To Jo van Gogh-Bonger. Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Friday, 31 January 1890.
It touches me so much that you write to me so calmly and so much master of yourself on one of your difficult nights. 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.
But you see that calm is returning. 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. 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.
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. 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
I won’t write any more, because I’m still not entirely calm. More soon.
Theo van Gogh to Vincent van Gogh. Paris, Friday, 31 January 1890.
My dear Vincent,
Dr Peyron writes to me that you have again been seized by an attack of your illness. My poor brother, I’m infinitely sorry that things aren’t going as they should. Fortunately, the previous times this didn’t last long, and so we hope with all possible fervour that you may soon be better this time too. It’s the only cloud in our happiness, for my dear brother, the bad moment for Jo is over. She has brought into the world a fine boy who cries a lot but who seems to be in good health. My poor little wife suffered a great deal because the waters broke too soon, but fortunately we had an excellent doctor with extraordinary patience, for any other in his place would certainly have used the forceps. Jo is very well and hasn’t yet had any fever, but it could still come.
The child is already beginning to cry lustily. How happy I’d be if in a while, when Jo’s well again, you’ll be able to come and see her and see our little one! As we told you, we’ll name him after you, and I’m making the wish that he may be as determined and as courageous as you. As soon as you can, write to me to tell me how you are and if there were any incidents that provoked the new crisis.
We often talk about you and we think about you even more. I hope with all my heart that you may soon be better.
Be of good heart and