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CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 293

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ÜHUMMOND. 283 Upon the summit stands a church dedicated to the Holy Cross, and sanctified by what they imagine part of the wood upon which our Saviour suffered, fixed in a large cross upon the left of the Altar. This piece of wood was given to a papa of the Greek Church, by St Helena, mother of Constantine the great, with liberty to build a church where it now appeal's. She likewise endowed it with certain lands, which, at present, maintain thirty persons, who serve at, or about the Altar; five of them being in priest's orders. The church is very small, and built in the mean manner of the modern Greeks; and the painting is so monstrous, that it would even disgrace a paltry alehouse in our country. About three miles from this odd fabric, is another chapel and convent, upon the same consecrated lands : here we dined, aud oui- horses were taken care of by the reverend father, who is at once farmer, innkeeper, and priest, The Consul and ilr Boddington, who are extremely obliging, undertook this journey in a good measure for my satisfaction ; for though a-rTaround the country is quite parched, without a drop of water, except what is drawn from pits, and that is always brackish, I was struck with the appearance of the place, which, at a distance, resembled our highlands, and seemed to promise a variety of delightful prospects. 1 was, however, greatly disappointed; though some few pleasant bottoms occurred to our view, and appeared the more agreeable as they relieved the eye from the sight of barren wastes, and introduced a succession of objects. A parcel of low pitch firs are scattered up and down the mountains, though none of the size of timber; while the plains produce some olives, and a good many aromatic herbs. We ranged over many bare hills, and crossed a ηnmber of dry channels; so that during the whole excursion, I did not see one pile of grass, or one drop of running-water, except from one sickly, and almost expiring spring. What Briton, of a moderate fortune, would live in such a disagreeable country; where though the necessaries of life arc abundant, and the priées reasonable enough, there is nothing animate or inanimate to entertain your mind, delight your eye, or amuse your imagination ! The men are worse than beasts, the women more ugly than fancy can conceive human females to be, especially in an island which was once the seat of beauty and of love ; and not the least vestige remains of antiquity, or even of those remarkable objects which the Venetians might be expected to have left upon the island. As for the climate, you may judge of it from the therinometrical table which I shall continue until the year is completed, and send over as opportunities may occur. Alt'hongh I have already trespassed upon 3*0111· patience, by this dull letter, I can not help (now that I am talking of tho climate) communicating some fresh particulars about the Salines, or inland salt-lakes; though, I am afraid, 1 have already been too impertinent and prolix upon the subject. Having often viewed the water in its progression to salt, together with the manner of gathering it, and considered every circumstance with all the attention I am able to bestow, I see 110 reason for changing my former opinion ; but shall add, that the wall built around it, must have been raised with a view to preserve a greater quantity of salt-water than flowed into it by any natural subterranean communication with the sea, between which, and the salt-lake, there is a very distinct canal still to be seen; there the wall has been prodigiously strong, with two sluices to admit or discharge the sea water at pleasure ; one of the leaders, or conduits from the sluice, is entire to this day; and what fully refutes that opinion which supposes that the salt is made from the rain-water, the surrounding wall excluded all torrents from the adjacent grounds, for the reception and discharge of which there was a large ditch or canal round the whole; and over this, at different places, were bridges consisting of two

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