To Anthon van Rappard. Eindhoven, Monday, 27 July 1885.
My dear friend Rappard,
That there must necessarily be an end to this nagging is, in the first place, because it really would come to resemble the dispute between a certain two pious ministers who debated a difference of opinion concerning the geographical location of the road to salvation with so much fervour that at a certain moment, with one and the same gesture, they cast their respective wigs in each other’s faces. Those wigs should be part of it — and — how, with the best will in the world, shall we proceed now, for we’re just at the critical point and neither you nor I is in the possession of the indispensable projectile in question? I’m at my wits’ end for this reason, and I’m very sorry that we’ve started something that we now don’t appear capable of crowning with the above-mentioned end — so utterly worthy of the cause.
I think that the dispute has a decidedly ridiculous side, and would become more and more so, and really, that’s the reason why I don’t want to go into it any further. It’s just too absurd.
Be sensible, and put a stop to it on your part, too.
Everything that occurs to a person doesn’t necessarily come straight from his conscience — as if your conscience dictated those letters to you? — as if it was your duty to write them? — what — nonsense — laugh at it.
However, since you thought it was your duty and thought your conscience impelled you to do it, for my part I’m willing to let the whole matter with all its ramifications drop, and so be
It remains — to ask you whether and, if so, approximately when you’re thinking of coming here to make a number of studies.
I would then see to it that you can stay with my mother as usual.
To Theo van Gogh. Nuenen, Wednesday, 29 July 1885.
My dear Theo,
Just a word to bid you good-day. I hope it will be convenient for you and your friend Bonger to look in on me this afternoon before you eat, so — let’s say between 3 and 5.
I thought this would perhaps work out best — since then they’ll still have you at home the whole evening. I’m rather busy, since they’re harvesting the wheat in the fields and, as you know, this takes only a few days and is certainly almost the most beautiful of all.
But I’ll make sure to be in my studio today between 3 and 5. In the evening I’ll drop in at Ma’s for a talk.
But for the rest, you mustn’t take it amiss of me if I keep on working.
With a handshake.