I was very glad to hear that you are on your way. Thanks for
your letter and the enclosure.
I needn't tell you how I long for your coming. Well, I don't know much
about it, but I do know that you must not mention it at home,
or to anybody else, for fear of their getting wrong ideas about
The only thing I want it is to make some good work
“quand bien même,” and there is a chance of
doing this if we keep our serenity, whether the future is dark
If I knew what train you would be on, I should meet you at
the station. And in case you came while I was out, the woman
could tell you where I am, for in order not to miss you, I go
no farther from home than to be the Binkhorst just across the
way, to paint a few studies.
I wonder what you will say about the work, whether you will
find something in it or not. Well, we shall see.
All the time I am planning a large picture of the potato
diggers, though it might not be finished until next year, and
only half finished this season. I think the composition might
stay the way it is, and I just might get started.
I am not competent to ascertain to what extent my illness
has a physical cause, or if it is only the consequence of
overstrained nerves. It sometimes seems to me that I ought to
have seen you between times and discussed the work, but now you
have come at last, and I am quite sure that at all events our
being together will calm me down.
I hope we shall take some nice long walks together, too.
Did I tell you that at Loosduinen I found thornbushes
exactly like the “Buisson” by Ruysdael? I intend to
make studies for the potato diggers in that neighborhood.
In some cases I prefer the former, and do not think I am
wrong, for our work remains, but we do not, and the main thing
is to create; I would rather have a few years of that than
years of brooding over it and putting it off. And I said to
Rappard then that for my part I thought there was truth in the
mysterious saying, “whosoever will save his life shall
lose it, but whosoever will lose his life for the Gospel's sake
shall find it.”
Adieu, boy, I hope to see you soon. With a handshake,
Yours sincerely, Vincent
At this time, Vincent was 30 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written c. 11 August 1883 in The Hague. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 310.
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