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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box2/Fold2/July-Dec1899/28
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date14 September 1899
Address FromKarree Kloof, Kran Kuil, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToWilliam Philip ('Will') Schreiner
Other VersionsRive 1987: 378-9
PermissionsPlease read before using or citing this transcription
Legend
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.
1 Karree Kloof
2 Kran Kuil
3
4 Sep 14 / 99
5
6 Dear Laddie
7
8 I enclose a letter I have just got from Hobson the Manchester Guardian
9Representative (he’s the man who whose book about modern capitalism
10I once sent you, a splendid fellow).
11
12 You will see he is very anxious I should cable home. I am sending a
13short cable today, merely stating how enormous the evils of war would
14be, & backing John Morley’s speech.
15
16 I should like to cable much more fully were I in Pretoria or Cape Town
17& therefore fully in touch with the movement of the moment. If you or
18Hoffmyer can suggest anything which it would be well I should cable I
19would find it help-ful.
20
21 Would a eulogistic mention of Butler be out of place? You can not well
22so praise him as being ministers of the crown your relation to Milner
23is very delicate, mine I different. I would give much for even one
24long talk with you, but I dare not come to Cape Town while the rain
25lasts, & there is no possibility you will be able to leave for a
26holiday anywhere if matters continue in their present position.
27
28 There is only one point on I which it seems to me you & are inclined
29to differ. I fancy that you hold that it would not be a bad thing if
30the flag of the Transvaal as an independent state went down, & by
31peaceful means, it became a colony under the English crown. Now to
32myself, that means the death of South African freedom. Ultimately we
33have nothing to fight the capitalists with but the guns & forts of the
34Transvaal. Milner would have turned you all &of off long ago & put
35Rhodes & Co in your places, but for that armed shadow in the back
36ground.
37
38 Ultimately, I fear, (I say fear because I believe that small states
39tell far more in favour of the freedom & good government of mankind
40than large) all South Africa will be more or less united in one sort
41of united states; but one of the first principals of statesman ship in
42South Africa from my point of view is to keep all our states as small
43& separate as possible. I can’t unreadable go into all the I can’t
44go into a consideration of all the arguments on which I base my view
45– no doubt you have gone over the whole ground quite as carefully as
46I have myself. I would like to know on what a thoughtful mind like
47yours bases its desire for Union. If the English government once gains
48control of the Transvaal in a military sense, as she now has control
49of the Colony; it seems to me South Africa may, all & almost must fall
50entirely into the hands of the Capitalists. Already in 1894 the guns
51of the Transvaal Boer saved fre the spirit of freedom in South Africa
52lay prostrate at the foot of the Capitalist. & our need of those guns
53is not passed. The whole subject is however enormously complex: & I
54see many sides to it.
55
56 I feel it very promising that Garrett has left & that Stead has at
57last come over to our side. I hear from Percy Molteno that old General
58?Anderson strongly supports Butler’s line of action.
59
60 Good bye dear Laddie. Take what care is possible of your health.
61 Olive
62
63 We shall not be returning to Johannesburg till the end of the month,
64if then. I would stay on here for another month as there is no work
65for Cron now in Johannesburg, but I hardly like to fasten our selves
66onto our dear good friend here for such a length of time.
67
Notation
Riv'?s (1987) version omits part of this letter and is also in a number of respects incorrect.