"Trying to help Will Schreiner politically; I want 'She wrote Peter Halket' on my grave; it's what it cost me" Read the full letter
Collection Summary | View All |  Arrange By:
< Prev |
Viewing Item
of 1895 | Next >
Letter ReferenceSchreiner-Hemming Family BC 1080 A1.7/79
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date22 June 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. The end of this letter is missing.
1 Hanover
2 June 22nd 1904
4 Darling Sister
6 Let me know exactly what your plans are. I will try & go with you any
7time if there is only the smallest chance of getting the dear old
8man’s body to rest by Mother. Anyhow, I shall like to feel I have
9done all I can I think we can go by train as far as Beaufort Cookhouse
10now. Inquire in Cape Town. If we can, that will make the expense much
11less than if we had to take a waggon from Cookhouse or Bedford. I feel
12I must go with you even if Wynnie & Robert are there. I think the old
13father would have liked it that I should be there; & I may get better
14& be able to do some writing again ^& so earn plenty of money^. I have a
15little Kaffir boy of about 9 that I brought from the unreadable
16Reformatory he is a great help to me cleaning the pots & lighting the
17fire in the mornings &c, & perhaps I shall now get time for a little
18work when once I have got the house really clean & right
20 No people who have not all their own work to do can realize how
21grateful one should be to servants, even the stupidest & worst, for
22what they they do. There is no case on record of any cook or housemaid
23or scullery maid doing any literary or intellectual work of any kind,
24& the woman who combines all these forms of labour even for a small
25household of two becomes only a labour machine & has no thought or
26?fif life beyond. It may be the most useful & best life a woman can
27lead, but to suppose it can be combined with any real mental or
28creative work of any kind is idiocy. Managing a large household with
29several servants is a distracting life, but its quite different from
30having to do everything yourself. All your brain goes into your hands.
32 Cron is away at Johannesburg He has be gone five days now but will
33like not be back till the end of next week. I am here unreadable
35//I think so often of that lovely time we had on the sea shore
36together. Oh the beautiful sea & the sea weeds. It’s strange how
37some things stop in your memory. I hope we shall go to Bedford
38together darling. It will be a lovely memory too: & if Robert & Wynnie
39are there it will be very nice. I wish dear little Effie could be with
40us too. Isn’t her boy getting pretty? You know I think he’s going
41to be a singularly pretty child when once he has curls.
43 You know I dare not still look at that other picture of mother. If I
44glance at it for half a second I have to put it away ^quickly^. The one
45picture is just a grand picture of death, so grand there is something
46quite impersonal about it. The other is just mother, asleep; but all
47the agony all the care all the crush cruckedness of life is there. It
48wrings my heart.
50 Good bye dear one. Let me know exactly when you are unreadable