[ 1884 August, 12 ]Letters
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[Alexandria] 12th August 1884

My dear Constantine,
     Your greatly valued and endearing letter of the 1st only reached me yesterday, and has still further served to prove to me (if another proof were needed) the kindliness of your good heart, and the nobleness and rectitude of your sentiments. In all things I admire you, and the generosity of your character influences me, ¯ as is always everywhere the case, ¯ to higher and to better thoughts. In all sincerity I look to you as a wise Mentor, for you are wiser and more learned, than is generally the share of others to be at your age: and I am sadly impatient for that happy moment that will bring us two together. “Arcades ambo”, ¯ but in its better sense. And now ’tis an intense satisfaction to me to perceive in how masterly a fashion you wield the pen. Your English, as far as my poor knowledge admits of judging, is well-nigh faultless, and, above all things that which is most to be admired, you have style ¯ “Le style c’est l’homme” says Voltaire, and your letters speak of your individuality thro’ every line.
     Aristides in his letters to mother gives you all the news, and I certainly think ¯ seeing poor Alexander’s precarious state of health ¯ that he should come (situation or no situation) so soon as the Cotton season begins and Aristides may be enabled to earn more without depriving you in Constantinople. The indemnities some say will be paid this year: in a good moment be it said. I was exceedingly sorry to hear of George’s illness: will you kindly give me his present address in your next letter?
     Moss is here, and he says will stay till November. He looks old and careworn. His brother’s death has been a severe blow for him: it seems they loved each other dearly.
     Many many kisses to dear mother and all
          and believe me ever
               Yours
                    John.


From John C. Cavafy
To Constantine Cavafy

Transcribed and edited by Katerina Ghika