London: New Burlington Street. March 11, 1873.
Dear Sir and much valued friend,
I cannot tell you how sorry I was to hear that you had been seriously ill, and I hope now that the Spring is in happy prospeet, that you are recovering. We were all so much gratified at your appreciative recollection of us at Sevenoaks, mentioned in your book. It was one of the last books which my dear Father read, and it brought back to him the happy days when you gratified us by your company. Is there any chance of your coming to England? If so, you will, I hope, come and see me in my litt1e country cottage, and there you ean do as you like without conventionality.
Our world of letters is now more busy with social and religious contests than it was a few years back. We have lost our greatest literary men of our time in Thackeray, Dickens and Macaulay, and no name occurs to me as in any way rep1acing their loss. In poetry, too, we have no longer Mrs Barrett Browning, whose "Aurora Leigh" you are no doubt familiar with, and though we have Tennyson, we do do not hold him to be in the first rank of poets.
I am sorry that my sister missed seeing you in Copenhagen last year. We should have been so pleased to have had an account of you through her. May I ask for a photograph of yourself? I should prize it greatly, and especially if your autograph was attached to it.
Any little short fancies and tales and poems you may like t6 send for our Magazine, I should insert with pleasure, and will pay the translator half a guinea the printed page. I should be proud to have your name in it.
We have had a long wet season. No man living remembers in England so much continuous wet weather. Yet every now and again it breaks away and we get glimpses of the passionate blue sky over which the c1ouds race to Copenhagen.
Would I could race there and grasp you by the hand. Bver, dear Sir, Affectionately yours,