Copenhagen the 17 of Feb 73
My dear young Friend!
How rejoiced I was by receiving your dear letter written and posted the 23th of January. My thoughts were just there with you and I was very sorry but your letter gave me hope and joy. You know young as you are that you can't believe every thing contained in the newspapers, there is often no truth in them.
More than once you have been told that the renowned Livingstone had died in Africa, and, God be thanked, he lived still, such news of his death was already in the danish papers before the 25 of January, and I as well as all danish people, were rather sorry to see him called away in his great exertions for the human race, just at the moment he was to return / to his country and to his relatives. Just then, my dear Mary, I received your letter, and as you told me in the same, thus he was returning homewards, and thus he perhaps would visit Copenhagen in your company, then all the news contains in the papers disappeares as the news, and I hope and hope still that he lives and that his children his relatives and his friends will see him again. I have much to tell you and to write about, but today my thoughts are overwhelmed with the uncertainty about your father. Pray write soon to me may it be a letter of sunshine. My leter to day is put in writing by one of my friends, I feel still a great difficulty in writing. My bettering is only slowly proceeding. I thank you heartily for the photography / you sent me, how developed since the first child's portraits I got.
My best and kindest love to you, your family and your aunt.
With the innermost sympathy and affection.
Hans Christian Andersen
Kjøbenhavn [17.] Februar 1874.
Min kjære unge Veninde!
Hvor blev jeg glad ved at modtage Deres Brev skrevet og afsendt den 25 Januar; jeg tænkte just da paa Dem og var meget bedrØvet, men Deres Brev gav mig igjen Haab og Glæde. De veed, ihvor ung De er at man ikke kan tro paa Alt hvad Aviserne fortælle, tidt er der ikke Sandhed i hvad der fortælles. Meer end eengang har man saaledes mældt at den verdenshøitskattede Levingston var død i Africa; og Gud være velsignet og lovet, han lever endnu; en saadan ny Efterretning om hans Død stod allerede i danske Aviser forleden 25 Februar og jeg med alle danske Folk bleve bedrøvede over at see ham kaldt bort i sin store Virksomhed for Menneskeheden, netop i det han vilde vende tilbage til Slægt og Fædreland. Da fik jeg Deres Brev kjære Mary og da De deri fortalte at han kom hjem og at De maaskee med ham vilde gjæste Kjøbenhavn, da sank alle Avis Efterretningerne hen som Taager, og jeg haabede og haaber at han lever, at hans Børn Slægt og Venner gjensee ham. Jeg havde Meget at sige og skrive til Dem, men i Dag er min Tanke overvældet af Uvished om Deres Faders af Gud betegnede Maal. Skriv mig ret snart til! gid det ret maa være et Solskins Brev. Min Skrivelse i Dag til Dem bringer een af mine Venner paa Papiret, jeg har endnu Besvær med at skrive, derfor alene her mit Navn i Underskriften. [My bettering is only slowly proceeding. I thank you for the photography you sent me, how developed since the first child's portrait I got] og hjertelige Hilsner til Dem, Deres Søskende, Tante og alle Kjære.
Med den inderligste Deeltagelse og Hengivenhed
Hans Christian Andersen