"Angry exchange with Little, Brown & Co, 'Stray Thoughts on South Africa' is not published" Read the full letter
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Letter ReferenceSmuts A1/188/66
ArchiveNational Archives Repository, Pretoria
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date3 September 1904
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 September 3rd 1904
3
4 Dear Isie
5
6 Just the day after the beautiful fruit arrived I had to start off on a
7long journey to fetch my dear old fathers remains to rest by my
8mothers in Cape Town. I only returned the day pefore before yesterday.
9I took a bag full of the fruit with me, & we enjoyed it much. You can
10get plenty of oranges here but such wretched little sour things, only
11good for cooking. I have still some of the nartjes quite quite good,
12only dry.
13
14 Thank you very much dear Isie for writing me for the 16th of December.
15I don’t know when I have wished so much for anything as to be there.
16But is it true that cheap ticket will be given by the English
17government costing only £1 return from Stellenbosch & Cape Town? In
18that case I shall not be able to come, as the trains will be too
19crowded & I My heart is a bit bad now & I shouldn’t be any good when
20I got there if I came in a crush with no place place to lie down. It
21doesn’t seem to me likely that the British Government should try to
22collect thousands & thousands of Africanders in Pretoria on that date,
23but it may be so! Please let me know if your husband knows anything of
24the matter, as everyone here is very anxious to hear the truth. Thank
25you so much dear Isie for offering the room & to pay my expenses but I
26fear I shant be able to come but I think my husband will unreadable
27try to. That funeral seems to me so much more than a funeral. It
28should be a testimony that the love of freedom which lived in the old
29man’s heart is not really buried with him but lives on in the hearts
30of the thousands of South Africans who follow his remains.
31
32 Next Thursday ^Tuesday^ I leave for Cape Town to attend the re-burial of
33my dear old fathers remains beside my mother’s; whom he always loved
34so tenderly & devotedly. I & my sister felt we couldn’t rest till he
35was sleeping beside her. He would have wished it so. I shall not stay
36in Cape Town very long, & Cron will send on all my letters to me at once.
37 So just address here.
38
39 Thank you so much for the picture of little Sannie. She looks
40splendidly strong & happy. I don’t mean only physically strong, but
41she has such a strong little face, in her picture, mentally as well.
42When I was in Eastern Province I meet some old friends English farmers
43who fought all through the war on the English side. They are very
44bitter, one & all, at the way they have been treated, much more bitter
45than the Dutch
; & they all say without exception "Never will we take
46up a gun for the British Government again." It was rather interesting
47to be among them. I think it is so well that Jameson & his party are
48in power now: they are wonderful educators. I should like very much to
49meet Botha & de la Rey. One would see all our leading people if one
50came up to the funeral.
51
52 // I am so glad Daisy has a little one. Perhaps she will get quite
53strong now. Much love to you
54
55 Olive Schreiner
56
57