UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: Figaro, Le (Paris)
Record 16 of 32

System Number: 03009
Date: [15/22 January 1892][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Robert de Montesquiou-Fezensac[2]
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler LB 4/108/01
Document Type: MsLc[3]


Voilà mon cher ami où menent les charmants complots. Lisez[4]! – et maintenant, comme je viens fatalement à vous, pour les adresses, déchiffrez, je vous prie, le nom distingué de mon correspondant, qui me cache son titre officiel et ses fonctions.

Aidez moi – et Dieu vous pardonnera! –

Mettez tout ce qu'il faut sur l'enveloppe, et faites parvenir ma lettre à sa destination –

Encore, apres tant de vertu, soyons indiscrets – pour ne pas être egoïstes – et si vous le juger sage, usez de votre diplomatie, et nous verrons (après le temps voulu par la décence que nous connaissons[)] – paraître dans le Figaro[5], une copie de cette naive déclaration, pour la joie de quelques uns, et la perplexité d'un peuple! –

[butterfly signature]


This document is protected by copyright.


Translation:

So this is where charming conspiracies lead us my dear friend. Read on! – and now as I come fatally to you, for the addresses, decipher, I beg you, the distinguished name of my correspondent, who conceals from me his official title and his functions.

Help me - and God will forgive you! -

Put all that is required on the envelope, and make sure my letter reach its destination -

Again, after displaying such virtue, let us be indiscreet - so as not to be selfish - and if you consider it wise, exercise diplomacy, and we will see (after what we would consider to be a respectable lapse of time) - the appearance in the Figaro, of a copy of this naïve declaration, to the joy of some, and the bewilderment of a nation! -


Notes:

1.  [15/22 January 1892]
Dated 'January 1892' by Newton (see below). However, the reference to a letter written early in January, #13208 suggests this more precise date.

2.  Robert de Montesquiou-Fezensac
Comte Robert de Montesquiou-Fezensac (1855-1921), Symbolist writer and poet, and collector [more].

3.  MsLc
Copied by Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), JW's sister-in-law [more]. Published by Newton, Joy, La Chauve-Souris et le Papillon. Correspondance Montesquiou-Whistler, Glasgow, 1990, pp. 143-44, no. 73.

4.  lisez
He may have enclosed a letter from Joseph-Félix Bouchor (1853-1937), genre and landscape painter [more], #13208.

5.  Figaro
JW wanted information leaked to the press, in this case to Le Figaro.