System Number: 06163
Date: [c. 21/22 May 1878]
Recipient: George and William Webb
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W160
Document Type: ALdS
Look at this just brought from Godwin! You see this is the effect of our shot! - Even Godwin hates to acknowledge it and says nothing! - You see the main top gallant sail and sky scraper down!! - Now mind - this is what I have noticed through life that these are not the moments for concessions - We are beating them and by G-d we'll whip 'em! - Don't spare the lash! give em Hell! - Ignore of course Godwins communication - and of course Vulliamy we don't even know by name - [p. 2] If he is at [all] alluded to in our letter (I forget) call the Board's "Surveyor"-
Perhaps if after all the letter were written in my name it would stink more in their nostrils - but this
your satisfaction must of course yeild [sic] to your superior judgement - however in that case you could say at the end that my lawyer says etc . . . . . about the action - In short if I may play with them for one more day, - don't lets lose the chance for your formal lawyer's letter could follow the day after - !!!
Now bring in (with a view to future publication and the then all important element of fun and not boring for want of it) in its proper place something like this:
"It will in due course dawn upon the Board that
Mr Böehm Mr Leighton or Mr Watts if works of art require thought and time! - and that the elbow of Mr Böehm, Mr Leighton or Mr Watts may not be jogged - that no limit can therefor[e] be assigned to the completion of the bas reliefs with which they stipulated my house shall be enriched - weeks or months even must go by - during which (I doubt if under less than a year would be entertained) during which time I must wait in the street - unless after all the Board are content to stultify themselves and after insisting upon my covering with costly palatial ornament a simple house in a back street with Sir Percy Shellys stables [p. 3] for a neighbor, - finally accept the work of the stone cutter from Brompton cemetery to be done in two hours! - in which case the stone cutter shall be sent for and in two hours the work shall be done -
For longer than that I must refuse to remain
under an umbrella on the Chelsea pavement without shelter! under an umbrella." -
. . . .
If not too sleepy drop a line to say all right tonight
Keep this letter old fellow to laugh over by & bye -
Metropolitan Board of Works.
6. Mr Böehm, Mr Leighton or Mr Watts
Joseph Edgar Boehm (1834-1890), sculptor [more]; Frederic Leighton (1830-1896), painter and sculptor [more]; and George Frederick Watts (1817-1904), painter and sculptor [more].
8. Keep this ... bye -
Added in space on left side of page.