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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner: Extracts of Letters to Cronwright-Schreiner MSC 26/2.16/488
ArchiveNational Library of South Africa, Special Collections, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeExtract
Letter Date6 September 1909
Address FromMatjesfontein, Western Cape
Address To
Who ToS.C. (‘Cron’) Cronwright-Schreiner
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 285
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, and that ‘Olive writes ^daily^ day, but I am selecting extracts.’. On 12 January 1909, he comments, with no extract attached, that ‘Her letters cut are generally nothing of interest.’ There are some differences between this transcription and the version that appears in The Letters….
1 …I have been watching a little ant this morning for more than half
2an hour. I think I never loved such a tiny creature so much. It was
3trundling along a dried ball from a mimosa tree three times in bulk as
4large as itself. I followed it for nearly 100 yards, being blown over
5& over by the wind, regaining its feet, never leaving hold of its ball,
6 climbing over stones & sticks & through grasses till it got it to the
7hole. I never knew one’s heart could go out in such a curious way to
8such a small speck of matter…