The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 05368
Date: [3 December 1878][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Edward Linley Sambourne[2]
Place: [Isle of Thanet, Kent]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler S12
Document Type: ALdS


My dear Sambourne -

I know I shall be only charmed as I always am by your work and if I am myself it's subject I shall only be flattered in addition - Punch[4] in person sat upon me in the box - Why should not the most subtle and of his staff have a shot! and whatever delicacy and refinement Tom Taylor[5] may have still left in his pockets (from which he drew his ammunition) I doubt not he will urge you to use that it may [p. 2] not be wasted! -

Meanwhile you must throw away no kind sentiment upon what you call this trying time - & for I am thoroughly delighted with the affair To me is has been going -

To have brought about a combina an "Arrangement of in Frith[6] Punch and Titian[7]" - is in itself sufficient to satisfy even my own appetite my craving for curious combinations -

Ever Yours

J A McN —

[p. 3] But To see in Ruskins[8] army the T. Taylor for whose opinion he has always had such high regard valued - and Frith the Classic for whose work he has always had such high regard has proud written are his ideal, was gratifying to me -

To look at / Burne Jones[9] hand in glove with T Taylor whom he respects delights in and Frith whose work he respects sympathizes with whom he respects was again joy appraizing in Harmony a privelege [sic]

And finally to To be confronted with Titian as an exter a last means of extermination was [an la?] in everything to the a variation in vanity of flattering even to a Coxcomb - What [t]hough the Judge saw the [p. 4] Hessian boots of George III[10] - sticking hanging out as we say in America from under the Doges hat - and While Moore[11] pronounced the canvass a Duffer -


To find arrayed against my sinning self the whole force arrayed in goodly fellowship Harmony against one poor Painter me own poor guilty self - Frith in [the finish?] Titian the uncertain Punch in the [Painter?] & Jones the Modest immaculate the ever the the [illegible word, deleted] is was in itself a triumph of of the Serious over the flippant that it is not often given and a Joy to the lonely scoffer to rejoice in -

x To joy like this my dear Sambourne expression of condolence you cannot offer condolances [sic] may not be brought

and shall[12] you suppose me in so grief? -

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [3 December 1878]
This is one of two drafts (see also #05369) of a letter of this date (see #08123 for original with full annotation).

2.  Edward Linley Sambourne
Edward Linley Sambourne (1844-1910), Punch caricaturist [more].

Address heading is embossed.

4.  Punch
See Anon., 'An Appeal to the Law,' Punch, vol. 75, 7 December 1878, p. 254, p. 254.

5.  Tom Taylor
Thomas ('Tom') Taylor (1817-1880), civil servant, dramatist, art critic, and editor of Punch from 1874-1880 [more]. The case of Whistler v. Ruskin was heard at the Queen's Bench of the High Court on 25-26 November 1878. Rossetti, Moore and Wills appeared as witnesses for JW, Taylor appeared as a not-very-hostile witness for Ruskin. See Merrill, Linda, A Pot of Paint: Aesthetics on Trial in 'Whistler v. Ruskin', Washington and London, 1992, pp. 141-45 for JW's testimony; pp. 154-58 for Rossetti; pp. 158-59 for Moore; pp. 160-61 for Wills.

6.  Frith
William Powell Frith (1819-1909), genre and landscape painter [more].

7.  Titian
Tiziano ('Titian') Vecello or Vecellio (1485-1576), painter and engraver [more].

8.  Ruskins
John Ruskin (1819-1900), critic, social reformer and artist [more].

9.  Burne Jones
Edward Coley Burne-Jones (1833-1898), painter and designer [more].

10.  George III
George III (1738-1820), King of Great Britain [more].

11.  Moore
Albert Joseph Moore (1841-1893), painter [more].

12.  and shall ... grief
Written at the top of p. 1.