Just a moment ..

I got out of the Druze country about four o’clock in the afternoon. Just before I left it I met two Druzes with laden mules coming from Damascus. I wish the weather would be a little warmer. There must have been quite ten degrees of frost last night. My sponges were frozen together into a solid mass so that I could not use them, and though there was a bright hot sun the world did not begin to unfreeze till mid-day.

My plan of two years ago, on the other hand, is wonderfully accurate. I have corrected one or two mistakes, but they are so insignificant that really they do not matter much. However I have the satisfaction of feeling that one or two points on which I did not feel quite clear are now explained. Also I have done a lot more work at details of construction. Yesterday morning broke grey and threatening and presently it began to rain.


They are the most delightful people in the world. Sending my mules by a desert road, I took two of my musketeers and Hanna, and rode to an exquisite place called Mualula. It is interesting as being one of three places–the other two are close by–where the old Syrian language is spoken, the language in which Christ spoke. Most of the inhabitants are Christians–their Christianity dates from the first century–and there are two big convents, Catholic and Greek. I spent a charming hour in the Greek convent, where the monks and nuns were delightful people. The Prior is a Greek, pleasant, intelligent and cultured.

I’m tired now and I shan’t write any more. I had an interesting talk with Moritz while he was teaching me to take squeezes of inscriptions after a manner of his own . I had almost forgotten how beautiful this place is. Except Athens, there is no temple group to touch it, and I have looked at it with new eyes now that I know a little more than I did about the history of decoration and the genesis of pattern and ornament. But I wish I knew a great deal more still. This has been a visit to Damascus that I shall not easily forget–I begin to see dimly what the civilisation of a great Eastern city means–how they live, what they think; and I have got on to terms with them.

red dog casino, hood canal, wa

The R’s and I have been planning expeditions. We mean to go for 10 days into Moab about the 18th. We shall take tents, Dr. R. Nina and I. Our great travel is not till the end of April, but I shall go to Hebron some time early in April.

Sunny Eddy Gin Seltzer

With that I ran down the hill and had just time to plan all the ruins before sunset. There remains a little photography and taking of angles for to-morrow morning. I have not for a long time enjoyed anything so much as this afternoon’s work. Content reigns in my camp and all goes smoothly.

  • I lunched at home and went afterwards with Reinach and Ricci to a Byzantine Museum not yet open to the public.
  • The rain had almost stopped when we reached the beloved castle, but we were wet through.
  • The Mudir was much perplexed; one day more or less seemed to him a small matter to fuss about.
  • The sons, young men now in the various Whittall businesses, the daughters very charming, very gay.
  • After he had gone, his sister and some other women appeared in all the trailing dirt of their dark blue cotton robes.

And if you are sending anything I should like too the purple satin day gown with a cape–Marie knows which I mean–and a mauve parasol, I have lots I know. I don’t know whether things sent by parcel post would be likely to reach me. Both gowns would fold up so small that they could almost be sent by letter post–not a hat however. Perhaps if you were to ask the kind Captain Hall he could contrive to send out a small box for me, by bag even. I should be very grateful–and the sooner the better.

This morning we moved into Qasr Azraq, which stands among palm trees, surrounded by a multitude of springs. I had ridden on with one man, whom I left with my camels while I went into the castle alone. I took them all down to my Agent, Ali, the postman of 3 years ago .

The well Haizan was an hour and a half from our camp and I rode down with the camels to see the watering. They are found only on its borders and are very deep. Haizan lies at the bottom of a great depression enclosed by the steep sandbanks of the Nefûd. We carried two stout sticks with us and a little wheel with which we made a pulley for the rope.


This reassured them and we were presently exchanging salutes on the best of terms. They directed us on our way, and before long we saw the towers and walls of Umm ej jewal before us. It looks like a great city and when you get near you find it is an empty ruin, streets of houses, three stories high, all of solid beautiful stone, with outer Staircases of stone and arched windows. I have pitched my camp in an open space in the middle, and there are a few Arab tents near me, the Arabs of the mountains. Gabtan leaves us here,I am sorry to say. A gentleman called Fendi, from here, guides us to-morrow.

  • The road is all along the coast, one has a broad blue sea on one side and mulberry orchards on the other.
  • I have a vivid recollection of her insisting when the Egertons were with us on having a picnic on the top of the hill behind Mount Grace.
  • The Ark and all the rest become quite comprehensible when one sees Mesopotamia in flood time.
  • We shall have to go up and do some more work there.

Though they are so small, they have quite the air of a mountain district and also the climate. The hot, fine weather has come back to-day. We went on, skirting the hills, north by east.

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I shall be here another week, I suppose, but as to that I shall do what I’m told. I try to look in the face the thing that may be before us-but it won’t bear speaking of. I shall see Maurice when he comes over and before he goes to the front. I may very likely have a day or two with him, that’s what I hope.