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Letter ReferenceJohn X. Merriman MSC 15/1905:76
ArchiveNational Library of South Africa, Special Collections, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date15 May 1905
Address FromEastbergholt, Tamboer?s Kloof Road, Gardens, Cape Town, Western Cape
Address To
Who ToJohn X. Merriman
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
The Project is grateful to the National Library of South Africa (NLSA), Cape Town, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Special Collections.
1 Eastbergholt
2 Tambour's Kloof Rd
3 May 15th / 05
6 Dear Mr Merriman
8 No, it was not Mrs Van Heerden I inquired about but ?our Hanover people,
9 the relations of the three perfectly innocent men who were shot at de
10Aar: taken from the fields where they were working for the military,
11imprisoned & shot, though they had not only not joined the unreadable
12Boers, but we who knew them in the village knew they were men who
13never would have joined, who would rather of the two have joined the
14English. It therefore rather hard upon us to have to support these
15people year after year, when so many relations of people who fought &
16died for the Republics are in want.
18 I only wanted to know if you had heard at all or had any idea what the
19military are going to do. It will be rather hard if this country has
20ultimately to grant a pardon to to Englands loyal subjects whom she
21shot. If there is no hope of the military paying, I shall write an
22article to the American or English papers about it & so get them the
23help they must have. But it takes a great deal out of me & I would
24rather not do so if I can help it.
26 //I was sorry indeed to see you not looking at all well the other
27night in the house. Our political world would be poor indeed if it
28lost you, the one representative of the widest culture & of broad
29impersonal interests whom it possesses.
31 For myself personally, I always remember with a curious depth of
32feeling the letter you wrote me when your first read "Peter Halket."
33It was the one word of sympathy I ever got from any South African
34about the book, & it had a greater value for me than any sympathy that
35has ever been expressed for anything I wrote. I hope I shall yet live
36to see you Prime Minister of this country; but I shall not be sorry if
37Jameson stays in two years longer. He, & Milner & co, have carried on
38a fine pro-cess of education in this country, & have opened eyes which
39we could never have opened.
41 Don't trouble to reply about the executed men now; wait till
42parliament is over & you have more time, that will be just as well.
44 Yours very sincerely
45 Olive Schreiner
47 ^I am so glad that my husbands affection & sympathy for you has been
48growing ever since he was in the house. The nearer you come to good
49man the better he seems^
51 ^I have just been reading a most interesting book Rhodes History of the
52United States from 1850 to 1860, nothing profound but interesting &
53very clear.^
The book referred to is: James Ford Rhodes (1893) A History of the United States From the Compromise of 1850 New York: Harper.