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Letter ReferenceKarl Pearson 840/4/2/20-25
ArchiveUniversity College London Library, Special Collections, UCL, London
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateTuesday 17 February 1886
Address FromBournemouth, Dorset
Address To
Who ToKarl Pearson
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
The Project is grateful to University College London (UCL) and its Library Services for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Special Collections. The date of this letter has been written on in an unknown hand. Schreiner was resident at two addresses in Bournemouth from mid February to mid March 1886. The name of the addressee is indicated by content.
1 Tuesday night
3 I have had three very terrible dreams in my life that have printed
4themselves upon me as a part of my life. I had the fourth last night.
5They’re quite different from other dreams, like visions, you almost
6fancy they’re real. I thought I had a little red haired servant boy.
7I was looking at him, & suddenly something flashed upon me, & I asked
8him if he had killed you. He denied it at first & then he said yes he
9had drowned you in a large dark pond of water. The horror of the dream
10was the walking round & round this pond & thinking that you were down
11in the middle of it. It doesn’t seem horrible when you tell it but
12it was most awful unreadable ^to dream.^ When I half woke with that kind
13of horror, the funny thing was that I thought, "Ach it isn’t true,
14he isn’t dead, he’s only curled up" & I went to sleep again. It
15all looked so ridiculous when I woke this morning, but I’ve not been
16able to shake you out of my mind for a minute. I was going to write to
17you this evening: No, Karl, you will not get hard & bitter, your
18nature will broaden out into greater richness.
20 When a human being who has been part of us, who has helped that which
21is our true self to grow, dies, then we have this great thing left
22that they live as it were in us still. However dead one part of them
23may be, that part of them which is in us, their influence, is still
24living, & we can determine to make it live more & work more, so that
25part of them at least shall be living & growing. Many people
26wouldn’t understand, but you will. I have always felt that about the
27only man who ever helped my life & who killed himself. We can work out
28& further as it were their incompleted lives. I have had a thought
29this evening that perhaps it would be good for you to come down here
30for a couple of days & walk about in the pine woods, & you need not
31^come to^ see me, or I could walk with you sometimes if you liked. But
32perhaps it is best you should be among as much work & change as
33possible. Sometimes one wants quiet, & sometimes one doesn’t. There
34is something strangely peaceful & strengthening in getting away alone
35into the pine woods. If you feel inclined to write to me before next
36Saturday this will be my address. After that, Somerset House,
37Christchurch Rd.
39 Always yours
40 Olive Schreiner