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Brev fra Richard Bentley til H.C. Andersen 4. oktober 1852

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Dato: 4. oktober 1852
Fra: Richard Bentley   Til: H.C. Andersen
Sprog: engelsk.

New Burlington Street. Oct. 4, 1852.

My dear Friend,

your welcome and interesting letter I safely received on my return to town on Saturday last. Your wanderings appear to have been extensive this year although you have not been able to visit England; and although Sans Souci reealled with sadness the scenes you had witnessed there, upon the whole I trust you have liked these summer hours; and there you are now in the enjoyment of perfect health. Now that brave noble Denmark will be brought to our doms as it were, by Steam, you must look out for visitors from merry Old England. And let me tell you that Englishmen always regard your land with good will and sincere respect. The valour of your noble Soldiers in the last unjust war on your country prove [them] to be among the bravest of European soldiers.

By all means send me the volume of Tales of which you speak, and indicate at the same time what has never been printed, so we may secure a copyright. I have asked Mr. Marsh for the account of the Pictures in Sweden and before I cease this letter no doubt I shall have it. Business with us is now somewhat better, but we have had a long and dreary time of it.

The rumour of the sale of Goldsmidt's novel is simply ridiculous; it has been reprinted but I cannot find by all the accounts brought to me that anything like a large sale has been effected. The book of books just now here is Uncle Tom's Cabin by an American lady of the name of Stowe - Mrs Becher Stowe. The success of this work issued here in prices varying from 1/ to 5/ may be estimated to some extent by the faet that no less than 120,000 copies have at 1east sold!!! This surpasses anything I ever remember in so short a time; and throws into shade the popularity af Sir Walter Scott and Charles Dickens. It is a masterly production, its purpose high and holy. May Heaven grant that it may produce a proper impression on the slave-drivers of the "Model Republic", the United States, for it is a fearless exposure of the atrocities committed in a professedly Christian land an the unhappy slave; May her holy purpose have been powerful to tum these miscreants from their terrible traffie in human flesh, before the just judgment of an avenging God descend an the land cursed by these miserable men. These are the professers of liberty and equality!!! Faugh! It makes one ashamed almost to be a man - but they are not men, but fiends.

England, all England, mourns the loss of her greatest Soldier. Wellington had survived the animosities which beset his path in earthly life (for what Great Man ever was without detractors) and has descended to the tomb with the tears of a whole nation as it were. The funeral which will be on the grandest scale will take place, it is said, on the 13th November. And not even Nelson will have been honoured with higher honors.

I published Madame Pfeiffer's Visit to Iceland, but immediately afterwards a rival edition was issued, which has well nigh destroyed mine. So much for pirates, what as regards mischief to me [is] the same thing, publishing another translation.

Literature only flourishes in peace and how long are we likely to have peace when we look at the mad pranks af Messieurs on the other side of the Herring-pond, as the straits of Dover are humourously called. With Louis Napoleon as Emperor, which we look for every day, what are we to expect but some violent course. I do not look on the future just now cheerfully. Pray Heaven I may be mistaken, for I do not like the bare notion of war - I hate it with a perfect hatred. But while Frenchmen remain as they are, rulers may play the game of war. Glory is the bouble they seek: and they are utterly careless about the consequences to others so that their selfish and unprincipled desires are accomplished. May a good Providence, which has hitherto always guarded our happy places from invasion, still extend his shield over us! and if War come, may the God of Battle, who spoke in the great day of Waterloo, utter his voice in thunder and stay the ruffianly host:

Thus far shalt thou come - no further.

Well, our literary celebrities are becoming public men indeed. Lord John Russell, Macaulay, Ben Disraeli, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir Bulwer Lytton in Parliament, cum multis aliis, shew that the classe literaria is becoming of importance. Charles Dickens does not go into Parliament; but he really would make a very ready and able Speaker, and I am much surprised he has not yet started.

Send me the Tales soon, and then I may publish the Volume in course of November

[Resten at brevet mangler.]

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