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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box3/Fold6/1907/3
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date12 February 1907
Address FromHanover, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToWilliam Philip ('Will') Schreiner
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.
1 Hanover
2 C.C.
3 Feb 12th 1907
4
5 My dear old Man
6
7 I really haven’t known how to write to you about our lad’s not
8passing, I know so little really of his life & yours & of what lies
9behind his failure, & I fear so to pain where the heart is all so
10alive & tender that a movement hurts; even the tenderest With our boys
11wonderful ability, at least the ability he had as a little boy, he
12should have had no difficulty in passing high in honours. The only
13outlet to me seems that he didn’t try, & if he didn’t try wasn’t
14it that he knew you didn’t care whether he did or not. You see I
15don’t know whether you really cared about his passing. If he you did,
16 then the failure is heart breaking; but because in one way one exam
17means wheth ^anything;^ but, because in another way, the way of
18character ^it^ means everything. Laddie, dear old Laddie, I wonder if
19the Lord has spoken a curse out over us Schreiners, that we should be
20evil for the things we love best? That just because we love with such
21an awful concentration of intensity the thing we care most for,
22willing to pour out our lives for them, wishing that our flesh was
23meat & our blood drink that they might feed on it, th we do them a
24deep & unreadable moral injury! Fred, Ettie, I, you, we are all the
25same! Dear old Brother, my heart is so full that I can’t write over
26these things.
27
28 //Cron is going to start a paper at de Aar called the Karroo Federal.
29He will send out the prospectuses the week after next & will send you
30one. It is not to be a party paper; except to Malan he has not
31mentioned it to one of the men of the South African Party. Jagger has
32taken a ^£100 of^ shares, & Likenfelt Brothers & Miss Molteno has taken
33£100, altogether with the £100 he puts in in he has got £700 taken
34up already but & only wants £1500 to start. It is just the work he is
35fitted to do: he was the making of the Midland News when he worked it
36for Butler. He will get an attorney to take over his other legal
37business & devote himself entirely to the paper. It will be non racial,
38 but he’ll send you the prospectus. He wanted to go out to
39unreadable St James & have a talk with you about it when he was in
40town; but he says you are always so busy, & there are so many people
41if one goes to the house that he felt there was no chance of his
42having a talk with you.
43
44 I am living alone here now; but I have a coloured girl comes for an
45hour or two in the morning to put the house right. It’s a wild windy
46night with a rain falling in torrents, & thunder & lightening outside.
47It will be more cheerful there, so I will to bed.
48
49 Good night dear.
50 Olive
51
52 ^This about the paper is of course strictly private. Cron doesn’t
53wish I talked about before hand lest de Beers rush in & start a paper
54at De Aar before him just to crush his.^
55
56 ^I read your article in the Times today. It is good.^
57
Notation
Will Schreiner's 'article' is in fact an editorial comment on a letter of his appearing in the same issue: 'Mr Schreiner Intervenes' Cape Times 11 February 1907 (p.5); see also Will Schreiner 'The Pretoria Duel' Cape Times 11 February 1907 (p.7).