van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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 10 letters relate to feelings - apprehension...Excerpt length: shorter longer  
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(10 January 1876)
... never made a big thing to answer back. Well, my boy, I am not at all clear what I should do next, but we shall try to maintain hope and courage. Oblige me by showing this to Mr. Tersteeg, His Excellence may know what has happened, but I believe that it is better if you do not tell it to anyone else; and to act as if nothing has happened. Write to me soon and believe me Your loving brother, Vincent ...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(5-6 January 1882)
... though I tried it several times. I am all right, but the last few days I have been faint with suspense. I have been looking for models, and found a few, but I cannot take them. In desperation I went today to Goupil's, for according to what you wrote me I thought as a last resort I would ask Tersteeg to lend me something. But Tersteeg had just gone out of town for a few days. I must put a good face on the matter when I'm with Mauve; Mauve has really done enough. Tersteeg had promised to come to see me, but he has not been here yet. If for some reason or other you cannot send the 100 frs. at once, send me at least part of it by return mail. I found a stamp in my pocket just now, otherwise I should not be able to send you this letter. It is a time of struggle for you and for me, but I think we are making progress. So let us keep courage. Adieu, with a handshake, Yours sincerely, Vincent ...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(14 May 1882)
... will not help him again.” This being so, I risk my head when I contradict you, but, Theo, I don't know how I could do otherwise; if my head must be cut off, here is my neck. You know the circumstances and know that my life or death depends on your help. But I am between two fires. If I reply to your letter: Yes, Theo, you are right, I will give up Christine, then first I tell a lie in agreeing with you and second, I commit myself to doing a vile thing. If I contradict you and you act like T. and M., it will cost me my head, so to speak. Well, for heaven's sake, off with my head, if that's the way it has to be. The other thing is even worse. So here is a short memorandum, clearly explaining a few things which I think may possibly cause you to withdraw your help. But to conceal them so as not to lose your help seems to me an underhanded thing to do, and I would rather risk the worst. If I succeed in making you understand what I think you don't yet understand,...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(14 November 1882)
... today it will be explained this way. But on the other hand, I'm always nervous when something like this happens and I feel anxious, and then I am afraid of having written or done something which you do not approve of. So last night I worried about it: perhaps you didn't approve of my having had my lithograph printed; perhaps you would conclude from my letter that I intended to publish my work, or something like that. Well, I was anxious, thinking something had happened. But probably nothing is wrong. For safety's sake, however, I will tell you that you must not confuse publications with experiments made to learn a process. The former, namely publications, are things which I would certainly not undertake without consulting you, and for the present, I do not think of it; and besides, as you know, I only busy myself with the drawings and the artistic side of the work, that's all. These experiments I make are certainly part of this, however, and it is quite natural...
Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
(1 December 1883)
... this, or it is a misunderstanding. But know this, brother, that I am absolutely cut off from the outer world - except from you - so that it made me crazy when your letter did not come at the moment when, far from “being well off,” I was very hard pressed, though I did not mention it, because I feel I am rather above the cares that gnaw at my heart, which torture I can perhaps explain, but do not consider merited. Regarding “I should not want to thrive if another were the loser by it,” I hope this, the real meaning of what you took for an ultimatum, will always remain my conviction, either in prosperity or in “agony.” Your conclusion of my “being well off” was rather fatuous, or rash I think, though the fault must have lain in my way of expressing it, but certainly not in my mood. I will tell you once more that, since I have been here, I have had to put my material in...

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