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T. E. Lawrence to Robert Graves


Note. Graves quoted directly from part of this letter in his biography Lawrence and the Arabs (London, 1927). For publication, Lawrence made the amendments shown.

28.VI.27

Your remark that Doran has given you only till late July shows me that you'll not have time to send me your script. And as you say you'll pick up facts anywhere, I'll send you some. Not knowing the scope of your book, I'll miss the target generally: and therefore I'll take no pains to put them well.

1) Family. My father's family were Co. Meath in Ireland. A Leicester squire-root, which got a huge grant from Q. Elizabeth, by favour of W. Raleigh, their cousin. Lived thenceforward in Ireland, always particular to marry non-Irish women. My father took name of Lawrence (not even my mother's name) when he left Ireland.

2) Five of us brothers. 1, 2 and 5 still alive. 3 and 4 killed in War. I born in Wales (Carnarvon Co. Tremadoc Parish) August 1888. Thence went Scotland, Isle of Man, Jersey, France, Hampshire: before settling in Oxford 1896. Where attended City of Oxford School (day) till I went to Jesus Coll. as exhibitioner in history. At school, never played games. Spare time spent books: and studying mediaeval art, especially sculpture. Later collected mediaeval pottery. At 18, specialised mediaeval military architecture: visited every XIIth Cent, castle England and France.

3) Oxford. At Jesus read history, officially: actually spent nearly three years reading Provençal poetry, and Mediaeval French chansons de geste. When time came for degree wasn't prepared for exam. Went private coach, and was advised submit special thesis to supplement papers. So went Syria in last long vacation (4 months) tramped from Haifa to Urfa, seeing 50 Crusader castles. European dress, alone, afoot, carrying only camera. Only 80 words Arabic. Guested every night in native villages, when off beaten track. Came back Oxford sketch plans photos of every mediaeval fortress in Syria, and wrote thesis Influence of Crusades on Mediaeval Military Architecture of Europe. Got 1st Class Honours degree Modern History. Sat All Souls Fellowship and failed. Promoted Scholar Jesus. Later elected Senior Demy of Magdalen College. At University never played or looked on at any game, or sport. Lived only 1 term in college. Read all night, and slept in mornings. Vegetarian, non-smoker. T.T. Never dined in Hall. Took no part College life. Acquired lively admiration for R. L. Poole, my history tutor. 'Cut' him once wrote apologising. Reply "Don't worry yourself at having failed come me last Tuesday. Your absence gave me opportunity to do an hour's useful work." Attended practically no lectures.

4) Carchemish. In first tour of Syria bought collection Hittite seals in Aintab (AINTAB) region for D. G. Hogarth. He just about open excavation Carchemish for British Museum. He thought I'd be useful, since I'd picked up some practical Arabic and idea of country people, and also my study of English mediaeval pottery had shown him I had archaeological sense. So offered me 15/- a day assistant. Worked Carchemish off and on (generally spring and autumn) till 1914. My special jobs there photography; pottery; sculpture. To get other hints I worked one winter Flinders Petrie, digging in Egypt. Between seasons at Carchemish I explored Syria, gaining intimate knowledge all its provinces, intending write history of Crusades. Did one season for the Palestine Exploration Fund, in Sinai (publication Wilderness of Zin, Woolley and Lawrence) to complete survey of country between Suez Canal and Palestine, visiting Akaba, Petra, Maan, etc. Wrote travel book (later destroyed in MS.) called The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, about Cairo, Smyrna, Constantinople, Beyrout, Aleppo, Damascus, Medina.

5) War. Outbreak of War was in Oxford. Owing glut recruits unable enlist (story physical rejection ill-health absurd: was pre-war strong as horse. Even after War submitted 1922 1923 7925 medical examination recruiting offices and each time wreckage of my body was passed fit general service). So Hogarth got me into Geographical Section General Staff (Intelligence) War Office. Worked there under Col. Hedley for 4 months, maps Sinai, Belgium, France. Then sent out Egypt upon entry of Turkey into war, 'Four musketeers': Aubrey Herbert (M.P.), dead, George Lloyd (M.P.) now Lord Lloyd, British Museum Woolley, and T.E.L. under Capt. Newcombe, R.E. to do Intelligence work on Staff General Maxwell, G.O.C. Egypt. Came under Col. Clayton. Director of Intelligence, Egyptian Army. Worked at G.H.Q. Cairo till 1916, except for visits to Canal, Senussi Desert, Athens, and Mesopotamia (for surrender of Kut). Graded as Staff Capt. General List (actually 2nd Lieut.) Captain about 1916. Major 1917. Lt. Col 1918. Promoted Major in order to be given C.B. for capture of Akaba. Finally graded G.S.O.1. Left Damascus Oct. 4, 1918. Home leave. Arrived London 11 Nov. 1918.

