[Sevilla, 15. august 1862.]
[Dear Lady Drummond Hay,]
How shall I express all my thanks for the great hospitality and kindnessyou and your husband showed to me and Collin? The eight days in your home is still for us the flower of the whole journey. We were so happy! We felt that we were welcome, and all around us was so new, so strange. Yes, I am conscious that if I live to return to Denmark, I shall take with me a fresh and many-coloured poetical blossom which I shall owe to you.
The steamer brought us to Cadiz in the early moming. Still, in the night I had a slight alarm, for in the Straits we grounded on a sandbank, but we soon were clear and the weather was favourable.
Cadiz was for me a most uninteresting town. It is clean, as if in its Sunday best, but has no characteristic features. Seville, on the contrary, is full of life, like Rossini's music. And what treasures are to be seen here - the Alcasar, the cathedral with its glorious Murillos! But it is cold here like a chilly October day at home. I am dressed in quite winter clothing, and in the streets the men wear their cloaks thrown round them so as to cover their mouths.
I dread the journey to Madrid. To travel twenty-one hours at this time of the year will not be pleasant. Very happy should I be if I could hear at the Danish minister's at Madrid how everything is passing in my African home. Yes! you and your husband must allow me to call your happy dwelling by that name. Give my thanks and greeting to your husband and children; also to Mr. Green. I regret that I did not manage to take leave of him when I left.
I hope we may meet again next summer in Denmark.
In Denmark I will plant the melon seeds I got from African soil, and I hope they will thrive to blossom, and bear fruit.
God give you and yours blessings and happiness.
Your grateful and devoted
H. C. Andersen