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T. E. Lawrence to D. G. Hogarth


Yes, that was it. I took thought for a night, and then declined. The job is a hazardous one (T. wants a 'literary' history, the C.I.D. a 'technical') attractive, very, to me by reason of its subject. The terms (three years) compare unfavourably with the six which the Army offers: and the responsibility is one which I'd regret as soon as I had shouldered it. Also it's no use, having gone through the grind of climbing down to crowd-level, at once to give it up for three years decent living. It would leave me older, less strung up to make another effort at poor living. If I can complete my seven years in the Army I should be able to slip quietly into a job of some sort at the end. There is a garage near here which might take me on.

I hope you are fit again: much of the illness which you have had lately I put down to the plague of that ungrateful book. You must feel like a reprieved prisoner

Here at Bovington I seem to sit still: so still that often I fancy the slow passing of time about me can be heard. Isn't it rare for a person, who has been as unsparing as myself, to be purged quite suddenly of all desire? Even the longing or regret for the R.A.F. sleeps now, except when I come suddenly at a turn in the road, on its uniform. That was another bar to the job: because I'd have had to visit aerodromes, and each time the homesickness would have made itself felt afresh.

Writing to people I have known is becoming difficult for me.


Note: C.I.D. - Committee of Imperial Defence.

Source: DG 459-60
Checked: dk/
Last revised: 23 July 2008

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