6) Armistice period. First escorted Feisal round England: then Paris for Peace Conference on British Delegation (F.O.) till end June 1919. Then flew out to Egypt collect diaries and photographs of war periods for Cairo. Returned Paris August 1919. Demobbed, July 31, 1919. Lived London for a while, then at All Souls after election research fellowship Nov. 1919. London all 1920. In March 1921 accepted post Colonial Office under Winston. Cairo-Jerusalem April May. London end May. Thence Cairo, Jidda, Aden, Amman, Jerusalem, till Dec. 1921 (London). Worked Colonial Office 1922 till July, when Winston accepted resignation.

7) Modern period. Enlisted R.A.F. August 1922. Daily Express published facts five months later: was (kicked out) discharged by Air Ministry Order Feb. 1923. In hope eventual reinstatement in RAF enlisted Tank Corps March 1923: and was transferred thence to RAF in August 1925, through kindly offices of John Buchan.

So much for facts.

You talk about sources for these periods.

1 and 2) Nil.

3) My private tutor L. Cecil Jane of Aberystwyth University in Wales, Assistant in Faculty of History there. I used to go to him nearly every day, and discuss every possible point of all history. He could, and probably would, give you some good stuff: for he is a quite abnormal and fully-charged personality.

Also V. W. Richards At Jesus with me, the keeper of my books, and guardian of my patch of Epping Forest. A Welsh metaphysician who has just written a book on God, published by Pike.

4) D. G. Hogarth to whom I owe every good job (except the R.A.F.) I've ever had in my life.

Mrs Fontana. Wife of former British Consul, Aleppo. The only person who would do justice to Carchemish, which was the jolliest place I've ever seen. A marvellous, unreal, pictured pageant of a life. Do write and call on her. A very special person, with the gift of feeling.

C. L. Woolley. Wrote a book on Carchemish.... Carchemish was a miracle, and he turns it into a play

5) D. G. Hogarth: and his assistant E.T. Leeds, Ashmolean Museum. Col. Alan Dawnay. Dawnay is very good. Not a bit like an officer.

Francis Rodd, a modern incarnation of Cesare Borgia. A first rate fellow. Was in Foreign Office, and knows a great deal. In Cairo all war.

6) Arnold Toynbee for Peace Conference.

Sir Herbert Baker for period while I wrote Seven Pillars: (none of which was written at Oxford: the only thing done in All Souls was the introduction to Doughty's Arabia Deserta).

Lionel Curtis (now probably in Honolulu: See Mrs. Curtis) saw me very often during this time. I used to feed off him: for I was practically starving

For Colonial Office period refer to Eddie Marsh.

7) For Modern Period only useful sources might be Lionel Curtis and Mrs. Bernard Shaw. Letters.

Pte. Palmer (for the Royal Tank Corps). Sgt. Pugh for RAF period.

A lot of people will give you yarns: but the above are reasonable truthful people, and not dullards. You'll have to persuade them I've given you their names.

Some special points.

My object with the Arabs: to make them stand on their own feet. To do this it was necessary to check centralising policy of King Hussein, who envisaged a united Arab world under himself at Mecca. Mecca was a hotbed of religion, quite impossible as the capital of any sort of state: the worst town in the Arab world. Yet for the war we had to pretend that he led, since unity is necessary in a movement. So we put up with Hussein till the Armistice, and then tried to put him quietly into his place.

This proved difficult. Feisal's only right at Paris was as representing the recognised 'ally', King Hussein of Hejaz. All official business had to be in Hussein's name, though actually no Hejaz business came before Conference at Paris. All discussion was limited to Syria, and Mesopotamia.

In official 'case' written by me, (a tiny document, well worth reprinting,* which Toynbee would show you: only a dozen lines long) Feisal pleaded for an eventual Arab Confederation, some generations hence, when communications by road, rail and air had drawn together the more civilised Arab provinces. We meant Mespot. and Syria. There was never any idea of a confederation, a United States of Arabia, in our time.

