UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Document associated with: Armitage, Edward
Record 1 of 1

System Number: 05363
Date: 29 November 1887
Author: George Augustus Sala[1]
Place: London
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler S7
Document Type: ALS


G. A. S.[2]

91. VICTORIA STREET. S. W.

Tuesday Twenty Ninth Nov 1887

My dear Whistler.

Homer[3] nods sometimes; and your French friend[4] was a little "out" last night when he doubted the existence of the French word "boulingrin" which is our English "bowling green" gallicised. I find in the "Grand Dictionnaire Universel du XIX Siècle" of Pierre Larousse[5].

BOULINGRIN[6]: De l'Anglais "bowl", boule" et "green", "vert." (Here the Frenchman himself blunders. It should be "de l'Anglais "bowling", jouant aux boules et "green" prè["]) Parterre de gazon pour l'ornement d'un jardin

"Nous changeons nos près en jardins
En parterres nos champs fertiles
Nos arbres fruitiers en stériles
Et nos vergers en boulingrins"

LA PARE[7]

Score one for the orphan!

always faithfully

G. A. Sala

[(logopraxes)[8]?]

P. S. The greatest painters of the age are Frith, Horsley, Frank Holl[,] Hallé and Armitage[9].


This document is protected by copyright.


Translation:

G. A. S.

91. VICTORIA STREET. S. W.

Tuesday Twenty Ninth Nov 1887

My dear Whistler.

Homer nods sometimes; and your French friend was a little "out" last night when he doubted the existence of the French word "boulingrin" which is our English "bowling green" gallicised. I find in the "Grand Dictionnaire Universel du XIX Siecle" of Pierre Larousse.

BOULINGRIN: From the English "bowl" and "green". (Here the Frenchman himself blunders. It should be "from the English "bowling", playing at bowls, and "green" field) An grass terrace for the ornament of a garden

We change our meadows into gardens
Our fertile fields into terraces
Our fruiting trees for sterile ones
And our pastures into bowling greens

[LA PARE?]

Score one for the orphan!

always faithfully

G. A. Sala

[logopraxes]

P. S. The greatest painters of the age are Frith, Horsley, Frank Holl, Hallé and Armitage.


Notes:

1.  George Augustus Sala
George Augustus Sala (1828-1895), artist, journalist and critic [more].

2.  G.A.S
Sala's monogram is printed diagonally across the top left corner of the paper, which has a deep mourning edge.

3.  Homer
Homer (fl. ca 850 BC), Greek poet.

4.  French friend
Unidentified. It is possible that JW was visited by either Alfred Émile-Léopold Stevens (1823-1906), history and portrait painter [more], or Claude Monet (1840-1926), artist [more].

5.  Pierre Larousse
Pierre Larousse (1817-1875), lexicographer and encyclopaedist [more]. The quotation marks have been used inconsistently.

6.  BOULINGREEN
Double underlined.

7.  (logopraxes)
Gr., a maker of words or worker with words. What Sala wrote is in Greek characters and looks more like 'logoprates' than 'logopraxes' but the latter must have been intended.

8.  LA PARE
Double-underlined. This is presumably the name of the writer of the verse above, or place of publication, but neither has been identified.

9.  Frith, Horsley, Frank Holl[,] Hallé and Armitage
Sala ironically chose a group of genre painters whose work was totally different from that of JW and his circle: William Powell Frith (1819-1909), genre and landscape painter [more], John Calcott Horsley (1817-1903), historical genre painter and etcher [more], Francis ('Frank') Montague Holl (1845-1888), painter and illustrator [more], Charles Edward Hallé (1846-1919), artist [more] and Edward Armitage (1817-1896), painter of classical genre subjects [more].