British Museum. March 18th, 1873. Dear and much-honoured Friend,
If I have allowed a long time to elapse since I enjoyed the receipt of your last valued letter, it is because I have been busy in your cause. It vexes me to have to tell you that hithertomy efforts have been in vain. No one here in London will risk the publication of a translation of your last stories. Perhaps this will surprise you as much as it did me, but the reason of it lies in the extreme popularity of your works amongst us. Unless a very cheap and common edition were brought out, - and this would not be worth your - while or mine, - the publishers fear that the translation would at once be pirated by other publishing-houses, and they themselves would lose their profits. Added to this is the difficulty of an already-existing translation in America. You know there is no copyright-treaty between England and Denmark or between England and America, so your works are thereby open to a double danger. But Messrs Smith & Elder, who are very pleasant, upright people, have made a proposition to me, which I should like to know your mind about. They say that if you intend to bring out another little book of stories this year, and will let me have these in time for my translation to be published here simultaneously with the original at Copenhagen, they would be glad to bring it out with the 1872 collection? They would consider it an honour to possess a book of yours.
Thank you very much for your friendly, loving letter from the Old Year, and for the beautiful portrait, which I shall value all my life. It was indeed kind of you to write to me from your sick-bed. 1 am hoping very soon to hear of your complete recovery.
That you think of coming to England this spring rejoiced your friends here. You will have a warm welcome when you come. I have a greeting to bring you from California. The other day I met with an old clergyman from San Francisco, and he bade me tell you that your name is a household word all over that far western land.
Accept my love and homage, dear, honoured Friend, and allow me to sign myself,
Edmund W. Gosse.