The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 02404
Date: 25 February 1897
Author: Henry James[1]
Place: London
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler J25
Document Type: TLS



25th February, 1897

My dear Whistler,

Yes, even though it be an outrage to a man with your touch to address him in accents condemned to click into his ear - thanks to interposing machinery - a positive negation of every delicacy; yet nevertheless I must thank you over my hand and seal, and with nothing less than documentary force, for making me the possessor of your delightful little document[2] of Monday. To have pleased you, to have touched you, to have given you something of the impression of the decent [p. 2] little thing one attempted to do - this is for me, my dear Whistler, a rare and peculiar pleasure. For the arts are one, and with the artist the artist communicates. Therefore your good words come to me as from one who knows. You know, above all, better than anyone, how dreadfully few are such. One writes for one's self alone - one has accepted, once for all, the worst; so that such a sign as your letter makes me has all the beautiful cheer and comfort of the happy windfall - the something more, so much more, than was included in the beggarly bond. You have done too much of the exquisite not to have earned more despair than anything else; but don't doubt that something [p. 3] vibrates back when that Exquisite takes the form of recognition of a not utterly indyelicate brother. It was such a pleasure to see you again that I shall not neglect anything in the nature of the faintest further occasion

Yours, my dear Master,
very constantly,

Henry James

This document is protected by copyright.


Henry James.

Re. gift of etching
& reply to letter fr: J. M. W.


1.  Henry James
Henry James (1843-1916), writer [more].

2.  document
See JW's letter to H. James, where he praises James's gift of his latest novel, The Spoils of Poynton, #02405. James had recently renewed his friendship with JW through Jonathan Sturges (1864-1911), author and translator [more].

3.  1897
'From ... 1897' written in various hands. This envelope is not the original one which first accompanied the letter but is later in origin.