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|Letter Reference||Mary Gladstone (Mrs Drew) Add. 46244, ff.185-186
|Archive||British Library, Department of Manuscripts, London
|Letter Date||5 December 1913
|Address From||Villa Flandre, Newlands, Cape Town
|Who To||Mary Drew nee Gladstone (m. 1886)
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 Drew nee Gladstone (m. 1886), 5 December 1913, British Library Manuscripts, Olive Schreiner Letters Project transcription’. Please also supply letter line numbers for specific quotations.
The Project is grateful to the British Library for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Special Collections.
Dec 5th 1913
Dear Mrs Drew
It was indeed a surprise & pleasure to me to get your letter. I had no
8: idea you were in Africa. It would have been nice if you had been down
9: here for the two weeks I have been here - I sail tomorrow for Europe.
10: I can indeed sympathize with your joy in the little grandson. One of
11: the sad things about having no children is that one has no
12: grandchildren. My great comfort is that my brother Will's children are
13: to me exactly like my own. My niece Lyndall, his eldest daughter, is
14: the very apple of my eye. I wonder if when you are in Cape Town if you
15: are here for some time, you would let her call & see you. I know it
16: would be joy to her to know you, & I think you would find her sweet.
17: She is busy with her law studies or she would be able to go with me to
18: Europe. It will be a pleasure to which I shall look forward to see you
19: when I return to England in the spring.
Now I shall only stay there three days, & my nephew Oliver who is
22: studying at Cambridge will take me on to Italy, but I shall return to
23: London in April to see all my beloved friends. I hope your daughters
24: health is quite strong now. Marriage & motherhood often give to a
25: woman such a new strength & vigor.
I fear a very sad & bad time is coming for our native races in South
28: Africa. Nothing will bring to the mass of European South Africans,
29: (Dutch or English) the evil of their native policy but some great &
30: terrible lesson. England can't help us. We must learn by our own
31: mistakes. It will be a great pleasure to talk many things over with
32: you when we meet in London. I hope you will have a good time in Africa.
Yours most sincerely
How lovely it would have been for me if you had happened to be going
38: home by the same steamer.