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I would like to be closer to you. Oh! Why are we always at
odds with each other? Why? I am enclosing a letter from the
aunts at Zundert - you know that Aunt Bet had an accident. I
wrote to them that you and I would walk over to Zundert at
Christmas if possible.
I have copied a few of the psalms for you; perhaps you would
like to read them one of these days. 1 Drop me a
line as soon as you can.
A week from last Sunday, I made a long trip to London, and
there I heard about a kind of job which perhaps might do for me
sometime. In seaport towns like Liverpool and Hull, certain
preachers are often in need of helpers who know how to speak
several languages, to work among the sailors, foreigners, and
visit the sick; some salary is attached to such a position.
I left here early at four o'clock in the morning. It was
beautiful in the park here, with the avenues of dark elm trees,
the wet road through it, and a grey rainy sky above it all; in
the distance there was a thunderstorm. At daybreak I was in
Hyde Park; the leaves were already falling from the trees and
the Virginia creeper was beautifully red against the houses,
and there was a fog. At seven o'clock I was in Kensington, and
rested a little in a church where I used to go so many Sunday
In London I visited some friends and also Messrs. Goupil
& Co.'s gallery, and saw there the drawings that Van
Iterson had brought with him. It was delightful to see once
more the Dutch towns and meadows in that way. That picture by
Artz, the “Mill on the Canal,” I think very
You also have a beautiful life before you, Theo, keep
Has Van Iterson come back yet? I was so glad to see him
again. He is bringing you The Wide, Wide World; read it one of
these days - the first chapters especially are so fine, and so
true and simple. And read now and then in Longfellow, for
“I see the lights of the village, gleam through the
rain and the mist,
and a feeling of sadness comes o'er me, that my soul cannot
And now, boy, a handshake for you and for Uncle Jan. Adieu,
keep courage and get better quickly; write soon how you are,
and send back the aunt's letter then. Poor Aunt Bet, we are
such old friends.
Your loving brother, Vincent
Psalms 23, 91 and 121; in addition, the hymns Daar is
een stem gehoord (“A voice is heard”);
“The light of stars; `t Hijgend het der jacht
ontkomen (“As pants the hart,” etc.); all in
Copied in full in the letter.
At this time, Vincent was 23 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written 3 October 1876 in Isleworth. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 075.
This letter may be freely used, in accordance with the terms of this site.