The case was difficult to argue, as England was booming, and meant to turn Mespot. into a great British administered province. Lloyd George couldn't dare to promise any wide measure of native self-government there. Consequently France was very stiff in her corresponding sphere of Syria. Secret treaties (see Toynbee and D. G. Hogarth) conflicted the issue.

Eventually Feisal and Clemenceau came to a working private agreement. A year later (after Clemenceau had gone) the French Govt. tore this up, on pretext that Feisal broke it, and turned Feisal out of Damascus. He withdrew to Palestine, in spite of an attempt at resistance by some of his army, and thence to Italy, and England. Later to Mecca, where he received an invitation to visit Mespot. with view to assuming its Crown.

[Start of edited section, see note]

Events in England had changed much between June 1919 when I found the Coalition Ministry very reluctant to take a liberal line in the Middle East, and March 1921 when I took office under Mr. Winston Churchill took over. The slump had come in the City. The Press (at my instigation) (with help from many quarters, including mine) was attacking the expense of our war-time commitments in Asia. Lord Curzon's lack of suppleness and subtlety had enflamed a situation already made difficult by revolt in Mesopotamia, bad feeling in Palestine, revolt disorder in Egypt and the continuing break with Nationalist Turkey. So the Cabinet was half persuaded to make a clean cut of our Middle East responsibilities to evacuate Mesopotamia, 'Milnerise' Egypt, and perhaps give Palestine to France a third party. Winston Churchill took office in a gallant effort to save something from the wreck.' Mr. Churchill was determined to find ways and means of avoiding so complete a reversal of the traditional British attitude. I was at one with him in this attitude: indeed I fancy I went beyond him, in my desire to see as many 'brown' dominions in the British Empire as there are 'white'. It will be a sorry day when our estate stops growing.

The War Office (under Sir Henry Wilson) was a strong advocate of Mesopotamian withdrawal, since the minimum cost of military occupation was twenty million pounds a year. Winston Churchill persuaded Sir Hugh Trenchard, the Air Minister Chief of Staff, to undertake military responsibility there for less than a quarter that cost. The Royal Air Force was to he used instead of troops and the Senior Air Officer would command all forces in Irak. This was a new departure in Air history: but Sir Hugh Trenchard was confident in the quality of the men and officers under his command, and Lawrence, who advocated the change with all his might, believed that such early responsibility would be the making of the young Service: but this policy would only be practicable if it were was joined with a liberal policy measure of Arab complete local independence self-government, controlled by a treaty between Irak (the Arabic name for Mesopotamia) and Great Britain, instead of a Mandate. This The Cabinet agreed, after an eventful discussion, and the new policy brought instant peace.

Do not put this last paragraph between quotation marks.

British and native casualties in the five years since the treaty was made with Feisal Irak have only been a few tens, whereas each year before the treaty they had run to thousands. Feisal's The Arab Government in Irak while not wholly free of the diseases of childhood is steadily improving in competence and self-confidence. There is a progressive reduction in the British personnel there. The country has complete financial independence in sight. Our aim is its early admission to the League of Nations as a sovereign State. Our hope is that it will continue its treaty relations with Great Britain in return for the manifest advantages of intimate connection with so large a firm as the British Empire.

I told Lloyd George at Paris that the centre of Arab Independence will eventually be Bagdad not Damascus, since the future of Mesopotamia is great and the possible development of Syria is small. Syria now has 5,000,000 inhabitants, Irak only 3,000,000. But Syria will only have 7,000,000 when Irak has 40,000,000. But I envisaged Damascus as the capital of the an Arab State for perhaps twenty years. When the French took it after two years, we had to transfer the focus of Arab nationalism at once to Bagdad; which was difficult, since during the war and armistice period British local policy had been sternly repressingive of all nationalist feeling.

I take most of the to myself credit for some of Mr. Churchill's pacification of the Middle East upon myself. I had the knowledge and the plan. for while he was carrying it out he had the help of such knowledge and energy as I possess. He had His was the imagination and courage to adopt it take a fresh departure and the enough skilled knowledge of the political procedure to put it his political revolution into operation in the Middle East, and in London, peacefully. When it was in working order in March 1922 I felt that I had gained every point I wanted. The Arabs had their chance and it was up to them if they were good enough, to make their own mistakes and profit by them. My object with the Arabs was always to make them stand on their own feet. The period of leading-strings was could now come to an ended. That's why I was at last able to abandoned politics and enlisted. My job was done, as I wrote to Winston Churchill at the time when leaving an employer who had been for me so considerate as sometimes to seem more like a senior partner than a master. I respect Winston's courage and honesty; he treated me very well. The work I did constructively for him in 1921 and 1922 was seems to me, in retrospect, the best I have ever done did. It somewhat redresses to my mind the immoral and unwarrantable risks I took with others' lives and happiness in 1917-1918.

