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GIOVANNI MARITI
Travels in the Island of Cyprus
page 126

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is no longer an article of trade with Europe ; probably vessels do not find it worth their while to take it. I may mention however that the fixed value is з§-piastres the cartload of iooo okes. Tariff charges are hardly a piastre. Salt is exported now to Syria and Constantinople only. Masters of vessels loading for Syria take it on their own account, and sell it themselves. The voyages are short, and not unprofitable. But ships destined for Constantinople only take salt when they cannot find more valuable cargo. Carobs, pitch, tar and planks are other articles of export. Carobs especially are important to the native traders, Turk and Greek, who send them to Alexandria. Many of the European vessels engaged in the Levant trade are employed in transporting this produce. The other three articles make but an insignificant figure. European merchants leave them to the natives. The natural products are thus shown to be the staples of Cypriot commerce, but I must mention a few things which come from Caramania to be re-exported to Europe. Storax is brought over in small boxes. It is considered perfect when it is quite pure, and has a large proportion of white grains. Buyers try the boxes with a knife, for they always contain a surface layer of fine white grains, far superior to the bulk of the storax below. This is a common practice, and allowed for in the bargain. It is sent to all parts of Europe. Tariff charges are if piastre the case of four boxes, each containing from 30 to 33 Florentine pounds of pure storax. By scraping the incisions in the tree from which the pure storax exudes, another kind is collected called Storax calamita. With this they mix the gum which trickles down naturally from the tree, even when it is soiled with the earth at the foot. They carry this to Cyprus, and put it over the fire in la'rge caldrons, and by continually stirring they separate the earth and the coarser scrapings : these, called semola di storace, they 122 On the Commerce of the [CH.

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