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The Hans Christian Andersen Center

Brev fra H.C. Andersen til William Jerdan 17. marts 1848

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Dato: 17. marts 1848
Fra: H.C. Andersen   Til: William Jerdan
Sprog: dansk, engelsk.

[latinske bogstaver, HCAs håndskrift:] Copenhagen 17 Marts 1848

Dronningens tvergade 147

My dear Friend! My happy stay in England, where you in particular, contributed so much to my comfort, stand so vividly in my thoughts that it almost appears to me as if it were but a few weeks since I was there; if however I look into the almanac it shows me that it is months since, and I reproach myself for not having written to you, not thanked you for the indescribably hearty reception you gave me, and that good feeling you have shown towards me. Almost every week have I thought of writing to you, but a new story, a chapter of my new work, or a business letter which I was compelled to answer has sprung in betweeen. But now I will write, and in thoughts look into your clear, honest eyes. But this is altogether in thought, yet this letter is but a shadow hereof and this i send you and know that thoughts are realition.

I have since we saw each other, had the great misfortune to lose my beloved King Christian the Eighth, he was a noble, an accomplished, and an amiable man who felt warmly for all that was good and clever. To me he was more than gracious, he showed the most sincere sympathy and kindness towards me. I cannot as yet accustom myself to the thought that I have lost him for ever in this world. I will here give you a little trait of him, which shows how thoughtful he was even in minor affairs. When I left here for England he said to me on taking leave./

"It is expensive to live in England, I should not like you to be in any pecuniary embarassment there, and if it should be the case then write to me!" I felt this tender care for me, it affected me, and I thanked him, at the same time telling him that I should not be in any difficulty, as I had a certain sum which I had received for the german edition of my collected works, and that more I should not and could not expend. - "I mean it with the best intention!" said the King, "it might happen that your required more, if so write to me!" It was said so kindly and so heardly, and I answered as I ought to do " no your Majesty", I cannot accept your offer, I do not require it, and I have already had so many and different proofs of your great condescension. - but if you will permit me to write a letter to you and tell you how it fares with me, what impressions the country and the people make on me, and the king allowed it, and I wrote such a letter as he received with his whole haeart and mind.

You know not how firmly, how sincerely I loved that man, not for his crown's sake, but for his whole personality, may God gladden him in heaven as would willingly have gladdened all on earth.

It was of course only an accident, but there often lies in that incident a strangely poetic one. It is said here that on the very day the King died a wild swane came flying towards Roeskilde church - ! the cathedral church in which all the Danish Kings are entombed, the swan's flight was so rapid that it struck its breast against one of the spires and fell down dead. -

The late great events that have taken place in France / have also affected me deeply; it is a serious time that now unfolds itself; yet whatever may happen, however much may change and fall there is one who will never change, never fall - God!

Among the few sunbeams that have of late fallen on my, and which a gather to my heart, like a cheerful scene on a gloomy day, is a kindly letter from Charles Dickens, and a truly, sisterly one from Jenny Lind in Stockholm. She speaks with much pleasure of her coming departure for London; I wish that I could think of a similar one, but it willl not be! The grand-duke of Weimar has done me the honor to send me a Knight's order, and the King Oscar of Sweden has confered on me the order of the North Star. These proofs of a desire to honor and gratify me, always make a sad impression on me, yet I feel an anxiety as if I did not deserve them.

My new work I think will appear in London in July; It is now twelve years since I wrote my first novel "Only a Fiddler", I hope that this will surpass the earlier one in the rounding off and drawing of the characters.

How is that excellent young man Mr. Durham. he promised me that I should have a cast of Jenny Linds's and my own bust early

in the Spring. Glad as I should be at any time to receive a gift, yet I think I must beg you to remind him if it interests him to leave two works of art for the Danish Gallery of Art which opens on the second of April and continues open for five weeks that if he send the bust well packed to Mr. Hambro & Son (70 old broad St.) in London that gentleman will forward / them by the first vessel.

Will you give me most hearty and respectful compliments to the Countess of Blessington, I have a little story for her next annual, which I will take the liberty to send her. I hope she receivded a book from me through Mr. Bentley.

My compliments to Dickens, I will write to him myself soon to thank him for his friendly letter. Give my heart felt greeting to your lady and children, ad be yourself a friend as I shall be and am

yours sincerely attached

Hans Christian Andersen

Tekst fra: Solveig Brunholm

Kjøbenhavn, den 17de marts 1848.

Dronningens Tværgade, 147.

Kjære Ven!

Mit Ophold i England, som De i Særdeleshed bidrog sa meget til at forskjønne, staaer saa levende for mig, at det forekommer mig at være endt for kun faa Uger siden. Naar jeg imidlertid seer i Almanaken, bemærker jeg, at det er Maaneder siden, og jeg bebreider mig ikke at have skrevet tidligere til Dem og takket Dem for den hjertelige Modtagelse, jeg fik hos Dem. Jeg har hver eneste Uge tænkt paa at skrive til Dem, men en ny Historie, et Kapitel af mit nye Værk eller et Forretningsbrev, som jeg har været nødt til at besvare, har stedste hindre mig. Men nu vil jeg skrive og i Tankerne see ind i Deres klare, ærlige Øine - - - [Her ere nogle Lovtaler udladte].

