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Cyprus, as I Saw it in 1879 by Sir Samuel W. Baker

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drainage upon the dead level of the town, unless the original ditch is
turned into a pestilential cesspool. The filth of centuries must have
been imbibed by the soil, and during the process of infiltration must in
successive rainy seasons have found its way to the wells. In case of
invasion, Lefkosia could never have resisted a prolonged siege, as in
the absence of the aqueduct a garrison would quickly have succumbed to
disease when dependent for a water-supply upon the wells alone. When the
Turks captured the city by assault, the population far exceeded that of
the present time (16,000), and the greater portion were massacred during
several days of sack and pillage. Some thousands of girls and boys were
transported to Constantinople. Richard I. of England occupied Lefkosia
without resistance, after his victory over Isaac Comnenus.

Although experienced in the illusion of Turkish towns, I was more than
disappointed when I visited the interior of Lefkosia. The new Chief
Commissioner, Colonel Biddulph, R.A., C.B., had already improved certain
streets, and the eye was immediately attracted to points which bore the
unmistakable stamp of a British occupation; but nothing can be effected
in the arrangement of such a town without an unlimited purse and a
despotic power. It is almost as hopeless as London in the incongruity of
architecture, and the individual indulgence of independent taste, which
absolutely dismays a stranger. The beautiful Gothic cathedral of the
Venetians has been converted into a mosque by the conquerors, and two
exceedingly lofty and thin minarets have added an absurd embellishment,
resembling two gigantic candles capped by extinguishers, as though the
altar-tapers had been taken for the models. The neighbouring church of
St. Nicholas has been converted into a granary. In all Turkish towns the
bazaars are the most interesting portion, as they illustrate the
commercial and agricultural industries of the country. Those of Lefkosia
formed a labyrinth of the usual narrow streets, and resembled each other
so closely that it was difficult to find the way. The preparation of
leather from the first process of tanning is exhibited on an extensive
scale, which does not add to the natural sweetness of the air. Native
manufactures for which the town is celebrated, that are more agreeable,
may be purchased at a moderate price in the shape of silk stuffs; and a
variety of mule-harness, pack-saddles, and the capacious double bags of
hair and wool that, slung across the animal, are almost indispensable to
the traveller. There were a few shops devoted to European articles which
were hardly adapted to the country, and were expensive in a ridiculous
degree. The narrow streets were muddy from the recent rain, and the
temperature was at 55 degrees, but the inhabitants were sitting at the
various cafes in the open air smoking and drinking their steaming coffee
as though in summer. From natural politeness they invariably rose as we
passed by, and at one place I was immediately furnished with a string
that I might measure a large vine-stem which during summer must afford a
dense shade. I found the main stem of this unusual specimen was
twenty-two inches in circumference.

The only agreeable walk in Lefkosia is the circuit of the ramparts, as
the high elevation admits of fresh air and an extensive view. From this
we looked down upon numerous gardens well irrigated by the surplus water
of the aqueduct, and the remarkably healthy orange and lemon trees were
crowded with their loads of ripe fruit. There are many good and roomy
houses in the town, each furnished with a considerable garden, but as
they are surrounded with high walls, it is difficult to form an opinion
of their actual dimensions. The house occupied by the Chief Commissioner
is large and well constructed, the staircase and landing airy and
capacious, with an entrance-hall open at the extreme end and well
arranged for the burning climate during summer. All houses are paved
with slabs of gypsum, which abound in many parts of the island, and are
sold at a remarkably low price, as the blocks laminate, and are divided
into sheets of the required thickness with a minimum of labour.

The Turkish Pacha (Rifat) still remained at Lefkosia, as he was
responsible for the transfer of various movable property to
Constantinople. The interesting Venetian cannon of bronze that were
utterly valueless as modern weapons had been conveyed away both from
Lefkosia and Famagousta. One of these was a double octagon, or
sixteen-sided, and would have been a valuable specimen in the collection
at the Tower of London. Many of the curious old Venetian cannon had
recently been burst into fragments with dynamite, to save the trouble of
moving the heavy guns entire.

There can be little doubt that the prime object in selecting a central
position for the capital of Cyprus was a regard for safety from any
sudden attack; but upon any other grounds I cannot conceive a greater
absurdity. The capital should be Limasol, which will become the
Liverpool of Cyprus. Lefkosia is completely out of the commercial route;
it is valueless as a military position, and it offers no climatic
advantage, but, on the contrary, it is frightfully hot in the summer
months, and is secluded from the more active portions of the island. It
IS, simply because it WAS; but it should remain as a vestige of the
past, and no longer represent the capital. *

(The census of Nicosia, taken on 31st January, 1879, represents the
population as follows:--

No. of houses:-- 2,463

Population by sex:--

Males above 15 . . . . . . . . 3,773
Males under 15 . . . . . . . . 1,900
Females above 14 . . . . . . . 3,718
Females under 14 . . . . . . . 1,806
Total. . . . . . . . . . . . . 11,197

Population by religion:--

English . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Greek Church. . . . . . . . . . 5,251
Catholics . . . . . . . . . . . 121
Mohammedans . . . . . . . . . . 5,628
Armenians . . . . . . . . . . . 166
Jews. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Total . . . . . . . . . . . . 11,197 )

There is no position throughout the plain of Messaria adapted for a
permanent government establishment as head-quarters. The depressing
effect of that horrible landscape, embracing the extensive area from
Trichomo and Famagousta to Larnaca, Lefkosia, and Morphu, is most
demoralising, and few Europeans would be able to resist the deleterious
climate of summer, and the general heart-sinking that results in a
nervous despondency when the dreary and treeless plain is ever present
to the view. There is no reason why officials should be condemned to the
purgatory of such a station when Cyprus possesses superior positions
where the great business of the future will be conducted. The new road
already completed from Larnaca to Lefkosia must be carried on to Morphu,
and thus connect the north and south extremities of the plain; Kyrenia,
sixteen miles distant, must be connected with Lefkosia; branches must
then be extended to Kythrea and to Famagousta; and subsequently, from
the latter town a direct road must be continued parallel with the south
coast to Larnaca. Such roads may be constructed for about 350 pounds per
mile at the low rate of labour in Cyprus, considering the presence of
stone throughout the district, and their completion will open the entire
plain of Messaria to wheeled communication with four ports, to north and



Having passed a week with our kind hosts, Sir Garnet and Lady Wolseley,
at Government House, which formed a most agreeable contrast to the
friendless life that we had been leading, the vans once more started en
route for Kythrea, Famagousta, and the Carpas district. I had hired a
good, sure-footed pony for my wife and a powerful mule for myself, and,
having given the vans a start of several hours, we followed in the

The treeless expanse of the Messaria produces nothing but cereals and
cotton; teams of oxen were at work in all directions ploughing, and
otherwise preparing the thistle-covered surface, and the atmosphere was
so delusively clear that Kythrea, twelve miles distant, appeared close
to us. Upon these boundless flats an object may be seen as distinctly as
though upon the water, and we soon descried in the far distance a dark
spot, which the binocular glass, if at sea, would have pronounced to be
the stern of a vessel that had lost her masts, keeping the same course
as ourselves; this was the gipsy-van, which should have already arrived
at Kythrea, where I had expected to have found the camp arranged, dinner
cooked, and everything ready for our reception. Something had happened,
as the other van was not in sight.

It was impossible to dignify the route by the name of a "road," as it
presented an uneven surface and occasionally branched into several
independent tracks, which re-united after an eccentric course of a few
hundred yards; these were caused by droves of mules which in wet weather
had endeavoured to select a better line than the deeply-trodden mud in
the central road. Fortunately the surface was now hard, and we cantered
on, fully expecting some disaster to at least one of our vehicles. Upon
our arrival we found a crowd of people yelling and shouting their
utmost, while they were engaged in company with four oxen harnessed in
dragging and pushing the blue van up a new road which they had scarped
out of the precipitous bank of a river about forty feet deep; this
accounted for only one van being in sight, as the other was in the dry
bed of the river. These good people had been working for several hours
in making a road where none existed; and assured me that the large
bridge over the Pedias was unsafe for so great a weight, and therefore
it was advisable to cross at the present spot. The banks consisted of
the alluvium of ages free from stones, therefore it was easy to cut an
incline; but as many tons of earth had been removed, the operation had
required much labour, and many hands had collected from the adjacent
villages upon seeing the dilemma.

The blue van was in the middle of the crowd; the oxen answered to the
inspiriting shouts, and more especially to the ceaseless pricks of the
driving sticks, and presently it was dragged safely to the level of the
opposite bank. A few alterations in the new road were necessary for the
larger gipsy-van, and taking the drag-shoe off the blue van, we were
thus enabled to secure both the hind-wheels for the steep descent. By
careful management, after one or two narrow escapes from capsising, we
succeeded in landing the Noah's Ark safely by its fellow, amidst the
cheers of the good-natured crowd.

The delay had been great, and the evening was drawing near: we were
about seven miles from the upper portion of Kythrea, where we had
proposed to camp, and the route was partly across country, to avoid
layers of natural rock which in successive ridges made it impossible for
the vans to keep the track. Several deep watercourses intervened, which
required the spade and pickaxe, and it was quite dark when we were
obliged to halt about a mile from Kythrea.

On the following morning Mr. Kitchener, Lieutenant of the Royal
Engineers, called at our camp, and was kind enough to pilot us to the
celebrated springs about three miles above the village. This able and
energetic officer was engaged, together with Mr. Hippersly of the same
corps, in making the trigonometrical survey of the island, and they were
quartered in a comfortable house on the outskirts of the town. With this
excellent guide, who could explain every inch of the surrounding
country, we started upon a most interesting ride. The entire
neighbourhood was green with abundant crops of cereals, some of which at
this early season were eighteen inches high. The effect of irrigation
could be traced for several miles into the plain and along the base of
the mountain range, until by degrees the green became more faint, and
gradually but surely merged into the dead brown which denoted
barrenness, where the water-power was expended by absorption.

It was impossible to form any idea of the extent of Kythrea from the
outside view. A succession of large villages with fields highly
cultivated covered the surface at the base of the mountains, but the
true Kythrea was partially concealed by the curious ravine through which
the water of the springs is conducted by aqueducts until it reaches the
lower ground. For a distance of three miles this ravine is occupied by
houses and gardens, all of which are supplied by the stream, which turns
thirty-two water-mills in its course. The water-wheels in Cyprus are
horizontal turbines, and I have only met with one over-shot wheel in the
island; this is on the estate of M. Mattei at Kuklia.

The range of mountains exactly above the village exhibits a peculiar
example of the effect of water-wash for about two hundred feet from the
base. From the heights at Government House, twelve miles distant, I had
observed through the telescope a curious succession of conical heaps
resembling volcanic mounds of hardened mud; these rose one above the
other along the base of the hills like miniature mountain-ranges. Even
when near Kythrea I could not understand the formation, until we found
ourselves riding through the steep ravine which holds the watercourse
and ascending by a narrow path among the countless hills that I have
described. Both sides of the gorge, and also the deep bottom, are
occupied by houses with fruitful gardens, rich in mulberry, orange,
lemon, apricots, olives, forming groves of trees that in summer must be
delightful. Sometimes after clambering up steep and stony paths which
had originally been paved we entered into villages, the roofs of the
houses BELOW us upon our left, and the doors of others upon our right,
so close to the narrow path as scarcely to admit the passage of a loaded
mule. The water rushed along the bottom in a rapid stream, plunging from
the adit below one turbine to a temporary freedom in a natural channel,
from which it was quickly captured and led into an aqueduct of masonry
to another mill at a lower level. All the inhabitants had turned out to
see an English lady, and the usual welcome was exhibited by sprinkling
us with rose and orange-flower water as we passed; the omnipresent dogs
yelled and barked with their usual threatening demonstrations at the
heels of our animals, and some from the low roofs of the houses were
unpleasantly close to our heads. We were now among the conical mounds,
along the steep sides of which a path of about twelve inches width
appeared to invite destruction, as the loose crumbling material rolled
down the deep incline beneath the hoofs of the sure-footed horses and
mules. These creatures had a disagreeable habit of choosing the extreme
edge of the narrow ledge, instead of hugging the safer side; and
although no great precipice existed, the fall of thirty feet into the
rocky stream below would have been quite as effectual as a greater depth
in breaking necks and limbs. We again entered a village, where a large
plane-tree formed the centre of a small open space, faced on either side
by a cafe; the situation being attractive during summer from the dense
shade afforded by the spreading branches. There were many people sitting
in the open shed, who as usual rose and made their salutations as we
passed. The path became worse as we proceeded, and we at length emerged
from the long string of contracted villages and skirted the precipitous
sides of the ravine, which formed one of the innumerable gorges between
the conical mounds of marls and alluvium that had been washed from a
higher level and worn into heaps by the action of rain upon the unstable

About a mile beyond all villages we skirted the stream along a steep
bank, from which point we looked down upon the roofs of houses more than
a hundred feet below, and we at length halted and dismounted at a rocky
termination of the gorge, from whence issued suddenly the celebrated
spring of Kythrea.

