UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: Gentle Art of Making Enemies, The
Record 181 of 181

System Number: 11290
Date: [24-] 28 April [1901][1]
Author: JW
Place: [Ajaccio]
Recipient: William Heinemann[2]
Place: [London]
Repository: Library of Congress
Call Number: Manuscript Division, Pennell-Whistler Collection, PWC 11/987-8
Document Type: Ms/TLc[3]


Wednesday, [1901]

Wire just come! I am to get off either by the 29th if steamer sails on that day - or by the Egypt on the 5th May -

Everything has been sacrificed - I mean all work - for the sake of "rest" - and that is the reason why I have stayed on and on - and yet I have not quite learned to "me reposer," with the calm that alone does the good. But certainly I have learned a lesson that no one of you all thought of.

However - see you later - the man is running off.

Thursday.

He went off without it - so I will just add a line or two. - Wire has come from Drummonds to say they have my letter - and that you are in communication with me. So that's all right.

Sunday morning, April 28.

Why this didn't go I cannot imagine. However I find it and the boat takes it this time and you can put it in the fire - as an unworthy scrap! It shows though that we are at the end of everything in this Yodel place of the Swiss! even their proprietor[4] is giving out - and I come on Wednesday's boat -

How sad this that you tell me of your cousin's[5] death! I hear of it too by the same post from my sister-in-law[6] - you know we all saw him both in the Rue du Bac, and I think at Pourville - and we all liked him and are greatly shocked and sorry - It must be terrible for poor Mrs. Walter[7] - do say to her - when you may - how grieved I am for her.

(p. 2) Your letter though is really dreadful throughout! - but then of course in the midst of your family trouble and sorrows it was awfully nice of you to think of my affairs and write at all.

What I mean is the news you send is bad! - isn't it? What is to be done? Do you think in this way I shall lose all the benefit of the sale by this delay in signing? - Now, if you think there is no risk, the necessary papers might be at once posted, registered, to:

care of Messrs Estrine, Agents, Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co., MARSEILLE -

I could then sign them (for they should reach Marseilles if posted on Wednesday, by Thursday or Friday), and send them back to Drummonds[8] registered.

I mean to come back by the "Egypt", a fine large steamer due on the 5th that is next Sunday, though it may get there before, as I find they often do. -

I send you cutting of vile stuff - in order that you may now correct it at your leisure, and with care a letter of proper indignation and contempt for the lecture, and the audience - This you see you can do, excellently, as the publisher of the Gentle Art[9], so that you can point to the cheap abomination the thing itself is - the false pudding served of Mr Chase's[10], own vulgar mixing. The utter spoiling in the dishing up, of what is good, and the stuffing in of scraps from other pots! in their rancid dripping - together the wormy chestnuts that have been kicked by every foot in and out of the gutter of the market for years! You can show that this is what the men of the universities in America have been listening to without shame, indeed with approval ........


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Notes:

1.  [24-28 April 1901]
The letter was started on 24 April and completed on 28 April; the year was added by the copyist, from a note by W. Heinemann; a second, fuller but less accurate copy of this letter is at #09144.

2.  William Heinemann
William Heinemann (1863-1920), publisher [more].

3.  MsTLc
Manuscript corrections have been made in an unknown hand to this typescript copy. Our transcription gives the final version as corrected.

4.  proprietor
Albert Bosshardt.

5.  cousin's
Walter D. Heinemann (ca 1862-d. 1901), cousin of William Heinemann [more].

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

7.  Mrs. Walter
Walter Heinemann's widow.

8.  Drummonds
George James Drummond (1835-1917), banker [more].

9.  Gentle Art
Whistler, James McNeill, The Gentle Art of Making Enemies, London and New York, 1890.

10.  Mr Chase's
JW had objected to a lecture, possibly at Harvard University, given by William Merritt Chase (1849-1916), painter [more].