Part No. 5 - Letter from E. D. Clarke to William Clark

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R./2.40/No. 5


Letter from E. D. Clarke to William Clark


  • 26 July 1813 (Creation)

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Trumpington July 26. 1813.

My dear Sir

The Answer to your Letter may be comprized in very few words.

The route by Azof, or rather Taganrog, to the Caspian, might conduct you with all possible ease to Tarky (Terky) near Derbent (Derbend) upon the frontier of Persia, where you would find my old friend Orazai to whom I could give you a Letter. (See my first Vol. P. 47. second Edit.) {1} But I should, for myself, by much prefer the route through Asia Minor. It has, as you say, been often passed—but we know nothing of it—either of its antiquities, natural history, statistics, or anything else.—The other route is all among Scythians—upon my life you will not like it!—There is not a single object of interest or information the whole way—it is all one flat, melancholy, unwholesome region of nothingness—Russi—inter Christianos Βαρβαρωτατοι.—

Pray add the following to your List of instructions for Turkey.

1. Never attempt to move or to obtain Antiquities &c, &c, by means of a firmaun—do all these things by bribing the local Aghas, or Governors, with trifling gifts—a pair of cheap Pistols—a pocket telescope—a pocket knife—a razor—&c, &c.—your highest bribe must be a Watch with Turkish figures, worth in London about 4£ {2}.—

2. Dig upon the Site of the Temple of Bacchus at Naxos.—

3. Arragonite, worth ten Guineas a Specimen was found by me in the Grotto of Antipasos—Tennant is now employed in its analysis—I mistook it for common Stalactite of carbonated Lime. The interior of those Stalactites are radiated and sparry like this [There follows a sketch of a stalactite.] Pray attend to this—it is of some importance. Tennant made the discovery in my Lecture Room. Those Stalactites are white as snow—and may be from two inches, to two feet in diameter. You cannot bring home a more interesting specimen for natural history; as affecting the origin of the rarest mineral we have, and the only Anomaly in Hauy’s theory of Crystallization. Remember me most particularly to Lord Byron. Tell him I never can keep a copy of his poems one instant in the House. The Giaour is universally in favour[.] Send [me] {3} home some lumps of common Parian Marble from the old Quarry—mere lumps of the size of your head—for the Lecture. Also of the Pentelican from Athens—and pray ask if Lusieri has received my little present, by Lord Byron’s Servant.

Yrs truly
E. D. Clarke.

Tennant desires me to add that he wishes you would leave word at his rooms in the Temple how long you continue in Town?

[Direction:] William Clark Esqr | to the care of the | Lord Byron [In the bottom left corner:] 36 Craven St


{1} Travels in Various Countries of Europe, Asia, and Africa, vol. i (2nd ed., 1810). The page number should be 49, where a description of Orazai begins.

{2} The pound sign is written above the figure.

{3} The paper is damaged here slightly.

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      This description was created by A. C. Green in 2021.




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