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CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 80

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ELIAS OF PESARO. 75 every labourer, bas in his house vessels of silver or jewels, for they are all rich, and pledges are easy to find. I propose now to set forth in detail the advantages and inconveniences of this country, such as I have seen them with my own eyes. The Christians who live in Cyprus, Candia, Corfu, Zante or Constantinople are mostly Greeks, and are iu no wise like Italians. Their intelligence1 is less developed, their manners are peculiar, and differ from those of all their fellow-Christians. They do not follow the religions laws and ordinances of Roman Christendom, and are not in accord with the Latin races. They have a patriarch at Constantinople who rules them, and to him they go for guidance. Their churches have no bells, and in many other of their customs they differ from the Italians. For instance, on feast days some shops remain open, some are closed: some keep the feast, others work. The Greeks eat meat on the other days of the week as well as Sunday. They keep a Lent three times a year, abstaining from all animal products, even from fish and eggs. Their popes marry once, but if that wife dies they clo not take η second. Most of the Greeks are workmen. For all the gold in the world they would not eat anything that a Jew has touched, and would never use his cooking utensils. Snppose a Jew wishes to buy anything from them he must not touch it but innst describe what he wants: anything he touches he must keep. They reject, as though it were carrion, the flesh of an animal which has had its throat cut, and hate their Italian fellow-Chribtians mnch as we do the Karaites. They do not allow their women to show themselves in the town by day; only by night can they visit their friends and go to chnrch. They say this is by way of modesty, bnt it is really to avoid the frequent adulteries, for their rule of life is thoroughly perverse. They aro all liars, cheats, thieves. Honesty has vanished from their midst. The salt here is wonderfully fine, yon get a measure of two pounds for five Venetian quattrini. I have never seen so good bread as that of Fainagusta, but it is dear. Wheat sells by the Bolognese basket 4 livrea, 4 soldi Bolognese. The olive oil is very bad, one cannot nee it in cooking, and in lamps it gives off a detestable smell : the pound of twelve ounces costs eight quattrini. Most people use oil of sesame for basting and cooking. Tt is good and costs two quattrini the ounce. But the smell is too strong to eat it raw. Olives for eating are as big hero as walnuts, and are cheap at fifteen quattrini for ten pounds. But they never ripen thoroughly. There are pomegranates in great quantity, some sweet, some sour, others middling. They are large and have thick pips, as good to look at as to eat. The largest costs a quattrino, and it seems they will keep a whole year. When I arrived here their vintage was nearly over, for they gather their grapes in Augnst, and all their fruits ripen a month earlier than in Italy. The time of peaches too was past. I have found no eatable grapes, except such as the vinegrowers bring now and then from the hills, white and black, but they will not keep more than three or four days. I asked also about the price of wine, and was told that this year it was selling at 3 livres, 14 eoìdi of Bolognese money the large Bolognese measure. It is very strong, and must be diluted with two-thirds of water. I have bought a cartload and half uf wood for eleven silver marcelU. Onions and leeks are finer than in Italy, bnt cost twice as much. Cabbages and cauliflowers are found in abundance, for a quattrino one can get more almost than one can cany. Also green stuff of every kind, beetroot, spinach, carrots, mint, marjoram, parsley, rue and other herbs, is plentiful and cheap : also pulse of all kinds, peas, lentils, white kidney beans (not red), beans, rice, millet and the like, not dear. Daily, morning and evening, one can buy fish as cheaply as in Italy. Four eggs cost a denaro, or Π quattrino each. Geese and turkeys are rare; for 10—2

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