The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Documents associated with: health, hospital
Record 5 of 5

System Number: 04833
Date: [13 November 1901][1]
Author: JW
Place: London
Recipient: Rosalind Birnie Philip[2]
Place: Paris
Repository: Glasgow University Library
Call Number: MS Whistler P473
Document Type: ALS


W. C.

I was terribly troubled this morning when I saw in the paper that a gale had blown up during the night! and I flew to the telegram thing that I might hear from Miss Philippa Maude[4] if the two wild and bold Adventuring ladies had returned!-

Really Major you keep me with "the heart in the mouth!" - and Bunnie[5] don't be so crazy about the homestead as to cross in the night! -

Come over tomorrow, or more easily the day after, Major - there is no haste - say at the end of the week - but whenever you find it less desperate - and come in the day time -

Do you want more money? If you require it wire me word - say "five" or "ten", and I will understand pounds - for you see I cannot so readily send a registered letter - or rather an open cheque at these hours! I am always late -

It is all right about Marie[6] & the hospital - Boyter-Johnson[7] did send her there - & his brother-in-law is one of the trusted, so that she went in, with proper state and ceremony - but everything is absurd!

I have written a pretty "distinct" letter to Boddington[8] - & indeed so has Webb[9] - What I don't like about them is [p. 2] their miserable British grasping way! -

They are wishing to make "an affair" of it in so much as to say unless it be a matter of five or six hundred pounds it is not worth our while! -

I have told them plainly that I mean no action in Paris at all! - I[10] am taking no initiative - Mr Reid[11] is more or less forced to take proceedings against me! - All of which is perfect - and what I am requiring from "B & K[12]" is "evidence" - to be made use of here[13] -

In this thing they have so far, failed. There clerk missed tracing Carmen[14] to Hessel[15] - the morning after her return! - a thing for which I had given them every instruction, & on which I relied! - But don't be troubled about it - Major - it will all come out right we think -

But how dreadful about the vans not getting through the archway! - Of course it is the business of the Maple people[16] to manage some how or other - - But what is the trouble - are the waggons too broad? or too high - - can they not bring others a little smaller? - I do wish you had someone to help you that you might not feel forlorn in your difficulties -

Upon reflection I just send anyhow cheque for £6 - knowing that after all the best aid & most inspiriting in all vexation is money in your pocket! - So keep a "stiff upper lip", Major, with a West Point straight back! and you will be all right!

Munroes[17] I daresay will give you sovereigns for the cheque and you can bring over what you dont require in France - But above all don't do any mad travelling - and the nicest luck to you both -

The General-

If[18] you had a stray moment, I have always wanted one or two of those little patent things from the 'Bong[19]' for removing stains from cloth - Euphrasie[20] knows - she bought them for me - [drawing of object] wood with a bit of stuff - Something like this as I remember.

This document is protected by copyright.


'NOV. 13th 1901'
Mademoiselle Birnie-Philip
110. Rue du Bac -
[stamp:] POSTAGE & REVENUE / 2 1/2 D
[postmark:] CHARING CROSS. W. C. / Z / NO 13 / 01
[postmark on verso:] 9 PARIS 9 / DISTRIBUTION / 7 * / 14 - 11 / 01

[verso, embossed:] 21, BEDFORD STREET,


1.  [13 November 1901]
Dated from the postmark.

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

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

4.  Miss Philippa Maude
Philippa Maude Philip (1865-1915), JW's sister-in-law [more].

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

6.  Marie
A servant.

7.  Boyter-Johnson
Dr William Boyter-Johnson (b. ca 1853), JW's doctor in London [more].

8.  Boddington
Oliver Eaton Bodington (1859-after 1936), barrister and author [more].

9.  Webb
William Webb (b. ca 1851), of G. and W. Webb, lawyer [more].

10.  I
Double underlined.

11.  Mr Reid
Alexander Reid (1854-1936), Glasgow dealer [more].

12.  K
Kelly, lawyer, partner in Boddington and Kelly.

13.  here
Double underlined.

14.  Carmen
Carmen Rossi, model, proprietess of the Académie Carmen [more]. She was suspected of removing paintings from JW's Paris studio.

15.  Hessel
Charles Hessele (fl. 1892-1914), print dealer [more].

16.  Maple people
Maples, packers and removal men; they were to transport furniture from JW's house at 10 rue du Bac, which he was leaving. The long narrow entrance close had a low arch.

17.  Munroes

18.  If
The remainder is written at the top of p. 1.

19.  Bong
He probably means either 'Bonne' a maid, or the 'Bon Marché', a department store.

20.  Euphrasie
Euphrasie, JW's servant at 110 Rue du Bac.