7 Lindsey Row, Old Battersea Bridge
Chelsea - London,
May 5th 1864
My dear Mr Gamble
A sprained fore finger on my right hand explains the mystery of my silence, for you know how readily your old friend Mrs Whistler has always welcomed your arrival. Jemie has returned recently from his 2nd trip to Paris this Spring, he is so pressed for a picture now on his Easel, ordered & promised for a birth day present, that he can neither read or write for his Mother, he had to however [read] your letter in pencil from Homeland which my eyes could not & believe me your expression of loving him as a brother was not thrown away upon him. Dont come yet to London it would so mortify him not to be at liberty to shew you attention. he joins [p. 2] me in love to you. We have no plans yet for the summer. When my finger is less painful I'll write you again & hope to hear how you left all at Homeland. I received the letter & Ten Dollar gold piece & precious Photograph which Mr King sent by you to me. It was delivered here safely yesterday & I signed the paper of the Register Office[.] Thanks to you my dear friend who are ever so mindful of others. God bless & reward you. How beautiful your native land must look to you in its early Spring freshness! I am sure it will be a charming benefit to you to visit it & your beloved friends & relatives, I wish I could visit Ireland! but if I go any where it must be for health & I think of some German baths, but may not realize the freedom to choose.
[p. 3] I am to attend a christening D V. on Monday next & spend some days as a guest out of London - & hope the country air may make me feel stronger. If you write by the next Steamer home do send my love to your dear Mother & Sister. how they must miss you! & how must the chickens! The Guinea fowls will be calling out "Come back, come back" I must not strain either my eyes or finger more now than to say write when you have leisure to us, & you shall hear in response from your gratefully attached & affectionate
Anna M. Whistler
Perhaps Variations in Flesh Colour and Green: the Balcony, (YMSM 56), on which JW was working in February; see AMW to James H. Gamble, 10-11 February 1864, #06522. JW composed the first stage of the painting and signed it 'Whistler. 1865.'