Documents associated with: Philip, Frances Septima
Record 10 of 12
System Number: 04803
Date: [6 April 1901]
Recipient: Rosalind Birnie Philip
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler P443
Document Type: ALS
PROPT. A. BOSSHARDT
'April 6 01.'
I have had all the results of your expeditions - The Galleries - and the tea parties - and the various descents upon the town! - - Shannon's catalogue & the rest of it! all excellent! and very prettily done - together with wise & most apt remarks upon the occasions - which I have enjoyed in my Island! - Napoléons - & mine! -
And now I am going to tell you something - and you listen to these beautiful words! -
"All work & no play makes Jennie a dull wench!" -
I doubt not that they will tell you that this has been said before! - I dont believe it! - and certainly no one has had the wit to say it to me - until now - and for years I have had no play! and have been the dull dog - the sad dull dog you have all known - moping in his kennel in Fitzroy Street through the black days of winter - desperate with his own darkness! hiding in strange inns and baying through the night - with no moon! -
Years! think of it! - for years have I made for myself my own treadmill and turned upon it in mad earnestness until I dared not stop - and the marvel is I lived to be free in this other Island - and to learn, in my exile, that again "Nothing matters!" - & that my own favorite maxim & teaching is true! after all!
You can just see my face at this moment! - So out you go & play! - Play Major -
Webb, whom you have made your slave, shall take you about & jump for joy, like the little hills! - though I cant imagine your jumping with him Major! quite! -
And the teas - Mrs. Pennells - & others - and - Well, the gaieties presenting themselves are stupendous I know - but "never mind"! - as you say - somehow or other play - Major! and when I come back I will see what can be done to help in the game - -
And now this is the reason why suddenly I determined to stay on - to the very length of my tether - or return ticket - and then sail back, instead of rushing to Paris & work! -
Of course there was that mistake - sending my own ticket instead of Ronnie's - I wired to him yesterday to explain - I cannot quite make out why I dont get any answer [p. 2] about the Oceania? - After his first enquiries he wired that ticket is available to middle of April & gives Steamers to 16th - I want however Mr Firth, or Frith, the Director who has been so devoted all along, to wire or write instructions himself to the Marseilles Agents to take my passage with order - from head quarters, on the Oceania, and say that my return ticket is good for the journey from Gibraltar -
Otherwise I had better instantly, send back the ticket, even if I took a new one, that I may not lose both ways -
But I should think there would be no difficulty - for it is only a question of a day or two - and favouritism! of course! -
This letter would almost be too late - at any rate to answer - for I must leave here at latest next Sunday the 14th - in order to reach the Oceania - as Ronnie knows - and then just do it -
So he must wire - & even now if there were any hitch, he might call on Sutherland & ask him - You have his address -
I suppose Ronnie posted my ticket to me last night as I wired - Here is his - so he can settle that at once -
About the Academie [sic] & all that, you may write, (if all this sailing business is managed) in a letter to Gibraltar - Ronnie will to [sic] you how - and why not sent [sic] by post another little bottle of Ionda -
By the way you can get it at any chemist instead of always sending to the country for it! -
About Galleries, Major, how is it you didn't go to the Goupils to see my own picture - Surely that was one of the things I spoke of -
I wrote to Thil about the drains etc - & told him to answer to "Garlants Hotel" - So tell them there to send on any thing to you - and open his letter -
The plates were simply burned into a state of enamel - and the varnish flew away with the whole work! -
Find out who is this creature that they say is doing "Whistlers" in Venice - Mrs. Pennell can tell you - also go & see the Painter Etchers -
Off this goes! -
and much affection to you all
the General -
You should keep Webbs letter - so I send it back
HÔTEL SCHWEIZERHOF, AJACCIO
PROPRIÉTAIRE, A. BOSSHARDT
'April 6. 01.'
Miss Rosalind Birnie-Philip
36. Tite Street - Chelsea
[postmark:] AJACCIO / CORSE / [illegible] / 01
[postmark on verso:] REGISTERED / S. W. D. O. / 6.30 PM / AP 9 01 / 2
[on verso:] '
Firth writing tickets
Firth doing what you want says Oceania 14th tickets not necessary'
'Frank 1 " 0
Give Ron 2 " 4.
" Maude 3 " 6.
2 " 6.'
1. 6 April 1901
Dated from the postmark, and the date written by the recipient on the envelope.
Written in pencil. The envelope is pale blue. The paper has a printed rectangular grid.
10. Mr Firth
Firth, Director of the Oceania line.
A patent medicine and tonic.
Spring Exhibition, Goupil Gallery, London, 1901.
Joseph Pennell (1860-1926), printer and illustrator, JW's biographer [more], had prepared the etching plates with an acid resistant varnish, but this came off irregularly when JW etched them and only a few were saved, including Bohemians, Corsica (K.442). See Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, and Joseph Pennell, The Life of James McNeill Whistler, 2 vols, London and Philadelphia, 1908, vol. 2, p. 266; MacInnes, Margaret F., 'Whistler's Last Years: Spring 1901 - Algiers and Corsica,' Gazette des Beaux-Arts, LXXIII, 1969, pp. 323-42.
'disastrous' and 'burned' are double underlined.
Continued in the left margin, at right angles to the main text.
20. Firth writing tickets
'Firth ... necessary' is apparently the draft of a reply, and is written in another hand; a third hand has written the sums below, which refer to Frances Septima Philip (1867-1949), JW's sister-in-law [more], and Philippa Maude Philip (1865-1915), JW's sister-in-law [more].
21. Painter Etchers
JW had not joined the Society of Painter Etchers, partly because the founders of the society included Francis Seymour Haden (1818-1910), surgeon and etcher, JW's brother-in-law [more]. He had not forgiven Haden for mistaking works by Frank Duveneck (1848-1919), painter, etcher and art teacher [more], for JW's own etchings of Venice (see, for instance, M. B. Huish to F. S. Haden, 18 March 1881, #01131.