van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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 35 letters relate to Theo - health...Excerpt length: shorter longer  
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(13 October 1876)
... if Anna can go too, we might come together. And now winter is slowly approaching again - try to be your old self by that time. How welcome is that Christmastime in winter. Oh! my boy, I look forward so much to the time when it will be cold here and I shall have to make my rounds at Turnham Green. When I think of you as one “who comforts his mother, and who is worthy to be comforted by his mother,” I almost envy you. But try to get better soon. Yesterday, I asked Mr. Jones to let me go to Holland, but he would not allow it, and at last he said, “Write to your mother; if she approves, I will too.” What beautiful poems are De Genestet's 1 “On the Mountains of Sorrow” and “When I was a Boy.” A handshake for both of you and for the Roos family, and for Willem and any others you see whom I know. And let me hear soon from you again and believe me, Your loving brother, Vincent A popular Dutch preacher-poet....
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(31 October 1876)
... Dear Theo, It is more than time for you to hear from me again. Thank God you are recovering.
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to His Parents
(17-18 November 1876)
... Dear Father and Mother, Thank God that Theo has almost recovered, and bravo that he has already walked with Father in the snow to the Heike [a hamlet near Etten]; how I wish I could have been together with you both. It is already late, and early tomorrow morning I must go to London and Lewisham, for Mr. Jones. I hope to visit the Gladwells, and it will be late in the evening when I come back. Where do Mr. Jones and others get their incomes? Yes, I have often thought about it myself. A saying here is: God takes care of those who work for Him. I am longing to speak and consult with you about this question. And then you asked me if I still teach the boys; generally I do so until one o'clock in the afternoon, and then after one o'clock I go out for Mr. Jones, or sometimes give lessons to Mr. Jones's children or to a few boys in town. And then in the evening and between times I write in my sermon book. Last Sunday I was at Turnham Green early to teach at Sunday school...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(3 August 1877)
... me a very cheerful letter from Helvoirt. I also heard from home that you had a 40-guilder bill from Dr. Coster; that is a big sum, and paying it will remind you of the feeling of having a tooth pulled. If only I could help you a little, but you know that I possess neither gold nor silver. I often have to resort to all kinds of devices to get money for the collections in church - by changing stamps for pennies in a tobacco shop, for instance. But, my boy, by struggling we can keep on, and you know that it is written that the poor will be blessed in the Kingdom of God. Whenever I see Uncle Vincent, I am struck anew by something indescribably charming and, I should say, something good and spiritual in him; I do not know what to call it. Father has it even more; Uncle Jan, in another way; and it is also in Uncle Cor. Even in a hundred people you would not always find one like them, so let us carefully treasure their memory and their image. Can it be what Fénelon described in ...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(26 January 1882)
... of its coming back soon if I am careful. I am very sorry to hear that you don't feel well either. When I was in Brussels last winter, I also took a bath at the bathing establishment as often as I could, two or three times a week; and as it did me a lot of good, I will do it here too. No doubt if you keep it up for some time, it will help you a great deal, because it keeps the blood circulating well and the pores of the skin open; that way the skin can fulfill its function - otherwise it would shrivel up, especially in winter. And I tell you frankly that in my opinion one must not hesitate to go to a prostitute occasionally if there is one you can trust and feel something for, as there really are many. For one who has a strenuous life it is necessary, absolutely necessary, in order to keep sane and well. One must not exaggerate such things and fall into excesses, but nature has fixed laws which it is fatal to struggle against. Well, you yourself know all you have to know on that...

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