UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Beurdeley, Alfred
Record 2 of 6

System Number: 06626
Date: [3 March 1895][1]
Author: JW
Place: Paris
Recipient: Beatrix Whistler[2]
Place: London
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W620
Document Type: ALS


I will see Miss Duncan[3] about Annie[4] -

[Chatham coat of arms with motto:] BENIGNO NUMINE
HOTEL CHATHAM
PARIS

My own sweet Chinki!

How are you? and have you slept well? You say not much of yourself in your dear letter that came to me this morning - I was so glad to have it - to have that much of your own dear self! - Tell me - is Bunnie[5] staying with you? - and does Louise[6] come down to you now in the night? -

I don't want you to be alone Chinkie - Paris this morning was all snow! - I suppose in London it must be black - for it was even dark and dreary here when I first got up - There has since been sun and it is not so bad looking in the sky this afternoon -

I have just come from a breakfast at Beurdeley's[7]! - Mallarmé[8] there of course - The family of the great Avocat - consisting of plenty of sons, his daughter - a frankly ugly bright girl, who had danced the "cotillion" until four o'clock this morning! And then of course there was the Mother who took my arm, and who placed me beside her - Cormant[9], the painter, was there - what is his work? - I suppose something in the manner of Collin[10] - though I don't know - at any rate he is one of the [p. 2] Paris professors - and young Beurdeley goes to his atelier - Well it was all bright - though I was a bit bored - Mallarmé had a very droopy eye! It appeared that he had passed the night more or less at Madame Morizeau's[11] (Manet) who, poor woman, died this morning! - He was very sad about it - and wants me to go the funeral on Tuesday - I am afraid Chinkie that I don't like the idea of a Père Lachaise afternoon with snow on the ground - It would be too saddening! - There are endless things to tell you - well you got my telegram all right yesterday - but the strange thing is that neither you nor Bunnie say anything about the wire that Constant[12] sent, early in the morning, to tell you that he had at last found the missing keys! - and Bunnie goes on in her note - very nice little note - as if they were still to look for! - Of course the keys, then, were not lying on the salon table! but were tucked away, where the magpie Bunnie had hidden them and promptly forgotten all about it! - in the pigeon holes of the escritoire in her room! - so it was lucky that we had first found the small bunch in Whibleys[13] room! - The calorifère has already been lighted Constant tells me - and "Annie" has been helping with the work - so that I daresay already things are getting into shape - Today I couldn't go over to see - This afternoon I am going to Madame de Stoeckle's[14] at last! I met the Baron[15] yesterday by the door of the hotel and we had the friendly cocktail at "Henry"[16] hard by! He says his mother is most anxious to see me - Now after all the little picture[17] turned out very much more kindly in behaviour than I at first thought! - It really shows that things are not bad when I too readily think ill of them! - You know when I first saw it in the studio, I thought it had a chilled and befuddled look - and I was much discouraged! - I put some of the "Vibert" retouching varnish upon it - but still found it dark and cold - well I brought it away with me in its frame - and by chance again in the evening, looking at it, finding the very slight & thin varnish had all sunk in I took my new silk soft foulard shirt that was lying on the bed, and began gently to rub and polish the picture with it! - Extraordinary! - As I rubbed & polished the colour began as who should say to thaw! - I went on - and at last the picture was one glow of lovely colour! So it seemed to me - and Beurdeley was delighted with it - He says that it will have the best effect upon the Judge[18], to whom he takes it tomorrow - and to whom he is going to try and bring me privately! - so that I may explain the picture - and tell my story!! - well we dont know - we shall see - Then I had an inspiration - I bolted over to Mrs. Hale[19] - who is still looking very pretty - or will I think for what I want - and told her that she must come to the Court on Wednesday! - (when it meets again & judgement is given) She must be seated on our side - as Lady Eden[20] is on the other! - She must be dressed in the brown costume - just as in the picture - so that there can be no doubt!

