Collection: Geschwind Papers

Author: Leopold Haase

Recipient: Charles Haase

Description: Letter from Leopold Haase, in Reval, to his cousin Charles Haase, in Richmond, Virginia. This letter was written on June 9 according to the Julian calendar and June 22 according to the Gregorian calendar, hence the double dates.

Leopold Haase to Charles Haase, June 22, 1904

English Text

Reval, 9/22 June 1904.

Dear Charles!

I take up my pen in order to give you once again a sign of life from me.

I hope you and your dear family are all in the best of health and enjoying life. You must be living in your new home by now, which I am imagining as quite comfortable, and furnished according to your needs and taste. How I would love to be there, and be able to spend some time in your company. Unfortunately this is impossible, but I still haven't completely given up the hope of coming over there again. There's still so much I haven't seen! However, I wouldn't have wanted to visit the Exposition, as I don't care for such large crowds. Which of you went? Mr Beckh was planning to go, did he make it? Who else went? It must be magnificent! Of that I'm convinced.

As for myself, I'm spending the summer at home. For the last two weeks my wife has been in Germany at a sanatorium near Stuttgart, curing her unsettled nerves. I'm awfully nervous too-- I don't know if you noticed how nervous and excited I sometimes get. This is the result of all the years of overwork; it always catches up with you.

Otherwise, I'm getting on tolerably well since, thanks be to God, I don't have to worry about where the next meal is coming from. But I still have to work and save, so we can have the money to spend on another lovely trip.

I've also started writing down my trip to America, but it's not as easy as it used to be. My nerves, my confounded nerves plague me so badly, muddle my thoughts and make me tire too quickly.

Business isn't particularly good just now, it could hardly be expected because of the war. However, we can still make out all right-Russia isn't that poor either! We can still scrape together enough money, and if we should really need it, it 'II be available! - If only the theater of war weren 't so frightfully distant from us, then things would take a different turn, but - things will change eventually and our fortunes improve. We 're still optimistic and far from becoming discouraged.

What's dear Mamachen up to these days? and the young ladies of the house? -

How about all the others? Oh, I think of you often, and am there among you in Richmond more often than you would believe. Otherwise I'm doing all right, and as I said, there's always something that needs doing. My sister-in-law has gone to Dorpat for a few weeks to visit a friend, and so I'm the cock of the roost, so to speak.

I also must tell you some sad news. My brother Karl in Lubeck, of whom I've already told you, after having suffered a long illness, suddenly collapsed and died of a heart or lung seizure. This was about two months ago; he was about 10 years younger than I am. Since I'm still a young man myself, you can easily imagine just how young he was. - Well, may God watch over him, he now has peace and rest. He had a hard time these last few years but now his toil is done.

His two sons are in Leipzig, where they're employed, one as a confectioner's assistant, the other as a book publisher and typesetter's assistant. My wife visited them last week, and in her last letter said the younger one seems weak and sickly. The confectioner, however, is a four-square, very nice and pleasant fellow.

Of course, the poor chaps will have been delighted to be able to live it up for a few days with their aunt from Russia. -

We've had an extraordinarily cold Spring here this year, everything is several weeks behind. According to the calendar today is the first day of Summer, but we really haven't even had Spring yet. The fruit trees are just beginning to bloom. The sun goes down a little before 10 PM, and rises again just after 2 AM in the morning, so that our nights are more like twilight. - Oh! this is such a splendid season, our so-called "white nights." - Only someone who has experienced them can appreciate how poetic such nights are. Nature appears cloaked in magic, and "our" Nature is unique, luscious, fresh and beautiful! - Here, Nature is also resistant, able to withstand our rigorous Winters.

Well, that's it for today. Stay healthy and active, and give your dear little Mamachen my most hearty greetings. And give my regards to everyone! Everyone who still remembers me anyway, and for you another extra thousand good wishes!


your Leopold.

PS. Give our wee little Lady Beckh a kiss for me! With the hope that God will watch over her. -- and if Mamachen should give her one too, why then she'll have two!

Original text