Letter of Charles S. Peirce to his wife Melusina Fay
(Hellespont, 4.09.1870)




Spanish translation & annotations

On Steamer Neptune
In the Hellespont. 1870 Sep 4
Sunday 10 1/2 Am

For the next few days I shall be able to keep a regular journal, being enabled to do by the same cause which will necessitate my having nothing to say. So far my Larissa journey is very comfortable. I purchased the entire trappings for a horse except saddle bags which I think I can find in Volo but perhaps I shall buy them in Saloniqui & I also bought one revolver rather a small one. I feel a little sorry I did not buy two large ones because everybody says that an attack by robbers is very likely & in case of one it is highly desireable to have weapons in good earnest. I also learn that it is hardly considered safe to go to Larissa now on account of fever so I have begun to take small doses of quinine daily as recommended. We set sail yesterday

afternoon about half past four. The sun was situated just right to display the city but I am of opinion that the view from the sea of Marmara is not finer than several I got from minarets etc. in the city & in Galata. No doubt it is very fine. The city is most beautiful though the mosques with their minarets look too much alike. I differ however altogether from the person who said when you have seen the approach to Constantinople turn back & do not destroy the illusion by entering it. Oh no! It is by far the most charming place I have seen yet. Everything is so oriental, though I learn not nearly as much so as Cairo & other Muslim cities. It is far from being a dirty town; Pera (the Christians part) is the dirty place. Why Berlin is infinitely dirtier & smells ten times as bad. In fact there are very few bad smells in Constantinople but on the contrary you are constantly coming across the smell of aloes, sandal, or musk. The bazar I have already expatiated upon. I did not fully appreciate the coffe when I wrote of it before. It is by far –by very far- better than any French coffee which indeed tastes villainous

after it. The dogs you have heard of as well as many other things. Saint Sophia is fine but the style of it is altogether below the Gothic & I thought the Saracenic a style of architecture rather poor in ideas. I declare I never had a more entertaining time than in Constantinople & Mr. Palmer was an acquaintance well worth making. I found the steamer, quite to my surprise extremely comfortable. Separate staterooms, good table, armchairs on deck, etc. We started only with only 4 first class passengers. Two Greeks & a Turk & myself. I think we took in two others during the night & I think the Greeks are going only to Lagos where we arrive at 11 PM today. Fortunately there is no woman so we can smoke indefinitely, and I can write my letter with peace & quiet in the saloon. This morning we arrived at Dardanelles & I went on shore & got a cup of Turkish coffee & trod Asiatic ground, probably for the last time in my life. Somebody in Constantinople gave me a volume of Balzac containing Honorine etc. I never read anything of his before & I enjoy it greatly. Would I had more than this one volume! Such knowledge of human nature! I have taken cigarettes & the Turk is greatly interested in my American tobacco. This morning we


heard at Gallipoli of the surrender of MacMahon & the capture of the Emperor!!!!! Can it be? & is this the end of that dinasty for a while?

Transcription by Sara Barrena (2008)
Una de las ventajas de los textos en formato electrónico respecto de los textos impresos es que pueden corregirse con gran facilidad mediante la colaboración activa de los lectores que adviertan erratas, errores o simplemente mejores transcripciones. En este sentido agradeceríamos que se enviaran todas las sugerencias y correcciones a sbarrena@unav.es
Proyecto de investigación "La correspondencia europea de C. S. Peirce: creatividad y cooperación científica (Universidad de Navarra 2007-09)

Fecha del documento: 25 de junio 2008
Última actualización: 14 de septiembre 2017
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