Letter from Otto von Bismarck to John Lothrop Motley, May 23, 1864

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Berlin May 23rd, 1864.

Jack my dear, - Where the devil are you, and what do you do, that you never write a line to me? I am working from morn to night like a nigger, and you have nothing to do at all - you might as well tip me a line as well as looking on your feet tilted against the wall of God knows what a dreary colour. I cannot entertain a regular correspondence; it happens to me, that during five days I do not find a quarter of an hour for a walk; but you, lazy old chap, what keeps you from thinking of your old friends? When just going to bed in this moment my eye met with yours on your portrait, and I curtailed the sweet restorer sleep in order to remind you of Auld Lang Syne. Why do you never come to Berlin? It is not a quarter of an American's holiday journey from Vienna, and my wife and me should be so happy to see you once more in this sullen life. When can you come, and when will you? I swear, that I will make out the time to look with you on old Logier's quarter and drink a bottle with you at Gerolt's, where they once would not allow you to put your slender legs upon a chair. Let politics be hanged and come to see me. I promise, that the Union Jack shall wave over our house, and conversation and the best old hock shall pour damnation upon the rebels. Do not forget old friends, neither their wives, as mine wishes nearly as ardently as myself to see you, or at least to see as quickly as possible a word of your handwriting.

Sei gut und komm oder schreibe! Dein v. Bismarck.

Haunted by the old song "In good old Colony Times".

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was in the public domain in its home country as of 1 January 1996, and was never published in the US prior to that date.


The author died in 1898, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 100 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.