"Extended family news, that little casket holds so much for you & me" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceSchreiner-Hemming Family BC 1080 A1.7/91
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date20 December 1906
Address FromHotel Milner, Matjesfontein, Western 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 is on printed headed notepaper with a photograph of the hotel.
1 Hotel Milner
2 Matjesfontein
3 Dec 20th 1906
4
5 My old Darling
6
7 How my thoughts are continually turning to you you don’t know. It is
8so heard to me that you should have this sorrow with your boys health.
9When people bring children into the world, one feels as if they have
10much sorrow over them, well, they had the pleasure of bringing them
11into the world, & brought them in deliberately, & they must run the
12risk with the pleasure. But when one takes those who are brought into
13the world by others & devotes all one’s youth & life to rearing them,
14 one does so want to see joy & rest come from them. Poor darling Guy,
15terrible as his ill health is for him it is for you I feel it so, my
16darling. One does so want you to have a little rest & joy now after
17your life of toil for others since you were a little child & used to
18help mother so in the house. All one can comfort oneself with is that
19so many hundreds have had rest & help & comfort from what you have
20done for them - & it is more blessed to give than receive. But it is
21also so beautiful to see a little fruit of ones labour – not to
22receive – but just to see those one has laboured for are well &
23happy. unreadable You have done so much for us all my darling, & we
24seem able to do so little for you.
25
26 Good bye dear one, your little sister
27 Olive
28
29 ^I am wonderfully better; but its only while I don’t do anything. As
30soon as I exert myself it all comes back.^
31
32^You know I have such a terrible fear that some day our dear boy’s
33mind may give way altogether. He is living in a very deep mist of
34depression; which because it is physical he cannot be helped out of.
35How is Elberty. I cannot help feeling darling that if you gave up any
36idea of Elberty studying & going in for the unreadable, & got him some
37simple stead physical work it would be better for him. ^
38
39 Olive
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