Request a high resolution copy

Letter from Charles Doughty-Wylie to Gertrude Bell

There is currently no summary available for this item.
Reference code
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Wylie, Charles Hotham Montagu Doughty-
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 letter plus envelope, paper

8.9806034, 38.7577605

28 November –
British Legation,
Adis Ababa.
My dear Gertrude –

You actually asked me if your letters were too long! Too long – but they are like shade in the desert – woman of gold – Thank you so much too for that very interesting letter of Healey’s – which I send back – As for the invasion of England – no – I don’t believe in it – first must come a naval battle, Zeppelin’s [sic], submarines luck and fog - & then perhaps a try – but a try doomed to failure – I am wrong no doubt, but I read the cry of invasion as a cry for recruits – a spur – A Zeppelin over London is what we want – men would come in then, the laggards –

All goes well – little by little they break & break & starve & starve – little by little the Russians draw on – and all the time Germany bleeds – bleeds faster than we –

Oh my dear, some things you say – of soldiers, of regiments – and among the killed are two of my old subalterns, & many friends – And I sit here.

As for Thesiger (may he burn) he writes me long letters, interesting as Healey’s – but what is he doing? Reading German prisoners letters & the like – not allowed near the trenches where my friends die. I don’t write back – I can’t –

I am so pleased about Mesopotamia – I didn’t know you knew Con – I do also – he’s a good man – But he’ll stick at Bushire – they might send Ramsay to Baghdad – or Jacob from Aden, if he does not die in hospital where he was when I last heard – or cannot possibly leave the Yemen –

There are so many things in your letters – your Belgians & they change their king – your moving to London and a new job – you’ll find many to your hand – No news this week of our hospital – no mail from France – I believe Lij Yasu is really going to give his £1000, it seems like it – I’m moving again on Tsana, a little slowly – my idea is now a treaty signed indeed but ratified only after a survey – Better that than nothing – and by the survey and certain other things the priestly opposition might be disarmed – the priests. I went today to see the Foreign Minister & the Archbishop – there is a heresy & schism – whether it is one God not three Gods, or the other way – some beloved Byzantine question of the Trinity – but they are as excited over it or nearly as poor old Athanasius against the world - & they may get to worse – I wish I knew which way my Tsana priests were leaning – the two Archbishops take opposite sides – ]
Churches – yes - & your drawings – I’ve been to Axum – there’s only one rectangular church built in the 16th century – but the centres of the old round ones are rectangular all – But for your archaeological expert this is a great place – By the way I met Garstang, & send him some photographs of Hocam inscriptions – one apparently was not among Lithmann’s.

The Foreign Minister took refuge with me today – like this – the Turkish Consul at Harar a mischief maker we thought might be transplanted here, where a more rampant Christianity pales his fires – But said the F. M. suppose he won’t come - What am I to do then? So I’m thinking what he’d better do – I’ll ask I think what we can do – but the F.O. will probably reply that I can do what I like as long as I don’t bother them – I want to get rid of him, for he preaches & sells arms – Can they kick him out? Shall I goad him till he kicks himself out, if I can? They even talked here the other day (how nice & homely & familiar it sounds) of killing all the enemies of God – i.e. the English & pigs like that –

I thought of cutting off his money, but the faithful will support him – If I get him brought here, he must leave no [?] behind him – What I would like is for him to refuse in such a way that he’d have to leave the country – or for impoverished Turkey to pay no travelling expenses to another – salary does not matter, he can always make that.

People have been bothering - & I must close this.


IIIF Manifest