[ 1883 August, 14 ]Letters
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[Alexandria] 14 August 1883

My dear Constantine,
     I reply to your letter 4th instant, for the sympathy and love contained wherein, I am extremely thankful: but I request you, as an especial favour, not to impair your precious eyesight by writing ¯ Rest assured I shall not cease sending you my weekly news, nor shall I impute your silence to indifference knowing you as I do. Be not anxious for our safety. The Cholera is subsiding all over the country and notwithstanding the slight increase here, ’tis evident the malady is now drawing to a close.
     I sincerely re-echo your wish that we may all be granted better times, for God knows we are in sad need of such: let us hope that “the darkest hour of night is the hour before the dawn” ¯
     Mrs. Schilizzi, Ambrose, George and Alexander are here. Nicholas and Stephen ¯ as I informed you some time ago ¯ left by one of the Moss steamers for Liverpool.
     I note your postscript to mother’s letter about subscribing to the Gentleman’s Magazine. This I am doing: but, my dear little brother, do you think that I have not done so before because of any bad will? You perhaps forget that I keep myself on as little as I possibly can, and that some times ’tis hard work to continue and make the two ends meet.
     You perhaps forget that the clothing I possess is very meagre; that it naturally wears out, and must either be replaced or repaired; that when you are sadly in want of some article of dress, you have to cut and economise, thus leaving but little to live upon.
     Far be it from me to complain. There is nothing I dislike more than entering into such details about myself: and I should certainly never refer to them were it not to shew why I did not at once accede to your demand, and that it was not on account of disregard or oversight, but from the mere, actual want of means wherewith to do so. ¯
     I enclose for your perusal Shelley’s “Ode to the West Wind”, the rare beauty of which I am sure you will appreciate. Haply you are already acquainted with it. ¯ As regards my own efforts, they are, I am afraid, of a desultory nature, and this is much enhanced by the limited leisure I am able to claim.
     Peter and Aristides join with me in tendering you their love ¯
          Believe me ever, my dear Constantine,
               Your affectionate brother
                    John.


From John C. Cavafy
To Constantine Cavafy

Transcribed and edited by Katerina Ghika