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MALLOCK W.
In an enchanted island
page 132

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THE SOIL OF THE ISLAND OF APHRODITE 129 forests would again rise as luxuriant and green as formerly if it were not for the peasants, who cut every stick for fire wood, and the ubiquitous goats, who allow few sticks to grow. Certain tracts, however, which belong to the State, have been placed by the British Government under the> protection of foresters, who with some success keep the goats and peasants away, and already within their limits the slopes that were naked yesterday are fledged with pigmy pines that promise to make forests to-morrow. There seems little doubt that if this change completes itself the rainfall will be increased and the climate modified, with results that can be foreseen by anybody. As it is, wherever water is plentiful the ground is a mass of greenness, as we saw it to be at Kythrea. There is hardly a spring whose presence is not signalised by an ilex or a sycamore, towering like a sentinel over its source, and whose banks are not fringed by olives, gardens, and fruit trees. Cyprus, in fact, is really a sleeping Eden, needing only the gift of seasonable rains to awaken it. From subjects like these my companion wandered into history, and he told me a number of quaint and humorous anecdotes, which he himself, or writers like De Mas Latrie, had unearthed from the dim chronicles of the Cyprian Middle Age. Some of them, with their naïve detail and vividness, lit up parts of the past on which few eyes ever linger, like a match struck suddenly in the passages of a forgotten crypt. Most people know, for instance, in a dull, colourless way, Κ

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