The mountains rose abruptly upon either side, and a dry ravine above the
rocks upon which we stood exhibited the natural channel by which in
heavy rains the surface-water would be conducted to the lower
stream-bed. A rough arch of masonry and a tunnel in the rock for about
forty feet formed the embouchure, from which the water issued into a
carefully constructed stone aqueduct, which led directly to the first
mill of the Kythrea series, about a hundred and twenty yards distant.
The temperature was considerably warmer than the air, but I had no
thermometer to mark the difference.

The aqueduct would have carried at least one-third more than the present
volume, which was about twenty-six inches deep, and three feet in width.
The water was beautifully clear and the current rapid, but I had no
means of measuring the velocity.

The stone-work of the aqueduct, always moist from the percolation, must
form a charming exhibition of maidenhair ferns during summer-time, as
the crevices were all occupied by plants, whose leaves, even at this
season (February), were several inches in length.

We strolled up the dry ravine above the spring, and ascended the hill to
an extensive plateau, upon which grew two or three caroub-trees; here
was a sudden change; the soil was red, and we entered the compact grey
limestone (jurassic) which forms the Carpas range. On the extreme verge
of the plateau of red soil we had an admirable example of the formation
of the conical mounds of earth, two or three of which already existed,
while others were in process of development from the melting-away of the
soil during heavy rains. As the surface dissolved under the action of
rainfall, it flouted down the steep inclinations, until a base was
formed, at the expense of the upper area; by degrees gullies were
created in the rear, and these would rapidly become deeper under the
action of running water, until they reached the lower level of the base.
A circle thus formed, an apex would be the natural result of the
denudation and decay of the upper surface which would produce a cone. A
sudden shower compelled us to take refuge beneath a caroub-tree whose
dense foliage saved us from a thorough soaking. The ground having become
slippery, we returned upon our narrow and soapy route with some caution,
but the careful animals who were well accustomed to these dangerous
paths carried us safely to our camp.

It is extraordinary that the water-power of Cyprus has of late years
been so neglected by the authorities, as the island must from ancient
times have mainly depended upon its springs in the absence of dependable
seasons. Kythrea is an example of the importance that was attached to a
stream of running water, as the town was established by the Athenians,
and in former ages an aqueduct of masonry extended for twenty-five miles
to Salamis; in the neighbourhood of which ruins of the old work are
still existing. If the seasons of Cyprus have undergone a change since
the forests have been destroyed, I can see no reason for the innumerable
vestiges of ancient water-works throughout the country. Wherever an
important spring existed, there was a settlement of corresponding extent
and value, which suggests that the rainfall was even then as uncertain
as at the present day. Every spring became a centre of attraction. The
ruins of the ancient Kythrea have been partially excavated by the
indefatigable General di Cesnola, but with unimportant results, as the
ground is under artificial irrigation, and is in the highest
cultivation, therefore it cannot be disturbed.

The chief industry of modern times which adds to the importance of
Kythrea, is the production of silk, from the great abundance of
mulberry-trees which supply the necessary food for the silkworms; but it
has suffered to a considerable degree, in common with most silk-growing
districts in Cyprus, by the want of foresight of the producers; these
people have within the last few years sold the seed in such extravagant
quantities to the traders of Beyrout as to leave the island with a short
supply. The result of this sacrifice for the sake of ready money is a
serious reduction in the general produce, and in many portions of the
island the mulberry-trees are flourishing without a silkworm to feed
upon them. The thirty-two flour-mills of Kythrea are worked by a fall of
400 feet between the head-water of the spring to the base of the lowest
mill at the foot of the mountains. It appeared to me that much water is
wasted by an absence of scientific control. A series of reservoirs would
store the excess during the hours when the mills are idle (similar to
the mill-ponds in England), but as there is no municipal law upon this
important subject, the all-important stream is much neglected. There is
a general demand for grinding-power throughout Cyprus; the corn is
brought from great distances to the mills of Kythrea at a considerable
expense of transport; I have met droves of mules laden with wheat and
barley on their way from Larnaca, to which distant spot they would again
return when their loads should have been reduced to flour. In the face
of this difficulty a general want of energy and of the necessary capital
is exhibited by the total neglect of wind-power, in a country where a
steady breeze is the rule, with few exceptions. Throughout the great
plain of Messaria windmills would be invaluable, both for grinding
purposes and for raising water; nothing would be more simple than the
combination of the wind-vane with the cattle-pump; but this great and
almost omnipresent power is absolutely ignored.

On our return to camp in the evening, I resolved to have a quiet day
with my dogs on the following morning, when I could stroll at my leisure
over the mountains, and enjoy myself thoroughly according to my own
tastes, sometimes obtaining a shot at game, and observing every object
in nature.

It was 15th February, and with a native guide and interpreter who spoke
Arabic, which was my medium of dialogue, I started to cross the
mountain-range upon the east of the well-known five-knuckled-top named
"Pentadactylon." At the expense of repetition I cannot help extracting
from my diary the exact words of description rough from the first
impulse: "The base of this range is an extraordinary example of the
action of rainfall in melting and washing down into conical mounds
several hundred feet high, what was originally a high level of
continuous but alternating strata of marls and alluvium that had
descended from the higher mountains. These vast masses are in a chaotic
confusion of separate heaps, which at a distance resemble volcanic
cones. We rode up precipitous paths edging upon deep chasms between
these conical hills, and emerged upon metamorphous rocks and shale
mingled in curious irregularity. The strata of shale were in some
instances nearly vertical, proving the disturbance that had been
occasioned by a subsequent upheaval. About 200 feet above this formation
we entered upon the dark grey jurassic limestone, and the soil became a
rich red like that of South Devon. The rock scenery was very imposing as
we increased our altitude and arrived upon plateaux of considerable
extent. There can be no doubt that these natural terrace-like surfaces
and various hollows accumulate the rainfall of a great area, and that
some vast subterranean caverns in the limestone form natural reservoirs,
which supply the celebrated springs of Kythrea throughout the year."

I believe these few words contain the real secret of the springs, which
have been, and still are, considered to have a mysterious origin. Some
people indulge in the theory that the water is forced by hydraulic
pressure at the superior altitude of Caramania in Asia Minor, and
passing by a subterranean conduit far beneath the bottom of the
intervening channel, it ascends at the peculiar rock-mouth of Kythrea.
This is simple nonsense, and can only be accepted by those who adore the
unreal, instead of the guide, "common-sense." The actual volume of the
outflow at Kythrea has never been calculated, although the problem is
most simple; but a cursory examination is sufficient to explain the
origin of the supply which a certain superficial mountain area collects
and stores during the rainy seasons: to yield gradually through some
small aperture or leak in a grand subterranean reservoir.

In all countries where water is scarce, unfailing springs are objects of
veneration, and are clothed not only with undying verdure, but with a
continuous growth of legends: from the day when Moses smote the rock in
the wilderness, and the stream gushed forth to the thirsty Israelites,
to the present hour, water, which is man's first necessity, will in
drought-smitten countries be hailed with more than usual reverence. The
devout Mussulman sinks a well and erects a fountain for the public good,
and his friends bury his body in the neighbourhood of his last act.

"Rest, weary pilgrim, rest and pray
For the kind soul of Sybil Grey,
Who built this Cross and Well."

Christian and Mahommedan, and all creeds and races, men and animals,
yield unanimously to the great want, which in a thirsty land alone will
bring the lion and the lamb to drink in the same stream. I have myself
seen in moonlight, animals of various and conflicting natures revelling
in the rest of nature's armistice, drinking in crowds at the solitary
pool; the only source of water in the desert.

The Cypriotes in their natural love of the marvellous insist upon the
mystery attached to the Kythrea springs, but they attach no importance
to the extensive subterranean water-stores of the Messaria plain, simply
because they do not see it issue from the ground: still the fact is
there, the water in vast quantities always exists, and were it tapped at
a higher level, it would flow (as it actually does in certain places),
and exhibit the same principle upon a much larger scale than the
romantic and picturesque mountain springs of Kythrea.

As we increased our altitude the scenery improved in interest: we were
no longer in barren mounds of water-washed debris, but the rich soil
among the dark grey rocks gave birth to numerous shrubs, including the
evergreen mastic, arbutus, and the dwarf cypress. Although the route was
only marked by the continual tracks of the lime-burner's mules, our
sturdy animals mounted the steep rocky ascents with comparative ease,
and skirted the deep water-worn ravines without missing a footstep.
Heaps of rough crumbling rocks resembling cairns attracted my attention
on all sides; these were the rude lime-kilns, and at an elevation of
about a thousand feet above Kythrea we came upon the families of
lime-burners who for several generations have resided in these heights,
either in caves, or rude huts, according to the conditions of the
locality. Women and girls were hard at work with strong grubbing-axes,
digging out the roots of brushwood from among the rocks and making them
into faggots, as fuel for burning the grey limestone. The work was most
laborious, and I was struck by the great thickness of the roots of
comparatively small shrubs. Upon regarding the surface, no bushes
appeared sufficiently substantial for the use of fuel, but in fact a
they had for centuries been cut and hacked to a degree that reduced them
superficially to mere saplings, while the ancient roots had increased in
size. The great piles of limestone were only partially reduced to lime
by the rough method and the scant fuel employed, but I admired the
industry of these poor people, who were working like the Israelites for
Pharaoh, "making bricks without straw." Some of the girls were pretty,
but in figure they were mere rag-dolls in locomotion.

The lime was conveyed by donkeys to the lower country, and we presently
arrived at a snow-white heap lying in the centre of the path;--it was
explained, that, during the heavy shower of yesterday, a donkey was
carrying his usual burthen of quick-lime, when he was overtaken by the
rain, which slaked the load, and it was necessary to immediately abandon
it, to save the animal from burning.

After an hour and a half's scramble we turned to the right beneath a
perpendicular cliff of exquisite colouring on our left, combining the
bright red which denoted the presence of iron, with the dark purple and
the silvery grey of the Jura limestone. On our right was a deep and
precipitous ravine, sparsely covered with evergreen shrubs. In this
spot, metamorphic rocks lay in rough and huge blocks of various shapes
and colours, and while examining these I was struck by the presence of
the rare and peculiar green marble known as verde antica. In the
immediate neighbourhood I discovered great masses of the same stone, but
minus the green base, exhibiting at the same time the characteristics of
irregular mosaic in the angular fragments of white, black, and various
coloured pieces which appeared to be artificially inlaid. These marbles,
especially the true verde antica, would be exceedingly valuable if cut
into slabs and exported, and there would be little difficulty in
constructing a feasible route for camels, which would convey with ease
large slabs secured in frames slung upon either side.

