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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box8/Fold4/MMPr/AssortedCorres/FredPL/4
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date31 October 1905
Address FromHanover, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToFrederick ('Fred') Pethick-Lawrence
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. A typescript only of this letter is available. The transcription here follows this typescript and includes any uncertain dates, ellipses, mistakes and so on.
1 Hanover
2 October 3lst, 1905
4 I have your two letters today from the Falls. I am glad it has been so
5splendid to you there.
7 I am afraid I have to give up my idea of going to Cradock even now all
8arrangements have been laid out. My heart has been bad; I had to keep
9lying down for four days after the Purcells left, and if I went to
10Cradock I should only get there in the night to return here early the
11next morning. Thinking it over too I don’ think you would find any
12good in the little ox wagon trip by yourselves. There is absolutely
13nothing to see in Cradock itself, but if it were winter we should have
14had the most delightful little trip just going about to the different
15farms in the neighbourhood where old Boer friends of mine live, whom I
16have known all my life. I am sure your would have enjoyed it, but not
17speaking Dutch you would not gain anything by going to the farms alone,
18 and the heat and dust and the flies of an ox wagon journey in summer
19require great ends to make them worth enduring. I would go straight up
20to Bethuli from Hanover if I were you where the heat will not be so
21sultry and tropical as in Cradock; but if you can make time when you
22are in East London I should certainly run up to Kingwilliamstown and
23see Tengo Jabavu, the Editor of "Imvo". I don’t want you to leave
24South Africa without seeing something of our Colonial natives. Its a
25great disappointment to me that I can’t see something of South
26Africa together with you, but I am not fit for it just now in the heat.
28 I sent you Fichardt’s letter. He has written since and says he will
29make arrangements for your getting good rooms and receiving special
30attention at the best Hotel in Bloemfontein.
32 Yes, I have read the "Underling". I’ll tell you what I feel about it
33when you come. I like the man who wrote it; he must be most loveable,
34but the stories, though good in outline, appear to me not to live.
36 It would be a very great pleasure to me to see Massingham. I met him
37once, and he impressed me as a most interesting & strong man. If he
38were to come here, we would, if he cared for it, call a public meeting
39of all the town, black & white, & he could question people & hear for
40himself what the public here up country is, on the Chinese labour
41question. I hope he will have time to pay a little attention to the
42native question. That, and not any matter of Dutch and English is the
43practical problem of the moment. I have a most interesting letter from
44John X Merriman on the question, part of which I will show you when
45you come.
47 My husband returned from Cape Town last Saturday; he is not going down
48for the second case, so I’m glad he will be here when you come. I
49fear that General Smuts and his wife will not be in Pretoria when you
50get there: they are going for some months to the seaside to escape the
53 It seems very good to think this day week you will arrive here. I hope
54you got my note at the Grand Hotel Bulawao.
The reference to the 'Underling' is: Mary E. Wilkins Freeman (1906) 'The Underling. A story in two parts' Harper’s Magazine Volume 112, January 1906: pp. 211-219; February 1906: pp. 462-471.