"Dream for federation of South Africa, one day we shall need love & devotion of black & coloured man" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box5/Fold1/1912/34
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date20 July 1912
Address FromDe Aar, Northern Cape
Address ToRiviera Hotel, Mossel River, near Hermon, Western Cape
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. The address this letter was sent to is provided by an attached envelope.
1 De Aar
2 July 20th 1912
3
4 My dearest old Man
5
6 It seems so long since I had any news of you directly or indirectly,
7except that I carefully follow all your cases in the papers. I don’t
8believe any one in South Africa is "up" in all the cases as I am. My
9only excitement every day is getting the Argus, the News, & the Leader
10– to that I have come. I read even the advertisements – but the
11law cases are my interest. Politics are too sickening. I’m glad you
12& ?Offie won that big case.
13
14 I’m sending you a copy of the Nation. Read the article on the
15Franchise. It seems promising to me as Massingham is Lloyd Georges
16bosom friend, & up holder, it looks at though a section of the Cabinet
17were really going to fight Lloyd Ge Asquith on the womans vote. I
18thought your speech fine, dear. I sent the only copy I could get to
19Adela Smith & told her to send it on to dear old Fred ^Pethick^ Lawrence.
20
21 I hope the Boy Olivers visit is bringing you joy. I wonder if you’re
22going to carry out your idea of going fishing to Mossel Bay.
23
24 It’s a Sunday morning I’ve got my dinner on, & the animals are fed.
25 Cron has gone out to golf. He goes for a two days tournament to
26Victoria West early next month.
27
28 Last night dear Minnie de Villiers, Offie’s wife passed here. I had
29to wait an hour & a half at the station for her as her train was late
30– but it was more than worth it to see her dear face & feel her kiss
31& the pressure of her hand though she could stay only ten minutes.
32Havelock Ellis says that as he grows older he seems to care less for
33human love & sympathy, given & received, than when he was young; that
34that awful hunger for it seems to die. With me it is just the other
35way about. When I was young I thirsted so fiercely for knowledge & to
36understand things that human love & sympathy seemed only half my
37hunger, now it is nearly all. Perhaps it was that during my ten years
38in Europe especially I was so surrounded by lovers & friends, & people
39whom I loved intensely, that I was like a rich man who doesn’t know
40the value of his wealth till he looses it. Now I feel every little
41kindly look or word is like a bit of gold one must pick up & treasure
42intensely. I’ve got all those flowers you gave me the last day in
43Cape Town still in a jug – very dry but still there. I hope our girl
44is doing well with her law. I do hope she & Minnie will both pass. As
45one loses all power of doing things oneself one lives so in what
46others do.
47
48 Take care of your self dear one. All the children will soon be on
49their own feet now, & there won’t be need for you to work so hard.
50
51 Love to all the dear ones at Villa Flandre.
52 Olive
53
54 My money will be in the Bank on the 28th of this month please cash the
55little cheque at once.
56
57
58
Notation
No article on any aspect of the franchise appeared in the Nation during July 1912; however, as Schreiner read a wide range of reviews, journals and newspapers, the title here could perhaps be a mistake.