The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 05471
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 S116
Document Type: ALd


Not to be remembered, is possibly a safety in life - Not to be recognised my dear Smalley[3] may be a sadness - I don't know! - but to be readily mistaken for another is a humiliation - qui fait douter de tout[4]! -

Ought you not to have divined that the criminal[5] who could carry off absconded with the collection would surely not leave the title its name behind? - And

And yet an obscure the hurried though drummer whose very pack still betrays, in its hurried disorder, the hysterical gathering of stolen goods, made off with the title. binds together the work you know at once as mine, with my own choice ribbon, and because you had not seen it as yet seen it in my fingers, persuades your inattention that he wove it himself! -

And Yet O! grief! and disillusion!

Your Preoccupation with Political matter of minor importance, has given the impostor the rare occasion of palming off, as his own, upon you, fin connaisseur, a Whistler of the purist water! -

My dear friend - c'est tout simple[6] - the the book[7] and its "The Gentle Art" and its the book, and such portions of it as could be laid hands upon were thrust in the bag, together

the odd papers that could be laid hands upon were thrust, in guilty haste, into the bag - and the title too made with them the title - was carried off or rather all that could be found of it at the moment - - or rather with what he could at the time remember -

Clean, and in its entirety, you will see it next week in a little volume for whose dainty appearance dress I hope you will feel as much sympathy, as for the indecent pastiche in sage green was attempted by this rat d'attelier[8] [sic]!

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1.  [25 June 1890]
This is one of several drafts of #04315; see also other versions at #05467, #05468, #05469, #05470.

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

3.  my dear Smalley
Added from the deletion above by circle and arrow.

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

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

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

7.  book
Whistler, James McNeill, The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, ed. Sheridan Ford, Paris, 1890.

8.  rat d'attelier
Fr., studio rat.