UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 12787
Date: [29 October 1888][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Theodore Roussel[2]
Place: London
Repository: Private Collection
Document Type: ALS


BEEFSTEAK CLUB,
KING WILLIAM STREET,
STRAND, W. C.

J'espère vous revoir mon cher ami d'içi deux ou trois jours - enfin avant la fin de la semaine - et nous aurons tout plein a causer!! - En attendant vous pourriez maintenant faire comme si j'étais déjà de retour et avec vous à Londres -

Voyez donc tout de suite ces messieurs[3] et faites leur part de tous les plans dont vous m'avez envoyé l'esquisse par M. Hanson[4] - et dites leur que je suis pret a agir dans cette voie si [p. 2] je suis assuré de leur devouement - if they will engage to stand by me and support me - Let them individually and at once advise all those of their sets to with[h]old payments until after the next General Meeting -

At the General Meeting I can move a resolution urgent, before other business of the evening be gone into - This resolution will embody all that you have so brilliantly already framed - proposing the appointing of another finicial [sic] Committee and the considering of other means for saving the Society from absolute ruin - This we can work out ourselves on my return - Also if necessary there might be a meeting of the faithful at my place on Saturday or Sunday - night -

Now, if you think things ripe, we might all announce our intention of returning to the bosom of the beloved Society - I mean this might be done at this next meeting - of this you will be an excellent judge as you have already felt the pulse of the people -

I have all along been convinced that it has been most wise in me to keep away as I have done, for by this means they have had the chance of which they have availed themselves of breaking to pieces instead of uniting against myself!

Pour le moment donc adieu!

Ecrivez un mot à Giredot[5] - et [p. 3] tachez qu'il en soit -

à bientot - mon ami -
si vous savez ce que cela me coute de quiter mon travail!

[butterfly signature]


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Translation:

I hope to see you again my dear friend two or three days from now - before the end of the week anyway - and we will have plenty to talk about!! - Meanwhile you could now act as if I were already back and with you in London -

So, see these gentlemen right away and tell them about all the plans of which you have sent me a sketch through Mr. Hanson - and tell them that I am ready to act in this way if I am sure of their devotion - if they will engage to stand by me and support me - Let them individually and at once advise all those of their sets to with[h]old payments until after the next General Meeting -

At the General Meeting I can move a resolution urgent, before other business of the evening be gone into - This resolution will embody all that you have so brilliantly already framed - proposing the appointing of another finicial [sic] Committee and the considering of other means for saving the Society from absolute ruin - This we can work out ourselves on my return - Also if necessary there might be a meeting of the faithful at my place on Saturday or Sunday - night -

Now, if you think things ripe, we might all announce our intention of returning to the bosom of the beloved Society - I mean this might be done at this next meeting - of this you will be an excellent judge as you have already felt the pulse of the people -

I have all along been convinced that it has been most wise in me to keep away as I have done, for by this means they have had the chance of which they have availed themselves of breaking to pieces instead of uniting against myself!

For the moment then goodbye!

Write a word to Giredot - and try to make him a part of it all

till soon - my friend
if you knew what it costs me to leave my work!


Envelope:

To Theodore Roussel
495. Kings Rd.
Chelsea
London -
Angleterre
[postmark on verso:] PARIS À CALAIS / 29 OCT 88
[postmark on verso:] LONDON - S. W. / KD / OC 29 / 88


Notes:

1.  [29 October 1888]
Dated from postmark.

2.  Theodore Roussel
Theodore Roussel (1847-1926), painter and print-maker [more].

3.  ces messieurs
The Royal Society of British Artists. JW had resigned as President in July 1888, and his followers resigned with him. Although they held a meeting to consider the option of rejoining, they decided not to do so.

4.  Hanson
Charles James Whistler Hanson (1870-1935), engineer, son of JW and Louisa Fanny Hanson [more].

5.  Giredot
Ernest Gustave Girardot (1840-1904), genre and portrait painter [more].