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CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 398

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the army. At sight of these, however, his new-made Excellency affected to turn up his nose, muttering between his teeth the expressive word Gianr with considerable emphasis, and taking up the skirts of his pelisse (as onr venerable friend the Armenian kneeled before him, to act as our interpreter), that they might not be defiled by the touch of an infidel. This insolence was the more remarkable, as the Turks, except when in a state of open rebellion, generally salute the Grand Signer's firman ; even the haughty Pasha of Acre always made sign of obeisance when it was produced. After thus endeavouring to make us feel our inferiority, he next strove to dazzle our senses with his splendour and greatness. Having clapped his hands, a swarm of attendants, most magnificently habited, came into the room, bearing gilded goblets filled with lemonade and sorbet, which they presented to us. A high priest of the dervishes then entered, and prostrated himself before the Governor, touching his lips with his fingers, crossing his hands upon his breast, and raising his thumbs afterwards to his ears. All these marks of reverence ended, he rese and took his station upon the divan, on the left side of the Governor. Next came a fresh party of slaves, bringing long pipes of jasmine wood with amber heads to all the party; these were suddenly followed by another host of myi-midone iu long white vests, having white turbans on their heads, who covered us with magnificent cloths of sky-blue silk, spangled and embroidered with gold. They also presented to us preserved fruits and other sweetmeats; snatching away the embroidered cloths, to cover ns again with others of white satin, still more sumptuous than before. Then they brought coffee, in gold cups studded with diamonds; and the clothe were once more taken away. After this, there came slaves kneeling before us with burning odours in silver censers, which they held beneath our noses; and finally a man, passing rapidly round, spattered all our faces, hands, and clothes, with rose-water—a compliment so little expected at the time, and so zealously administered, that we began to wipe from onr face and eyes the honours which had almost blinded us. The principal dragoman belonging to the Governor next presented each of ns with an embroidered handkerchief ; "gifts," he said, "by which infidels of rank were always distinguished in their interviews with his Master." The handkerchief consisted, of embroidered muslin, and was enclosed in a piece of red crape. These presents we in vain solicited permission to decline; adding, that "as private individuals, meanly habited, in the view of travelling expeditiously through the island, we hoped he would not form his ideas of Englishmen of rank either from our appearance or pretensions." Upon further conversation, we found that all intercourse with Baffa and the western side of the island was cut off by the plague, which had begun to shew itself even in the neighbour-hood of Nicotia; we therefore resolved to return to onr more humble host in the village of At tien the same night ; when to onr great surprise, the Governor requested that we would spend a few days with him : and, as we stated this to be impossible, he even threatened to detain the frigate at Salines for that purpose. AVe were, however, resolute in onr deter-mination; and therefore representing to him the illness of onr Captain, and our utter inability to remain an instant after the Ceres had got her cargo on board, we took our leave, accompanied by .an officer of his gnard, whom he permitted to attend us among the gold-smiths of the place, in search of medals and other antiquities. It is to these artificers, bearing the name of qûyûmji, almost universally in Turkey, that the peasants of the country, and lower order of people in the towns, carry all the pieces of gold or silver they may chance to find in the soil, to be exchanged for modern trinkets. They are generally men in a small way of trade sitting in a little stall, with a crucible before them, a touchstone, and a handful of very ordinary tools. Their chief occupation consists in making coarse silver rings, of very base metal, for the women, and in setting signets for 388 EXCERPTA CYPRIA

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