The Hague, 28 Jan. 1873

My dear Theo,
It’s good that you answered me so quickly. I’m glad that things are to your liking and that you’ve been lucky with your boarding-house. Be of good heart if things sometimes get difficult, everything will come right later on, and no one can do what he really wants in the beginning.
How sorry I am about Uncle Hein. I sincerely hope he’ll get better, but Theo, I fear he won’t. Last summer he was still  1v:2 so full of ambition, and had so many plans and told me that business was going so well. It is indeed sad.1
Last Sunday I was at Uncle Cor’s2 and had a very pleasant day there and, as you can well imagine, saw many beautiful things. As you know, Uncle has just been to Paris and has brought home splendid paintings and drawings. I stayed in Amsterdam on Monday morning and went to the museums again. Did you know that a large, new building will take the place of the Trippenhuis in Amsterdam? That’s fine with me; the Trippenhuis is too small, and many paintings hang in such a way that one can’t see them properly.3
How I’d like to see that painting by Cluysenaar.4 I’ve seen only a few of his paintings,5 and those I find very beautiful. Write and tell me whether that other painting is by Alfred Stevens,6 or otherwise what his Christian name is. I know the photo of the Rotta,7 and even saw the painting at the Brussels exhibition.8 Do keep me constantly informed about whatever you see, that always gives me pleasure. The album whose title you gave me isn’t the one I meant, which contains only lithographs after Corot.9 Thanks anyway for taking the trouble.
I expect a letter from Anna soon.10 She’s rather lazy about writing these days. You ought to surprise her with a letter sometime, that would give her so much pleasure. You must be very busy, but that’s a good thing.  1r:4
It’s cold here, and people are already skating on the flooded fields. I go walking as much as I can. I’m curious to know whether you’ll find an opportunity to go skating. Herewith my portrait, but don’t say anything about it when you write home. As you know, it’s for Pa’s birthday,11 on which I congratulate you ahead of the event.
My warm regards to Uncle and Aunt,12 also to Mr Schmidt and Eduard.13

Ever your loving brother

All at the Haanebeeks’, Aunt Fie’s14 and the Rooses’ send you their compliments. Adieu, I wish you well.