The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: Paris, Cour d'appel de
Record 7 of 12

System Number: 03969
Date: [4 November 1897][1]
Author: Stéphane Mallarmé[2]
Place: Valvins
Recipient: JW
Place: [Paris]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler M241
Document Type: ALS[3]



cher Ami

Quoi! vous, malade; que veut dire cela et vous ne me dites pas de quoi. Je vous devine, au lit et furieux dans un tel moment! L'Appel[4] sera remis, je n'en doute pas; rien d'inquiétant de ce côté. Mais vous savoir [p. 2] à Paris et confiné, certes, m'attriste. Je voudrais être auprès de vous et, quoique le procès ne me hâte plus de rentrer, partirai, tout de même, d'ici, Dimanche ou Lundi, quelques occupations et rangements achevés. Tant pis pour la dernière feuille[5] qui tombera seule. Je vous prends la main, en attendant, de loin et fort: soignez-vous ou écoutez les Dames Philip[6].


[monogram:] SM

This document is protected by copyright.


Dear Friend

What! you, ill; what does that mean and you do not tell me what ails you. I imagine you, in bed and furious at such a time! The Appeal shall be deferred, I have no doubt about it, nothing to worry about on that account. But to know that you [p. 2] are in Paris and confined to your room, certainly saddens me. I would like to be by your side and, although I no longer have to hurry back for the trial, I will leave here, all the same, on Sunday or Monday, once a few final loose ends are tied up. To bad for the last leaf which will fall alone. I take your hand, in the meantime, from far and firmly: get well soon and listen to the Philip Ladies.


[monogram:] SM


1.  [4 November 1897]
Dated from the sequence of letters, and the day of the week; 'Jeudi' fell on 4 November in 1897. This letter follows on from JW to Mallarmé, 3 November 1897, #03968.

2.  Stéphane Mallarmé
Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-1898), Symbolist writer and poet [more].

3.  ALS
Published by Barbier, Carl P., ed., Correspondance Mallarmé-Whistler: Histoire de la grande amitié de leurs dernières années, Paris, 1964 [GM, A.28], no. CLIV, p. 270.

4.  Appel
JW's dispute with Sir William Eden (1849-1915), painter and collector [more], over possession of Brown and Gold: Portrait of Lady Eden (YMSM 408), started on 14 February 1894, when, with the picture seemingly nearing completion, Eden sent JW a 'Valentine', a cheque for 100 guineas. JW thought this inadequate, and said that the work was incomplete and he was dissatisfied with it. He refused to hand over the portrait, on the grounds that it was the artist's right to withhold a picture in such circumstances. When Eden instituted legal proceedings in November 1894 in order to retrieve the portrait, JW returned all monies that had been paid to him. The Eden v. Whistler trial opened at the Civil Tribunal on 6 March 1895. The verdict on 13 March went against JW, who appealed to the Cour de Cassation. This appeal opened on 17 November 1897, and on 2 December JW won his case and was permitted to keep the picture provided that he did not 'make use of it, public or private'. JW published his account of the affair in Whistler, James McNeill, Eden versus Whistler: The Baronet and the Butterfly. A Valentine with a Verdict, Paris and New York, 1899 [GM, A.24]. In a final appeal in April 1900 Eden was ordered to pay all expenses.

5.  la dernière feuille
This refers back to an image from two previous letters; see #03967 and #03968.

6.  les Dames Philip
Frances Philip (1824-1917), née Black, JW's mother-in-law [more], and Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), JW's sister-in-law [more].