UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 10637
Date: [July 1900?][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: William Rickman Farquhar[2]
Place: [London?]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 1/34/1
Document Type: ALS[3]


No! but they did walk into the little Ambush again, my dear Farquhar! - from mere habit I suppose! - and so just as the "beginning of the End", as you say, was again announced, behold all the pretty playful ways of the gentle Boer have recommenced - as though all London had never been drunk with [p. 2] authority - and much whisky - ever since last Friday night! -

Really it is too provoking isn't it! - I did wish though that you had been here - that we might have seen these mad Saxons together! - crazed with drink - and the one flag and one old gun of Mafeking[4], of whose disposal the war office was informed by the kind Kruger[5], in his courteous telegram! -

I was, as I say, longing for you as I drove through the Bedlam of the Strand - for I had begun to think of my return to the peaceful Chatham[6] - and today indeed was meaning to write, when your letter was forwarded to me here -

If our Scotch cousinship then, hold good, you will already have laid my devotion and my respectful homage at the feet of your wife[7] - and now you will say that I am ever thoughtful of what shall be her pleasure - So I have not at all left the stately cloak of Ermine to the chances of even my well watched studio, but have placed it in charge of emminent furriers in Paris - who have had the wit to "improve" the occasion - All trace of usage and tear, in the atelier, has disappeared! and the mantle is fresh & fair

For the Princesse to wear! -

I have been preparing for my coming exhibition[8] [p. 3] which must be very smart & famous! - but if Mrs Farquhar will come to me this next week, I will get back by Tuesday or Wednesday - Would Thursday afternoon be convenient for Mrs. Farquhar - say at 3 o'clock? the afternoon light is so much nicer -

I gather from your letter that you yourself are going north for the shooting as you told me you might do - Perhaps I might see you here before I cross? I shall be glad enough to get back to Paris - and the weather here has been execrable! bitterly cold - & black & dirty - as only London can be -

Write to me your plans - to this address: 6. Norfolk Street - Park Lane - where I am staying with [p. 4] with [sic] the Heinemanns[9] -

If Mrs. Farquhar would like still to have the cloak immediately, Léonie[10] shall fetch it away from the place and bring it to her -

With my kindest regards to you both, and my intense astonishment at this amazing long letter I have written to you!

Always sincerely,

J McNeill Whistler


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Notes:

1.  [July 1900?]
The grouse season starts on 12 August; this letter probably dates from the preceeding month. Also dated from the references to the Boer War, and from JW's address.

2.  William Richmond Farquhar
William Richman Farquhar (m. 1897), husband of Marion Farquhar [more].

3.  ALS
The paper has a mourning border.

4.  Mafeking
The relief of Mafeking took place on 17 May 1900. The summer saw the start of the prolonged Boer guerilla campaign.

5.  Kruger
Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger (1825-1904), President of the Transvaal from 1883-1902 [more].

6.  Chatham
The Hotel Chatham in Paris.

7.  your wife
Marion Farquhar (b. ca 1872, m. 1897), née Peck [more]. Portrait of Miss Marion Peck (YMSM 439) was never finished.

8.  exhibition
JW did not have a one man exhibition at this time.

9.  the Heinemanns
William Heinemann (1863-1920), publisher [more], and Magda Stuart Heinemann (m. 1899), née Sindici, pseudonym 'Kassandra Vivaria', writer [more].

10.  Léonie
Léonie, possibly one of JW's servants.