[embossed monogram:] 'D D H'
62 SLOANE STREET.
My dear Jem
I am horrified at what I hear this morning - What do these brutal assaults of yours mean - first upon one & then upon another - and that for my sake you could not have abstained from this last seems to me to show that you wish to break with me as well [p. 2] as with him - Surely you can not know what you are doing at these moments - and that you & Willie - ignorant of all the wrong that Traer has done to Seymour & not even waiting to know it should take the part of a wretched drunkard against him is inconceivable. Seymr. has for the last year put up with more than most people would [p. 3] have done from a partner who has [been] ruining & disgracing him[.] He offered him an amicable separation upon what were considered by good judges generous & liberal terms. Traer ignored every thing & for six weeks had absented himself entirely. We heard indirectly that he had gone to Paris & then that he was dead - & when Seymr. goes over in the greatest kindness to do what he can for the wife who has no one to look to for help [p. 4] you & Willie receive him in this way!
I cannot say
how what I think & feel about it or rather I am afraid to say what I think & what others must think about such conduct. For Heavens' sake my dear Jem stop while there is time or you will die Traers' death - I am utterly miserable about it -
3. 62 SLOANE STREET.
This address is embossed.
A recent row between JW and Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910), surgeon and etcher, JW's brother-in-law [more], had come to blows in a Paris café. It concerned Haden's treatment of James Reeves Traer (ca 1834 - d.1867), partner in F. S. Haden's medical practice [more], who had died suddenly on a trip to Paris, allegedly in a brothel. Haden arranged for Traer's burial, with what JW and his brother William regarded as unseemly haste. Haden later claimed that in the heat of a confrontation between the brothers-in-law, JW pushed him through a plate glass window. The affair caused a permanent family rift, despite the intervention of Deborah Haden and George William Whistler (1822-1869), engineer, JW's half-brother [more] (see G. Wm. Whistler to F. S. Haden, #06681).
This is probably a reference to a row between JW and Alphonse Legros (1837-1911), painter, etcher and art teacher [more], in April 1867, which also came to blows. JW had known Legros since his student days in Paris during the late 1850s when, together with Ignace-Henri-Jean-Théodore Fantin-Latour (1836-1904), artist [more], they formed the Société des Trois. JW's friends tried to intervene (see JW to L. Ionides, #11312) but the two men were never reconciled. The reasons for their quarrel are unclear but they seem to have had a protracted dispute about money dating back to 1864 (see Ionides, Memories, 1996 edtn., p. 74 and JW to A. Legros, #02505). See also JW to D. G. Rossetti, #05242.
A reference to JW's row with Francis Seymour Haden.