System Number: 05608
Date: [14/18 September 1887]
Recipient: Thomas Waldo Story
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler S254
Document Type: ALS
Too bad Waldo! -
Fancy deserting the whole show just at the moment of triumph! - Well well - what is the use! - However of course you must be forgiven - how else! - You shall hear all about it - only it can't be done over again you know - and you have lost an amazing business! -
Where am I now? - well of all places - in Brussels! - I wish enough you were here with me - The place is simply lovely - and I only wonder how it is that I should never have discovered it before! -
But the droll thing is that the people themselves - the [p. 2] painter fellows and the rest of them have no idea of it themselves - and I will have to invent their town for them as I did the Thames for the Londoners! -
The work that I am doing is, I believe, far away beyond all that I have done before - and I shall be awfully disappointed if you dont think that what I am about is not even newer, and more amazing than the Naval Review -
Well I can't write - but when I see you in a few days from now we will have a lot to talk about -
Dieu propose - et la femme dipose! - I know this - still it is no excuse - and mind you dont fail me this time -
It would beat all the Fleets on the River! - Where are you going to stay? - Why not come to the Vale? - Why not! Why not?!?!? -
I shall go back to town probably on Wednesday or Thursday -
Go and see Mr. Hanson at the Vale meanwhile and tell him where you are -
1. [14/18 September 1887]
Dated by JW's trip to Brussels.
Written on paper with a printed grid.
4. moment of triumph
Story, proposed by JW, had become a member of the Society of British Artists under JW's Presidency. During Queen Victoria's Jubilee Year, JW sent her a Memorial requesting that the SBA be called 'Imperial'. This was then amended to read 'Royal'. The SBA received a Royal Charter, thus becoming the Royal Society of British Artists (RBA) (see G. Lushington to JW, 9 August 1887, #13418).
While in Brussels, JW etched the 'Belgian set', 1887 (K.349-367).
6. Thames for the Londoners
He may mean A Series of Sixteen Etchings of Scenes on the Thames, 1871 (the 'Thames Set') (K.38-44, 46, 52, 66, 68, 71, 74-76, 95) (excat 4) or more recent etchings such as the 'East London Set' (K.283-302). The reference to 'painter fellows' might suggest that he means oil paintings of London, Nocturnes for instance, but only one oil of Brussels is known, Brown and Gold: The Curé's Little Class (YMSM 455).
7. Naval Review
'Naval Review set', 1887 (K.316-331). 'Belgian set', 1887 (K.349-367) (excat 8) included a series of handsome etchings of the Grande Place in Brussels, as well as studies of landscape and figures.
8. Dieu propose - et la femme dipose!
Fr., God proposes - and woman disposes!
10. any how
'any how' is double underlined.
JW's London address at this period, No. 2, The Vale, off the Fulham Road in Chelsea.