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|Letter Reference||Olive Schreiner BC16/Box2/Fold3/1900/35
|Archive||University of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
|Letter Date||Saturday 20 June 1900
|Address From||Wagenaars Kraal, Three Sisters, Northern Cape
|Address To||Lyndall, Newlands, Cape Town, Western Cape
|Who To||William Philip ('Will') Schreiner
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 William Philip ('Will') Schreiner, 20 June 1900, UCT Manuscripts & Archives, Olive Schreiner Letters Project transcription’. Please also supply letter line numbers for specific quotations.
The Project is grateful to Manuscripts and Archives, University of Cape Town, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Manuscripts and Archives Collections. The date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. The address the letter was sent to is provided by an attached envelope, which has an illegible postmark. Schreiner stayed at Wagenaars Kraal from 21 February until late June 1900. Schreiner has written 'Personal' on the front of the envelope.
Dear old Brother
Enclosed is a note or part of the note I wrote you the other day.
I know that the progressives are mistaken who think you are going to
8: play in with the Rhodes party, & I don’t myself believe even dear
9: old Innes will go in with Sprig & Logan & that horde though he may
10: back them as a private member.
Will dear, take your little sister’s advice & abstain from voting at
13: all if your vote will strengthen the progressives. A man may sometimes
14: do as much for his party by simply abstaining from acting, as by
15: active labour.
I had most satisfactory letters from Merriman & Mrs Sauer re Rhodes &
18: Sievewright – but Hoffmeyr, Hoffmeyr is playing with Sievewright!
19: Whether he means to swallow the bate or is only toying with it, who
20: can say. It is a consolation to turn from the dirty paths of Cape
21: politics to the grand stand of my dear Transvaalers. Laddie, don’t
22: make a mistake now. Stand by the side which is for the moment the
^I leave for Beaufort West on Friday the 25th. Address c/o Mrs Kriel,
28: Boarding House.^
came to Johannesburg twice to "pick up things". The
31: last time she came she took four-thousand pounds from "Josephine Brink",
32: for introducing her at court. This is true. Englands arristocry is
33: rotten, Englands princes are rotten, & the rottenness is spreading
34: slowly but surely down wards. The working classes are still largely
35: sound but the disease is spreading down quickly. The hour looks very
36: dark for South Africa, & South African independence & freedom; but the
37: future is ours who have still a great healthy womanhood, loyal &
38: simple living. Our day will come.
You will say, "What is the use of demanding the indepence of the
41: republics, dwelling on the shame-ful wrong which was done the Cape
42: Colony, when after we had protested against the war, our colony was
43: shamelessly made use of to land troops on to attack sister states with
44: which we had no quarrel:- you may protest as you like you will not get
45: what you want." – Exactly so; today we will not get what we want.
46: But we will present our cheque indorsed by justice, at the Bank of
47: England. If that scoundrel Chamberlain who happens to be manager
48: to-day refuses to honour it as he will: then we simply pocket it &
49: keep it for presentation at a future date!! The day will come when it
50: will be honoured. We may have to keep it four years, five, ten,
51: fifteen – but we never abate our claim. It is sure, & we shall
52: present it again. And when we present it one day, it will be paid to
53: the very last farthing, with compound interest!
It is safe in our pockets. Laddie, don’t follow ?Solomon, he has an
56: evil wife who leads him on. She is looking for a big appointment for
57: her husband at Johannesburg. Seven months ago Mrs Chapin told me that
58: Milner said that if you would support him he would get the
59: Governor-ship of the Transvaal for you. Of course it was a bate but
60: bates are being held out to other people too; & they may not refuse
61: them as you would.
Good bye dear Laddie.
Your little sis
I hope you feel it a rest to be out of the ministry. I’m glad we are
69: out, we can fight much better as an opposition.
The enclosed note is no longer attached. The paragraph starting 'came to Johannesburg twice...' seems to belong to a different letter, and is probably the 'part of the note' referred to in Schreiner's first sentence.