The effect will be splendid! don't you think my own dear Luck! - well she was pleased and a bit frightened - and so I said I would go back and dine with them and talk it over with Bert[21] - which I did - They were very nice - and so it is agreed! - Of course there will be Cushing[22] & Johnnie Howells[23] and you can fancy the fears of the Eden group! - Beurdeley today said it was a great idea - that it would have the best possible effect upon the judge! and Of course he will refer to the new model gracefully - this time not a "proffessional [sic] Beauty," for fancy the Eden advocate had the misfortune to describe her Ladyship in full Court and before her face as a "Proffessional [sic] Beauty"!! Whereupon Beurdeley jumped up and said "Je n'aurais[24] jamais [p. 3] osé être aussi sevère pour miladi!!" Good wasn't it! - Of course I shall say nothing of this possibility to the Hales or they would be frightened to death - I must go Chinkie dear if I am going at all - and there is lots more - Well did you see my letter in the Pall Mall yesterday?!!! - I thought I should have had a little scolding from my own dear Wam - and was a little disappointed! - However you cannot help liking it - and you will wonder when I wrote it!! - well in the train I found the note in the Westminster Gazette that made it necessary to answer - and I wrote two letters - one to the Pall Mall & the other to the Westminster on board the boat! and sent them back by the steward from Dieppe what do you think of that for energy! - Meanwhile here the Baronet has been interviewed by the New York Herald and has completely given himself away! an Ass! I enclose the cutting - my letter to the Pall Mall I gave also to the Herald and it appeared this morning - I shall probably answer in two lines the Eden Interview

Yesterday I called on Sarasate[25]! - I found him - and really he was very nice and affectionate!! - and asked much after you and talked of you both and sent nice messages - I quite warmed again to him - and a funny little story about his having been god father to Nettie Carpenters[26] child - Will tell you next time - Now this must go - I am so happy at what you say to me my own dear Luck about my picture - and my painting! I have the Blue & Silver[27] all right in Studio - Write again tomorrow if only a line to say how you are - and don't run any risks in this terrible[28] weather -

my own darling love -
your

[butterfly signature]


This document is protected by copyright.


Envelope:

HOTEL CHATHAM [Chatham coat of arms] PARIS

To
Mrs J. McNeill Whistler -
Long's Hotel -
New Bond Street -
London
Angleterre
[stamp:] POSTE / 25 / REPUBLIQUE FRANCAISE
[postmark:] PARIS 28 / GARE DU NORD / 7 | 3 / MARS / 95


Notes:

1.  [3 March 1895]
Dated from the postmark.

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

3.  Miss Duncan
Possibly Mary G. Duncan, friend of JW and his sister-in-law, R. B. Philip. The printed address, and this sentence, are written at right angles to the main text.

4.  Annie
Annie, possibly a servant at 110 rue du Bac. It is unlikely that this refers to Annie Harriet Haden (1848-1937), later Mrs Charles Thynne, JW's niece [more].

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

6.  Louise
Louise, JW's servant at 110 rue du Bac [more].

7.  Beurdeley's
Alfred Beurdeley (1847-1919), collector [more].

8.  Mallarmé
Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-1898), Symbolist writer and poet [more].

9.  Cormant
Cormant, a painter.

10.  Collin
Paul Colin (1838-1916), sea and landscape painter [more].

11.  Madame Morizeau's
Berthe Marie Pauline Morisot (1841-1895), Mme Eugène Manet, artist [more].

12.  Constant
T. C. J. Constant, JW's servant and valet [more].

13.  Whibleys
Charles Whibley (1859-1930), writer and journalist [more].

14.  Madame de Stoeckle's
Eliza Stoeckl, née Howard, wife of Count E. Stoeckl.

15.  the Baron
Count Edouard (de) Stoeckl (1814-1869), Russian Ambassador to the USA [more].

16.  Henry
A café or restaurant.

17.  little picture
Brown and Gold: Portrait of Lady Eden (YMSM 408).

18.  the Judge
The Judge of the Court of Appeal.

19.  Mrs. Hale
Margaret Curzon Hale (1872-1948), née Marquand, wife of H. D. Hale [more].

20.  Lady Eden
Lady Sybil Frances Eden (1867-1945), née Grey [more].

21.  Bert
Herbert Dudley Hale (1866-1908), architect [more].

22.  Cushing
Howard Gardiner Cushing (1869-1916), painter [more].

23.  Johnnie Howells
John Mead Howells (1868-1959), architect [more].

24.  Je n'aurais
Fr., I would never have dared to be so hard on Milady.

25.  Sarasate
Pablo de Sarasate y Navascues (1844-1908), violinist [more].

26.  Nettie Carpenters
Nettie Carpenter (later Mrs Stearn), virtuoso violinist [more].

27.  the Blue & Silver
Not identified.

28.  terrible
Double underlined.