The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 00522
Date: 21 September 1895
Author: Janey Sevilla Campbell[1]
Place: Norfolk
Recipient: JW
Place: [Lyme Regis]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler C23
Document Type: ALS[2]

Weybourn House.

21. Sept 95

Dear Butterfly!

Oh the Viper thumb! Still the viper thumb!!

I am indeed most grieved to hear that Trixie[3] has been so ill.

I had heard that she was out of sorts but hoped she had quite got over her trouble.

[p. 2] You will understand what "Balm in Gilead[4]" it is to "moi - je[5]" - - that it is my red ribbon and my gold medal of recognition to read your remarks about the picture[6] and to hear [p. 3] that it is the "Brod[e]quin Jaune The yellow buskin" - moi - je and not Lady Archibald Campbell who has acheived undying fame in the art galleries of Philadelphia - this encourages me to hope that [p. 4] "anti" as may be the wave of the Clan tartan to the McNeill spirit, "L'esprit de moi je[7]" may be thought worthy of the immortal butterfly[8] - Do please send me that at once for the photograph. You ask after Theodore Watts[9]. I heard him just the other day talk of his former devotion to you - it was to my sister - Alas! he [p. 5] said with a gasp, "I did love the man once - but now - I have kicked the dust off my feet[10]." &c. what dust I have never been able to discover - and yet since these observations he was asking me all sorts of sympathetic questions about [p. 6] you which of course I could not answer.

With best love to Trix and in hopes of receiving by return of post Her butterfly

Janey S Campbell

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1.  Janey Sevilla Campbell
Janey Sevilla Campbell (ca 1846 - d.1923), née Callander, Lady Archibald Campbell [more].

2.  ALS
A floral pattern appears round the paper's edge on pp. 1 and 5.

3.  Trixie
Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more], had cancer.

4.  Balm in Gilead
'Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?' Jer. 8.22, and, 'Go up into Gilead, and take balm, O virgin, the daughter of Egypt: in vain shalt thou use many medicines; for thou shalt not be cured', Jer. 46.11.

5.  moi - je
Fr., me (literally, me - I).

6.  picture
Arrangement in Black: La Dame au brodequin jaune - Portrait of Lady Archibald Campbell (YMSM 242), bought for the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

7.  L'esprit de moi je
Fr., my spirit.

8.  butterfly
She had asked JW to sign a photograph of Arrangement in Black: La Dame au brodequin jaune - Portrait of Lady Archibald Campbell (YMSM 242) for publication in a book (see #00518).

9.  Theodore Watts
Walter Theodore Watts (later Watts-Dunton) (1832-1914), solicitor, novelist and poet [more].

10.  kicked the dust off my feet
Alludes to Mark 6.11, 'And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.' Also Matt. 10.14; Luke 9.5; Acts 13.51.