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W C Macready

All_The_Year_Round

[Sidenote: Mr. W. C. Macready.]

              "ALL THE YEAR ROUND" OFFICE, _Tuesday, June 11th, 1861._

MY DEAREST MACREADY,

There is little doubt, I think, of my reading at Cheltenham somewhere
about November. I submit myself so entirely to Arthur Smith's
arrangements for me, that I express my sentiments on this head with
modesty. But I think there is scarcely a doubt of my seeing you then.

I have just finished my book of "Great Expectations," and am the worse
for wear. Neuralgic pains in the face have troubled me a good deal, and
the work has been pretty close. But I hope that the book is a good book,
and I have no doubt of very soon throwing off the little damage it has
done me.

What with Blondin at the Crystal Palace and Léotard at Leicester Square,
we seem to be going back to barbaric excitements. I have not seen, and
don't intend to see, the Hero of Niagara (as the posters call him), but
I have been beguiled into seeing Léotard, and it is at once the most
fearful and most graceful thing I have ever seen done.

Clara White (grown pretty) has been staying with us.

I am sore afraid that _The Times_, by playing fast and loose with the
American question, has very seriously compromised this country. The
Americans northward are perfectly furious on the subject; and Motley the
historian (a very sensible man, strongly English in his sympathies)
assured me the other day that he thought the harm done very serious
indeed, and the dangerous nature of the daily widening breach scarcely
calculable.

Kindest and best love to all. Wilkie Collins has just come in, and sends
best regard.

                        Ever most affectionately, my dearest Macready.