W1348 TO DR. CALVIN BROOKS MCQUESTEN from his friend J.H. Whittemore
Apr 9 1872
To: Dr. Calvin Brooks McQuesten
From: Vienna, Austria
My dear Mac,
Your letter dated Feb. 21st was received in about one month, having been detained in London until my Banker knew where to send it. At the time you wrote me I was in Rome, the most wonderfully fascinating and home-like place I have yet visited, and where I would like very much to spend another winter. I have had some thoughts of so doing, but fear I cannot afford it. I believe my last letter to you was from Dresden, which place I was obliged to flee on account of my health. I believe all Germany and Austria have miserable climates in winter.
I left Dresden Jan. 2nd spending two days in Prague a place of some interest--from its antiquity--thence to this place where I spent ten days in sight-seeing. Our party consisted of Dr. Brewer's wife, son and daughter, A.B. Kingsland, wife and sister. We had fine times, we went from here to Munich where we visited Picture and Statuary galleries, Bronze Foundry etc. We now hurried over the mountains by the Brenner Pass into Italy, and as soon as we got a little way from the influence of the snow covered mtns. We experienced a very a very agreeable change in the atmosphere and continued to find it more genial all through Italy. Our first stopping place in Italy was at Verona a quaint, old, noisy, and filthy city, containing but little of interest aside from its old Amphitheatre, which is in very good preservation. After two days at V. we went to Venice, the most novel place I have seen or expect to see, canals for streets and gondolas for hacks. Everything is old and decaying, but very picturesque. The principal thought is that it is a decaying city. St. Marc's Church, Palace of the Doges, are beautiful as are many other public buildings.
Our next place was Bologna a novel city, as the buildings in nearly the whole city are built with arcades through, which are the sidewalks. I have visited an insane and clinical hospital, seeing in the latter an operation removing cancerous testicle without any anesthetic. How is that? Now we approach a still more southern climate and feel quite warm and lovely. Florence our next stopping place is beautifully situated and the surroundings fine. Galleries of Paintings, elegant Churches with monuments to illustrious dead. Rome called and we answered in person. Moody joined me here and we gave one month in all to Rome and enjoyed every moment. A whole year would not more than do justice to the "Eternal City." You know what it contains as well as I, but the personal contact with things so old gives one sensations that cannot be effectively put on paper.
Naples with its beautiful bay and attractive neighbourhoods now attracted us and we spent ten charming days visiting Pompeii, Capri, Sorrento, Baiae, and ascending Mt. Vesuvius. When we meet on the other side I will attempt to describe in detail. I hope I could interest you a while but time will not allow and the subject cannot receive justice in one letter.
On our return to Rome from Florence we remained two weeks and then Moody and I bode the others adieu and gave a very reluctant farewell to interesting old Rome and went direct to Florence for one day. Thence to Venice--which Moody had not seen--for four days, then across the Adriatic to Trieste where we remained one day and the following morning started over under and through the mountains for this place, where we arrived in fourteen hours! I have given only a very brief outline of what I have done and would have given more detail had my time allowed or I had known just what part of the trip would have interested you the most. I will try in the future to do better.
We are very pleasantly situated near the hospitals. Moody is busy some four hours a day punching eyes and ears. Tomorrow I begin a clinical course on sick children and shortly one on obst's. and gynae'c. [obstetrics and gynecology] also one on Auscultation and Percupion [sic] and very like Laryngoscopy. You see that my course is more general. I shall see some other courses but not pay so much attention to them as to the above. Such quantities of material as one sees here in all departments is surprising, and the way it is handled is ditto. Nothing is covered but fully exposed.
Moody saw four operations for cataract one morn. and you can see from ten to thirty Obst. cases every day if you desire. To give you some idea of the morality of this region, I will mention that not more than one in thirty of the children born in the hospital are legitimate. I have been castrated to prevent doing any harm and Moody and I think you had better be before you send us any more accurate dimensions of a woman's thigh and in the same breath say you went home virtuous.
Syphilis can be seen here by the cord. Bumstead of N.Y. is here and is in one class with Moody. What about Ned Tuck's being married and coming to Paris? What is the truth about Fan Peaslee? How is Grant's stock? Does the N.H. and Conn. elections have a bad effect? Moody and I may be home to vote as our money is getting low. Moody joins me in a cordial embrace. Write when you can and direct care of:
Anglo Austrian Bank
Vienna is in Austria
We shall leave here soon after July 13
As ever, your sincere friend