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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner: Extracts of Letters to Cronwright-Schreiner MSC 26/2.16/387
ArchiveNational Library of South Africa, Special Collections, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeExtract
Letter Date8 May 1907
Address FromHanover, Northern Cape
Address ToDe Aar, Northern Cape
Who ToS.C. (‘Cron’) Cronwright-Schreiner
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 266-7
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
The Extracts of Letters to Cronwright-Schreiner were produced by Cronwright-Schreiner in preparing The Life and The Letters of Olive Schreiner. They appear on slips of paper in his writing, taken from letters that were then destroyed; many of these extracts have also been edited by him. They are artefacts of his editorial practices and their relationship to original Schreiner letters cannot now be gauged. They should be read with considerable caution for the reasons given. Cronwright-Schreiner has written the date and where it was sent from onto this extract. The place it was was sent to is implied by its location in the sequence of extracts. There are some differences between this transcription and the version that appears in The Letters....
1 …’Arriet is very tame & she understands more than the others. I
2think with animals as with savage nations, the old are much wiser than
3the young. Where there are no books & no artificial education, the
4being learns pretty much only what experience teaches, & therefore,
5other things equal, a savage man’s or an animals wisdom my be
6measures by its years. Ollie is getting much much cleverer than she
7was. The way she asks me today if she might have some of ‘Arriet’s
8bread & milk was quite wonderful. I am so much much better today. Oh,
9if the weather could stay like this a little… I used to think only
10women passed through that time of anguish when they first felt youth
11going; but now I think men feel it too. It is the kind of sorrow
12one’s pride makes on bury deep in one’s heart; that is why I
13suppose is why so little is said on it in art or in books. If one’s
14heart grows wider & wider and one ripens into a broad, tender,
15sympathetic age, it’s the most beautiful thing in life…