van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
Paris, 13 December 1875

Dear Theo,

I was looking forward to the letter I received this morning, and am very glad that you are recovering. Your parcel was only sent today; the little book by Jules Breton is in it.

I am longing for Christmas and am eager to see you, boy, but it will be soon enough now. I think I shall leave here a week from Sunday, in the evening. Try your best to get as long a holiday as possible.

And now there is another thing, which I hope you will pardon my mentioning. You too, you have found the poems of Heine and d'Uhland are beautiful. Be on guard, old son, they are dangerous traps. The illusion is of short duration, do not abandon yourself to them.

Don't you think it would be best to put away those little old books I copied for you?

If, later, the books of Heine and d'Uhland fall into your hands again, you may reread them with other feelings and a more serene heart.

I like very much Erckmann-Chatrian, as you know. Do you know L'Ami Fritz?

To get back to Heine:

Take the portraits of Father and that of Mother, then take Brion's Les Adieux, read Heine with these three images in front of your eyes and you will understand what I am talking about. Old son, you know although I fear not in the least to preach or to lecture you, because I know only you are, in your soul, like me, this is why I talk seriously with you from time to time. In any case, experience what I have told you.

I hope you will be well before long and will write soon. How is Willem Valkis? My regards to him and all the family and all who know me, also to Van Iterson.

Just now we have a beautiful picture by Schreyer, a wagon with horses in an autumn landscape, with a setting sun. Also a beautiful Jacque, a melancholy landscape with sheep. How do you like that small Jacque, “Ploughing,” that has been in The Hague for some time? Very best wishes and speedy recovery. Always

Your loving brother, Vincent

At this time, Vincent was 22 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written 13 December 1875 in Paris. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 049.

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