The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 06602
Date: [2 November 1891][1]
Author: JW
Place: [Paris]
Recipient: Beatrix Whistler[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W595
Document Type: ALS


Too bad of you dear Chinkie - wicked Wam! -

No letter! - Why? -

and I sent you a telegram[4] too last night that you might not be without news -

It is terribly cold here - However I try to keep away the little blue devils and with my complete faith in my own Luck and her Obi keep up as good a heart as I can when away from her! I have just come from a long and most charming visit to Galland[5] - I must tell you all about it for he said many things and was most affectionate - "What!" [p. 2] he said, and so you have our "décoration[6]! Vous êtes alors Francais [sic], and it is only just that one who has exercised so great an influence upon the French School should have this recognition" - whereupon without more ado, he put his arm round my should[ers] and kissed me twice! - Would n't you have been very much touched Trixie and pleased to have seen him!

He sends you many nice remembrances and talked delightfully about you - He is going to see the Goupil[7] things and will write to us about them - But his place is more wonderful than ever! - Well - I have seen also poor old Stevens[8] - He is very depressed - and I suppose things are in a bad way - Degas[9] I called upon - but missed - and now I shall go to the Grefulhes[10] [sic] and leave a card - Montesquiou[11] I had telegraphed [p. 3] to and must really write him a letter but I have been so uncertain -

I have been about the roasting stove - and have settled with Mallarmé[12] about sending it directly we send him the money - Also all is understood about the swan's necks[13] - He will get them through an architect who knows exactly where they should be obtained -    Now the drawings my own Chink are really I think I may say all right - and as I wired yesterday, will even do for 2 of the first set of 4 for Heinemann[14] - In any case tomorrow I am [p. 4] to be put through the whole business -

I draw my sketch on paper[15], transfer it to the stone myself, bite it in - and print it!! - Well that is worth the journey ten times over - isn't it? - Oh what am I to do tomorrow morning without any news from you - How could you Chinkie when you know that if you didn't write on Saturday I should hear nothing for three days!

I do hope nothing is wrong - You might perhaps the first thing wire one word all right if it is so - Of course I shall try to get off tomorrow night - though it will be awfully cold - or on Tuesday morning - but will let you know -

Orchar[16] should be telegraphed to or written to by William[17] to say that the Secretarys wire has made him anxious about the safety of the etchings - What about the bank?!! - I shall be obliged to give a cheque here - Do you think that[18] will be all right?

Goodnight my own Trixie
Love to all
Your fond

[butterfly signature]

This document is protected by copyright.


Mrs. J. [McNeill Whistler]
21. Chey[ne Walk]
Angleterre -
[French stamp, torn]
[postmark, torn:] PA [...] / R. DE C[...]
[postmark on verso:] LONDON . S. W. / V B / NO 2 / 91


1.  [2 November 1891]
Dated from postmark.

2.  Beatrix Whistler
Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more].

3.  21, Cheyne Walk
The orange embossed letterhead is printed on both sheets of paper.

4.  telegram
Not located.

5.  Galland
Pierre-Victor Galland (1822-1892), painter and decorative artist [more].

6.  décoration
JW had been promoted to be a Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur. 'Vous êtes alors Francais', Fr., You are then French.

7.  Goupil
Art dealers in Paris and London.

8.  Stevens
Alfred Émile-Léopold Stevens (1823-1906), history and portrait painter [more].

9.  Degas
Hilaire-Germain-Edgar Degas (1834-1917), artist [more].

10.  Grefulhes
Elisabeth, Comtesse Greffulhe (1860-1952), née Riquer de Caraman-Chimay [more].

11.  Montesquiou
Comte Robert de Montesquiou-Fezensac (1855-1921), Symbolist writer and poet, and collector [more].

12.  Mallarmé
Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-1898), Symbolist writer and poet [more].

13.  swan's necks
JW is probably referring to chair or table legs.

14.  Heinemann
William Heinemann (1863-1920), publisher [more].

15.  sketch on paper
JW was learning to print his own lithographs, starting with transfer paper, rather than turning the processing over to the printer as he had done with Thomas Way in London.

16.  Orchar
James Guthrie Orchar (1825-1888), engineer and collector [more]. His etchings are now in Dundee Art Gallery.

17.  William
William Bell, JW's secretary [more].

18.  think that
The remaining text was written in the left margin.