1. No further details are known about Van der Weele’s stay in the eastern province of Gelderland.
2. This woman who lived with Carolus Hoornik, Sien’s brother, has not been identified. As early as June Van Gogh had written that this brother had left his wife (letter 348).
3. For this quotation from the preface to Zola’s L’assommoir, see letter 337, n. 4.
4. In L’assommoir the smith Goujet is secretly in love with the main character Gervaise. Van Gogh is referring to the scene in chapter 12 in which the smith declares his love but is rejected out of shame by Gervaise, who has fallen on hard times. Nonetheless, she is not indifferent to him. He realizes, however, that she cannot love him alone and concludes with: ‘That is enough between us, Madame Gervaise ... That is our whole friendship, is it not?’ (Ça suffit entre nous, madame Gervaise ... C’est toute notre amitié, n’est-ce pas?) See Zola 1960-1967, vol. 2, p. 777.
5. Sien had foreseen her fate correctly: on 12 November 1904 she was to commit suicide by jumping into the water; see Hulsker 1993-2, p. 52.
6. The passage goes back to Victor Hugo, Les misérables, book 1, chapter 13, which describes how Bienvenu sees a spider: ‘black, hairy, hideous. His sister heard him say: Poor creature! It’s not its fault’ (noire, velue, horrible. Sa soeur l’entendit qui disait: – Pauvre bête! ce n’est pas sa faute). See Hugo 1951, p. 57.
7. At the University Hospital in Leiden, where Sien was nursed in June-July 1882 before she gave birth.
8. The letter to Pa that was sent together with letter 376.
9. Van Rappard had seen Van Gogh’s recent work shortly before; see letter 378.
10. Theo had written this in the letter which Vincent said in letter 378 he had received.
11. In the spring of 1882 Van Gogh had been given advice by Weissenbruch several times; see letters 204 ff. Cf. also Weissenbruch’s compliments on Van Gogh’s studies quoted in letter 204.
12. These studies of woods are not known.