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Letter ReferenceNLSAOlive Schreiner: EL to C-S MSC 26/2.16/87
ArchiveNational Library of South Africa, Special Collections, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date4 July 1903
Address FromUitkyk, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToS.C. (‘Cron’) Cronwright-Schreiner
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
The Project is grateful to the National Library of South Africa (NLSA), Cape Town, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Special Collections. This letter by Olive Schreiner is contained among some hundreds of typescripted extracts which were produced by Cronwright-Schreiner using original letters when he was preparing The Life... (1924) and The Letters of Olive Schreiner (1924). Generally he then destroyed the originals, although in this case he preserved Schreiner’s handwritten letter more or less complete, minus the start of the letter. Cronwright-Schreiner has written the date and where it was sent from onto the letter.
1[page/s missing]
2
3Miss Molteno & Miss Greene went out for a long walks this morning.
4When they came back & came into the little sitting room, Miss Molteno
5was carrying in her arms a little meerkat. Miss Greene said to me “Do
6you see the meerkat we’ve got, do you think it’s Tommie or Emmie?” I
7looked up at it, & when I looked into the eyes I saw it was my little
8‘Arriet! So weak & thin with want of food she could hardly walk but
9the little ‘Arriet! She had got smaller than Emmie, & just skin & bone.
10 But her joy when she crept up to me, she literally clung to me all
11the morning. They went for a long long walk & they saw Neta playing
12with something, & it was ‘Arriet! The delight, the bliss, the joy of
13Tommie & Emmie when they recognised her her was something wonderful. I
14have never seen anything like it in the animal world. They Their eyes
15got larger, they climbed up on to my knee, they rubbed their heads
16against her, they crept up to her, they would not leave my knee all
17the rest of the morning! And their joy this afternoon playing together
18was something wonderful to see. She has been gone 10 days! I burst out
19crying when I knew it was she; it’s the first time I really cried
20tears since I read “The Soul of a People” & it seems to have relieved
21my head so, & made me feel better altogether. One seems always holding
22oneself in till one gets quite dead.
23
24 Did ?F give you any idea as to salary if editor? Answer this.
25Did he give you any idea at all as to when the thing might start?
26
27 Answer this too. I am so happy about your speech too dear one.
28Altogether this is a very happy day, & such a beautiful day. The sun
29is just setting & I am going for a little walk to watch the sunset.
30Neta is lying on my bed watching me with such big eyes to see when I
31am going out. How dear the little animals are. If we however could
32only all help each other how nice the world would be.
33
34 Your Olive
35
36^I have ordered the papers to be sent to Oom Jan's address
37Jan Cillers (Senior) Hanover.^
Notation
Schreiner’s hand-writing begins with ‘…was carrying in her arms’ and continues to the end of this letter. The book referred to is: Harold Fielding Hall (1898) The Soul of a People London: R. Bentley & Son.