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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box4/Fold2/1909/24
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date7 May 1909
Address FromDe Aar, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToWilliam Philip ('Will') Schreiner
Other Versions
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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.
1 de Aar
2 May 7th 1909
3
4 Dear Laddie
5
6 If it’s cigarettes, then it’s coming that I am!! But don’t smoke
7them all up before I come!
8
9 //I can’t make out the name of the people you say Dot’s been
10staying with: it looks like "Garies." I suppose they are friends of
11her’s of whom I have not heard. I long to have her out again,
12selfishly; & yet I regret every day that passes away from her now, for
13she is having the happiest time of her life.
14
15 As to the great question dear. Would it not be possible for you just
16slightly to indicate to me what the different lines of action are
17which suggest themselves to you as possible; & from among which you
18have to choose? Then one would know along what lines to think of the
19matter.
20
21 The great practical difficulties which I feel are, two; - one, the
22fear, in the end, of making the future of the native worse here by
23rousing more hate if one appeals to England. (Which will probably
24^certainly^ be of no use though that is the absolutely
Ultimately his
25fate is in the hands of the little, white, male, electorate of South
26Africa & if we safe guard his vote now in the Colony; all they will
27have to do is to get up (as can be done at any moment) a war scare,
28attack the colonial natives in Tembuland, &c, & take the vote from all
29natives ^in the Cape Colony^ because they have rebelled ^it will be said^.
30The other great practical difficulty is that one dare not speak the
31full fact about the future for fear of rousing the nation to despair.
32One of the members of the Free State Government said openly to a
33friend of mine ^the other day^ that within three years the war with
34Basutoland would come; that it would be ^always^ easy to make an excuse
35& raise the war as soon as they were ready. This kind of thing one can
36barely write about except in private letters because speaking of it
37may bring it nearer! & yet how is one to act or write with force
38unless one does speak of this "great, open-secret"? If you could throw
39a little light on your lines of thought & possible action I would not
40even show the letter to Cron, unless you gave me your consent & would
41give it unreadable my deepest thought. Good night dear. Cron is going
42to see his constituents at Prince Albert on the 12th & will be gone
43some days. I wish he were standing for a native or working man
44constituency.
45
46 Love to the dear folk at Lyndall
47 Olive
48
49