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CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 404

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above- all unpaved and very dirty. There are some fine, and a few very large houses : that in which I stayed, belonging to the Dragoman of Cyprus, the principal officer of the1 Greek community in the island, is quite a palace from its adornment of columns, garden)8 an<* fountains. The way in which the houses are built is exactly the opposite of that O'hich obtains in Barbary. In that part of Africa the largest house receives its light from the *loor only. Here on the contrary there is not a wall interior or exterior but has two row£ °^ windows placed one above the other. And to such an extent does this prevail that in ft^e room which I generally used, whieh was only twenty-four feet by twelve, I counted fourteen windows and a door. The upper row is closed by a jalousie without, and a glazed windovr within : the lower row has jalousies, windows and shutters. The arrangement has a goott eifect in rooms with a high roof. Note that party walls have windows just like outer walls.\ The roofs and part of the staircase are of wood. The corridors and passages are also closed with jalousies. The floors of all the rooms are of marble, also the jambs of the windows and doors, and the first few courses of the building : the rest of the walls is constructed of rough stone, badly baked bricks and lime. The houses are not covered with tiles; the roofs are flat and extremely weighty. This pernicious practice certainly accounts for the disappearance of all the ancient buildings, of which the palace only is left. This palace, called Seraya (Sérail) is a vast and badly arranged pile used as the residence of the Governor General. The ancient cathedral of A'ia Sophia, a superb Gothic edifice, is now a Turkish mosque. They have daubed the columns with a thick coat of lime, giving them the appearance of monster cylinders : and they have added two towers or minarets, well built, but out of keeping with the rest. As their law requires them to say their prayers with their faces towards Mecca, and as this cathedral was not built originally for Moslem worship, the Turks have been obliged to put up within it wooden screens aligned in the direction of Mecca so as to face correctly during prayer. All the bishops of the island were assembled at Nicosia to meet a newly arrived Governor General, and many persons of consetpience had come also to pay him their respects. The day after my arrival the Bishop of Larnaca came to see me, with a numerous following. I thought him a man of good sense, sound judgment and well educated. The next day I had a visit from the Bishop of Paphos, a young -man but smart and sly. The third bishop, of Chirigna, was seriously unwell. The Archbishop, confined to the house by extreme old age and gouty pains sent his bishop in partions who acts in his stead. He came to call accompanied by the archimandrita, the steward and more than fifty priests. The three dignitaries offered me in the Archbishop's name a thousand excuses : in spite of his condition he had wished to have himself carried to my house, but his staff prevented him. Among other persons of note who were frequent visitors I paid particular attention to M. Nicolaos Nicolidi, who in the absence of the Dragoman of Cyprus was charged with his duties. The third day I paid my visit to tho Governor General, who received ine with great ceremony, surrounded by a great number of officers, soldiers and servants armed to the teeth. At the door of the saloon stood a sentry, with an axe on his shoulder. The Governor rose to receive me, and made me sit at his side on a magnificent sofa. He is a man of intelligence, full of life, and said to be well educated, We had a long conversation, chiefly on politics. MM. Nicolidi and Francoudi, who accompanied me, interpreted for me, because the Governor speaks neither Arabic nor any European language, and I do not know Turkish. He was splendidly dressed, with a superb fur coat. His Persian pipe was brought and he offered it to me, but 1 declined as I do not smoke. Six pages, fifteen years old, all of the same height, beautiful as angels, and richly clothed in satin with superb cashmere shawls, brought ns 394 EXCERPTA CYPRIA.

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