KING WILLIAM STREET,
STRAND, W. C.
I have just read the disgraceful paragraphs in your paper about the death of Godwin -
Though knowing you but slightly, I have hitherto not supposed you a malignant coward - and therefore am unwilling to believe that you are really responsable [sic] for the wretched insinuations that, now that he is no longer here to defend himself, attempt to tarnish the memory of an Artist of [p. 2] the calibre, a man of the distinction of Godwin -
But I should like to hear from you that I am right in supposing that you who have spoken to me with the apparent frankness of an honest man, and whose hand I have shaken, could not possibly have meanly thrown the miserable mud to bespatter the unprotected "widow and pretty boy" mentioned in your columns as all who are left to suffer from the slander -
J McNeill Whistler
James Davis Esq -
I repeat I cannot believe that this brutal outrage can have emmanated [sic] from yourself and am therefore awaiting your reply
Sincerely Yours as before
J McN W
4. widow and pretty boy
Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more] (the newly widowed Mrs Godwin), and Edward Godwin (b. 1876), son of Beatrix and E. W. Godwin; JW's step-son [more].