Olive Schreiner

Olive Schreiner was a South African author, anti-war campaigner and intellectual.

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A little weeping, a little wheedling, a little self-degradation, a little careful use of our advantages, and then some man will say .Come, be my wife! With good looks and youth marriage is easy to attain. There are men enough; but a woman who has sold herself, even for a ring and a new name, need hold her skirt aside for no creature in the street. They both earn their bread in one way. Marriage for love is the most beautiful external symbol of the union of souls; marriage without it is the least clean traffic that defiles the world.
Everything has two sides -- the outside that is ridiculous, and the inside that is solemn.
From our earliest hour we have been taught that the thought of the heart, the shaping of the rain-cloud, the amount of wool that grows on a sheep's back, the length of a drought, and the growing of the corn, depend on nothing that moves immutable, at the heart of all things; but on the changeable will of a changeable being, whom our prayers can alter. To us, from the beginning, Nature has been but a poor plastic thing, to be toyed with this way or that, as man happens to please his deity or not; to go to church or not; to say his prayers right or not; to travel on a Sunday or not. Was it possible for us in an instant to see Nature as she is --the flowing vestment of an unchanging reality?
Men are like the earth and we are the moon; we turn always one side to them, and they think there is no other, because they don't see it -- but there is.
My feeling is that there is nothing in life but refraining from hurting others, and comforting those that are sad.
My feeling is that there is nothing in life but refraining from hurting others, and comforting those who are sad.
Now we have no God. We have had two: the old God that our fathers handed down to us, that we hated, and never liked; the new one that we made for ourselves, that we loved; but now he has flitted away from us, and we see what he was made of -- the shadow of our highest ideal, crowned and throned. Now we have no God.
Power! Did you ever hear of men being asked whether other souls should have power or not? It is born in them. You may dam up the fountain of water, and make it a stagnant marsh, or you may let it run free and do its work; but you cannot say whether it shall be there; it is there. And it will act, if not openly for good, then covertly for evil; but it will act.
Slavery may, perhaps, be best compared to the infantile disease of measles; a complaint which so commonly attacks the young of humanity in their infancy, and when gone through at that period leaves behind it so few fatal marks; but which when it normally attacks the fully developed adult becomes one of the most virulent and toxic of diseases, often permanently poisoning the constitution where it does not end in death.
There was never a great man who had not a great mother.
We were equals once when we lay new-born babes on our nurse's knees. We will be equal again when they tie up our jaws for the last sleep.

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