van Gogh's letters - unabridged and annotated
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Letter from Theo van Gogh to Vincent van Gogh
Saint-Rémy, 4 August 1889

Letter T14 1
Paris, 4 August 1889

Dear Vincent,

I thought it so strange not to get a letter from you that I telegraphed in order to learn if you were well. When your letter did not come to hand, I had an idea, I don't know why, that you were travelling to us, and that you would come and give us a surprise. If you should ever think it might do you good to be among people who would be glad to do their utmost to give you some stimulus, and who would love to have you with them, please remember our little guest room. It was inaugurated the other day by Jo's mother, so it has proved itself habitable. I hope that this indisposition is nothing but an aftereffect of the last crisis, but if you ascribe this relapse to something special, do inform me of it in any case. Are the doctor and the rest of the staff good to you? Do they make any distinction between the various patients, or does this depend on what they pay?

If one is uneasy in one's mind, one is apt to see things in a different and worse light, so please write as soon as you can, if only a word or two. I do not think I worry more than necessary, but I hope nevertheless that you will tell me everything. All is well with us, and I feel a lot better than I did some time ago, and my cough is entirely gone now, thanks to Rivet's remedies.

In your last letter you wrote me that we were brothers for more than one reason. This is what I feel too, and though my heart is not as sensitive as yours, I can enter at times into your feeling of being smothered by so many thoughts that cannot be resolved. Never lose courage, and remember how much I want you.

Jo cordially wishes you a speedy recovery. I hope you will be able to give good news about yourself soon.

Yours, Theo

  1. This letter was written in Dutch, obviously to prevent its being read by others

At this time, Vincent was 36 year old
Theo van Gogh. Letter to Vincent van Gogh. Written 4 August 1889 in Saint-Rémy. Translated by Mrs. Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, edited by Robert Harrison, number T14.

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