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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box1/Fold5/1898/1
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date1 March 1898
Address FromThe Homestead, Kimberley, Northern Cape
Address ToGirls Collegiate School, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape
Who ToBetty Molteno
Other VersionsRive 1987: 326
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. The name of the addressee and the address this letter was sent to are provided by an attached envelope. The name of the addressee is also indicated by salutation and content.
1 The Homestead
2 March 1st 1898
4 Dear Friend
6 The picture has just come. I do like it so. I’m going to hang it up in
7my study.
9 No, we shan’t be able to go to the Kowie this year. It will be
10splendid if you & Miss Greene come up. Come before the green has gone
11from the velt. It’s so lovely now. Bring your bicycles with you so
12that we can all go some rides together. I can’t ride fast but it takes
13one out into the beautiful velt.
15 I am better & working a little again after four weeks off. Wasn’t that
16a splendid speech of President Steyn’s? The Dutch seem the old only
17people who are slowly waking up to the fact that if the whole country
18with all its mineral wealth, mines, tramways, & farms, passes into a
19few hands ^of capitalists,^ freedom in the next generation will be a
20dream of the past in South Africa; but they are only waking up very
21slowly. If only Dutchmen Englishmen & Natives would all see where the
22common danger lies & combine against the common enemy, which is not a
23person; but a system. If Rhodes were to die tomorrow, we should be
24free of the most energetic of the capitalists, but capitalism would be
25with us still! And after all, is it not we who have brought the
26disease on ourselves? Capitalism does not exist in New Zealand because
27men there have been awake to its evils & made it impossible for the
28capitalist to flourish there.
30 I long so to see you both. When will you come? I am busy making a
31little garden before the door at the back. Cron has put up the hedge
32for me. We had our wedding-day last week; we have been married four
33years. They say that all the romance of married life is over when you
34have been married that length of time. But it seems to me not only
35does the other become dearer to you, but he seems more beautiful.
37 Good bye dear friends. I’ve got hundreds of things to say, but we can
39 ^talk when you come.
40 Olive^
42 ^Alice Corthorn has gone to India to attend the plague patients at
43Bombay. I am a little anxious about her. I see one lady Doctor has
44died of the plague already.^
Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.