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|Letter Reference||Edward Carpenter 359/68
|Archive||Sheffield Archives, Archives & Local Studies, Sheffield
|Letter Date||1 January 1894
|Address From||Middelburg, Eastern Cape
|Who To||Edward Carpenter
|Other Versions||Rive 1987: 229-30
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 Edward Carpenter, 1 January 1894, Sheffield Libraries, Archives & Information, Olive Schreiner Letters Project transcription’. Please also supply letter line numbers for specific quotations.
The Project is grateful to the Sheffield Archives, Sheffield Libraries, Archives and Information Services, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Archive Collections. This letter has been dated as 1894 from content.
New Years Day
A good new year to you all at Millthorpe. I was so glad to get your
5: note E.C.
Tell Harry he must hope on, his pony will come some day. My horse
8: hasn’t come yet because I’m not well enough to ride yet; but I
9: make no doubt it will some day. I hope old Bob is well & flourishing
10: in his new life. Give me news of him. I’ve had a very happy New Year.
11: I’ve had Cronwright & Mrs Carter up here together to spend a couple
12: of days days with me. He left by this morning’s train but I’ve
13: just been to the station to see her off now. It’s been very
14: beautiful to have them. Cron loves you & your work so much. He sends
15: you New Year greetings. He says if he were asked what he would like
16: best it would be to have you on his farm for six months.
I don’t know if we shall ever be married: it may come some far off
19: day, but it won’t be now, & likely not ever. The attitude in which
20: marriage seems so beautiful & possible is somehow one which seems ^to
21: narrow^ one a little: & when one has killed out the narrowness in one,
22: - well then - that which made absolute union with one beloved soul so
23: absolutely necessary is almost gone!! Canst thou understand? But
24: I’ve had one of the happiest I ever had in my life the last few days.
The sandals are very lovely. People here say "Are they fashionable in
27: England? Does everybody wear them?" - & they wait for my answer before
28: they commit themselves to an opinion on them!
Dear EC. will you do some business for me. Those nice women I had the
31: cottage from say when they sent the last cheque to the London Bank I
32: had already withdrawn my money. Will you pay the rent. I think it’s
33: unreadable 25/- but they’ll tell you, all right whatever it came to,
34: & will you dear old man, I know how horrid business is! send whatever
35: is over in an envelope to Alice Corthorn. I’ve told her it’s
36: coming. I would not trouble you, but the landlady’s letter came
37: while I was so ill in bed, & I can’t remember the amount nor her
Edward, if ever I do marry Cron on our desolate farm, there will be a
41: little bedroom for you & two pairs of arms open to receive you. Cron
42: took away my picture of you, & when I went to his house the other day
43: I found it on his bedroom mantelpiece. Good bye dear. Next week I am
44: starting for Kimberley to see the doctors there. They hold out great
45: hope of my getting quite well again some-day soon, & so I let them do
46: what they can, ^but for me if I am not to get well, I think I would
47: rather rest now: but one hasn’t the chance!^ Write a little line to
48: Cron, if the spirit moves you: it will be very welcome to him on his
49: solitary farm among the Karroo bushes. His address is
Your little sister sends love to all.
58: ^Drop me a card to let me know whether you get the £5 note all right.
59: Alice Corthorn’s address was
2 New Heath
but you will know if she has left.
Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter.