"Going with me to England, think it all over carefully" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceLetters/12
Archive
Epistolary Type
Letter Date27 December 1878
Address FromRatel Hoek, Halesowen, Eastern Cape
Address To
Who ToErilda Cawood nee Buckley
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 5-6
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
When Cronwright-Schreiner prepared The Letters of Olive Schreiner, with few exceptions he then destroyed her originals. However, some people gave him copies and kept the originals or demanded the return of these; and when actual Schreiner letters can be compared with his versions, his have omissions, distortions and bowdlerisations. Where Schreiner originals have survived, these will be found in the relevant collections across the OSLO website. There is however a residue of some 587 items in The Letters for which no originals are extant. They are included here for sake of completeness. However, their relationship to Schreiners actual letters cannot now be gauged, and so they should be read with caution for the reasons given.
1To Mrs. Cawood.
2Ratel Hoek, 27th Dec.
3
4I am going to leave this in May, and if I haven't got a situation by
5that time perhaps I might come and spend a few weeks with you. But I'm
6trying very hard to get one. I am almost sorry now that I gave notice
7but I have a feeling (it max be foolish but I can't help having it)
8that I'll never get well while I stay here and that I would soon be
9strong if I went to another place. I really don't see why I shouldn't
10get quite strong, but something always seems to keep me back here.
11It'll be very hard to leave this place, my dear old room and the folks;
12 they've always been so kind to me. In all these three years I've not
13had an unkind word or look from anyone, I feel I won't be so well
14liked anywhere else. Do you know I get so tired some-times I wish it
15were all over and yet at others there is such a clinging to life. I
16wish when I was two hours old the nurse had tied a garter round my
17neck, then I would never have known the pain of living, never have
18known the pain of dying. .... I saw Annie Fouche in Cradock. She is
19wonderfully improved. She is quite a lady! Her manners are so refined
20and gentle I hardly knew her. I think a teacher's feeling is something
21like a parent's; you can't help seeing things as better than they are,
22so perhaps she is really not so very nice.
23