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SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER
CYPRUS AS I SAW IT IN 1879
page 124

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sense should have selected the low ground instead of the immediate heights. The explanation was " that as the village was built of mud-bricks, the houses had been erected as near as possible to the source of the material, mud/ " to avoid the difficulty of carriage in the absence of carts. The people were as usual dressed in cotton stuffs of home manufacture, and were ignorant of such a material as flannel ; the children were only half-clad, pnd shivering ; their food was generally raw, comprising olives, oil, onions, and wild vegetables, such as artichokes, wild mustard, and a variety of trash that in England would only be regarded as " weeds. " There were some pretty intelligent little girls and boys ; some of these were chewing mastic gum, a white leathery substance which they gathered from incisions in the bark of this common shrub. M y wife found fault with the neglect of cleanliness, as their teeth, although even, were totally uncared for. On the following morning they all assembled and exhibited a show of nice white teeth, as they had followed her advice and cleaned them with wood-ashes and their forefingers, in lieu of a toothbrush. W e saw these children again a month afterwards upon our return, ^nd they ran across the fields to meet us, at once opening their mouths to show that they had not forgotten the lesson, and that their teeth were properly attended to. I pitied all these poor people : they are downtrodden and miserable in mind and body. Instead of squeezing them for taxes they should be supported and encouraged by government assistance in every manner possible. Centuries of oppression and neglect in addition to a deceptive climate have rendered them the mere slaves of circumstances, but they exhibit a

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