Letters of Olive Shreiner

Letter on the Boer War, read at the Paarl Women's Meeting

9th October, 1900.

I regret that it is impossible for me to be with you at the Paarl to-day. My sympathy and my thoughts are with you.

I would have wished to add my personal protest to yours against the attempt to break the spirit of the Republicans by the infliction of suffering on women and children.

Further, I should like to propose that, as a large number of South African women are gathered here, we should take this opportunity of passing a vote of thanks to and of sympathy with that brave and large-hearted body of men and women in England who have opposed this war, and who have laboured at immense loss to themselves to obtain justice and peace for South Africa. They did not succeed in preventing the war; but these men and women form the last strand in that cable of affection and sympathy which bound England to the heart of South Africa.

The day will come when England herself, awakening from the mesmeric sleep in which she now lies under the hands of speculators and capitalists, will reverence the names of these men and women, as now she reveres the names of Burke and Chatham, who fought another hopeless fight for justice and peace a hundred years ago.

We in South Africa will never forget these men and women.