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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box2/Fold2/July-Dec1899/8
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateMonday 18 July 1899
Address FromJohannesburg, Transvaal
Address ToGirls Collegiate School, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape
Who ToBetty Molteno
Other VersionsRive 1987: 369
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 derived from the postmark on an attached envelope, which also provides the name of the addressee and the address it was sent to.
1 Monday Afternoon
3 Dear Friend
5 I got both your letters this afternoon. There is no fresh news
6unreadable here today. Kolbe’s letter is splendid, outspoken &
9 I am going to write to Innes to find out just what his views are.
11 // I had a nice letter from some man in Canada telling me he had ^just^
12read the paper on the political situations here now, South African
13question, & expressing great sympathy with it. He is a pure Englishman.
14 I am specially anxious we should have the sympathy of the other
15Colonies with us so am glad it has got to Canada. How small the world
16has become now? How we are all forming one big human family.
18 Yes, I knew that Mr Hudson: such a fine, dear old fellow.
20 // I like to think you & Miss Greene look at my mountains & love them.
21I have loved them so all my life ^since I was a child.^ It is on the top
22of that highest point that you see from Cradock that I have bought my
23two acres of ground & where Cron & I & my baby are going to be buried.
25 I know you won’t quite understand it, because you have got a point
26further on than me, & don’t mind where you lie; but its such
27unchanging joy & rest to me to think of that mountain top. Oh the
28peace the beauty of it up there. You can see far far away right down
29to the sea ^mountains^ one way & away to the Katberg the other. Often
30since I have been in Johannesburg, there has seemed nothing else on
31earth beautiful to me personally but that mountain top. The last time
32Cron & I were up there we counted over 100 butterflies sitting on the
33flower spike of one aloe!
35Mr Lloyd will arrive here on Friday. Its so nice to know you are
37^in Cradock. You don’t seem so far.^
The 'paper on the political situations' referred to is An English South African's View of the Situation, originally published in the South African News over three successive days; see 'Words in Season. An English South African's View of the Situation' South African News 1 June 1899 (p.8), 2 June 1899 (p.8) and 3 June 1899 (also p.8). It was also reprinted in a number of other newspapers. It then was published as a pamphlet, then as a book. A second edition of the book was ready but withdrawn from publication by Schreiner when the South African War started in October 1899, so as not to profit from this. Rive's (1987) version has been misdated and omits part of this letter.