|[ 1884 April, 22 ]||Letters
|[Alexandria] 22 April 1884
|My dear Constantine,
I am in receipt of yours 14th and Paul’s of same date: for both of which I am much obliged. Your letter is, as usual, interesting and kind; and especially valuable to me ¯ knowing how, at the risk of impairing your eyesight, you write so long an epistle. God help, that ¯ notwithstanding the assertions of your Doctor ¯ the date may not be far distant when you shall be able to do without eyeglasses.
Edgar Vincent has returned and proceeds to Cairo ¯ Sir Evelyn Baring left this morning for England and is replaced pro tempore by a certain Mr. Egerton. Clifford Lloyd ’tis said, is going for good: I think few will regret him, for he is one of the essentially world-into-English-and-Foreign-dividing individuals: and such Englishmen, as you know, are no great blessings. Gordon is in a dead-lock and the hesitating policy of his country may be his ruin. A letter from him to Baring has been published, in which Gordon urges the Consular Agent to appeal to the millionaires of the United Kingdom for some such sum as £ 200.000 wherewith to raise an army. The letter, despatch or telegram (I don’t know which) is dated 8th instant and Gordon goes on to say that with the mentioned amount permission might be got from the Sultan for the loan of say 3.000 Nizams who might be sent to Berber, and with these not only settle the affairs of Khartoum, but also do for the Mahdi in whose overthrow the Sultan is necessarily interested. He adds that he cannot recommend the sending of many Europeans because they are too expensive.
Mr. Kneen and Mr. Miani are still here: these great men’s movements ¯ like the wind’s ¯ are uncertain: but they both intend at present going for a holiday. Don’t trouble your kind heart about Mr. Malaxos: he is in no way worthy of your pity. Like little Jack Horner he has had too much plum-pudding “on the sly”, and ’tis only just he should now suffer for his greediness ¯ to use no harsher terms. ¯ Greeks, as you know, are not over-scrupulous, and they often finger other people’s money to their own immediate advantage.
Remember me kindly to dear mother and ask her to try and keep up her spirits: all may yet go well. My brotherly affection to Alexander and Paul from
P.S. I have not heard the two Dervishes sent to convert Gordon. “Tot capita, tot sensus!”
|From John C. Cavafy|
To Constantine Cavafy
Transcribed and edited by Katerina Ghika