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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner: Extracts of Letters to Cronwright-Schreiner MSC 26/2.16/522
ArchiveNational Library of South Africa, Special Collections, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeExtract
Letter Date26 January 1919
Address Fromna
Address To
Who ToS.C. (‘Cron’) Cronwright-Schreiner
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 361
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
The Extracts of Letters to Cronwright-Schreiner were produced by Cronwright-Schreiner in preparing The Life and The Letters of Olive Schreiner. They appear on slips of paper in his writing, taken from letters that were then destroyed; many of these extracts have also been edited by him. They are artefacts of his editorial practices and their relationship to original Schreiner letters cannot now be gauged. They should be read with considerable caution for the reasons given. Cronwright-Schreiner has written the date onto this extract. There are some differences between this transcription and the version that appears in The Letters....
1 …When I sit here alone in the dark day after day, I know more & more
2& more certainly that nothing matters much in life but love and a
3great pity for all our fellows. We in this world full of agony & torture
4& wrong have to bring into being the only God we shall ever know, by
5love and pity. It is so terrible to be human creatures, the universe
6is so awful, we must make it beautiful. It’s ten days since I’ve
7spoken to any one except the girl who brings up my coals & water; &
8now I can’t ride of the tops of omnibuses any more, my life is so
9walled in. One comes so dead face to face with the deep facts of