UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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System Number: 04786
Date: 27 January 1901
Author: Rosalind Birnie Philip[1]
Place: Hastings
Recipient: JW
Place: Ajaccio
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler P426
Document Type: ALS


1. White Rock.
Hastings.

Jan: 27th 1901.
Sunday.

My dear General.

You will see that we are still here. The weather had turned finer & we both felt we should like to stay on another week

So here we are until next Thursday morning when we shall return to Tite Street. Is this all right? I think we are both better, at least I look a little fatter! Your letter with the Farquhar[2] enclosure came last evening

What a very queer letter! Very wickedly enough I did not feel at all grieved at the news, & thought that now the Jonah had been cast forth all would go well.

[p. 2] The other two letters I also send. Mr. Webb's[3] I shall not answer. I think it is very impertinent on his part to ask if you had left any money with me to pay the rent. Don't you? Miss Bate's[4] I also send, I hope you perceive that as the note is for my inspection, it is written the right way of the stuff & certainly not so poetical as usual. I am writing to her saying that I have sent on the letter. It seems to me this is a very excellent opportunity to free yourself from the responsibilities of the school. Carmen[5] has her wine shop, & I am sure the Bate would be capable of taking the school on her own account & then if you felt inclined when you happened to be in the [p. 3] neighbourhood you could go in occasionally. For I do not see why you should be worried like this & we think it would be unwise to come back to this cold weather after the warmth you are in.

But I suppose it is no good saying anything, but it really does seem to my stolid mind a very good time to come to some arrangement.

I have not told you much about the mourning[6] of the nation, which seems to be very genuine even here. There is a certain flower woman who pleases me very much. I noticed her arranging her flowers for the day & they were all tied with little black bows & she spoke of the Queen as the "dear Lady". I am sending Ronnie[7] the last two newspapers. I would have sent some before but thought you [p. 4] would have already had them. I heard King Edward VII[8] proclaimed from the town hall by the Mayor of Hastings. The ceremony was not very impressive as they were such a funny looking lot of old men, on a very small balcony.

There is no more news so will close. We think your idea of keeping out of cold streets for a time very wise & that the cough will soon be entirely gone

Hoping to hear from you soon & with much love from us both to you both,
Yours affectionately

The Major.

I did not know Webb was the Hon: Secretary. He is evidently feeling the importance of his position!


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Notes:

1.  Rosalind Birnie Philip
Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), JW's sister-in-law [more]. She called JW 'General' and herself 'Major'.

2.  Farquhar
William Richman Farquhar (m. 1897), husband of Marion Farquhar [more]. He was tring to settle for the completion of Portrait of Miss Marion Peck (YMSM 439), or the return of money advanced on it.

3.  Mr. Webb's
Probably William Webb (b. ca 1851), of G. and W. Webb, lawyer [more]

4.  Miss Bate's
Inez Eleanor Addams (fl. 1898-1927), née Bate, painter [more].

5.  Carmen
Carmen Rossi, model, proprietess of the Académie Carmen [more].

6.  mourning
For Victoria (1819-1901), Queen of Great Britain [more].

7.  Ronnie
Ronald Murray Philip (1871-1940), civil engineer, JW's brother-in-law [more].

8.  King Edward VII
Edward VII (1841-1910), King of Great Britain from 1901-1910 [more].