The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Record 54 of 71

System Number: 04556
Date: 15 January 1899
Author: Elizabeth Robins Pennell[1]
Place: London
Recipient: JW
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler P196
Document Type: ALS

Jan. 15th 1899


Dear Mr. Whistler,

We were so glad to have your card[2] with its New Year greetings.

Joseph[3] means to go to the meeting to-morrow and will write you what happens.

But have you seen yesterday's Saturday[4]? D. S. M. rounding on Walter Sickert[5]? What of the Whirligig of Time[6], and giggling generally? Poor Sickert, [p. 2] poor N. E. A. C.[7], poor Everybody!

I am going presently in search of Gossip.

When will you come to this land where there is weeping[8] and wailing and gnashing of teeth, and where many sit in sackcloth and ashes, but we go on just as usual - save that our dear Louise[9] has left us.

Very Sincerely Yours

E. R. Pennell

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1.  Elizabeth Robins Pennell
Elizabeth Robins Pennell (1855-1936), née Robins, JW's biographer [more].

2.  card

3.  Joseph
Joseph Pennell (1860-1926), printer and illustrator, JW's biographer [more].

4.  Saturday
Dugald Sutherland MacColl (1859-1948), painter and etcher, art critic and writer [more], writing in the Saturday Review, 14 January 1899.

5.  Walter Sickert
Walter Richard Sickert (1860-1942), artist and writer on art [more].

6.  whirligig of time
She is paraphrasing Shakespeare's Twelft Night: in Act 2, scene 3, Sir Toby Belch asks Malvolio, 'Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?'; and at the end of the play, in Act V, Scene 1: Feste the jester reminds Malvolio of earlier insults, saying, 'And thus the whirligig of time brings in his revenges'.

7.  N. E. A. C.
New English Art Club.

8.  weeping
The imagery used here is influenced by apocalyptic writing as in, for example, Matthew 13.42: 'They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

9.  Louise
The Pennells' cook-servant.