London. 26 Alfred Place, Bedford Square: 28 August 1849.
to Hans Christian Andersen.
My Dear Friend,
I have long expected a letter from you, but presurne events are such in Denmark, that the projected exhibition and sale of works for the benefit of the widows and orphans of those who fell in defence of their rights has been abandoned.
I offered, you may remember; my personal service, if needed, and also to contribute such as my small means and talent would allow me, if it is still in contemplation I beg again to repeat my former promise, I wish the peace, or rather the terms upon which hostilities have ceased, appeared to me absolute, I must confess they do not, but at a future period, may give rise to a recurrence of this painful war, how such it is that hills intervening make enemies of nations, lands intersected by a narrow stream dislike each others, that men should destroy, forgetting the ties of father or of brotherhood and in the wilfulness of their fury forgetting they are men and as men responsible to God.
I passed last week at Lord de Tabley's with our kind and mutual friend Jerdan, he is quite well, I never saw him in better health and spirits, he bade me give his best and kindest wishes to you. I made a bust of him some time ago, if you would like a cast, I shall be happy to forward one to you. Another friend of yours called on me yesterday, Ainsworth, he is always regretting he did not see you, when you made your visit here. -
And now, my dear Andersen, I am going to put a question to you, which, if you can solve an assertion for me, - you will lay me under a lasting obligation to you - it is with respect to Jenny Lind. I have heard she is unhappy - very so - and from the quarter I heard it, fear it may be true - this is a source of deep distress to me - you may say why? why should I feel sorrow on that account, the answer is very easy, she in the first place always received me with greatkindness and consideration, and the expressions of her pleasure, when good was likely to arise for me - I never may forget, besides throughout her stay with us, I know, and fee1, the good she did, and when I reflect that one who so powerfully and effectively relieved the sufferings and sorrows of the "stricken ones" - should be herself unhappy, I cannot but share her sorrow, when I remember to how pigmy are my effortsin this great world compared to her - my own nothingness - and the almost boundless goodness of her sympathizing heart - I would, believe me, (and I would not say so did I not think so), give my life if it could buy her on this earth of ours a life of happy days, she has my prayers and ever will have for her quietude, till God receives her spotless soul, where a rich reward awaits her coming, be that soon or late, but may that day be distant for faith and hope her it is not to doubt, passing as we must our earthly pilgrimage - the never dying soul, with good or ill most justly is repaid - havmg fought for myself since the age of 10, I have lived in the world, and meet at times all sorts af people - and I assure you, her marriage was never mentioned but with gloom, - why I know not - but so it was - there seemed a presentiment against it, a feeling that it could not come to good, and when folks told each other it was off, a weight seemed taken from the minds of those who spoke of it, although the cause unknown, always adding she must be right, for that's to say, thoughts, we give credit to strange things at times, but couple the name of Jenny Lind with wrong - never, no man dare do, oh! that I knew she made a mind at ease, and purposed to return to us, you know not how she's loved amongst us - even little children lisp her name with praise.
I ask this of you, out af no idle curiosity, of that be sure, so let me entreat of you to obtain this knowledge for me and you make me deeply your deptor, I have lang, long thought of writing this to you, at last I've secured the courage, above all things I would like to write to her, but dare not - with best wishes for your happiness and health,
I am, believe me, Yours Faithfully,