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GIOVANNI MARITI
Travels in the Island of Cyprus
page 122

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fields near the sea at Famagusta and Citti on sandy and stony soil. It is of two sorts, one which springs of itself, the other from seed sown. To get a large crop of madder it must be dug every second or third year, the root is then thicker and richer in colouring matter: if gathered every year it is small poor stuff, with little of the pulp in which the colour is secreted. This is the outer coat or rind, the inside is a thin fibrous sub-stance which yields no dye. The root may be dug at any time of the year, but as it lies very deep in the ground it is generally collected in January and February, when the rains have softened the soil. After ex-tracting the root the holes are filled in again, and bits which remain propagate and spread, so that in two years the same quantity is found again, or even more if the winter has been unusually wet. As soon as it is dug up the root is set to dry, but not directly in the sun, which would affect the colour. Madder was formerly a capital article of commerce with Aleppo and Baghdad, whence it passed into Persia. But since the disturbances in that country, where arts and trade are on the decline, very little is sent there ; but a new trade has been opened with France, which takes, either directly or through Leghorn, the largest part of the crop. In the Levant cotton stuffs are dyed red with a mixture made from this root and sheep's blood. The tariff charges on madder are 5 piastres the cantar of 100 rotoli. The bales, like those of wool, must be thoroughly dry, or they are likely to catch fire on board. Cochineal is exported to Venice : the quality is small, but the profit considerable. Tariff charges are 6| piastres the bag of 200 okes. Soda (Sa/so/a) grows at Calopsidia ; the plant is burnt and yields an ash which is used to make soap and glass. The burning is carried out in summer, and in September and October the ash is ready for export. While I was in Cyprus I only knew it sent to Marseille. The tariff charges are f piastre the bag. 118 On the Commerce of the [CH.

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