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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner: Mary Sauer MSC 26/2.11.88
ArchiveNational Library of South Africa, Special Collections, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date1 April 1895
Address FromThe Homestead, Kimberley, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToMary Sauer nee Cloete
Other VersionsRive 1987: 249
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 The Homestead
2 Mar April 1st 1895
4 Darling Mary
6 Thankyou for your sweet remembrance of my birthday.
8 I was so disappointed not to see your sister before she left.
10 I am creeping along as usual. I am hoping day by day I have not so
11long to wait as the doctor thinks. I feel as if it might be born any
12day. But feelings are so no guide in such a case. ?Or & it may yet be
13a month & more.
15 April 4th Your sister called yesterday. I'm so sorry I've not been
16able to see more of her. Please don't mention the Watkins matter to
17her. I know I ought not to have asked Dr W to recommend me some nurses
18to chose from unless I meant to engage him - but I never thought of it
19as a business matter. They have so often invited us their house & we
20have always refused, so that I felt in asking a tiny favour of him I
21was rather showing friendliness of feeling!! It's not a usual fault of
22mine to ask favours of others, & some how it always turns out more
23blessed to give than to receive!
25 How will you do if you come up now, my darling, as your sister is
26gone? I'm so sorry I can't put you up. The nurse sleeps in my study &
27Cron on a sofa in my room & the little servant on a sofa in the dining
28room. I have been trying to get a room for the nurse in one of the
29cottages round, but can't.
31 ^For some things it would have been better if we had hired a house in
32Kimberley for the time, but I've such a nice bedroom here, with big
33glass door. I could not get well so quickly in a little pokey
34Kimberley room. Have you read Grant Allen's "the Woman who did"? It's
35not a work of art at all, & the woman seems to me so hopeless wrong in
36making a martyr of her child without its consent. It's not the legal
37armory which does the harm in marriage, but the selfishness &
38materiality on both sides goes to form so many marriages. The two
39people are not bound together by the higher but by the lower side of
40their natures.^
42 Good bye my sweet old Mary
43 Olive
The book referred to is: Grant Allan (1895) The Woman Who Did Boston: Roberts Brothers. Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.