The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 02235
Date: [4 January 1889?][1]
Author: William Henry Hurlbert[2]
Place: [London]
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler H331
Document Type: AD

What! what! what!
Pray, Mr Stott[3]!
Is the meaning of the Spot
Like a dash and a dot
Which appears on your bot-
-Tom? Is it the touch
Of the high dancing boot
Of a merry cocotte?
Or, a natural smutch
Revealing the root
Of your race to be Hot-

No! no! It is not
I refuse you the touch
Of the high-dancing boot
Of a merry cocotte!
No Sir! It is not
[p. 2] In the morals of Stott
To dance the gavotte
Or the can-can - with such!
Nor is it thea blot,
Revealing the root
Of my race, to be Hot-

'Tis in truth but a clot
Etched there by the boot
Of our agile Ex-P[4]
Who, like a galoot
When I taught him to shoot
Took to kicking of me!
Wasn't it nasty of he?

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1.  [4 January 1889?]
Dated from reference to William Stott; another rhyme relating to Stott mentions Hurlbert and is so dated (#12785).

2.  William Henry Hurlbert
William Henry Hurlbert (1827-1895), journalist and author, editor-in-chief of the New York World from 1876-1883 [more].

3.  Mr Stott
William Stott of Oldham (1857-1900), genre and landscape painter [more]. In January 1889, JW quarrelled with Stott at the Hogarth Club over Mary Maud Franklin (1857- ca 1941), JW's model and mistress [more], whom he had abandoned abruptly the previous summer to marry Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more]. The incident was widely reported in the London and New York papers. JW sent his own version of events to the New York Herald. Unfortunately, in the process of transmission the meaning of the original was slightly altered, to JW's annoyance. By the time JW's original text was published in the Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News on 16 February 1889, Stott's reply and other correspondence had been published (Stott wrote his own account of the incident to the New York Herald, which was published on 19 January, #13188).

4.  Ex-P
That is, JW, ex-President of the Royal Society of British Artists. He resigned on 4 June 1888.