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CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 432

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those I had seen in other parts of the Mediterranean : after continuing in the plain for three hours we ascended very gently for three more tu the convent of Sta Thecla, where I slept during the night. I had in vain looked for cultivation : briers and olives were the only produce of the ground. A few rhododendrons flourished in the watercourses we passed. A miserable stone cottage now and then showed itself, where fig trees and vines were to be seen. The peasantry is ill looking. The men were dressed in a white canvass vest over a waistcoat of the same material, and α white linen turban on their heads. They wore the Albanian petticoat, similar to the Highland kilt, or the usual shahcar or breeches of the Turks, and high boots, nsed, as 1 understood, to avoid the fatal venom of the serpents of the island. I found only an old Greek priest at the convent of Sta Thecla, who from his dress I imagined was a peasant : he had two or throe attendants with him. The convent was undergoing a repair, for the reception of an additional number of priests, and for a feast that Aras to take place in a few days in hononr of the saint. I had supplied myself with provisions, and therefore did not intrude on him. Ho was an old man, of about sixty years of age, perfectly ignorant of all except his missal, which ho could not read ; he had learnt it by heart, it was all that was necessary. He was proud of his chapel, and pointed exnltingly to the wretched daubs that adorned it. He left his pipe to repeat evening prayers, and having finished them took to it again. This seemed his only occupation. Though I had an interpreter with me I could gain no information as to the state of the peasantry in his neighbourhood: what I saw was wretched. Our party slept on boards: we rose early, continued our excursion towards the summit of the chain we had proposed to reach. In a »hört time we were amongst myrtles in fnll bloom, and fir trees ; there was nothing else to interest me for two honrs till vre arrived at α space of ground cleared of wood, where was a square range uf buildings belonging to one of the bishops, who literally kept a table d'hôte foi- some of the rich inhabitants, who had left the unwholesome plains tu breathe the pure aii* of the lulls. I was introduced to him, was invited to remain, and 1 dined with his party at twelve o'clock, without anything worthy of remark passing. After which our party was increased by some of his, and we ascended to the summit of the mountain of the Holy Cross, where stood a small convent sh ut ont, as it were, from the rest of the world ; inhabited by two or three monks, who seemed to have no other occupation beyond saying their mass and watching the precious deposit of a small piece of tho cross on which our Saviour was crucified. From the terrace of a small garden, in the rear of this convent, is an extensive view of part of the south side of the island, seen as a map, broken on all sides into gentle undulations of ground, highly appropriate to the growth of vines. The capability of cultivation is easily observed ; but large tracts remain neglected. My attentimi woe directed towards Limason, where the richest wines are made, and I was led to understand that the thinking part of the population looked forwards to the remainder uf the island becoming equally fertile, by the presence of some European government, who would at least abstain from oppression, if it did not encourage industry. Having showed my respect for the relic, whieh was uncovered in honour of my arrival, by a small present tu one of the monks, 1 returned to the bishop's house, where I slept more luxuriously than on the preceding night; und having given a suitable remuneration in money, returned homewards, where, to my great delight, 1 found a small schooner bound to Malta, freighted by some Moorish merchants; on board whieh, as the stormy season of the year was approaching, 1 took my passage, being without chance of proceeding to Constantinople except by land, first to the coast of Cyprus opposite Asia Minor, and thence again proceeding by land I went on board on October 15, and on November 2 anchored in Marsainuscetta harbour at Malta. EXCERPTA CYPRIA.

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