[roundel with head of Leonardo]
Dead for a ducat! dead! my dear Tom - and the rattle has reached me by post -
"Sans rancune" say you! Bah! you scream unkind threats and die badly
Why squable [sic] over your article - you did print what I quote you know Tom - and it is surely unimportant what more you may have written of the Master - that you should have written any thing at all is your crime -
No! shrive your naughty soul - and give up Velasquez - and pass your last days properly in [p. 2] the Home Office - Set your house in order with the Government for arrears of time and paper - and leave vengeance to the Lord - who will forgive my "garbling" Tom Taylor's writing -
[butterfly signature with barbed tail]
The White House -
Jan 8 -
1. 8 January 
The address and date 'The White House, Jan. 8, 1879' were added when the letter was published in Whistler, James McNeill, [Correspondence Between Tom Taylor, Art Critic of the Times and Whistler], The World: A Journal for Men and Women, 15 January 1879, and republished in Whistler, James McNeill, The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, London and New York, 1890, p. 37, 'The Position', in each case with minor correction of punctuation. It is one of a series of letters exchanged between JW and Taylor; see Taylor's letters of 6 and 9 January, and JW's of 8 and 10 January 1879 (#05660, #05663, #05664).
3. dead for a ducat
Quotation from Shakespeare's Hamlet, III. iv. 23, 'How now! a rat? Dead, for a ducat, dead!'
4. sans rancune
Fr., no ill feelings.
6. leave vengeance to the Lord
JW used the vocabulary of Romans 12.19 - 'Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord'; or Hebrews 10.30 - 'For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.'