The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 00566
Date: 14 August 1892
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: John Cavafy[1]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler C67
Document Type: ALd



LE 14. August - 1892 -

At last Now John, I fancy, the moment time has come when you shall quite understand what has taken place -

You see, I was uncertain to the last, how far your slight sense of the ridiculous might would enable you to perceive the shocking example you would make of yourself, if you were to carry out your natural instinct and sell your pictures, at what your early stock broking instincts would tell you, would be the moment of their unexpected & surprising rise in the market! Had such a sense then, been sufficient in its development to overcome your (greed for) money making nature, you might have kept your works and made for yourself quite a reputation as a true collector and lover of beautiful things - In which case, of course, I should lose my chances of getting back the beautiful sea piece[2] I had once made your had the inconceivable folly to make you a present of! -

Bravo John! - "I want to call you John - because", as Major de Boots[3] says, "because you are my best friend!"

It was in that character, that you acquired my present - it was to my best friend that I, in the naiveté of much foolish feeling, gave the my lovely picture! A

How little worthy you were of any such [master?] ship [illegible] Amazing! -

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1.  John Cavafy
Dr John Cavafy (ca 1839-1901), physician and collector, son of G. J. Cavafy [more].

2.  sea piece
Harmony in Blue and Silver: Trouville (YMSM 64).

3.  Major de Boots