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Letter ReferenceSchreiner-Hemming Family BC 1080 A1.7/126
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date After Start: April 1912 ; Before End: June 1912
Address FromDe Aar, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToHenrietta ('Ettie') Schreiner m. Stakesby Lewis (1891)
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 has been dated by reference to content around the final illness of Ettie Stakesby Lewis. Schreiner was resident in De Aar from November 1907 until she left South Africa for Britain and Europe in December 1913, but with some fairly lengthy visits elsewhere over this time.
1 My old Ettie
2
3 I’m thinking of you all the time, beloved. Do try to get strong: you
4are in a state of the most extreme muscular & nervous weakness.
5Darling I know what that is, & the heart & circulation weaken weaken &
6weaken till death may come at any moment.
7
8 Remember my darling what you have lived though & gone through in the
9last years, & try to build yourself up. Try to take a little
10nourishment & ^but^ often; always in a condensed form. I send a little
11^receipt for^ soup, I find so good for those who are very weak. I long
12so to give you strength my darling. & how can we do it. Its so
13terrible that you who have done so much for other human beings all
14your life should have so little ^done for you^ now. If only every one
15whom you have helped in your life gave you 1/- (one shilling) you
16would be quite rich!
17
18 My sweet heart I’m not sending you that book as Wynnie & Alice
19seemed to think it would be too much for you now. I will try & get you
20Illumination which is a peaceful but deep study of human nature. I
21think perhaps I put more in Elizabeth Robins story than is in it
22perhaps in my way of telling, because I felt it so much.
23
24 My sweet one, if only if only I could help you. Try to get stronger in
25body.
26
27 ^Your little sister.^
28
29
30
Notation
The recipe for soup is no longer attached. A book called Illumination cannot be traced. The other book referred to is: Elizabeth Robins (1907) The Convert London: Methuen & Co.