Machera is not so large or wealthy as Kikko, but it is in some respects a more interesting spot. Amongst other objects of interest, it possesses a picture of a former abbot, who subsequently became archbishop of Cyprus, and was hanged by the Turks with the other bishops in 1823. If we may trust to tradition, he was probably the ablest man who ever occupied the archiepiscopal see. The portrait is a striking one, and was executed, I think, in Wallachia, where he had been sent on a mission when only a young member of the monastery of Machera.
If time did not fail me, I should like to prolong this subject, and to take you with me in imagination to some of the beautiful spots which are to be found in Cyprus, to enter the houses and see the townspeople at their avocations, the women weaving silk at the primitive looms, of which specimens were shown in the Colonial Exhibition three years ago; to visit the villages; to listen to the shepherds piping to their flocks; to follow the mountain tracks, where amidst the murmuring of the streams, by the side of a hazel copse, or under a shady old walnut tree, you might listen to the cawing of the crows and imagine yourself in England. But there is something besides time that fails me, and that is the capacity to do justice to the infinite variety of scenery which Cyprus affords, to depict adequately the charm of travelling through every part of the island, pitching one's tent in every variety of spot; now on a village green; now on a mountain side; one day in the depths of the silent forests; another day by a babbling stream under the shade of magnificent plane-trees; or again seeking shelter from the sun in the old refectory of the monks of Bella Pais.
If my failure to depict such scenes would induce any of you to go and visit them for yourselves, you would be amply repaid. The
exhilarating air imparts a peculiar charm to the scenery, which is heightened by the simplicity and hospitality of the villagers. To be in a country so near to civilisation, and yet where news from the outside world arrives only once a fortnight, and where there are no railways! Such is the place to refresh the mind wearied with daily papers, telegrams, sensational news, and advertisements, with the postman coming ten times a day with letters which you don't want to get.
It is a remarkable fact that most of those who have resided in Cyprus want to go back to it again. For my own part there is no country which I would so gladly revisit for a holiday, and I can therefore conscientiously recommend it to those who wish to escape from England during the trying months of January to April in this country.