Siden vi sidt talte sammen har jeg havt den store Sorg at miste min elskede Kong Christian den Ottende. Han var en ædel, begavet og elskværdig Mand, som følte for Alt, hvad der var godt og stort. Han var mere end naadig imod mig og viste mig altid den inderligste Velvillie. Jeg kan endnu ikke vænne mig til den Tanke, at jeg for stede har mistet ham i denne Verden. Jeg skal fortælle Dem et lille Træk af hans Karakter, som viser, hvor betænksom han var, selv i Smaating. Da jeg vilde reise herfra til England, sagde han til mig, "Det er dyrt at leve i England, og jeg vil nødig have, at De skal komme i nogen pekuniær Forlegenhed; skriv derfor til mig, hvis dette skulde blibe Tilfældet". Jeg blev rørt over denne Omhyggelighed og takkede ham, medens jeg samtidig underrettede ham om, at jeg ikke vilde komme i nogen Forlegenhed, da jeg havde en Sum, som jeg havde modtaget for den tydske Udgave af mine samlede Værker, og at jeg hverken kunde eller vilde behøve Mere. "Jeg siger det i det bedste Hensigt", sagde Kongen, "det kunde dog være, lad mig det da vide". Det blev sagt saa venlig og hjertelig, og jeg svarede, som jeg bude: "Nei, Deres Majestæt, jeg kan ikke modtage dette Bevis paa Deres Naade; men hvis De vil tillade at jeg skriver et Breev til Dem og fortæller, hvorledes det gaaer mig, og hvilket Indtryk jeg faaer af Landet og Folket, skal jeg være Deres Majestæt taknemlig". Kongen tillod det, og jeg skrev et Brev, som han modtog med hjertelig Glæde.

De veed ikke, hvor høit og inderlig jeg elskede denne Mand, ikke for hans Krones Skyld, men for hans hele Personlighed. Gid Gud vil glæde ham i Himlen, som han saa gjerne glædede Andre her paa Jorden. Det var naturligvis kun et Tilfælde, men der ligger ofte noget besynderlig Poetisk i Tilfældet. Det hedder sig, at den samme Dag Kongen døde, kom en vild Svane flyvende henimod Roskilde Domkrike (Kirken, hvor de danske Konger blive bisatte); Svanens Flugt var saa hurtig, at den slog rystet imod et af Spirene og faldt død ned.

De sidste store Begivenheder, so mhave fundet Sted i Frankrige, have ogsaa foruroliget mig meget; det er en alvorlig Tid, der nu kommer; dog hvem ved, hvad der vil skee; der er En som aldrig forandrer sig, aldrig feiler - Gud!

Imellem de faa Solstraaler, der nylig have beskinnet mig, og som jeg samler i mit Hjerte ligesom en munter Scene paa en trist Dag, ere et venligt Brev fra Charles Dickens og et sandt søsterligt Brev fra Jenny Lind i Stockholm. Hun taler med megen Glæde om sit forestaaende Besøg i London; jeg vilde ønske, at jeg kunde tænke opaa et lignende, men det vil ikke ske. Storhertugen af Weimar har gjort mig den Ære at sende mig Ridderorden, og Kong Oscar af Sverige har dekoreret mig med Nordstjerneordenen. Disse eviser paa Ønsket om at hædre mig gjøre altid et sørgeligt Indtryk paa mig, og dog er jeg glad, men føler en Ængstelse, ligesom om jeg ikke fortjente dem.

Jeg antager, at mit nye Værk vil udkomme i London i Juli. Det er nu tolv Aar, siden jeg skrev min første Bog "Kun en Spillemand". Jeg haaber at dette vil overgaa de tidligere Karakterernes Afrunding og Tegning.

Hvorledes har den flinke unge Mr. Durham det? Han lovede mig en Afstøbning af Jenny Linds og min egen Buste tidlig paa Foraaret. Hvor glad jeg end altid vilde være ved at modtage en saadan Gave, troer jeg dog, at jeg maa bede Dem at anmode ham om, hvis det interesserer ham, at sende de to Kunstværker til den danske Kunstudstilling, som aabnes den anden April og staaer aaben i fem uger; naar han sender Busterne godt indpakkede til Mr. Hambroe og Søn, 70, Old Broad Street, London, ville de besørge dem herover med det første Skib.

Vil De have den Godhed at hilse Grevinden af Blessington ret hjertelig fra mig? Jeg har en lille Historie til hende til Nytaar, som jeg vil tage mig den Frihed at sende hende; jeg haaber, at hun har modtaget en Bog fra mig gjennem Mr. Bently.

Mine bedste Hilsener til Dickens. Jeg vil snart selv skrive til ham og takke ham for hans venlige Brev. Behag at bringe Deres Familie mine hjertelige HIlsner og vær vis paa at have en Ven i Deres

inderlig hengivne

Hans Christian Andersen

[note: Den i Brevet omtalte Grevinde af Blessington gjorde sig Andersen forbunden ved at indbyde ham til en Middag, hvor Andersen fik Plads ved siden af Prinds Louis napoleon, senere Napoleon den Tredie, og Marquis'en af Douro, senere Hertugen af Wellington. "Den flinke unge Mr. Durham" blev siden en bekjendt Billedhugger, hvortil hans Buster af H. C. Andersen og Jenny lind ikke mindst bidrog.]

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