The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 09784
Date: [16 May 1901][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Edward Guthrie Kennedy[2]
Place: Paris
Repository: New York Public Library
Call Number: E. G. Kennedy II/119
Credit Line: Edward Guthrie Kennedy Papers / Manuscripts and Archives Division / The New York Public Library / Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations
Document Type: ALS[3]

O K.!

In great haste - The points - You will get Duret[4] to make appointment - & I have told Ratier[5] to expect you -

Ratier is to give you full account of what did take place in Court. All concerning the allegation of Madame Salerons[6] lawyer -! Was it immediately denied? Remember that Ratier first said that she complained, through her lawyer, that I had nude models posing in the garden - and that the Judge was greatly scandalized by this - Afterwards when pressed, - with a view to action for damages Ratier said that it was but the faintest & vaguest insinuation for which I could not make her responsible!! Say how surprised [p. 2] I was at this second account differing so entirely from the first! - Say that we must be protected from malicious statements by neighbours - or there is no limit to their abominations - Ask, as I told you, for some account of the lawyer's statement - some report of the case - which we can deal with - Say that Ask if Mr. Ratier was able to be present at the first sitting of the Court as well as at the last? -

Say that I know how devotedly kind he has been in his care of me - but the cares of the State overwhelm him - You cannot serve the Republic . . & Whistler! -

These little matters of mine are all important to my work - Remember also that I am not alone - & we cannot deal with insolent neighbours from whom the law would seem not to protect us! - To sum up say that Ratier cannot personally[7] give the attention necessary to daily [p. 3] annoyances - and as I told [you] before I must give these matters into the hands of a lesser person -

Wherefore I beg him to give you my papers - my Dossier that you may bring it back to me that I may meditate upon it at my ease -

Of course in all great battles there remains but one Ratier! -

Now O K - mind you miss nothing of [p. 4] what I am telling you! -

And this [is] not a case of "no mortal eye"!!. So don't you forget! - in short distinguish yourself as you know you can!


[butterfly signature]

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'May 16'
'about 1899'

Monsieur E. G. Kennedy
Hotel Terminus
Paris -
[stamp:] POSTAGE & REVENUE / 2 1/2d
[postmark:] LONDON-W / 6PM / MY16 / [01?]


1.  [16 May 1901]
Dated from the postmark, and the date written in another hand on the envelope, and the reference to Mme Saleron (see below).

2.  Edward Guthrie Kennedy
Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932), dealer with H. Wunderlich and Co., New York [more]. JW called him O'K.

3.  ALS
The stationery has a mourning border. A large 'X' has been drawn through the address on the envelope.

4.  Duret
Théodore Duret (1838-1927), art critic and collector [more].

5.  Ratier
Antoine ('Antony') Ratier (b. 1851), lawyer and politician [more].

6.  Madame Salerons
Mme Saleron, JW's neighbour at 110 rue du Bac [more]. JW and Mme Saleron had a long-standing dispute over the conduct of her servants and the use of the garden at 110 rue du Bac. On 6 March 1901 he telegraphed R. Birnie Philip that he had lost the case and that Saleron said she had seen 'nude models in garden', which shocked the judge (#04796).

7.  personally
Double underlined.