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CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 409

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trial before the'Magistrates at Nicosia. Possibly the heat of the climate, the isolation of the houses which stand each apart, the mulberry thickets, and the absence of the men, who are away during the day in the markets of Nicosia, are the causes to which one may assign the dissolute character of the women of Cythera, for these are all circumstances favourable to debauch. It is said confidently that the ancient Cythera was situated on a low hill about a mile away. I do not think that there could ever have been gardens there : at any rate there is no trace of such now. But I am going to describe other and more interesting remains. I was told on leaving Nicosia that I could, on the way back from Cythera, visit the ruins of the Palace of the Queen; but there was an air of indifference about the remark, as though there was nothing particularly worth while going out of the way to see. Half-way on onr road the doctor had pointed out tho site of the rums, on the highest peak of the chain to the north of Nicosia. I examined it with my glass, and thought 1 could distinguish things which stirred my curiosity. I determined to visit them on my return from Cythera. Prom the priest's house where we lodged one can see the mountain. After dinner I took leave of our host, aud we started towards the N. and N.E. to see first the spring which waters Cythera. At the foot of the clay hills which lie S. of a chain of basaltic mountains, the water rnshes out abundantly in five places, and in less volume by other channels, and fonns at once a small river. It is transparent, light, perfectly pure, and very cold (they say) in summer: a proof that it issues from a great depth in the mountains: it is evident enongh that its source is not in the clay hills. The natives believe that it comes from the mountains of Caramania on the main land, and that it passes under the sea. Strictly speaking this is not impossible, bnt it is more probable that it rises in the heart of the basaltic monntains, and passes, at a great depth, under the clay hills ; bnt without touching them, or it would lose its good qualities, especially as these hills are later, and superposed on the primordial mass of the mountains. My curiosity was satisfied, and I left with indifference poor Cythera, which has preserved bnt very little of the beanty which marked her out onco for the abode of the goddess of all the Graces. We ascended northwards np to the first line of mountains which overlook the clay hills and the great plain to the sonth, then turning cast and following the higher ridges of this lino, which is covered with lava and volcanic products, and skirting the chain of basaltic mountains on onr right, we resumed two homrs later a northerly course, and halted at the monastery of S. John Chrysostom, situated close to the peak npon which are the ruins of the Palace of the Queen, called also Bnffuvento. This monastery, a building vexy much like that of S. Thecla, belongs to the Holy Places at Jerusalem. Three Greek monks, a sister of the Prior, old and a widow, and a servant young, stout and good looking are the only inmates. The gardeners or labourers live outside the wallst The next morning, April 4, I started accompanied by two guides. The doctor was afraid to follow me, and my servant was too stout to scale the recks. I started on a mule and reached the foot of tho mountains, about half an hour's climb from the ruins. There I was obliged to dismount, so steep was the path. In a quarter of an hour we had reached the foot of the peak where there are two quadrangular heaps of rnins. The peak itself is a rock nearly perpendicular on every side. There was no further trace of a path, so we climbed this natural wall, taking advantage of jutting rocks, projections, holes, anything to which our hands and feet would cling. Sometimes we had to help one another with a stick, at another the guide would stop to see where he could get the best foothold, so as to get over the parapet in front of him ; and, to complete the picture, we had always beside ns a horrible precipice. ALI BEY. 399

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