UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Kohler, Mme
Record 8 of 13

System Number: 03749
Date: [26 March 1890][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: A. Maeterlinck[2]
Place: [Antwerp]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler M83
Document Type: ALd


21, CHEYNE WALK,[3]
CHELSEA.

Cher Monsieur -

J'ai le plaisir de vous remettre, ci-inclu, cheque de £20 - sur un mot de Messrs. Lewis & Lewis[4] reçu ce matin -

Vous avez sans doute eu ma dépeche[5] d'hier - et j'espère que Monsieur le Procureur du Roi, vous a déja donné sa permission de m'expedier l'exemplaire -

Quant aux origineaux [p. 2] de certaines lettres, je crains que je n'aie difficulté a en trouver - car l'artiste vous savez garde peu, et perds facilement! - surtout Aussi D'ailleurs l'effet une fois produit, - le coup une fois porté dans ces espèces de duels littéraires, les manuscripts eux mêmes cesessent [sic] pour l'auteur d'avoir autant d'importance - et les imprimés prennent leur place - Aussi c'est sur toutes ces négligences charactéristiques que comptent tous les Ford[6] - espece que vous avez si bien peint par votre mot: "Coureurs d'atelier"! - Maintenant, la collection actuel de lettres imprimées - de paragraphes antécédents - d'articles agressivifs [sic], qui ont donnés lieu à la correspondence même - enfin la raison d'être absolue du livre intitulé "L'Art de[7] ce [sic] faire des Ennemies," qu'a pillé Mons. Ford - tout cela, je l'ai - en volumes[8] d'entrefilets collectionnés depuis des années - Or dans tout ceci est un cas où le motif indique est pour beaucoup est clair indique tout comme vous disiez - et l'intention de cet Aventurier est claire - voler et realiser le bien d'un autre -

Aussi il y a malice - "mechanceté" comme dit la loi que vous nous avez lu - Ceci ceci j'espère pouvoir vous établir à la pleine satisfaction de M. Le Procureur, par plusieurs preuves - mais pour cela il faudrait que j'ai l'exemplaire en question - et que comme vous proposez -

Agréez cher Monsieur
l'assurance de ma consideration distinguee

[p. 3] Une dépeche de Kohler[9] me dit ce que vous savez sans doute que [sic] Ford est parti - et que son avocat e[s]t Ryswick[10] -

Il est probable qu'il est alors a Londres cherchant de l'argent - Je ne crois pas qu'on lui en prete -

Si vous en aviez des tr la moindre trace, envoyez depeche je vous prie -

Autre chose - M. Kohler nous a dit en rendant compte de son intérvue avec Ford, ou il refusait de continuer l'edition, que ce dernier s'est écrié en parlant de moi: "I shall kill that man"! - C Il y a donc pour Mons. le Procureur du Roi menace de prendre vie - et en vous pouvez le faire repeter devant lui par M. Kohler jeune - Ceci donne une couleur criminelle a l'affaire -


This document is protected by copyright.


Translation:

Dear Sir -

I have pleasure in sending you, enclosed herewith, a cheque for £20 - following a note received from Messrs Lewis & Lewis this morning -

You have doubtless had my telegram of yesterday - and I hope that the Prosecutor Royal has already given you his permission to send the copy to me -

As for the originals [p. 2] of certain letters, I fear that I would have difficulty in finding them - because artists as you know keep little, and lose things easily! above all Therefore Besides, once the effect has been produced, - once the blow has been struck in this kind of literary duel, the manuscripts themselves cease to be so important for the author - and the printed items take their place - So it is on all this characteristic negligence that all Fords rely - a type whom you have so accurately painted by your phrase: "studio hangers-on"! - Now, the actual collection of printed letters - of preliminary paragraphs - of aggressive articles, which provoked the letters themselves - in fact the entire rationale of the book entitled "The Gentle Art of Making Enemies", which Mr Ford plundered - all that, I have it all - in volumes of cuttings that I have collected for years - Well in all - this is a case where the motive reveals counts for much is clear reveals everything as you said - and the intention of this Adventurer is clear - to steal and profit from another man's goods -

Also there is malice - "spite" it says in the law which you read out to us - This - This I hope to be able to establish for you to the full satisfaction of the Prosecutor, by several proofs - but for that I would have to have the copy in question - and which as you suggest -

I am, dear Sir,
Yours faithfully

[p. 3] A telegram from Kohler tells me that you doubtless know - that [sic] Ford has left - and that his lawyer is Ryswick -

It is probable that he is therefore in London looking for money - I do not believe that anyone will lend it to him -

If you have the least trace of him, please send a telegram -

Another thing - Mr Kohler told us in his account of his meeting with Ford, when he was refusing to continue the edition; that the latter exclaimed when talking about me: "I shall kill that man"! This threat against life is for the Prosecutor Royal - and you can have it repeated for him by Mr Kohler junior - This gives a criminal flavour to the business -


Notes:

1.  [26 March 1890]
This is a reply to the letter from Maeterlinck to Lewis and Lewis, 24 March 1890 (#03748). In his reply, dated 27 March, Maeterlinck refers to JW's letter as being of the day before (#03751).

2.  A. Maeterlinck
Maître Albert Maeterlinck, attorney in Antwerp [more].

3.  21 CHEYNE WALK
Address printed in yellow.

4.  Lewis & Lewis
Lewis and Lewis, solicitors for JW, London. In his letter of 24 March, noted above, Maeterlinck had requested a payment of £20 from JW on account.

5.  dépeche
Not located.

6.  Ford
Sheridan Ford (1860-1922), poet, critic, politician and writer on art [more].

7.  L'Art de...
Whistler, James McNeill, The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, ed. Sheridan Ford, Paris, 1890.

8.  volumes
Glasgow University Library has 24 volumes of presscuttings compiled by or for JW (GUL pc 1-17 and pc 25).

9.  Kohler
Kohler, son of Georges Kohler, printer.

10.  Ryswick
Ryswick, lawyer for Sheridan Ford.