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Updated June 2012

T. E. Lawrence to Lionel Curtis


Mount Batten,
Plymouth.

8.1.30

'10  St. James Square will always find us.' Good. I have been meaning to write to you for months. 'You' is good. Which? Don't ask me.

F/Lt Smetham sent me from Kohat in India to photographs of myself: one life-size (about): the other more of a white man's burden. These, he said, were for you and All Souls. Fortunately, I played buffer state between him and outraged Oxford Society: (photograph in the college! Lord!!!) and stuffed them into a bag in Barton Street. Not but what they were beautiful photographs: T.E.S. against a Waziri desert, softly lit, nursing his excessive chin with one bent arm.

An American lady, Mrs [name omitted] of Euclid Avenue Ohio, wrote to me last week, (via the War Department, London) 'You are my ideal of a real he-man'. The letter had been opened in Air Ministry. I hope they take it to heart. That's the dope they want in the R.A.F. 

In October, on a beautiful sunny afternoon, I burgled your house. Ralph was kind to me, and let me out. We found a title deed to some land of mine in Epping Forest, and sent it to the Chingford Urban District Council, whom the Forest Commissioners are bullying into buying it. The house was a wilderness of bricks: and not itself therefore. I suggested to R. that perhaps Mr. Curtis was building an Empire: but he said it was an enlarged study. That is like the Admiralty, whose staff grows as a Navy shrinks. 

In a few days you go to the USA. Excellent. Do not hesitate to go from them, too. If you see Ivy Lee, will you give him my regards? He sends me papers sometimes: and I cannot retaliate. If I were you, I'd dash him an interleaved few chapters about the Jewish Constitution and settle him for good.   

I spend innocent days, R.A.F.ing: an all-night study to turn Homer into English. Why? Why for money, of course. I am broke at present. 

Will you (Sing. Fem) ask You (Sing. Masc) to get the Rockefeller Institute to dash me a million dollars (less would be an infra dignitatem as O'Casey says: do try and see The Silver Tassie, his play, in New York. It is astounding) upon some pretext or other. Homer is so slow way of earning money. 

No news. Since Nov. I have not been out of camp, except once a month, to get my hair cut. It blows: rains: hails: and we are all healthy and happy.  May you be so too. 

T.E.S.

Source: BDG 675-6
Checked: dn/
Last revised: 28 October 2008


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