A few yards above this spot we arrived at a solitary cypress-tree, which
in density of foliage resembled a yew-tree in an English churchyard.
Close to this rare object was an aperture in the rocks upon the right
hand; a few roughly-hewn steps enabled us to descend into a narrow cave,
where water dripped from the roof, and formed a feeble stream, which was
led through crevices to a cistern some yards below. This cistern was
within a few feet of the cypress-tree, and accounted for its superior
growth, as the roots had been duly nourished. About a hundred feet above
this spot were the ruins of an ancient Greek church, that had no doubt
been associated with the holy dripping fountain, and the solitary tree
had been spared from the ruthless axes of the lime-burners through some
superstition connected with the spot. On arrival at the crumbling ruins
of the church, we dismounted from our animals, and put them in the rude
stable of the lime-burners who had located themselves among the walls of
the once religious buildings, which they had converted into huts.
Animals could go no farther; we therefore continued the ascent on foot,
to the delight of my dogs, who seemed to think it looked more like

There was a large growth of the usual shrubs arbutus, mastic, and
dwarf-cypress, and the surface of the ground was so completely covered
with masses of rock that walking was most difficult. Notwithstanding the
apparent barrenness of the locality, we arrived at a tolerably even
surface of rich brown soil in a hollow near the shoulder of the
mountain; this had recently been cleared for cultivation by the
lime-burners to the extent of about two acres, and I remarked that both
pine-trees and cypresses as thick as a man's thigh had recently been
felled and burnt in spite of the government stringent regulations. In
these out-of-the-way localities the natives can laugh at laws and
special enactments.

Upon arrival at the crest of the mountain, which formed a shoulder for a
peak of silvery rocks, about 100 feet above me, my aneroid showed 1830
feet above Kythrea. From this point the view was superb, and extended
north and south from sea to sea. There was an extraordinary contrast
upon these two divisions formed by the wall-like Carpas range upon which
we stood: to the south all was brown and desolate excepting the few
miles of green belonging to Kythrea beneath our feet. The town of
Lefkosia stood out in bold relief, the cathedral and even the fortress
walls affording distinct outlines in the clear atmosphere; the
salt-lakes of Larnaca showed plainly in the distance, backed by the blue
sea, and the mountain of Santa Croce with the monastery upon its summit
was a well-known landmark. This side of the mountain range was not
inviting, and if it had been exhibited before the occupation there can
be little doubt of an unfavourable impression. We turned
"right-about-face" to the north. This was indeed a wonderful change of
aspect! We looked down from the picturesque and precipitous wall of
mountains which stretched far away to the east and west; the sides were
covered with evergreens, through which the bold crags protruded in
rugged points; the dark indentures upon the steep slopes marked deep
ravines in which streams of water now rippled, while all on the south
were stony and exhausted. The strip of land between the sea and the
northern base of the Carpas range was hardly three miles wide; this was
covered with well-rounded caroub-trees, whose dark green foliage gave a
rich appearance to the shore, broken by countless rocky bays and coves,
filled with the cobalt waters of the Mediterranean. This was a lovely
scene; I could not believe that I was in Cyprus--that
whitey-brown-paper-coloured, desert, smitten, God-forsaken isle! Upon
the left, about eight miles distant, lay the town and important port of
Kyrenia, with an apparently very little harbour, the houses surrounded
by gardens, and ornamented by date-palms backed by a perfect forest of
caroub-trees which extended for some miles. On the extreme summit of the
crags upon our left, overlooking Kyrenia and forming an unmistakable
landmark for all sailors, was the castle of Buffavento, cutting the blue
sky-line 3240 feet above the sea. Exactly opposite, at about sixty miles
distance, were the snow-capped mountains of Caramania, which in the
transparent atmosphere seemed to be within a day's long march. Far, far
away along the north-eastern shore, and also towards the west, all was
lovely: I could only regret that all vessels and strangers must arrive
in the unfortunate ports of the Messaria, instead of gaining such
favourable first impressions as would be induced by the lovely picture
of Cyprus from the north.

While I had been admiring the view, my dogs had been hunting the dense
bushes to very little purpose, and although we scrambled for more than
two hours over the mountain, we only moved ten or twelve red-legged
partridges, which rose upwards of a hundred yards in front of the gun;
it was quite impossible to obtain a shot. With an empty bag, but with a
new impression of the country since my view of the landscape in the
north, I turned homewards, and reached camp late in the afternoon, my
spaniels having no doubt a low opinion of Cyprus sport, and of the
unfair advantages taken by the ever-running red-legged partridges.

On 16th February a painful conviction was established that Cyprus was
unfitted for wheeled carriages and springs. Although the plain appeared
flat and without natural obstacles, the ground had been completely
traversed by deep trenches for the purpose of checking and conducting
surface water to the fields in the event of a heavy shower. Our course
should have been directly across the plain to intersect the road from
Lefkosia to Famagousta, but a glance at the intervening country showed
the impossibility of moving the vans through the miles of green crops
which were nourished by innumerable watercourses, each of which must be
levelled before we could advance. It was therefore necessary to retrace
our steps to within a mile and a half of Lefkosia, to the point where
the main route branched to Famagousta. This was a great waste of time,
but there was no other way of avoiding the difficulty. Accordingly we
started, and after a few miles we cut across country to the high road,
while the vans slowly crawled along the uneven way until they reached
the turning-point. We halted at a very desolate spot, where sheep were
housed in large numbers. Several spacious pens were surrounded with
thorns, reminding me of the cattle zareebas of Africa, and a small
flat-topped building, built of stone and mud, formed the usual
accommodation for man and beast. A well of clear but brackish water
supplied this rude establishment, which was surrounded by a boundless
extent of undulating ground, more or less cultivated with cereals,
which, although only a few inches above the surface, looked weak and

The vans did not arrive until late; in the meanwhile we had sat outside
the building in the cold air, fearing to venture beneath the roof, owing
to the swarms of fleas which are sure to be "at home" in all the
miserable dwellings of this island. At length the gipsy-van, which had
been in sight for a full hour, drew up on the flat surface in front of
the shepherd's hut, and real comfort was at once at hand. Although the
space within was limited, the furniture was so carefully arranged that
we had plenty of room to move about. The fall-slab table was usually
down, and was only required for writing; the chest of drawers was
American walnut: a good solid and well-seasoned wood, which did not
provoke the temper like English furniture by the drawers sticking when
in the act of opening, and leaving you in a hopeless position with a
detached handle in either hand. This good American chest was only three
feet two inches high, therefore it formed a convenient toilette-table
beneath a window, which, curtained with muslin and crimson cloth, had an
exceedingly snug appearance; and a cushioned seat upon either side upon
the lid of a locker combined comfort with convenience. We had a tiny
little movable camp-table that could be adjusted in two minutes, and
would dine two persons, provided that no carving was performed, and that
the dishes were handed round. The bed was athwart-ship at the far end
beneath the stern-window, but at such a height from the floor that
several broad shelves beneath contained gun-cases, ammunition, clothes,
boots, tins of preserved provisions, and in fact everything that,
although necessary, was to be kept out of sight. The only mistake in the
arrangements was a very large and gorgeous open-brass-work Egyptian
lantern, with glass of various colours and outlandish patterns in
Arabesque. In the evening we formed an irregular light-house, as two
ordinary carriage-lamps were fixed above and on either side the entrance
door, while the gorgeous many-coloured lantern swung from the roof
inside, and flashed red, green, and yellow signals in wild confusion. I
knew this piece of finery would not last long, as it would insist upon
running against everybody's head, its large size bringing it into
constant collision; but it looked well, and ornamented the van. As it
burnt several candles the lantern became hot, which somewhat warmed the
cabin, and was a welcome increase of temperature, for although the floor
was protected by oil-cloth, upon which were double layers of Scinde
rugs, the extreme thinness of the walls made it unpleasantly cold with
the thermometer outside at 40 degrees. The servants were saved an
immense amount of trouble by the presence of the gipsy-van, which at the
time they hardly appreciated; they had no tent-pitching upon the halt,
neither unpacking of boxes, nor arranging of beds, nor any of the usual
work connected with a daily camp. It is impossible for the inexperienced
to appreciate the comfort of such a vehicle where the roads are
practicable, especially in bad weather, when you are perfectly certain
that your home is weather-proof and your bed dry. Those who have
experienced the misery of a halt in pouring rain, when everybody and
everything has been sodden to the bone, when the ground is slush that
will not hold a tent-peg; the night dark; the fuel will not burn; the
matches expend themselves in vain phosphoric flashes, but will not
ignite; the water that has run down your neck has formed reservoirs
within your boots; the servants are reduced to the inactivity of
sponges; and--the tents MUST be pitched. The heavy soaked canvas that
can hardly flap in the strong wind is at length spread over the cold
soft ground; the camp-beds, though wet as tripe, MUST be arranged; and
down go the iron legs, sinking to an unknown depth into the sodden soil!

Oh, misery, misery! happily unknown to those who stay at home. All this
may be avoided in a country where practicable routes exist by travelling
with a gipsy-van. Of course you do not personally travel within your
van: it simply forms a movable home that accompanies you upon the march,
and is always there when required, while you ride independently upon
your animal. We live and learn: and I have from experience modified my
ideas of a gipsy-van; for a roadless country such as Cyprus practically
is--I should have NO SPRINGS. If you are obliged to travel bodily within
your vehicle, there can be no doubt that springs relieve the spine, and
various indescribable portions of your anatomy; but if your simple "but
upon wheels" is to be dragged along, over, and through all kinds of
obstacles, there can be no use whatever in springs, which by their
elasticity allow your vehicle to sway from side to side, and to
seriously threaten the centre of gravity, when in a dangerous place, by
oscillation. The cap-waggon of South Africa will go anywhere. The
two-wheeled cart of Cyprus is a wonderfully simple affair that may be
dragged up or down the side of a mountain by a couple of oxen; the high
wheels and light but strong body surmounting all obstacles; these carts
do not carry more than twelve or fourteen hundredweight, but in an
expedition I should much prefer them to the heavy waggons of South
Africa, which, with three thousand pounds, require ten or twelve oxen.
The heavier weight in a difficulty of soft ground, or in crossing a
river, would be serious, but if the vehicles are numerous, and the
weight distributed accordingly, it stands to sense that an enormous
advantage is secured by the presence of ten oxen in five light carts,
all of which can be applied to drag a single cart out of a serious
dilemma, instead of remaining hopelessly fixed in soft mud, anchored by
a weight of a ton and a half, as in the case of an African
baggage-waggon. High and broad wheels are the first necessity, with a
compound axle of wood and iron, the unequal elasticity of which relieves
the shock.

I invariably found that during the day I hated my van, and in the
evening I blessed it. It certainly delayed us on the march, and as we
rode some miles in advance we noted the obstacles that would cause a
stoppage, and generally halted to assist when the "tortoise" should
arrive. All this was of course annoying in a country where a horse would
have cantered cheerily along and have accomplished forty miles a day;
but, on the other hand, the van was never intended for grande vitesse;
neither is express travelling the proper method of obtaining an accurate
knowledge of a new country. Thus we crawled along, making twelve or
thirteen miles per diem through a most uninteresting country, the usual
scene of treeless waste, but dotted over with extensive villages of
mud-built houses, and the inevitable white arched-roof Greek churches.

The only incidents that occurred in this land of apathy were occasioned
by our guide, who generally lost his way, and spent some hours in
finding the vans at the halting-place in the evening; this was not
improving to the temper, and of course I laid the blame upon Cyprus
generally, and abused the island almost to the superlative degree
adopted by the "newspaper correspondents."

The 17th February was a day of considerable bodily exercise, as we
arrived at a series of watercourses as deep and broad as military
trenches for sapping up to a fortress. We had no sooner levelled an
embankment, and with great difficulty dragged the vans across, than we
encountered a new and similar obstruction. At length we arrived within
half a mile of the large village Arshia, which, being well irrigated,
opposed a perfect network of barriers in the shape of artificial
water-channels. The oxen became disheartened, and the pair which drew
the blue van driven by our favourite Georgi determined to strike work
just as he was applying the sharp driving prick to their posteriors in
ascending a steep bank, through which we had cut a passage from the deep
water-course beneath. Instead of keeping a straight course, these
pig-headed bullocks made a sharp turn to the right up the incline. Down
went one upon its knees in rage and despair! while round went the other
in an opposite direction: crash went the pole in two pieces! and the
blue van, having vainly endeavoured to right itself like a lady about to
faint when no one is at hand to save her, tottered for a moment, and
turned over with a crash that betokened general destruction. My
Abyssinian lad, Amarn, was only just in time to escape, as he had been
endeavouring to support the van on the impending side when it suddenly
capsised, and he would have been flattened like a black-edged mourning
envelope had he not actively sprung out of the way.

