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CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 379

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on the advice of the Archbishop, his three suffragans, and the dragoman of the Serai. The last named is now Chief Collector of taxes and duties. The differences between the former Musellim and the bishops were the reason that the island is now farmed out for the fixed yearly sum of 900 purses, or 450,000 piastres. The income of the Governor is undefined, he can amass just as much as his conscience allows. The bishops do their best to keep on good terms with him. The dragoman of the Serai, through whose hands all public and private business passes, gets from the Governor a salary of 2000 piastres a year, but his private gains are very much more important, so that in his fourteen years of office he must have amassed a considerable fortune. This man has often entire power over the Governor, who cannot read and must perforce believe what the dragoman tells him. It is a very common case to find Turks who have mounted to the highest positions withoujUhe least acquaintance with official business. The last Pasha who ruled the island was Bekir, a man of great reputation. He spared no pains to restore to Cyprus its old importance, and among other charitable works he brought water to Larnaca from Arpera, six miles away. Many wells were dug, and the water led from its source to three aqueducts, the longest of which stands at the head of the salt-lake, about two miles from Larnaca. The aqueducts, which threatened lately to fall, were restored and improved, to the great satisfaction of the Governor, the bishops aud the poor, by voluntary contributions collected by the writer. [Then follows a list of officials, civil and military, identical with that given by Alex. Drummond, Excerpta Cypria, p. 195.] There are a few Janisaries in Nicosia : most of them serve on board the Grand Signor's warships, which they call caravelas. Other important cities in the Island, Famagusta was once the key of Cyprus, and is very well built. The outer walls are still in good condition; all the inner works are in ruins, as well as the greater part of the city. The harbour is small and shallow, and the bay not so good as that of the Salines. Merchant-captains come here to caulk their ships, the harbour beiug the most convenient for that purpose. The air of the city is very unhealthy, owing to the quantity of standing water in the neighbourhood : these pools used to be from time to time dried up. Outside the city are more houses, which make up a village, with good gardens, bearing lemons, pomegranates and other delicate fruits. The officers of the Porte at Famagusta are the Alay Bey, commandant, and a Qazi or judge: the Sanjaq Bey, or bearer of the great standard, the Qol-aghasi, captain of the castle, which contains many fine cannons. Some bear the figure of S. Mark, others the imperial arms. A few are mounted on carriages, and these are so badly adjusted that they cannot and must not be moved. Of the rest some are burst, some spiked, lying here and there about the fort. In the year 178-1 came an order from the Porte to the Governor Haji Baqi Agha to enquire and report about the gunpowder for the great gun, winch was found at the time the island was taken from the Venetians. The Governor enquired particularly from the winter, if he did not know, or had heard, that an English, Dutch, Austrian, Tuscan or Danish merchantman (the writer being Vice-Consul of all these Powers) had carried off the powder. All of us Consuls wrote in reply, to save the Governor and the island from blackmail, tliat we had heard that the previous Muhassil had taken the stuff away, but in what vessel we knew not. For this information the Governor expressed his warmest thanks. Larnaca is the town where the Franks reside. It lies a mile away from the Bay of c. 47 M. DE VEZIN. 369

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