"Will Schreiner's death, first time in 50 years not writing to him on his birthday" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box4/Fold1/1908/73
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date30 December 1908
Address FromHotel Milner, Matjesfontein, Western Cape
Address To
Who ToWilliam Philip ('Will') Schreiner
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
The Project is grateful to Manuscripts and Archives, University of Cape Town, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Manuscripts and Archives Collections. This letter is on printed headed notepaper.
1 Hotel Milner
2 Matjesfontein
3 Cape Colony
4 Dec 30 / 08
5
6 Dear Laddie
7
8 All good wishes for good work in the New Year. I suppose you will find
9this when you return to Greytown & are over head & ears in work again
10but I hope a little better for your holiday. I’ve written several
11times to Fan to ask for your address, but as I haven’t got any
12answer I suppose she & Ursula are away somewhere.
13
14 I had a very very nice, most touching letter from old Sir Bryant Berry
15this morning. It was quite cheering. Have you had a copy of my paper?
16I sent one to East London for you as the papers said you were going
17there, & one to Grey Town. I am here all alone in my glory; the old
18gentleman & lady who have been the only other inmates of the hotel
19leave tonight. I think what I need almost more than cool air is a
20little friendly intercourse. My heart is so bad. I would have gone
21down to Cape Town but I don’t care to do so while the Convention is
22sitting. I know, as perhaps you don’t, what a farce all this
23buttering down of each other is. Men don’t flatter each other so
24unless they want to get something out of each other!
25
26 I’ve got rather a curious long letter from a Coloured man in Cape
27Town a builder & contractor. He’s very thankful for my paper, but
28doesn’t think I’m half down enough on those wretched Asiatics (who
29take all his work!!!) & he doesn’t seem to love the Bantus. It’s
30strange how very fond we all are of freedom for ourselves, & how
31little we desire it for other people. What I am anxious to know is
32just where Malan & Sauer & Merriman are! If they will stand then
33there’s a chance but I can’t think they will. When the convention
34is over I shall go down & have a talk with Malan.
35
36 Good bye dear Laddie.
37 Alles ten besten
38 Olive
39
40
41
42
Notation
The 'paper' Schreiner refers to is her essay 'Views on closer union', a lengthy article published in the Transvaal Leader on 21 December 1908 and the Cape Times on 22 December 1908 (p.9); it appeared as a short book in 1909.