Of course Irak was the main point, since there could not be more than one centre of Arab national feeling; or rather need not be: and I meant it to be it was fit it should be in the British and not in the French area. But Winston Churchill and myself during those years we also decided to stopped the subsidies to the Arabian chiefs and put a ring-wall around Arabia, a country which must be I want reserved as an area of Arabic individualism. So long as our fleet keeps its coasts, Arabia should be able at leisure to fight out its own complex and fatal destiny.

Incidentally, of course, we sealed the doom of King Hussein. We offered him a treaty in the summer of 1921 which would have saved him the Hejaz had he renounced his pretensions to hegemony over all other Arabic areas: but he clung to his self-assumed title of 'King of the Arabic Countries' and we weren't having that. So Ibn Saud of Nejd outed him and rules in Hejaz. Ibn Saud is not a system but a despot, ruling by virtue of a dogma. So Therefore I approve of him, as I would approve of anything in Arabia which is was individualistic, unorganised, Unsystematic

Mr. Churchill and I took a moderate line in Palestine and have to obtained peace while the Zionist experiment is tried. And in Transjordania we he kept our promises to the Arab Revolt and assisted the home-rulers to form a buffer-principality, under the nominal presidency rule of Feisal's brother Abdulla, between Palestine and the Desert.

So as I say, I got all I wanted for other people and more - the Churchill solution exceeded my one-time hopes - and quitted the game. Whether the Arab national spirit is permanent and dour enough to make itself into a modern state in Irak I don't know. I think it may at least we were in honour bound to give it a sporting chance. Its success will would involve the people of Syria in a similar experiment. Arabia will always I hope stand out of the movements of the settled parts, and as will Palestine too, if the Zionists make good. Their problem is the problem of the third generation. Zionist success would enormously reinforce the material development of Arab Syria and Irak.

I want you to make it quite clear in your book, if you use all this letter, that from 1916 onwards and especially in Paris I worked against the idea of an Arab Confederation being formed politically before it had been effected become a reality commercially, economically and geographically by the slow pressure of many generations: whether this confederation were under Hussein in Mecca, Feisal in Damascus, or someone else (call him X) in Bagdad.: how I worked to give the Arabs a chance to set up their provincial governments whether in Syria or in Irak: and how in my opinion Winston Churchill's settlement has honourably fulfilled our War promises obligations and my hopes.

[End of edited section, see note]

Will you, finally, make clear that I like the R.A.F.? The being cared for, the rails of conduct, the impossibility of doing irregular things, are easements. The companionship, the interesting labour, the occasional leisures are actively pleasant. While my health lasts I'll keep in it. I did not like the Army: but the RAF is as different from the Army as the air is from the earth. In the Army the person is at a discount: the combined movement, the body of men, is the ideal. In the RAF there are no combined movements: its drill is a joke, except when some selected squad is specially trained for a tattoo or ceremony. Our ideal is the skilled individual mechanic at his bench or machine. We grudge every routine duty, and perform our parades deliberately ill, lest we lose our edges, and become degraded into parts of a machine. In the Army the men belong to the machine. In the RAF the machines (upon earth) belong to the men, and in the air to the officers. So the men have the more of them. Whenever the public see a detachment of airmen on a ceremonial (bull-shit) parade, they should realise that these their very expensive servants are being temporarily misemployed:- as though Cabinet Ministers should hump coal in Office hours.

Some of this last page might make a good quote.

T.E.S.

Written records:

i) Carchemish. Woolley's book.

ii) The Palestine Exploration Fund Annual for 1914. The Wilderness of Zin.

iii) War Period:

Mespot. Aubrey Herbert's Mons, Gallipoli, Kut.
Arabia. The Arab Bulletin (Hogarth has copy).
Lord Winterton's four articles in Blackwood's Magazine, about 1920.
Major Young's articles in Cornhill in 1926 and 1927.
Hogarth in Century Magazine U.S.A. about 1922.

iv) Post-War Period. Toynbee in annual digest of politics for the British Institute of International Affairs.

v) I have not seen this:- An Australian, David Roseler Lawrence, Prince of Mecca published by Angus and Robertson (? Melbourne or Sidney)

I keep on trying to think of useful things to tell you. It is not easy. I took the name of Shaw because it was the first one-syllabled one which turned up in the Army List index; the Adjutant General's secretary told me I mustn't use my former name: so I consulted the sortes. Later a deed-poll was made out, so the change is legal. Don't mention any of the other names (Ross etc.) which I've held temporarily.

