System Number: 04182
Date: 12 March 1895
Recipient: George Moore
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler M452
Document Type: ALcS
Mr. Whistler begs to acknowledge Mr. Moore's letter of March 11th.
If, in it, the literary incarnation of the 'excentric' person, on the curbstone, is supposed to represent Mr. Moore at the present moment, Mr Whistler thinks the likeness exaggerated - as it is absurd to suppose that Mr Moore can really imagine any one admires him in his late rôle before the Interviewer, or in that of the Expert in the Council Chamber.
If, however, Mr. Moore means in his parable to indicate Mr. Whistler, the latter is willing to accept Mr Moore's circuitous and coarse attempt to convey a gross insult - and, upon the whole, will perhaps think the better of him, for an intention to make himself at last responsable.
In such case, Mr. Whistler will ask a friend to meet any gentleman Mr. Moore may appoint to represent him; and awaiting a reply, has the honour to remain, Mr Moore's
Very obedient servant,
J. McNeill Whistler.
Paris, Hotel Chatham,
March 12, 1895.
This document is protected by copyright.
1. George Moore
George Moore (1852-1933), novelist and art critic [more].
This is a copy of JW's letter to George Moore, reprinted in an interview with Moore entitled 'A Picture and A Challenge. The Strange Story of Mr. Whistler and Mr. Moore', The Daily Chronicle, 29 March 1895 (Getscher, Robert H., and Paul G. Marks, James McNeill Whistler and John Singer Sargent. Two Annotated Bibliographies, New York and London, 1986, B. 87). JW, angry at Moore's last letter (#11019), replied, and Moore read this letter to the interviewer, along with his own, very tempered, explanation of the situation. Moore told the interviewer he wrote back that 'Mr. Whistler's conduct grows daily more absurd' (#04183). JW persisted, Vielé-Griffin and Mirbeau wrote, also demanding a retraction or a duel (their letter is quoted) but Moore declined the duel, as he told the Chronicle, on the grounds that JW was too old and near-sighted. The interview was condensed and retold from the Chronicle, with the letter intact, in 'The Gentle Art of Duelling. Mr. Whistler and Mr. George Moore', The Westminster Gazette, 29 March 1895. The Westminster Gazette also after JW's death published this letter; Moore's reply (#04183); and Vielé-Griffin and Mirbeau to G. Moore, 15 March 1895, #04081.