[ 1882 October, 3 ]Letters
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[Alexandria] 3 October 1882

Dearest Constantine,
     I am in receipt of your lines 25th ultimo handed to me by Aristides, who arrived this morning and is well and hearty. I awoke at 5 a.m today for fear of missing him; dressed quickly and walked down in the early dawn of day to the marina; arrived at the Custom House at about 5.45 and thence proceeded straight to the Quarantine Office to see Mr. Liguri, who promised to let me have the Government boat.
     This I found ready and waiting for me, and so by 7 o’clock Aristides was landed in great pomp.
     The letter you refer to about Ingoldsby legends etc. etc. I have received, and I believe acknowledged receipt of same to you.
     I think I have answered all your questions contained in that epistle. Constantine Sinadino is now here but I cannot find out whether the report that he has lost all his fortune is true.
     Daras has not yet returned and I haven’t heard of his whereabouts. Nicholas Abet, his mother and sister are at Naples. Scouffos has lately returned to look after the property.
     I think I stated in a previous letter that Theodore Ralli and family had returned ¯ I now find out that only the old man is here, the rest being still in Athens, with the exception of Ambrose, who I think is gone to London.
     The key of Peter’s hat-box you will find herein, wrapped up in a scrap of paper. It makes the letter rather heavy, but postages are of no consequence.
     Goodbye, dear Constantinus, and, believe me, I don’t think you “quixotic” at all, but the wisest of men.
     Yours ever
          Johannes
“cuius gloria erit, gestes fratris scribere”.
 
P.S. Thanks for your inscription on the paper covering the sweets sent me by Aunt Eveline.
     I will send you by next mail “Sunset voices” ¯ You know several parts of the poem but I want you to judge of the whole.
          id.
 
Another P.S. Stivala is trying hard to get you the July and August Nos. of Gentleman’s Magazine ¯ October I expect after tomorrow and will post next mail ¯
 
Third and last P.S.
     I came across the following passage in Carlyle’s Past and Present the other day:
     “William the Norman, at the end of the campaign, said to his fighters: ‘Noble fighters, this is the land we have gained; be I Lord in it, ¯ what we will call Law-ward, maintainer and keeper of Heaven’s laws: be I Law-ward, or in brief orthoepy Lord in it, and be ye loyal men around me in it.’”
 
     Isn’t this an ingenuous definition of the word “Lord”? ¯

From John C. Cavafy
To Constantine Cavafy

Transcribed and edited by Katerina Ghika