van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
Paris, 15 November 1875

Dear Theo,

Enclosed is a note for Uncle Haanebeek; I had not written since Annette's death and felt a strong urge to do this. Do you call on them now and then? At all events you will take this note yourself, won't you?

I am so glad that I met this boy. I have learned from him, and in return I was able to show him a danger which was threatening him.

He had never been away from home, and though he did not show it, he had an unhealthy (though noble) longing for his father and his home. It was the kind of longing that belongs only to God and heaven. This idolatry is not love. He who loves his parents must follow their footsteps in life. He understands this now clearly; and though his heart is sad, he has the courage and the desire to go forward.

Has Father already told you, as he often did me, 'Keep your heart with all diligence, because the heart is an open door to life'? Then let us do so, and with the help of God, we will stay on the right path.

Good luck to you, believe me always,

Your loving brother, Vincent

At this time, Vincent was 22 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written 15 November 1875 in Paris. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 045.

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