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CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 285

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DRUMMOND. 2/5 one way|0aiid the eighth part of a mile the other; it has no entry bnt one, which is from forty to fifty feet wide, between the rocks and the angle of a bastion, and across this channel is a chain. As this is all I have to say about Famagosta, yon will readily own it was not worth the fatigue I underwent in going to see it; and as I am well informed, there is not the least vestige of antiquity in the island, iu all probability I shall not make many excursions: though I would willingly see Paphos, on account of the character it bore in former times. ]Arnica is pleasantly situated at the distance of a little mile from a spacious bay, and very likely occupied part of the same ground upon which the ancient Citinm stood : be that as it will, there is not one object in it, at present, worth seeing ; all the houses here as well as in other places of the island, are built of mud cut into the shape of large bricks and dried in the sun; these are neat enough. They never build higher than one floor, in order to avoid some part of the dreadful effects of earthquakes, antl these houses last longer than one could imagine, though the architects, joiners and carpenters are the most bungling artificers that ever were seen. It is equally astonishing and lamentable to see the ignorance that prevails in those countries, where arts aud sciences once flourished to such perfection; and from whence the seeds of learning were scattered through the European world. I believe I may venture to affirm that there is not one ingenious artist, or one person who can be deemed a man of learning, in the whole Ottoman Empire. Here the Greeks have three mean churches, as generally all their places of worship are. One convent belongs to the Franciscans, aud another to the Capuchins of Terra Santa, but neither of them is worth notice. * * * At the distance of a short mile from hence is the port of Salines, where the Turks have a despicable garrison. This port probably derives both the Greek and modern name from a very extensive lake, or rather a cluster of lakes in its neighbourhood, where an immense quantity of salt was annually made, before and after the Venetians were in possession of the island. So sensible were they of the value of this commodity that notwithstanding the vast extent of the lake, they or their predecessors surrounded it with a stone or mud wall, the remains of which are still to be seen in some few places. And well they might bestow snch pains upon it; for according to accounts of the best authority, it yielded 1,000,000 Piastres, amounting to about £125,000 per annum; whereas now it is farmed at the yearly rental of 1600 P. or about 1200. Yon will think it very strange that there should be such a prodigious difference between its former and present produce ; and indeed it can be accounted for no other way but from the innate indolence aud laziness of the people, the insecurity of the property, and the supine negligence of the ministers of the Porte, whose whole care is employed in keeping their wives from the eyes of other men, and in extorting money in the most oppressive manner from those who groan under their despotic sway. No care is taken to prevent the salt being trod upon by man and beast, when it begins to cake, or even when it is fully crystallized, so that it is mixed with dirt- and clay, which renders a great part of it unfit for use. Probably the Venetians who had vast territories in these seas, and were a very frugal polite people, obliged all their subjects to take their salt from this magazine of nature ; whereas the stupid Turks know not how to make a reasonable advantage of the bounteous gifts of heaven ; for other places are now otherwise supplied. With regard to this lake, varions are the opinions of the learned. Some confidently affimi that the salt is produced from the rain water which centers here in the winter; and that the exhalations are so sudden, continued, and excessive in summer, during which there •>r. a

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