The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 05467
Date: [25 June 1890][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: George Washburn Smalley[2]
Place: [New York]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler S112
Document Type: ALd[3]


Not to be understood, my dear Smalley, is perhaps ones safety in life - not to be recognised must be ones sadness - I don't know! - but to be readily mistaken for another - is a humiliation qui fait douter de tout[5]! -

SurelyYou might have divined that the who one who could care to carry off the collection[6] however hastily gathered would certainly surely not [p. 2] leave the title behind - Also he promptly How shall I sufficiently reproach Your you with preocupation [sic] with political points of much less subtlety, which

How shall I sufficiently reproach the your inattentive preoccupation with political matters of minor importance that has permitted you - fin Connaisseur the impostor[7] to palm off upon you, fin Connaisseur[8], a Whistler of the purest water as his own! -

O grief and disillusion!

Now I ask you who know - if the man who bethought himself of the dainty "Art of making Enemies" might not, without Police risk have written all the letters, papers and words of joyous wisdom that go to make the work - or indeed have done much better - a question which doubtless will be asked myself before many days are over -

[p. 3] How has the Impostor found in your preoccupation with political matters of minor importance, the rare occasion of palming off upon upon you, fin Connaisseur as his own [...]

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1.  [25 June 1890]
The final letter was published in the New York Tribune, 25 June 1890 (#04315).

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

3.  ALd
This is a draft version of #04315, #09331; see also other drafts at #05468, #05469, #05470, #05471.

Address printed in yellow.

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

6.  collection
Whistler, James McNeill, The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, London and New York, 1890, and Whistler, James McNeill, The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, ed. Sheridan Ford, Paris, 1890, are the publications in question.

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

8.  fin Connaisseur
Fr., fine Connoisseur.