"'From Man To Man', can she dedicate to Pearson" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceLetters/567
Archive
Epistolary Type
Letter Date18 June 1915
Address FromLondon
Address To
Who ToAdela Villiers Smith nee Villiers
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 352
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. Francis Smith.
2London, 18th June.
3
4... It's the thought of all these beautiful young lives cut down
5before they have even tasted of the cup of life that wrings my heart
6so. I have never met a human creature who hates war as I hate it; why
7I should have been destined, from my earliest years always to live
8where people are killing each other, I don't know. I can only fix my
9eyes on that far off time over thousands of years, when humanity will
10realise that all men are brothers; that it is finer to bring one noble
11human being into the world and rear it well for the broadest human
12ends, than to kill ten thousand. It's because men like Paul Methuen
13and my nephew Oliver do and might mean so much to the world that I
14feel the risk of losing them so much, and I can't bear to think
15they're killing anyone.
16