Paris 4 August 1889.

Dear Vincent,
I found it so strange to have received no letter from you that I telegraphed to find out if you were well. Dr Peyron answered me in a letter that you’ve been ill for a few days but that it’s already a little better.1 My poor fellow, how I wish I knew what to do to get these nightmares to stop. When your letter didn’t come I imagined, I don’t know why, that you were on your way here and would come and surprise us. Should you ever think that it might do you good to  1v:2 be among people who would like to do their best to cheer you up a little, and who would like to have you with them, then think of our little room. It was inaugurated not long ago by Jo’s mother,2 so it’s proved usable. I hope that this indisposition was nothing but an after-effect of the previous crisis,3 but if there was anything particular to which you ascribe this recurrence, at any rate tell me.
Are the doctor and the other staff good to you? Is a distinction made between the various patients, and does this depend on what they pay? When one’s concerned one imagines things to be different and worse than they are, so write to me  1v:3 as soon as you can, and even if it’s only a few words. I’m not getting more concerned than necessary, but all the same I hope you’ll tell me everything. We are well; I feel much better than a while ago and am not coughing at all any more because of Rivet’s medicine. In your last letter you wrote that we are brothers for more than one reason.4 I feel that too, and even if my heart isn’t as sensitive as yours, I can sometimes imagine the distress that you feel because of so many thoughts that aren’t resolved. Don’t lose heart, and remember that I need you so much. Jo sends her best wishes for your recovery. I hope that you’ll soon be able to send good reports.



Br. 1990: 795 | CL: T14
From: Theo van Gogh
To: Vincent van Gogh
Date: Paris, Sunday, 4 August 1889

1. This letter from Peyron to Theo is not known.
On 3 August Peyron had sent Theo a telegram about Vincent, which Jo van Gogh-Bonger wrote about to her sister Mien on 9 August 1889: ‘Bad news from Vincent. On Saturday at 6 o’clock we got a telegram from the doctor – Vincent ill, letter follows. We worried all day Sunday, but fortunately a letter arrived around 4 o’clock; he’s having another crisis and tried to poison himself with his brush and paints. After that letter, nothing – you can imagine how upset Theo is – he’s coughing again and looks worse than he did before – tomorrow he has to see Rivet again’ (FR b4292).
On a previous occasion Van Gogh supposedly tried to drink turpentine (see letter 752, n. 1); later on, paint will again prove a threat to Van Gogh’s health (see letter 835, n. 1 and letter 838).
3. Regarding Van Gogh’s previous attacks, see letter 750, n. 4.
4. Van Gogh wrote this in letter 790.