All hands set about righting the ship--which was upon her beam-ends, and
the wheels uppermost. The first thing necessary was to discharge cargo;
this we quickly effected, as there were doors in front and behind, and
the numerous packages were soon piled upon the wayside. No sooner was
the van empty, than my dogs, who had been watching the operation in
bewilderment, jumped in, and no inducement would persuade them to quit
the comfortable vehicle, which they supposed had been specially cleared
for their convenience; the doors were accordingly shut, and they were
locked up. We now passed ropes beneath the van, and secured the ends to
the bottom of the wheels, which rested upon the ground; the other ends
were thrown over the cap-roof and manned, while the rest of the party
endeavoured to raise the van bodily. All working together, we righted it
immediately, the astonished dogs were liberated, and we soon replaced
the contents. I sent a messenger to Arshia to purchase if possible a
piece of wood sufficiently long to form a pole, and in the meantime I
employed my tools and myself in splicing the broken pole sufficiently to
enable us to creep a little nearer to the village, as we were far from

It was nearly dark by the time I had completed my work, and the bullocks
were once more fastened to the van. In this way we approached within a
quarter of a mile of the village and halted for the night. I made a
capital pole from the stem of a young fir-tree which I procured from the
natives, and lashed it securely to the rough but strong splinter-bar of

On the following morning at daybreak I made a few alterations in the
work of the preceding night, and having thoroughly secured the new pole,
we started for Kuklia, about thirteen miles distant. After passing a few
more watercourses, we arrived at the best ground we had seen in Cyprus,
and the vans travelled with ease at upwards of three miles an hour.
Throughout this march I observed that the water in the various wells and
open pits was hardly five feet from the surface, although the country
was suffering from an absence of rain. Notwithstanding this natural
advantage, there were only two farms upon which the cattle-wheels were
used for purposes of irrigation, which proves the lack of enterprise and
capital throughout this miserable district.

There were many important villages upon the higher ground, which
overlooked the lower plain through which the river Pedias was supposed
to flow. These heights were about a hundred and fifty feet above the
lower level, and continued to increase their elevation for many miles,
until they formed the horizon on the south-west and west. The soil was
extremely fertile, but as usual covered with stones, the debris of
decayed limestone of the post-tertiary period, such as is found
throughout the Messaria. The flat valley below was about thirteen miles
across due north, and was bounded by the Carpas range, which extended to
the east beyond telescopic view. In our front was a cheering scene,
towards which we hastened with all speed; as sailors rush on deck at the
first cry of "Land ahead!" we hurried forward at the unusual sight,
"Green trees!" Groves of tall cypress, poplars, and other varieties,
springing from a base of exquisite verdure, formed a rare and
unmistakable landmark. This was Kuklia, our halting-place, the property
of Monsieur Richard Mattei.

Upon arrival at the village we selected a pretty spot upon elevated
ground which overlooked the entire country, and from which we could
faintly distinguish Famagousta, twelve miles distant. Upon our right,
within a hundred and twenty yards, was an aqueduct of masonry supported
upon arches, which conveyed a powerful stream to turn a large overshot
water-wheel in the valley immediately below. The surplus water, after
having worked the mill, was used for the irrigation of extensive
cotton-grounds, beyond which it flowed into the marshes and formed a
swamp. On the opposite side of this narrow valley were heights and
undulating ground, corresponding to those upon which we stood--all
treeless and cold; while upon our right, close to the aqueduct, was the
bright green of high cultivation, and groves of tall trees which towered
above gardens of oranges and lemons now bending beneath the burden of
yellow fruit. The village was disappointing, as the houses were of a low
order and much neglected; the lanes were occupied by the usual filth and
noisy dogs; but the agreeable view of bright green fields and real
thriving trees was a delightful change, and exhibited a picture of what
Cyprus might become when developed by capital and enterprise. While the
camp was being arranged I took my gun and strolled with the dogs into
the narrow valley below the mill. The waterwheel was at work, and the
people were engaged in cleaning cotton, as the machinery was adapted for
both purposes of grinding corn or of ginning cotton when required. There
were plenty of snipe in the marshes below the cotton-fields, for which
rushes, low bushes of tamarisk and other shrubs, afforded excellent
cover. I quickly bagged two couple and my first Francolin partridge, and
was just in time, before dark, to assist the dinner.

At sunrise on the following morning the view was interesting, as the sea
glittered brightly to the south, while the bold rocks and wall-like
sides of the Carpas mountains stood out in sharply-defined edges and
varying colours on the north. To the east we looked over the broadest
portion of a dead flat created by the deposit from inundations of the
eccentric river Pedias, which, although dry at the present time,
periodically floods the country and converts the valley into an
extensive lake. It was about twenty miles across this broad flat to the
important town of Trichomo, and the ruins of Salamis were discernible
with the telescope about midway, close to the seashore.

There was an extent of several miles of marsh around the heights of
Kuklia, in some portions of which cotton was cultivated in considerable
quantities, but I was surprised at the inferiority of the quality, and
at the apparent weakness of the plants where the water-supply was
plentiful. On closer examination I observed great carelessness in the
absence of drainage; the plants were allowed to perish in stagnant
water, which soured the land. Upon a longer acquaintance with M.
Mattei's farm, I found the same fault generally. Many portions of
valuable land were chilled and rendered fruitless by too much water,
which remained in the ground for want of the most simple drains. I shot
plenty of snipe in the fields of barley, although they were not supposed
to be under irrigation. M. Mattei is well known as the largest landed
proprietor in Cyprus, and the representative of agricultural progress;
but his bailiff at Kuklia could hardly have expected a prize at an
exhibition, although every facility exists for creating a perfect
model-farm. The springs which supply the water-power were discovered in
three different positions about three miles distant. The usual chains of
wells (already described) were sunk, and at a convenient spot they
converged into a single line, until a lower level introduced the channel
to the surface. The water was then received into a stone aqueduct, and
led with great judgment in a half circle beneath the higher ground which
was occupied by the village, at a level which not only enabled it to
command the extensive flats beneath, but eventually passed beyond the
village, and turned an overshot wheel of more than twenty feet diameter.
This great work was at the sole expense of the proprietor. After a
considerable outlay and perfect success in the engineering, it is to be
regretted that greater care is not bestowed upon the land; although the
gardens contain a mass of fruit-trees, large groves of figs, and relieve
the eye by their cheerful aspect, only enough has been attained to
exhibit the great power that exists for producing a still greater
abundance under proper administration.

Having examined the neighbourhood thoroughly, I changed the position of
our camp and halted a mile and a half up the aqueduct on the higher side
of the village, at a point where the water first issued from its
subterranean channel into the conduit of masonry and cement. We thus
secured a supply in its original purity, before it should be
contaminated by any washing of clothes in passing through the village in
an open channel, which from its convenience offered an irresistible
invitation. Such a tempting stream, running through a canal upon a broad
wall of masonry open to all comers would, in any European country, have
been the natural resort of boys, who would have revelled in the freedom
of nakedness and the delight of bathing in forbidden waters; but in
Cyprus I have never once seen a person washing himself in public. This
is not from any sense of indecent exposure, but from their absolute
dislike to the operation. I had subsequently in my service a remarkably
fine man who was always carefully dressed, and in fact was quite a dandy
in exterior, but during the hot weather when he on one occasion saw my
Abyssinian Amarn swimming in the sea, he declared that, "rather than
bathe, he would prefer to cut his throat."

I had arranged the camp close to a hawthorn-tree, which was already
green in its first spring leaves, and had formed blossom-buds that would
open in a few days. There were a considerable number of the same species
scattered in the vicinity, but they had been defaced by the mutilations
usual throughout Cyprus. If a man requires a stick or a piece of wood
for any purpose, he hacks unsparingly at the first tree; whether it
belongs to him or to another proprietor. The ground sloped gradually to
the lowest level of the hollow about four hundred yards distant, all of
which was in cultivation; the broad-beans were in blossom, and a species
of trefoil was already eight or nine inches high (22nd February); this
was in anticipation of a lack of natural pasturage.

It was pitiable to see the wretched condition of the cattle throughout
this district; the absence of rain had prevented the growth of the usual
herbaceous plants, and the animals were forced to seek unnatural food
produced in the stagnant swamps; these were full of skeletons and
carcasses of oxen, that afforded bones of contention for the numerous
village dogs who acted as scavengers. When the droves of oxen returned
from pasture every evening, many were in a state of weakness that
scarcely allowed them step by step to ascend the rising ground; all were
reduced to mere skin and bones, and it would have been a mercy to have
put them out of their misery. I was assured that, "the few whose
constitution could hold out for another six weeks would recover when the
trefoil should be fit to cut."

I daily walked over the adjoining country, and there was little
difficulty in discovering the origin of M. Mattei's water sources. Upon
the heights behind our camp, a plateau of many miles in extent, with an
almost imperceptible inclination towards the south-east, received the
rainfall, in addition to the subterranean drainage of the hills in the
far distance. A great portion of this area was uncultivated, as the
sedimentary limestone was generally close to the surface; this was
covered with the usual prickly shrubs that some writers have misnamed
"heath," together with the highly aromatic herbs that seem to delight in
a thirsty soil; among these is a thorny species of wild thyme, that is a
favourite food for hares. In some places the soil was red, forming a
strong contrast to the white surface around, and in such spots the earth
had been already ploughed in preparation for the forthcoming season. The
large area at a higher altitude formed an example of a principle that
may be accepted as the rule throughout the island. In walking over this
extensive surface, there was occasionally a hollow, drum-like sound
beneath the feet, denoting subterranean cavities in the porous and
soluble strata beneath the harder upper stratum. It was a natural
consequence that a substratum impervious to water should form a bed at a
certain level to retain the drainage: by tapping this bed at any point,
the water would be discovered; but by piercing the surface below this
level, the hydraulic pressure would force the water into a running

This M. Mattei has accomplished, not as a new invention, but as the
application of a rule well known to the Cypriotes from ancient times;
and I repeat my argument, that, "the hereditary ability of these people
in discovering and utilising springs is a proof that a scarcity of water
has been a chronic difficulty in this island from remote periods, and
that no important change has been occasioned by the sensational
destruction of forests influencing the rainfall," &c., &c., &c. In my
opinion, the whole of the now desolate Messaria district may be rendered
fruitful and permanently abundant by the scientific employment of a
water-power which already exists, although unseen and undeveloped.

It was quite impossible to proceed to Famagousta with the vans, and
there was no object in courting their destruction by a desperate advance
at all hazards, as we should have in any case been obliged eventually to
renew the difficulty when retracing our route. I therefore cantered in
upon my mule, with the guide who always lost his way, Hadji Christo.
This man was a great ruffian, and had laws existed for the prevention of
cruelty to animals, I would have prosecuted him; nominally he had the
charge of the mule and two ponies, but he illtreated these poor animals,
and the donkeys also, in a disgraceful manner. However, I had no other
guide, and although I knew him to be in partnership with some
Will-o'-the-wisp, I was obliged to follow him. It was an easy course for
saddle-animals, as the cathedral of Famagousta formed the prominent
point; therefore a steeple-chase might have been the direct
cross-country way. There was no change in the usual features of the
barren landscape. We kept upon the high ground on the right, looking
down upon the dreary flat for twenty miles to our left. Occasionally we
passed villages, all of which were mere copies of each other in filth
and squalor. The dogs barked and snapped ineffectually at our heels as
we cantered through; the civil and ever-courteous people turned out and
salaamed; and we quickly accomplished the twelve miles and approached
the walls of Famagousta. Nothing that I saw in Cyprus has impressed me
so much as the site of this powerful fortress and once important city. I
lunched with Captain Inglis, who as chief commissioner of the district,
most kindly received me, and I rode home afterwards; my guide, Hadji
Christo, in spite of my assurances that he had mistaken the route,
persisted that there were many, and not one; and after plunging into
muddy marshes instead of keeping to the high ground, we were completely
lost near sundown, when I happily extricated myself from the difficulty
by insisting upon his riding behind and leaving me alone to find the
track. We arrived at nightfall, after making eighteen miles out of
twelve--a profitable enterprise hardly appreciated by our tired animals.
Famagousta is too important for a cursory description; I shall therefore
reserve it for a future chapter, when on our return from the Carpas
district we pass some days in its immediate neighbourhood.



