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CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 284

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Constantin, at least the situations seemed to agree, ΐ rode upon a mule furnished with a ragged patched packsaddle, so baggj1, that I straggled like a beggar upon a woolpaek ; in lieu of a whip, I was provided with a sharp pointed stick about a foot long, with which I was directed to prick the lazy animal's shoulders, when I wanted to quicken his pace; spurs would have been as useless as a whip, for my legs were so expanded, that I could not bring one heel within half a yard of the creature's side. All these circumstances rendered my feet so uneasy, that I was obliged to shift five hundred ways before I finished my journey; which thongh no more than twenty four miles fatigued me as much as ever I was by riding above one hundred miles a day. As the Turks permit no Christian to ride into the town, I was obliged to dismount and walk «along the bridge. This was no inpolftic precaution with regard to ine, who by the splendor of my equipage, might have made the conquest of some peeping Sultana. We enter the town by a stone-bridge and a draw-bridge laid across a broad and deep fossée; the last is covered with the skull-caps of those who were slain in the siege, and the other is partly paved with grenado-shells. The fortifications have been pretty strong for those times in which military-architecture was not brought tu perfection ; but the chief strength of the place consisted in the intrepidity, valour and fortitude of those who defended it. The whole is now in very bad order, and all the fine brass cannon are carried off, except a few, of which not above six or eight are mounted. In the year J735, the town was greatly damaged by an earthquake: the Cathedral chureh of Saneta Sophia, which had been converted into a mosque, fell iu aud buried iu its ruins above two hundred Turks who were at worship when the shock happened. I?y what remains of this chnrch, St George, and some others, I can perceive they were built in the worst Gothic taste; the veiy stones are so bad that almost every one is blown or mouldered by the weather. It is the more surprising that these materials are used, as there are many recks of marble in the neighbourhood : perhaps this choice was owing to the frugality of the people, though that is very little consulted in a religions building, upon which a great deal of work is proposed to be bestowed. Over the gate of the governor's palace, which has been great but not noble, are the arms of Venice, with an inscription which I could not read, because it was overgrown with shrubs and moss; and these the Turks would not suffer to be cleared away, for they are jealous of they know not what; this, however, was no great disappointment: for, by the few words which I could trace, the purport of it was to signify at what time, and by whom the palace was built. I likewise saw another inscription in Gothic characters upon St Sophia, but it was at such a distance that Τ could not distinguish the letters. In the front of this chureh, upon the right, are two granite pillars, detached from it, with capitals and bases of white marble; and between thein stands a sarcophagus, adorned with festoons, but altogether uuinscribed ; whieh is a very extraordinary circumstance. "Why should such expenee be laid out on a burying place, when nobody knows to whom it belongs? The gateway that leads to the harbour is nnder a bastion, over the gate is S. Mark, or the winged Venetian lion, inscribed Nicolao Priolo Prefecto, MCCCCLXXXXV1. It served for a guardroom, and is finely vaulted in form of a cupola. The harbour is good and safe by nature, for no art has been bestowed upon it; from hence into the town there has been a floodgate, through which they occasionally hauled their gallies into a dock behind the walls, that they might be secure from the efforts of the enemy. From the inlet of the fossé at one end of the town to the angle of a bastion at the other a ridge of rocks stretches around, and forms a kind of oval bason, that may be about a mile 274 EXCERPTA CYPRIA.

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