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Letter ReferenceFindlay Family A1199/1124
ArchiveWilliam Cullen Library, Historical Papers, University of the Witwatersrand
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date18 August 1872
Address FromHertzog, Eastern Cape
Address To
Who ToCatherine ('Katie') Findlay nee Schreiner
Other VersionsRive 1987: 6-7
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
The Project is grateful to the William Cullen Library, University of Johannesburg, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Historical Papers.
1 Hertzog
2 August 18th 1872
4 My dearest Katie!
6 You must not expect a long letter from me to day, as I have a bad head
9 I am quite alone at home, Papa having started for his journey up
10country to look after a waggon of his which he could not get down in
11the winter & Mamma has gone to Balfour for a few days.
13 I enjoy the quiet of Hertzog much, & shall still more when my piano
14comes. Music, reading & riding are the three things which make a
15country life pleasant, I think.
17 Mamma said she would write you all the news by this post but being at
18Balfour she may forget to do so, so I had better tell you what little
19there is myself. The most interesting thing I can think of is that
20about myself. I am engaged to be married to Mr. Julius Gau of
21Dordrecht. I can't say just yet when we shall be married; it may be
22very soon, that is in four or five months, or it may not be for at
23least a year to come. I will be able to tell you more definitely next
24week. We shall not stay long in the Colony after we are married under
25any circumstances & Mr. G told me last week that it was quite likely
26he might leave for Europe in January. I do wish it were possible to
27see you all before I go, as I will likely never see any of you again,
28the only way would be for you to come here; & I suppose with your
29large family of little ones that is quite ^out^ of the question if we go
30home in Jan - I fear I shall not be able to see Theo & Ettie but I
31don't mean to let the thought trouble me until I am sure we are going,
32for if we are not married in January we will not be for another year &
33before that there is no way of knowing what what may not have taken
36 I have just received a letter from Tattie Powrie. She & the children
37were all well, & her school seems to be getting on well, she has Eliza
38Burnett as teacher, does it not seem strange to think of little Eliza
39as a woman. I have also just got a letter from Hammy (Mr. Hope). He is
40still in Aliwal and doing a little better than he used to, he did not
41mention having heard from Emmie.
43 I hope dear Katie you will not mention my engagement to any one, in
44writing; as a rule I think it great nonsense to wish such a thing not
45to be spoken of, but circumstances alter cases you know & it would be
46very unpleasant for us to have it talked about just yet. & people do
47take such an interest in other people's affairs that what one person
48knows the whole country knows in a few weeks & you may think your self
49fortunate, if they content themselves with saying that which is true
50about you. I heard the other day that Tattie was to be married. Of
51course I did not believe it as I have made a rule never to believe any
52thing I hear. She writes me that the gentleman to whom they said she
53was to be married was one with whom she was not even on speaking terms.
54 So much for what people say.
56 I must bring my letter to a close now dearest Katie. Give Aunt Olive's
57love to
59 ^the little ones & many kisses.
61 Good bye
62 Ever your affectionate loving sister
63 Olive Schreiner^
Rive?s (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.