I determined to leave my two vans in charge of the head-man of Kuklia,
as the drivers declared it would be impossible to proceed into the
roadless Carpas with any wheeled conveyance heavier than the native
two-wheeled cart. They had accordingly entered into a contract to supply
me with vehicles which the man of ability Theodori assured me could
travel to the extreme eastern limit of the island, Cape St. Andrea, "as
he had been there himself, and knew the way." Georgi, who knew nothing
of this portion of the country, believed all that Theodori said, and did
his bidding. Having lightened the loads by leaving all that was not
absolutely necessary safely locked within the vans, we started on 1st
March with camels, in addition to two native carts, taking the route
direct east, across the extensive flat which at this time was dry and
hard. There was nothing of interest in the day's march; the travelling
was easy along the hardened level surface; we had a clear view of the
cathedral and higher forts of Famagousta, and we passed near the ruins
of Salamis, easily distinguishing the solitary pillars that had
supported the ancient aqueduct which led the water from distant Kythrea.

Although everything was thoroughly dried up, it was easy to imagine the
effect of an inundation of the Pedias river, which had formed this delta
of alluvium, precisely as the Nile on a more extensive scale has
produced the Delta of Egypt. There were a few wretched villages upon the
flat, which were necessarily on the poorest scale, as they existed at
the mercy of a sudden inundation. The unhealthiness of this locality
must be extreme during wet weather, as it is only suitable to the
constitutions of frogs and ducks. Upon arrival at higher ground on the
opposite side of the plain I looked back upon the agueish area over
which we had passed, and I had little doubt of the great engineering
necessity that must be the first step to a sanitary reform in this
pestilential neighbourhood.

As the river Pedias is a mere wayward torrent that NEVER flows as a
permanent stream, but only comes down in impulsive rushes from the
mountains during heavy rains, it has no power to cleanse its original
bed, such as would result from a constant and clear current; but, on the
contrary, the heavy floods from the upper country, being the result of a
sudden rainfall, are surcharged with earth washed down from the higher
ground and thickly held in solution. This vast mass of soil, which adds
a corresponding weight to each gallon of water, is carried forward
according to the velocity of the stream, and is ready to deposit upon
the instant that the propelling power shall be withdrawn. So long as the
river is confined between narrow banks, the high rate of the current is
sufficient to force forward the thickened and heavy fluid; but the
instant that the banks are over-topped and the river expands over an
increased area, the rapidity is reduced, and the water, no longer able
to contain the earth in solution, deposits alluvium, and produces a
delta, which must necessarily increase upon every future inundation. The
result must end either in forming a bar at the mouth of the river, or
(as in the Pedias) in THE TOTAL SILTING OF THE EMBOUCHURE, which
extinguishes all traces of a broad channel, but leaves a series of deep
marshes scored by innumerable ditches, to be in their turn filled with
mud when the next flood shall extend over the wide surface and increase
the deposit.

This is the position of the Pedias, and until improved I cannot foresee
a good sanitary prospect for Famagousta, which is situated on the
borders of the swamp. There can be only one engineering method of
preventing the silt, by confining the river between artificial banks,
within a channel sufficiently narrow to ensure a current whose velocity
would carry the heavy fluid directly into the sea. Even should this be
accomplished, and the river be securely banked, the deposit of mud will
then take place within the sea, and will assuredly form a bar; which
will probably affect by silt the neighbouring harbour of Famagousta in
the same manner that the ancient port of Salamis has been completely
obliterated. In any case the engineering difficulty will be costly and
uncertain; but if Famagousta is to be restored to its former importance
as a first-rate harbour, arsenal, and military station, the management
of the Pedias river must be seriously considered.

We arrived at Trichomo at about 3 P.M. The town is built upon the sides
and summit of high ground within a mile of the sea. The sight of a
narrow iron chimney emitting puffs of steam showed that some progress
was exhibited by the presence of an engine--this was employed in working

The houses were the usual sun-baked bricks of clay and chopped straw,
and although the town was large, there was no building of sufficient
importance to attract attention. We rode through the streets determined
as usual to avoid the smells of a close proximity and to seek a
camping-place some distance upon the opposite side. After passing
through the town and descending a hill, we then ascended a steep slope
which opened upon a wild country of rocky ground covered with the usual
prickly plants and scrub cypress, which had evidently been cut for fuel
until it had become mere brushwood. There was a square mud hut on the
left hand standing in an extensive orchard of fruit-trees watered by a
cattle-wheel, and as this was the last habitation within view, we
halted, and awaited the arrival of the carts and camels. From the summit
of the hill, about two hundred yards beyond this spot, the view was
exceedingly good; the sea lay about half a mile distant, with several
houses and gardens near the shore. The town was in our rear, and to the
east was a fine extent of wild country covered with bush and
dwarf-cypress, which formed a marked contrast to the naked surface we
had left behind. The rugged wall of the Carpas range was now only ten
miles distant on our left, and continued parallel to our route. . . . .
It was late when the carts arrived, and we now missed the usual luxury
of the gipsy-van. I determined to save the servants the trouble of
erecting our tent, therefore for the first time in Cyprus we occupied
the native dwelling. This was a square hut built of stone and mud, with
the usual hard mud roof. From its large size it was evident that animals
shared the room with the proprietors. An old man and a corresponding old
woman gave us a welcome, and immediately commenced sweeping out the
floor for our accommodation; this might have been thirty feet by
eighteen in width. After a cloud of dust had risen, and by degrees
subsided, we took possession; the carts and camels arrived; beds had to
be unpacked and set up, and the servants began to reflect upon the
advantages of the van which saved them the present trouble. It was
already dusk, but the beds were made, and Christo the cook (who was a
capital fellow for speed in preparing a dinner) was enveloped in savoury
steam, when the usual inmates of the hut quietly invaded us. Cocks and
hens marched in, and went to roost upon some sticks within a corner; two
or three dogs arrived, evidently with the intention of staying through
the night; a donkey at length walked composedly through the entrance
door and steered for his accustomed corner. We had caused serious
inconvenience to an unknown quantity of animals, all of whom had to be
turned out, except the poultry. What a good thing is dinner! The neat
tiny table was spread and the candles lighted; the dishes were simple
but excellent; we were thoroughly comfortable in this rude dwelling;
but--it might have been fancy--I thought something tickled my legs.
There was no mistake, something did actually not only tickle, but bite.
Something? It was everything and everybody in the shape of fleas! The
hut was hopping with countless swarms of these detestable vermin, from
which in our impregnable van we had hitherto been free, owing to its
great height from the ground. Whether the unusual sweeping of the floor
had created a temporary aberration of intellect or stupefaction among
these crowds, I cannot determine, but whatever the nervous shock might
have been that had caused a short suspension of activity, they had now
completely recovered, and I shall never forget the night passed in
Trichomo. It was the first and the last venture upon native hospitality
throughout our sojourn in Cyprus, and we in future adhered either to the
tent or the gipsy-van.

On the following morning we started at 8.30. The sky was overcast, and
in any country but this we should have expected rain. We had now fairly
emerged upon a district entirely different from the hateful Messaria,
which has given Cyprus an unfortunate reputation. We were quickly among
thickets of scrub and low brushwood which should have teemed with game.
My spaniels delighted in the change, and worked the bush thoroughly as
we proceeded along the route, occasionally flushing two or three
red-legged partridges. Passing over the higher ground with the sea in
view upon our right, we descended after a march of about three miles to
the shore, where the path skirted the sea along broken rocks, against
which in bad weather the waves would dash with sufficient violence to
bar the road. The white cliffs and hill-tops to our left were covered
with dwarf-cypress, and formed a lovely foreground above the sea,
perfectly calm beneath. The ride was apparently short, although we had
been in the saddle three hours, as the eye had been gratified by a
constant change of scenery;--from rocks washed by the blue water to
hills covered with a dense foliage of evergreens, and deep sequestered
valleys, with occasional gaps in the range of heights through which
glimpses of the sea in rocky coves burst suddenly into view. Some of
these inlets were exceedingly picturesque, as reefs extended from the
shore, overhanging cliffs having from time to time fallen in huge crags
and formed natural breakwaters to the beach. These narrow gaps between
the hills were generally occupied by a streamlet in the centre, which
had cut its way far below the level of the ground, the steep banks of
which were fringed with oleanders, myrtles, mastic, and other
evergreens, down to within a few yards of the breaking waves. Nothing
could be prettier, and upon arrival within sight of Volokalida, about a
mile and a half distant in the extreme end of a narrow valley, I
directed my wife to a camping-place near the village, beneath some large
and prominent caroub-trees, while I dismounted, and with my delighted
dogs commenced a ramble over the low woods which covered the sides and
hill-tops to our right and left. The walk was enjoyable; we had made
fourteen miles from Trichomo, and upon reaching the perfectly flat
tableland which formed the summit of the hills I had a splendid sea-view
extending for many miles along the coast. The first object that
attracted my attention was a large steamer stranded in a cove about a
mile distant. She looked perfectly snug, but as only her lower masts
were standing, and funnel gone, there could be no doubt of her
misadventure. My binocular glass quickly showed that a portion of her
bulwarks was carried away, and as no chain was visible to an anchor, she
was in fact a wreck. As I made my way through the thick bushes Merry
presently opened upon a scent, and Wise running in among the rocks,
flushed a fine francolin partridge, which I shot. I then got a quail and
a hare, and had no other chances, although the appearance of the country
would have suggested an abundance of game. Upon nearing the seashore I
saw that extensive sand-dunes had invaded the heights for many hundred
yards, completely choking the vegetation and forming clumps or mounds of
sand, topped by tufts of the shrubs that lay buried deep beneath. I
walked along the fatiguing ground until I reached the shore exactly
opposite the abandoned wreck, which lay within a cove, into which she
had evidently been run for security.

My dogs found several hares among the clumps upon the sand-dunes, which
gave them some exercise and amusement, but I did not obtain a shot.

Upon my arrival at the camping-place I found my wife surrounded by a
large crowd of women and children beneath a shady tree, all of whom had
brought presents of eggs and bouquets of wild flowers. It was difficult
to persuade these good simple people that we did not require presents as
an etiquette of introduction; they would insist upon placing their
little offerings upon the ground, and leaving them if we declined to
accept them. The principal wild flowers were cyclamen, narcissus, and
anemone. The cyclamen completely covered the ground throughout all the
low woods and thickets. I could only find two varieties, the snow-white,
with claret-coloured centre, and the rose-colour; but the blossoms were
quite equal in size to those usually grown in our glass-houses in
England. We had passed through several hundred acres of open ground that
were as white from the abundance of narcissus as an English meadow might
be yellow from the presence of buttercups.

Our camp was pitched upon a small level plateau of rock, in the centre
of which was a well, cut completely through the stone from top to
bottom. It appeared to be about twenty-five feet deep, but was devoid of
water and contained a considerable amount of rubbish. The people assured
me that a dead Greek lay beneath, as a few years ago some Turks had
killed one of their people and thrown him into the well; they had
concealed the body by stones and rubbish, and no further steps had been
taken in the matter. As a large crowd of children of both sexes were
sitting round us doing nothing but stare, I set them to work to clear
the surface ground from loose stones and to sweep the plateau clean with
boughs from the wild cypress. When this was finished I gave them a
scramble for several handfuls of copper coins upon the cleared area, to
impress them pleasantly upon their work of cleanliness; this new game
became very popular, and might be introduced by the British government
with a certainty of gaining the admiration of the Cypriotes, especially
during the collection of taxes; the latter being an Anglo-Turkish game
which is not yet sufficiently appreciated.

