Thanks for your last letter and the poem by
Last Sunday, I again went to hear M. Bercier. He had chosen
this text: “Il ne vous est pas permis” [It is not
permitted] and he concluded with “Heureaux ceux pour qui
la vie a toutes ses épines” [Happy is he whose
life is all thorns]
I know that uncle Vincent really likes this phrase,
“Young man, rejoice in your youth and that your heart is
made content by the days of your youth, and live like your
heart guides itself according to your eyes, but understand that
for everything God will make judgment. Take away the chagrin of
your heart, and put away malice, for youth and adolescence is
not in vain. But remember your Creator during the days of your
youth, before the bad days come and the years arrive when you
will say `I don't have any pleasure'.”
For me, I find the following phrase better:
Fear God and keep his commandments, for this will give
pleasure for all men, and lead us not into temptation, but
deliver us from evil.
Enclosed is a note for Mr. Tersteeg. It is to ask him if he
will have two engravings framed for me, “Good
Friday” and “St. Augustine.” You will find
them in the next box I send you. And will you be so kind as to
have them sent to Helvoirt by September 10? I should like it to
be a present [for his mother's birthday] from both of us, so
will you pay 2.50 towards the frames? I told Mr. Tersteeg that
you would write me how much it cost and that I would then remit
the money to him; the 2.50 you can give me when we meet. That
will probably be before Christmas; I think it would be better
not to ask for leave before that time.
Tonight I am invited to dine at Mr. Hamman's 1.
À Dieu, write me soon and believe me,
Your affectionate brother, Vincent
A French painter, friend of Uncle Vincent's.
At this time, Vincent was 22 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written August 1875 in Paris. Translated by Robert Harrison, edited by Robert Harrison, number 034.
This letter may be freely used, in accordance with the terms of this site.