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Letter ReferenceJohn X. Merriman MSC 15/1904:73
ArchiveNational Library of South Africa, Special Collections, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date22 February 1904
Address FromHanover, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToJohn X. Merriman
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
The Project is grateful to the National Library of South Africa (NLSA), Cape Town, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Special Collections.
1 Hanover
2 22 Feb / 04
4 Dear Mr Merriman
6 I am glad to see you are so soon to have a seat, but you will be a
7terrible loss to us during the first weeks. I am going down with my
8husband ^& arrive in Town^ on the 2nd of March: but I doubt whether I
9shall ever visit the house: without yourself & with many whom one has
10desired never to see there it will not be cheering I would not much
11have minded our being in the minority had you been there. I think you
12would not be able to help feeling some pleasure if you heard the the
13deeply sympathetic & admiring way our people speak ^here^ of you. There
14is absolute consternation at the thought of your not being in
15parliament. I am glad of this for many reasons. One is that it shows
16they are quite able to appreciate your qualities though you are an
19 I suppose you will be in Cape Town giving your advice though not in
20the house, at once.
22 Yours very sincerely
23 Olive Schreiner
25 This note requires no reply as I know how busy you must be. Pl As to
26Mrs Cloete, what did you ever expect from her? I have never been
27introduced to her but I have seen her; & that told me what to expect.
28unreadable from her As to her want of character being a reason for
29women's not having the franchise; you see how much harm an
30unprincipled woman can do without it!! You cannot prevent power from
31being exerted & its fo better to give responsibility where power
! Secondly, have you never met any other persons of the opposite
33sex whom it was objectionable to have in the political arena - say
34Rhodes, Smart, Jameson JS Du Toit? God, if they had never had the
35franchise what a blessed thing it would have been! Don't you think we
36shall bring in a bill for disenfranchising all males? Really, I don't
37think sex touches a man or womans the fitness or unfitness of any
38human creature for politics any more than ^for^ mathematics or any other
39abstract intellectual operation. There are fools of both sexes &
40scoundrels too. Remind me to tell you some day if ever we meet how one
41little Boer woman here stiffened the backs of our
43^leading men & Bonds men & prevented them from one of the most fatal &
44cowardly steps, in the height of the Martial Law.^
46 ^There is one little point on which I have not been quite able to
47understand your utterances. I won't trouble you about it would now but
48would like to dis-cuss it with you some time.^