I received your letter of April 21; thanks for writing so
soon. The letter gave me a feeling of joy, like the woman who
found her mite again must have felt, for you tell me that Aunt
Koos's little writing desk, with the letters from Father and
Mother, has been found by Mrs. Roos during the spring cleaning.
How carefully and anxiously I looked for it last year, fancying
I had taken it with me to England and had left it in one of the
houses where I lived in London. I am so glad it has been found,
I am so thankful for it. Keep it for me for the present; when I
have started in Amsterdam, I shall want it. Now I remember
quite well that I left it with Roos when I went to England
because there was not much room in my trunk and also because I
thought it would be safer than taking it with me abroad.
Fix your heart and mind upon a good thing and a good work
also, and pray for it to the Lord.
Uncle Jan has been to Etten, and says that my little room is
already waiting for me. Mr. Braat has somebody in mind for my
place, so in May I shall probably be able to put my hand to the
I will hang the prints you gave me in that little room, and
so they will remind me of you daily.
Underneath the print after Rosenthal, that monk, I have
written: “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I
am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your
souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light; if any man
will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up my cross,
and follow me - in the Kingdom of Heaven they neither marry,
nor are given in marriage.”
Underneath the pendant, “The Imitation of Jesus
Christ” (after Ruyperez), I wrote what I heard Pa say,
“Lord, I long so much to be earnest.”
This morning I heard a beautiful sermon by the Reverend Mr.
Keller van Hoorn; this afternoon Görlitz, Mager, ten Broek
and I went to the museum to see the pictures by Scheffer - how
beautiful they are.
Did I already tell you that Görlitz has been to Etten
to apply for the teaching position at De Leur? He came back
full of everything he had seen there. Father's sermon was about
Jacob who slept in the field at Bethel, and it had touched him
so. I wish he could get that place - then he would be able to
Last week I had a letter from Harry Gladwell; he is in
dangerous surroundings - the birdcatchers there are numerous
and cunning. I hope to hear more soon, and we will talk it over
I know very little about Taine's life; I suppose he has
travelled much in France, Italy, England, and also in Holland -
so one would gather from his writings. He is surely an artist.
I still have the first volume by Burger, Musées.
Well, Theo, I hope you have a good Sunday today. If I go to
Amsterdam, I hope to see you beforehand.
To each day brings sorrow for “the sower of the
Word” that I hope to become, as one that sows wheat in
the fields - and the earth will produce nevertheless a pile of
brambles and thistles. Therefore keep one for the other a good
endorsement and cultivate our fraternal love.
À Dieu, give my regards to Roos, and receive a
Your loving brother, Vincent
At this time, Vincent was 24 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written 22 April 1877 in Dordrecht. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 093.
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