Copenhagen the 17 of Feb 73
My dear young Friend!
How rejoiced I was by receiving your dear letter written and posted the 23th of Jnauary. My thoughts were just there with you and I was very sorry but your letter gave me hope and joy. You know young as you are that you can’t believe every thing contained in the newspapers, there is often no truth in them.
More than once you have been told that the renowned Livingstone had died in Africa, and, God be thanked, he lived still, such news of his death was already in the danish papers before the 25 of January, and I as well as all danish people, were rather sorry to see him called away in his great exertions for the human race, just at the moment he was to return / to his country and to his relatives. Just then, my dear Mary, I received your letter, and as you told me in the same, thus he was returning homewards, and thus he perhaps would visit Copenhagen in your company, then all the news contains in the papers disappeares as the news, and I hope and hope still that he lives and that his children his relatives and his friends will see him again. I have much to tell you and to write about, but today my thoughts are overwhelmed with the uncertainty about your father. Pray write soon to me may it be a letter of sunshine. My leter to day is put in writing by one of my friends, I feel still a great difficulty in writing. My bettering is only slowly proceeding. I thank you heartily for the photography / you sent me, how developed since the first child’s portraits I got.
My best and kindest love to you, your family and your aunt.
With the innermost sympathy and affection.
Hans Christian Andersen
Trykt på dansk: E. Bredsdorff, H.C. Andersen og England, s. 406-7