The women were of the same type that we had seen in other districts, but
they appeared sickly, and many of the children were extremely delicate.
There was the usual protuberance of the abdomen to which I have before
alluded; and I found upon examination of the children that an
enlargement of the spleen was a chronic complaint. This is due to
repeated attacks of ague. I drew the attention of the people to the so
general mistake in this island of selecting a site for their villages in
the most unhealthy localities. We were now camped upon a height about
eighty feet above the valley, which resembled a basin beneath our feet;
the village was on the lower level of this basin, and as near the level
of the sea as possible. In heavy rains the valley became a temporary
swamp, and it seemed unaccountable that human beings endowed with common
sense should have selected the low ground instead of the immediate
heights. The explanation was "that as the village was built of
mud-bricks, the houses had been erected as near as possible to the
source of the material, MUD!" to avoid the difficulty of carriage in the
absence of carts.

The people were as usual dressed in cotton stuffs of home manufacture,
and were ignorant of such a material as flannel; the children were only
half-clad, and shivering; their food was generally raw, comprising
olives, oil, onions, and wild vegetables, such as artichokes, wild
mustard, and a variety of trash that in England would only be regarded
as "weeds." There were some pretty intelligent little girls and boys;
some of these were chewing mastic gum, a white leathery substance which
they gathered from incisions in the bark of this common shrub. My wife
found fault with the neglect of cleanliness, as their teeth, although
even, were totally uncared for. On the following morning they all
assembled and exhibited a show of nice white teeth, as they had followed
her advice and cleaned them with wood-ashes and their forefingers, in
lieu of a toothbrush. We saw these children again a month afterwards
upon our return, and they ran across the fields to meet us, at once
opening their mouths to show that they had not forgotten the lesson, and
that their teeth were properly attended to. I pitied all these poor
people: they are downtrodden and miserable in mind and body. Instead of
squeezing them for taxes they should be supported and encouraged by
government assistance in every manner possible. Centuries of oppression
and neglect in addition to a deceptive climate have rendered them the
mere slaves of circumstances, but they exhibit a patience and stolid
endurance which is beyond all praise; and when Cyprus shall belong
absolutely to Great Britain, so that the Cypriotes shall feel that they
are British subjects, they will become the most amenable and contented
people in the Empire.

The usual difficulty exists in passing through this island which is felt
by most English travellers in wild countries. The sick invariably
assemble, believing that your medical knowledge will produce miraculous
cures; and the lame, halt, and blind besiege you even cripples from
their birth are brought by their hopeful mothers to receive something
from your medicine-chest that will restore them to strength. It was in
vain that I explained to these afflicted people that spleen-disease
required a long course of medicine, and could not be cured in a day. It
was equally in vain that I assured them that raw vegetables were
unwholesome for children, and that sea-bathing was invigorating to the
system: they hated bathing; so did the children; and they liked raw
vegetables. I was obliged to give them some trifle which could neither
do harm nor good; and they went away contented.

I now discovered from the head-men of the village the cause of the wreck
which was lying in the bay. An Austrian steamer was conveying 1200
Circassians from Constantinople to some port on the coast of Asia Minor,
when the wild horde of emigrants mutinied and threatened to murder the
chief officers. The captain accordingly ran the vessel ashore upon this
coast, having ordered the engineer to blow up the boilers.

A great number of the mutineers perished in the attempt to land, but the
captain and officers were hospitably received by the people of
Volokalida and forwarded to Famagousta. The vessel was pierced amidships
by a rock that had completely impaled her, otherwise she might have been
saved and repaired.

We left this village on March 4th, a heavy but welcome shower on the
preceding day having laid the dust and freshened the vegetation. The
route lay through a hilly and rocky country covered with the usual
evergreens. We quickly lost our way and arrived at a complete cul-de-sac
in the corner of a narrow swampy valley. Retracing our steps we met two
men mounted on donkeys, who with extreme civility turned from their own
direction and became our guides. We passed over a hill of solid
crystallised gypsum, which sparkled in the sun like glass, and after a
march of about ten miles through a lovely country we ascended to the
plateau of Lithrankomi and halted at the monastery. The priest was an
agreeable, well-mannered man, and as rain had begun to fall he insisted
upon our accepting his invitation to await the arrival of our luggage
under his roof. We visited his curious old church, which is sadly out of
repair, and the mosaic, of a coarse description, which covered an arched
ceiling, has mostly disappeared.

This was the most agreeable position that I had seen in Cyprus. A very
extensive plateau about 400 feet above the sea formed a natural terrace
for seven or eight miles, backed by the equally flat hill-tops which
rose only half a mile behind the monastery. These were covered with the
Pinus Maritima, none of which exceeded twenty feet in height, and
resembled a thriving young plantation in England. From the flat
pine-covered tableland I had a very beautiful view of the sea on either
side this narrow portion of the island, and of the richly-wooded slopes
both north and south, cut by deep and dark water-riven gorges, with
white cliffs which descended to the shore. Villages and snow-white
churches lay beneath in all directions, and the crops had a far more
favourable appearance than those of the Messaria, as this portion of the
country had experienced a superior rainfall.

It is much to be regretted that the total absence of roads excludes this
district from general communication. We were struck by the fantastic
scenery of deep ravines, rocks covered with evergreens of varying
colours, and handsome caroub-trees which would have ornamented an
English park; mulberry-trees were very numerous, but at this season they
were barren of leaves; the only want lay in the absence of oranges and
lemons, which the priest assured me would not thrive in this locality.
For the last two months I had cordially detested Cyprus, but I was now
converted to a belief that some portions of the country were thoroughly
enjoyable, provided that a traveller could be contented with rough fare
and be accustomed to the happy independence of a camp-life with a good
tent and hardy servants. The temperature was a little too low for
out-door existence, as it averaged 48 degrees at 7 A.M. and 54 degrees
at 3 P.M., which is the hottest hour of the day; but we were all well,
and free from colds; the servants had plenty of warm blankets, and the
false floor that I had arranged added greatly to their comfort when
camping upon the sodden ground.

I had become convinced that "the man of ability" Theodori had deceived
me, and that it would be impossible for the two-wheeled carts, or any
other conveyance, to travel through this country. Our last two marches
had proved that not only would the delay be serious, but the luggage
would be destroyed by the extreme jolting over rocks and ruts, which had
already injured several of our boxes and broken some useful articles.
Every package seemed to assume an individual vitality and to attack its
neighbour; the sharp-cornered metal boxes endeavoured to tunnel through
the cases of wine and liquors, which in retaliation bumped against and
bruised their antagonists, and a few marches had already caused more
mischief than a twelvemonth's journey by camels. The priest assured me
that it would be madness to attempt a march beyond Gallibornu, about
eleven miles in advance, and that he doubted the possibility of the
carts reaching that point, which certainly had never been visited by any
wheeled conveyances. The honest, strong, but unintelligent driver Georgi
was innocent, and he was at the time as ignorant as myself that the true
object of the "man of ability" Theodori was to deal in cattle, which was
his reason for persisting in accompanying me into the Carpas country and
declaring that the route was practicable for carts. We left Lithrankomi
on 5th March after a shower which made the earth slippery and the
dangerous portions of the route rather exciting for the carts. The first
two or three miles lay along the level terrace commanding a splendid
view of the sea about four miles distant. We passed through several
villages, and the crops looked well. At length we emerged upon a wild
portion of the plateau which resembled a park, the surface being green
and diversified by ornamental clumps of evergreens; upon our left was
the cliff-like higher terrace which formed the table-top from which the
usual huge blocks had been detached and fallen like inverted cottages to
the lower level. The view on our right was exceedingly interesting, as
we had now arrived upon the extreme verge of the terrace, which broke
down suddenly into a horseshoe-shaped amphitheatre, the steep sides
covered with bushes and trees, to the bottom of a valley some 300 feet
below, which drained through a narrow and richly-wooded gorge into the
neighbouring sea.

This scooping-out of the country was due to the action of water, and the
same process was gradually wearing away the upper plateaux, which by
absorbing rain became undermined as it percolated through and dissolved
the marly substratum. The foundation of the rock surface being softened
by the water, oozed in the form of mud, and was washed down the steep
declivities, followed by the breaking-down of the unsupported upper
stratum. This district was an admirable illustration of the decay and
denudation of surface which has produced the plain of Messaria, to which
I have already alluded, but as no sufficient area exists at a lower
level the deposit of soil is carried to the sea. We now arrived at a
dangerous pass that defied all attempts to descend by carts. A
succession of zigzags at an inclination of about one foot in two and a
half led down the soil of a cliff into a succession of exceedingly
narrow valleys about three hundred feet below. In many places this
narrow path had been washed away by the same natural process that was
gradually reducing the upper level, and in the sharp angles of the
zigzags there were awkward gaps with only a few inches of slippery soil
rendered soapy by the morning's rain, a slip of the original path having
crumbled down the precipice below. The animals were wonderfully careful,
and although a nervous person might have shuddered at some awkward
points, both mule and ponies were thoroughly self-confident and safely
carried us to the bottom. But the carts? These were making a circuit of
some miles across country in the endeavour to discover a practicable

Although the way was difficult, it was the more agreeable as the scenery
was extremely picturesque. The narrow valleys were without exception
cultivated, which formed a striking contrast to the exceedingly wild
heights by which they were surrounded, and I remarked that not a yard of
available land was neglected, but that small and precipitous hollows
were banked by rough stone walls, to retain the soil that would
otherwise be washed away, and to form terraces of insignificant extent
for the sake of cultivation. Our animals could amble at five or six
miles an hour along these narrow bottoms, which made up for the delay in
descending the bad places. My dogs were in the best spirits, as they had
moved a considerable number of partridges during this morning's march,
and they heard the peculiar loud "chuck-a-chuck, chuck-a-chuck," of the
red-legs in all directions. As we advanced the hills increased in
height, and we passed through a valley, bordered on the right by abrupt
cliffs, forming a wall-like summit to the exceedingly steep slope
beneath, which had been created by the debris from the wasting face of
rock. This flat-topped height may have been about 500 feet above the
valley, and the white cliff, which was quite perpendicular from the
summit for about one hundred feet to the commencement of the steep green
slope beneath, was in one place artificially scarped, and had been cut
perfectly smooth like the wall of a stone building. In the centre of
this smooth face we could plainly distinguish a square-cut entrance, to
which an exceedingly narrow ledge cut in the rock formed a most
dangerous approach, more adapted for wild cats than for human occupants.
I halted to examine this with a good glass, and I could perceive that
the greatest care had been taken in the formation of a smooth
perpendicular front, and that the narrow ledge which formed the approach
was a natural feature that had been artificially improved. There were
several similar lines observable at unequal distances nearly parallel
with each other: these were the natural limits of overlying strata in
the sedimentary rock, which, as the general surface had fallen through
decay, still preserved their character, and formed ledges. My guide
assured us that the entire cliff was honey-combed by internal
galleries, which had been constructed by the ancients as a place of
refuge that would contain several thousand persons, and that a well
existed in the interior, which from a great depth supplied the water. I
have never seen a notice of this work in any book upon Cyprus, and I
regret that I had no opportunity of making a close examination of the
artificial cave, which, from the accounts I received, remains in a
perfect state to the present moment.

It was a wild route to Gallibornu, through a succession of small valleys
separated by wooded heights, and bounded by hills, either bare in white
cliffs, or with steep slopes thickly covered with evergreens. We passed
a few miserable villages, one of which was solely inhabited by gipsies,
who came out to meet us clad in rags and extremely filthy, but the faces
of the women were good-looking. We crossed numerous watercourses in the
narrow bottoms between the hills; their steep banks were fringed with
bushes which formed likely spots for woodcocks, but my dogs found
nothing upon the route except a few partridges and francolin, although,
as usual, they hunted throughout the march. After crossing a series of
steep hills, and observing a marked contrast in the habits of the
people, who constructed their dwellings upon the heights instead of in
the unhealthy glens, we arrived in the closely pent-in valley that forms
the approach to Gallibornu. This village is of considerable extent, and
is inhabited exclusively by Turks. We entered the valley through a
narrow gap between the hills, which on our left formed perpendicular
cliffs, with the usual steep slopes of debris near the base. The upper
cliffs, about 400 feet above the lower level, were marked with numerous
parallel ledges and were full of blue-rock pigeons, which built their
nests in the clefts and crevices; the summits of these heights were the
table-tops which characterise this formation.

