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GIOVANNI MARITI
Travels in the Island of Cyprus
page 20

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stout and strong foot, the rest of the coat being somewhat rough. The time is past when arts and sciences flourished among the Greeks. Ignorance has taken their place, ignorance reigns. The Mohammadans one and all acknowledge no idol but wealth, and this they seek not by those fair means which the cultivation of the liberal and mechanical arts suggest, but only by violence and tyranny. The kingdom of Cyprus and all Syria—we may except a few parts of Asia and European Turkey—are the touchstone of this truth. In the island of which I speak there are no arts but those which are in-dispensable to human existence. Or if there are others they are only those concerned with the manufacture of cotton. And these deal with so small a produce that it can no longer keep up a regular commerce with Europe. The same may be said of the manufacture of skins tanned with sumach, yellow, red and black, of which just enough are prepared for home consumption. Although the Greeks are sunk in idleness and indolence, so far as regards the arts and sciences, they still show signs of talent, and of pride of spirit, which makes one remember what their ancestors were : but few know how to employ these qualities to any good end. They are accomplished only in fraud, deceit and such subtleties that one needs the eyes of Argus to guard oneself from their treachery. Few have any education, and these few are the priests, who learn to read the written language, though but few of them know its real meaning. Now that I have spoken of and described the island and kingdom of Cyprus in general, I will pass on to particulars. 16 A General View of Cyprus [CH. I

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