"Rebels hard time, house, boy" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceLetters/398
Epistolary Type
Letter Date28 April 1890
Address FromMatjesfontein, Western Cape
Address To
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 184-5
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 Havelock Ellis.
2Matjesfontein, 28th April.
4I am curiously alive and at work again. I am not getting on very fast
5because it's so cold and I get blue and stiff when I sit writing long,
6but I mustn't complain. I have no fireplace. I am going to make myself
7a little cocoa with my spirit lamp before I go to bed. I've no clock
8or watch, so I don't know what time it is. ... They took an I.D.B.
9past this morning in the train loaded with chains. It's terrible to
10see a man with chains on. He was the real criminal type, something
11like Aveling, but much lower. But it isn't right to treat them like
12wild beasts; Love is the only thing that can save such men, when they
13are dead to everything else that can still give them a kind of
14humanity. I would have liked to do something loving to him. He reminds
15me also of that young man we saw in the Morgue.