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CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 65

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EXCERPTA CYPRIA. they reckon it twelve miles, which make quite twelve leagues, from Nicossia, and it cost me to come on the cart, with the expenses on the road and supper at the village, altogether 36 gros. Snnday, September 11, f rose very early, for I had slept on a table; it was too late to find a bed, and I was hungry, but I took it patiently. As soon as I was up I bought a fine fat hen, thinking to take it as a gift to my companions, and begged that it might bo cooked quickly, while I went to beai- mass. Now the church is far from the village and quite close to the sea ; it was here that aforetime the main town stood, bnt it is all destroyed except a part of the chnrch, in which at one end they chant in Latin as with us, but in the middle, or what we might call the choir, they chant in Greek.... Tuesday, September 13, after having heard mass very early we went, ten or twelve of us, to see the place whenee they collect the salt. We were very greatly astonished, for the place is quite four leagues round, and is like a great frozen marsh. One is quite dazzled at the sight, for the salt is as white as I ever saw, and comes of itself: the sea is close by, and there is only a bread bank between the two. The sea swells two or three times a year, and then they make little holes in the bank, and the water enters the lake. And when there is enough of it they close those holes again, and forthwith the sun which is a hundred times butter than in onr conntiy absorbs that water, and nothing is left but the salt. Moreover the sun burns on that salt so fiercely that it is as white as snow. And it is cut into great blocks, as is done with sods ur turves. And when we were there we saw enough cut and ready to load two hundred carts. None can take of this salt without paying the Venetians for it; it is a valuable revenue to them. Wo stayed so long to look at this salt that we did not know how we should get to the village for the heat, but God be praised we suffered nothing but the inconvenience, and refreshed ourselves with a good drink. Then several of ns went to bathe in the sea, that is to say when the great heat had passed. Then we came back to the village, and heard that a gentleman had arrived, and I went to lodge with him. For he bad been the companion of the three priests who eaine with Jehan du Bos and ine, and had left them because they were too stingy. And I believe that if he had remained he woidd luve died like the others. But he was a man used to good living, so that he and I returned to Pans, and he earned back the money of his shipmates, and I that of mine, as you will hear Inter. So I went to supper and we enjoyed ourselves. Wednesday, September 14, we went to hear mass in a chapel where they sing in Greek. Then we came to dinner, and after dinner heard a crying and singing. They were carrying a young woman to her grave. There were four or five women crying so that it was piteous to see them. They had put a mask on the corpse, painted like the face of a beautiful dead woman. They had clothed her tuo in a fine black robe ; she even had a fine scarf of black silk round lier, and they told us that when a poor person dies they borrow for her beautiful clothes which she wears up to the mouth of the grave. We did not go to see her buried, because there had been deaths from the plague pretty close to the place. We went to amuse ourselves and, to see what had formerly been the size of this town of Balline : we were greatly astonished to see such extensive foundations ; the highest uf them was hardly two feet. Then wo returned to supper. Thursday, September 15, after hearing mass and eating an excellent breakfast, we wrote onr diaries and then went in a great troop to bathe in the sea, and there we rejoiced greatly for they caine to tell ns that all onr company which had stayed in Nicossia had arrived. So we went to our lodgings for fear of losing our places, and after we had dined well I reckoned how much I had spent since Saturday. I had spent only 24 gros.

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