HISTORY ETHNOGRAPHY NATURE WINE-MAKING SITE MAP
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SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER
CYPRUS AS I SAW IT IN 1879
page 328

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I throughout the dark gorge to Phyni. The gardens I appeared much neglected ; they were overcrowded I with fruit-trees, including filberts, mulberry, pears, I apples, figs, walnuts, plums ; the only grape-vine was represented upon the trellis ; the position was too high for apricots. An Englishman's first idea is improvement, and I believe that upon entering heaven itself he would suggest some alteration. This was not heaven, but, as a monastery, it was the first step, and a very high one for this world, being 4340 feet above the sea. W e began by cleaning, and I should have liked to have engaged Hercules, at the maximum of agricultural wages, to have cleaned the long line of mule stables, a dignified employment for which the herogod was famous ; the Augean were a joke to them. Piles of manure and filth of every description concealed the pavement of the capacious outer yard of the monastery. The narrow path by which we had arrived from the spring was a mere dung-heap, from which the noxious weeds called docks, of Brobtlignagian proportions, issued in such dense masses that an agricultural meeting of British farmers would have been completely hidden by their great enemy. The priests or monks had filthy habits ; it would have been impossible for civilised people to have existed in this accumulation of impurities, therefore we at once set to work. I had a spade and pickaxe, and we borrowed some other tools from the monks, among which were strong grubbers (which combined the hoe and the pick). There were a number of people belonging to the monastery, including some young embryo priests, that ; we might accept as deacons ; these I set to work with

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