NPG 1126 (6a/6b/6c)
Letter from William Ewart Gladstone to G.F. Watts, dated 9 October 1885, responding to the artist's refusal of a baronetcy.
Oct. 9. 85.
Dear Mr Watts
After reading and considering your letter, I am quite at a loss to conceive in what way I can have established any claim whatever upon you, or in any way assisted any of your deliberations.
I am tempted to ask you to fix a time for coming down here to unfold this matter to me under the trees and among the remaining flowers; but I am fearful lest you should be deaf to my
In another part of your letter, when you speak of all that can be demonstrated of our (illegible), I think you mean from the point of Art, and not from all points. But here, again, I may be wrong.
As to the main gist of the letter however there can be no doubt and no (illegible) protection. You have adopted a resolution of the kind that makes the Nineteenth Century stare, or blink as those blink who stand in a great brightness and have not eyes for it. The course that you propose is indeed a self denying, an un-
worldly and a noble one, and will fix you a place in the grateful recollection of your countrymen in not less high than that which you hold in the annals of its Art.
We hope to see Millais on his way southwards. If there would be any chance of you pray let me know.