18950705 See an image of this letter, https://doi.org/10.17613/pnaz-m240


Printed letter head:                                                                                       

O. LETZGUS                                                               Buenos Aires……….5th July……….. de 189 5….

CASILLA DE CORREO 1296                                      ALSINA 555

Telegramas  LETZGUS


My dear Mother,

I had a letter from you the other day – it is in my “digs” so I can’t say what date, but it was about a month ago.     So they say over there that the mails never go out from Brazilian ports before the advertised time. Well perhaps they know best & I must be mistaken in thinking I was once on a Royal Mail steamer that left Rio a day and a half before the time announced, and that such an occurrence is not infrequent. Anyway I have not missed this mail, but have sent them some nice orders. I must try to get some more so that I may be well received on my return.

I visited Hirschbergs on Sunday. Mrs H. & the children are flourishing. There are two boys and a girl – all healthy, fat and pretty.[1]

I have been dining out a couple of times and there are several invitations pending I know. Bertie’s partner was married two days ago.[2] We went to the wedding, – church 8.30 p.m. all in swallow tail, reception afterwards – awful frost! Bad port-wine, – no champagne, thick sandwiches. The bride is rather nice and her sister is pretty, but the old father is as sour as unripe gooseberries and as glum a mute at a funeral. We had carriages to drive us out to the house in the suburbs and back to town. When Bertie and I were ready to come home – towards midnight – our coachman was sound asleep in the carriage & could not be wakened. I think someone had given him whiskey. So Bertie and I got on the box seat and he drove me home – 3 or 4 miles. We were stopped several times by policemen because we had no lights – the candles were burnt out, but after some conversation and a caution they let us pass. Meanwhile the jarvy slept blissfully though the coupé jolted fearfully over the rough roads.[3] When we arrived I had to shake him for several minutes before I could bring him to his senses enough to let him take charge of the horses. I hope he got safely to the stables.

I have given them a note – to the office – of the dates at which I expect to be in the various ports on the way home and I shall expect letters from you to meet me on the way. It takes letters a fortnight to Pernambuco & 3 weeks to Rio, more or less.

Best love



  1. Edward and Selma Hischberg, among their children at the time were Erika aged 8, and Frederick aged 5. See Index to People.
  2. Herbert Weinberg's business partner.
  3. "jarvey" = a hackney coach driver (17th and 18th century idiom). A coupé was a four-wheeled carriage with outside front seat for the driver and enclosed passenger seats for two persons.


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John McCaldin Loewenthal: Letters Home from a Victorian Commercial Traveller, 1889 - 1895 Copyright © 2022 by Michelle Fink, Robert Boyd, Sarah Watkinson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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