My dear Theo,
Thanks for your letter of yesterday, which I answer today, having an hour of time.
Remembered that when we were at the Van der Hoop Museum1 we talked about the book by Bürger,2 which you’ll be receiving in the post, in it you’ll also find a woodcut after G. Doré, Judith and Holofernes, and one after Brion &c. for your scrapbook.3 Do go on with it, because you’ll turn it into something beautiful in time.
Do accept my small contribution, I need so much to commune with you by way of such trifles; when I come back to my room I’m reminded of you again and again by the illustrations on the wall.4
The love between brothers is a great support in life, that is an age-old truth, let us seek that support, let the fire of love between us not be extinguished,5 but let instead the experience of life make that bond ever stronger,6 let us remain upright7 and candid with each other, let there be no secrets – as things stand today.
Thanks for your last letter. ‘It’s not over yet’, you say – no, it cannot be over yet. Your heart will need to trust itself and to pour forth – you’ll be torn between the two – her and my Father8 – I think that our Father loves you more  1v:2 than she does – that his love is worth more – these words are ‘fine gold’:9

The child puts great faith in his Father
As befits the father’s worth.
For who is closer than thy Father, is he nearer
In Heaven or on earth?10

By all means go there again11 if things get to be too much for you.
This week I got a letter from Uncle Vincent, who wrote that he thought it unnecessary to continue the correspondence, that he cannot help me in this matter.12 A letter came at the same time from Mr Gladwell, in which he wrote about Harry – who must have endured much anguish, being very hard pressed to make him act as he did.13
Mr Görlitz is in Etten today to talk to Pa about the vacancy for a teaching post at Leur.14 I sincerely hope he’ll get it. Today was the first early sermon,15 which I attended, the sermon was very beautiful, about Jesus showing himself to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias, John 21.
Herewith a few poems by Uhland which I found moving.16 Do write soon, old boy, give my warm regards to your housemates, and accept a handshake in thought from

Your loving brother,

Flowers from Etten, brought by Görlitz.17


Br. 1990: 110 | CL: 90
From: Vincent van Gogh
To: Theo van Gogh
Date: Dordrecht, Sunday, 15 April 1877

1. From 1854 to 1885, the Museum Van der Hoop in Amsterdam was housed in the former Oude Mannen- en Vrouwenhuis (Old Men’s and Old Women’s House) in the Oudemanhuispoort, which the brothers visited on 18 March (see letter 109). In 1885 the collection was moved to the newly built Rijksmuseum. See exhib. cat. Amsterdam 2004-2.
3. In the Van Gogh family estate there are two scrapbooks containing several dozen prints (Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum, inv. nos. t*1487 and t*1488). The woodcut in question after Gustave Doré, Judith with the head of Holophernes (Swansea, Glynn Vivian Art Gallery), Ill. 1801 [1801], is not to be found in either scrapbook, nor is a print after Brion (unless it is one of the unidentified prints in the scrapbooks).
It was previously assumed, on the basis of a remark written later on the endpaper, that the prints in the first album (on yellow paper, 30 x 24 cm) had been collected by Vincent when he was living in Paris (May 1875-March 1876), but this seems unlikely. It seems more probable that both albums, the second one as well (on blue paper, 50 x 30 cm), belonged to Theo. Exactly how these scrapbooks took shape is difficult to ascertain, however. On this subject, see exhib. cat. Amsterdam 2003, p. 102.
4. Theo had given Vincent a number of prints. See letter 109.
6. A prayer written and often recited in the family circle by Mr van Gogh; see letter 113.
7. Biblical.
8. This remark suggests that it was Mr van Gogh in particular who disapproved of Theo’s infatuation.
9. Biblical; see, for example, Ps. 19:11 (in KJ Ps. 19:10) and Isa. 13:12.
11. By ‘there’ Van Gogh must have meant their parental home.
12. Uncle Vincent had been consulted about Vincent’s plans to study in Amsterdam. On 18 April 1877, Mrs van Gogh wrote to Theo: ‘Uncle wrote that he had written to him [Vincent], but could not endorse his plans. You say that Uncle doesn’t know Vincent, that he means well, but that isn’t the point. Though Uncle doesn’t sympathize with his ideas, he knows very well that Vincent is a good person, but Uncle sees no future prospects in the plans, and knows that this is necessary, and that’s why he cannot accept them and certainly told Vincent this plainly. You and we are not yet reconciled to it either, but we would risk putting it to the test if possible, though we’ve heard nothing more from Amsterdam from Uncle Cor or Uncle Stricker, whom we long to hear from. This morning a kind letter from Uncle Jan, saying that Vincent’s room was being made ready, meaning that he can come if he wants to – otherwise Uncle isn’t getting involved in it, but provides the opportunity. Who knows whether this will do Vincent good, and civilize him, that is certainly a redeeming feature of this affair, that there is this good opportunity, because if he wants to become a clergyman, Vincent must really be able to associate just as easily with the upper classes as with simple folk’ (FR b2521).
13. In letter 112 it emerges that Harry Gladwell had fallen into (unspecified) difficulties.
14. Leur was a village due west of Etten; now the two places form the municipality of Etten-Leur.
15. The early sermon is a sermon delivered in the early-morning service held at 7.00 am. No details have been found about the ‘first’ early sermon. Van Gogh presumably meant that the first early service of that year had been held (the cold weather usually being over by mid-April).
16. It is not known which poems by Uhland were enclosed with the letter.
17. This choice of words suggests that the letter to Theo contained one or more of the flowers that Görlitz had brought back from Etten.