The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: war
Record 17 of 44

System Number: 04770
Date: [26 January 1900][1]
Author: JW
Place: [Paris]
Recipient: Rosalind Birnie Philip[2]
Place: London
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler P410
Document Type: ALS[3]

'26 Jan. 1900'

My dear

don't you be discouraged! Your turn did come! It came at first - & your joke was enjoyed! -

The British joke - "en plein[4]!" was stupendous!! It is now history - graven in the tablets of time - and nothing hereafter, shall affect its monumental success before the whole world "convulsed with astonishment" as the clear headed Kruger[5] has put it! -

For the rest is of course uninteresting - It matters not at all, Major - and get this well into your anxious mind - that in time with much money, a Nation of 500 millions - continually renewing the armies, shall end in overcoming a grand little people of a few thousands, who can renew nothing - save their own continued superb conduct, and the admiration of the entire universe because of their great science & skill - Their magnificent [p. 2] discipline - their marvellous [silence?] & pluck under fire -

No one has ever doubted Major that the bigger would finally swallow up the lesser! That was said by Napoléon[6] as well as by me Major! - see early beautiful letters -

And when that [finally?] comes about Major, still there will remain - & forever - unchanged the original & colossal joke of British tactics in 1900! -

And now I have real news for you - But all this tomorrow

So many things to you all -


the General.

This document is protected by copyright.


Miss Rosalind Birnie Philip
Dhu House.
36. Tite Street
[postmark:] PARIS 81 / R. DES CAPUCINES / 2E / 26 / JANV / 00


1.  [26 January 1900]
Dated from postmark. The date was written on the letter by the recipient.

2.  Rosalind Birnie Philip
Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), JW's sister-in-law [more]. JW called her 'Major' and himself 'General'.

3.  ALS
The stationery has a mourning border.

4.  en plein
Fr., in full.

5.  Kruger
Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger (1825-1904), President of the Transvaal from 1883-1902 [more]. JW supported the Boers during the Boer War (1899-1902).

6.  Napoléon
Napoléon Bonaparte (1769-1821), Emperor of France [more].