The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Peacock Room
Record 26 of 79

System Number: 02573
Date: [24/30 October 1876][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Frederick Richards Leyland[2]
Place: [Liverpool]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler L109
Document Type: ALd[3]

'No. 4[4]'

"Put not your trust in Princes[5]"... is not to the point, since you solemnly withdrew from that untenable position on friday last in favor of the Marquis of Westminster[6], - to my utter ruin and discomfiture! -

But my dear Leyland I did still trust in the 'British Business Man', to which safer role you carefully returned on that occasion - Was I wrong?

We agreed to bare [sic] alike the disaster of the decoration[7] - I pay my thousand guineas[8] as my share in the dining room, and you pay yours - bon! - but then [p. 2] mon cher you dont pay yours! -

I learned my lesson of friday and know that from a business point of view, money is all important and that Saturday should not have passed and Monday's post bring no cheque to

Your promising pupil in business wisdom

J A McN Whistler

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [24/30 October 1876]
Dated from F. R. Leyland to JW, #02572, #02574. Date also suggested by JW's numbering sequence on his correspondence with Leyland (see note below).

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

3.  ALd
Published in Spencer, Robin, ed., Whistler: A Retrospective, New York, 1989, p. 121.

4.  No. 4
Double-underlined and written in hand of JW (in pencil) in top left-hand corner of sheet. He seems to have numbered his correspondence with Leyland over Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room (YMSM 178) with a view to publication, although this did not take place.

5.  trust in Princes
Psalm 146.3 - 'Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.'

6.  Marquis of Westminster
Perhaps a reference to Hugh-Lupus Grosvenor (1825-1899), Marquess of Westminster, 1st Duke of Westminster [more], formerly the 3rd Marquess of Westminster.

7.  decoration
The dining room at 49, Prince's Gate, F. R. Leyland's London home. JW worked through the summer months on a decorative scheme for the room, Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room (YMSM 178).

8.  thousand guineas
Having already advanced JW £400, Leyland refused to pay any more until they came to some final arrangement (see F. R. Leyland to JW, #02572).