To Theo van Gogh. Paris, on or about Monday, 17 January 1876.
My dear Theo,
In the first crate going to The Hague you’ll find various packages; be so good as to take care of them.
First of all, one for you containing ‘Felix Holt’, when you’ve read it please send it to Etten, and when they’ve finished it there please send it back here, when you get the chance, because it doesn’t belong to me. It’s a book that touched me deeply, and it will no doubt have the same effect on you. There’s also a package for Mr Tersteeg and one for Mrs Tersteeg, and also one for Mauve and his wife. I wrote and told Mauve that he should ask you for that book about Michel; please show it to him sometime when it suits you.
There’s also a package for Pa; do your best to ensure that it arrives in Etten on Pa’s birthday. Perhaps you could add Felix Holt to it and read it after it’s been in Etten, that might be the best thing.
In the small roll addressed to you you’ll find 3 etchings after Jules Dupré, one for you, one for Uncle Jan van Gogh, with my regards, and one for Pa. Also for Pa a lithograph after Bodmer and an etching by Jacque, and then there’s a lithograph after Cabat for you. Cabat is a lot like Ruisdael, there are two magnificent paintings by him in the Luxembourg, one a pond with trees around it in the autumn at sunset, and the other the evening of a grey autumn day, a road by the waterside and a couple of large oak trees.
That etching after Jules Dupré is beautiful, it’s one from an album of 6 with Dupré’s portrait. He has such a simple and noble face, it reminds me a bit of Mauve’s, though he’s older, and perhaps in reality he looks different from Mauve.
It’s good that you’re taking English lessons, you won’t regret it. I’d like to send you a Longfellow and ‘Andersen’s fairy tales’, I’ll see if I can find them. If I do send them, read especially Longfellow’s Evangeline, Miles Standish, The baron of St Castine and King Robert of Sicily &c.
And now I’ll bid you good-day again and shake your hand in thought. Regards to everyone at the Rooses’ and if anyone else should ask after me, and believe me ever
Your loving brother
Give my regards again to my friend Borchers.