Ulva Cottage, Hamilton. 25th Jan. 1874.My dear, dear Hans Andersen,
The last time I heard from you, you had been so ill, that I have often thought of you, and wished to know. if you were quite well again. I would have written sooner, but I have a great number of lessons to learn which keep me from nine in the morning till nine at night, and so I have not had time.
Papa has never come home yet and we have not heard from him since Mr. Stanley brought us letters from him.
We got a great grief at the end of last year by the death of my uncle Charles Livingstone. He died on board ship on his return from Africa and was buried at sea. We all loved him very much. I knew him better than Papa because I have seen so little of Papa. Always when he got leave of absence he came and lived with us. He was always so good and kind to us.
I have had such happy Christmas holidays this winter. We lived with a very kind family at Kendal in Westmoreland. I was at one party on Christmas evening where we sang hymns for most of the night. Then on New Year's Eve the bells were muffled and rang from a quarter to twelve to twelve. After twelve for a quarter of an hour the bells chimed merrily. The muffled toll was ringing the year out, the merry chimes were ringing the new year in.
We did not go to Iona last summer. I was so very sorry, but we hope to visit it and Skye this summer.
I am still hoping to get to Copenhagen when Papa comes home, which will be very pleasant, for then I shall expect to see you.
I should like very mucht to get a letter from you if you have any time to write. I think I shall say goodbye now so with love to you from my aunts and myself
I am Your loving friend
Anna Mary Livingstone.
P.S. I am learning German from a German called Herr Schröder and am getting on very well.