The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 06643
Date: [19 November 1895][1]
Author: JW
Place: [Lyme Regis]
Recipient: Beatrix Whistler[2]
Place: London
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W637
Document Type: ALS

What I mean you Chinkie Wink, is by no means the upshot in these here weeks that I am floundering through - The Lamp you see means not only all the future, which you would think one might be contented with - but if we like all the past! - or such of it as we can lay our hands upon -

Wait a bit and you will see - Come a little nearer to the windy and I'll tell you!

Well you know how you used to grieve when you would see me sitting dazed before [p. 2] the unhappy little picture begging hard to become a masterpiece, and on the eve of destruction, while the miserable Grinder in abject fright remained pitifully painting in the air! - You remember the little Woakes[3]! - and the poor Boston girl[4] - and the others - Well Chinks all those badly treated pretty things remain on his mind - and make him sit up in the dark night - for the Goddess forgives nothing -

The King of Spain[5] it appears had by him a lot of old pictures - why he didn't burn them I don't know - But he turned them over to the great Don Diego[6] - & perhaps in fun, or wondering may be, asked him [p. 3][7] just to "put a few touches upon them"! -

And Velasquez went the round with his palette, and put those touches in! -

Julian Story[8] - by the way I have never written about his father[9] - Julian told me he saw those paintings in the Gallery - at Madrid - - It was wonderful he said - how at once they had answered to the Masters call! -         Well I understand that now! -         Do you see Winkie? - and when we can be a little more at ease - there are canvases that may be saved - The Grinders labour may be played with by the Luck's own Painter! and poor old Duret[10] for instance - made really to live! - and even Sarasate[11] - by & bye - don't fear - yet! - [p. 4] and perhaps one day the little Woak[e]s - & when we go to America - which we will - for no! I wont go alone - even the Bosting [sic] girl need not bring us to shame! -         But, to come down from the clouds and I fear the Goddess dont like these flights - but the Wink [will] make it right - Well again what I mean is that the trouble and agonies I have had - even with or especially with these present things - you can quite understand was owing to the doubtful beginnings of the old uncertainty. - and that trouble - and loss of time - for time is taken by Doubt - I am to have no more! - There that is what I mean - & that is the outcoming of the exile to which the grand Lady condemned the wretched Grinder in order that he might become[12] her Painter & be worthy of his Office - & there she will cover him with ribbons & gold medals & take pleasure in him & laugh at him for the vexation[13] he has been to her -

Her little letter this morning was beautiful!

So dont[14] expect too much in these grubs of the future Butterfly - but "the principle remains the same" - ! -

And Goodnight! my own Winks! and beautiful sleep! & the little prayers!

[butterfly signature]

The jaunty Bus tomorrow!

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Mrs J. McNeill Whistler
Garlants Hotel
Suffolk Street
Pall Mall -
[postmark:] LYME REGIS / D / NO19 / 95
[postmark on verso:] LONDO[N. S. W.] / 5.15[AM] / NO 20 / 95 / 9

[red wax seal on verso]


1.  [19 November 1895]
Dated from the postmark.

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

3.  Woakes
Portrait of Miss Lilian Woakes (YMSM 393).

4.  poor Boston girl
Not identified.

5.  King of Spain
Philip II of Spain.

6.  Don Diego
Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velázquez (1599-1660), painter [more].

7.  [p. 3]
This page is actually numbered '(2.)' at the top, although it is the third side of text.

8.  Julian Story
Julian Russell Story (1850-1919), genre and portrait painter [more].

9.  his father
William Wetmore Story (1819-1895), sculptor and writer [more].

10.  Duret
Arrangement en couleur chair et noir: Portrait de Théodore Duret (YMSM 252).

11.  Sarasate
Arrangement in Black: Portrait of Señor Pablo de Sarasate (YMSM 315).

12.  might become ... at him for the
Added in margins of p. 4.

13.  vexation ... beautiful
Written in margins on p. 3.

14.  So dont ... tomorrow!
Written in margins on p. 1.