The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 09331
Date: [25 June 1890][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: George Washburn Smalley[2]
Place: [New York]
Repository: Published
Document Type: PLc[3]

Not to be recognized, my dear Smalley, may be a sadness -- I don't know, but to be readily mistaken for another is a humiliation, qui fait douter de tout[4]!

And, oh grief and disillusion! your preoccupation with political matter of minor importance has given the enemy the rare occasion of palming off as his own upon you, a Whistler of the purest water!

Ought you not at least to have divined that the [blank][5] who could abscond with the Collection would surely not leave its name behind?

My dear friend, c'est tout simple[6]. The odd papers that could be laid hands upon were thrust in guilty haste into the bag, and the hurried drummer whose very pack still betrays in its disorder the hysterical gathering of another's goods, of course disappeared with the title -- or rather, with all that he could remember of it!

Clean and in its entirety you will see it next week, in a little volume[7] for whose dainty dress I hope you will feel as much sympathy as for the indecent pastiche[8] in 'sage-green,' whose successful seizure was such a brilliant instance of adorable injustice, delicately flavoured with law!


J. McN. Whistler.

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1.  [25 June 1890]
Date of publication (see below). Drafts of this letter are to be found at #05467, #05468, #05469, #05470, and #05471.

2.  George Washburn Smalley
George Washburn Smalley (1833-1916), journalist and Times correspondent [more].

3.  PLc
Published in The New York Tribune, 25 June 1890. See also Getscher, Robert H., and Paul G. Marks, James McNeill Whistler and John Singer Sargent. Two Annotated Bibliographies, New York and London, 1986, B. 71.

4.  qui fait douter de tout
Fr., which makes one doubt everything.

5.  [blank]
Reference to Sheridan Ford (1860-1922), poet, critic, politician and writer on art [more]. In JW's drafts, the words 'impostor' or 'criminal' appear here.

6.  c'est tout simple
Fr., it is all simple.

7.  volume
Whistler, James McNeill, The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, London and New York, 1890.

8.  pastiche
Whistler, James McNeill, The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, ed. Sheridan Ford, Paris, 1890.