Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Lt 36, 1885

White, W. C.

Basel, Switzerland

November 20, 1885

This letter is published in entirety in 20MR 45-47.


Here I am now in Basel. We reached here last night about eight o’clock. We found Mary doing well. She is looking better than I have seen her for many years. Ella is quite as well as usual, but has some cold. 4LtMs, Lt 36, 1885, par. 1

November [17]. We ate a good breakfast and went on board the boat. It was very rough. We were in the nice saloon on the upper deck, enjoying the smooth sailing, when the captain came up and said, “I advise you to go below and lie down.” We inquired if it would be worse than it was then. He said, “This is nothing. You can get to the cabin now, but you will not be able to get there soon.” We went down and lay down. We had passed one hour on the boat and were to be five hours more. 4LtMs, Lt 36, 1885, par. 2

Soon Sarah was very sick, then I was sick, and our breakfast fed the fishes. I sweat profusely, then the most wrenching process of throwing up. Sarah lay where she could look directly upon me. She said several times she thought I was dead. She kept speaking to me to get some response. She said my face was as colorless as a corpse. She should understand now fully why I was afraid to be seasick. She never would want me to go on the water again for she thought it was at the risk of my life. There was never a more thankful party that stood upon the terra firma than our company. Christine was a little sick, but not severely. Kellogg was out upon the deck, and he was some sick, but he stayed there, almost freezing. He dared not go down. 4LtMs, Lt 36, 1885, par. 3

We were so happy to be seated in the cars again. We had a compartment all to ourselves, and I did not sit up much of the day. I was lame and sore. We traveled all night and all day Wednesday and stopped Wednesday night at Hotel Cologne. We had good accommodations, took six o’clock train, and were by ourselves until noon. The cars went only to Manze _____, and we were obliged to wait two hours. When the express train came along, we were crowded into a compartment with men, and we learned it was a smoking car; but Kellogg prevailed upon them not to smoke. But men were continually crowding in with their cigars and pipes. Kellogg finally found us a place in another car with men, but they did not smoke. The road was exceedingly rough. I think I never rode in cars that shook one about so. It was as good as the best movement machines. It took all the soreness all out of me—curious remedy! 4LtMs, Lt 36, 1885, par. 4

Mary read us your letter, and I was glad to learn you had a similar experience to ours in seasickness. I was full of cold, and I threw up much phlegm, and I think it did me much good. I said then I hoped you would be sick, and, although unpleasant, it would be a great blessing to you as it has been to us. 4LtMs, Lt 36, 1885, par. 5

Brother Whitney wishes us to go next week to Italy. We are thinking of taking the whole family along; go into Brother Bourdeau’s house and remain a couple of months. We want the Lord to direct. It is cold as a barn here. The coils do not warm the room scarcely at all. It is a failure, and something will have to be devised of a different character than this to heat these rooms. They will put me up a stove in the parlor today. I have not been warm since I came here, and the very air seems as if I were breathing in the air from a snowbank. 4LtMs, Lt 36, 1885, par. 6

Edith is evidently failing. The rooms she and her mother occupy are not comfortable. They have a little heating arrangement, not the one I had, but similar to it; but that is not sufficient, and the rubber coils are very disagreeable to Edith. 4LtMs, Lt 36, 1885, par. 7

I thought if we could go to Italy and go into a house all furnished, and keep Brother A. C. Bourdeau and sons without any appearance of evil, we would do so. But if there is the least danger of remarks, we would not do this on any account. 4LtMs, Lt 36, 1885, par. 8

Willie, I want Matteson to stand in a proper light before the conference. We see mistakes and failure in his work and mission, but how much better would others have done under the circumstances? I am thinking he has done, in many respects, a good work. He has suffered privation and taken the work from nothing, and all these things deserve our appreciation; and we will encourage him all we can and not say one word to discourage. You know that the man is not guilty of that devotion the people give him. They need to see and recognize other talent, and they will do it, and I know that there is much precious material in Christiania, and I want the dear lambs of the flock to be blessed and strengthened. I do not know as I can say anything more. 4LtMs, Lt 36, 1885, par. 9

I shall think of you and pray for you as we do, and may the Lord work in power for you. Do pray much and tell others I beseech of them to pray much. I will now say, God bless you, my son, with the best of Heaven’s blessing. Try to get Edson heart and soul in the meetings. Help him all you can. 4LtMs, Lt 36, 1885, par. 10

Love to Emma and Edson. 4LtMs, Lt 36, 1885, par. 11