The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Kennedy, David A.
Record 17 of 33

System Number: 07281
Date: [29 July or 5 August 1896][1]
Author: Edward Guthrie Kennedy[2]
Place: R. M. S. Teutonic
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W1269
Document Type: ALf[3]

[Flag with star, and monogram:] O S N C[4]


Wednesday after dinner

Well, my dear friend, here we are, all afloat and blowing, as the old song has it. It is, up here, rough and rainy.

As usual, I find several people I know, including two M. D's., so if I get sea-sick I will say to Daly[5], my bed room Steward, "Go for Dr. Fiske[6]," & then "here I am, look out for me" à la Whistler! Thompson[7] [sic], at Boussod, Valadon's, says he ought to have an official Communication from you to send me the [p. 2] "Sarasate[8]" and I think so too. Of course, we shall see that it is insured &c., and as I have written to David[9] some time ago that we are to have it, if I telegraph for it to Thomson, it will be because he may have a probable customer (I dislike this word as it sounds like a "pound o' tea an' a haporth o' sugar please") for it. If I do not telegraph, you may send it with the others, but I implore you not to touch it. Let it alone, as it is now in perfect order.

During my absence in France through some hocus pocus [p. 3] the little girl[10] was shipped to America by Roth[11], also the prints which I intended to go to Vigria[12] at Paris. I was very much provoked, but as Roth is a good soul, I said nothing, so I must go to the expense & trouble of sending these things back to you & to Paris.

I ought to have gone up stairs oftener, but I was paying attention to Monsieur Veeslaire at the time & neglected the smaller things of this life.

Enclosed find a Clipping which will appeal to you [p. 4] so I look for the following "J. McNeill Whistler the distinguished painter has contributed 1000 /- /- towards the erection of the statue of Britain's celebrated queen[13]" &c. &c.

You told me you were not becoming stronger! no one is my friend, as life goes on. The only thing that remains is to take care and keep regular hours and eat regularly &c; not forgetting to give up the inhalation of vile French tobacco - a combination of cabbage & nicotine.

You say "you give damned good advice to others, but show a lamentable weakness in taking[14] [...]

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1.  [29 July or 5 August 1896]
Kennedy arrived back in the States around 14 August 1896 (see #07279). The most likely date is Wednesday 29 July 1896.

2.  Edward Guthrie Kennedy
Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932), dealer with H. Wunderlich and Co., New York [more].

3.  ALf
The final sheet (or sheets) is missing from this letter.

4.  O S N C
The Oceanic Steam Navigation Company (known as the White Star Line). The Teutonic came into service in 1889.

5.  Daly
Daly, steward on the R. M. S. Teutonic.

6.  Dr. Fiske
Dr Fiske, physician, an acquaintance of E. G. Kennedy.

7.  Thompson
David Croal Thomson (1855-1930), art dealer [more].

8.  Sarasate
Arrangement in Black: Portrait of Señor Pablo de Sarasate (YMSM 315).

9.  David
David A. Kennedy, New York dealer, brother of E. G. Kennedy [more].

10.  little girl
A portrait, not identified.

11.  Roth
A. Roth, probably a print dealer.

12.  Vigria
Possibly a print collector.

13.  queen
Victoria (1819-1901), Queen of Great Britain [more].

14.  taking
He is quoting from JW's letter of [24 July 1896], #09758.