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CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 321

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thereon. Wherever they light straightway every green herb vanishes, and they cat even the bark of trees. From this deadly pest, and the oppression of the rulers, follows, as of consequence, the sickly, languishing and decaying state of agriculture in Cyprus. The question is asked, how is it possible that these winged insects, so little capable of a long flight, can spring np snddenly and appeal' like a deadly whirlwind over a land surrounded on every side by the sea? It may be resolved in this natural fashion. The promontory of Crommyon, near Kyrene, is not far distant from Cilicia Tracheia; nor is that of S. Andreas from Syria. A strong east wind can easily bring over from Asia to Cyprus the light swarms of these devouring creatures : they are aided by their own wings, and being naturally strong and swift, and trained to such migrations aud wanderings, have been observed by naturalists to cross even broader stretches of sea. Such locusts as escape the perils of birds, or of larger insects, bnry their eggs in the ground, especially on sandy spots. In Europe men were compelled at last to seek some means of destroying them, which they do thus. In spring time, before the warmth hatches out their eggs, by order of Government the villagers go out en masse with their women and children, who search out, find and eollect the eggs, which they burn. They keep up this work for two or three successive years, until the locusts are eradicated. V One product of the island has been up to this time fostered with great zeal and care, and is still one of the -chief articles of export—but even this, like the rest, has felt the presence of tyranny—this is its delicious wine. This fra grau t nectar of Zeus, expressed and flowing from the vines which abound in this shrine of his beloved son Bacchus, is drawn from a part of the island called Comanderia, for here was the lot and inheritance of the Comandery, the order of the Templars and Knights of Malta, which lies between Monnt Olympus'and the towns of Nemesos and Paphos. This excellent wine is one of the things greatly in request in Europe. The nature of the island's products testifies to its climate. In summer there reigns indeed excessive heat, but not equally in all its parts. Cyprus is split or divided from east to west by α continuous chain of monntains, and has two sections, each naturally with its own climate. On the north the winds which blow from the high mountains of Pamphylia and Cilicia arc caught and deflected by the hills which divide Cyprus lengthways, and temper in summer the fiery heet of this region; while in winter they bring piercing cold, and preserve the snow on the highest peaks fn a frozen state for a considerable portion of the year. The part of the island which looks west is the most mountainous, stony, and varied with forests and groves : it is the wildest, and the least fertile. In the southern districts, on the other hand, the fierceness of the summer sun, caught on and reflected from the precipitous rocks and crags where the mountain range is rugged and broken, is spread over the land without check or stay : while the north winds, which cannot traverse that natural middle wall of partition formed by the mountains which divide the island, leave the air of the southern half deprived of all coolness and refreshment : and if that gentle west wind, which blows sometimes off the sea, and moderates the heat of the sun, were wholly to fail, the whole of that region would be unbearable during certain days of summer. Bain in summer is very rare indeed, and long and severe droughts check and sometimes destroy the much-desired greenness of the country, dry up entirely vegetation, attract the myriad legions of the swift locusts, and push on terrible want, poverty and distress to rule harshly over α bumt-up and thirsty land. Watering and refreshing the soil, a task neglected by men naturally fond of work but depressed, afflicted and desperate, can no longer restore the welcome moisture to the parched plains. In certain spots the stagnant pools of salt and useless water give off α horrible CONSTANTI US. 311

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