The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 06635
Date: [10 November 1895][1]
Author: JW
Place: Lyme Regis
Recipient: Beatrix Whistler[2]
Place: London
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W629
Document Type: ALS

Nice little letter Chinkie dear - and I am delighted - though there is again rain this morning - and Chink if London & even Suffolk Street with the British Artists close by be bad in the rain, I "claim" that Lyme, as a dismal sea side out of season, with the wind roaring and "son son by son"! beats it all to pieces for dreariness! - Still with your letter, and the pictures at present - let us say it in a whisper - I am not so depressed this morning as I might be! - So thats all right!

Here is the last from Nellie[3]! - What a nonsense! Fancy poor Willie[4] sitting up all night writing to me! -

The journey abroad still remains a mystery! - Dont you think? -

I shall write her a line - and perhaps [p. 2] draw into a little gabble! -

Well yes Chink! - Little Thomson[5] - Lord Thomson! splendid - little Thomson then did sit and chorkle over the pounds that the pictures might bring! would bring, he said - and the show in March made him quite happy - so that he entirely forgave the Lithograph business with the Fine Arts people - You can fancy how funny it was then to have down little Brown[6] only a few days afterwards and deal with him - all unconcious of the Thomson arrangements!

Also he didn't see any of the pictures - not perhaps owing entirely to my extreme discretion as a little bit to the Lamp being slightly on the flicker at that moment! - Stirred up the wick since though Chinkie!

Really I do think that I am making [my?] painting more possible to a human grinder - and that is every thing - How I have tortured my poor self and my dear Luck too - and now it is all owing to her if I get out of my trouble at last - You see though Chink I scarcely dare yet quite - what I shall dare - for there is still the great nervousness of the circumstances if no longer of the painting itself. - I must sit hard and not think - and each day even when almost seeing my way out - and while looking almost with complacency at the work just brought in - there will flash upon me the fact that there is another day gone - & that there are thousands of things waiting! waiting! - But I mustn't! - I mustn't lift my nose from the chalk line my own beautiful Luck drew for him - until I can bring it back to her and say I require it no longer! -

Peter[7] then goes tomorrow! - and I suppose it will be beastly lonely for the next few days.

Never mind - you know I can stand any thing - and grip on fast - if I manage not to look too much behind keeping my eyes to the front as I was taught to do at West Point[8]! - "upon the seam of the coat collar of the man in front of you!" - and indeed the hy[p]notizing emptiness of such early education was of the greatest wisdom! - I dont think I ought ever to look any where else! do you my own Chink! - not yet awhile any how! You must make [p. 3] Peter show you his things - and then tell me if after all the effect of the studio upon him is not remarkable - Especially look at the head of the little Rosie[9] - and a workman to be one day painted - & think of what he had been about, & then tell me if you dreamed such work could have been done by him? -

He will tell you all about the grinder - and the shops & things - & the little Lyme Regis maidens! -     !       - and then I will bring them up and trust[10] you will not be disappointed -

The Huish[11] business is not quite concluded - & I must still write some more to him tonight -

So the dear little prayer for the two Wams!
and God bless her and put away the pain & make her have a Goodnight! -

[butterfly signature, in clouds]

Rather pretty! - isn't it?

You never[12] say a word Chink about the Early Busses!!

Dont you like 'em?


This document is protected by copyright.


Mrs J. McNeill Whistler
Garlants Hotel
Suffolk Street
Pall Mall.
London -
[postmark:] LYME REGIS / B / NO10 / 95
[postmark on verso:] LONDON. S. W. / A M / NO 11 / 95


1.  [10 November 1895]
Dated from the postmark.

2.  Beatrix Whistler
Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more]. JW called her his 'Luck', and 'Chinkie' and the two of them, the 'Wams'.

3.  Nellie
Helen ('Nellie') Euphrosyne Whistler (1849-1917), née Ellen Ionides, JW's sister-in-law [more].

4.  Willie
William McNeill Whistler (1836-1900), physician, JW's brother [more].

5.  Thomson
David Croal Thomson (1855-1930), art dealer [more].

6.  Brown
Ernest George Brown (1853 or 1854-1915), assistant manager at the Fine Art Society [more].

7.  Peter
Arthur ('Peter') Haythorne Studd (1863-1919), painter and collector [more].

8.  West Point
JW had attended the United States Military Academy at West Point, but failed to graduate.

9.  Rosie
Possibly The Little Rose of Lyme Regis (YMSM 449).

10.  trust
Double underlined.

11.  Huish
Marcus Bourne Huish (1843 - d.1921), barrister, writer and art dealer, Director of the Fine Art Society [more].

12.  You never ... 'em?
Two lines added in the left margin of p. 1, at right angles to the main text.

13.  'Winstrously.'
This word is written by JW upon a long thin strip of paper, which has been folded over and over and sealed against itself, so that only this word shows on top.