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066 To Theo van Gogh. Paris, on or about Monday, 17 January 1876.

No. 066 (Brieven 1990 065, Complete Letters 51)
From: Vincent van Gogh
To: Theo van Gogh
Date: Paris, on or about Monday, 17 January 1876

Source status
Original manuscript

Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum, inv. no. b64 V/1962

Letter headed: ‘[Paris, le] Januarij [187]6’. This letter was written after letter 65 of 10 January, which was the first since the brothers had met at Etten during the holidays at the end of 1875. In January Van Gogh also wrote, in addition to this letter, letter 67. Letter 66 seems to have been written before 67, because in this letter there is still no mention of finding a new position, whereas the subject crops up repeatedly in letters 67-70. Lacking a clear indication of the amount of time that elapsed between the two letters, we have placed them at equal intervals in the intervening period and dated them on or about Monday, 17 and on or about Monday, 24 January 1876. In the case of letter 67, this does accord with the fact that it must have been written shortly before the end of January.

original text
Goupil & Cie
Editeurs Imprimeurs
Estampes Françaises & Étrangères
Tableaux Modernes
Rue Chaptal, 9, PARIS.
Succursales à la Haye, Londres, Berlin, New-York.

Paris, le Januarij [187]6

Waarde Theo,
In de eerste kist die naar den Haag gaat zult gij diverse pakjes vinden, wees zoo goed daar zorg voor te dragen.
Vooreerst een voor U zelven waarin “Felix Holt”,1 als gij het gelezen hebt zend het dan s.v.p. naar Etten en als men het daar uitheeft s.v.p. bij gelegenheid naar hier terug, want het behoort niet van mij. Het is een boek dat mij zeer getroffen heeft, en dat zal het U ook wel doen.
Er is ook een pakje voor den Hr. Tersteeg en éen voor Mevrouw, en ook een voor Mauve en zijne vrouw.2 Aan Mauve schreef ik hij U eens moest vragen om dat boek over Michel;3 laat het hem bij gelegenheid s.v.p. eens zien.─
Ook is er een pakje voor Pa, doe Uw best te zorgen het nog op Pa’s verjaardag4 te Etten komt; gij zoudt er misschien Felix Holt kunnen bijvoegen en het lezen als het in Etten is geweest, dat is misschien nog wel het beste.
In het aan U geadresseerde rolletje zult gij vinden 3 etsen naar Jules Dupré, één voor U, één voor Oom Jan van Gogh, met mijne groete, en één voor Pa. Verder ook voor Pa eene lith. naar Bodmer5 en eene ets van Jacque en dan nog eene lith. naar Cabat voor U. Cabat heeft zeer veel van Ruysdael, er zijn twee prachtige Schijen van hem op de Luxembourg, t’eene een vijver met boomen er om heen in den herfst bij zonsondergang en het andere den avond van een grauen herfstdag, een weg langs een water en een paar groote eikeboomen.6
Die ets naar Jules Dupré is mooi, ’t is er eene uit een cahier van 6 met Duprés portret.7 Hij heeft zoo’n eenvoudig en nobel gezicht, ’t doet mij eenigzins aan dat van Mauve denken maar hij is ouder,8 en misschien ziet hij in werkelijkheid er anders uit dan Mauve.
Het is goed gij Engelsche les neemt, daar zult gij geen spijt van hebben.9
Gaarne zond ik U een Longfellow10 en “Andersen’s fairy tales”,11 ik zal zien of ik ze vinden kan. Mocht ik ze sturen, lees dan in Longfellow vooral Evangeline, Miles Standish, The Baron of St Castine & King Robert of Sicily &c.─12
En nu zeg ik U alweer goeden dag en druk U in gedachten de hand.─ Groeten bij Roos en als de een of ander naar mij mocht vragen, en geloof mij steeds

Uw liefh. broeder

Groet ook vriend Borchers nog eens voor mij.─

[Letterhead: Goupil Paris]

