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Updated July 2012

T. E. Lawrence to his family


Carchemish

May 29, 1911

Letter about Prof. Petrie come in: am glad it appeals to you: you will find out more about it and our chances from Mr. Hogarth than I know. I fear a second season is a little less than likely. Have found this week only a second Hittite seal: and some walls of unburnt brick. Am not going to write more: I develop tonight, which means an hour's work: and have been making notes of the pottery and photographed objects all the evening: we are taking all the small objects now a days: at least I am taking them.

The Rabelais has come: a beautiful little edition and a great joy: very many thanks for the quickness of it. Thompson is one of these unhappy mortals who cannot or will not read French - but there he is a scientist.... All goes admirably. No more mosquitoes: a good deal of rain, which has interfered with the picking of the harvest. There is not a sickle in the place: you tear off the barley at its roots.

Our new commissaire is a gem: we have not only no trouble, but actually help and encouragement. The past month now looks like a nightmare: we sleep soundly now: do ditto!

Why did Bob join the anthropological Soc.? He can never be an anthropologist, or even a scientist, for he had predilections and opinions. I wish this house did not overflow with mice and rats and birds. Very many thanks to Father for his care of the roof: it is a great joy to feel that my coming out here has done no harm. I will not write to Sir J. Rhys: it would be too long after Lady Rhys' death, and would look officious.

We expect to have cleared up in a month: and then a week at Tell Ahmar: and I am off to Harran and Urfa.  Miss Bell asked me to photograph some things in the first of these two places for her:- however I will send them to Mr. Hogarth - don't mind.

Frank had much better the Sudan or some such place than India: not only is there a chance of advancement, but there is less 'white glove' nonsense about it. In India he is always dancing on the skirts of society: out in the wilds he has a chance to do something: whether administrative, or anthropological or linguistic - or merely naturalising: at any rate something non-military. For these special posts a good degree is necessary.

N.

 

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Source: HL 154-8
Checked: jw/
Last revised: 8 April 2006

 



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