UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Mallarmé, Marie
Record 27 of 40

System Number: 03951
Date: 6 February [1895][1]
Author: Stéphane Mallarmé[2]
Place: Paris
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler M223
Document Type: ALS[3]


Paris,

Mercredi 6 Février

cher Whistler

Affaire remise - à quinzaine, grâce à la maladie de Beurdeley[4], lequel sort maintenant. Si bien que, le plus qu'on pourra obtenir, sera une huitaine, outre cette quinzaine. Il importe, d'autre part, que les choses ne traînent pas, voici pourquoi. L'avocat adverse a demandé que le tableau fût mis provisoirement sous sequestre. Après un référé [p. 2] le Président, en raison de la proximité des débats, a conclu qu'il n'y avait pas lieu de prendre cette mesure. Mais si l'on s'attardait, il faudrait en venir là; ce qui, certainement, vous déplairait. Le fait de mettre sous sequestre est de confier aux mains d'un tiers l'objet en litige et déja comme vous en déposséder un peu.

Beurdeley, du reste (très flatté de la lettre que je lui ai lue,) doit vous en écrire très au long, à ce sujet. Vous voilà donc, pauvre ami, livré [p. 3] à la correspondance; mais faites cela machinalement et sans y être d'esprit, je le comprends bien! Il vous parlera aussi du chèque - Eden[5], qui est revenu ici et lui a été communiqué par l'avocat adverse.

Les choses en sont là et on fera tout au monde pour qu'elles y restent le plus longtemps possible; quoique il y ait un terme, légalement.

Nous pensons que le froid, qui est le même à Londres sans doute, doit éprouver la chère Madame Trixie[6]; et nous [p. 4] en attristons. Rappelez-lui qu'on se sent mieux l'aimer que jamais, à la maison; encore que ce soit pour elle, si elle souffre, une préoccupation bien vague. Toute notre amitié à Miss Philipp[7] et mes compliments parceque j'ai été rue Garancière. Je dîne chez Daudet[8] demain et on parlera de vous, j'espère y voir Whibley[9]. Une circonstance me fait malheureusement aujourd'hui manquer l'heure du courrier, mais vous tenez la dépêche télégraphique. Depuis ce matin vont et viennent à la maison les témoins d'un duel, dont[10] je suis l'un, pour Grosclaude[11]: c'est arrangé, et nous évitons, avec un procès-verbal déjà parti aux journaux, le stationnement dans un jardin givré, qui n'est pas, tranquillisez-vous, celui de la rue du Bac. Tout ceci pour faire sourire votre gracieuse indisposée, qui imaginera l'émoi des dames[12] du petit appartement rue de Rome. Au revoir cher ami

Votre main très fort

Stéphane Mallarmé


This document is protected by copyright.


Translation:

Dear Whistler

The affair has been put off - for a fortnight, because of Beurdeley's illness; He is up and about now, so much so that, the most we can obtain, will be eight days, in addition to this fortnight. It is important, moreover, that things do not drag on, here is why: the lawyer for the opposition asked that the painting be provisionally sequestrated. After a summary judgement, the President, owing to the imminence of the hearing, concluded that there were no grounds for taking such action. However if one delayed further, things would necessarily come to this; which, would certainly displease you. The fact of putting something under sequestration entails handing over the object in litigation to a third party and already to some extent it is as if you are giving up possession of it.

Beurdeley, besides (very flattered by the letter that I read him,) is to write to you at length on the subject. Here you are therefore, poor friend, resigned to correspondence; but do that mechanically and without putting too much thought into it, I understand this well! He will also discuss the cheque with you - Eden, who came back here and was introduced to him by the opposing lawyer.

This is the current state of affairs and we will make every effort to keep them this way for as long as possible; although there is a time limit, legally speaking.

We expect that the cold weather, which is the same in London no doubt, must be trying for dear Mrs Trixie; and we are sorry about this. Remind her that home is where one feels most loved; even though this is surely not in the forefront of her mind, if she is suffering. All our friendly greetings to Miss Philipp and my compliments, because I have been at rue Garancière. I am dining at Daudet's tomorrow and we will talk of you, I hope to see Whibley there. Unfortunately circumstances prevent me from making the post today, but you have the telegram. Since this morning there is much to-ing and fro-ing at the house on the part of the witnesses of a duel, of which I am one, for Grosclaude: it is organised, and we are avoiding, by means of a statement already released to the newspapers, waiting in a frosty garden, which is not, rest assured, that of the rue du Bac. All this to bring a smile to the face of your gracious invalid, who can surely imagine the disarray of the ladies of the little apartment on rue de Rome. Goodbye dear friend

With a firm handshake,

Stéphane Mallarmé


Notes:

1.  6 February [1895]
The year date is confirmed by the almanac.

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. CXXXII, pp. 233-34.

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

5.  Eden
Sir William Eden (1849-1915), painter and collector [more].

6.  Madame Trixie
Beatrix Whistler (1857-1896), née Beatrice Philip, artist [more]. She was seriously ill with cancer.

7.  Miss Philipp
Possibly Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), JW's sister-in-law [more], or an older sister.

8.  Daudet
Alphonse Daudet (1840-1897), writer [more]. The Goncourts record that at this dinner Mallarmé said that as a child he was sent to a boarding school on Baron Gros's estate. There he was bullied on account of his plebeian name, so he called himself the 'Comte de Boulainvilliers' (Goncourt journal, 7 February 1895).

9.  Whibley
Charles Whibley (1859-1930), writer and journalist [more]. They set up an apartment in the rue Garancière.

10.  dont
'dont ... porté' is written in the left margin of p. 4; 'aux journaux ... celui de' in the left margin of p. 3; 'la rue ... dames' in the left margin of p. 2; and the remainder in the left margin of p. 1.

11.  Grosclaude
Etienne Grosclaude (1858-1932), journalist and fantasy story writer [more].

12.  des dames
Marie Mallarmé (b. 1835), née Gerhard, wife of Stéphane Mallarmé [more] and Stephanie Françoise Geneviève Mallarmé (1864-1919), later Mme Bonniot [more].