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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box3/Fold1/1902/19
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date15 June 1902
Address FromHanover, Northern Cape
Address ToKenilworth, Cape Town, Western Cape
Who ToBetty Molteno
Other Versions
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. The name of the addressee and the address this letter was sent to are provided by an attached envelope, which has been opened and passed by the military censor.
1 Hanover
2 June 15 / 02
3
4 Thanks for your post card. This is a PC I have just got from Isie
5Smuts
. It grieves me that after two years separation from her husband
6now there may soon be a chance of their being together again she
7should be so ill. But she may get better after the operation
8
9 I think it would be nice if you went to England in June. I would not
10stay one day in South Africa, I would go tomorrow if I could stand the
11voyage, & if Cron would go with me. But he could not sta stand the
12life in the quiet health resort I have to live in, & for me to live
13alone on the Riviera while he lived in London or Paris I couldn’t
14bear. So there seems nothing for it but to live on permanently in
15Hanover.
16
17 I am still quite without a servant of any kind, life the personal life
18has become for me nothing but cleaning of floors & pots. It curious
19how long continued unbroken physical labour kills out the intellectual
20life; but one would sometimes be glad if it killed the emotional too;
21but when one is too tired to work or think one can still feel. I have
22so much the feeling of a person who after a funeral co comes back to
23the empty house, so cold, so silent, where the old life must still be
24lived.
25
26 I enclose you Isie Smut’s P.C. Write to her, I think she needs
27comforting & loving though she says nothing.
28
29 The mountains about are beautifully white with snow. At present I
30can’t bear to look at them: perhaps the feeling will pass one day. I
31see in the paper Frank Reitz is going to live in Europe. If you see my
32little sister Fan tell me whether she seems well, & in good spirits.
33unreadable
34
35 It will do both Miss Greene & you great good if you can go to England,
36especially if you can go to Switzerland & Italy.
37
38 Good bye dear friend
39 Olive
40
41
42
Notation
The postcard from Isie Smuts, dated 12 June 1902 and from a sanatorium in Pietermaritzburg, is attached:

'Thanks so much for your dear letter; it was so good of you to answer my last so soon & I need not tell you how glad I was to hear from you again I am writing to my husband today – if it’s at all possible I know he will try & see you, but as he is very much pressed for time & may find it impossible now, the best thing will be that you come & see us as soon as you can at the same dear old place where we spent so many happy hours in the old days of the Republic – I suppose things will take some time to get in order, but you & your husband won’t mind that as long as there are warm hearts to welcome you, will you? At present I am out of it all, content to lie here & let others do my work till I am strong enough to do it myself. I have had to undergo an operation, not a serious one but one which was necessary & which makes three weeks in bed & a couple of months quiet a necessity – when I shall therefore see my darling I do not know, but I want him to visit all our people in the W. Province before returning to fetch his troublesome wife who must needs get ill now. Once more thanks for your kind letter – this is my first after the operation but I shall write again. Fond love, Isie ^Mother’s address: Mrs J.D. Krige Senr. Libertas ?Pariva, Stellenbosch^'.