The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 11430
Date: 26 March 1892[1]
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: Edmund Yates[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Published
Document Type: PLc[3]

The World,
Mar 30, 1892.

Atlas, -

Your correspondent[4] proposes that "Mr Jones[5], R. A." is not R. A. - but A. R. A.

You know these things, Atlas - perhaps he is right, and curiously microscopic - for surely here we have "a difference without a distinction!"

However, R. A. or A. R. A., and, in my opinion he deserves to be both, I personally owe Mr. Jones a friendly gratitude which I am pleased to acknowledge; for rare indeed is the courage with which, on the first public occasion, he sacrificed himself, in the face of all-astounded etiquette, and future possible ridicule, in order to help write the history of another.

These things we like to remember, Atlas, you and I - the bright things, the droll things, the charming things of this pleasant life - and here, too, in this lovely land they are understood - and keenly appreciated.

As to those others - alas! I am afraid we have [p. 2] done with them. It was our amusement to convict - they thought we cared to convince!

Allons! They have served our wicked purpose - Atlas, we "collect" no more.

"Autres gens, autres mœurs[6]."


March 26, 1892.

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1.  26 March 1892
This is the date of the writing of the letter; it was published in The World on 30 March 1892.

2.  Edmund Yates
Edmund Hodgson Yates (1831-1894), novelist, 'Atlas' columnist and editor-proprietor of the World [more].

3.  PLc
Published in Whistler, James McNeill, The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, London, 1890, pp. 333-34, under the title 'Final Acknowledgements'. There is a draft of this letter (#07112), and some other partial versions (#13371, #13397). See Getscher, Robert H., and Paul G. Marks, James McNeill Whistler and John Singer Sargent. Two Annotated Bibliographies, New York and London, 1986, B.75.

4.  correspondent
Not identified.

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

6.  Autres gens, autres mœurs
Fr., other people, other manners.