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CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 396

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In these little cottages we found very large establishments for bees, but all the honey thus made is demanded by the Governor; so that keening these insects is only considered as the means of an additional tax. The manner, however, in which the honey is collected, is so cnrioits, and so worthy of imitation, that it merits a particular description ; the contrivance is very simple, and was doubtless suggested by the more antient custom, still used in the Crimea, of harbouring bees in cylinders made from the bark of trees. They build up a wall formed entirely of earthen cylinders, each about three feet in length, placed, one above the other, horizontally, aud closed at their extremities with mortar. This wall is then covered with a shed, and upwards of one hundred swarms may thus be maintained within a very small compass. Close to this village grew the largest Carob-Tree we noticed in all onr travels. It is, by some, called St John's bread-tree; the Ceratonia Siliqua of Linnams. It was covered with fruit, the pods being then green, and had attained the size of our largest English oaks. We could neither discover nor hear of antiquities near this village ; except one large reservoir for water, pointed out as an antient work, although probably of Venetian origin. This is still in a perfect state, lined with square blocks of stone, about twenty-five feet deep, and fifteen feet wide. It is situated in a field close to the village. Two hours before sun-rise, we again set out for Xicotia. The road lay through an open country ; but high mountains were everywhere in view, as on the preceding evening : some of these, as we drew nearer to them, exhibited very remarkable forms, standing insulated, and with flat tops, like what are usually called table mountains. On onr right, we observed one that rese out of a fine plain, baring a most perfect conical form, except that its vertex appeared truncated parallel to its base. Upon the road we noticed distinct masses of the purest transparent selenite», or crystallized sulphate of lime, as diaphanous as the most limpid specimens from Montmartre, near Paris. It seemed as if they had been dropped by caravans passing the road; although we could learn nothing, either of the place whence they were derived, or the purpose for which they were intended. A ridge of mountains bounded all the view in front of onr route; at length at the distance of two hours and a half from Attien, we beheld the city of Nicotia, situated in the middle of one of the fine plains common in this part of the island, at the base of one extremity of the mountain barrier. As we advanced towards it, we were struck with the magnitude of its fortifications; these, although neglected, still remain nearly entire, surpassing in extent and beauty those of almost every other city. The moat is half a mile wide; it is now dry, or at best an unwholesome swamp. Beneath the walls, the bed of this moat abruptly terminates in a deep and wide fosse. The ramparts are still mounted with a few pieces of artillery. The road winds round the wall towards the gate, which had once a portcullis. We found the entrance tilled with beggars. The guard demands a toll from all Greeks passing through. As we rodo into the town, we met a long train of women, dressed in white robes, the beautiful costume of the capital, filling the air with their lamentations. Some of these were of the middle age, bnt all were handsome ; as they came on, they exposed their faces and breasts to public view, tearing their hair, and weeping piteously. Iirthe midst of the procession rode a Turk upon an ass, smoking his pipe in the most tranquil manner, and wholly indifferent to their cries. Upon inquiring the cause of this tumnlt, we were told that these women were all prostitutes, whom the Governor had banished the city, and whom they were therefore conducting beyond the gates. Their dress was modelled after a very antient form, and highly elegant ; it consisted entirely of fine white linen, so disposed as to veil at once the whole figure, unless when pnrposely cast aside; and it fell to the gronnd in long graceful folds. We went to the house of Mr Sékis (the English Dragoman as he is vulgarly called), a rich Armenian merchant, who enjoys the English protection for transacting whatsoever 380 EXCERPTA CYPRIA.

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