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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box3/Fold3/1904/31
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSaturday 19 November 1904
Address FromHanover, Northern Cape
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. Schreiner was resident in Hanover from September 1900 to October 1907, after 1902 with visits, sometimes fairly lengthy, elsewhere.
1 Saturday night
3 My dear Friend
5 I am so glad you are going to England. This old country is too sad for
6one who has felt all as you have done & till you have both seen Europe
7& fixed up that part of your life you won’t be able to settle
8permanently here.
10 In a years time or so you may return quite refreshed & benefited in
11health so that you can start life on a farm or anywhere. I fancy there
12may be a universal European war before that time, & what its bearings
13on South Africa may be who shall say! Did you notice the Hancock case
14at Bloemfontein?
16 Cron is whirling away in the train now & will reach Cape Town tomorrow
17morning & leave again tomorrow evening getting back here on Tuesday
18morning, as he has to go to Hanover Rd= on Wednesday to hold a big
19sale. Will He has been so beautiful & kind since we came back,
20bringing up his work to sit & write here in the evening instead of in
21his office that I may not be so much alone.
23 My dear little Kaffir boy is such a comfort to me too. I think he
24feels almost to me as if I was his mother. He’s such a sweet little
25fellow. I’m not spoiling him at all either! I never spoil children, I
26haven’t a temptation that way. I don’t want to govern them, but it
27comes naturally to me to make them try to govern themselves.
29 I do hope I shall get a letter from England saying the rest of the
30voy-age has made you a new person. All will go well with South Africa,
31only this is v certain, that we - & such as we can for do nothing more
32for her. It is the time of the diplomatists & politicians. I thought
33Botha’s speech on Oom Paul very good however.
35 Now I must go to bed. You must not worry about me, dear friend. It
36will be so beautiful to me to know you are in Europe if only you are
37drinking in life & health. I felt very anxious about you the last time
38I saw you in Cape Town. You seemed to me like a person whose spirt
39spirit was almost separated from their bodies, or as if the link
40between the two was very frail.
42 I am so glad your meeting with Barkly was such satisfaction. Don’t
43feel anxious about me. Life is simpler & easier to me now than it has
44ever been for years. I seem to see a bit of the blue sky above me as
45in the old Matjesfontein days. It will be so beautiful to hear about
46what you are seeing &
48 ^doing when you are in Europe
50 Olive^
52 ^It’s very good isn’t it about Dundonald & the Canadians. I yet
53sometimes think my old prophesy will come true & Canada will yet be
54the first of the colonies to "cut the painter". Malan’s leader on Dun
55the matter this week is one of the finest things he ever wrote, so
56truly Malanish^