To Theo van Gogh. London, Monday, 10 August 1874.
My dear Theo,
‘Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man.’
‘He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.’
So stick to your own ideas, and if you doubt the goodness of them, test them against those of him who dared to say ‘I am the truth’, or against those of some humane person, such as Michelet.
Purity of soul and impurity of body can go together. You know the Margaret at the fountain by Ary Scheffer; is there a purer being than that girl ‘who loved so much’? ‘Leys is not an imitator, but a kindred spirit’ is a true saying that touched me as well. One could say the same of some of Tissot’s paintings, of his Walk in the snow, Walk on the ramparts, Margaret in church, &c. What is the subject of Fagel’s Leys?
Buy Alphonse Karr’s ‘Voyage autour de mon jardin’ with the money I gave you. Be sure to do it, I want you to read it. Anna and I take a walk every evening; it’s already the beginning of autumn, and that makes nature even more serious and intimate. We’re going to move and will live in a house completely overgrown with ivy; we’ll write to you again soon from there. Regards to everyone who asks after me.