My dear friends Mr and Mrs Ginoux,
I want to reply straightaway to Mrs Ginoux’s letter to say that I was really pleased to have news of you. I really regret that Mr Ginoux has been injured and has suffered so much. Please have my things packed up by someone else so that he doesn’t wear himself out with it; I’ll gladly reimburse you for all the expenses you may have, but he mustn’t tire himself too much, for fear that his wound may open up.
But in this way I’m counting on you sending on Saturday, for I’m awaiting it.
Yes, I too really regretted not being able to come back to Arles to take my leave of you all. For you well know that I had grown attached to people and things there with you with a sincere friendship. But in the final days I was more catching the illness of the others than curing my own, the society of the other patients influenced me badly, and in the end I no longer understood anything about it. Then I felt that it was better to try a change, and anyway the pleasure of seeing my brother, his family and our painter friends again has done me good up till now, and I feel absolutely calm and in a normal state. The doctor here says that one must throw oneself fully into work and distract oneself in that way.
The latter knows a lot about painting, and likes mine very much, he encourages me a great deal, and two three times a week he comes to spend a few hours with me to see what I’m doing.
They have twice written an article about my paintings, once in a Paris newspaper and the other time in Brussels, where I had exhibited,1 and now, lately, again in a newspaper of my own country, Holland,2 and that means that a lot of people have been to see my paintings and that I’ve sold on better terms.3 And it isn’t over. It’s anyway certain that since I stopped drinking4 I’ve done better work than before, there’s still that which has been gained.
But I still often think of you all, one can’t do as one wants in life, one must leave the place one feels most attached to – but the memories remain and one remembers – obscurely as in a mirror5 – absent friends.
Thus I hope that the dispatch can take place on Saturday.
Here is the address again.
Vincent van Gogh
At Ravoux’s, place de la Mairie
Auvers sur Oise
(Seine et Oise)
By goods train
In this way there can’t be any mistakes. And I thank you in advance for your trouble, but let Ginoux get a man to do the packing and not wear himself out. I shall reimburse you the costs.
Wishing you good health and complete recovery, most cordial greetings.
Vincent van Gogh.