HISTORY ETHNOGRAPHY NATURE WINE-MAKING SITE MAP
Selected and rare materials, excerpts and observations from ancient, medieval and contemporary authors, travelers and researchers about Cyprus.
 
 
 
 
uses Google technology and indexes only and selectively internet - libraries having books with free public access
 
  Previous Next  

CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 320

View PDF version of this page

810 EXCEIUTA ΟΥΓΚΙΑ. Avants of the inhabitants, while formerl}' the oil of Cyprus was among the products which contributed in no insignificant- manner to its commerce. The sycomores or mulberry trees in some parts of the island still make small groves, but their cultivation has been neglected, and the laziness which shrinks from watering them duly during the dog days has left most of thein to wither. The trade in silk does not nourish as it did before the advent of the Turks, but it is even now an article not to be despised. A tree not held in so much acconnt, but still reckoned among the products of the island, spreads its shade over many parts, aud its fruit makes by itself quite a commerce. This is the Carob. The sea coast between Scala aud Lcinesos is thick with these trees, and Lemesos is the chief depot and place of sale. In most of the fields formerly adorned by the cotton plant traces of it may still be found. But this only grt-es a faint notion of its former luxuriance. The whole island now can scarcely export 4,000 bales of cotton, while under the Venetians the annual supply exceeded 25,000. Under the Venetians also the sugar cane was cultivated in many parts of the island, and was almost as successful as in Egypt. Sugar gave an excellent return at Episcopi, one of the most fertile districts iu the island. But the fury of the barbarians, pressing ou their triumph with sword and flame, and jealously effacing every trace of useful labour devised by those whom their prejndice calls unbelievers, destroyed and burnt these rieh plantations, and blighted the wide fields destined to give new impulse to the knowledge and welfare of humanity. Their insensate passion brought all the ruin which only the demon of destruction could achieve. It ought not to be wholly impossible, or even very difiicult, although little effort has been made to prove my point, to increase still more the natural advantages of this fertile island. The quality of the soil points ont many spots lit for the cultivation of coffee, and promises success to this valuable industry. The heat of Cyprns is not less than that of the countries nut far off where the fruit of this plant acquires its highest aroma : aud I feel sure that a practical trial of its cultivation, conducted with dne care, will not disappoint the hopes I entertain of seeing it flourish and prosper. But this must be for another age, not in these evil and difficult days. Everywhere we have evidence of the richness of the soil. The gardens are full of valuable vegetables; large cauliflowers are abundant, and the return of garden produce is so large that it is even carried for sale outside the island. They are adoraci! too with many kinds of beautiful flowers, aud various aromatic plants, which diffuse widely their exquisite odours. Orange, citron, pomegranate and lemon trees, with other fruit tiees, make little evergreen groves ronnd the houses, and particularly in winter leave a charming impression on visitors from northern climes who touch on this enchanted isle. All these parts which the harshness of tyranny has not condemned to bareness and barrenness produce cereals in rich abundance. But the districts which contain them are small and restricted, and most of the fields have nothing now to show but neglect and misery. Wheat and barley used to be among the principal exports, now these barely suffice for the maintenance of the inhabitants, even if they escape the terrible scourge which wastes everything, the countless myriads of locusts, which collect like thick clonds, and sweep down on the fields, often just as they are ready to give the labourer some return for the toil of his hands and the sweat of his brow. Not even fire spreads in so brief a space so great destruction as do these ravening devouring insects. And the ruin they cause reaches beyond the harvest: the locusts strip the mulberry trees of their leaves, and destroy the precious worm that feeds

View PDF version of this page


  Previous First Next  
 
 
 
 
 
Our banners   Bibliography   Global Folio
All materials from this site are permitted for non commersial use unless otherwise indicated.
If you reduplicate documents from here you have to indicate Cyprus Explorer as a source and place link to us.
Created at June 2008
              Яндекс.Метрика