"Act now against Rhodes or life-long regret" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceSmuts A1/191/58
ArchiveNational Archives Repository, Pretoria
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date30 December 1908
Address FromHotel Milner, Matjesfontein, Western Cape
Address To
Who ToJan Smuts
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
The Project is grateful to the National Archives Repository, Pretoria, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Special Collections. This letter is written on printed headed notepaper.
1 Hotel Milner
2 Matjesfontein
3 Cape Colony
4 Dec 30 / 08
6 Dear Neef Jan
8 Thank you for your letter. No, I don’t want to come to Cape Town
9while this Convention is sitting. The less I think of it the happier I am.
11 I wish I had a copy of a letter I wrote to Milner when he first came
12here, to send to you (only substituting your name for his). It
13wasn’t clever, it wasn’t perhaps interesting, but it held a truth,
14when I tried to prove to him that from the moment when he accepted a
15high position of rule to this country his right to act as a mere party
16man was gone. That not only to the Englishmen but to every Boer and
17every little Kaffir child to every old Hottentot walking in the veld,
18he owes a duty. Our duty stretches as far as our power of benefiting
19our fellow creatures goes
. It doesn’t end till that ends.
21 And from the man of wide powers, from him much is expected.
23 Good bye dear Nief Jan
24 Love to Isie & the little ones
25 Auntie Olive
The 'man of wide powers' quotation seems to combine well-known tags from different sources.