UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Beurdeley, Paul
Record 5 of 43

System Number: 03799
Date: [2 May 1890][1]
Author: Stéphane Mallarmé[2]
Place: Paris
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler M133
Document Type: ALS[3]


Vendredi midi

Cher ami

Vous n'aurez la lettre explicative du télégramme que ce soir, et voilà encore une journée que vous passerez dans le vague; à moins que, sur la teneur du télégramme si brève, vous n'ayez saisi cette nuance, qu'il faut dire «être en train de saisir» oh! la loi. Beurdeley[4], tout expéditif qu'il soit, approuve l'avoué de ses précautions. Moi, je croyais qu'il n'y avait qu'à opérer une [p. 2] râfle sur un comptoir, avec, au besoin, l'appoint d'un pied de nez à Brentano[5]. Beurdeley pressera Ratier[6] aujourd'hui, mais, au fond, abonde dans sa prudence. L'un des deux vous adressera une dépêche, aussitôt la mesure prise; tout me porte à croire que ce sera ce soir ou demain, sûrement, mais pas plus tôt. L'important est que vous puissiez annoncer qu'on est en train de saisir, et cela vous le pouvez, selon ma dépêche d'hier[7]. Récrivez-moi, s'il le faut.

votre main

Stéphane Mallarmé

[p. 1] Le telegramme de Londres ne m'est arrivé hier qu'à midi et demie et Beurdeley sorti.


This document is protected by copyright.


Translation:

Friday midday

Dear Whistler

You will only have had the letter explaining the telegram this evening, and so you will have spent another day in the dark; unless, from the tenor of such a brief telegram, you have noted the nuance, that one has to say "to be about to seize" oh! the law. Beurdeley, moving as quickly as possible approves the lawyer's precautions. Personally I thought they only had to raid the shop, while, according to need, cocking a snook at Brentano. Beurdeley will press Ratier today, but, at heart, is abundant in his prudence. One of the two will send you a despatch, as soon as the action is taken; everything leads me to believe that it will be this evening or tomorrow, certainly, but not sooner. The important thing is that you will be able to announce that it is "about to be seized" and that you can do, according to my despatch from yesterday. Write to me again if necessary.

Best wishes

Stephane Mallarme

The telegram from London only reached me yesterday at half past twelve and Beurdeley had gone out.


Notes:

1.  [2 May 1890]
Dated by almanac and reference to lawyers (see #03798).

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. XXXIV, p. 60.

4.  Beurdeley
Paul Beurdeley (1842-after 1902), advocate at the Cour d'Appel, Paris [more].

5.  Brentano
The first publishers that Sheridan Ford (1860-1922), poet, critic, politician and writer on art [more] had approached regarding publication of Whistler, James McNeill, The Correspondence of James McNeill Whistler, ed. Sheridan Ford, London, 1890.

6.  Ratier
Antoine ('Antony') Ratier (b. 1851), lawyer and politician [more].

7.  d'hier
'd'hier ... s'ille' was written in the left margin of p. 2; 'faut ... Mallarmé' in the left margin of p. 1; 'Le telegramme ... sorti' in the upper right corner (boxed) of p. 1.