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GIOVANNI MARITI
Travels in the Island of Cyprus
page 121

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so light is it when stripped and, dried. It is gathered in May. The largest orders come from Amsterdam, Hamburg and Leghorn ; some few from Marseille and Venice. It is packed in large cases, containing a cantar or half a cantar. Colocynth is most valuable when, the outer husk being stripped off, it remains white and whole. Great care is therefore used in the packing, but some of it is always broken. The quality is not impaired, but the European buyer suffers a loss, because the seed which falls out is credited by custom to the seller, and as that is the heaviest part the loss of it may reduce the weight of the consignment by 50 p.c. The pulp only is sent to England, the seed being extracted : so English merchants who buy but a small quantity, export it in sacks, not caring if it be broken or not. Water and even damp ruin it utterly. Tariff charges to Leghorn amount to 15^ piastres the cantar, and \o\ the half cantar, including the value of the case. Ladanum is gathered in spring, chiefly in the village of Lefcara. It is a kind of dew, which falls at night on a plant very like the small salvia, whose flower resembles the wild rose of our hedges. Early in the morning before the sun has absorbed this dew the shepherds lead their goats to feed where this plant is found. The ladanum is then soft and viscous, and sticks to their beards, from which it is picked : this is the purest kind. While the goats are grazing the shepherds too are engaged in collecting the stuff with a short stick at the end of which are fastened strips of goat's skin, which they trail over the plants. As the wind rises it sprinkles the flowers with dust, and the ladanum is more or less mixed with earth. But it is cleaned with oil and fire, making it softer and more pliant, and of sweeter smell. It is usually sent to Nicosia to be cleaned and packed, and despatched from Larnaca to all parts of Europe. Tariff charges for Leghorn amount to 5f piastres the box, weighing from 60 to 100 okes. Madder is a root which furnishes a red dye, grown in the xxi] Island of Cyprus 117

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