UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Laurent, Mèry
Record 10 of 15

System Number: 13453
Date: 5 April 1891
Author: Stéphane Mallarmé[1]
Place: [Paris]
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: [Published][2]
Document Type: PLc


Dimanche 5 Avril 1891

Mon cher Whistler

"La belle Mademoiselle Méry[3]" vous a, me dit-elle, un peu affolée par l'état du Dr. E-s[4], écrit un mot relativement aux eaux-fortes[5]. Le bonhomme, atteint d'hypocondrie et de quelque panique après un accès grave d'influenza, fermait sa porte obstinément et soudain est parti, avec sa femme[6], pour un voyage d'une quinzaine, dans le midi. Je me suis décidé, hier, à forcer son seuil, quelques heures par malechance après son départ, ai placé en évidence sur son bureau, avec une longue lettre lui indiquant les quatre épreuves à choisir, le carton complet, pour que ce soit le premier objet qu'il voie à son retour. Patientez donc encore un peu, cher, et absolvez moi de tout ce contretemps, autour d'une chose qui se présentait si simplement. Vous ne sauriez croire jusqu'où va mon ennui de cela. Un jour, vous verra-t-on et Madame[7]?

Votre main

Stéphane Mallarmé

Je vous écrirai bientôt, pour causer.


This document is protected by copyright.


Translation:

My dear Whistler

"The beautiful lady Méry" has, she tells me, upset you a little by the state of Dr. E-s, writes a word about the etchings. The gentleman, struck by hypochondria and by a degree of panic afteer a serious bout of influenza, obstinately closed his door and left suddenly, with his wife, for a fortnight's journey in the south. Yesterday I decided to force an entry, unfortunately a few hours after his departure, placed on his desk in full view, with a long letter indicating which four proofs to choose, the complete box, so that it will be the first thing he sees on his return. Please therefore be patient a while, dear friend, and absolve me from all this complication, around something that was to have been so simple. You cannot imagine how vexed I am about it. Shall we see you and Madame one day?

Your hand

Stéphane Mallarmé

I shall write to you soon, to talk about things.


Notes:

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

2.  Published
Published in Barbier, Carl P., ed., Correspondance Mallarmé-Whistler: Histoire de la grande amitié de leurs dernières années, Paris, 1964 [GM, A.28], no. XLIX, p. 82.

3.  Mademoiselle Méry
Méry Laurent (1849-1900), née Anne-Rose Louviot, actress and courtesan [more].

4.  Dr. E-s
Dr Thomas William (or Wiltberger) Evans (1830-1897), dentist, publisher of the American Register [more].

5.  eaux-fortes
JW had made a selection of etchings from which Evans could choose what he wanted for a certain price.

6.  femme
The American Register of 4 and 25 April 1891 announced the departure of Dr and Mrs Evans for Arcachon, and their return to Paris.

7.  Madame
Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more].