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CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 294

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arches, eight or ten feet each, besides the intervening pillar : and there was a good reason for building them of such extent, for all the circumjacent ground declines towards this lake, and there was no level to cany it off; so that as vast quantities fell in the winter, there it lay until it was exhaled by the sun or imbibed by the thirsty soil. As I walked through the crusted sea, the steam was extremely nauseous, and smelled like pn trifled tish ; the salt for the most part, was concreted into cakes, like white ice when the water leaves it: aud immediately below this, is a coagulated, though not absolutely consolidated, water. The surface is token off with paring shovels, aud laid in little heaps, that the watery part may lie exhaled or run off ; then it is carried on asses to the shore, where it is formed into little mounts : what I call the coagulated water becomes, in a few days, a solid cake; and thus the people work during the whole season, in which the sun has the necessary influence ; this may continue to the end of September, and sometimes longer. The whole may, probably, produce no more than the two thousand piastres I mentioned by way of miri, or farm-rent ; yet about 5,000 cart-loads, of 300 okes each, are annually made. Of these, the fanner is allowed to make 2,000, but the janisariea make and dispose of the rest at pleasure, though not without paying hush-money : so that the whole quantity will amount to about 50,000 bushels; whereas it might swell to an-infinitely greater proportion. It is, undoubtedly, managed in a very slovenly manner aud when I say so to the inhabitants, they answer, that they make as much as they can consume. Hut if any man could be properly secured in a lease of it for twenty years, he might make fifty times the quantity, export it in his own shipping, and find sale for it in a variety of markets. These lakes are a blessing in one respect, to the country, bnt a very great curse to this town of Lamica ; for, to their noxious vapours, the unhealthiness of this place is imputed : indeed exclusive of the stench, which must produce foul air from what comer soever the wind blows, the vapours are all impregnated with salt, insomuch that when we went to Mount Croce, in the night ("for people cannot travel in the day) the dew upon our whiskers was as salt as the German ocean, though the water of the Salines is, in my opinion, ten times more salt; so that there must be an immense quantity of that mineral in the earth itself. Frequently the milk which is brought for our tea is so excessively salt that we can not use it with any degree of pleasure; and it is more or less impregnated according to the pasture of which the goats have fed, for there is no such thing as cow's milk to be had on the island, because there is no grass during the summer. This disagreeable taste prevails in spite of all the sugar we can use; and, as all the juices of the human body are salt in a certain degree, what is perspired must certainly partake of that quality; but here it is impregnated with such an incredible proportion, that after the sweat had cooled, 1 have often rubbed a perfect dry powdered salt from my forehead. Good Heaven 1 what a country must this be, where a man is pickled alive ! # * # Well then, our government is changed : and, in lien of a mussale m, we are ruled by a pacha of three tails ; that is, of the highest- rank next to the grand vazir, bnt he is provided with the same officers, though in a greater number ; so that the country is now subject to a more powerful tyrant, and to him much greater hononr is done than to a mussalem, to whom the consuls only send their annual presents; whereas, this viceregent exacts their personal attendance at Nicosia. Accordingly, Mr Consul Wakenian set out from hence on the sixth of May, to perform this expensive, mean ceremony; which, I think is unworthy of the crowns of Britain and of France. The Neapolitan and Ragusan consuls made no attempt to appear magnificent in their 284 EXCERPTA CYPRIA.

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