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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner: Extracts of Letters to Cronwright-Schreiner MSC 26/2.16/480
ArchiveNational Library of South Africa, Special Collections, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeExtract
Letter Date21 December 1908
Address Fromna
Address To
Who ToS.C. (‘Cron’) Cronwright-Schreiner
Other Versions
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 onto this extract.
1 ...Lever neef Jan, Ik stur for jo en article vat ik geschreva als ek.
2Maar Got hat daarm for oude Kleine Tantje eets lat seen! Deuk daar oor!
3 Je veet, mein ?leue neef Jan, toon Hofmeyr & Rhoses for jo naar
4Kimberley gesteer het (in Sept 1895: see the Life) dat je vas
5ferkeened & de doome klein Tanti Tanteje ?reght gehat. Je moet niet jo
6als Milner vees, om alles te ‘lees’ en maar ?mix te luister! Vees ?
7ne quad for jo Kleine tante; de vat se moot seght, de moot je seght.
8De brie is so ?gold ?geschriere & de Holland’s es so hight ek ?vries
9?me neef Jan zal et ?me Verstan, da arm zal ik ?un op ho. Auntie Olive.
12 Lieve neef Jan, Ek stuur vir jon ‘in ark in artikel wat ek ?
13geschrije ?het. ^Lees dit.^. Ek weet jy es baie sliminer als ek. Maar
14God het daarom vir jon onde Kleine ^Tantaje^ Tantije iets laat zien.
15Deuk daaro’er” Jy weet, myn lieve neef Jan, w taen Hofmeyr en
16Rhodes vir jon na Kimberley ?gesture het, dat jy was verkeerd, en die
17dome Klein Tantaje was ^(het)^ right (?gehad) ^gehad^. Jy maet miet zoo
18als Milner wees, om alles te lees en na miets te linster! Wees nie
19Kwood ver jon Kleine Tante: die wat Zÿ moet seg, die moet Zÿ Zeg.
20Bie brief is Zoo goed geschrere en die Hollands es zoo hoog, ek vries
21mÿ , neef Jan zal het vie verstaan, daarom zal ek nou opshou. Auntie
24 …Dear ne Cousin Jan, I send you an article I have written. Read it.
25I know you are much cleverer than I am, but God has let your old
26little Auntie see some things. Think (it) over. it. You know, my dear
27Cousin Jan, when Hofmeyr & Rhodes sent you to Kimberley (Sept. 1895;
28see her Life), you were wrong & the stupid little Auntie was right.
29You must not be like Milner, reading everything & listening
30^(attending)^ to nothing. Don’t be angry with your little Aunt: what
31she must say, that she must say! This letter is so well written & the
32Dutch is so high, I fear my Cousin Jan will not understand it; so
33I’ll stop….
Cronwright-Schreiner comments on this extract as follows: ‘21.12.08. I find this letter to General Smuts, which no doubt she had sent down to me to put into better “Afrikaans” ^Dutch^ before posting it. I transcribe it exactly:- The Dutch is quite good “Afrikaans”, but the spelling is too wonderful. Properly spelt it would be ---- In English is: (Smuts called her “Auntie” & she called him “Jannie”. I do not remember what the article she enclosed was).’. In spite of his comment, an ‘actual letter’ with very similar content was posted directly to Smuts by Olive Schreiner on 21 December 1908 (Smuts A1/191/57), so it is more likely Olive Schreiner had sent Cronwright-Schreiner a draft or a copy so as to share the joke with him of her playing on the niceities of formal address in Taal/Afrikaans so as to out-trump Smuts in a political comment.