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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner: Mary Sauer MSC 26/2.11.51
ArchiveNational Library of South Africa, Special Collections, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSunday 1892
Address FromMatjesfontein, Western Cape
Address To
Who ToMary Sauer nee Cloete
Other VersionsRive 1987: 204
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
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 year has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. Content indicates Schreiner was in Matjesfontein when it was written.
1 Sunday morning
2
3 Dear Mary,
4
5 I've just seen a notice in the Kimberley Independent that "a marriage
6has been arranged" between myself & Mr Seymour Fort. I do hope dear
7you & Mr Sauer do me the kindness to say how utterly false it is if
8Miss people talk of it to you.
9
10 From the first time Mr Fort met me at my brothers at Mount Vernon two
11years ago now ^more^ he knew perfectly well that there was not the
12slightest possibility of my
ever marrying him.
13
14 You would have to know what a curious shrinking from publicity of
15every kind my nature has, to know how very painful to me is such a
16notice in papers. If I really loved a man & were going to marry him it
17would be agony to me that other people should know it, & dis-cuss it;
18but these absolute untruths are more painful yet.
19
20 Not long ago all the leading Paris papers came out with a big heading
21"Interesting Item" and stated that Miss Olive Schreiner was engaged to
22a leading French politician, the marriage to take place in September."
23I don't even know who the French politician is. One would think that
24leading such a quiet & solitary life as I do here people would not
25have anything to say about me.
26
27 Now the Logans have gone I am the only person here except the servants
28& railway officials. It's such a beautiful heavenly day, one of those
29days that come only once or twice a year. I wish you were here, dear
30one, to share it with me. Give my love to Mr Sauer. I haven't read
31that new book of Mrs Wards yet. I look forward to doing so.
32
33 Good bye, dear one
34 Olive
35
36 A report even much more painful reached me from Kimberley the other
37day. It was ?Mr ?Fort ?offered that some man whom I hardly knew had
38proposed to me & I had refused him. This is curiously painful, because
39if any man had proposed to me not even my mother or my brother should
40ever know of
41
42^it & in this case I am sure the man has not even a feeling of interest
43in me, & it seems cruelly unjust to him that^
44
45^such a report should be set going. Well, I will get to my work!^
46
Notation
The reference to 'Mrs Ward's new book' is: Mrs Humphrey Ward (1892) The History of David Grieve London: Smith & Elder. Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.