Poor old Dumaurier! -
And so you think a foul "friend" a finer fellow than an open enemy. -
For twenty years then you have been nourishing this envy, malice, and pretty bonhomie of whose existence, while shaking your honest Anglo-French fist, you allowed me to
perceive gather not the faintest suspicion - until behind my back you could vent your spleen in the pathetic print that should bring guineas to the popular draughtsman whose poor eyes are yet not too dimmed to fix, with his pencil, the détails of his diary upon his distinguished companions in whose intimacy he has speculated -
What a life! -
You propose your published [p. 2] lie to my possible "future biographer" - You are mistaken - it will die with you - and in your own excellent self you furnish him with the explanation of all the rest - for what now in the name of all that is traitorous, should I do with "friendship" such as yours! -
1. [4 April 1894?]
This is related to a draft for a letter to the Pall Mall Gazette , dated 4 April 1894, #04395. However, JW's indignation must have grown for over a month before he sent the letter out for publication. It was published under the heading 'Mr. Whistler on Friendship,' The Pall Mall Gazette, vol. 58, no. 9092, 13 May 1894, p. 2.
3. foul "friend"
A pun on 'foul fiend'.
Fr., exuberant friendliness. JW is being ironic.
Du Maurier, George, 'Trilby,' Harper's New Monthly Magazine, serialised, begun 1 January 1894; reprinted (expunged) as Trilby: A Novel, New York, 1894; regular ed., London and New York, 1895.
6. poor eyes
Early in his career Du Maurier lost the sight of one eye, which is why he abandoned a career as a painter for that of draughtsman and illustrator.