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Few things have given me so much pleasure recently as
hearing things from home which to a certain extent set my mind
at ease about their feelings toward me. Sien came to tell me
that a parcel had been delivered to the studio, and I told her
to go and open it and see what was in it, and in case there was
a letter, to bring it with her; so I learned that they had sent
a whole package of things, underwear and outer clothing and
cigars, and there was also 10 guilders enclosed in the letter.
I cannot tell you how it touched me, it is much more than I
expected; but they do not know everything yet.
I am just weak and feeble, Theo, and I need absolute,
absolute rest to recover, so everything that makes for peace is
welcome. But I felt much worse than now before I was lying
here, and please bear in mind that it is not at all serious,
and only a short period of treatment will make me well again. I
wanted to tell you the news about Father and Mother
immediately, because I thought it would please you, too.
Sien will probably go next Monday, for I think she is better
off in the hospital now; she will be admitted about the middle
of June. She wanted to stay here for me, but I wouldn't allow
I have my books on perspective here, and a few volumes of
Dickens, including Edwin Drood; there is perspective in
Dickens, too. Good God, what an artist! There's no one like
I hope my having to take a rest will have a good effect on
my drawings; sometimes one gets a better view of things when
one does not work on them for a while - then when one sees them
again, they seem fresh and new.
The view from the window of the ward is splendid: yards on
the canal, with the barges loaded with potatoes, rear view of
houses that are being pulled down by workmen, part of a garden;
and on the next, more distant, plane the Quay with its rows of
trees and street lamps, a very complicated little almshouse
with little gardens connected to it; and finally, all the
roofs. The whole is a bird's-eye view which, especially in the
evenings and in the mornings, is mysterious because of the
light's effect, for instance, like a Ruysdael or Van der Meer.
But I may not and cannot draw it as long as I am so weak. But
though I'm forbidden to get out of bed, I cannot refrain from
getting up to look at it every evening.
Write me soon; wasn't that parcel from home a surprise? -
and especially coming at a time like this, it made me more than
The rest cure does me good and makes me so much calmer, and
takes away that nervousness which has troubled me so much
recently. And the ward here is no less interesting to me than
the third-class waiting room. But I may not and cannot draw
yet. Adieu, I hope you will find time to write to me, believe
Yours sincerely, Vincent
I thought it so nice that this came from home, I wanted to
let you know at once. Of course I do not need any more clothes
now. I wrote home to thank them, and to tell them I was here.
You know the address is-City Hospital-4 Class-Ward 6-No. 9.
At this time, Vincent was 29 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written c. 10 June 1882 in The Hague. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 207.
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