To Theo van Gogh. Nuenen, on or about Saturday, 23 August 1884.
My dear Theo,
Arriving home, you may have found another note from me. But while I asked you in it then to take back one thing and another that you said, I don’t ask it of you any more.
Because even if you were to say that you’d started to think differently about it, I still wouldn’t be able to believe it, since I believe that you’re just definitely like that — and can’t easily retreat from it for the time being. We may perhaps talk about such issues very differently years from now, but probably not even then.
For the time being, in my view, we certainly don’t have to revert to it.
You would get back anything more than 100 francs that you might send next month, so send 100 francs (on which I’ll continue to rely for now, in accordance with our agreement), but no more. And it will be my endeavour to find something to replace that, too, and eventually I’ll succeed.
Please don’t think that I don’t want to remain good friends — but here it’s in the nature of the thing that it’s not possible; even if one were to try it, it still wouldn’t work. Anyway, it’s a situation that no one could do much about. I believe that your character has now set in a permanent mould — mine too — and the directions do not run parallel. I actually don’t take anything particularly amiss of you — perhaps you don’t of me either — but to go on as if we were in accord we’d have to be people like Monnier’s Monsieur Joseph Prudhomme, and I at least refuse to be that, and I hope for your sake — you do too — and I’m not going to take it to heart any longer, either.