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Updated July 2012

T. E. Lawrence to his family


Jan. 21 1911

Thanks for copied letters. So you are at Barmouth after all! or was it only Father? I could not make out much of the postmarks.  Please tell Arnie that I shot at the wauris one night, and that they ran away forthwith, before I could pick them up. So his tail is not yet, for they have not come back.

Today, though, we have snow all over the hills, which will drive all the animals into the coast-villages. So tomorrow, or tonight all will be well, perhaps. But they are difficult to hit. You read Winckworth's letter I hope. He is not coming out, for Mr. Hogarth has secured a cuneiformist. So that I will not have any responsibility this year. I am very glad of course, for the Arabic will profit thereby. Isn't this ink vile? After all Father had better not come out here. It can be very cold, and wet, and only two houses in all Beyrout (and none in Jebail) have fireplaces, or heating apparatus. So he would be rather put to it to keep warm (ice ½ inch thick). I hope he is better this winter where he is. Is all well in the family? The last three letters have said nothing upon this matter, which may be good news, but of an insubstantial kind. Please remember that my anxiety (there being 6 of you) is necessarily many times greater than your own. Two sides to all arrangements, and I have written manfully, despite the ink. By name Will and Arnie and Mother are expected from any implication of censure, and Father, since his ink weighs so heavy in the post (not but that his letters are the best...): but has Frank or Bob forgotten so soon how to hold a pen? or is the frost checking their flow of ink? or have their 'swans' migrated? Salaams.


P.C. by this post to Florence.

Am gathering coins for Arnie: a shield-bishlik, some nahasis (of Damascus) and double nahasis and a silver half-bishlik. Others when occasion offers, and stamps when I visit Beyrout. The tail will be sent as soon as it is offered me and cured.


Will you try to send me out Stevenson's Crusaders in the East the book I suggested be sent to Green? I find myself shaky on the importance of Atharib, Ezaz and the other frontier towns of Aleppo: and he is the only authority compact. I would like the book at any rate in June: as much before as possible. If Mr. Hogarth has no Carchemish address to give send it to Miss Holmes: she will forward it Turkish post. The Jebail office has just begun to transmit foreign parcels.


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Source: HL 127-8
Checked: jw/
Last revised: 8 April 2006


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