Olive Schreiner

Olive
Schreiner
1855
1920

South African Author, Pacifist and Political Activist

Author Quotes

I think,' said Lyndall, 'that he is like a thorn-tree, which grows up very quietly, without any one's caring for it, and one day suddenly breaks out into yellow blossoms.

Sin looks much more terrible to those who look at it than to those who do it.

We have been so blinded by thinking and feeling that we have never seen the World.

If Nature here wishes to make a mountain, she runs a range for five hundred miles; if a plain, she levels eighty; if a rock, she tilts five thousand feet of strata on end; our skies are higher and more intensely blue; our waves larger than others; our rivers fiercer. There is nothing measured, small nor petty in South Africa.

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.

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.

A little crying, a little flattery, a little self-humiliation, a little careful use of our advantages, and then one of the men will say: Come on, be my wife!

If the bird does like its cage, and does like its sugar, and will not leave it, why keep the door so very carefully shut?

So age succeeds age, and dream succeeds dream, and of the joy of the dreamer no man knoweth but he who dreameth.

Wisdom never kicks at the iron walls it can't bring down.

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.

If you have a deadly fruit to give, it will not grow sweeter by keeping.

The secret of success is concentration, wherever there has been a great life, or a great work, that has gone before. Taste everything a little, look at everything a little; but live for one thing.

An ox at the roadside, when it is dying of hunger and thirst, does not lie down; it walks up and down, up and down, seeking - it knows not what - but it does not lie down.

Indeed it is difficult for all other nations of the world to live in the presence of the Jews. It is irritating and most uncomfortable. The Jews embarrass the world as they have done things which are beyond the imaginable. They have become moral strangers since the day their forefather, Abraham, introduced the world to high ethical standards and to the fear of Heaven. They brought the world the Ten Commandments, which many nations prefer to defy. They violated the rules of history by staying alive, totally at odds with common sense and historical evidence. They outlived all their former enemies, including vast empires such as the Romans and the Greeks. They angered the world with their return to their homeland after 2000 years of exile and after the murder of six million of their brothers and sisters. They aggravated mankind by building, in the wink of an eye, a democratic State which others were not able to create in even hundreds of years. They built living monuments such as the duty to be holy and the privilege to serve one?s fellow men. They had their hands in every human progressive endeavor, whether in science, medicine, psychology or any other discipline, while totally out of proportion to their actual numbers. They gave the world the Bible and even their ?savior.? Jews taught the world not to accept the world as it is, but to transform it, yet only a few nations wanted to listen. Moreover, the Jews introduced the world to one God, yet only a minority wanted to draw the moral consequences. So the nations of the world realize that they would have been lost without the Jews? And while their subconscious tries to remind them of how much of Western civilization is framed in terms of concepts first articulated by the Jews, they do anything to suppress it. They deny that Jews remind them of a higher purpose of life and the need to be honorable, and do anything to escape its consequences? It is simply too much to handle for them, too embarrassing to admit, and above all, too difficult to live by. So the nations of the world decided once again to go out of ?their? way in order to find a stick to hit the Jews. The goal: to prove that Jews are as immoral and guilty of massacre and genocide as some of they themselves are. All this in order to hide and justify their own failure to even protest when six million Jews were brought to the slaughterhouses of Auschwitz and Dachau; so as to wipe out the moral conscience of which the Jews remind them, and they found a stick. Nothing could be more gratifying for them than to find the Jews in a struggle with another people (who are completely terrorized by their own leaders) against whom the Jews, against their best wishes, have to defend themselves in order to survive. With great satisfaction, the world allows and initiates the rewriting of history so as to fuel the rage of yet another people against the Jews. This in spite of the fact that the nations understand very well that peace between the parties could have come a long time ago, if only the Jews would have had a fair chance. Instead, they happily jumped on the wagon of hate so as to justify their jealousy of the Jews and their incompetence to deal with their own moral issues. When Jews look at the bizarre play taking place in The Hague , they can only smile as this artificial game once more proves how the world paradoxically admits the Jews? uniqueness. It is in their need to undermine the Jews that they actually raise them. The study of history of Europe during the past centuries teaches us one uniform lesson: That the nations which received and in any way dealt fairly and mercifully with the Jew have prospered; and that the nations that have tortured and oppressed them have written out their own curse.

The surest sign of fitness is success.

And she said, in a voice strangely unlike her own, 'I see the vision of a poor weak soul striving after good. It was not cut short; and, in the end, it learnt, through tears and much pain, that holiness is an infinite compassion for others; that greatness is to take the common things of life and walk truly among them; that' - she moved her white hand and laid it on her forehead - 'happiness is a great love and much serving. It was not cut short; and it loved what it had learnt - it loved

It is finer to bring one noble human being into the world and rear it well... than to kill ten thousand.

The troubles of the young are soon over they leave no external mark. If you wound the tree in its youth the bark will quickly cover the gash but when the tree is very old, peeling the bark off . . . you will see the scar there still.

And so, it comes to pass at last, that whereas the sky was at first a small blue rag stretched out over us and so low that our hands might touch it, pressing down on us, it raises itself into an immeasurable blue arch over our heads, and we begin to live again.

Make your thought look anything but imbecile fools.

There are only two things that are absolute realities, love and knowledge, and you can't escape them.

And so, it comes to pass in time, that the earth ceases for us to be a weltering chaos. We walk in the great hall of life, looking up and round reverentially. Nothing is despicable - all is meaningful; nothing is small - all is part of a whole, whose beginning and end we know not. The life that throbs in us is a pulsation from it; too mighty for our comprehension, no too small.

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.

There are some wiser in their sleeping than in their waking.

Author Picture
First Name
Olive
Last Name
Schreiner
Birth Date
1855
Death Date
1920
Bio

South African Author, Pacifist and Political Activist