It was difficult to select a camping-place, as the valley would become
mud in the event of heavy rains. We had experienced daily showers since
we left Volokalida, and the lower grounds were damp; I disliked the
immediate neighbourhood of a village, and the only available spot was
rather dangerous, as it was situated upon a flattish knoll, so near the
base of the cliff that enormous blocks of stone many tons in weight lay
in all directions, which had fallen from the impending heights. I
examined these, and found some that were comparatively recent; I had
also observed upon our entrance to the valley that a great portion of
the cliff face had lately fallen, forming an avalanche of rocks that
would have destroyed a village: this my guide informed me was the result
of last year's excessive rain. I examined the heights above us with my
glass, and observed some crags that Polyphemus would have delighted to
hurl upon Acis when courting his Galatea; but as no Cyclops existed in
this classical island I determined to risk the chances of a
rock-displacement and to pitch the tent upon a flat surface among the
fallen blocks. As a rule such localities should be avoided. It is
impossible to calculate the probable downfall of a crag, which, having
formed a portion of the cliff, has been undermined by the breaking away
of lower rocks, and, overhanging the perpendicular, may be secure during
dry weather, but may become dislodged in heavy rain, when the
cement-like surroundings are dissolved: the serious vibration caused by
thunder might in such conditions produce an avalanche. We dug a deep
trench round the tents, as the weather looked overcast and stormy.

The village of Gallibornu was about half a mile beyond our camp at the
extreme end of the valley, but situated on the heights. The people were
extremely civil, and it would be difficult to determine the maximum
degree of courtesy between the Turks and Greeks of Cyprus. I strolled
with my dogs up the steep hill-sides, and the Turks, seeing that I was
fond of shooting, promised to accompany me on the following morning to
some happy hunting-ground, which, from my Cyprian experience, I believed
was mythical.

On waking the next day I found the Turks, true to their promise, already
assembled by the servants' tent, and eight men were awaiting me with
their guns. They had a sporting dog to assist them, which they described
as "very useful for following a wounded hare; only it was necessary to
be quick in securing it, otherwise the dog would eat it before your

I advised them to leave this "useful dog" behind, as hostilities might
be declared by my three English spaniels in the event of his swallowing
a wounded hare. This being agreed to, we all started, and, crossing the
valley, entered a gorge upon the other side. We now ascended naked hills
of pure crystallised gypsum; the strata were vertical, and the perfectly
transparent laminae were packed together like small sheets of glass only
a few inches in width. It was easy to walk up the steep slopes of this
material without slipping, as the exterior edges, having been exposed to
the weather, had become rough, and were exactly like coarse glass placed
edgeways. We spread out into a line of skirmishers extending up the
hills upon both sides of the gorge, and quickly arrived in very likely
ground covered with dwarf-cypress. Here the dogs immediately flushed
partridges, and a Turk having wounded one, a considerable delay took
place in searching for it at the bottom of a deep wooded hollow, but to
no purpose. We now arrived at lovely ground within a mile of the sea,
forming a long succession of undulations, covered, more or less, with
the usual evergreen brushwood as far as the eye could reach. This uneven
surface, broken by many watercourses, was about eighty feet above the
water-level, and descended in steep rocky ledges to within a few hundred
yards of the sea, where the lower ground was flat and alternated in open
glades and thick masses of mastic scrub; the beach being edged by drift
sand-dunes covered by the dense jungle of various matted bushes.

There was a fair amount of game in this locality, and had the Turks shot
well we should have made a tolerable bag; but they did not keep a good
line, and many birds went back without being shot at, while others were
missed, and altogether the shooting was extremely wild. The sun was hot
by the time we had concluded our beat; I had shot five brace and one
hare, including some francolins; and the rest of the party had
collectively bagged three brace. It was late in the season for shooting,
but the birds were not all paired, and I have no doubt that in the month
of September this portion of the island would afford fair sport,
although no great bags could be expected. I was surprised at the absence
of woodcocks; throughout my rambles in Cyprus I had only seen one,
although they were cheap in the market of Larnaca. The fact is that
every bird shot by the natives is sent straight for sale; therefore an
immense area is hunted for the small supply required by the Europeans in
the principal towns. Upon our return homewards we passed through a
considerable space occupied by ancient ruins. Among the masses of stones
and broken pottery were two stone sarcophagi, which appeared to have
been converted into drinking-troughs for cattle. As with all the ruins
of Cyprus, nothing of interest exists upon the surface, and the tombs
having been for many centuries excavated and despoiled, it is probable
that the sarcophagi had been brought to light by treasure-seekers many
years ago.

As we approached Gallibornu by a mountain path the Turks assured me that
we should find good drinking-water; we were all thirsty, including the
dogs, who had drunk nothing for some hours. At length, at a considerable
elevation between two hills, we reached a spring, and I was shown a well
where the water was only a few feet from the surface. The Turks now
pointed to the perpendicular face of a cliff and desired me to follow
them; at the same time I could not understand their attempted
explanations either by word or pantomime. We kept on an extremely narrow
path which skirted the steep side of the slope, and presently arrived at
a ledge about sixteen inches wide upon the perpendicular face of the
cliff, which descended sheer for a considerable depth beneath. I was
requested to leave my gun against a rock and to follow. It was all very
well for these people, who knew exactly where they were going, but I had
not the slightest idea of my destination, unless it should be the bottom
of the cliff, which appeared to me most probable, if I, who was many
inches broader in the shoulders than my guides, should be expected to
join in the game of "follow the leader" upon a narrow ledge against the
face of the rock which afforded no hold whatever. I was not so fond of
climbing as I had been thirty years ago, and to my infinite disgust the
ledge, which was already horribly small, became narrower as we
proceeded. There was a nasty projecting corner to turn, and at this
point I saw my guides look down below, and I fancied they were
speculating upon the depth. Instead of this, the leader began to descend
the perpendicular face by small ladder-like steps hewn in the rock, and
in this manner gained another ledge not quite six feet below. We all
reached this precarious shelf, and the guide, having turned, continued
for some twenty or thirty yards in an exactly contrary direction to the
ledge above us, by which we had just arrived; we were thus retracing our
steps upon a similar ledge at a lower level. Suddenly the leader
stopped, and stooping low, crept into a square aperture that had been
carefully cut out of the rock face to form an entrance. This passage
inclined slightly inwards, and after a few paces forward, with the body
curved in the uncomfortable form of a capital C, we arrived in a
spacious gallery cut into a succession of arches, the centre of which
was six feet high. A small window, about three feet by two, was cut
through the rock to admit light and air, from which I could with a rifle
have completely commanded the glen below and the approach to the left.
There was no ledge beneath the window, but simply the sheer precipice of
the smooth cliff, and there was no other approach to this extraordinary
place of refuge except that by which we had arrived. The gallery was
neatly cut, and extended for an unknown distance: several other
galleries, arched in the same manner and of the same size, branched off
at right angles with that we had entered. I was led to a well, which was
represented as being deep, and I was informed that the hill was
perforated with similar galleries, all of which communicated with each
other. I much regretted that we were unprovided with candles; one of the
Turks lighted a match, but it only served to increase the uncertainty of
the surrounding darkness.

This must be a similar cave-refuge to that we had passed about four
miles distant when on our way from Lithrankomi to Gallibornu, and it
deserves a minute investigation. As I could see nothing beyond about
thirty feet from the window, owing to the darkness, I cannot give any
account of the actual dimensions, which may be much inferior to the
unlimited descriptions of my informants. Upon my return to camp I had
the benefit of my interpreter, and the story was repeated that no one
knew the extent of the excavations, either of these galleries or those
we had passed during our journey. I have never seen a very large natural
cave in Cyprus, although the caverns beneath the superficial stratum of
sedimentary rock are so general. The presence of these hollows, and the
soft nature of the calcareous stone, has suggested artificial caves to
the ancients, both for tombs and for places of refuge. Before the
invention of gunpowder it would have been impossible to reduce a fort
such as I have described, except by starvation. A mine sunk vertically
from above would in the present day destroy the subterranean stronghold
at the first explosion.

It rained more or less every day during our stay at Gallibornu, and
thunder rolled heavily in the neighbourhood; but in the narrow valley
between lofty hills the sky view was so limited that it was impossible
to judge of the impending weather. The earth was too slippery for
camels, which I had engaged with an excellent Turk, who for some years
had been a zaphtieh, therefore it was necessary to wait patiently until
the surface should become dry. I amused myself with wandering over the
hills with my dogs, examining the rocks, and shooting sufficient game
for our own use. I could generally bag enough for my lad to carry home
conveniently over this rugged country, and a hare or two in addition to
partridges were more appreciated when stewed than when carried up the
precipitous hills. I never tasted any game so delicious as the Cyprian
hares; they are not quite so red or curly as the European species, but
the flesh is exceedingly rich, and possesses a peculiarly gamey flavour,
owing to the aromatic food upon which they live. It is difficult to
obtain a shot in the thick coverts of mastic bush, and without dogs I do
not think I should have shot one, as they were generally in dense
thickets upon the mountain sides, through which beaters could have
hardly moved.

The high cliffs above us formed an excellent example of an old
sea-bottom, showing--the various strata of sedimentary deposits at
different periods. I made a collection of fossil shells, which were in
great numbers but in limited variety, and chiefly bivalves.

Although the village of Gallibornu was more important in size than many
we had passed, there was a total lack of supplies. It was impossible to
purchase bread, and we were obliged to send messengers to considerable
distances to procure flour, which we subsequently employed a woman to
bake. The people generally were very poor throughout the country, and
the cultivated area appeared insufficient for the support of the
population. Every yard of land was ploughed, but the entire valley of
Gallibornu was fallowed, and did not possess one blade of corn, as the
soil required rest after the yield of the previous season. None of these
people have an idea respecting a succession of crops in scientific
rotation, therefore a loss is sustained by the impoverishment of the
ground, which must occasionally lie inactive to recover its fertility.
There is absolutely no provision whatever for the cattle in the shape of
root-crops or hay, but they trust entirely to the bruised barley-straw
and such seeds as the cotton and lentil. At this season the Carpas
district possessed an important advantage in the variety of wild
vegetables which afforded nourishment for man and beast; the valleys
teemed with wild artichokes and with a variety of thistles, whose
succulent stems were a favourite food for both oxen and camels.

The leaf-stems of the artichokes were peeled and eaten raw by the
inhabitants, but as these people are accustomed to consume all kinds of
uncooked vegetables and unripe fruits few civilised persons would
indulge in the Cypriote tastes. We found the artichoke stems uneatable
in a raw state, but remarkably good when peeled and stewed, with a sauce
of yolk of egg beaten up with oil, salt, pepper, and lemon-juice; they
were then quite equal to sea-kale. There is a general neglect in the
cultivation of vegetables which I cannot understand, as agriculture is
the Cypriote's vocation; it can hardly be called laziness, as they are
most industrious in their fields, and expend an immense amount of labour
in erecting stone walls to retain a small amount of soil wherever the
water-wash from a higher elevation brings with it a deposit. The
insignificant terraces thus formed by earth caught in its descent while
in solution appear disproportioned to the labour of their construction,
and the laborious system would suggest an extreme scarcity of land
suitable for agricultural operations. I believe this to be the case, and
that a serious mistake has been made in assuming that the Crown
possesses large areas of land that may eventually become of great value.
There are government lands, doubtless, of considerable extent, but I
question their agricultural importance, and whenever the ordnance-map of
the island shall be completed a wild confusion will be discovered in the
discrepancy of title-deeds with the amount of land in possession of the
owners. I have, whilst shooting in the wild tracts of scrub-covered
hills and mountains, frequently emerged upon clearings of considerable
extent, where the natives have captured a fertile plot and cleared it
for cultivation, far away from the eyes of all authorities.

I believe that squatting has been carried on for many years, as during
the Turkish administration a trifling annual present would have closed
the eyes of the never-too-zealous official who by such an oversight
could annually improve his pay. Land suitable for cultivation cannot
possibly be in excess of the demand, when plots of only a few yards
square are carefully formed by the erection of stone walls to retain the
torrent-collected soil.

