[ 1885 January, 19 ]Letters
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[Alexandria] 19 January 1885

My dear Constantine,
     I have your letter 10th instant with postscript of the 13th and thank you for the cutting out of the Times ¯ I anxiously await “the something more interesting next week”, though I cannot picture to myself of what nature this something is likely to be. “Cinque-pace” I have unwillingly given up as a bad job ¯ The mystery therein concealed has baffled all my exorcisms, and I am equally disappointed to have to write that I am unable to give you any idea how to put in Greek the phrase: “The pleasure you may find on a knife’s point” etc. The thought is so transcendentally original that I can hardly say I understand it ¯ You might translate word for word as I have tried but the sum total is thus reduced to mere jargon, incoherent of sense and all. As far as trouble is concerned you offend me by using the word ¯ Trouble, what trouble? how can pleasure be trouble? and I feel no greater pleasure than to be of some use to you.
     Poor Albrecht is dead! A good, honest and gentlemanly person, whom I liked sincerely, and who had always a kind word for me, apart from any business relations I had with him, and which he ever succeeded in making pleasant and easy. I mourn him in heartfelt sorrow. ¯
     You will be pleased to hear I have again appeared in the Public Opinion with some verses rejoicing in the title of “The Poetry of Song” ¯ I have only one copy of the paper and that I have sent to George, knowing it will please him, ¯ but I shall send you a number of the paper within two weeks as Mr. Moss has ordered half a dozen. I may mention the verses have been appreciated a good deal and figuratively speaking have walked Ramlé from one end to the other ¯
     Excuse this hurried and brief letter and believe me ever
          Your affectionate
               Johannisberg


From John C. Cavafy
To Constantine Cavafy

Transcribed and edited by Katerina Ghika