The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Cody, William Frederick
Record 2 of 2

System Number: 04773
Date: [20 February 1900][1]
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: Rosalind Birnie Philip[2]
Place: London
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler P413
Document Type: AL[3]

[Chatham coat of arms with motto:] BENIGNO NUMINE


How is your picture Major - and I am not astonished that an old Bowery newspaper print should have been palmed off upon a people so ready to fall into every trap prepared, either for the Bulls at home, or the Bullers[4] abroad.

What alone concerns me is that you should, with such painful pertinacity, wish to believe in, and indeed take comfort in, a doughty deed, that as I have elaborately explained to you, the whole world has in horror! -

No! The long "snake" lash in the hands of the handsome and overheated American, (whose just wrath it is quite proper you should not [p. 2] understand) will be easily recognised by Ronnie[5], or Teddie[6], from what they remember of Buffalo Bill[7] and his cow boys - and Bunnie[8] shall, if she choses [sic], make clearer to you this evidently scandalous incident of the raffish Restaurant suppers, with which you have shocked me! -

However, far from me to force upon unwilling Ward the noble principles of West Point! - and so from hence forth. I leave you to your uncurbed fancies, for the Sunday Sheets of Chelsea & Reynolds[9] & the rest of it!

The gentle strain of tenderness of my own sweet epistles, in the midst, would be of course not unlike the soft song of Shelley[10], whispered at the top of the street! !!

[p. 3] If the weather is not too awful, and you have the time, I should like that head of the baby[11] I did at Etretat sent at once[12] through Mr. Marchant[13], (Goupils) to their house here - It must not have any frame - but then must be wrapped in something - some old drapery - and tied up in brown paper - I should like my little panels, shops or sea pieces if you find any about on the shelves - Also my India muslin dress still left in the drawers (the key you have with you there[14]) and I believe there is a black muslin dress - It would go folded inside the brown paper over the picture -

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[Chatham coat of arms and motto:] BENIGNO NUMINE

Miss Rosalind Birnie-Philip
36. Tite Street
[postmark:] [PARIS] 81 / R.DES CAPUCINES / M / 20 FEVR / 00
[postmark on verso:] [LON]DON. S. W / 31 / 8. AM / FE 21 / 00


1.  [20 February 1900]
Dated by postmark.

2.  Rosalind Birnie Philip
Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), JW's sister-in-law [more]. JW called her 'Major' and himself 'General'.

3.  AL
The envelope has a deep mourning border.

4.  Bullers
General Sir Redvers Buller (1839-1908), British army commander [more]. Bullers relieved Ladysmith on 27 February 1900.

5.  Ronnie
Ronald Murray Philip (1871-1940), civil engineer, JW's brother-in-law [more].

6.  Teddie
Edward Godwin (b. 1876), son of Beatrix and E. W. Godwin; JW's step-son [more].

7.  Buffalo Bill
William ('Buffalo Bill') Frederick Cody (1846-1917), proprietor of a Wild West Show [more]. JW had taken the boys to Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show in 1887.

8.  Bunnie
Ethel Whibley (1861-1920), née Philip, JW's sister-in-law [more].

9.  Reynolds
Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792), painter [more].

10.  Shelley
Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), poet [more].

11.  head of the baby
Le Bébé français (YMSM 484).

12.  at once
Double underlined.

13.  Mr. Marchant
William Stephen Marchant (1868-1925), art dealer [more].

14.  there
Continued in the left margin on p. 3.