|[ 1884 December, 30 ]||Letters
|[Via] Khedevieh Steamer
[Alexandria] 30th December 1884
|My dear Constantine,
I was duly favoured with your spirited and charming letter of the 10th: much consolation have I found in the reperusal thereof this evening before beginning this brief reply. The Greek translations will ere this have reached you but I am sadly afraid that I have acquitted myself but poorly, for I think you will find the style somewhat too archaic for a modern Greek translation. I am delighted at the nature of your undertaking and shall be still more so when I receive your valuable Manuscript which will meet with my most careful attention and solicitude. Your self-imposed task I can conceive must be extremely arduous, for Shakespeare is not easily handled in another tongue: and there is in his writings much that is obsolete in ethics as well as in ideas.
The two words “Recheat” and “Cinque-pace” have for some days past been my constant preoccupation and suceeded in baffling my enterprising researches. The meaning of the first I have at last disinterred and I have the authority of Sheridan Knowles in stating that it signifies:
“A horn, or a tune to summon the hounds back”
“Cinque-pace” however will not yet consent to yield up the ghost and I must ask your patience until I track it home. ÐñïåôïéìáóìÝíïò is the fittest equivalent I can think of for “prepared.”
Aristides saw Huri some time ago but the latter did not mention having seen you at Constantinopoli. ¯
I have no news to give you, in fact you are better informed there of what goes on in Alexandria than I in my office-exclusiveness can ever hope to be.
Many kisses to mother, Alexander and Paul, and with best wishes for better times during 1885 than we have had in its precursor
Believe me, my dear Brother.
Constantine F. Cavafy Esquire
|From John C. Cavafy|
To Constantine Cavafy
Transcribed and edited by Katerina Ghika