My dear Friend,
I daresay you will be surprized to see a letter from One you left so old a personage that you could hardly expect to hear from him af ter so long a period of time had elapsed.
Yet here lam in the breathing world. still, though verging on my 86th - birthday, and still remembering with true-hearted feelings every circumstance which united us in mutual regard and esteem during your visit to London - to London, wonderfully and, to me, sadly changed since you were here.
But why am I induced to you now. I hope you will receive with this the Monthly part of a periodical of vast circulation, The Leisure Hour, to which l have ventured to contribute a memorial of our friendly intercourse. I trust you will rather be pleased with it, than blame it as a liberty with private correspondence. Tell me?!
Do you recollect tbe sweet pretty mother whom you enchanted with a Poet's kiss. She has been eleven years in her grave, leaving a fine boy of that age - the one knowing nothing of her gift, and the other nothing of his loss. The little gid whom you also kissed, declares she remembers it perfectly well, and consequently reads your Tales at our nightly fireside with important emphasis, as if one of the initiated. These Tales I enjoy as much as ever though I observe errors in translations which do not do justice to the exquisite touches of the original, nor the finest of spirit and nature which only a few congenial souls can truly appreciate. Still, there is enough leftfor great popularity, and I see editions everywhere advertized by the "Trade". One of these, Routledge, borrowed from me the portrait engraving of yourself, which you gave me with an inscription of praise and cordial affection, whlch I valued beyond prize. And it is most unpardonable - my picture is mislaid or lost - "strict search" is to be made for it! Confound the Trade and all who belong to it. I am on tenter hooks, as the saying is, and the wall of my little room despoiled, vacant, deplorable.
Might I hope for the delight of a letter from you. If?
It would, my dear friend, make me exceedingly happy.