The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Hannay, Alexander Arnold
Record 3 of 6

System Number: 04774
Date: [7 April 1900][1]
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: Rosalind Birnie Philip[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler P414
Document Type: ALS

[Chatham coat of arms with motto:] BENIGNO NUMINE


Here Major is again the dear little Boy Boer! and this reminds me - you should surely not speak of a Caran d'Ache[3] as of a "noospaper picture"! - unless you call my lithographs of Bunnie, that appeared in the "Whirlwind[4]", penny prints! -

Well when you have enjoyed, in all it's subtilties [sic], the excellent drawing, you must send it on to Bunnie[5] -

You see the poor dear simple "peasant" folk, filled with terror and repentance, handing over their "guns" to the British Quarter master who is [p. 2] putting it all down, while the very ground beneath their feet is planted with dynamite and general bang!! -

I trust Ma'ame[6] you have not allowed, or rather, have used your most perfect sense of the ridiculous to discourage your handsome daughters going about with green sprigs in their hats and jackets! - and this morning I read in the Herald that the Queen[7] urges them to christen the new Royal babe "Patrick[8]"!!!! - Poor good harrassed journeying Queen! could Imperial attitude be more abject! -

And here again, Major, I would point out for the wisdom of the Ward, that the total absence of all sense of the ridiculous is the cause of all this active unseemliness towards the Irish serf whom for years it has been the custom to treat with contumely & [p. 3] rude contempt!!.! !!!!! -

Meanwhile I am afraid that the Generalissime Roberts[9] was rather "previous" and a bit English when he hastened to speak of the "Ex President Steyne[10]"! -

I wonder Major if you couldnt write a little note to Madame Ferraud[11], the old lady, saying that absence & travelling had prevented your doing so before - and hoping she is well. etc-.

I hope you all noticed the West Point delicacy that would have hidden from you the other great British defeat and general comic discomfort - But since you had found it out, I may as well say that it was complete[12] - and that I have blown the Baronet[13] out of my Kopje - absolutely destroyed - and forever - and, as usual, I have taken his bagage and guns - The panel[14] is mine - & he pays all expenses! -

[p. 4] This must go now - but I must write again directly - that you may all be cheered - and I have a further Honour & great distinction to tell you of Ma'ame - and this time from Rome[15]! - And I do hope you are quite well again and strong - as you should be if the British air agrees with you and I don't think it does! -

I wired to Mrs Hannay[16] myself - so thats all right - and you can now write (and you must) and say that you despatched her note to me immediately, knowing that I would better recommend in the Hotel - and that I did - I recommended the Chatham! risking every thing! - and I suppose they are safely back in England now.

with kindest messages to all

the General

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[Chatham coat of arms and motto:] BENIGNO NUMINE

Miss Rosalind Birnie-Philip
Dhu House -
36, Tite Street - Chelsea
[postmark:] [PARIS?] [...] 00
[postmark on verso:] LONDON. S. W. / 5.30. AM. / AP 7 / 00


1.  [7 April 1900]
Dated by the postmark.

2.  Rosalind Birnie Philip
Rosalind Birnie Philip (1873-1958), JW's sister-in-law [more].

3.  Caran d'Ache
Caran d'Ache (1859-1909), né Emmanuel Poiré, caricaturist [more]. See 'La Tenue Boer aux Manoeuvres' in Gros et Détail, Album par Caran d'Ache, Paris (Plon), 1907, p. 56.

4.  Whirlwind
The first of JW's lithographs to be published in Anon., Whirlwind, vol. 11, no. 20, The Winged Hat (C.34), appeared on 25 October 1890.

5.  Bunnie
Ethel Whibley (1861-1920), née Philip, JW's sister-in-law [more].

6.  Ma'ame
Frances Philip (1824-1917), née Black, JW's mother-in-law [more].

7.  Queen
Victoria (1819-1901), Queen of Great Britain [more]. She had visited Dublin in April 1900, instituted the Irish Guards, and ordered Irish troops to wear shamrocks on St Partick's Day.

8.  Patrick
Prince Henry William Frederick Albert, third son of George, Duke of York, (second son of Edward, Prince of Wales) was born on 31 March 1900.

9.  the Generalissime Roberts
Frederick Sleigh Roberts (1832-1914), British army commander [more].

10.  Ex President Steyne
Martinus Theunis Steyn (1857-1916), President of the Orange Free State from 1896-1900 [more].

11.  Madame Ferraud
Mme A. Férraud, a friend or neighbour of JW at 110 rue du Bac.

12.  complete
Double underlined.

13.  the Baronet
Sir William Eden (1849-1915), painter and collector [more]. JW's appeal against the judgement in the Eden v. Whistler lawsuit had at last been granted.

14.  panel
Brown and Gold: Portrait of Lady Eden (YMSM 408).

15.  from Rome
Double underlined. JW had been elected a member of the Accademia di San Luca in Rome.

16.  Mrs. Hannay
Alys Mary Hannay (d. 1934), wife of A. A. Hannay [more].