The Hans Christian Andersen Center

Dato: 10. december 1871
Fra: H.C. Andersen   Til: Horace E. Scudder
Sprog: dansk, engelsk.

Copenhagen,

December 10,1871.

Dear and excellent friend:

I have two letters to thank you for. The second I got the day before yesterday; the former I should have thanked you for most warmly and sincerely several week ago. But I have been suffering from a severe cold, and that for nearly two months. It was so persistent and I was suffering so that I was in no mood to write, not even to dear friends. Nor was the first letter an easy one to answer immediately. I have a great desire to visit America and my friends there, but [I have] a dread of the great ocean on which my very dear friend, Miss Wulff, lost her life on a burning ship, "Austria." Your letter is meanwhile most convincing. From countrymen of mine, from several Americans like yourself, dear friend, I have heard how cordially I would be received, how many excellent people would open their doors and houses to me. Indeed, your letter informs me that my publishers would pay the expenses of the trip. Such friendliness and kindness is indeed incomparable. Methinks I must, methinks I will and shall, bring to a close in the New World my life story, which our good Lord in his wonderful grace and goodness towards me has put together. But I shall scarcely be able to come! If I were to decide to go, it would have to be in the best of summer weather, with a likelihood of a good journey across. To think of such a thing now in the winter time sets my phantasy going in a panic of fear. We are having a stormy winter, I read every day of shipwrecks on the coast, even great steamships are lost. Springtime must illumine my phantasy before I can consider a trip across the Atlantic Ocean. But be assured that my heart is filled with joy and gratitude for the friendly feeling that I know I would find there. i have an infinite desire and longing to see the great country to the West, and the many there who are so friendly and good to me. Express my thanks, my joy, dear friend, to my noble and generous publishers. Tell them how fortunate and happy I would be to step into their room someday, grasp their hands, and in the course of some weeks of being together with them, to build a solid friendship with them. Express my thanks for the invitation; yes, read this letter to them in English. I shall be there unseen in the room, and sigh, "I fear I shall never get over there, never learn to know my friends there!"

While I am writing this, the hail is driving against the window panes, the wind is whistling through the ships & tackles in the canal outside my windows. "God protect those who are upon the sea," I say; and then you will understand one's fear of getting out on the great ocean. Except for my cold, I must say that all is well with me, and that I have every reason to feel blessed. If at an earlier period I was misjudged and endured injustice and depressing days, I may say now that from year to year, indeed from week to week, I have almost had too much happiness and appreciation. Last week I was invited to the Queen Mother's Asylum School; it was a regular festival. The worthy ladies who direct the Asylum had suggested to the children the idea that when they got a coin or two, they should not buy cakes or sweets, but put the pennies in a thrift-box. Then when there was money enough to do it, they were to buy black and white drawings of good Danish men, and with these decorate the walls of the school. In this way they had secured portraits of Ingemann and Oehlenschlager. Now they were to have, as was reasonable, a portrait of Holberg, but all the little ones voted for Andersen, and as it was to be done with their own pennies, they got their author. My picture is hanging there now. I was received with cheers by the entire assemblage, all of them little girls. Two of them had each written a song, one sung on my arrival and one on my departure. My portrait was unveiled, and in appreciation I read some of my fairy tales to them. "Dance, Dance, My Little Doll, which you will know from The Children' s Paper (Brnebladet) made a great hit. I said goodbye, and they all wanted to shake my hand. I told them that I could not shake each hand, as there were too many of them, but they insisted. One little girl held on and would not let go. You can understand how happy I was at the friendliness of the children towards me.

Our talented ballet master, Bournonville, has composed a new ballet. The motif is from my "Steadfast Tin Soldier" who is the leading figure. The ballet will be presented for the firs t time on the second day af ter Christmas. In London the Sampson, Low publishing house has put out Eight Fairy Tales, by Hans Christian Andersen, in a de luxe edition. N o book of mine has ever been as beautifully got up as this. The pictures are printed in color that they may the better impress themselves upon the childish vision; but I cannot ascribe any artistic importance to them. Their sumptuousness lies in the display of color and the gilding. My Danish bookdealer, Reitzel, has purchased a copy of this costly book, and presented it to me.

When you give me again the pleasure of a letter, kindly let me know the address of my countryman, Bagger. And now, sincere thanks for the OId Year. A new one will be unfolding when you receive this letter. If only the New Year will bring the best of everything to each of us. Greet my publisher most heartily, likewise your own dear family.

your deeply devoted

HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN

Tekst fra: Se tilknyttede bibliografiposter

Kjbenhavn den 10 December 1871

Kjre, fortrffelige Ven!

