in Germany for a few weeks, and then go back to Berlin again. Berlin is very nice. I wish I could tell you about a visit which I made, Friday, to one of the great public schools, where I saw a thousand boys and a thousand girls, and the way they spelt the hard words in German would have frightened you to death.

Tell Susie that I thank her for her beautiful little letter, and hope she will write me another. You must write to me again. Give my best love to everybody, and do not forget your affectionate uncle P.