The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 02506
Date: [July 1867][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Alphonse Legros[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler L42
Document Type: ALdS


Votre lettre d'ignoble poltron, écrite à Mons. Haden[3] pour mettre être lu devant le cercle Burlington Club[4], vous rends [sic] ignobl ridicu meprisable aux yeux de tout homme de coeur - Je ne vous batterai plus - C'a n'en vaut pas la peine - Mais je vous ecris ceci pour vous prevenir que je vous indiquerai liverai à Paris au ridicule de tous ceux que vous connaisent -


[p. 2] Seulement je te laisse la

Pour te montrer remords consolation d'avoir servi à un homme qui de son temps t'avait t'a offert traité comme un chien - et qui en peignant sur un de tes tableaux[5] t'a fait subir l'insulte le plus inouie qu'un artiste puisse recevoir - t'a offert l'insulte memorable, pour un artiste, de

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Your letter of vile cowardice, written to Mr Haden to be placed read out in the circle of the "Burlington Club", makes you despicable in the eyes of all noble-hearted men - I shall not beat you again - It is not worth the effort - But I write this to advise you that I shall deliver you in Paris over to the ridicule of all those who know you -

[p. 2] Only I leave you the

To show you the remorse consolation of having served a man who treated you like a dog - and who in painting on one of your pictures subjected you to the most outrageous insult that an artist can receive - gave you the memorable insult, for an artist, of


1.  [July 1867]
This is one of two undated drafts of a letter to Legros (see #02507), written in response to Legros' letter to Haden of 16 June 1867 (#12943).

2.  Alphonse Legros
Alphonse Legros (1837-1911), painter, etcher and art teacher [more].

3.  Haden
Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910), surgeon and etcher, JW's brother-in-law [more]. Legros' letter to Haden is dated 16 June 1867, and describes a quarrel with JW (#12943).

4.  Burlington Club
In April 1867, JW quarrelled with Haden over Haden's treatment of James Reeves Traer (ca 1834 - d.1867), partner in F. S. Haden's medical practice [more]. Traer died suddenly on 23 April of alcohol related causes, during a trip to Paris. Haden arranged for Traer's burial with what JW and his brother William regarded as unseemly haste. On 26 April a violent row took place between the brothers-in-law in a Paris café and Haden fell (or allegedly was pushed by JW) through a plate glass window. Both JW and Haden were members of the Burlington Fine Arts Club and in the aftermath of the Traer affair Haden campaigned for JW to be excluded from the club, having brought to its attention several alleged previous incidents of assault involving JW, including an incident concerning Legros. JW was expelled at a general meeting of the Club on 13 December (see JW to W. Boxall, #00498).

5.  tableaux
See JW to H. Fantin-Latour, 4 January 1864, #08036.