UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 02398
Date: 28 December 1862
Author: Baptiste [Fagonde?][1]
Place: Bordeaux
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler J19
Document Type: ALS


Bordeaux

le 28 Décembre 1862

Monsieur James Whistler,

Je réponds à la lettre que vous m'avez fait l'honneur de m'adresser. Je suis bien sensible à la bienveillance que vous voulez bien me montrer. Je me recommande toujours à votre bon vouloir à mon égard, et tous mes efforts tendront dans la mesure de ma bonne volonté à m'en rendre digne.

Je profite du renouvellement de l'année pour vous souhaiter la santé et le bonheur que vous méritez si bien, puissent-elles ainsi que les suivantes, combler vos désirs les plus chers.

Je suis à Bordeaux, et je pars demain pour Maurice.

Il est probable que ce sera un [p. 2] voyage de un an à 14 mois.

Dominique[2], mon camarade me charge de vous faire bien des compliments

Je suis avec les sentiments les plus respectueux
Votre tout dévoué

Baptiste Fagonde

P.S. Si vous avez la bonté de me faire une réponse, veuillez me l'adresser à bord de l'Avenir de Bordeaux - à Maurice (Amérique[3])

[p. 3, written by Beatrix Whistler[4]] 'Letter from Baptiste Fagonde, the man who saved Jimmie's life at      1862?'[5]


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Translation:

Bordeaux

28th December 1862

Mr James Whistler,

I reply to the letter which you have done me the honour of addressing to me. I am very conscious of the kindness which you are so kind as to show me. I am still endeavouring to earn your good opinion, and all my efforts will be devoted, to the extent to which my good intentions allow, to make me worthy of it.

I take advantage of the renewal of the year to wish you the good health and happiness which you deserve so well, may they as well as the following years, crown your dearest wishes.

I am in Bordeaux, and I leave tomorrow for Mauritius.

It is probable that it will be a [p. 2] voyage of a year to 14 months.

Dominique, my companion asks me to send you his compliments.

I am most respectfully yours
Your very devoted

Baptiste Fagonde

P.S. If you have the goodness to grant me a reply, kindly address it to me on board the Avenir from Bordeaux - to Mauritius (America)


Notes:

1.  Baptiste [Fagonde?]
The name was originally thought to be 'Jagonde' but the capital J is not like that on 'James'. The additional note of the name, probably written by Beatrix Whistler, is also difficult to read: St agoude, St agonde, Fagoude, Fagonde, Pagoude, Pagonde, l'agoude, and l'agonde, are possible variations on the name.

2.  Dominique
Dominique, an acquaintance of JW, possibly from Bordeaux.

3.  Amérique
Although there is a Maurice river in New Jersey, the mention of the voyage to 'Maurice' and back from Bordeaux being expected to take a year or more suggests that what is meant is Mauritius, in the Indian Ocean.

4.  1862?
This note is in the hand of Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more]. If her note is correct, he was one of the models posing for Blue and Silver: Blue Wave, Biarritz (YMSM 41), mentioned in a letter from JW to Fantin-Latour in October 1862 (#07951).