"Downward movement of England, of South Africa, downtrodden millions" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceLetters/499
Archive
Epistolary Type
Letter Date8 May 1912
Address FromDe Aar, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToAdela Villiers Smith nee Villiers
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 305-6
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
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, 8th May.
3
4The only things that still seem great to me are injustice and love.
5They are great, and can move me as much as ever. If I left off feeling
6those real and great, then I would be dead to everything. But I think
7if I was dying and I heard of an act of injustice, it would start me
8up to a moment's life again. And I still hate illogical things that
9seem false to truth. It made me quite ill lately reading a book of -'s
10on Capitalism that seemed full of false inferences. Truth does matter.
11I think that's why Christian Science and these modern forms of
12superstition are such pain to me. If anyone says “I feel this," “I feel
13that," it doesn't matter. A madman feels he has two heads, and he has
14a perfect right to say he feels it. But when people try to bolster up
15and prove what they can't prove, it still fills me with a kind of
16horror; just as the old Christian superstitions did when I was a child.
17 The orthodox Christianity that made my childhood and youth so bitter
18is fading, but in its place many other superstitions seem to spring up.
19 They have their root on that side of human nature which wants not
20truth, but ease.
21