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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box4/Fold1/1908/27
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date8 May 1908
Address FromMatjesfontein, Western Cape
Address ToChambers, St Georges Street, Cape Town, Western Cape
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. The address this letter was sent to is provided by an attached envelope, and the last insertion is on its back.
1 Matjesfontein
2 May 8th 1908
4 My dear Laddie
6 I thought you were really unwell that last day. I believe its that
7deadly old Parliament they never I believe clean that place out. I
8doubt if that wretched carpet goes up once a year, & the germs of all
9the past influenzas of all the past members are floating about ^still^.
10The air itself is poisonous. I never go to go to the House ^for half an hour^
11without coming back with a headache & feeling a perfect wreck for days;
12 & Cron comes out every day looking a wreck: They say they can’t
13have the windows opened & the place properly aired between the
14sittings because the servants say they would then have to dust more.
15But what else are they there for. If I was a member of that house or
16any woman -!!!
18 Dear Laddie, I do hope you are better. Take care & don’t try to get
19about too soon. Influenza after 40 is not a thing to play with; many a
20man dates his break down from an attack & people whose hearts aren’t
21very strong stand any lung trouble so badly. Dear, I do want you so to
22the end to keep on your legs & at your work. Take care of yourself.
23The bad time comes when stairs seem to grown higher & higher every day;
24 & a little walk like that from your house to the station seems more
25than one can face.
27 It just strikes me that when you were so horrified with my lovely new
28brown jacket – the only respectable thing I have – because you
29thought I’d been to the Opening of Parliament in it? – I didn’t
30go quite so far as that!
32 I’d just been to the chemists to get my mixture, & thought as the
33opening was over, & the house sitting, I’d just go in for a moment;
34I’d just had one look at your dear old head down below me, when, the
35house rose. I can’t stand the air of the house for more than a few
36minutes, & my wardrobe won’t stand an opening day, with all the gay
37& lovely butterflies. Wait till my book’s done & then see me in a
38robe from England & a three guinea hat! Isie Smuts is sending me two
39lovely curled ostrich feathers, so shall be round to get a new hat &
40"live up" to them. It is wonderful what a dear loyal little friend she
41is to me. If she has four cherries in her garden, she sends them down
42to me packed in a little box, that I may eat the first. Health, money,
43& all those things I take back seat with, but when it comes to friends
44then I sit right in the front row!! No one has got such friends as I
45have: the worst is they are nearly all in England, & I’m here.
47 I have been able to lie down the last two nights & get some sleep;
48which after three weeks of sitting up is rather fine. I shall move on
49to de Aar in about ten days time.
51 We are having glorious weather here now; cold & fresh; wonderful mists
52on the mountain half snow & half water, lighted up by rainbows. I
53don’t think any place has more beautiful cloud effects than
54Matjesfontein. Well, you won’t want to hear about the clouds, being
55not a worshipper of them as I am.
57 Good bye, dear Laddie; stop in bed as long as you can; & have nothing
58to do with Crewe & Jameson.
60 ^- the first will be for your physical welfare, the last for your
61spiritual peace. Olive^
63 ^The marks on this sheet are made by ‘Arriet eating porridge & then
64walking on my letter.^
66 ^Don’t trouble to write any letters to me even when better. Best.^
Schreiner's 'wait till my book is done' comment refers to From Man to Man.