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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner: Mary Sauer MSC 26/2.11.82
ArchiveNational Library of South Africa, Special Collections, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSunday January 1895
Address FromThe Homestead, Kimberley, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToMary Sauer nee Cloete
Other VersionsRive 1987: 245-6
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. Content indicates that this letter was written in January 1895. Schreiner was resident in Kimberley from early August 1894 to November 1898.
1 Sunday morning
3 Darling Mary
5 Thermom. 106 in the shades, one's nearly melted & can't write,
6especially when one isn't so light as one used to be! I seem to be
7radiating heat all round. I wonder if everyone feels so when they are
8pregnant! I got a wire from you, darling, on Wednesday. You must have
9thought it was my birthday which was ^will be^ the 24th of March. Thanks
10for the sweet thought of me. ?Tuesday^?Thursday^ was Cron's birthday so
11I told it him it would do for him. Or were you thinking of my wedding
12day which is the 24th of next month?
14 I am very worried about something which I must write to you about
15though I would rather never say anything about unpleasant things. Its
16about doctor Watkins. I had arranged to have Dr Ashe long ago (if
17Alice Corthorn didn't come out to attend me as, she may yet: she is
18now a full fledged London M.B.) but I took a nurse whom Dr Watkins
19recommended. When I'd taken her it turned out that Dr Ashe would not
20work with her, & I've been obliged to pay her the £10 to be ride of.
21Dr Watkins is now in a great rage, & wrote a most insulting letter to
22Cron!, who has had nothing whatever to do with the matter. I wrote a
23long letter to Watkins last night but as things stand I think it would
24be painful if you went there.
26 Between you & me in strict confidence, Dr Ashe says the nurse Dr
27Watkins recommended drinks terribly & of course I could not have her,
28& Ashe said he would not take my case if I had her. This is all
29private. The least said the soonest mended. I only mention this to you
30because of what I wrote last week about Mrs Watkins having asked you.
31I have another nurse, a young girl who I know does not drink. This has
32all tired me so much mentally & physically. I wish I were a Kaffir
33woman & could go away & have my little baby in the velt by myself, &
34come back with it tied to my back. I should have thought living as
35Cron & I do here quite alone by ourselves & never going out or seeing
36any one, we might have kept out of Kimberley littleness & quarrels -
37but it seems not.
39 Are your little ones growing well
41 ^I wish I could see them.
43 Olive^
45 ^I like Dr Watkins very much. I can't understand what made him write
46such a letter to Cron about the nurse, when poor Cron has never seen
47her or had anything to do with it. Its a funny world. Cron's been very
48sweet about it. He simply returned Watkin's letter & said nothing.
50 Olive^
Rive's (1987) version of this letter omits part of it and is also in a number of respects incorrect.