System Number: 04697
Date: [14 January 1897]
Recipient: Rosalind Birnie Philip
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler P337
Document Type: ALS
4, WHITEHALL COURT.
You are quite wrong Major -
though I know that women have always a better instinct than men - and the Major ought to know better than the General - only, by accident, I understand these people -
You say they are all "Frenchies" - and of that race, even the criminals are sentimental creatures -
If Mrs Willis were caught red handed in robbery, of course, after the manner of her countrymen, she would go drunk to the gallows - silent, sodden and uncomplaining.
But mine are in full drama - grief stricken - and keenly feeling all that concerns the honour of the old Father.
[p. 2] It is no "cheek" my dear Major on the part of Louise that makes her wish this or that for Mademoiselle - but simply the best feeling of her heart - the sort of thing that here you don't expect from a servant - and if you did, it would be ridiculous - for gin dont give it -
If there be the least hitch - though I doubt it - for clemency will be appreciated - then Ratier will manage it - or, if necessary, I will come over - Of course this would be very trying to me - and perhaps serious -
The lithographs you might pack nicely - quite flat - and send over to me at once - You say nothing about them - therefore, I suppose they are bad - I mean badly printed -
I shall write to Constant or Louise or get you to do so directly - Meantime you had better send to Louise as I told you -
Always affectionately with many charming things to your Mother -
The General -
I do hope you have a servant - I am in full British squallour [sic] and filth -
'JAN. 14th 1897'Mademoiselle Birnie-Philip
aux soins de
Monsieur McNeill Whistler
110. Rue du Bac
[stamp:] POSTAGE AND REVENUE / ONE HALFPENNY
[stamp:] POSTAGE AND REVENUE / 6d
[postmark:] BEDFORD ST (SO) W. C. / 9 PM / JA 14 / 97
[envelope, embossed on verso:] 4, WHITEHALL COURT, S.W.
1. [14 January 1897]
The postmark confirms the date added later by the recipient on the envelope.
The letter was written in pencil.
JW had more or less given up lithography, but a few prints of models and of the Birnie Philips were made in 1897, ie. Portrait of a Young Woman [Miss Seton] (C.171), and Afternoon Tea (C.173).