"Religion, unity of all things, words very poor things" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceLetters/38
Archive
Epistolary Type
Letter Date10 January 1885
Address From4 Robertson Terrace, Hastings, East Sussex
Address To
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 55-6
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 Havelock Ellis.
24, Robertson Terrace, 10th Jan.
3
4Last night I couldn't lie and rest. In my half-asleep state I prayed
5and I cried. I wanted someone I didn't see to put its arms around me
6and comfort me and help me to bear. It's interesting as showing how in
7states of great weakness our childish habits and thoughts come up as
8the higher nature sinks lower. It shows of how little worth those
9deathbed sayings are. I hope I shall die with my head clear. ...
10Afterwards I got up and put a cold compress on my chest. The relief
11was immediate and immense. Do you know, long ago, when I broke that
12blood vessel it was the thing that saved me. I wore one for three
13months because as soon as I took it off the expectoration and pain
14came back. Dr. Fergus showed me how to make it. He was a young doctor,
15something like you. … Send me Marcus Aurelius if you have him.
16