van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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Letter from Vincent van Gogh to Theo van Gogh
Arles, 4 January 1889

[Written in pencil]

My dear brother,

I hope that Gauguin will completely reassure you, and a bit about the painting business too.

I expect to begin work again soon.

The charwoman and my friend Roulin had taken care of the house, and have put everything in order.

When I come out I shall be able to take my little road here again, and soon the fine weather will be coming and I shall recommence on the orchards in bloom.

My dear brother, I am so terribly distressed at your journey. I should have wished you had been spared that, for after all no harm came to me, and there was no reason why you should put yourself to that trouble.

I cannot tell you how glad I am that you have made peace, and even more than that, with the Bongers.

Say that to André from me, and give him a very cordial handshake from me.

What would I not have given for you to have seen Arles when it was fine, as it is you have seen it in black [looking dismal].

However, keep good heart, address letters direct to me at Place Lamartine 2. I will send Gauguin's pictures that are still at the house as soon as he wishes. We owe him the money that he spent on the furniture.

A handshake, I must go back to hospital, but shall soon be out for good.



Write a line to Mother too for me, so that no-one will be worried.

Written on the back:

My dear friend Gauguin, I take the opportunity of my first outing from the hospital to write you a couple of words of my profound and sincere friendship.

Tell me - was my brother Theo's trip necessary - my friend?

Now, at least, completely reassure everyone, and I pray you yourself to have confidence that, all in all, nothing bad exists in this best of worlds where everything is always for the best.

Then, I would like you to give my kind regards to the good Schoeffenecker [Schuffenecker], that you refrain until more mature reflection on both our parts, from speaking ill of our poor little yellow house, that you give my respects to the painters that I saw in Paris.

I wish you prosperity in Paris, with a good handshake,

Ever yours, Vincent

Roulin has been truly good to me, it is he who had had the presence of mind to make me get out of there before the others were convinced.

[Written in the margin] Please reply soon.

At this time, Vincent was 35 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written 4 January 1889 in Arles. Translated by Robert Harrison, edited by Robert Harrison, number 566.

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