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Letter ReferenceSchreiner-Hemming Family BC 1080 A1.7/65
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateThursday September 1903
Address FromHanover, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToHenrietta (‘Ettie’) Schreiner m. Stakesby Lewis (1891)
Other Versions
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
The Project is grateful to Manuscripts and Archives, University of Cape Town, for kindly allowing us to transcribe this Olive Schreiner letter, which is part of its Manuscripts and Archives Collections. This letter has been dated by reference to content. Rebecca Schreiner died in September 1903. Schreiner was resident in Hanover from September 1900 to October 1907, after 1902 with visits, sometimes fairly lengthy, elsewhere.
1 Thursday night
3 My darling Ettie,
5 Thank you for your letter. I haven’t written before because my heart
6seems to get so bad if I try to write to any one. I can get through my
7house work better.
9 I hope you got my wire & letter card all right. If you will let me
10know when Wynnie is passing I shall try to be there to meet her & get
11the photographs myself. But I shall have to know some time before as
12one can’t raise a cart & horses for hire in a minute here. I am so
13grateful you had the photos taken. It is strange that on the 2nd of
14September I was thinking that I would send down the money to ask you
15to have a photographer up take one especially for me.
17 I shall try to come down dear, next month October, or early in
18November. I should like to see the old room just once as it all was.
19Could you keep it so long. I think your plan about the things is very
20good, we can see about that when I come. Any of the old things I took
21would come back to the grand children Effie & Wyn & Dot or Ursula
22because I have no one else to leave them to. There is one thing if I
23would like to have if Will will let me ^have it.^ A photograph of Will,
24a very good one taken either in Kimberley or Town; it hung in
25mother’s little room. I have no photo of Will’s taken during the
26last 12 years & I should like to have it so much. I can’t write
27about the other old things to night. You might ask Will about the
28photograph before he gives it away to some one else, if you see him. I
29wish you could have some real rest & change, dear one. I suppose you
30will not care really to leave the Highlands before all is over & right
31with our little Effie. When that is over you should go away for a real
32complete change.
34 I am better, I have very little pain, I might almost say none, less
35than I have had for years. But I feel so weak, it feels like tiredness,
36 but no eating & no sleeping makes it any less. I would like to try &
37come down next month. My poor old husband ^is having a great deal of
38trouble here^. The man who managed his business here has mismanaged it
39terribly & I don’t want to leave him just now while he’s so
40worried & seems to cling to me (this about the business is private of
43 How is Guy’s health dear one & how is Elberty? I think it would be
44nice if you went up for a few weeks to John’s farm. Dear old John, I
45don’t like him being away up there so far from us all. I am always
46afraid of his getting ill & dying almost alone not liking to send for
47any of us - & we are all he has.
49 I’m so glad I came to Cape Town when I did. I was out walking alone
50that Friday evening, & I’d no intention of going to Cape Town, in
51fact there were many reasons why I didn’t want to go, & I’d only
52been out of bed for two days, & such a feeling came over me that I
53must go, & go the next Sunday. Miss Molteno & Miss Greene were so
54surprised when I came home to hear of my sudden resolve, & now I feel
55it was so right, I am so glad I went. You know Ettie why I knew she
56couldn’t live long, the swelling had gone out of the face & it was
57so small & bright again & the eye so clear. She looked like she used
58to years & years ago. I’m so glad Cron went.
60 Good bye dear one
61 Olive