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Letter ReferenceHRC/UNCAT/OS-136
ArchiveHarry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date30 August 1890
Address FromMatjesfontein, Western Cape
Address To
Who ToHavelock Ellis
Other VersionsCronwright-Schreiner 1924: 196; Draznin 1992: 466-7
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
The Project is grateful to the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, the University of Texas at Austin, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Manuscript Collections.
1Matjesfontein
2Aug 30 / 90
3
4My Havelock
5
6I’m glad you are having such a good time down at that country place. I
7hope you are a great deal of mental & moral comfort to those folks
8whom you attend, for it’s sore little good you’ll do their bodies!!!!
9I’m so well now I never want a doctor ever I breathe perfectly, & my
10flesh is quite hard & springy as it used to be when I was a child.
11
12I am working well. I hope you got my letter last week tells you that
13you must not give Unwin the rights of sending advance sheets to
14America as I have promised them to Roberts Brother of Boston. Also my
15photo is not to be printed unless he makes a really good picture of it.
16 I leave that to you. Thank you so much.
17
18It is a beautiful moonlight night. In a few weeks the warm weather
19will be her, & then there will be splendid evenings here.
20
21I am sitting at the head of my sofa by my big table. I wonder if my
22cousin Mrs. Orpen & her daughter Maddy come to England whether they
23could board in your house for the month they are in London They would
24pay £12 for the two ask Louie & the girls. You see they know no one &
25if they were with you, you might take them out sometimes. Th Louie
26would love them both, & as to food, they live most simply. & I know
27would not be any trouble in that way. If they could board the first
28month with you, then after that they might find a place for themselves.
29
30No I haven’t any more allegories to give. Do All the others are too
31personal. I believe the book will be a success. You don’t know how
32many more letters I’ve got about my allegories than about S.A.F. even
33if that is any sign, of the way things are read.
34
35Does Louie get any work?
36
37I wish when my book is done & I go to the Zambise you could go too. Do
38you know there’s a man in Africa whom I’ve never spoken to but often
39seen whom I’ve got a curious feeling I shall marry if I ever marry
40anyone. This isn’t a joke. I’m quite serious. I’ve had a feeling for
41him ever since I saw him first in England that I’ve never had for any
42human being. Not love, a very curious feeling, but I don’t think I
43would ever conquere my hatred of marriage. It shuts one in so. Your
44last letter to me was so beautiful. I value it so. I thought you I
45didn’t love me any more. You see my mother says we have Jewish blood.
46I wish I had known about that place my grandfather came from. I would
47have gone there to see if there were any Lyndalls there.
48
49Good night. I’ve just had a smoke & I am going to bed. You will see in
50the long run you will be this very rich successful man with children &
51everything. I shall be a unreadable solitary wanderer. Isn’t if funny
52that since I’ve come back to Africa the old passionate love of life
53has come back to me. Oh life is so beautiful. In all those ten years I
54was in England Death seemed to me nothing but the beautiful great
55white angel coming to set me free. I am not afraid of death, I could
56never be that, I can never cease to be part of this infinite life. But
57this blue sky is so beautiful. I want nothing more. I am satisfied.
58Even a childless solitary old woman living alone here, I feel it is
59such a beautiful thing to live.
60
61Good night again Harry, how faithful you are to me I believe no one
62has ever loved another humanbeing so truly as you love me.
63
64Your little
65Olive
66
Notation
The advance sheets and publishing rights referred to concern the publication of Dreams in the USA. Draznin’s (1992) version of this letter is in some respects different from our transcription. Cronwright-Schreiner’s (1924) extract is incorrect in various ways.