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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box2/Fold4/1901/43
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date6 July 1901
Address FromHaartebeest Hoek, De Aar, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToBetty Molteno
Other Versions
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 is indicated by salutation and content.
1 Hartebeest Hoek
2 nr de Aar
3 July 6 / 01
5 Dear Friend
7 Thank you so much for your note. We are still here but shall either
8return to Hanover next week or go to Hope Town if the military we give
9us a pass. I am feeling better, if only I could lie down at night I
10should soon be able to do something but sitting up all night makes me
11so tired. The velt is so beautiful & still here, it rests one so. The
12dear old velt. There has been as you will have seen from the papers a
13big fight two hours from Hanover 11 of the English wounded are there &
14two have died. I wish I were in Hanover to help nurse them, one feels
15if one could do something to lessen the suffering of war in any way it
16would be such a comfort to one. A train was thrown from the line by
17the Boers last week about an hour from this, but I am thankful none of
18the passengers were injured. It seems to me this war will go on for
19years & years till all our hearts are broken.
21 Yours lovingly ever
22 Olive
24 If Cron can get a pass he will be coming down to Cape Town in a few fe
25weeks. How are you & Miss Greene. Is she keeping better. Remember me
26to all friends. I’ll write as soon as I know if we return at once to
27Hanover or go to Hope Town.
On 9 July 1901, Cronwright-Schreiner’s ‘updating’ letter to Molteno from Haartebeest Hoek commented as follows:

‘Your letter of 3 inst came this morning. We hoped to go to Hopetown this week, but my sister there has been suddenly taken ill, so that we cannot go for at least a fortnight; so we are returning to Hanover on Saturday.

Olive is undoubtedly stronger; & it is unfortunate that we have to go back to Hanover though only for a few weeks; but that cannot be helped. She walks better, but has to go very slowly. She is seldom if ever quite free of wheezing and a night never passes without one or more of her heart collapses, which however decrease in severity in proportion as she is free of wheezing (asthma). I have often before seen her ill, but never before have I seen her mental energy desert her as it has now, reducing her almost to the level of the average person.

But no doubt this will all come right. It must be a case of complete nervous exhaustion. She has been very happy here, & I cannot be thankful enough that she has escaped the excitement of Hanover during recent events. We have a beautifully sunny room here, & our host & hostess are the most delightful people. They have been good.

I trust you & Miss Greene are well and happy in many ways.

I shall write again from Hanover. I am now quite decided that farming is the only reasonable life. A farm is not the place “where wealth ?accumulates and men decay.”

I am glad about that Liberal split in England. I urged the breaking away when I was over there and got lectured for it, even Hobson unreadable after one of my speeches. But a Liberal party with Rosebury, Herbert Gladstone, Sir G. Grey, Asquith and Fowler (at least) is a contradiction in terms; they have been throttling true Liberalism.’