"Emily Hobhouse, Vrouemonument, funny story" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box1/Fold1/1892/8
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSunday 24 July 1892
Address FromMatjesfontein, Western Cape
Address To
Who ToJessie Rose Innes nee Dods Pringle
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 date and the name of the addressee have been written on this letter in an unknown hand. Schreiner was mainly resident in Matjesfontein between December 1889 and December 1892, with some fairly lengthy visits elsewhere, including Cape Town.
1 Sunday night
2
3 The jelly came this morning, as fresh & beautiful as if it had been
4turned out only two minutes. It was so nice it came today because just
5today I was in bed & not able to eat much, & I’ve had it all day at
6my bedside with a spoon, enjoying it. I don’t think it’s fancy. It
7is nicer because it comes from your house than if it came from any
8where else. I felt better till today. I don’t know what’s the
9matter with me. I think it’s general "played-out-ness" I’ve never
10felt quite strong since Xmas, & I haven’t the excuse of growing too
11fast, like poor little D.
12
13 No, it was so good of you to write to my brother. He was so sweet when
14he came, & I shouldn’t have seen him otherwise. I never let him know
15when I’m not fit, because his work is quite a heavy enough burden on
16him without any other worries. Send back ^or bring^ the little story, &
17I’ll send you one of the corrected copies which the printer will I
18expect send me tomorrow & which you can keep.
19
20 Don’t say anything to any one of what I said to you that Sunday
21night. I was weak & tired or I would not have said anything. One
22should never discuss one’s fellows except to themselves. And often
23if people say little things that pain one it is really because their
24natures are too beautiful & childlike to realize all the ins & outs of
25another nature. It is so much better never to say anything about any
26thing personal.
27
28 I’ve had a lovely day what with the jelly & Dicky & a fire, & a
29delightful book on India.
30
31 Yours always
32 Olive
33
34 It’s rained ever since I came back night & day, so I think we must
35be going to have a spell of dry weather, after it all. How good you
36were to think of the jelly. Yes, I’ve always loved Martha & hated
37Mary. It was so hard on her! If she hadn’t worked Mary would have
38had to. That’s what’s so beautiful about loving children, you can
39always do something for them, but with grown up people you are often
40so powerless.
41
42
43
Notation
The 'little story' is likely to be: "Was It Right? ? Was It Wrong?" New Review Vol 7, No 41, October 1892, pp.397-403, and also appears in Dream Life and Real Life as "The Policy In Favour of Protection".