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Herewith I want to thank you for your last letter, which I
certainly should have done sooner if I had not been upset
recently. The fact is, you know, that I did not receive your
letter in my studio but in the hospital, where I have been for
three weeks now. Therefore your letter was doubly welcome to me
during those days, and what you said about the drawings, which
do not seem to have been very much to my worthy uncle's liking,
pleased me doubly too.
Later on I heard from somebody else that they were not so
bad after all, and that he had not meant to speak so harshly.
Whatever the truth may be, the fact is that, while doing those
drawings and later making some similar ones of the fish-drying
barns on the dunes, I caught a cold, complicated with fever and
nerves, all of which seems to have affected my bladder, so that
I could not urinate, which finally distressed me so much and
was so painful that I came here. Then they messed about in my
bladder with a catheter, and so on, so that I am now returning
to a more normal condition, of which I am very glad. For all
that, I am not cured yet, and I don't know if I shall be able
to go home soon or not. I hope it will be over in a week, but
of course such things take their own time.
It is very pleasant here in this hospital; I am lying in a
ward with ten beds, but, as I had to keep quiet, I have not
been able to draw until today, and even now it is only a very
faint and feeble start; I cannot do what I want and penetrate
to the core of things.
But now I am allowed to go into the garden for an hour every
day, and yesterday I started scribbling a little. And at least
I am beginning to look at things again, though at first I felt
too rotten even to use my eyes.
When I leave here, I shall have to go about my business very
quietly for a while. Well, we shall see....
What I especially want to praise here is the treatment. If I
ever happen to fall ill again, I should as little hesitate to
go to a hospital as I did this time. In my opinion it is
infinitely more practical than being ill at home, at least
under circumstances such as mine.
Going by the way I feel, I am almost completely recovered,
but the difficulty is that by moving about too much, taking
long walks, etc., I may immediately have a relapse, which
happened to me last week, and but for that I should be further
As soon as I have a number of drawings again, as for
instance the ones of the fish-drying barns or a charity court,
I shall be most happy to send you some, which you may be able
to sell. However, I shall not hurry, but rather wait until one
of them turns out better than usual, for in that case I prefer
sending it to you rather than to Amsterdam. Although I hope
Amsterdam will come around again.
And let us agree that, if you do not succeed in selling it,
you need not feel ashamed to return it to me, and you need not
think it would discourage me, for such things do not succeed
all at once. So whether it be the fault of my drawing or the
fault of a possible buyer, let us agree on both sides that the
miscarriage of our attempt (if it should fail) will not
discourage us immediately.
As soon as I am at work again, I shall write you at an early
date. Once more thanks for your letter, which I did not want to
postpone answering any longer.
Meanwhile believe me,
Ever yours, Vincent
At this time, Vincent was 29 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Anthon van Rappard. Written c. 28 June 1882 in The Hague. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number R10.
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