Item No: cdc393501
Title: ALs to John Leech
 pages + envelope
Thirteenth June 1848
My Dear Leech.
I need not, I am sure, tell you how sorry I have been, both for your absence from the late most pleasant excursion, or for the occasion of it. Or how very much we all missed you.
I do not write, therefore, on that head, but with a view to the next. And what I am obliged to do, is, to ask you at once to decide whether you will undertake to go, or not. I will shew you the point cannot be left open. —On Tuesday week, there will be another performance at Birmingham. I must send down the complete bill directly. In July there will be performances in Edinburgh and Glasgow. I must send down complete bills there, and have been there already asked for them. If you don’t go, it will be necessary for me to play Slender, and for Topham to play Shallow. I cannot ask him to study Shallow on the chance, nor can the dresses be altered on the chance. So the whole proceedings are really at a stand-still, and they must be wound up and set going. The interval is short—Topham has never been in the play—the bills must be sent off—and if changes are to be made, it is indispensable that they should be made at once. If made, they cannot be changed again.
Nobody but you, can decide. If you feel the least uneasiness or doubt about your little child, however, then I would urge you to abandon the thought of going, for the sake of the play itself—with which we really could do nothing if you came in again, and failed us at last. If you feel it, according to all human calculation and your own resolution, safe to undertake to go, then rush into the arms of the Company as its long-lost offspring. But the essential thing, is, that one way or other the matter be made certain, and nothing left in peril. Therefore I ask you to decide it finally, and so as to leave us no reasonable likelihood or chance of discomfiture.
Always My Dear Leech
John Leech Esquire
Thirteenth June 1848
Rare Book Department
In the second performance in Birmingham Leech continued to play Slender, but in Edinburgh and Glasgow Dickens played Slender and Topham Shallow.
Leech, John, 1817-1864
A gift of Mrs. D.Jacques Benoliel, 12/6/54.
Volume 5, pp. 335-336, The Letters of Charles Dickens, edited by Madeline House & Graham Storey; associate editors, W.J. Carlton…[et al.]
Creation Place Note:Devonshire Terrace
DL L516j 1848-06-13
Dickens, Charles, 1812-1870 - Author