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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box2/Fold1/Jan-June1899/13
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateWednesday 16 April 1899
Address From2 Primrose Terrace, Berea, Johannesburg, Transvaal
Address To
Who ToBetty Molteno
Other VersionsRive 1987: 342-3
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 date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand.
1 Wednesday
3Address Olive Schreiner Primrose Terrace
4 Next door to Pullingers
5 Berea

7My own dear Friend
9^Please address ^
10 Olive Schreiner
11 Primrose Terrace
12 (Nexd door to Pullingers)
13 Berea
14 Johannesburg.
16 I know you won’t mind my asking you not to say any thing about
17Cron’s helping his mother & sister or anything of that in Cape Town.
18You know what a terrible & wonderful place for tittle-tattle Cape Town
19is, & Cron’s mother & sister are so sensitive they won’t even let
20him send them the money by cheque lest it be found out they were not
21independent. I sometimes feel as if even in telling you I had been
22disloyal to them & to Cron to whom they are dearer than his own soul.
24 I often think of what my sister Ettie said once after she had been
25married a few years. She said, "Before you marry you think only of the
26man, you feel the great thing is whether he sympathizes with you & you
27with him &c, but after you have been married a little time, you come
28to feel that you & he matter nothing, that it is his relations &
29friends who are everything." I couldn’t understand it then, but its
30profoundly true. No one can understand it till they are married. The
31path of duty becomes so difficult, so almost impossible to find. Not
32at all because of the other beloved soul, but because of all their
33duties & obligations which have to be squared with yours!
35 People always talk of its being so hard to do right. Oh dear friend, I
36never can understand it; it’s never hard to do right when you know
37what is right; but its so hard to find out!
39 I hope you are resting & going long walks with Miss Greene. I have
40felt curiously anxious ^about political matters^ the last ten days, just
41as I did in the months before the raid, as though a blow would be
42struck from some where, but we know not from where!
44 I am writing three or four hours a day, copying & typewriting, & am
45very grateful that I can.
47 I hope you are resting. Try & get as much sleep as you can.
49 Olive
51 ^You must put next door to Pullingers or they mustn’t find it^
Rive's (1987) version of this letter has been misdated, omits part of the letter, and is also in a number of respects incorrect.