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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box4/Fold4/1911/12
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateTuesday 16 May 1911
Address FromDe Aar, Northern 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. The date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand.
1 de Aar
2 Tuesday
3
4 Dear Laddie
5
6 My one drawback in the pleasure of going with the other dear four, is
7that you won’t be there. If you were going it would be just perfect.
8We seem never destined to see much of eachother.
9
10 It’s my best time of year so I hope I’ll keep fit & trouble no one.
11 I am never so well anywhere as in a train except in a cart or on
12horse back. Can you tell whether the train arrives here on Saturday
13morning or evening.
14
15 I’m not doing any work so I may as well have a spree. The first big
16spree I’ve had for years & years & years.
17
18 It was just like your dear old heart to think of it.
19
20 I see my old friend Professor Rhys Davids is going to read a paper at
21the Races Congress. If you come across him hail him. He’s the
22greatest living authority on ?Pale language & literature of Ancient
23India; but a man with a deep sense of human & many sided human
24interest, & his wife is an even more remarkable & charming person than
25himself. It would be splendid to be there & meet all the folk.
26
27 I remember many years ago when I was under thirty saying to a great
28friend of mine the Hon. Rodin Noel, that my greatest need was for
29solitude & contact with beautiful un-tamed nature. He said, "Ah how
30young you are! When you are my age you will hunger only for human
31society & fellowship." He was about 50. His words come back to me so
32often now. It may be the effect of the complete solitude of the last
3315 years; but I have a craving for human intercourse that I couldn’t
34then have understood: perhaps because I then had so many human
35interests & friendships. It isn’t really the falls I want to see,
36but the dear people I shall travel with.
37
38 //I think you would feel pleased if you could know how glowingly all
39my women friends in Cape Town write of Dot. – Anna Purcell, Mrs
40Molteno
, Mrs Murray, Minnie de Villiers. They look upon her as the
41coming woman of South Africa. I get very sad letters from poor old
42Merriman. It’s sad when life goes against you as you’re growing
43old, & as he says "the journey must soon end now."
44
45 But what I never lose faith in is the ultimate beauty & harmony of
46human development. It may take thousands of years – what of that.
47All the failure of our own tiny personal lives are so small & matter
48so little in the light of the long history. If only one keeps on
49living & growing to the end, as you have done my old brother
50
51 Good bye
52 Olive
53
54
55