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Updated June 2012

T. E. Lawrence to Captain Snagge

Mount Batten,


Dear Snagge

Your letter showed, fortunately, that you are prepared for my not coming. Plymouth is too far, and I am busy putting a Greek book into English (for hard cash!), so never go out at all, not even to the town outside our gates. I call it dissipation, to get to London three times in the year: and manage that much by favour of the C.O. here, who gives me a giant week-end very rarely.

I'd have liked to have seen Jaafar Pasha (is it Pasha now? 'Sheikh Jaafar', King Hussein called him. Time has its revenges) again. All my memories of the war, whenever he is in the picture, are pleasant ones. You know, he made even Tafileh in winter-time a joke. When the papers told of his coming to Weymouth, lately, I looked up the times and distances, wondering if my motor-bike would get me there and back in the half-day: I might have tried it, if it had been summer time, for Saturday is always a half-day.

Will you give him my best regards? I imagine, somehow, that he is going back to Bagdad soon: in that case I'd like him to remember me to Nuri and the others: and especially to tell the King that I watch the history of Irak with great pride. It is a lasting pleasure to me that so much construction should have come out of all the destruction and effort of the war. It was in places like Jerdun and Deraa that the new Irak was founded. Jaafar is very lucky in being able to help in the two shows. I hope Young is playing up well.

There are two things I would like off Jaafar, if he will be so good - a word to say what the two enclosed letters are. One I can see is from Auda ibn Zaal: and the other I think must be from poor little Sherif Nasir ibn Radhi, of Medina. Only I had heard that he was dead. I cannot read Arabic, and cannot make out what it all is.

Tell him, please, that I am so sorry not to have seen him all these years. The photographs in the paper show that his shadow has grown less; but if he sees Joyce he will see that his shadow has grown greater.

I'm much as before, except for my beautiful long white hair. If Joyce turns up too, why then give him my regards also. Explain how the R.A.F. holds its slaves in remote places, so that they cannot see their friends.

It was nice of you to ask me.

Yours ever

T.E. Shaw

Source: DG 683-4
Checked: jw/
Last revised: 31 January 2006

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