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T. E. Lawrence to his mother


12.VIII. 27

Yes, I got your letter with the pound note in it. Many thanks. I spent it, of course. I could spend anything: but actually the R.A.F. give me enough for most of the things I want. As I never leave camp and have no motor bicycle my expenses out here are extremely small. Stamps and paper and envelopes are the main items. I wish I could see some way of cutting down the number of letters I write. It is now seldom less than twenty a week, and I only answer three out of five that come to me. Perhaps if I cut down the proportion to two out of four it would ease matters. Ninety per cent, of the letters are about things, business things, of which I care nothing whatever. The other ten per cent. are either to you or Mrs. Shaw, who is very good about sending me books and things (you should meet Mrs. Shaw some day: she is oldish, and plain-thinking, and interesting, and Anglo-Irish from somewhere near Cork. She would like to meet you, because she found me queer, and would like to study my surviving parent! And you would like her, and admire G.B.S. her husband). Enough of letters. They waste my time, and the other peoples. Some day I'll be strong minded enough to stop writing altogether. Till then I'll use up half my leisure saying No or Yes to all the world on paper.

I told you in a previous letter (that's the worst of writing between mails: it means saying everything over and over again: the China letters were terrible that way: half of them never got through, and the survivors only repeated the last one) that your Seven Pillars needn't be paid for. It is at the Bank's expense, not mine, and the Bank is now, or will be in November, repaid out of the profits of Revolt in the Desert, which has made £4,000 or £5,000 more than is needed to cover my debts. There is no need to make their surplus £4,030 or £5,030, which is all your cheque would do. You must know by now that I do not profit personally by anything connected with the Arab Revolt.

I'm glad you liked Clouds Hill. Of course the cottage has been much changed since I left it. But if I ever get it again I'll soon put it right. The upstairs room is only half-finished. It will some day be as good as its wonderful situation deserves. That heath country is the most beautiful I've seen, and the rhododendrons in Moreton Park climb up the oak trees, like creepers, and hang 50 feet in the air, in showers of blossom.

Graves has finished his book. It is to amuse the young, who can't read Revolt in the Desert. I don't care, now I'm abroad.


Source: HL 368-9
Checked: jw/
Last revised: 12 February 2006

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