The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 06645
Date: [20 November 1895][1]
Author: Beatrix Whistler[2]
Place: [London]
Recipient: JW
Place: Lyme Regis
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W639
Document Type: ALS

'Nov. 20. 1895.'[3]

"Oh! Ye Gifted ones, follow your calling, for, however various your talents may be, ye can have but one calling capable of leading ye to emine[n]ce and renown: follow resotulely the one straight path before you, it is that of your good angel, let neither obstacles nor temptations induce ye to leave it: bound along if you can: if not, on your hands and knees follow it, perish in it, if needful; but ye need not fear that: no one ever yet died in the true path of his calling before he had obt attained the pinnicle,"

This my [p. 2] Chinkie love, is what I came upon today, in Borrows Lavengro[4], it is apropos of his brother who became a painter, he had all the gifts except perseverance

But I think he is right[;] no great man ever does die too soon.

It is an edition with an introduction by Theodore Watts[5]! You must read it - the conceit of it is stupendous[,] a great deal of Watts and precious little of Borrows - He even drags in a sonnet of his own about a gipsy girl!

I dont think [p. 3] the Brookfield[6] business sounds badly - you see, they say he has got off some things on du Maurier[7]. I told Peter[8] to go and see it -

Louise[9] has climbed right down, I let her sulk as long as she liked, and now - she is very sweet -

Sweetheart, you will never stay away so long again[.] Somehow - - I cannot tell you to come before the pictures are finished. You must get over your rediculous nervousness, [p. 4] It is all nonsense,

I have had another bad day - I thought my bad week was last, but it looks as if it is on now - -

Oh! Chink. I do suffer[.] I never thought I should be like this - But - you know - I was too happy, so I am given some aches to remind me, that this world is not quite Paradise.

Sweet, I think Ive loved you always even from the Peacock room[10] days!

Your own

[flower signature]

[p. 5, sketch[11] of fireplace with sleeping cat]

[p. 6:] 'Mrs J. M. Whistlers sketch of fireplace in Garlands Hotel[12]. / 1895.'

This document is protected by copyright.


'Nov. 20. 1895.'[13]

James McNeill Whistler Esq
Royal Lion Hotel
Lyme Regis
[postmark:] LOND[ON.] S. W / X / NO 20 / 95
[postmark on verso:] LYME REGIS / A / NO 21 / 95


1.  [20 November 1895]
Dated from the postmark.

2.  Beatrix Whistler
Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more]. She calls JW 'Chinkie'. She was seriously ill with cancer.

3.  'Nov. 20. 1895.'
Added in pencil, in another hand, probably that of Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), JW's sister-in-law [more].

4.  Lavengro
George Borrow Lavengro. The Scholar, The Gypsy, The Priest, London, 1851, chapter 21.

5.  Theodore Watts
Walter Theodore Watts (later Watts-Dunton) (1832-1914), solicitor, novelist and poet [more].

6.  Brookfield
Charles Hallam Elton Brookfield (1857-1913), actor and playwright [more]. See his letter to JW, 19 November 1895, #00410.

7.  du Maurier
George Louis Palmella Busson Du Maurier (1834-1896), author and caricaturist [more].

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

9.  Louise
A servant.

10.  Peacock room
Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room (YMSM 178). At that time (1876) she was married to E. W. Godwin.

11.  sketch
By Beatrix Whistler: the note on the verso is by R. B. Philip.

12.  Garlands Hotel
Beatrix and her sister Rosalind were staying at Garlant's Hotel in London.

13.  'Nov. 20. 1895.'
Added in pencil, in another hand, probably that of Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), JW's sister-in-law [more].