Lady Hester to General Oakes
November 12th 1812.
Bruce and Mr. Barker arrived here about the 1st; the latter has been laid up with a fever ever since, and I have given up my journey to the desert for the present, as the Pacha insists upon sending eight hundred or one thousand men with me, and the expense would be ruin; but I am going off to Homs to-morrow, and in the course of the winter shall contrive to go in some way or other.
It seems very cross to be angry at people being anxious about you, but had Bruce and Mr. Barker made less fuss about my safety, and let me have perfectly my own way, I should have been returned by this time from Palmyra. But this, and the state of the country, I do not wish to be the conversation of Malta, for it might be scribbled back again here by some of the merchants. Yet I cannot but regret that (for I had leave to dig and do everything I pleased at Palmyra) chance having put such extra-ordinary power in my hands, it has been lost by mismanagement.
Damascus, Syria, 1812
Source: Lady Hester Stanhope, from Cleveland, Catherine Lucy Wilhelmina Stanhope Powell, Duchess of, The Life and Letters of Lady Hester Stanhope, 1914
Joan Haslip, Lady Hester Stanhope: a biography, Heron Books, first publication 1934