Don't forget to say that the title Prince of Mecca was conferred on me by Lowell Thomas. From the Arabs I had no honours. The rank and file used to call me Emir Dinamit - the Dynamite King! That was a joke.

Oh yes: about those English decorations. During the war the C.B. and D.S.O. were conferred on me, in the Gazette. When I came back to London I had an opportunity of explaining, to the responsible authorities (it was George V, of course, but it wasn't [his] fault) that in my judgment the part I had played in the Arab Revolt was dishonourable to me, personally, and to the country and government which they represented. I explained that I was probably going to fight them by fair or foul means, till they had conceded to the Arabs what in my opinion was a proper settlement of their claims (the Winston solution passed my hopes: I'd have retired with less): and that I'd face the situation more easily if I had not their rewards. The King saw the point, and relieved me of them. So actually I have no English decorations: and as soon as I'd been let off the English ones I sent back my foreign ones with an account of the circumstances. There are many stories of my having had rows with the King. Not true: though of course he was worried. I had a row with Lord Curzon.

For Winston I have respect and liking. He treated me so well, and I like his courage and honesty. Also he's very kindly to everyone.

I expect you will not have to go into the question of money. During the campaign I put my pay into the show's expenses. I felt that I might be a cat's paw or a crook, but would keep my amateur status; likewise I felt, when serving for Winston, that I couldn't personally profit in any way by the salary (£1000 a year and bonus of about £300) he paid me: I had to accept the salary, for his peace of mind, but put it to official purposes. And so with the profits of my book on the campaign. Consistency makes me refuse them too. In most publishing the prime consideration is financial: but in the Seven Pillars it wasn't. That accounts for most of the oddnesses in its publication. Ditto with Revolt in the Desert.

Revolt, by the way, having paid off my debt, will, I hope, shortly be withdrawn from the U.K. market. My trustees agree to this, and I have written to Cape to determine our contract, after stock in hand has been sold. Doran will go on for ever, if he wishes. I don't care what happens in U.S.A. but in England, within a day's march of London, that hub of all delight, it is my ambition to live permanently.

Please don't mention Clouds Hill. I think of that magically beautiful place as a country home, some day. Small, cheap, retired, colourful.

As a bookman you may be amused to know that I carried with me during the desert war, 1) a Morte d'Arthur, 2) Aristophanes, 3) Oxford Book of English Verse. And no other books. They say I carried Doughty, but it's not true.

Mrs. Shaw has the two diaries from which I reconstructed my itinerary, in 1919, after the other notes were lost. There are also, in my hands, some other route-sheets, with descriptive notes of what happened on the march, daily, and rough compass-bearings and march-hours. The Wejh-Akaba notes are amongst them, and the Wejh-Wadi Ais-Aba el Naam and back. These are detailed. They contain e.g. the full text of the tribal feast chapter almost verbatim. It was with them, and with the reports in the Arab Bulletin, that I reinforced and pegged down my memory. I've sent round lately a three-page leaflet to all subscribers giving the genesis of the Seven Pillars. Do make clear that for years I did my very best to write it decently. The chapters were afterthoughts: it was written in Books. The present Chap. I (of Seven Pillars) was written in the air, in six hours in a Handley Page. Its rhythm is unlike the rest. I liken it to the munch, munch, munch of the synchronised Rolls Royce engines!

The names of the 'unhistorical' people, the small fry, English, Arab and Turk in the Seven Pillars were fictitious in the MS. and were again changed for the printed text. So they are doubly unrecognisable.

S.A., the subject of the dedication, is rather an idea than a person. The subscribers' copies were all bound differently, so that any subscriber who cared for good bindings could have his or her copy rebound to taste without reducing the bibliophilic value of the book.

The plates were massed at the end of the book so as to be appendices or précis justificatives, rather than illustrations.

The cost of the Seven Pillars was about £13,000. Reproducing the plates alone cost more than the subscriptions.

The abridgement, Revolt in the Desert, was made entirely at Cranwell, in two evenings' work, by myself with the help of two airmen, Miller and Knowles.

