The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Henley, William Ernest
Record 18 of 50

System Number: 04256
Date: [22/24 December 1891][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: William Ernest Henley[2]
Place: [London?]
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler N13
Document Type: ALS


A Merry Christmas - if such a thing can be at that moment of duns and bedevliments - a merry Christmas from us both, my dear Henley, and a bright New Year! - May every thing be splendid - May you write more beautiful poems - and make more dainty books - May you put gold into your pocket - and may the gold on the little lady's[4] head be more golden than ever! -

These and other good things [p. 2] we wish you - for you are delightful - and fight nobly - and fall upon the Fool[5] - and rejoice in the discomforture of the Ass - and we like you! - and you send us greetings and charming tokens - and we long to see you -

[butterfly signature]

This document is protected by copyright.


1.  [22/24 December 1891]
Dated from Henley's reply, #04257, which is postmarked 'DE 25 91'. JW probably wrote this greeting to Henley in the few days before Christmas.

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

Printed address in yellow/orange ink.

4.  little lady's
Margaret Emma Henley (1888-1894), daughter of W. E. Henley [more].

5.  fall upon the Fool
JW's language of 'the Fool' is derived from the biblical book of Proverbs. For example, Prov. 18.6, 'A fool's lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes'; Prov. 19.29, 'Judgments are prepared for scorners, and stripes for the back of fools'; and Prov. 26.3, 'A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool's back'.