UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 04114
Date: 13 December 1889
Author: Robert de Montesquiou-Fezensac[1]
Place: [Paris]
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler M384
Document Type: ALS[2]


Cher Légionnaire[3]

votre pli-placet[4] fut adressé - pas aussi tôt que vous eussiez souhaité, peut-être; rien pourtant que le temps d'y apposer la suscription, sans gaffe!

Les autres instructions emboîtaient, quand survint le contre-avis.

Pour la suite, hier, se sont mis en route, et, ce matin, vous aurez reçu, les six vermicelles rouges!

[p. 2] Et, pour la fin - et les moyens! La bonne touche, et la bonne bouche, il me plaît vous envoyer à mon tour, ma décoration à moi, ma rosette bleue, reçue le jour même de votre nomination, et qui me permet de transposer ainsi le célèbre dire d'un haut candidat ballotté: on vous a nommé . . - je suis élu!

Donc le charme n'est pas rompu, et l'arbuste[5] se porte bien.

A bientôt.

R.

13 Déc. 89


This document is protected by copyright.


Translation:

Dear Legionary,

Your petition was addressed - not as soon as you might have wished, perhaps; no more than the time, however, to place the address, with no errors!

The other instructions were following suit when the countermand arrived.

As a result, yesterday, they were sent off, and, this morning, you will have received, the six red vermicelli!

And, to finish with, I am pleased to be able to send you in my turn, my own decoration, my blue rosette, received on the same day as your nomination, which thus permits me to transpose the famous saying of an important elected candidate: they nominated you … - I am elected!

So the spell is not broken, and the bush is flourishing.

I look forward to hearing from you.

R.


Notes:

1.  Robert de Montesquiou-Fezensac
Comte Robert de Montesquiou-Fezensac (1855-1921), Symbolist writer and poet, and collector [more].

2.  ALS
A small section has been torn from the top of p. 1, possibly where a monogram appeared. Written in purple ink. Published in Newton, Joy, La Chauve-Souris et le Papillon. Correspondance Montesquiou-Whistler, Glasgow, 1990, no. 25, pp. 61-62.

3.  Légionnaire
JW had been made a Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur.

4.  pli-placet
See #13605.

5.  l'arbuste
A bonsai tree growing in Montesquiou's garden and destined for JW's.