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CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 304

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2ί>1 EXCEIUTA CYPRIA. their lands for the subsistence of their families and payment of their taxes, must sell every little moveable in their possession for that purpose; and those who could not thus pay the exactions of the governor, were under the fatal necessity of quitting the island, or obliged to run the risque of dying under the torture of tjhe drubbing-sticks: many thonsands have therefore fled into other countries, while those who remained were compelled to make np the deficiency of the fugitives, as if they had been all joined together in a general co-partnership. Their professing the christian religion Aras a sufficient cause for subjecting them to such horrid tyranny and damnable injustice! such as must inevitably end in the ruin of the kingdom, unless the locusts are removed, and the thirsty soil plentifully supplied with rain, for the nourishment of the seeds and roots that are now in the ground, as well as of those that may be sown next winter and spring. At the distance of an hour from the village are what they call the lron-niines, though this is no more than the place where their furnaces and forges were erected: the ore was undoubtedly found amongst the hills, for here is nothing that resembles it : wood from the mountains might easily be transported hither for smelting; and for this purpose, in all probability, the adjacent hills have been left baro of their covering, for scarce a tree is to be seen npon thein, while those at sonic distance are covered with as good pines as any the country affords. In my progress from hence I found myself engaged in a very deep gutt, npon the rocky sides of the river Simbula, between two impending hills, from whence the rocks and trees seemed to stretch themselves horizontally to cover ne: I might have travelled two hours farther, bnt I was so charmed with the romande wildness and delicious coolness of the spot, which nothing hut the meridian rays could invade, that having dismounted, I iudulged my people with an holyday till two o'clock next morning. Here I amused myself tho whole evening in wandering through the woods and surveying the sea-shores far and near, which produced variety of reltections foreign to our present correspondence. To this place I must take the liberty to give the name of Jovis Lucus, because I find it exactly answers the situation of one consecrated to that deity, near winch a river fell into the sea. Next morning, after four (for two hours arc scarce sufficient to put onr caravan in motion) I left this pleasant retreat, and, in tho course of three or four hours, rode along a good many different precipices, one of which hod well-nigh deprived you of this tedious epistle, for my innle made a false stop upon the face of a rock, and down we came together : had this accident happened a few seconds sooner or later, I should have been crushed to pieces before Τ could have reached the bottom ; but we were providentially saved by a bit of rock, which served as a natural parapet ; so that I escaped for a contusion on the hip-bone, and a hurt on the elbow ; and, after having made some wry faces, proceeded on my journey. Near the river Pirga I dined in a delightful grove of tall spreading trees, hard by which is a very extraordinary rock, almost perpendicular with a ruined christian chapel on the top : this grove is said to have been planted, and the chapel built, by one of their queens, together with what they call a grand palace in the mountains in this neighbourhood. Indeed, all their castles and palaces have been raised by the ladies, if we may depend upon tradition ; but they have not been so just to the memory of these benefactresses, or so obliging to the curions, as to preserve their names, either in records or inscriptions. Though it may seem idle in me to take any farther notice of this building, yet, as it is iu great esteem in the Island, I must give you the appearance of it, with the dimensions. The fabric has been extremely mean, being only sixteen feet high, and, as it were, intentionally irregular in the elevation.

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