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CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 257

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HEYMAN. 247 and to these may, in a great measure, be imputed the heaviness and moisture of the air, of which strangers generally feel the effects. Iu the winter, after heavy rains, several rivulets are seen pouring clown from the mountains; but soon become dry on the return of fair weather. Sometimes no rain falls for a long time; aud it appears from history that the inhabitants were once obliged to quit it, no rain falling in the space of seventeen years. And in the time of Constantine the Great it was visited with a drought of six and thirty years. It does not indeed want fountains, and wells, but the water iu all is thick and turbid. These, however, frequently fail, so that in the heats of summer no verdure is to be seen in the whole country, which seems parched and arid. Notwithstanding all these inconveniences, the island is very fruitful in corn, oil, honey, wax, saffron, and wool, and it is computed that one-third moro is produced than is consumed in the island. This renders everything cheap here, so that vessels frequently put in at Cyprus to take in provisions for their voyage. But tlîîs fertility depends, in a great measure, on a favourable season for rain, when they have a prodigious plenty of corn. But the Turks knew not how to make a proper advantage of this particular, namely, to lay it up against a time of scarcity, 'till the Franks taught them the method, and directed them how to build proper granaries for this jnirpose. The com is ground by water-mills in the island, so that in a time of drought there is not only a want of water, but also of bread. In an exigency of this kind the English once saved the people from famine, having in a time of plenty laid up a sufficiency to support the inhabitants. Formerly, and even under the dominion uf the Venetians, sugar-canes were produced here in great plenty, particularly in a part called Episcopia ; and the sugar was, at that time, exported to all parts; but at present that manufacture is wholly laid aside, and the Greeks are entirely ignorant of the process. In most parts of the island is a tree producing a horn-shaped fruit, generally called St John's bread, from an opinion that the Baptist, while he continued in the desert, lived on this fruit. It is of a very agreeable taste, and from it is expressed a kind of juice or honey, used as a sauce in several favourite dishes. Salt is still made here in great quantities, and the duty on it, what was sold to foreigners, used to amount to thirty thousand ducats per annum, while the Venetians were masters of the island. This salt, it must be owned, has a very agreeable pungency. The wine of Cyprus is also famous iu every part of the Levant, as well as Europe. But I must own I should like it better were it free from the tarry taste which it derives from the manner of keeping it ; for the new wine is first put into large earthen vessels, tarred within, where it continuée a considerable time. If the wine proves good it is taken from these vessels and put into casks in which it is exported. A great deal of this wine is sent to Venice nnd England, and it has this in common with many other wines, that it improves by being at sea. Accordingly an epicure of an Englishman who lived here, used to send his Cyprus wine to "England, whence it was sent back again to him at Cypru:ä- The island also abounds iu turpentine and saltpetre ; here are likewise made cheeses of goats' milk, which after being laid in oil, are in great request all over the Levant. The delicious birds called beccafigno's are caught in the latter end of August; these are pickled in salt and rinegar, pressed down in casks, and carefully secured, and thus sent to Venice and England. They have a manner of dressing them here with Cyprus wine, than which 1 think few things can better please a dainty palate. Hunting is very delightful all over the

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