Put in a good word for Boanerges, my Brough bike. I had five of them in four years, and rode 100,000 miles on them, making only two insurance claims (for superficial damage to machine after skids), and hurting nobody. The greatest pleasure of my recent life has been speed on the road. The bike would do 100 m.p.h. but I'm not a racing man. It was my satisfaction to purr along gently between 60 and 70 m.p.h. and drink in the air and the general view. I lose detail at even moderate speeds, but gain comprehension. When I used to cross Salisbury Plain at 50 or so, I'd feel the earth moulding herself under me. It was me piling up this hill, hollowing this valley, stretching out this level place: almost the earth came alive, heaving and tossing on each side like a sea. That's a thing the slow coach will never feel. It is the reward of Speed. I could write for hours on the lustfulness of moving swiftly.

One of the fellows here has a little book of confessions:
 

Favourite

colour   scarlet
dish   bread and water
musician   Mozart
author   William Morris
character in history   Nil
place   London
Greatest pleasure   Sleep
pain   noise
fear   animal spirits.

(Piffle)

If Winston would tell you (or E.M.) something about the 1921-1922 period, of which I'm proudest, it would be good for you. "A rare beast: will not breed in captivity" said he one day. Your brother Philip knows the 1914-1916 period very well, and something of the '17 and '18.

Also there is General Bartholomew, now at the War Office.

Two other small things.

My knowledge of Arabic. In Oxford I picked up a little colloquial grammar, before I first went out. In the next four years I added a considerable (4,000 word) vocabulary to this skeleton of grammar; words useful in archaeological research mainly.

Then for two war years I spoke hardly a word of it: and as I've never learned the letters, to read or write, naturally almost it all passed from me. So when I joined Feisal I had to take it all up again from the beginning, in a fresh and very different dialect. As the campaign grew it carried me from dialect to dialect, so that I never settled down to learn one properly. Also I learned by ear (not knowing the written language) and therefore incorrectly: and my teachers were my servants, who were too respectful to go on reporting my mistakes to me. They found it easier to learn my Arabic than to teach me theirs.

In the end I had control of some 12,000 words: a good vocabulary for English, but not enough for Arabic which is a very wide language: and I used to fit these words together with a grammar and syntax of my own invention. Feisal called my Arabic "a perpetual adventure" and used to provoke me to speak to him so that he could enjoy it. I fancy it must have been like Balieff's English.

I've never heard an Englishman speak Arabic well enough to be taken for a native of any part of the Arabic-speaking world, for five minutes.

Another yarn, which perhaps you know. General ----- (a monocled little dapper cinema-general of the strutting type) began rowing me in the hail of the Majestic in Paris, during the Peace Conference. I replied in kind. He barked: "Don't dare to speak to me in that tone. You're not a professional officer." "No," said I, "perhaps I'm not: but if you had a division (his then rank) and I had a division, I know which of us would be taken prisoner!"

That, and my "Many happy returns" to the persistent old lady who gasped out "97" to me, fanning herself in the hall of the Continental in Cairo, are the only two times I've been smart-tongued in my life.

I say, do you know E.M. Forster? He's all right, and might tell you a yarn or two.

I don't feel that there's anything here to help you. Best of luck.

T.E.S.

I hope you haven't broken yourself on Stravinsky records. They will be a delight. Our room has a decent gramophone. Don't be too sure of a best-seller. Lowell Thomas's book may please the hero-loving public more than yours. He is first in the field, too: and I doubt your yet reaching the popular ear. I'm rather a complicated person, and that's bad for a simple biography.

Congrats. all the same on raising [that advance]. It should keep you for a year: and a year is a goodish step forward. Congs. also to Kennington, on making a few pounds out of the Arab show at last. He has lain (and still lies) on my conscience. I exploited him shamefully (only him, too, I think) and morally owe him thousands: which I can never begin to pay. A rotten parasite trick.

*This official 'case' of Feisal's was printed by the British Delegation press in English two days before the session of the Council of Ten, in which he pleaded his cause. Present: Clemenceau, Pichon, Wilson, Lansing, Lloyd George, Montagu, Sonnino, etc. Lord Riddell might give you the yarn of it. I spoke in English, Arabic and French! Pichon got up, and quoted St. Louis, and France's claim on Syria during the Crusades. Feisal replied: "But, pardon me, which of us won the Crusades?"

Source: B:LH 48-58, 110-14
Checked: jw/
Last revised: 12 February 2006


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