"Will Schreiner's political duty, difficulty of finding path of duty,' Peter Halket' & lay aside ambition" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceLetters/14
Epistolary Type
Letter Date24 January 1879
Address FromRatel Hoek, Halesowen, Eastern Cape
Address To
Who ToErilda Cawood nee Buckley
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 6-7
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
When Cronwright-Schreiner prepared The Letters of Olive Schreiner, with few exceptions he then destroyed her originals. However, some people gave him copies and kept the originals or demanded the return of these; and when actual Schreiner letters can be compared with his versions, his have omissions, distortions and bowdlerisations. Where Schreiner originals have survived, these will be found in the relevant collections across the OSLO website. There is however a residue of some 587 items in The Letters for which no originals are extant. They are included here for sake of completeness. However, their relationship to Schreiners actual letters cannot now be gauged, and so they should be read with caution for the reasons given.
1To Mrs. Cawood.
2Ratel Hoek, 24th Jan.
4Now as to my coming to you. It is as though someone held out a very
5nice ripe apple to very thirsty lips that were afraid to taste. Mamma
6says, "If you want to go so much, why don’t you?" She doesn’t know how
7much I would lose if I lost you, and I'm sure you wouldn’t keep on
8loving me as much if you sawwhat a poor weak miserable creature I am
9really. My heart is very bitter lately. I sometimes wish I could die;
10it seems as though love was all selfishness and trust almost thrown
11away and nothing left. But you are one of the things that are left to
12me and I am so afraid of anything that would take you from me. If I
13can at all manage it I want to come and spend two or three weeks with
14you when I leave this; you won't be able to get tired of me in such a
15little time. I know that your children would love me because I am
16getting to understand children better, and I am sure they would get on,
17 and I don't think you would quite leave off caring for me if I live
18with you, but you might get to like me less than you do now, and
19that's what I don't want.