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CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 276

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near that city a very thin marble paving stone, that cuts like chalk with a common saw, and much of it seems bo have been laid in the Avails in order to bind the stones. Near Nicosia they have a yellowish marble, which, they say, when burnt produces a small quantity of sulphur. At a mountain towards Solea, the Asbestus or Amianthus, called by some cotton stone, is found in great plenty; it is a blackish green colour, but runs in veins iu such a manner, that the staple of it is not above half an inch long: It is much to be questioned whether they could ever spin it to a thread, but by some experiments tried with it, I have reason to think that an incombustible pa-per might easily be made of it, like that which they make of the Asbestus of Muscovy. Near Baffa there is a hill that produces a stone called the Baffa diamond ; it is very hard, and seems rather to exceed the Bristol and Kerry stones. Cyprus has also been very famous for its minerals, and for many sorts of preeious stones, which were probably found in the mines. In going ronnd the island I saw only two iron mines which are not now worked, because in Cyprus they want hands to cnltivate the ground ; nor is it agreeable to the inclination of the people to be employed in these mines, been use they would not be well paid by the officei-s of the Grand Signor. One of those iron mines is about half a day's jonrney east north east of Baffa; the other is at Solea, where there is a large hill that seems entirely to consist of this ore, which is very fine and light, being porous and crumbling, and of a red colour. They have here also the several sorts of earth used by painters, called Terra Umbra, Vérde, Rossa, and Jalla, and I was assured, that not long ago a traveller found a very fine azure earth, which is uncommon, and either is not much known, or is found in small quantities, otherwise it would without doubt be exported. The antients mention three rivers in Cyprus, the Tsycm, 7'etiits and Pi'dins, though at the best they deserve only the name of rivulets, and I suppose the water seldom fails in these, though it is generally said that there are no rivers in Cyprus. It is certain thej' have no fresh water fish, except small crabs, which are in most of the rivers in Asia. All round the island there are beds of winter torrents, which run from the mountains after rains, but during the summer months, when it never rains in these southern parts, they are entirely dry excepting some few springs which have been rarely known to fail. The water, which is drawn out of wells, is almost all brackish, occasioned by the great quantity of nitre in the soil, which produces the salt in the lakes before-mentioned; at Lamica they send above a league for all the good water they drink. The water of the island seems to depend almost entirely on the rain ; and when clouds have been wanting either to fall down in rain, or to seed the springs, by lying on the mountains, a great drought has always ensued ; and historians relate, that there having been no rain for thirty-six years, the island was abandoned in the time of Const ant ine, for want of water. It is said that this island received its name from the cypress trees which it is certain grow on it in very great abundance, especially on the eastern promontory, and in the northern parts of the island. There is a sort of tree which grows in most parts of Cyprns, which is called by some the cedar, and much resembles it in every thing but its seed, which is like the juniper; it is called in Greek Avorados, and I have been sinee informed that it is a sort of jnniper, and is much like the tree that they call cedar, which is brought from the West Indies, and possibly may be the same, but here it grows rather like a large shrub than a tree. They have also the common jnniper on the mountains aud pine trees in gi-eat numbers, with which they make tar; they have likewise the caronb, called in Greek, Keraka, which is supposed to be the locust tree, the fruit of which in this island exceeds that of any other country, growing like a flat bean, and is exported both to Syria and yEgypt. Most of the trees in the island are evergreen, but it is most famous for the tree called by the natives, 2Cü EXCERPTA CYPRIA.

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