Thanks for your last letter and also for the catalogue sent
in the last box. Have I thanked you already for Andersen's
tales? If not I do so now.
From home I have heard that this spring you will have to
travel on business, you will not be sorry for that, I suppose;
it is a good experience and you will see many beautiful things
in your travels.
In the next box you will find the Longfellow. Yesterday
evening Gladwell was with me, he comes every Friday and we
read poetry together. I have not read “Hyperion”
yet, but I have heard that it is very beautiful.
I have just read a very beautiful book by Eliot, three
tales, called “Scenes from Clerical Life”; the last
story in particular, “Janet's Repentance,” struck
me very much. It is the life of a clergyman who lives chiefly
among the inhabitants of the dirty streets of a town, his study
looks out on the gardens with stumps of cabbage, etc., and on
the red roofs and smoking chimneys of poor tenements. For his
dinner he usually had nothing but underdone mutton and watery
potatoes. He died at the age of thirty-four and during his long
illness he was nursed by a woman who was a drunkard, but by his
teaching, and leaning as it were on him, she had conquered her
weakness and found rest for her soul. At his burial they read
the chapter which says, “I am the resurrection and the
life, he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall
he live.” And now it is again Saturday evening, for the
days pass so quickly and the time for my departure will soon be
here. No answer as yet from Scarborough. Kind greetings and a
Your loving brother, Vincent
At this time, Vincent was 22 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written 19 February 1876 in Paris. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 055.
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