The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Child, Theodore
Record 7 of 55

System Number: 00611
Date: [13/15 December 1886][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Théodore Child[2]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler C112
Document Type: ALSd

Mr. Whistler's experience with the loyal critic.
A long and elaborate article by Mr. Theodore Child in the Fortnightly Review of last Season attracted produced much attention effect because of the determined championship of Mr Whistler - serious tone in which Mr. Whistler was upheld among all artists as master pointing out the great admiration and esteem he had achieved in France - etc -

In an equally long and elaborate article in the N. Y. Sun this champion has decried his hero as a charlatan and Trifler with the accompaniments we have all been long accustomed to -

The following is Mr. Whistlers acknowledgement of his recantation[3]

[p. 2] Was it dollars Theodore that did it ? - or were they shekels of the "haute Juiverie"? - and was it at the old price? -

In the environs of Paris, on the buttes Montmartre or at Ramponeau, shall you yet find an unused Potter's field[4]? - and with the 30 pieces of silver now hire it for the night as they did with your predecesor in simpler times ? - If not, where will you go with your rope that your bowels may come out[5] within ken of the police,- that while the cocks of Chelsea[6], whither you made your humble [p. 3] pilgrimage, still crow, something be done quickly, lest like Arry[7] you be neglected by the parish, and lie stinking many days[8]. -

[butterfly signature]

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [13/15 December 1886]
This is a draft, similar to #00610, for publication in Truth, 13 January 1887, and including a letter to Child (#11015). See latter for full annotation.

2.  Théodore Child
Theodore Child (1846-1892), journalist and art critic [more].

3.  of his recantation
Added in pencil.

4.  Potter's field
Matthew 27.3-10 - 'Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day.'

5.  your bowels may come out
Acts 1.18 - 'Now this man [Judas] purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.'

6.  cocks of Chelsea
Further biblical imagery of betrayal, this time with reference to the Apostle Peter; see Matthew 26:74-5 - 'And immediately the cock crew. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.'

7.  Arry
Henry ('Arry') Quilter (1851-1907), advocate and art critic [more].

8.  lie stinking many days
John 11:39 - 'Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days'