HISTORY ETHNOGRAPHY NATURE WINE-MAKING SITE MAP
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SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER
CYPRUS AS I SAW IT IN 1879
page 30

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ARRIVAL AT LARNACA. I.] 13 from the landing place :—thus he passes half the day in running backwards and forwards with trifles of contested value to his superior, while crowds are kept waiting, and the store is piled with goods most urgently required. " ... . I immediately went to see this eccentric representative of Anglo-Turkish political-and-mercantilecombination, and found very little exaggeration in the description, except that the distance was 187 paces instead of 200 which he had to perform, whenever the character of the article was beyond the sphere of his experience. A s this happened about every quarter of an hour, he could not complain of a sedentary employment. A few days after this, migratory birds arrived in Cyprus upon the inhospitable shore opposite the Custom House in the shape of two Liberal M.P's. from England, — who visited the island specially to form an honest opinion free from all political bias. Whether these gentlemen were undervalued by the eccentric official to whom I have alluded, or whether he suspected Liberals as opponents to be regarded and treated as spies, we never could determine ; but utterly disregarding their innocent exterior, he subjected them to the extreme torture of the Custom House, and dived and plunged into the very bowels and bottoms of their numerous small packages, rumpling clean linen, and producing a toilettic chaos. T o the honour of these members of the Opposition they never brought the question before the House upon their return to England, neither did they make it the foundation of an attack upon the Government. An excess of zeal is not uncommon among ignorant officials newly raised to a position of authority : thus Larnaca was outdone by the Custom House

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