Document associated with: Fontaine, Jean de la
Record 1 of 1
System Number: 06630
Date: [28 October 1895]
Place: Lyme Regis
Recipient: Beatrix Whistler
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler W624
Document Type: ALS
My own Chinkie
your letter this morning was a real delight! - Good old Brother Kennedy! How well it is my darling Wam that you did take your courage in your two hands that day and go up to town and to the queer old Scotshman!
Of course he is rich! -
Now Chinkie go on - and by the way dont run any risks and get cold in that black London of yours. - I hear the fogs have begun - [p. 2] besides you say yourself as much -
Just think of that evening with Walter Winans & his Missis - Poor old Walter himself is not a bad fellow - but the dinner must have been a ridiculously doleful business. - I suppose Nellie gabbled away and toadied Mrs. W. I wrote a line to Willie yesterday and told him to go to Thomsons and look at the picture, "now that it is washed & varnished"!
Pennell is like Montesquiou's Lafontaine fable of the kind bear & the paving stone! I send you cutting - you see in his involved desire to be nice to me, he really manages to say that the success of the exhibition is greatly owing to the fact that Whistler doesn't send any large canvas to make the people stop and look - In short that it [is] well that I didn't send any thing worth stopping for!! - Therefore people can walk about and the show is a success. -
I am sending you too a letter from some marble man who apparently got the bedroom chimney piece [p. 3] and wants to make a job of it - I think you had better send it to Bunnie and tell her to see the man or write and say that nothing is to be done until our return -
Also there is a little bill for that most foolish book on Paris gardens - you remember the dreadful person said the beautiful orange boxes of the Tuilleries & the Luxembourg were ugly - and that statues should not be in gardens - because they didn't grow there! - I thought that Wobbles gave you the book! - Well never mind -
Well Chinkie I am working away - & if I can only keep my nose on the chalk line, I suppose I shall have something to show - Today has been sunny but cold - Take my word for it, you are better in a town than in this out of doors country, where the trees would be warmer inside and on the fire!
You know my own darling that I live only from 'post to post!' - and look for your letters!
Love to the Major -
Your own loving
Mrs. J. McNeill Whistler
[stamp:] POSTAGE AND INLAND REVENUE / ONE PENNY
[postmark:] LYME·REGIS / D / OC28 / 95
1. [28 October 1895]
Dated from postmark.
JW was in touch with John James Cowan (1846-1936), paper manufacturer and collector [more]; and William Burrell (1861-1958), ship-owner and collector [more]; as well as dealers such as Alexander Reid (1854-1936), Glasgow dealer [more]; and J. Craibe Angus, art dealer, of Craibe Angus and Son, Glasgow [more]. However, it is not clear which old and rich collector he had made contact with.
Mrs Winans, wife of Walter.
14. Lafontaine fable
Jean La Fontaine (1621-1695), poet and writer of fables. The fable here referred to is The Bear and the Amateur Gardener, which tells the friendship of a bear and a hermit. The bear uses a paving-stone to kill the flies buzzing around his sleeping friend's head, unfortunately killing the man at the same time: 'A foolish friend may cause more woe/Than could, indeed, the wisest foe'. La Fontaine, J., 'L' Ours et l'Amateur des jardins', Fables choisies, mises en vers [Selected fables versified], 1668-94, transl. Elizur Wright Jr., 1841, Book 8, No. 10.
'You ... Grinder' is writtin in the left margin p. 1 and the remainder along the top of p. 1, at right angles to the main text.
JW referred to himself as the 'Grinder', a workman or craftsman.