The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Henley, William Ernest
Record 11 of 50

System Number: 04250
Date: 8 May 1891
Author: William Ernest Henley[1]
Place: Edinburgh
Recipient: JW
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler N7
Document Type: ALS


8 / 5 / 91

My dear Whistler,

I rejoice to read somewhere - in some [new?] fashionable Intelligence, no doubt - that you are up & about again - Was you among the Russian Gentlemen[2]? I hope not. I knew him; & he is the Devil - Or the P. R. A.[3] Whichever likes you best.

The [Berkely?] Professor[4] is not dead, but I think we may assume that he stinketh[5]. I hear that he is hurt to know that we have compared him to a milkman. And the milkman - what of him?

I have given you a master-number[6] this week. We have charged a main & in fun; & I don't know which you'll enjoy the more - our attack on Holman Hunt[7] or our bombardment of the R. A.

Ever Sincerely Yours -

W. E. H.

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1.  William Ernest Henley
William Ernest Henley (1849-1903), journalist, poet and writer [more].

2.  Russian Gentlemen
Possibly a reference to the bout of influenza. See #03262 and #09937.

3.  P. R. A.
President of the Royal Academy.

4.  Professor
Hubert von Herkomer (1849-1914), painter [more].

5.  stinketh
Allusion to John 11.39 - 'Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days'.

6.  master-number
The National Observer, 9 May 1891, vol. V, no. 129, pp. 628-9, 'The Ideals of Art', & pp. 635-6, 'The Royal Academy' attack H. Hunt and the R. A. respectively.

7.  Holman Hunt
William Holman Hunt (1827-1910), artist [more].