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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box3/Fold6/1907/4
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date22 March 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 March 22nd 1907
3
4 My dear old Laddie
5
6 I’ve wanted so much of late to write you along letter about several
7things, your place in Cape politics for one thing. But I can’t. I’m
8sick. I haven’t added a line to my book for six weeks. I’m so glad
9you’ve gone I’m sure the little change will strengthen you up however
10short it be.
11
12 I hope you thought of looking up Alice Corthorn’s address in the
13London directory at the hotel; if you didn’t it is 30 St Mary Abbott’s
14Terrace, Kensington, London, W. Lady Loch’s London address is 44 Elm
15Park Gardens London. It is almost exactly opposite John Morley’s house.
16
17 Of course you know the Pethick-Lawrences address 87 Clement’s Inn,
18London W.C.?
19
20 I want to enclose several letters of introduction next week for you &
21Dot to use or not as you like. Where is Wellington College? Is it near
22London? If it were possible for you, without too much time & trouble
23to look up Major Marriotts two little boys Charles & Nevil. If you do
24please tell me all about them. & if possible as an old friend of their
25fathers, find out from the head master how they are off for money; who
26is their guardian & looks after them; & what they are going to be. One
27of the dreams of my life is that I should finish my book & be able to
28do something for them; but oh Laddie I fear it wont be; the difficulty
29in breathing grows greater & greater. The thought that I might finish
30that book & so feel I had been of some use in the world is the only
31thing that makes me wish to put off the end, for I would not willingly
32live over again the last 12 years of my life, as I would not willingly
33live over again the first twelve – all the between part I would live
34over & over again if I could, in spite of all the shades & pains that
35are incident to all human life.
36
37 My dear friend Miss Greene has a beautiful country home close to
38Cambridge, & I am writing to ask her sometimes to ask Dot there for a
39day or afternoon as it will be pleasant for our girl to see all phases
40of English life. How I wish I were there to take her about. I want
41this year to be so full & beautiful for her. Perhaps she may marry
42soon, & though only with marriage begins a woman’s insight into the
43tragedy & bitterness of womans fate & her deeper emotional life – her
44broad intellectual life as the free human creature dies with it in all
45but a few cases.
46
47 Good bye my Laddie. If you should go to Geneva don’t forget that my
48friend Miss Molteno’s address is Pension du Mail: Avenue du Mail
49Geneva. She has been living there for two years, & knows some
50delightful & interesting people there, & in spite of the rather cold
51shoulder you turned to her she retains all her old enthusiasm for you,
52& thinks you are the finest public man in South Africa – which in a
53way you certainly are - if you could only lay aside that manner that
54terrible manner, which keeps wounds your friends & keeps you in a
55terrible isolation from them. I see no reason why (but for this one
56thing) you should not now take a leading part in South African public
57life. Since all politicians here profess to have ceased to be
58republicans & to be willing to live under an hereditary monarchy
59(which I whether in England or here am not) what is the substantial
60difference between your stand and theirs. With regard to Capitalism
61you are at least as advanced as any man in the SA Party, & I hope as
62advanced on the native question. Dear Laddie this is a mixed up letter,
63 I am feeling very sick & don’t express myself clearly. Take care of
64yourself; there is still a chance for you, as ten years ago there
65still was for me if my life had been not on different lines
66
67 Olive
68
69 ^The day after tomorrow in my birth-day & Cron is coming from de Aar to
70spend the day. I should like to live to see women enfranchised, the
71house of Lords & the Monarchy (all hereditary governmental office,
72done away with. I shan’t; but I know it will come, & that makes it all
73right.^
74
Notation
The book Schreiner 'hadn't added a line to' and dreamed of finishing is From Man to Man.