"Hunted down by people, experience at hotel" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceSmuts A1/194/9/63
ArchiveNational Archives Repository, Pretoria
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date16 April 1911
Address FromDe Aar, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToJan Smuts
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
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.
1 de Aar
2 April 16th 1911
3
4 Dear Neef Jan
5
6 I note that you are a socialist – but I wonder of what kind? It must
7break your heart to see the attempts made by a little handful of
8oligarchic white men, who call themselves "working men" to keep down
9the millions of their labouring fellow citizens! Verily the Farrars &
10Philipses go into the Kingdom of Heaven before them. At least they do
11openly confess the doctrine of "Each man for himself, & the devil for
12us all." Don’t trouble to answer this – I know how awfully busy
13you are. I hope you feel physically fit.
14
15 I was at Lily Kloof the other day; it was at Lower Lily Kloof where
16you had the fight & the Englishman was killed – Allaman’s-fontein.
17Curious to think you were there in my old haunts.
18
19 Love to the wife.
20 Olive Schreiner
21
22 I don’t know if my book sells well; I hear so from people in England;
23 but have nothing to do with the sales. I sold it to the publishers.
24Its better to have sixty pounds sure & in the hand, than the promise
25of a thousand as a royalty; & then get nothing at all! as with some of
26my other books. I certainly can’t be one of the meek, for I don’t
27inherit the earth.
28
29 The recent bloody outcry on the part of some women here has at moments
30made me feel as if though at least the women of South Africa were not
31fit for the vote now – but when one comes to consider that there are
32white men capable of almost linching an innocent man in the streets of
33Jo’burg because his skin is black, one sees, as always there is
34nothing to choose between them. The longer one lives & studies human
35nature the more clear it becomes that neither intellectually nor
36morally is any difference between the sexes. The devil man has the
37devil woman to match him - & so on & on.
38
39 I gave my husband your message. I don’t understand this de Aar
40business. It doesn’t seem to me to matter one way or the other.
41
Notation
The book Schreiner refers to is her Woman and Labour.