To Breve har jeg at takke Dem for; det sidste fik jeg iforgaars, det frste skulde jeg allerede for flere Uger siden have bragt Dem min varme, inderlige Tak for, men jeg har lidt af en strk Forkjle1se og det nu i henved to Maaneder, den var saa haardnakket, jeg flte mig lidende og aldeles ikke oplagt til at skrive, ikke engang til kjre Venner. Det frste Brev var heller ikke let at svare paa; - svare ieblikkelig. Jeg har stor Lyst til at besge America og mine Venner der, men en Angst for Verdenshavet, hvor min ssterlige Veninde Frken Wulf omkom paa det brndende Skib Austria. Deres Brev er imidlertid saa overtalende, jeg har fra Landsmnd, fra flere Amerikanere, ligesom fra Dem, kjre Ven, hrt hvor vel jeg vil blive modtaget, at mange - fortrffelige Mennesker ville aabne Dr og Huus, for mig, ja Deres Brev siger mig at mine Forlggere ville betale Reisen, det er en magels Venlighed og Godhed, jeg synes jeg maa, jeg synes jeg vil og skal, i den nye Verden slutte mit Livshistorie, som Vorherre saa vidunderlig naadig og god mod mig har sat sammen, men jeg kommer dog neppe! bestemme mig der til maatte vre i den bedste Sommertid, hvor der var, Rimelighed for at det kunde blive en god Overreise, nu: i Vinteren at tnke derpaa stter min hele Phantasi i Skrk. Vi have just en stormfuld Vintertid, hver, Dag lser jeg i Aviserne om Strandinger her paa Kysterne, selv store Dampskibe forulykkes. Foraaret maa lyse ind i min Phantasi fr jeg kan tnke paa Reise over Atlanterhavet. Men vr forvisset om, at mit Hjerte er opfyldt af Glde og Taknemlighed over det kjrlige Sindelag jeg veed at jeg der vil finde; jeg fler en uendelig Lyst og Lngsel efter at see det mgtige Land i Vesten og de Mange som ere mig saa venlige og gode. Udtal, kjre Ven, min Tak, min Glde, for mine dle, mig saa velmenende Forlggere, siig dem hvor lykkelig og glad jeg vil vre ved en Dag .at trde ind i deres Stue, trykke deres Hnder og vi, ved i Uger at vre sammen, kom ret tit at blive gode Venner! udtal min Tak for Indbydelsen, ja ls, i Engelsk, dette Brev for dem, jeg er da usynlig med i Stuen og sukker, "jeg kommer dog vist aldrig derover, lrer ikke at kjende Vennerne der!" I det jeg skriver dette slaaer Haglene paa Ruderne, Vinden suser i Skibstougene paa Kanalen uden for mine Vinduer. "Gud beskytte dem som ere paa Havet!" siger jeg, og saa forstaaer De, man har Skrk for at komme ud paa Verdenshavet. - Jeg har det forresten, naar jeg undtager Forkjlelsen, velsignet og godt! Prvede jeg i en tidligere Tid Miskjendelse, Uret og tunge Dage, saa har jeg nu Aar for Aar, ja Uge for Uge, nsten formegen Glde og Erkjendelse. I forrige Uge blev jeg indbudt til "Enkedronningens Asyl-Skole", det var en heel Fest, de vrdige Damer som styre Asylet, havde indgivet Brnene den Tanke at naar de hver fik en lille Skilling skulde de ikke kjbe sig Kage eller Sukker, men lgge den ned i en. Sparebsse, naar der saa var Penge dertil, da kjbe, i Kultegning Billeder af danske gode Mnd og med disse pynte Skolens Vgge, saaledes have de forskaffet sig Portrt af Ingemann og ehlenschlger, nu skulde de have, som rimeligst var, Portrt af Holberg; men alle de Smaa stemte for at faae Andersen og da det jo var for deres egne Skillinger, saa fik de deres Digter; mit Billed hnger der nu.

Jeg blev modtaget med Hurraraab af hele Befolkningen, Allesammen smaa Piger, to af dem havde hver skrevet en Sang, der blev afsjungen ved min Ankomst og Bortgang. Mit Portt blev afslret og til Tak lste jeg nogle af mine Eventyr for dem. Dandse dandse Dukke min! som De kjender fra Brnebladet, gjorte stor Lykke. Da jeg sagde Lev vel vilde de alle rkke mig Haanden, jeg sagde at, jeg ikke kunde trykke hvers Haand da de vare saa mange, hvor trngte de da paa; ja een lille Pige vilde slet ikke slippe men holdt fast. De vil forstaa hvor glad jeg var ved alt det venlige Barnesind mod mig. Vor geniale Balletmester: Bournonville, har komponeret en ny Ballet, Motivet fra mine Eventyr, "Den standhaftige Tinsoldat" er Hovedfiguren;.Balletten skal frstegang gives anden Juledag. I London er udkommet paa Samson Lows Forlag 8 Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen! det er et Pragtvrk, som dette er endnu aldrig fr nogen Bog af mig blevet udstyret. Billederne ere givne i Farve-Tryk, ret til at skinne ind i Barneine, men kunstnerisk Betydning kan jeg ikke tillgge dem, det er Farvepragten og Forgyldningen som er det rigeste. Min danske Boghandler Reitzel har kjbt et Exemplar af denne dyre Bog og forret mig.

Naar De igjen glder mig med Brev vil De da sige mig min Landsmand Baggers Adresse. Og nu inderlig Tak for det gamle Aar, et nyt ruller op naar De modtager dette Brev.

Gid det nye Aar bnnge det Bedste for os hver. Hils paa det hjerteligste mine Forlggere, lige saa Deres egen kjre Famille.

Deres inderligt hengivne

Hans Christian Andersen

Tekst fra: Solveig Brunholm (microfilm 12, 132-33)