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I should have liked to have had the honour of announcing an
improvement in your brother's health.
Unfortunately, I can't. Yesterday, Thursday, my wife went to
see him, and he hid his face when he saw her coming. When she
spoke to him, he replied well enough, and talked to her about
our little girl, and asked if she was still as pretty as ever.
Today, Friday, I went there but could not see him. The intern
and the attendant told me that after my wife left, he had had a
terrible attack; he had a very bad night, and they had to put
him in an isolated room. Since he has been locked in this room,
he has eaten no food and utterly refused to talk. That is the
exact state of your brother at present.
The intern has told me that the doctor has for a few days
postponed the decision to have him placed in a mental hospital
Please, Monsieur, accept my sincere greetings.
At this time, Vincent was 35 year old
Joseph Roulin. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written 28 December 1888 in Arles. Translated by Robert Harrison, edited by Robert Harrison, number to.
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