1. For the origin of this borrowing from Petites misères de la vie humaine by Old Nick and Grandville, see letter 178, n. 6.
2. This saying is also found in Jules Michelet, La femme (Michelet 1863, p. 268).
3. This may refer to Willem Kiesenberg; on him, see letter 315, n. 2.
4. For the perspective frame used by Van Gogh at this time, see letter 235.
5. The owner of the intended new house was Pieter Willem de Zwart of Voorburg. A master-mason and contractor, he built and owned the houses in Schenkstraat. His rental business was looked after by his son Michiel Antonie de Zwart. In 1881-1882 Michiel lived at Westeinde 33; later he moved to Kleine Laan 131. Van Gogh sometimes paid his rent in drawings. On him: Van Gelder 1972, pp. 18-27; Visser 1973, pp. 24-30; exhib. cat. The Hague 1990, pp. 19-22, 24.
6. Carpenter’s yard and laundry (F 944 / JH 153 [2376]).
7. Artists prefer a north-facing studio because the northern light is the most constant in quantity and colour.
8. Mr van Gogh had told Tersteeg that Vincent was in hospital (FR b2240).
9. At that time Johannes van Gogh was not registered as living in The Hague. On 30 September 1881 he had himself registered the birth of his second child, Frans Abraham Antonie, at Helvoirt, where he and his wife Jeanette Louise Vos were staying at the time. The birth certificate states, however, that they resided at Java. From 1883 to 1885 Johan’s father, Uncle Jan, lodged with his sister Truitje and brother-in-law Abraham Anthonie ’s Graeuwen in Molenstraat in Helvoirt (SAD). There is a chance that Johannes was living (temporarily?) in Stationsweg in 1882 as well.
10. These ‘scratches’ are not known.