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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box1/Fold5/1898/32
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date4 October 1898
Address From67 Esselin Street, Hospital Hill, Johannesburg, Transvaal
Address ToGirls Collegiate School, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape
Who ToBetty Molteno
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 name of the addressee is indicated by salutation and content and an attached envelope provides the address this letter was sent to.
1 67 Esselin St
2 Hospital Hill
3 Johannesburg
4 Oct 4th 1898.
5
6 My dear Friend,
7
8 Yours letters sent to the care of Mr Lloyd have reached me. Dear one I
9can’t send back the money when its sent with such tender words: but I
10don’t need it just now, I can manage all right; I will keep it safely,
11& if ever I get so bad I have to have a nurse or someone really to
12take care of me I will spend it for that. ^If I don’t get so bad &
13finish my book then you must let me return it dear one.^ I have such a
14fear always of the time coming when I cannot take care even of myself.
15If you knew the comfort & joy you have been to me I think you would be
16happy. The very thought of you comforts me in the night. You don’t
17know how beautiful that visit to Port Elizabeth & even the time on the
18Zuurberg seems to me. Those lovely drives, & that watching the big
19waves of the sea roll in at Vagenmakers Kop from the top of the bank
20just before we went away that afternoon. Even the time on the Zuurberg
21seems so beautiful to look back at. Love beautifies everything. It
22seems the last bit of real brightness in my life.
23
24 I am staying at a little boarding house here, & it is all so different.
25 I am not getting better as yet & perhaps I shall go back to
26Bloemfontein next week & try how it suits me there. It is so desolate
27in Johannesburg. I may go on to Lemoenfontein or back to my dear sweet
28little house in Kimberley? If I can’t get better I might as well be
29there. But perhaps next week I shall be better.
30
31 I had two doctors the best in Johannesburg to examine me together
32yesterday. Cron wanted me to. They said just the old thing that the
33heart was enlarged: that it wouldn’t contract again, but that if for
34two years I did not do a line of writing & rested completely I might
35not get worse. They don’t see that its the consciousness that I can’t
36work that is killing me. One of them was a very nice man the real
37ideal type of Doctor, keen & quick. He says I must keep chickens &
38play with them all day; or grow like a cabbage; but he doesn’t
39understand that that wouldn’t help. I will write & tell you if I move.
40You n
41
42 Saturday
43
44 I have left this letter so long unfinished dear heart. But am much
45better today. It is all so bright & warm & there is no wind. Even
46terrible old Johannesburg looks beautiful! I wish I could tell you
47about a young Jewish couple in this house with a little baby three
48months old who have lost all their money. Such a sweet baby. Oh
49Johannesburg is such a terrible place. A place suffering from a big
50?unnatural spiritual fever, compared to which ?Smallport is nothing.
51You know the money you sent me dear seems to me almost sacred as an
52expression of your love, but I hope I will never need to
53
54 ^use it.
55
56 Love to my darling Miss Greene
57 Olive^
58
59
60