To Theo van Gogh. Paris, Saturday, 19 June 1875.
My dear Theo,
I had hoped to see her again before she died, and that didn’t happen. Man proposes and God disposes.
In the first crate we send to Holland you’ll find a photo of that painting by P. de Champaigne, of which Michelet said, ‘she stayed with me for 30 years, coming back to me incessantly’, also an etching by Daubigny after Ruisdael’s ‘Bush’, a lithograph after Corot’s ‘Sunset’, a lithograph by Bodmer, ‘Fontainebleau in the autumn’ and two Jacque etchings.
I don’t know how long I’ll be staying here, but before I return to London I hope to go to Helvoirt. I hope you’ll be there too. I’ll pay for the journey. You certainly won’t forget her and her death, but keep it to yourself. This is one of those things that, little by little, makes us ‘sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing’; and that we must become.