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A Handbook and Reader of Ottoman Arabic

Esther-Miriam Wagner

II. Reader

27. T-s ns 99.38 (1809)

Geoffrey Khan et Esther-Miriam Wagner

Texte intégral


Arabic Transcription


1(1) With the help of God. Monday 13th of Elul (5400 +) 169 (= 5569 Era of Creation = 1809 CE). (2) (To) our brother the master Karo Francis—may God preserve him. (3) After inquiring about your (lit. his) health, we inform you, our beloved, that yesterday we wrote (4) to you a letter via the messenger. We informed you in it about the answer (5) to your letters, which arrived from you. Also, today a letter (6) reached us with (the ship) Barbar the Great, it reached us (7) with the mentioned captain, (consignment) no. 15. (This) you should know. (8) Our net (profit) should reach you inside this (letter). You should understand it, (9) (and we hope) be fine with it. The purse of the lord Abraham, his father, reached him (10) safely. You should know. So we hope that you please (11) for the moment trust us with the arrival of the goods sent to you from no. 5 (12) to no. 10, which we informed you about in advance. (13) Also, inform us of the arrival of our consignment regarding (14) the coffee, no. 4. We inform you that today (15) we sent to you under God’s protection with Ramaḍān (16) Šarabī by delivery of his son Abraham, the consignment no. 11. (17) Its content is inside of it. You should understand it, (and we hope) be fine with it. (18) I sent (it) to your hand safely. When it arrives, let us know. (19) We inform you that today we made out to the master (20) Abraham Yaʿbeṣ a bill of exchange belonging to the master Maḥmūd Ḥasan for (21) 10283 silver-dinars according to your instruction. You should know (this). If (22) you ask about the prices of coffee in our region, it is going well (23) today because of the news that arrived reporting that (24) a conciliatory settlement has been made from Istanbul. You should know (this). (25) The price of coffee is today at a value of 81, and two portions remain. (26) We do not have authority over them until the notification of your letter brings it. (27) Because at the value of 85 or more we sold what (28) seemed suitable to us. Concerning the traders, God willing, (29) you would have sent to us the casing of the scales. We need (30) the scales very much. Convey our greetings to (31) our beloved Isaac Francis. Greetings to our beloved ha-rav Ilyān (32) and (to) Ṣahl. Convey our greetings to the master Nissim Mašīš (33) Rio. Greetings to our beloved Abraham ha-Levi and to all the (34) company greetings. We will not prolong (this letter) to you except with (35) (wishing you) the best. (If there is any) service or benefit (we could assist you with), let us know and we shall be sure to carry it out (36) with pleasure. Shalom.

2(37) Ha-ṣaʿir

3(38) Abraham Gabriel

4(39) Kamān Ḥefez

5(39) Simen ṭov/Sefardi ṭov Simen ṭov/Sefardi ṭov


7Line 1

8Raḥamīm is the name for Elul, the month of prayers for forgiveness and mercy.

9Line 2

10Line 3

11Line 4

12In our corpus of letters, maktūb has replaced the word kitāb for ‘letter’ used in earlier correspondence. The abbreviation ׳וצ stands for ṣuḥba ‘with’. The form יפ for fīhi ‘in it’ shows an unusual orthography as the suffix -h is not spelled.

13Line 25

14יע is short for ʿereḵ ‘value’.


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