To Theo van Gogh. Paris, on or about Monday, 24 January 1876.
My dear Theo,
Thanks for your letter, write to me often, as I long for it these days. Write in more detail, too, and about everyday things; you see that I, too, am doing that more and more. I was interested to hear what you said about Boks, how he has arranged his studio and that you go there quite a lot. Do keep me well informed.
We sometimes feel rather lonely and long for friends, and think we’d be quite different and happier if only we found ‘it’, a friend of whom we would say, ‘this is it’. But you, too, will already have started to notice that there’s a lot of self-deception behind this, and that this longing, if we were to surrender to it too much, would cause us to stray from the path. There are words that keep haunting me these days, they are the text for today: ‘His children shall seek to please the poor.’
And now for some news, namely that my friend Gladwell is going to move. One of the employees at the printer’s has persuaded him to come and live with him; he had already tried to do this before. Gladwell has done it, I believe, without thinking. I’m awfully sorry he’s going. It will be soon now, probably at the end of this month.
For a few days now we’ve had a mouse in our ‘cabin’; that’s what we call our room, you know. Every evening we put some bread out, and it already knows how to find it. I read the advertisements in the English newspapers and have already written to a couple, we’re hoping for a godsend. And now, regards to everyone at the Rooses’ and to any others who might ask after me, and do write again soon. Adieu. Ever,
Your loving brother
If Mr Tersteeg should speak to you about me, write and tell me. Give my regards to His Hon. every time I write to you.