T.E. Lawrence’s clock found at Cloud’s Hill.
I had not heard of Lawrence’s “secret marriage” before! It definitely seems ridiculous. Thank you for sharing!
Link to the article: http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2001/jun/10/humanities.research
Portraits of T.E. Lawrence. Artists, top to bottom, left to right: William Roberts, Augustus John, Augustus John, William Orpen, James McBey, William Rothenstein.
The common base of all Semitic creeds, winners or losers, was the ever present idea of world-worthlessness. Their profound reaction from matter led them to preach bareness, renunciation, poverty; and the atmosphere of this invention stifled the minds of the desert pitilessly. A first knowledge of their sense of the purity of rarefication was given me in early years, when we had ridden far out over the rolling plains of North Syria to a ruin of the Roman period which the Arabs believed was made by a prince of the border as a desert-palace for his queens. The clay of its building was said to have been kneaded for greater richness, not with water, but with the precious essential oils of flowers. My guides, sniffing the air like dogs, led me from crumbling room to room, saying, ‘This is jessamine, this violet, this rose.’
But at last Dahoum drew me: ‘Come and smell the very sweetest scent of all,’ and we went into the main lodging, to the gaping window sockets of its eastern face, and there drank with open mouths of the effortless, empty, eddyless wind of the desert, throbbing past. The slow breath had been born somewhere beyond the distant Euphrates and had dragged its way across many days and nights of dead grass, to its first obstacle, the man-made walls of our broken palace. About them it seemed to fret and linger, murmuring in baby-speech. ‘This.’ they told me, ‘is the best: it has no taste.’ My Arabs were turning their backs on perfumes and luxuries to choose the things in which mankind had no share or part.
-T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom
Glad you are reading the thing. Please don’t inhibit yourself from scribbling comments of an insulting sort in the margins, made especially wide for the purpose. Your praise makes my stomach warm: but your criticisms are really helpful: whether in the field of morality, belles-lettres, tactics, or just manners. Down with them while you can!
The ‘Seven Pillars of Wisdom’ is a quotation from Proverbs: it is used as a title out of sentiment: for I wrote a youthful indiscretionary book, so called, in 1913 and burned it (as immature) in ‘14 when I enlisted. It recounted adventures in seven type-cities of the East (Cairo, Bagdad, Damascus etc) & arranged their characters into a descending cadence: a moral symphony. It was a queer book, upon whose difficulties I look back with a not ungrateful wryness: and in memory of it I named the new book, which will probably be the only one I ever write, & which sums up & exhausts me to the date of 1919.
|—||T.E. Lawrence to Robin Buxton, 1923|