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SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER
CYPRUS AS I SAW IT IN 1879
page 379

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monastery, which afforded a moral haven from all the storms and troubles that embitter life. On Sundays we sent a messenger for the post to the military camp at Troodos, about five and a half miles distant, and the arrival of letters and newspapers restored us for a couple of days to the outer world : after which we relapsed once more into the local quiescent state of complete rest. It must not be supposed that we were idle ; there were always occupations which by degrees I hope improved the place, and to a certain degree the people. Occasionally I asked the old monks to sit and smoke their cigarettes in our " rachkooba, " when they sipped their hot coffee, and explained difficult theological questions to my intense edification ; of course I always listened, but never argued. My particular friend old Néophitos treated me toi long stories which he imagined must be new and interesting, especially the history of Joseph and his brethren, which he several times recounted from beginning to end with tears of sympathy in his eyes at Joseph's love for the youngest brother Benjamin. The Garden of Eden, the Deluge, including the account of Noah's Ark, and several equally modern and entertaining stories, I always listened to with commendable attention. Yet even in this solitude, where the chapel-bell on Saturday night, and atj daybreak upon Sunday mornings, was in harmony with the external peaceful surroundings, and it appeared as though discord could never enter the walls of Trooditissa, the old monks had their cares and difficulties. The principal cause of trouble was " servants ! " Il was quite surprised, as I thought we were nearer heaven in this spot than in any earthly locality I

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