Many happy returns, my best wishes for this day, may our
mutual love increase with the years.
Mr. Stokes has told me that he intends to move after the
holidays, of course with the whole school, to a little village
on the Thames about three hours from London. There he will
organize his school somewhat differently and perhaps enlarge
Now I am going to tell you about a walk we took yesterday.
It was to an inlet of the sea, and the road thither led through
fields of young corn and along hedges of hawthorn, etc.
Arriving there, we saw to our left a high steep ridge of
sand and stone as tall as a two-storey house. On the top of it
were old, gnarled hawthorn bushes, whose black and grey
moss-grown stems and branches were all bent to one side by the
wind; there were also a few elder bushes.
The ground on which we walked was covered all over with big
grey stones, chalk and shells.
To the right lay the sea, as calm as a pond and reflecting
the light of the transparent grey sky where the sun was
The tide was out and the water very low.
Thanks for your letter of yesterday, I am very glad that
Willem Valkis is also an employee of the house. Give him my
Have a pleasant day today and give my love to all who may
ask about me and believe me,
Your loving brother,
Once more my best wishes, lad, I hope you will begin a happy
and prosperous year. These are important years that we are
living through now and much depends on them. May everything
come out all right.
A hearty handshake. À Dieu.
At this time, Vincent was 23 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written 28 April 1876 in Ramsgate. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 063.
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