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|Letter Reference||Olive Schreiner: Mary Sauer MSC 26/2.11.42
|Archive||National Library of South Africa, Special Collections, Cape Town
|Letter Date||7 December 1891
|Address From||Matjesfontein, Western Cape
|Who To||Mary Sauer nee Cloete
|Other Versions||Rive 1987: 196
The manuscript of this letter by Olive Schreiner belongs to the Archive referenced above; its ownership of the original should be acknowledged by referencing the letter as indicated: Copyright transcription: © Olive Schreiner Letters Project. This transcription can be freely used as long as copyright is acknowledged and it is referenced using the following citation: ‘Olive Schreiner to Mary Sauer nee Cloete, 7 December 1891, NLSA Cape Town, Special Collections, Olive Schreiner Letters Project transcription’. Please also supply letter line numbers for specific quotations.
The Project is grateful to the National Library of South Africa (NLSA), Cape Town, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Special Collections. The date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. Content indicates Schreiner was in Matjesfontein when it was written.
Don't expect me on 14th. Am not coming.
I hope your sister is quite well now. Wish I had seen her when she
6: went past. Are the little ones all right.
I've no news of myself. I'm working along in the old way. Always
9: dreaming of a time when for 18 months I shall rest, without thinking,
10: just like an animal.
I am perhaps going up to New England shortly to spend some months with
13: Mrs J. Orpen. Matjesfontein isn't so nice now, there are too many
14: people, & they write about my little room, & all the charm is gone.
I've got many letters from different parts of the world America
17: Australia &c, about that little article of mine in the Fortnightly. I
18: didn't think it would be of any interest to anyone not South African.
Give my love to Mr Sauer. Tell him I was only teasing ?tiny him! There
21: will be nothing personal at all in all my five articles than I can
22: possibly help. I hate personalities. Tell him I'm going to send him a
23: little allegory I made last cession about the Cape Ministry, & how
24: they all got to Heaven at last! But it's for private circulation only.
Good bye. Write to me.
My sister Ettie is so happy in her early married life. She says it is
30: so much more beautiful, & restful & peaceful than even her highest
31: dream. That seems to me the highest ideal of perfect love, that it
32: should be rest & peace.
^P.S. Mr Fort has been very ill in Mashona-land, but is better, full of
37: hope & spirits. Says nothing would induce him to leave. Sees a great
38: future for the country.^
The five articles' Schreiner refers to are her 'Returned South African' essays, initially published pseudonymously. A set of these was to have been published as 'Stray Thoughts on South Africa'. However, although prepared for publication, a dispute with a US publisher and the events of the South African War prevented this. They and some other essays were posthumously published as Thoughts on South Africa
. The 'little allegory about the Cape Ministry' was eventually published as 'The Salvation of a Ministry' in: Olive Schreiner (2005) Words In Season
Johannesburg: Penguin Books. Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.