System Number: 04762
Date: [5 December 1899]
Recipient: Rosalind Birnie Philip
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler P402
Document Type: ALS
ADRESSE TÉLÉGRAPHIQUE - CHATHAMEL-PARIS
NO. TÉLÉPHONIQUE : 247-53
[Chatham coat of arms with motto:] BENIGNO NUMINE
Tuesday - Eveg
'Dec. 6. 99.'
[sketch of five paintings on a gallery wall]
Well, Major, that's about it - ! -
He says that there is "un monde fou"!, an excited [p. 2] crowd in front of the Whistler pictures! so great that it is impossible to see them! But that the whole group or "panel" looks superb!! -
Notwithstanding the mass of people, he was still able to distinguish - you will be pleased to hear, Major - a lady with a very short nose, and blonde brown hair, who was standing about prominently and holding forth with authority - and I think you and I might recognise, in this vivid description the retiring attitude and demeanour [sic] of the bashful Apprentice -
Well well! I wish you had been here, for you should have gone with Miss Reubell, the dear! -
Of course I didn't go at all! - and that also is beautiful! for every body was expecting me - but -
I sent my work - and myself remain in mysterious absence! -
The President of the Republic went at two o'clock with his staff to the Gallery - and very properly every body was there to receive him - Well, I sent my profound regrets, and my centre picture - (beautiful - and you know what I must think when I say such a thing.) just in in [sic] time for his arrival - -
Already this evening, on my return to the hotel, I find a note, from the Secretary of the Gallery, wishing to know immediately the prices of these wonderful pictures, as it was most important that he should be able to answer the many demands in the course of the afternoon!! - This was followed by an anxious and important visit from the Secretary [p. 3] himself, who couldnt wait! Well, I said, what is the use, my prices are simply enormous!! - Whereupon he was more determined than ever! - -
Of course this kind of assertion has been consecutively made in London over and over again - but nobody knew it!!!
The difference is that here it becomes an event!! -
Stevens said that one of the artists said to him "Pearls! they are pearls in the sty!"! -
Well, you know Ma'ame, I like this sort of appreciation, and respectful attitude after all those years of dull execration in the Island - I must see about your getting out of that soon, for you are evidently suffering from your long exile! - but tonight I can only write about myself! - So à bientot! Write Major, and write always -
the General -
Business next time
[Chatham coat of arms and motto:] BENIGNO NUMINE
Miss Rosalind Birnie-Philip
36. Tite Street -
London - SW -
[postmark:] PARIS-81 / R. DES CAPUCINES / 2E 6 / DEC / 99
1. 5 December 1899
Dated from the almanac, for 5 December was a Tuesday in 1899. The postmark and date added on the letter by the recipient refer to the day of posting.
Société Internationale de Peinture et de Sculpture, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, 1899, which had its preview on Tuesday 5 December 1899.
Jean, son of the painter Alfred Stevens.
8. un monde fou
Fr., a lot of people.
Letter not located.
13. West Point
JW was a cadet at the US Military Academy from 1851-54 but failed to graduate.
15. nobody knew it
16. pearls in the sty
'Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.' Matt. 7.6.
17. write always
Continued in the left margin, at right angles to the main text.