Best wishes for the New Year, may it be a happy and
prosperous in all respects.
Father preached a beautiful sermon this morning!
And now it is New Year's Eve, I wish you were here too.
There is another thing I have to tell you. A few days ago Mr.
Braat 1 from Dordrecht came to visit Uncle Vincent,
and they talked about me; Uncle asked Mr. Braat If he had a
place for me in his business, should I want one. Mr. Braat
thought so, and said that I should just come and talk it over.
So I went there early yesterday morning; I thought I could not
let it go by without seeing what it was. We arranged that I
should come for a week after New Year's to try it out, and
after that we will see. It would be desirable, for several
reasons, that I remain in Holland, near Father and Mother, you
also, and the others. My salary would certainly be a bit higher
that with Mr. Jones, and it is one's duty to think of that
because later in life a man needs more.
As for the religious work, I still do not give it up. Father
has so many interests and he is so versatile, I hope that in
whatever circumstances I may be, something similar will develop
in me. The change will be that, instead of teaching the boys, I
shall work in a bookshop.
So it is quite possible that I shall go there.
Yesterday evening I was at Uncle Vincent's to tell him that
I had gone to Dordrecht at once. It was a stormy night; you can
imagine how beautiful the road to Prinsenhage was with the dark
clouds and their silver linings.
I just entered for a minute the Catholic church where
evening service was being held. It was a beautiful sight, all
those peasants and peasant women in their black dresses and
white caps, and the church looked so cheerful in the evening
You must tell Mr. Tersteeg at once that I am going to
Dordrecht for a week to try it. Wish him and Mrs. Tersteeg a
happy New Year for me. I am writing in a great hurry, Anna and
the girls went to Prinsenhage, and Father thought it better for
me to go with them. Aunt came back with them in the carriage,
and I walked with Willem Carbentus. Well, boy, my dear brother,
what happy days we all had together. Have a pleasant New Year's
Eve, and believe me,
Your loving brother, Vincent
More soon, à Dieu. If you write, address your letter
Head of the bookselling firm Blussé and Van Braam
At this time, Vincent was 23 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written 31 December 1876 in Etten. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 083.
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