To Theo van Gogh

London, 30 April 1874

My dear Theo,

Many happy returns of the day. Do right and don’t look back, and things will turn out well.

I was glad to get your last letter. I sent you a photo a couple of days ago:

Young girl with a sword, Jacquet

because I thought you’d like to have it.

Van Gorkom’s painting isn’t very dirty. (Between you and me, I didn’t see it, but anyway tell him I wrote that it wasn’t very dirty.)

How are Mauve and Jet Carbentus? Write to me with news of them.

It’s good that you visit the Haanebeeks.

If I come to Holland, I’ll also come to The Hague for a day or two if possible, because The Hague is like a second home to me. (I’ll come and stay with you.)

I’d have liked to go on that walk to De Vink. I walk here as much as I can, but I’m very busy. It’s absolutely beautiful here (even though it’s in the city). There are lilacs and hawthorns and laburnums &c. blossoming in all the gardens, and the chestnut trees are magnificent.

If one truly loves nature one finds beauty everywhere. Yet I sometimes yearn so much for Holland, and especially Helvoirt.

I’m doing a lot of gardening and have sown sweet peas, poppies and reseda, now we just have to wait and see what comes of it.

I enjoy the walk from home to the office and in the evening from the office back home. It takes about three-quarters of an hour.

It’s wonderful to be finished so early here; we close at 6 o’clock and yet we work none the less because of it.

Give my regards to everyone I know at the Tersteegs’, Haanebeeks’ and Carbentuses’, and especially the Rooses’, also everyone at Uncle Pompe’s, because they’re going to Kampen, and Mr Bakhuyzen &c.

I wish you the best.


The apple trees &c. have blossomed beautifully here; it seems to me that everything is earlier here than in Holland.

As soon as I know something more definite about my going home, I’ll write to you directly. I fear, however, that it will be around 4 weeks or so before it can happen. Write soon.