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CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 322

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stendi, pollute the air, and breed disease. The living springs are few, and the rivers are mere torrents filled by the winter rain and the melting snow, bnt dry throughout the summer, This drought is seriously increased by the growing bastelessness of the inhabitants. Plants are disappearing, trees grow fewer, forests are cut down. The criminal carelessness and neglect, which sees the fertility of the island daily diminish, surprises nobody who looks at the despotism which oppresses it. But in well-governed countries, where the common weal is like a science universally studied, and thoroughly worked out, the disorders which stain the lot of lands which groan under the bai'bariau yoke ought to beget a general burst of righteous indignation and rage. The Greeks who inhabit the island, the miich-snfferiug and long-suffering descendants of that wonderful Teuccr, brother of Ajax the son of Telamon, are well proportioned and good looking: the more refined classes especially, and the dwellers in Leucosia, Larnaca, Scala, and some few in Lemesos, are sociable, affable, sumptuous and hospitable, ready, quick-witted, fond of amusement, a little given to ostentation, fond of work, thrifty, and apt at business, to which the great spur is gain, that inevitable ill, whether to a commonwealth of men, or to each individual member thereof. But the peasants of the-island are sensual, lazy, rough, most difficult to guide even with the whip and threats, with no natural inclination of their own to good. The inhabitants of Carpus in the east are little better than savages. But let no one judge their character with blame, bnt as worthy rather of sympathy and regret, for it** springs lie deep in their ignorance, the close companion of their hard slavery. But here, where nature herself is ever young, and the seasons, with their attendant Graces, have fixed their pleasant seat, where Aphrodite Cyprogeneia was so devoutly worshipped, the softer sex is rich in the gifts of the (Traces, and full of charm and beanty. Among the primates of the island, who do not encourage the jealous prejudices of Asiatics, the women enjoy their ease and liberty, whence they are well-mannered and affable. They do indeed enjoy a larger freedom than was allowed them in the times when their forefathers sent every year to the Persian Queen as a kind of slavish tribute fifty Cypriot maidens, whose duty it was at that proud and despotic court, to attend the Queen on foot, with spears in their hands, at either hand of her chariot-throne, and to lend her their shoulders as a kind of step when her majesty mounted or descended from her lofty vehicle. The highest and most remarkable of the mountains whose chain extends from west to east, and divides the island into two paris, is the breast-shaped Olympus, called Trogodos. Ou its crest was once a temple dedicated te Aphrodite Aerala. By a law strange indeed in a country so devoted to this goddess, this temple might not be appi'oaehed, nor even seen, by women. There are found upon this mountain, according to Aristotle and other later writers on physics, many varieties of plants useful in the healing art. Abont its slopes are situated the gold mines, at a place called Boucaisa, looking to the north. When Titus was Emperor, one of the peaks of this range burst forth at the top with snch a fierce fire that many cities and villages lying near it were consumed. On these mountains were built many religious houses as places of refuge, and with their diligence the monks adorned the greater part of the chain with fair gardens, containing trees and plants of every kind, so that this was the most fascinating and exquisite part of the island, and the richer Cypriote flocked here in summer to breathe the cool zephyr blowing from the shady bowers watered by so many limpid rills. But the tyrant, insensible to the charms strewn here by the happy union of nature and art, brought his savagery to destroy these lovely spots, rooted out the monasteries, and changed all the grace and joyonsuess of their surroundings into bareness and barrenness. ·Μ·2 EXCERPTA CYPRIA.

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