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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box3/Fold2/1903/5
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter Date31 March 1903
Address FromHanover, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToAlice Greene
Other Versions
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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 of this letter is indicated by salutation and content.
1 Hanover
2 March 31 / 03
4 Dear Friend
6 Thank you so much for your letter telling me of the dear little
7boy’s death. You know I can’t sorrow much for those who die young.
8The time has come at last when I am glad my own little girl died. I
9thought it never would. To me all life would have been different ^if I
10had had her,^ but what of her? Of course about a boy one feels
11different. The longer I live the more I sympathize with the raw Kaffir
12woman who once said to me, "God cannot be good, otherwise why did he
13make woman!"
15 You We can only say it is all a great mystery, we cannot fathom & some
16day, some day in the far future it will perhaps be very beautiful to
17be woman.
19 I wrote telling you the box of grapes had come & were delicious, just
20after I sent the "Soul of a People". I addressed it to Diep River.
21Have you got the book? What No it is easy to get here. For 15/- or
22£1- a cart can be got to go to the station to fetch two, & there is
23the post cart that comes ^leaves the station^ at 5 o’clock every
24morning & takes passenger for 5/- each. But the difficulty is to get a
25place here. You see & Miss Molteno could stay at the hotel – if
26there was a spare room, because the trees & water wouldn’t give you
27asthma as they do me; & the people who have it now are nice
28respectable German’s. It is terribly jingo there but you need only
29be there for meals. I had hoped if you came that Mrs Jim du Toit would
30be able to take you, but she has broken down with over work & can’t
31even look after her own children.
33 Oh do do try to come to Beaufort, if I go to Lamoen-fontein. I am
34writing today to know if they will take me. If not must advertise in
35the papers, & try to get a place on a farm. But very few boer farmers
36care to take boarders: there is not one in this district who would. If
37I am beginning to pack up my things slowly so that there may not be a
38rush of work at the end of the month. I shall try to get a stable to
39store the furniture &c in. If only they hadn’t destroyed my little
40Kimberley house with that bom, I could have kept it & gone back there
43 I am so sorry your side is bad again. Is it the right or left side? It
44isn’t near your heart is it? You know I always thought that pain in
45my left side was mus-cular or came from the stomach till I went to
46England & saw the doctors. But of course you have had the best advice
47that is to be had. unreadable Would the dry up-country air be bad for
50 ^The grapes were very delicious.^
52 Olive
The book referred to is: Harold Fielding Hall (1898) The Soul of a People London: R. Bentley & Son.