Paris, 15 Nov. 1875.
My dear Theo,
Herewith a note for Uncle Haanebeek. I hadn’t written since Annet died, and felt the need to do so at last.1
Do you ever go there? In any case you’ll deliver the letter yourself, won’t you?
My worthy Englishman now cooks barley porridge every morning; he got 25 pounds of it from his father. How I wish you could try it sometime.
I’m really very glad to have met that boy. I’ve learned from him and was able, in turn, to draw his attention to a danger that was threatening him.
He had never been away from home and, although he didn’t let it show, he had an unwholesome (though noble) yearning for his father and his home.
He yearned with a yearning that belongs to God and heaven. Idolatry is not love. He who loves his parents must follow them on life’s path. He now sees this clearly and, with some genuine sorrow in his heart, he has the courage and the desire to go on. Has Pa already said to you what he once said to me? Keep thy heart above all things; for out of it are the issues of life.2 Let us do that, then, and with God’s help we shall succeed.
I wish you well, and believe me ever
Your loving brother