[ 1885 September, 6 ]Letters
[Alexandria] Sunday 6 September 1885

My dear Constantine,
     I received this morning mother’s letter of the 31st August. I have gone thro’ it carefully, and it has caused me much pain to detect, between the lines, an undercurrent of reproof.
     I therefore write to you, to ask you to intercede on my behalf, and to obtain mother’s forgiveness for any unwilling misdemeanour of mine.
     Nothing short of absolute necessity would have induced me to retain the £10 in question.
     Inasmuch as I personally am concerned, I could be content to dispense with renewing my clothing, but for the sake of appearances, I cannot do this.
     You can judge from my remittances and my salary, during the last three years, what money I have spent in clothes, ¯ and you know what things I had when I left Constantinople.
     I am well aware that you are much worse off than I am: none feels it more than I do: but how could I have acted in these three years otherwise than I have done? I shall look upon the £10 as so much money borrowed from the family, and I shall refund them as soon as possible.
     I am sorely grieved that I should have unwittingly offended our good mother, and I request you my dear Constantine, to tender her the sincere apologies of a son and a gentleman.
     Due note is taken of mother’s wishes about pillows and the furniture in general. I trust the £140 will have reached you safely. ¯
     Mr. Moss is still here.
          I am
     Yours affectionately
P.S. Poor Pegasus has lost his wings and is now an eminently prosaic beast!

From John C. Cavafy
To Constantine Cavafy

Transcribed and edited by Katerina Ghika