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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box1/Fold5/1898/27
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date22 September 1898
Address FromThe Homestead, Kimberley, Northern Cape
Address ToGirls Collegiate School, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape
Who ToBetty Molteno
Other VersionsRive 1987: 336
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 name of the addressee and the address this letter was sent to are provided by an attached envelope. The name of the addressee is also indicated by salutation and content.
1 The Homestead
2 Sep 22nd 1898
3
4 Dear Friend
5
6 No, you must not come up to Kimberley unless I am better. It only
7depresses one & takes away ones power of work, instead of being a
8holiday ^to see one ill, one cares for.^ I may be better next week. I
9will write & tell you. If I am it will be splendid if you can come.
10But the last three nights, I’ve been up all night so am no company
11in the day. After school keeping one wants to take one’s holiday
12where everything is bright & stimulating. The weather here is glorious
13just now; there is no reason why ones heart shouldn’t be singing in
14health all the time as far as that goes. There’s ^at this moment^ no
15place here where you could get rooms, but driving seems the only thing
16that suits me so I will ^could^ come in with our new little trap every
17day & fetch you & Miss Greene could drive ^ride^ out on her bike. Its a
18very good road. But I only want you to come if I get better.
19
20 I am making inquiries about that sanatorium Lemoenfontein close to
21Beaufort West. If things are satisfactory & I don’t get fit enough
22to work here I will go & stay there for the time Cron is in Cape Town.
23It’s nicely situated being quite out of the town on a spine of the
24mountain & yet within an hours three-quarter's of an hours drive from
25the ^town &^ station so one feels one could always get away if one had
26to, or ones friends could come to one. It would be very nice if I got
27well there & you & Miss Greene came. It must be ^be over one^ hundreds of
28feet higher than Beaufort West. It I am used to be very nicely kept by
29some relatives of General Camerons, but they are dead. Yesterday Cron
30saw Willy Pickering the manager of de Beers here, who is married to
31Cron’s cousin; he says also that if Rhodes is defeated he will go
32away for good.
33
34 I am longing to have some long talks with my brother: but if I go to
35Cape Town it will only be for a few days in November. I want to be
36there about the 3rd as my old friends the Browns are sailing then.
37
38 I wonder if ever you go to Johannesburg how it will strike you & Miss
39Greene
. Those men on the stock exchange always fill me with fury: they
40seem scattered abroad a sheep having no shepherd. So much energy &
41life, & intensely running after nothing! I am not feeling at all
42unhappy about Cron now. I think he would be rather at Johannesburg
43than on a farm now: because as he says he must not only provide for
44his mother & sister for the present but in the future in case of his
45death. He can but try, & follow the path he feels right.
46
47 My eldest sister died last week, quite painlessly at the end. She woke
48in the morning & said she felt drowsy & dropped off to a heavy sleep,
49as she had been sitting up all night; & passed away quite without
50struggle in her sleep ^the heart quietly ceasing to act.^ It is so good,
51as she had such a horror of death. I have promised John to keep him on
52till end of October. When I come back from Cape Town if Johannah could
53come, I should be most grateful but one doesn’t know what the future
54will bring forth.
55
56 This is a rambling note, but it is a pleasure to write to you, though
57I’ve nothing to say.
58
59 Thine ever
60 Olive
61
62
63
Notation
Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.