Documents associated with: Watts, Walter Theodore
Record 16 of 113
System Number: 09576
Date: [2 February 1878]
Recipient: Theodore Watts-Dunton
Repository: British Library
Call Number: Department of Manuscripts, Ashley 4601, leaves 5, 6
Document Type: ALS
My dear Watts -
I got your note  the other day and thought you would have looked in some morning before now - that I might thank you for your evident kind wish to be of friendly service to me - but my dear fellow dont interfere with Leyland! he is astounding! - he must not be stopped - he must go on! - he is acheiving [sic] the step from the ridiculous to the sublime!
He promised me a whipping and sends me his gas bill!! Mon cher these things are not done every day! [p. 2] Leyland and his gas bill are the joy of London and shall you rashly interfere! -
And now Macænas [sic] careering from Counting House to County Court, with Commercial enterprise in his eye and writs and gas bills in his pocket - and the painter impoverished by his 'Patron', pleading for mercy - are we to be robbed of this tableau because, rash man, you are pleased to interfere! -
You are like the Sapeur for whom 'rien n'est sacré' - and no table in town would forgive you! -
No my dear Watts tell Leyland that I am dull to all proposals and that he cannot have sketch drawing or etching! -
There are two other versions of this letter (#06073, #09577). This version was published in Whistler, James McNeill, Nine Letters to Watts-Dunton from J. McN. Whistler, ed. P. E., Chelsea, 1922, pp. 15-16.
8. sapeur for whom, rien n'est sacré
Fr., sapper (soldier who digs trenches) for whom nothing is sacred; the allusion is not clear.