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Letter ReferenceOlive Schreiner BC16/Box3/Fold3/1904/15
ArchiveUniversity of Cape Town, Manuscripts & Archives, Cape Town
Epistolary TypeLetter
Letter DateWednesday 14 June 1904
Address FromHanover, Northern Cape
Address To
Who ToAlice Greene
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 date has been written on this letter in an unknown hand. The name of the addressee is indicated by salutation and content. Schreiner was resident in Hanover from September 1900 to October 1907, after 1902 with visits, sometimes fairly lengthy, elsewhere.
1 Wednesday ^afternoon^
3 Dear Friend,
5 I am so sorry to hear Miss Molteno is ill, & yet thankful to think she
6is compelled to rest. She was, I could see who when I was in Town
7wearing herself out over mental things. Please write me a line to tell
8me how she is
? Are you keeping fit?
10 I have written to Lennox Murray that about the meerkats & will send
11two if he is still at Nelspoort. Cron does not want to part with
12Tommie-two (so called because he is so like his father, Tommie the
13first). But I’ll send the other two. I don’t like to part with any
14but can’t travel about with them all if ever I want to go away from
15Hanover & I have no one here I could trust to look after them.
17//We have at last had fine rain here: it ought to help with the fever,
18but oh dear friend it is terrible The ^one^ Doctor is down with it & 16
19of our leading people, besides unreadable ^so many^ the natives & people
20on the farms. A fine young man of 20 died yesterday. The doctor
21unreadable thinks it is the water. I am better today, my head is
22clearer than it has been for 20 days: my temperature has been up to
23101 & 102½ & I think sometimes higher when I’ve been too bad to
24take it, & I’ve been quite alone in this house with out even a
25servant, only twice has any one come to ask how I was. I have some
26times felt as if I were going mad. Did you ever read Kipling’s story,
27 "The end of the passage"? But I am much much better to-day. I think I
28am going to get quite well. Cron wrote to me to try & get away from
29Hanover, but when one feels so weak one can’t start off any where, &
30I don’t know where to go. Oh if they would build big sanatoriums
31some where up country, not in the unhealthy smelly little towns, but
32on farms.
34 Olive
36 If you take my advice you will not build a house, you will but one
37ready built, & add on to it or change it. There are three empty houses
38standing here now, & the people who built them will never get what
39they spent on them, just as we if we sell it will never get more than
40half of what we spent on this house.
42 It is so hard to be so ill when I could so much to help the other
43people if I was well enough to go & nurse them. But I think the fever
44will stop now with the rain.
Rudyard Kipling's (1891) 'At the end of the passage' is in his Life’s Handicap, Being Stories of My Own People London: Macmillan.