The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 04315
Date: 25 June 1890
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: George Washburn Smalley[1]
Place: [New York]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler N72
Document Type: TLc[2]

From the NEW YORK TRIBUNE, June 25th, 1890.

Not to be recognised may be a sadness - I don't know - but to be readily mistaken for another is a humiliation, qui fait douter de tout[3]!

And, Oh grief and disillusion! your pre-occupation with political matter of minor importance, has given the enemy[4] the rare occasion of palming off as his own upon you a Whistler of the purest water!

Ought you not at least to have divined that the desperate speculator who could abscond with the collection would surely not leave its name behind?

My dear friend, c'est tout simple[5]. The old papers that could be laid hands upon were thrust, in guilty haste, into the bag, and the hurried ["]drummer," whose very pack still betrays in its disorder the hysterical gathering of another's goods, of course disappeared with the title - or, rather, with all that he could remember of it.

Clear and in its entirety you will see it next week, in a little volume[6], for whose dainty dress I hope you will feel as much sympathy as for the indecent pastiche[7] in 'sage green,' whose successful seizure was such a brilliant instance of adorable injustice, delicately flavoured with law!


J. McN. Whistler.

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1.  George Washburn Smalley
George Washburn Smalley (1833-1916), journalist and Times correspondent [more].

2.  TLc
The New York Tribune, 25 June 1890 (GUL Whistler pc12, p. 16; see also GM B.71). There are numerous drafts of this letter (#05467, #05468, #05469, #05470, #05471 and #09331). Folder GUL MS Whistler N72 also contains a three page handwritten copy of an unidentified press-cutting (possibly in the hand of Sheridan Ford), beginning "The American newspapers have been discussing..."; this has not been transcribed here.

3.  qui fait douter de tout
Fr., which makes one doubt everything.

4.  enemy
Sheridan Ford (1860-1922), poet, critic, politician and writer on art [more].

5.  c'est tout simple
Fr., it is all simple.

6.  volume
Whistler, James McNeill, The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, London and New York, 1890.

7.  pastiche
Whistler, James McNeill, The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, ed. Sheridan Ford, Paris, 1890, which JW was pursuing through the courts to prevent publication.