The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 02587
Date: [18/22 July 1877][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Frederick Richards Leyland[2]
Place: [Liverpool]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler L123
Document Type: ALdS

[roundel with head of Leonardo]


I have had no time to write - and am really fatigued with the whole thing - Your letters are very bad form with the "Sir" of the invoice, and the "Yours truly" that you cannot escape, pall upon me, - and you seem to me, as Carlyle[3] says, "to be rapidly developing a capacity for becoming a bore" -

It is positively sickening to think that I should have labored to build up that exquisite Peacock Room[4] for such a man to live in! -

You speak of your public position before the World, [p. 2] and apparently forget that the World only knows you as the possessor of that work they have all admired and whose price you refused to pay - A great deal remains to be said or written perhaps written upon that subject whenever one has time or occasion -

Meanwhile all that I do or say about [it] is quite open -

With reference to your family[5], as a Gentleman, little as you know about it, I could not do otherwise than recognise old friends when I met the ladies, who have always treated me with uniform kindness and courtesy -

Your last incarnation with your a horsewhip, I leave you to work out -

Whom the Gods intend to be ridiculous they furnish with a frill! -

J A McN. Whistler -

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [18/22 July 1877]
This is one of several drafts (#02586, #02587, #02588) of JW's reply to a letter from Frederick Richards Leyland (1832-1892), ship-owner and art collector [more], dated 17 July 1877 (#02585).

2.  Frederick Richards Leyland
Frederick Richards Leyland (1832-1892), ship-owner and art collector [more].

3.  Carlyle
Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), historian and philosopher [more].

4.  Peacock Room
Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room (YMSM 178).

5.  family
Frederick Richards Leyland (1832-1892), shipowner, his wife Frances, and their children Frederick Dawson, Fanny, Florence and Elinor.