[Letterhead: Goupil Paris]
Paris, 13 Dec. 1875
My dear Theo,
I’d been longing to receive your letter of this morning, and am very glad that you’re getting better again. The parcel for you was sent only today; the little book by Jules Breton
is in it.1
I’m longing for Christmas and to see you, old boy, but now we’ll be there soon enough. I’ll probably be leaving here Thursday week, in the evening.
Do everything you can to get as long a holiday as possible.
One more thing, though, please forgive my saying it. You and I both liked the poems by Heine
but watch out, old boy, it’s pretty dangerous stuff. The illusion won’t last long, don’t surrender to it.
Shouldn’t you get rid of those little books I wrote in for you?3
Those books by Heine
will fall into your hands again later on, and then you’ll read them with different feelings and with a calmer heart. I like Erckmann-Chatrian
very much, you know that. Do you know L’ami Fritz?4
To return again to Heine
Take the portrait of Father and Mother and take ‘Farewells’ by Brion
and then read Heine
with those three before your eyes; then you’ll see what I mean. But, old chap, surely you know that I’m not lecturing you or preaching a moralizing sermon. I know you have in your heart what I have in mine, that’s why I sometimes talk to you so seriously. But in any event try this test sometime.
And now, get well soon and do write again soon. How is Willem Valkis
? Give my regards to him and to all your housemates and to all who know me, also Van Iterson
We have a beautiful painting by Schreyer
here at present, a wagon with horses in an autumnal landscape at sunset.6
Also a splendid Jacque
, a sombre landscape
with sheep. What do you think of that small Jacque, ‘Ploughing’, which has been in The Hague for some time?7
I sincerely wish you the best and, again, a speedy recovery. Ever
Your loving brother.