The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Documents associated with: Upton and Britton
Record 5 of 17

System Number: 05897
Date: [11 July 1889][1]
Author: JW
Place: [London]
Recipient: Edward Upton[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler U26
Document Type: ALd

Dear Sir Dear Mr. Upperton -

I have to apologise to you for not answering your letter before - In the matter of the business transaction with the sportsman your Client I have but little need for suchSir Henry Meux[3], the usual amenities customary in correspondence would I fear savour of sarcasm - For I recall the methods of that cheery sportsman, and acknowledge that in the way of wiliness he certainly scored - You are doubtless also not without remembering how he withdrew to the [p. 2] banks of the, I really believe narrow, Nile and from the top of a distant Pyramid haggled in safety over the cheque to be payed me for my work! -

Acting upon your own kind and disinterested advice I accepted the as a pis aller the sum twe offered - and thought myself lucky in receiving 400 gs apiece for the three pictures instead of the 500 that I had understood was completely agreed upon - was completely understood as the price -

Not caring to go to law as I ought to have done - and this again is a lesson to the gentle in spirit - I took the twelve hundred instead of the fifteen I should have had for the three paintings and acknowledged the wisdom of him who said autres gens autres moeurs[4].

My loss at the moment was 300 gs. expected - counted upon de bonne foi[5] -

Sir Henry's reasoning cunning arguement [sic] at the time I remember was based upon beer - which wholesale is cheaper than in the glass - Wherefore three parts full length portraits should be paid less in sum than one by itself! - The

Of the three fine pictures [p. 3] now consigned to the vicissitudes of [sou genial?] keeping of Sir H. Meux two were completed before The Flight into Egypt and are in the possession of Sir Henry Meux. They have been exhibited with the recognition that is soon now history, - The one being shown in the Grosvenor and the other hung in a place of honour in the Salon - They and are now consigned to the unrestrained protection of reckless care of the merry baronet and his joyous companions - and risk risking the post prandial pot shot I suppose during the shooting season, daily! - for Art is [short?] and [rex?] is [up high?] ——

The third portrait I [oft?] have done my best to complete finish but was but but impossible the whims and uncertainties of the lady[6] made it impossible - without going wearying you with many details, let me refer you to one of many[7]

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1.  [11 July 1889]
This is a draft of a letter so dated (see #03549). See latter for full annotation.

2.  Edward Upton
Edward Upton (b. ca 1855), partner in Upton and Britton, Solicitors [more].

3.  Sir Henry Meux
Sir Henry Bruce Meux (1857-1900), 3rd Baronet, brewer and patron [more].

4.  autres gens autres moeurs
Fr., other people, other customs.

5.  de bonne foi
Fr., in good faith.

6.  lady
Lady Valerie Susan ('Susie') Meux (1847-1910), née Langdon, collector and patroness [more].

7.  many
The draft ends at this point. #05898 is a copy of this document by Charles James Whistler Hanson (1870-1935), engineer, son of JW and Louisa Fanny Hanson [more], and at this same point, JW's hand takes over for a further page. The full text of the letter, including copies of telegrams (#04067, #04068) as sent was copied by Hanson (#03549).