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My dear Theo,
However, I am trying to answer you at once, and I hope that
this will clear away in a few days. Above all I hope that you
are well, and your wife and child too. Don't worry about me,
even if this should last a bit longer, and write the same thing
to those at home and give them kindest regards from me.
Remember me to Gauguin, who wrote me a letter for which I
thank him very, very much; I am terribly dazed in the head, but
must try to be patient. Once more kindest regards to Jo and her
little boy and a handshake in thought,
Ever yours, Vincent
I take up this letter again to try to write, it will come
little by little, the thing is that my head is so bad, without
pain it is true, but altogether stupefied. I must tell you that
there are, as far as I can judge, others who have the same
thing wrong with them that I have, and who, after having worked
part of their life, are reduced to helplessness now. It isn't
easy to learn much good between four walls, that's natural, but
all the same it is true that there are people who can no longer
be left at liberty as though there were nothing wrong with
them. And that means I am pretty well or altogether in despair
about myself. Perhaps, perhaps I might really recover if I were
in the country for a time.
My work was going well, the last canvas of branches in
blossom - you will see that it was perhaps the best, the most
patiently worked thing I had done, painted with calm and with a
greater firmness of touch. And the next day, down like a brute.
Difficult to understand, things like that, but alas! it's like
that. I have a great desire, however, to start working again,
but Gauguin also writes that he - and he is robust - also
despairs of being able to go on. And isn't it true that we
often hear the same story about artists? My poor boy, just take
things as they come, don't be grieved over me, it will
encourage and sustain me more than you think, to know that you
ate running your household well. Then after a time of
affliction perhaps peaceful days will come again for me too.
But all the same I will send you some canvases in a little
Russell wrote me too, and I think it is kind of him to have
written, showing that he does not altogether forget us; on your
part speak of him from time to time, so that people may know
that though he works alone, he is a very sound man, and I think
he will do good things like what one used to see in England,
for instance. He is a thousand times right to barricade himself
Remember me to the Pissarros, very shortly I am going to
read the letters more calmly, and I hope to write again
tomorrow or the next day.
[On February 24 Dr. Peyron wrote Theo that Vincent had again
had an attack after spending two days in Arles. He had been
bought back to St.-Rémy in a carriage, and it was
not known where he had spent the night. The picture
representing an Arlésienne which he had taken
along with him to Arles was never found. On April 1 Dr. Peyron
wrote again that the attack was lasting longer this time, and
that it definitely proved that these trips were bad for
At this time, Vincent was 36 year old
Vincent van Gogh. Letter to Theo van Gogh. Written c. 15 March 1890 in Saint-Rémy. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number 628.
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