The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: pupil of JW
Record 9 of 9

System Number: 06629
Date: [27/30 October 1895][1]
Author: JW
Place: [Lyme Regis]
Recipient: Beatrix Whistler[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W623
Document Type: ALS

My own Chinkie -

You do fill me with such anxiety - Why will not the Major[3] at least, answer my telegrams -

All day I have been uneasy, fearing that you were not well again - for no reply came to my wire of this morning early -       I thought the drive might really do you good - and doubtless out of London the day was fine - it happened to be [p. 2] fine here - But in any case the silence of a whole day is a most depressing reply to an anxious grinder - already troubled with the Majors poor account of you instead of your longed for little letter! -

I do trust that tomorrow early post will bring me good news of my dear Luck - Tell me of Kennedy[4] - also further of Webb[5] -

Now this matter of the Greaves[6] is Chinkie of a certain importance - Very important I consider - The situation may be made vexatious if I appear at all backward or disturbed - You see the letter[7] is a public challenge - the two Greaves [p. 3] are not only held up to ridicule, but are accused of imposition & falsehood -

I am in a manner asked if called upon to say that they are swindling or not swindling the authorities of Streatham[8] - And mind you if I do not answer, the Greaves themselves may write to ask me, in the paper, to defend them - And then what a grand time for the critics! What would they not say of my unhandsome conduct - attempting to hide the young man who had been loyal to me - [p. 4] Jealousy - envy & whit not I should be accused of, - & things will be as hot as they can make it -     Whereas if you will for a moment suppose that I have some wit if not good feeling, nothing can be easier or prettier than the way in which I shall come out of it all - by as usual taking the initiative and looking down the muzzle!

I have written a charming letter[9] which I shall first send you - there is time - though none too much as you will see from the enclosed - The thing is making a stir -

[p. 5] As to the work in the Hall itself - it may not be all that is good - It may be absolutely wild and uncultivated as decoration - the work of peasants perhaps - but take my word for it there must be some stuff in all that -

To have done it exacts acknowledgment - what others have done anything -

Besides they were very intelligent & nice boys - and it would be a graceful [p. 6] act on my part - I feel kindly about them after all - Chinkie dear!

But I am already late & am off -

Goodnight dear Trixie Luck!

[butterfly signature]

Go tomorrow - & "wire opinion"

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [27/30 October 1895]
This is a reply to B. Whistler's letter of [26 October 1895], #06628.

2.  Beatrix Whistler
Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more]. JW also called her 'Luck'. She was seriously ill with cancer.

3.  Major
Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), JW's sister-in-law [more].

4.  Kennedy
Edward Guthrie Kennedy (1849-1932), dealer with H. Wunderlich and Co., New York [more].

5.  Webb
William Webb (b. ca 1851), of G. and W. Webb, lawyer [more].

6.  Greaves
Walter Greaves (1846-1930), boatman and painter [more]; and Henry Greaves (1843-1904), boat builder and painter [more].

7.  letter
Perhaps a letter in the Star; see #05825.

8.  Streatham
The Greaves' brothers had been given a commission to paint murals on the walls of the new Town Hall of Streatham, work which they undertook between 1890 and 1895 (see #06627, #06628 and #08379).

9.  charming letter
Not located.