UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Mallarmé, Marie
Record 33 of 40

System Number: 03964
Date: [23 October 1897][1]
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: Stéphane Mallarmé[2]
Place: [Valvins]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler M236
Document Type: ALS[3]


'Paris, 23 Oct 1897'

Rue du Bac.

Mon cher ami! -

Il est déjà dans son cadre le petit tableau[4] de la princesse en son boudoir Rose et gris -

Tout le monde en est enchanté - et les dames[5] [aux?] qui s'y connaissent, rapellent a mon souvenir un mot de Forain[6] un jour que je lui annoncais certaines eaux fortes que je venais de faire sur Paris - "J'en suis charmé - et navré!" me dit il! -

Le voyage a été excellent, mais [p. 2] je me suis trouvé, à la gare de Lyons, dans un Paris tout gris et froid! -

Ma visite restera pour moi un souvenir dont la douce influence ne saura que m'encourager dans ma vie que vous connaissez si triste au fond! - Il me produit déja l'effet d'un sourire inattendu que je surprends, tout seul, sur la longue figure du "Melancholy Jacques[7]" où le rire depuis longtemps prends sa place, en bouclier contre "les Années"!

Présentez mes homages à ces dames[8], avec mes meilleurs remerciements pour toutes leurs gentilles bontés -

A bientôt, "mon Mallarmé"!
En regardant encore, je crois qu'Elle[9] l'aurait aimé, le petit portrait! - et je sais qu'en songeant à moi, vous pensez à nous deux! -


This document is protected by copyright.


Translation:

My dear friend!-

The little painting of the princess in her Pink and grey boudoir is already framed -

Everyone is enchanted by it - and the ladies who are familiar with it, remind me of a note from Forain one day when I informed him of certain etchings which I had just done of Paris - " I am delighted by this - and upset!" he said to me! -

The voyage was excellent, but [p. 2] I found myself, at the Gare de Lyons, in an utterly grey and cold Paris!-

My visit will remain for me a memory of which the sweet influence can only encourage me in my life that you know to be so sad at heart! - All alone, I have already caught it bringing an unexpected smile to the long face of "Melancholy Jacques" where laughter has taken its place for a long time, in a shield against "the Years"!

Give my regards to the ladies, with my many thanks for all their lovely kind-heartedness -

See you soon, "my Mallarmé"!

Looking at it again, I think that She would have liked the little portrait! - and I know that in thinking of me, you think of us both! -


Envelope:

[registered letter:] Recommandée

Monsieur Stéphane Mallarmé
Valvins -
par Avon -
Seine et Marne
[stamp:] POSTE / 25 / REPUBLIQUE FRANCAISE
[stamp:] POSTE / 15 / REPUBLIQUE FRANCAISE
[postmark:] PARIS-80 / R. DU BAC / 5E 23 / OCT / 97


Notes:

1.  [23 October 1897]
Dated from the postmark and the date written in another hand in the left margin.

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. CXLIX, pp. 264-65.

4.  le petit tableau
Rose et gris: Geneviève Mallarmé (YMSM 485).

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

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

7.  Forain
Jean Louis Forain (1852-1931), painter and printmaker [more].

8.  Melancholy Jacques
Character from Shakespeare's As You Like It.

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