Dear Jo,
It touches me so much that you write to me so calmly and so much master of yourself on one of your difficult nights.1 How I long to hear that you’ve come through safely and that your child lives. How happy Theo will be, and a new sun will rise in him when he sees you recovering. Forgive me if I tell you that to my mind recovery takes a long time and is no easier than being ill. Our parents knew that too, and following them in that is, I believe, what one calls duty. Well for my part, I’m thinking about all of you these days.
I’m better, but have again had a few days like the other, that’s to say that I didn’t know exactly how I was, and was upset.2
But you see that calm is returning.  1v:2
I read Theo’s letter with 50 francs enclosed at the same time as your letter; he writes things to me that give me a great deal of pleasure.3 And I hope to send him a new batch of my work before long.
But how I’m longing to hear of the good outcome to your struggle.
Tell him that I’ve had a good letter from Gauguin.4
And if Wil’s still with you, which I suppose, tell her that I’ve received her letter and hope to answer it soon.
She’ll be so happy, too, if it goes well with you and your baby, and it’s very good indeed to be present at such events.  1v:3
And Ma in Leiden will rejoice in it more than anyone else, because she’s longed for so long, I believe, that things were rather happier for him. Well, I’ll be glad when I can congratulate Theo and you, and will hope that it’s already the case.
So much with you and them in thought

Your brother

I won’t write any more, because I’m still not entirely calm. More soon.


Br. 1990: 847 | CL: 624
From: Vincent van Gogh
To: Jo van Gogh-Bonger
Date: Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Friday, 31 January 1890

1. This was letter 845.
2. A letter written by Dr Peyron to Theo on 29 January 1890 reveals that Vincent had had another attack two days after his trip to Arles. His visit to Arles had taken place on 18 or 19 January (see letter 841, n. 1), so he must have suffered the attack on 20 or 21 January. On the 29th he was still in bad shape, as emerges from Peyron’s letter: ‘He is incapable at present of any kind of work, and only responds with incoherent words when asked questions’ (Aujourd’hui, il est incapable de se livrer à un travail quelconque et ne répond que par des paroles incohérentes aux questions qu’on lui adresse) (see FR b1061; Hulsker 1971, p. 41).
3. In the above-mentioned letter Peyron had confirmed, on Vincent’s behalf, the receipt of this letter (letter 843 of 22 January).
4. This was letter 844.