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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box11/Fold2/Undated/76
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateTuesday 1918
Address From9 Porchester Place, Edgware Road, Westminster, London
Address To
Who ToBetty Molteno
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 year has been written on this letter in an unknown hand.
1 9 Porchester Place
2 Edgware Rd
3 Tuesday
4
5 My Betty
6
7 I am very anxious about both you & Alice. You said perhaps you would
8both come in on Friday evening. I wasn’t a bit anxious when you
9didn’t come but on Saturday Hubert told me there had been a
10telephone from you to say that Alice had not come!! & that if you were
11not here on Saturday evening you would not be here till Monday evening.
12 He ought of course to have called me down. He didn’t seem very
13clear as to the telephone. But I felt sure if Alice had not come to
14Town at all that she was ill, & that your telephone meant that you
15might be going up to Harsten or Berkhampstead to see her till Monday
16night I hoped surely if so there would be a card from you on Monday,
17but when Monday night came & there was none I & you did not come I
18would have started off to Tavistock Sq at once; but I was not well
19enough. I could not even stay at Wills on Sunday I was only there for
20an hour & came back.
21
22 I telephoned to Palace Court this afternoon to know if Margaret could
23give me any news of you, but the servant explained that Margaret was
24gone to Parklands. So I’ve sent a note to Alice to know if she is
25all right. I can’t come to Tavistock tomorrow morning as I have to
26have a massage but if I’m at all able I'll come in the afternoon to
27see if I can find you
28
29 My darling Betty, I would enclose the £8 you left, but I’m afraid
30of their being lost at Tavistock Square, as in a big house like that
31one never knows who takes letters in where there are so many people.
32
33 You really must to not pay any more here nor keep on your room as you
34feel now you can make no use of it you must take the money to get a
35nice cosy bedroom & sitting room with attendance, where you can be
36really warm & comfortable & I’ll come & have tea with you as often
37as I’m able
38
39 You see Betty when you proposed to pay the £3.10 a month towards this
40room when we first came here I thought you would really make use of it.
41 That even if you were out all day attending the meetings & things you
42like, that when you came home in the evening you would have a nice
43rest by the fire, & you seemed to like your little upstairs room &
44being here. Now you do not feel you like it, & you must spend all the
45money you have (which is little enough my generous darling) on making
46yourself comfortable. Terrible & dark times are coming upon us we
47cannot say what will transpire here or in South Africa in even the
48next six, even the next four months.
49
50 I shall stay on here till the time comes, which may be in a few
51months) when the feeling against Germans is not so strong – not at
52all for the comfort of these rooms, but because I should simply be
53turned out elsewhere as I have been before. so often. I must stay here
54unless Mrs Smith gives me notice.
55
56 You don’t know how much I love you, & how in many ways you seem to
57me one of the most lovely & generous natures I have ever met, I rank
58you with Con Lytton & my Adela, in a beautiful out goingness of spirit.
59
60 I may be quite wrong, but I don’t believe with you, that this war is
61going to produce a glorious new world of freedom & human justice. I
62believe it has sent sent Humanity back 300 year in the march towards
63light for the next 50 years, I believe, there will be be bloodshed & a
64merciless effort on the part of the powerful to crush the weak, & a l
65desolation such as earth has not seen since that awful time in the
66break up of the diseased Roman Empire. In Europe, in Asia, in Africa,
67in America we have not seen the beginning of the terrible things that
68are to be. To me it to me, it seems a time when with firm set jaw a
69quiet determination one has to face what is to be. I believe Humanity
70will recover the ground it has lost, & after three or four thousand
71years a world in which justice & freedom rule will exist. I may be
72mistaken but I believe this firmly. Believing it I cannot pretend to
73believe anything else. I opposed this war because of the evil I
74foresaw it would produce for generations to come.
75
76 One must face the future of humanity as bravely & calmly as one must
77strive to face ones own shortly coming death, & not to fear There will
78always be rare brave souls like Socrates, & Liebknecht & Jesus & Kier
79Hardy
& ?Jouries who will be killed or die of broken hearts, but
80others will rise to take their place, but it will take thousands of
81years for the bulk of humanity to develop.
82
83 Good bye my darling Betty. I don’t want you to hold my views, hold
84your own each soul ^must make its own path.
85
86 Olive^
87
88^9 Porchester Place ^
89 Edgware Rd
90
91
92