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T. E. Lawrence to R. V. Buxton


[Karachi]

23. VI. 27.

Dear Robin,

Your marvellous letter sent me up, with a bounce into the Seventh Heaven.

Quando io udi questa profferta, [degna]
Di tanto grado, che mai non si estingue
Del libro

Somehow I'd never, in my giddiest moments, expected that you would. I enclose a letter to Cape, which you may send on to him, if this six weeks delay finds the Trustees still of this most noble mind. [10 lines omitted]

However I live in hope that my most excellent board will continue to act in the spirit of Don Quixote, that finest of all Spaniards. It is incredibly glorious. The fact that I'd have done it myself, at the first solvent moment, is the only thing which lessens your glory. It takes from you the credit, not of the act, but of the intention. However, as The Seven Pillars says, the intention is nothing... but, my God, the Deed, the Deed! (Was it John Drinkwater, or The Seven Pillars?) Pardon my apparent drunkenness. I'm happy...

It's good news that the Ashmolean has taken the John drawing of D.G.H. That's the first breach in their wall against modernism. Perhaps they will eventually take the Feisal too.

Kennington tells me your bust is the best of the four. He may, I suppose, like Epstein, produce six of them. Hardly more. Sculptors have to do a mort of work on thin casts, and soon grow tired of repetition work.

My little note on the various editions and quantities of The Seven Pillars will, quite likely, bring down the price of complete copies. I meant it to. £500 is absurd.

The idiots think there are only 100 copies

If Cape does withdraw Revolt from sale, it may be wise to make known the reasons

i. That Revolt was reluctantly published to meet a liability.
ii. That the liability was happily met at 30,000 copies.
iii. That the sale of the book is now stopped by the author, by means of an enabling clause in the original contract, to avoid making a lot of unnecessary profit.

Eliot could write a letter in this sense, and sign it T. E. Shaw, and publish it anywhere he thought fit.

Glory be! You are an absolute trump.

T.E.S.

Dust-storms yesterday and to-day: and I was on stores guard all last night, in the thick of it. This paper feels gritty!

Source: DG 524-525
Checked: dn/
Last revised: 13 February 2006


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