van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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Letter from Van Gogh Family to Theo van Gogh
Zundert, 1876

Reverend van Gogh to Theo.

12 January 1876

Vincent's problems keep giving us great concern. On the fourth of this month he wrote that he had had a very unpleasant encounter with M. Boussod at the moment of the New Year's wishes. He had been especially blamed for going home at the end of the year. He certainly should not have done it, but he appears to have stubbornly stuck to his point. After this encounter there is no other way open to him, he feels, than to say that he will leave the first of April.

Lies to Theo

27 February 1876

Reverend van Gogh to Theo.

8 March 1876

It is just as I wrote to you, it is certain that Willemien is not going to stay in England.

Reverend van Gogh to Theo.

15 March 1876

Anna suggests that she will come home with Willemien in the beginning of May and stay with us until August. Up to that time she is willing to remain Willemien's governess.

[Mother] And now, dear Theo, live happily. Look for the good things in life in all respects. Avoid what is not good. Control yourself in the things which you don't need but were recommended to you in well-meant advice.

Reverend van Gogh to Theo.

31 March 1876

I find it a marvellous thing for you and hope that it will be successful. You are going to visit some interesting towns.

Reverend van Gogh to Theo.

1 July 1876

If he really has such a love of the church or the Evangelization and is really serious about it, I would think that he could start the study for it in this country, and we might try to find the necessary resources. But at least eight years would be needed. On the other hand, it might be better if he tried to find over there or in this country - perhaps better in this country - some position as bookkeeper or as assistant in an office or shop.

If he wants to teach, then he should start the study to be an assistant schoolmaster and try to improve himself later by his own exercise and study of languages. Alas, we begin to become more and more worried about him. Of course, the lack of finances is also a problem; he doesn't want us to send him anything, but this morning I enclosed twenty-five guilders in my letter to him.

[Vincent's address is] c/o W. P. Stokes Esq., Linkfield House, Isleworth (near London).

Lies to Theo

18 August 1876

How much worry that boy gives Father and Mother. Looking at them one could not fail to notice it. It is a pity he doesn't have a little more energy. He becomes dull with piety, I believe.

Reverend van Gogh to Theo.

8 September 1876

Just now a letter from Vincent. We have not yet been able to read it completely due to the wriggly handwriting. But in any case it is not a letter that gives us pleasure, alas! If only he learned to remain simple as a child, and would not always go on filling his letter with Bible texts in such an exaggerated and overwrought manner. It makes us worry more and more, and I fear that he becomes altogether unfit for practical life; it is bitterly disappointing. How are his letters to you? If he wants to become an Evangelist, he should be ready to start the preparation and necessary studies; I would then have more confidence.

Anna to Theo

12 October 1876

[On Theo's illness.]

[I have been very worried, but] Father had written that the crisis is over.

Reverend van Gogh to Theo.

19 October 1876

At this time, Vincent was 23 year old
Van Gogh Family. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written 1876 in Zundert. Translated by Robert Harrison, edited by Robert Harrison, number .

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