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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box1/Fold5/1898/48
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateTuesday 10 December 1898
Address FromJohannesburg, Transvaal
Address To
Who ToBetty Molteno
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 date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. The name of the addressee is indicated by salutation and content.
1 Box 2 Johannesburg
2 Tuesday
4 Dearest Friend
6 For the first time for weeks I really seem to have a few moments to
7sit down & write. I am beginning to get a little straight in my
8little house. I think I told you I have a Matabele boy. He’s so stupid
9he can’t do anything, but so nice & simple, & he’s in such dread of my
10sending him away & getting another boy. Every time another boy comes
11up to seek for work he comes up to me & says "Me good boy, me very
12good boy! Me not got paper ^(i.e. character)^ but me very good boy!"
14 Cron’s youngest brother is still with us, such a dear fine boy. I am
15glad to see your brother is standing for Tembu Land again.
17 Do you know that wonderful efforts are being made & made most
18successfully I believe by Reitz & Smuts (Smuts is you know state
19attorney here) to purify the administration here. They have just got
20rid of Ferguson the scoundrel who for years has been head of the
21detective department, & they are trying, very gradually of course to
22get the very straightest & best men they can into the public offices.
23People say, English people, that things have not looked so hopeful in
24the Transvaal for years.
26 The working men of Johannesburg are starting a small paper. They have
27asked me to become Editor, without payment of course. How joyfully I
28would do it were I only a little more able. It has been my desire for
2920 years to have such a paper entirely under my command. But what
30little strength I have has all to go in the direction of house keeping.
31 It’s a strange thing to be a woman!
33 I am longing so to know you have got away for your holiday. The dear
34children at Mrs Murray’s will be a rest for you too:
36 You know if one had unreadable nothing else to do, there is an immense
37work to be done here among the English working classes. If these can
38be thoroughly organized & brought into line with the government
39against the capitalist the end of the struggle with the big
41^& Rhodesian^ companies here will not be doubtful.
43 I’m so glad Miss Green is a little better. I hope you will be soon.
44There’s some news I should very much like to tell you. But it’s so
45private I don’t like to commit it to a letter. It must
47^wait till we meet.^