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Letter ReferenceSchreiner-Hemming Family BC 1080 A1.7/78
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date20 January 1904
Address FromHanover, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToHenrietta ('Ettie) Schreiner m. Stakesby Lewis (1891)
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
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 Hanover
2 Jan 20 / 04
4 My darling
6 I am feeling so anxious about you. You looked so unwell when I was in
7town. I am sure our Guy’s illness is telling on you even more than
8you yourself know, or something else is pressing very heavily on you.
9Your life is so complex, there must always be some great pressure
12 I send you my dear friend Miss Greene’s because I think it must
13comfort you to know how happy even looking at you makes some people
14who are of a kind to understand you. She & Miss Molteno have been a
15great comfort & help of heart to me. I don’t know how I should have
16got through the last years without them. One feels the love & presence
17of beautiful spirits even when they are far removed from you.
19 I am up today & really better my temperature was 101 & 102½ for five
20days. For twenty days I have been quite alone in this house with-out a
21servant or a human being. Only twice any one has come to ask how I was.
22 I think the mental loneliness has been the most terrible part. I have
23sometimes felt as if my mind was giving way.
25 What is doing me good is drinking tar water. It is worth remembering,
26dear, take two tablespoons of pure Norwegian tar, put it in jug pour
27four dea tea cups of water on it: drink a cupful when cold, & another
28twelve hours after, & continue to take half cups-ful two or three
29times a day till better. On the quite empty stomach it has most effect.
30 It has done me more good than all the other medicine.
32 The fever is still raging here a fine young man of 20 died yesterday
33one of the doctors is down & several of the leading people. There is a
34native funeral every day. It all seems like a nightmare. I so am glad
35I managed to do without the nurse. It would have been such a terrible
36expense & I am earning nothing. I some times feel my brain & nervous
37power are going, I shall never do anything again
39 Good bye my darling. I wish ah how I wish you could get away for rest
40& change
41 Your Olive
43 ^Love to all the dear ones.^
45 ^There are 16 adult ^^white^^ people now down with typhoid in this little
46village besides all the cases of diphtheria & other complaints, &
47every one is so stricken with panic that no one will go to help look
48after the others.^
Part of an undated Alice Greene letter is attached to this letter, which comments about Ettie, 'Who could look at your sister?s dear face & not feel happy? She much more than comes up to my expectations & hopes. I have hardly ever seen anything as large & kind & motherly & universal.' Schreiner has written on this, presumably to Ettie, that 'You can destroy when read.'.