To Theo van Gogh. Paris, Thursday, 9 December 1875.
My dear Theo,
This morning I heard from home what happened to you, and I wanted to write to you immediately.
If only I knew what I could do for you. One of these days a crate will be going to The Hague; I’ll put some chocolate in it. Gladwell calls that ‘Consolation’. I’ll also send you the little book by Jules Breton, at least if I can get it back. I’ve lent it out.
I’m very anxious to hear how you are, so drop me a line soon and tell me in detail, if you will, how it was with you those days. How I’d like to be with you, Theo, but what can we do about it? It can’t be helped, old boy. In a fortnight I’ll be going home, and then we hope to see each other in any case, and our seeing each other won’t be any the less wonderful for what has happened. If you should see Uncle Jan, please give him my regards and thank him for his letter.
I received a letter from Anna today. I believe she’s reconciled to celebrating Christmas there, with a will and enthusiasm, and will help to make it a success. You must try and become good friends with Uncle Jan; I don’t know him well, but I do know he is ‘fine gold’.
How cold it’s been. Fortunately, it started to thaw here yesterday, which was fine with me. These last few days I’ve been busy with the inventory &c., and trying to finish off one thing and another before I leave. And now Theo, in thought a hearty handshake, my heartfelt wishes for your recovery, old chap. Ever
Your most loving brother