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GIOVANNI MARITI
Travels in the Island of Cyprus
page 128

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to add an account of the imports. But these are really of very small consequence, because Cyprus imports only just enough for the wants of its own scanty inhabitants. I may say however that there is a yearly consumption of 25 bales of the fine French cloth called londrins of the second quality : two cases, each of 10 pieces, of satins of Florentine or Russian make : four cases of Lucca satins, of all colours except black and green : one case of various light stuffs. Twenty barrels of tin, 20 bags of pepper, 100 cantars of iron, the Tuscan being preferred : 100 cantars of lead, 200 okes of American indigo, 100 okes of cochineal : the profits on these being generally from 15 to 20 p. c. A quite insignificant quantity of the same articles is imported for the use of the countries in the Levant. Payments are made in cash or bills of exchange. The bills current in Cyprus are always those issued in Constantinople either by order and on account of foreign correspondents, or by endorsement of negotiable drafts. Such negotiations are chiefly arranged with the island government, the consular dragomans being the exchange brokers, and receiving \ p.c, paid according to custom by the drawer. Bills on Constant tinople are generally payable at 31 days date and payment is made in two instalments, half upon the negotiation of the bills, the other half 31 days later. One p. с is charged against the correspondent for brokerage and commission. Interest is reckoned in Cyprus at 12 p.c. per annum. The rate is of old standing, and generally allowed in consideration of the great risk which attends the lending of money to villagers. The law of Mohammad confounds usury with loans on interest, so that both are forbidden to Turks. Nevertheless they lend and borrow, but in notes of hand the lender includes the interest with the principal; thus a loan of 100 piastres would be entered on the bond as 112 piastres without further note. The only coins current in the island are those which bear the Sultan's cypher, and Venetian sequins. 124 On the Commerce of the [CH.

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