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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box2/Fold1/Jan-June1899/2
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date3 January 1899
Address FromJohannesburg, Transvaal
Address To
Who ToBetty Molteno
Other VersionsRive 1987: 342
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. Schreiner has dated this letter 1898 but it clearly should be 1899. The name of the addressee is indicated by content.
1 Johannesburg
2 Jan 3rd 1898
4 Thankyou so much for your letter, with its good news of matters in
5Cape Town I would have written last week but have been laid up for
6some days. I think the having to rest in bed did me good for I am much
7better today. Do you know how things stand with the Governor? That is
8at present to me the great point. Is he with Rhodes or is he more
9liberal towards our party. I should much like to know. If he is still
10with Rhodes things look bad for the Trans-vaal. You know the longer I
11live in Johannesburg the greater becomes my horror of the place. It
12seems to me like a big cancer on the surface of South Africa. A man
13might lead a great & noble life inside the gates of hell, but there
14would be nothing in the life about him to help him. That’s how it is
15here. No doubt dear old human nature blooms here as else-where, but
16all the external conditions of live tend unreadable. It is curious to
17me & beautiful that my two young brothers-in-law have lived here so
18long & kept themselves so "unspotted from the world." They are such
19splendid boys. The one who is with us has just got work. I shall miss
20him so much. Don’t get too tired at Cape Town. Go & sit on the big
21rocks at Sea Point where the anemonies are. Are you going to go
22up-country some where for a bit after you have been to Cape Town. I do
23hope Miss Greene is really better. My mother was so delighted with Mrs
visit. Oh yes, she is utterly in their
26 ^power. They take care she never hears the other side.
28 Olive^
30 ^Tell me any thing you can about the Governor. Have you seen Mary Sauer^
Rive's (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.