UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 06259
Date: [April/June 1900][1]
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: William Webb[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W254
Document Type: AL[d][3]


Dear Mr Webb -

I have received these most extraordinary letters[4] from the parents of one of the pupils! - I cannot of course be involved in complications of this amazing kind! however drole [sic] they seem -

Of course I have every day been meaning to write to you! and naturally the story of the "Faithful Apprentice" and the Sequel of "The Indentures" it was to have been my joy to have gradually unfolded! - But I have been swallowed up in one of my periodical fits of silence and anxious work! and now this must come upon you in its abrupt [p. 2] ripeness! and without preparation! -

I wish enough I were there to tell you! a little déjeuner together, and the telling of it, would have been delightful!

However now you must put all this away from me, that I may have peace in my work! for what began as a sort of artistic interlude! - a kind of accompanying little Ballet at the "Academie"! is apparently hooking on accessories! and threatening to overrun the place!! - These supernumery Mothers & excited Fathers must be withdrawn at once!! that I be no further bored & disturbed at my work. -

I think you might write to Mr Adams[5] something like this:

Dear Sir -

Our client, Mr Whistler, has handed in answer to your letter of the [blank space] desires us to say "that his fully occupied time will not allow him to discuss, or even entertain, your very original attitude towards himself -

He therefore trusts there will be no further correspondence on your part -

He thanks you moreover for the frankness of your domestic statements, as it enables him clearly to advise the distinguished young lady[6], under his direction, very strongly against what seems to be a most undesirable family aliance [sic] -

He wishes us further to say that he has the honour to be

Your obedient servant,"
And we are, dear Sir,
Very truly Yours

G & W. Webb.

I think this very excellent! and a bit of a startler for the Philadelphia father in law! - dont you?! -


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Notes:

1.  [April/June 1900]
Dated from the likely reference to the Addams' marriage (see below).

2.  William Webb
William Webb (b. ca 1851), of G. and W. Webb, lawyer [more].

3.  AL[d]
This letter cuts off rather abruptly at the end and may in fact be a draft version. It is written on narrow bordered mourning paper.

4.  letters
Unidentified.

5.  Mr. Addams
Wellington I. Addams (fl. 1855-1909), businessman, father of Clifford Addams [more], father of Clifford Isaac Addams (1876-1942), etcher [more].

6.  young lady
Probably Inez Eleanor Addams (fl. 1898-1927), née Bate, painter [more], one of JW's first students at the Académie Carmen, the Paris atelier opened by Carmen Rossi, model, proprietess of the Académie Carmen [more]. The 'domestic statements' presumably related to the marriage of Inez Bate and Clifford Addams on 27 June 1900 (see JW to I. Addams, #00050).