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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box3/Fold6/1907/26
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date1908
Address FromDe Aar, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToWilliam Philip ('Will') Schreiner
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. Schreiner has dated this letter as 1908; an unknown hand has amended it to 1907, but in 1908 Bill Schreiner re-took his examinations and so Schreiner's dating is used.
1 De Aar
2 Sep 3rd 1908
4 Dear Laddie
6 I had rather an interesting talk the night before last with an ^old
7friend of mine,^ an Englishman, ^a progressive,^ a man who came out to
8fight in the war & hates a Dutch man
. He has been spending three weeks
9at East London, staying a week with Brabant. Cron asked him how things
10were going politically in East London. He said there was a very strong
11feeling for old Sprig, that old as he is, if he stood he would
12certainly head the poll. I then asked "What of Crewe’s return?" He
13said "Well every one I spoke to seemed to think it more than doubtful
14whether he would get in." Cron then said that he had the backing of
15the East London paper which he controls. Our informant said "Yes that
16is true, but you know he is so much personally disliked every where."
17I give you this for what it is worth. But to me it seems not at all
18impossible that both Jameson & Crewe may fall out & even Smart. The
19con-duct of these men (Crewe & Jameson) seems to me always like that
20of a bad Captain & first mate who have brought their boats hopelessly
21in among the rocks where it must ^strike &^ go down in a few hours they
22know, who have a poor pilot off the shore, kindly inform him they
23admire him so much they will make him captain, & then scuttle off
24leaving him to bear the blame of the ship wreck alone. What Jameson
25wanted was to be able to go to England & say, "I was tired of politics;
26 I put Schreiner in command & he wrecked the party he’s so unpopular.
27 If I had stayed in command we should have come in with a majority!"
29 It’s all been one of the meanest political rows one can think of. I
30believe you will get in for Queens Town: but if you do not it will be
31that interview with Jameson that has done it. No man Dutch or English
32want to support the followers of Jameson & Crewe.
34 (Private)
36 I had rather a surprising letter from Mrs Macfadyen today asking me to
37ask Merriman to make her husband his private secretary. I have written
38to tell her I would not dream of doing such a thing. She gives as one
39reason that he was your private secretary when you were Prime Minister.
40 Is this true: I think you told me once he was not your private
41secretary? (This is private of course).
43 I have written to congratulate our Oliver. I am longing to see that
44our old Bill has passed.
46 If you meet Naudé remember me affectionately to him. Tell him how
47much I would like to see him, & ask him to let us know when he passes
48here that we may go to the station to meet see him as he passes. It it
49would be very nice if he could break his journey here for a night & we
50could could have a long chat. Cron has long been very anxious to meet
53 Good bye Laddie.
54 Olive