"War sent humanity back 300 years, distant future of justice & freedom" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceSmuts A1/187/98
ArchiveNational Archives Repository, Pretoria
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date22 May 1903
Address FromHanover, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToIsie Smuts nee Krige
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
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.
1 Hanover
2 May 22 / 03
3
4 Dear Isie
5
6 Thank you for your letter. I was down in Grahamstown for six days at
7the trial. It was a hideous farce. The war was "cakes & ale" compared
8to the peace.
9
10 Of Don’t you believe a word you see in the papers about it. It’s
11all untrue. Hamlet with Hamlet left out. I’ll tell you about it some
12day. The whole jury was English & Grahamstown jury. There was one
13Dutch man & he was challenged, I believe because your husband had been
14to his farm when he was in the colony; but am not sure of the
15correctness of this statement. Lombard was his name. "The more you
16refuse to pay your debts, the bigger your debts grow."
17
18 My husband was much better the last two days before I left, though too
19ill to go. I found him when I returned very very ill, for four days he
20was unable to move & I had to feed & nurse him like a little baby.
21Today he is much much better able to sit up in bed & help himself. The
22doctor says he must go to Cape Town at once as it is rheumatism so I
23am taking him down on Tuesday, & we shall arrive in Cape Town on
24Wednesday with the mail train. If my husband che remains ill of course
25I shall stay, but as the doctors think he will get quite better as
26soon as he gets to the coast I shall return to Beaufort West. I shall
27board at first with Danie Theron’s sister Mrs Kriel, & then try to
28go out to some farm. I shall go for some time to Commandant Malan’s
29farm to help him with his book. I am going to write a preface for him
30& help him revise it. Then I am going to send it to England to be
31published. What a dear fellow he is! A man with a real touch of genius
32& yet so child like. He & several of his commando whent went with
33me to Grahamstown to give unreadable evidence that the men from de
34Bael never joined the commando & were never with them, but nothing
35helped.
36
37 When you write please still address here as I will have my letters
38sent on to me, till I know for certain where I shall be. Emily
39Hobhouse
is here: I had a note from her this morning.
40
41 Yes, it would have been splendid, but if I could have gone to Gen de
42Wet’s
unreadable last unreadable but I wouldn’t like to trouble them. If I ever am
43passing there however I should like to go & spend a day at their farm
44to see them all.
45
46 Love to you all
47 Olive
48
49 ^I have to pack up all this my things & be out of this house too by
50Tuesday, & pack my things away in a room as our little cottage is not
51half built yet. I wonder if you can read this I’m writing in such a
52hurry.^
53
54
Notation
The book Schreiner wanted to help Commandant Malan with was a war memoir, but which in the event was never written.