The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Paddon, Samuel Wreford
Record 7 of 36

System Number: 04364
Date: [13/16 March 1882][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Samuel Wreford Paddon[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler P2
Document Type: ALdS[3]


Dear Paddon -

I am woefully tired and sleepy - this is not a quotation but a fact! - and I only send you a line to say that I just got your letter at the end of the day - as I was off for a drive before dressing for dinner, at which strange as it may appear I arrived just in time -

So that the whole thing has been one rush and I am now tumbling to pieces and should [p. 2] be in bed -

However I have looked in here purposely to tell you that I have received your letter and that I have not as yet had an answer from Mr Jack McNay[4] -

Beyond this I fear I am tonight unfit to enter properly into the spirit of what you have written - My impression at present is that your letter is of a solemnity that would be most gratifying to the Owl[5] - I doubt indeed if for an age that "Portugue[se] person" has ever had himself taken so seriously! - .

However we can talk that all over soon - meanwhile I assure you that I do not see at all why I should have shown you the letter to Jack McNay before I sent it - (though had you been by I really would willingly have done so with joy *) for it surely How I wrote was absolutely my own affair - excepting possibly from a sporting point of view - but you will notice that I say nothing to you about the matter as a bet - and that I certainly in no way propose to recall -

I wrote as you suggested - and a very good idea I thought it - though I did not loudly assert it at the time for reasons of my own - Had you been by when I wrote to J. McNay, I should have shown you the letter with joy -

[p. 3] * as you were not I sent you the copy - nothing could be fairer had it been 'de rigueur' to submit it to you before posting it, you may be certain that surely I would have known it - and would have known it - and would have done properly acquitted myself.

Good night my dear Paddon

more very soon -

but if even for a day or two I dont write believe me it is only because I am fearfully overworked this week - and know that at any moment it can be made clear we can settle the rest between us -

Very sincerely Yrs

J McNeill. Whistler


[written in the margin at right angle to text:] I ought really to apologize for registering my note - but I do so hate copying any thing that it suddenly occurred to me as a grievous disaster that after the trouble of taking 2 copies, the enclosure might possibly be lost!

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [13/16 March 1882]
This is a reply to S. W. Paddon's letter to JW, 13 March 1882, #04363, which was sent before Paddon to JW, 16 March 1882, #04365.

2.  Samuel Wreford Paddon
Samuel Wreford Paddon (b. 1843), diamond merchant and collector [more].

3.  ALSd
The letter was written at right-angles to the printed address. A similar version of this letter was published in Whistler, James McNeill, Correspondence. Paddon Papers. The Owl and the Cabinet, London, [1882], Letter III, pp. 2-3. For full annotation of the pamphlet, see JW's letter to S. W. Paddon, 10 March 1882, #09519.

4.  Jack McNay
John ('Jack') Edward MacNay (1834-1893), General Manager of the Stockton and Darlington Railway [more].

5.  Owl
Charles Augustus ('Owl') Howell (1840? - d.1890), entrepreneur [more], who was of Portuguese origin. The reference to Howell relates to an incident recorded by JW in Whistler, James McNeill, Correspondence. Paddon Papers. The Owl and the Cabinet, London, [1882]. It concerned Howell's rather ill-judged boast that he knew Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1882), Prime Minister of Great Britain [more].