"Your words of sympathy re my little story, 'Trooper Peter Halket'" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceW.P. Schreiner MSC 27/406
ArchiveNational Library of South Africa, Special Collections, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date9 May 1900
Address Fromna
Address ToLyndall, Newlands, Cape Town, Western Cape
Who ToWilliam Philip ('Will') Schreiner
Other Versions
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 date of this letter is provided by the postmark on an attached envelope, which also provides the address it was sent to. The letter consists of four pages, which seem to come from two different original letters.
1 Dear Laddie
2
3 What is the true story about the policeman being shot at in your
4grounds? ^Is there any truth in it?^
5
6 There is no doubt ever in my mind that those men who came ^in the night^
7while I was there ^at Lyndall^ did not come merely to rob the house. I
8wish I had kept all the threatening letters I have received; in two of
9them it was added, that your life also would not be long. I got one,
10which I did not however refer to you, the week before last! You see no one
11but the unreadable Rhodesites have anything to gain by the removal of
12such a moderate man as yourself. It is you who are standing between
13Rhodes & power: a true jingo who had no military & political interest
14would hate Sauer & Hofmeyer much more as being Dutch men.
15
16 ^My house in Kimberley has had a bomb sent through the roof which has
17blown it up entirely. The unreadable houses next door, almost touching
18it are untouched.^
19
20 ^I am always rather anxious about you.
21
22 Olive^
23
24[page/s missing]
25
26 Laddie, remember one thing. England is very rotten. Those painted
27society harlets are only a sign of the disease that is eating her from
28above down-wards. I wonder if you remember my telling you once about a
29fast society woman of the Prince of Wale's set who came to see me once
30in London & told me a lie? Probably you've forgotten it; well the same
31woman
32
34[page/s missing]
33
35 the ministry with Rhodes the first time. I can't help you. Each man
36must live & die according to the laws of his own nature. "No man can
37save his brother's soul nor pay his brother's debt." We have each our
38own light & our own path.
39
40
41
Notation
The letter is torn in two places, between the paragraph ending '... anxious about you. Olive' (line 22) and the one starting 'Laddie, remember one thing...' (line 26), and also between the paragraph ending '...well the same woman' (line 31) and the one starting 'the ministry with Rhodes...' (line 35). Then after the latter, the next part of the letter has been crossed through by pen.