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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner: Mary Sauer MSC 26/2.11.11
ArchiveNational Library of South Africa, Special Collections, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateFebruary 1891
Address FromMatjesfontein, Western Cape
Address To
Who ToMary Sauer nee Cloete
Other VersionsRive 1987: 187-8
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. The month and year have been written on this letter in an unknown hand. Schreiner was resident in Matjesfontein from mid April 1890 to mid March 1891, with occasional short visits elsewhere.
1 Dear Mary
3 A word in great hurry. I have got £106 for Peter Naude already, but
4£16 has to go for passage money. I must have £50. I hope I may be
5able to give it him myself before the end of the year, He cant but I
6can't be quite sure what I shall have, because if Alice doesn't get
7better I shall have to go home & take her to Italy or get her out here.
8 If I can I would be very glad to get some more promised but it would
9only be from people who join willingly & felt it worth their while to
10give, you know what I mean: & therefore I don't like to ask people
11that I don't know really care for art & would like to help. I can give
12him first rate introductions to artist &c at home, & he will have all
13help of advice & looking after. He is not going till the 10th of April
14with my sister. I would be very glad if anyone would care to promise,
15that in case I can't give him the other £50 they would help.
17 I should like to feel that if anything should happen to me there are
18other people who would look after him. I don't mind much what people
19unreadable my work. When I was 14 my heart nearly broke, because of
20things people said & did that seemed to me unjust or unkind, but now I
21have such a faith in the rightness & justness of life in the long run,
22& that even injustice & falsehood are working out great ends we do not
23understand, that I never mind so very much. A little, of course!
25 I've got so many stories but I don't think any of them have
26sensational names, I've never that know told them to any one. One is
27called 'New Rush, a Diamond Field Story" & one "Jan Van der Linden's
28wife," & one 'Saints & Sinners' but I should have to call it something
29else if ever I publish it, because there is another book published
30under that name.
32 The Innes have just come. I'm so sorry I shan't have very much time to
33be with them till because I'm so busy. I shall be free at end of month
34 & then we can go to Kimberley & every where & do everything.
36 Good bye
37 Olive
An early draft of 'New Rush' has been published as 'Diamond Fields': Olive Schreiner (1974) 'Diamond Fields' English In Africa 1:1-28. 'Jan Van der Linden's Wife' was either never fully written out or else destroyed. 'Saints & Sinners' was one of the titles for an earlier version of what became From Man to Man and the 'other book' of this title is like to be: John Doran (1868) Saints and Sinners London: Hurst and Blackett. Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.