[ 1883 September, 26 ]Letters
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[Alexandria] 26 September 1883

My dear Constantine,
     I have none of yours to acknowledge but trust that you are well and that your eyesight is improving. As regards the latter you cannot be too careful and I strongly recommend your avoiding any exertion that may tire or strain your eyes.
     The Cholera, as you will note, from your local newspapers is now reduced to one or two deaths daily. Each mail steamer brings us its quantum of Alexandrians and business generally is reviving. Amongst the arrivals last week was Miani and I am somewhat relieved. This gentleman went for two months and actually staid away four: so that ¯ in recognition of my services ¯ I have made him pay an account for a new hat, of which yours truly was sadly in need.
     We were all very much grieved to hear of dear mother’s late illness and sincerely hope for better news in your coming letters. ’Tis really very unjust that we three should be leading ¯ comparatively speaking ¯ so easy a life, when you in Constantinopoli have as many disagreeables to put up with, and have to live on the miserable pittance we send you. The future however may be better and you should beg of our poor mother to keep up her spirits. With the revival of business Aristides will be able to remit something along with us: with the end of this year, Peter has good hopes of being increased, and so have I ¯ if the naturalization question goes well and I am left here. So that, you see, we may be able to send you more next year than at present, and in Spring, when the Indemnities are paid, we may all meet again in Alexandria. The only difficulties to our putting up a house here is 1o the high rents now charged and 2o the fear that the Cholera may again break out next summer, a probability on which great stress is laid by the German Medical Commission. Let us hope however that this will not be the case: and that building will by that time assume wider proportions and rents be naturally cheaper. For the present very little has been done in the way of erecting new houses, but this of course is mainly attributable to the Epidemic. ¯ I expect Moss to arrive here about the third week of next month. His family, as usual, remains in Liverpool.
     With my very best love to all and many many kisses to dear mother
          I remain, dear Constantine,
          Your affectionate brother
               John.


From John C. Cavafy
To Constantine Cavafy

Transcribed and edited by Katerina Ghika