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Letter ReferenceSmuts A1/187/94
ArchiveNational Archives Repository, Pretoria
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateSunday September 1902
Address FromHanover, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToIsie Smuts nee Krige
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
The Project is grateful to the National Archives Repository, Pretoria, 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.
1 Hanover
2 Sunday night
4 Dear Isie
6 I hope you got my last letter all right. I have yours & Daisy’s.
8 Cron is still away on his visit to Cape Town but returns tomorrow
9morning. I wish he could have stayed longer but there is too much work
10waiting for him here. He has looked wonderfully tired & aged ever
11since he returned from England. I hardly think you would know him. Boy
12Pienaar is out of prison on £5000 pounds bail!! When he is to be
13tried I don’t yet know. Perhaps Cron will have heard in Cape Town. I
14get long letters from Miss Molteno every week. She is staying at the
15Hotel in London where the Generals stay: the letters are very
16interesting. Have you read a truly fine article in the Speaker for Aug.
17 23rd on "Dignity". You would both enjoy it much. It expresses exactly
18my feeling & I am sure it would yours. I put all my little war
19treasures in my work box. Some one tells me that some of the dear old
20prisoners at St Helena have made me a very pretty broach, but I
21haven’t got it yet.
23 I have a very good little Bushman boy now, who washes all my pots &
24cleans the floors &c. It seems like heaven to have him: I could get
25time for writing now; but somehow it’s curious, nothing seems to me
26to matter any more. Every thing. I don’t mean that intellectually I
27have lost my hope in the future either for humanity or for our own
28land. But for the first time in my life nothing seems to matter to me,
29& one can’t write while one feels like that.
31 I enclose a cheque for your husband for the money he paid out for my
32goods at the station. Some day I’ll tell you what a time I had with
33those clerks. How they bullied & unsettled me. If it hadn’t been for
34the dear old station master I don’t know what I should have done.
35They over charged for the luggage too, more than twice too much, but I
36shall get a refund from the traffic manager in Cape Town. The spite of
37these unclean little officials is something wonderful. I did not do
38anything about their conduct at the station, because I was so anxious
39he should know nothing of it & not be mixed up with them in any way. I
40am dreading being exposed to the railway again next month when I have
41to go to Cape Town for two days to see my dear old Mother, who is
42growing very weak & old. I shall not stay in Town more than two days,
43but shall be staying with Anna Purcell, so shall be sure to see Malan
44who lives next door. It will be refreshing to see them all. Hearty
45greetings to your Husband & Daisy.
47 Olive Schreiner
49 ^P.S. I quite forgot to tell you when I was up that my friend Mrs
50Viljoen for whose baby you sent the things called her baby Jan
51Dela-ray De Wet, after your husband Delaray & De Wet. He is my God son
52& a lovely little fellow. He is always still wearing the little things
53you sent.^
The 'fine article' on dignity referred to was unsigned and is: "On Dignity" The Speaker Saturday 23 August 1902, pp.544-5. It concerns the visit of the Boer Generals to Britain and Chamberlain's inhospitable treatment of them, the intrusive behaviour of journalists, the General's good conduct and similar topics likely to have appealed to Schreiner.