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Letter ReferenceLetters/480
Epistolary Type
Letter Date16 October 1909
Address FromDe Aar, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToAdela Villiers Smith nee Villiers
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 289-90
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. Francis Smith.
2De Aar, 16th Oct.
4Yes, I know a great deal about Christian Science. Mrs. Eddy is I
5believe the greatest humbug who ever lived, and her books which my
6Christian Science friends keep sending me are revolting to a mind that
7can think clearly and loves truth. But many charming and delightful
8souls can't think clearly, and don't love truth, and the little germ
9of important truth that lies at the root of Mrs. Eddy's teaching does
10reach them and help them, i.e., that we must make the best of human
11life, that we must rejoice and be as happy as we can: and that the
12determination to be happy
and bear carries us through almost
13infinitely. Of course where there is serious organic disease it
14doesn't help, but it helps the nerves and may so even react on some
15sorts of organic disease. A person whose blood is loaded with gouty
16products will not drive them out of the system by saying "All good is
17God, all God is good," etc., but if they can make themselves happy
18they would suffer so much. I had two very dear friends. They became
19Christian Scientists and were very happy. One was always writing to me
20to say, if I would only let her, she could cure me entirely of my
21heart disease. Well last year the other dropped dead suddenly of heart
22disease. If they could have cured me why couldn't they have cured him?
23- he was not one 20th as bad as I was! If he couldn't cure himself and
24she couldn't cure him, how could she have cured me? When I wrote to
25her about it she said, O death wasn't a reality, he only seemed to be
26dead; and so got out of it! But she is one of the noblest and best
27women that ever lived and her Christian Science makes her very happy.