"Dream for federation of South Africa, one day we shall need love & devotion of black & coloured man" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceHRC/CAT/OS/1a-xv
ArchiveHarry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateFriday 30 May 1884
Address From32 Fitzroy Street, Camden, London
Address To24 Thornsett Road, South Penge Park, London
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 21; Draznin 1992: 62
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
The Project is grateful to the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, the University of Texas at Austin, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Manuscript Collections. This letter has been dated by reference to an associated envelope and its postmark, which also provides the address it was sent to. Schreiner was resident in Fitzroy Street in late May and June 1884.
3I think when Mrs. Hinton say that we can “cure license not by
4restriction but by greater freedom” she is giving expression to one of
5Hinton’s quite truest ideas. The very fact of freedom takes away from
6the morbid desire which restriction has created.
8I only say what I do about Hinton because I see you take the other
9side. It’s my nature to be “kopach” (that’s a Cape Dutch word which
10means that when you turn a horse’s head to one side of the road its
11bound to go & see what’s on the other) I don’t think it’s quite a bad
12quality, at least it always makes one stick up for the absent. I love
13Hinton & I feel sympathy with him, when he’s most wrong I feel it most.
14 But why must I say I love him when you love him?
16What you say about jealousy is exactly what I feel. When we rise to
17the last, highest, white-heat of love all selfishness dies away. “And
18if I love thee, what is that to thee?” &, what do I ask of thee?
20I am going to find the quiet part of the park now. It’s so nice. One
21day when you have time come & I’ll show it you, please.
23It’s just because I know & feel you are so unlike Hinton in many ways
24that I don’t want your your you to be drawn out of your own I natural
25line of growth by him. Can you understand what I ?fee mean?
27I like Witman very much & I like those little essays.
31Won If I am not able to go to Herbert Spencer on Sunday & send you a
32post card on Sat evening, will you be able to call for me on Sunday
33afternoon to go to the Progressive? Don’t if it will be troubling you
34at all.
‘And if I love thee, what is that to thee?’ is a Goethe quotation. Draznin’s (1992) version is in some respects different from our transcription. Cronwright-Schreiner’s (1924) extract includes material from a different letter and is also incorrect in other ways.