HISTORY ETHNOGRAPHY NATURE WINE-MAKING SITE MAP
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SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER
CYPRUS AS I SAW IT IN 1879
page 381

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or baking all the bread that was required ; or cooking the dinner ; or repairing all the old clothes which the monks wore when they were only fit for a paper-mill. As there was no special accommodation in the shape of a laundry, Christina had to collect sticks, and make a huge fire beneath a copper cauldron in the open air, into which she plunged all the different vestments of the monks and priests, and stewed them before washing. This was a Cyprian " maid of all work, " whose gross ingratitude troubled the minds of her " pastors and masters ; " and one day a peculiar mental disturbance pervaded the whole priestly establishment and caused a monasterial commotion, as, after a violent fit of temper attended by crying, Christina had declared solemnly that she " would stand it no longer, " and " she wished to better herself ! " Whenever there was a difficulty the monks came to me ; why, I cannot imagine. If the shepherd's goats invaded their gardens and destroyed the onions and the beet-root crops, they applied to me. Of course I advised them to " fence their .gardens, " and they went away satisfied, but did not carry out the suggestion ; so in due time their crops were devoured. They now told me that they always had a difficulty with women ! This new theory startled me almost as much as the novelty of the old monks' stories. They explained that young women wouldn't work, and old women couldnt work. It had not occurred to them that a middle-aged woman might have combined all that they desired. Knowing their strict moral principles, I had suggested an " old woman " as the successor of Christina ; as I explained to them that, to be in harmony with the establishment, a woman of a "certain age " as general servant would not detract

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