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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner: Mary Sauer MSC 26/2.11.18
ArchiveNational Library of South Africa, Special Collections, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateTuesday 24 March 1891
Address FromPine Grove, Hof Street, Gardens, Cape Town, Western Cape
Address To
Who ToMary Sauer nee Cloete
Other VersionsRive 1987: 190
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 date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand.
1 Pine Grove
2 Hof Street
5 It's raining so you won't come in today. I can't go out to Lady Loch,
6so I won't come out to you this evening Thank you for all your
7lovingness to me. It was such a nice time. I am leaving on We Thursday
8with the mail train if it goes early, on on Friday ?leaving early if I
9can get an order to sit in the engin. I can't bear to be ?suffed shut
10up in an ordinary carriage.
12 My sister I know would like to see you so. Do come while she's here.
13I'm a bit sorry for what I said the other night. Why need one ever
14criticise, not only people in particular, but people in masses. Why
15should we ever talk about our fellows except the beautiful large parts
16of them. I've been writing an article for the unreadable Fortnightly,
17A returned Colonialist view of South Africa. Of course & I won't sign
18it & no one will know it as mine, they never suspect my newspaper
19articles are mine, but it's hard to finish it, because when one has
20been careful to exclude the least reflection on anybody or thing one
21has great difficulty in producing an absolutely true picture. The only
22men I describe are Mr Sauer Sir Henry, Rhodes & old President Reitz,
23because I know I have sympathy enough with them all to do them justice.
24 I would like to think that when I die that I had not set one word
25down in all my writing which could cause pain to any human creature.
27 Good bye, dear.
29 You will perhaps come if it doesn't rain, & I see its clearing a bit
30but I post this any how.
32 Olive Schreiner
The essay referred appeared under the banner of 'A Returned South African'; see "Stray Thoughts on South Africa" Fortnightly Review July 1891, vol 50, pp.53-74. A set of these essays was to have been published as 'Stray Thoughts on South Africa'. However, although prepared for publication, a dispute with a US publisher and the events of the South African War (1899-1902) prevented this. They and some other essays were posthumously published as Thoughts on South Africa. Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.