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Letter ReferenceSchreiner-Hemming Family BC 1080 A1.7/95
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date1907
Address FromDe Aar, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToHenrietta ('Ettie') Schreiner m. Stakesby Lewis (1891)
Other Versions
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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. The year and place have been written on this letter in an unknown hand.
1 My own Ellie
3 It was strange I got your letter this morning: last night as I was
4walking up & down the room I kept thinking of you, & it struck me
5perhaps you’d like bring Guy here, & stay in this little house. But
6a letter from Dr Brown tells me you are going to stay at a boarding
7house near Triangle. Oh my darling I hope it will do Guy good, but
8there will be little, little rest for thy dear heart!
10 I often wonder if an idea of mine that keeps coming to me would have
11any good for you in it.
13 Logan’s big Hotel Milner does not pay. For nearly two months I was
14the only person there. Their charges are too high & Mr Logan doesn’t
15get on with most people, but it’s a splendid house with about 40
16unreadable bedrooms, & beautiful sitting rooms & drawing rooms &
17smoking room. As an hotel merely it will never pay; but it always
18comes to me what an ideal place for your work, on the railway line
19where everyone could see it & hear of of it, & where everyone could
20come as far as climate goes, because its not as high as these awfull
21parts, & not low & damp in Winter like Cape Town. I heard from some
22one, not Mr Logan, but someone who knows about his business that Logan
23wants to let ^close^ it. If you could let the Highlands to some rich
24Johannesburgers furnished & could for for the same price take the
25Hotel Milner you might ultimately have 100 patients because there are
26a number of empty house there you could use. The only difficulty would
27be I don’t know if you could get water enough for the baths.
29 It isn’t only because then I could come & stay with you, that I
30dream of this, its much more I think it would suite you & Elberty &
31all much better. Though I do long so to see you & be near you if you
32were staying anywhere where it was at all possible I would come & try
33your treatment. And oh my darling I long so to be near those I love.
34I'm so lonely here. Cron has to stay at de Aar, his business is
35getting large & he couldn’t go any where else. But I fear I shall
36never be able to live there. I have been very ill lately dear I have
37never been like this before except at de Aar, attacks of angina
38unreadable coming often, & always this faintness & coldness; it never
39leaves me now. I shan’t be able to stay in Cape Town this cession,
40but perhaps I’ll go down with Cron for a few weeks because its the
41only place where I can see my darling any more. Oh Ellie isn’t it
42strange how one loves ones husband; its like a hundred children in one,
43 nothing breaks it, nothing really changes it.
45 Is it a boarding house you are going to stay at near to Triangle? If
46there’s room for me & I shouldn’t be disturbing you, I’d like so
47to come & stay a week when I’m coming up from Cape Town. I know I
48shan’t be able to stay there more than a couple of weeks; I shall
49never stay in Cape Town more than a couple of weeks, I was too ill
50last time.
52 All life is just becoming a dream of physical pain to me, a dream that
53seems slipping between my fingers & I can’t grasp anything. People
54think when people drop dead suddenly of heart disease they have died
55easily; they don’t know the years in which they have struggled hand
56over hand with death, by day & by night. I would be so willing to die,
57but oh I wish so to get just a little well to finish my book. Then I
58could die easily & think I had left something to comfort & help some
59other women perhaps.
61 Good bye my dear one. I do hope that rest will do you good, if Guy
62gets better, of course it will, but if he doesn’t you will get worse
63& worse under the invisible strain. Yet I understand so well your
64longing to try what you can do.
66 Your old little
67 Emmie
'Finishing my book' at this time in Schreiner's life refers to From Man to Man.