Paris, 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’,1 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.2 I wrote and told Mauve that he should ask you for that book about Michel;3 please show it to him sometime when it suits you.  1r:2
There’s also a package for Pa; do your best to ensure that it arrives in Etten on Pa’s birthday.4 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 Bodmer5 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.6
That etching after Jules Dupré is beautiful, it’s one from an album of 6 with Dupré’s portrait.7 He has such a simple and noble face, it reminds me a bit of Mauve’s, though he’s older,8 and perhaps in reality he looks different from Mauve.  1v:3
It’s good that you’re taking English lessons, you won’t regret it.9
I’d like to send you a Longfellow10 and ‘Andersen’s fairy tales’,11 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.12
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.
1. George Eliot’s novel Felix Holt, the radical (1866) tells the love story of Felix Holt and Esther Lyon, which ends in their marriage. It ‘is a study in the Radicalism of the time of the Reform Bill, contrasting the ideal radicalism of Felix Holt, who, with talent which might command material success, prefers to spend himself in social service, and the political radicalism of the good business man, Harold Transome, who breaks away from the Tory traditions of his family’. See I.G. Mudge and M.E. Sears, A George Eliot dictionary. The characters and scenes of the novels, stories and poems alphabetically arranged. London 1924, p. xxii. Van Gogh’s parents also read the book (FR b954, b2234).
2. Anton Mauve and Jet Carbentus were married on 26 November 1874.
3. On Alfred Sensier’s Etude sur George Michel, see letter 44, n. 2.
4. Mr van Gogh was to turn 54 on 8 February.
5. In letter 110, Van Gogh mentions the subject of a lithograph by Bodmer that was hanging in his parents’ house, which suggests that the work referred to here could be a lithograph after Fontainebleau in the autumn (In the forest during winter); see also letter 110, n. 10.
6. Louis Cabat, The pond at Ville-d’Avray and Autumnal evening . See letter 55, n. 9.
7. It is unclear which series of etchings by Jules Dupré Van Gogh is referring to. The subject of the etching must have been a ‘little ship’, because Mr van Gogh wrote to Theo: ‘How kindly he [=Vincent] remembered us again. What a gorgeous print it is, the one of the panting hart. And that little ship by Dupré’ (FR b2234, 17 February). Perhaps this was the etching Bateau pêcheur et barques (Fisherman’s boat and small fishing vessels) by Léon Gaucherel, which Mr and Mrs van Gogh had at any rate known in November (the etching was published in Galeries Durand-Ruel, 1873, no. 225). Ill. 1763 . See also letter 98, n. 17. Another etching that is certainly a possibility is Le Crotoy, 1872 (made by Auguste Boulard after Jules Dupré), which is also to be found in the scrapbook containing prints from Theo’s estate (Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum, t*1487, 26). Ill. 1764 . The depiction Mr van Gogh mentioned of ‘the panting hart’ – below which Vincent had written Psalm 42 (FR 2741) – could be one of the above-mentioned prints after Bodmer or Jacque.
8. In January 1876 Dupré was 64, whereas Mauve was only 37.
9. On 29 January 1876 the Reverend Van Gogh wrote to Theo: ‘We think it a splendid idea that you take English lessons, that can stand you in good stead. We were more satisfied with Vincent’s last letter, not that it clarifies the future, but he speaks more naturally and says that the teaching profession seems quite attractive to him’ (FR b2230).
10. The poetical works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, of which various editions were available. It was not until 23 March that Vincent acted on his intention to send Theo a copy of this book. See letters 66 and 72.
11. Hans Christian Andersen, Fairy tales, of which numerous editions were in circulation.
12. Regarding Evangeline and Miles Standish, see letter 14. ‘The baron of St Castine’ and ‘King Robert of Sicily’ form ‘The student’s second tale’ and ‘The Sicilian’s tale’ of the book Tales of a Wayside inn. See Longfellow 1886-1891, vol. 4, pp. 179-188, 46-53.