We were pestered with beggars throughout this district, and even the
blind saw their opportunity; their number was distressing, and they
could not account in any way for the prevalence of ophthalmia. Some
endeavoured to explain the cause by referring it to the bright
reflection from the sea, to which they were so frequently exposed; I
assured them that sailors were seldom blind, and they proved the rule.
Dirty habits, dwellings unwashed, heaps of filth lying around their
houses and rotting in their streets, all of which during the hot dry
summer is converted into poisonous dust, and, driven by the wind, fills
the eyes, which are seldom cleansed--these are the natural causes which
result in ophthalmia.

The new camels were ready, and with six of these animals we left
Gallibornu and felt relieved to have parted with the carts, as for
several marches they had caused great delay and inconvenience. Although
Theodori had deceived me by agreeing to conduct us direct to Cape St.
Andrea I did not like to discharge the thick-headed but innocent Georgi,
therefore I offered to pay them a certain sum which they themselves
named, per day, for the keep of their oxen, provided they should return
with their empty carts to Lithrankomi (one march) and await my return
there; after which, we would resume the original contract, and their
oxen would once more draw the vans from their station at Kuklia.

This was an extra expense, as the camels were now engaged in lieu of
carts, notwithstanding that I should have to pay for the oxen; on the
other hand, these animals were beautiful specimens of their kind, and
were thoroughly accustomed to the gipsy-van, therefore it was advisable
to retain them. The two owners were delighted with the arrangement, and
we started for Cape St. Andrea, while they were to return to

The country was now thoroughly enjoyable; the recent daily showers had
freshened all vegetation, and the earth was a carpet of wild flowers,
including scarlet ranunculus, poppies, a very pretty dwarf yellow cistus
resembling bunches of primroses, cyclamen, narcissus, anemones--purple,
white, and a peculiarly bright yellow variety.

The route from Gallibornu was extremely wild and picturesque, combining
hills, glens, and occasional short glimpses of the sea between the
gorges which cleft the precipitous range upon our right. The rounded and
sparkling tops of gypsum hills were common for the first few miles;
emerging from these, we threaded a ravine, and arrived upon the sea
beach, and continued for a considerable distance upon the margin of the
shore; the animals scrambling over fallen rocks and alternately
struggling through the deep sand and banks of sea-weed piled by a
recent gale. We now entered upon the first pure sandstone that I had
seen; this was a coffee-brown, and formed the substratum of the usual
sedimentary limestone which capped the surface of the hill-tops. The
appearance was peculiar, as the cliffs of brown sandstone were crusted
for a depth of about eight or ten feet by the white rock abounding with
fossil shells, while the substratum of hard sand was perfectly devoid of
all traces of organic matter. The upheaval of a sea-bottom was clearly
demonstrated. As the sandstone had decayed, vast fragments of the
surface rock had broken down when undermined and had fallen to the base
of the steep inclines, from the interstices of which a dense growth of
evergreens produced an agreeable harmony of colouring, combining various
shades of green with brown cliffs and white masses of disjointed
limestone. The deep blue of the sea was a beautiful addition to this
wild scenery, and after threading our way sometimes between narrow
gorges, at other places along sequestered glens which exhibited young
crops of cereals and cultivated olive-trees, we at length arrived at a
halting-place upon the seashore, where a well of excellent water about
ten feet from the surface had been sunk upon the sea-beach within fifty
yards of the waves.

This was the best camping-ground we had had in Cyprus; for the first
time we stood upon real turf, green with recent showers, and firmly
rooted upon a rich sandy loam. A cultivated valley lay a few hundred
yards beyond us, completely walled in by high hills covered with wild
olives, arbutus, and dwarf-cypress, and fronted by the sea. Some fine
specimens of the broad-headed and shady caroub-trees gave a park-like
appearance to the valley, through which a running stream entered from a
ravine among the hills, and, winding through deep banks covered with
myrtles and oleanders, expended itself upon the shingly beach in the
centre of the bay. This sheltered cove, about 300 yards across the chord
of the arc, formed rather more than a semicircle by the natural
formation of the coast, and was further improved by a long reef of hard
sandstone, which extended from either point like an artificial

At first sight the little bay was a tempting refuge, but upon closer
examination I observed ominous dark patches in the clear water, which
betokened dangerous reefs, and other light green portions that denoted
sandy shallows. The cove is useful for the native small craft, but would
be unsuitable to vessels of more than seven feet draught of water. I had
observed that francolins were more numerous since we had arrived upon
the sandstone formation, and the cock birds were calling in all
directions; the locality was so inviting that we felt inclined to remain
for a few days in such a delightful spot; but the season was too far
advanced for shooting, and I therefore confined myself to killing only
what was absolutely necessary for our food, and I invariably selected
the cock-birds of francolins. I do not think these birds pair like the
partridge, but I believe the cock is polygamous, like the pheasant, as I
generally found that several hens were in his neighbourhood. It is a
beautiful game bird, the male possessing a striking plumage of deep
black and rich brown, with a dark ring round the neck. It is quite a
different variety to the mottle-breasted species that I have met with in
Mauritius, Ceylon, and the double-spur francolin that I have shot in
Africa. It is considerably larger than the common partridge, but not
quite so heavy as the red-legged birds of Cyprus, although when flying
it appears superior. The flesh is white and exceedingly delicate, and it
is to be regretted that so valuable a game bird is not introduced into
England. I generally found the francolin in the low scrub, although I
have often shot it either in the cultivated fields or in the wild
prickly low plants upon the open ground which have been misnamed
heather. The habits of this bird have nothing in common with those of
the red-legged partridge, as it is never found upon the bare rocky
hill-sides, which are the general resort of the latter annoying species,
and although the scrub bush may contain both, there is a marked
difference in their character. The red-leg is a determined runner, and
therefore a bad game bird for the shooter, as it will run ahead when
first disturbed and rise far beyond shot range, instead of squatting
like the grey partridge and permitting a sporting shot. The francolin is
never found upon the bare hill-sides, neither is it a runner in the
open, although it will occasionally trouble the dogs in the bush by
refusing to rise until they have followed it for some distance,
precisely as pheasants will run in covert until halted by the "stops" or
by a net. I am not sure of the power of resistance to cold possessed by
the francolins, as they are seldom met with upon the higher mountains in
Cyprus, but are generally found upon the inferior altitudes and low
grounds: still the hazel-huhn of Austria is a species of francolin which
resists the intense cold of a central-European winter.

Only one march remained to the extreme eastern limit of Cyprus, Cape St.
Andrea, distant fourteen miles. The country was exactly similar to that
which we had recently passed through, and although alike, it could
hardly be called monotonous, as the eye was never fatigued. The few
inhabitants were poor to the last degree; the dwellings were mere
hovels. We passed deep holes in the ground, the sides of which were
baked by fire, so as to resemble earthen jars about ten feet deep and
seven in diameter, with a small aperture; these were subterranean
granaries, the sure sign of insecurity before the British occupation.
The flat-topped hovels had the usual roofs of clay and chopped straw,
and projected two or three feet as eaves beyond the walls, which were of
stone and mud, exhibiting the crudest examples of masonry. The
projecting eaves were curiously arranged by hooks of cypress, like
single-fluked anchors laid horizontally, which retained beams, upon
which the mud and straw were laid; the heavy weight of the earthen roof
upon the long shanks of these anchors prevented the eaves from
overbalancing. Enormous heaps of manure and filth were deposited
opposite the entrance of each dwelling, and in the Christian villages
the most absurd pigs ran in and out of the hovels, or slept by the front
door, as though they were the actual proprietors. These creatures were
all heads and legs, and closely resembled the black and white
representative of the race well known to every child in the Noah's Ark.

It was rather disheartening to approach the extremity of the island, and
upon entering a long narrow valley our guide assured us that although no
apparent exit existed, we should ascend a precipitous path and
immediately see the point of Cape St. Andrea. The valley narrowed to a
point without any visible path. A few low hills covered with bush were
backed by cliff-like heights of about 300 feet also clothed by
evergreens. Upon our right, just below the steep ascent, were sand-dunes
and the sea. We now observed the narrow streak of white upon the
hillside, amidst the green which marked the path. We had left the brown
sandstone, and once again were upon the white calcareous rock. Our
animals could barely ascend the steep incline, and several times we
halted them to rest; at length we reached the summit, the flat rocky
table above the valley. The view was indeed lovely; we looked down upon
the white monastery of Cape St. Andrea, two miles distant, and upon the
thin eastern point of Cyprus about the same distance beyond, stretching
like a finger from a hand into the blue sea: the elevation from the high
point upon which we stood gradually inclining downwards to the end of
all things. A short distance from the cape were two or three small rocky
islands and reefs protruding from the sea, as though the force of the
original upheaval had originated from the west, and had expended itself
at the extreme east, where the heights above the sea-level had gradually
diminished until the continuation became disjointed, and the island
terminated in a sharp point, broken into dislocated vertebrae which
formed islets and reefs, the last hardly appearing above the waves. This
ended Cyprus on the east. The lofty coast of Asia Minor was distinctly



The promontory of Cape St. Andrea at the broadest portion is about five
miles, and from this base to the extreme end is nearly the same
distance. The whole surface is rocky, but the interstices contain a rich
soil, and at one time it was covered with valuable timber. There is no
portion of the island that presents a more deplorable picture of
wholesale destruction of forests, as every tree has been ruthlessly cut
down, and the present surface is a dense mass of shrubs and young
cypress, which if spared for fifteen years will again restore this
extremity of Cyprus to prosperity. I examined the entire promontory, and
ascended the rocky heights, about 500 feet above the sea upon the north
side. It was with extreme difficulty that I could break my way through
the dense underwood, which was about seven or eight feet high, as it was
in many places more than knee-deep in refuse boughs, which had been
lopped and abandoned when the larger trees had been felled. The largest
stumps of these departed stems were not more than from nine to twelve
inches in diameter: these were the dwarf-cypress, which would seldom
attain a greater height than twenty feet at maturity.

Fine caroubs had shared the fate of all others, and many of the old
stumps proved the large size of this valuable tree, which, as both
fruit-producing and shade-giving, should be sacred in the usually
parched island of Cyprus. At an elevation of about 350 feet above the
sea a spring of water issues from the ground and nourishes a small
valley of red soil, which slopes downwards towards the monastery, two
miles distant. The shrubs were vividly green, and formed so dense a
crest that several partridges which I shot remained sticking in the
bushes as they fell. I never saw such myrtles as those which occupied
the ravines, through which it was quite impossible to force a way. The
principal young trees were Pinus maritima, dwarf-cypress, mastic,
caroub, arbutus, myrtle, and wild olive. The name Cupressus horizontalis
has been given to the dwarf-cypress, but in my opinion it is not
descriptive of the tree: a cypress of this species, if uninjured, will
grow perfectly straight in the central stem for a height of twenty feet
without spreading horizontally. It is probable that the misnomer has
been bestowed in ignorance of the fact that an uninjured tree is seldom
met with, and that nearly every cypress has been mutilated for the sake
of the strong tough leader, which, with one branch attached, will form
the one-fluked anchor required for the roofs of native dwellings already
described. In the absence of its leader the tree extends laterally, and
becomes a Cupressus horizontalis. The wood of this species is extremely
dense and hard, and when cut it emits a resinous and aromatic scent; it
is of an oily nature, and extremely inflammable. The grain is so close
that, when dry, it somewhat resembles lignum vitae (though of lighter
colour), and would form a valuable material for the turner. There are
two varieties of cypress in this island; the second has been erroneously
called a "cedar" by some travellers, and by others "juniper." This tree
is generally met with, at altitudes varying from three to six thousand
feet, upon the Troodos range; it seldom exceeds a height of thirty feet,
but attains a girth of six or even seven. The wood is by no means hard,
and possesses a powerful fragrance, closely resembling that of cedar (or
of cedar and sandal-wood combined), which may have given rise to the
error named. It splits with facility, and the peculiar grain and
brownish-red colour, combined with the aroma, would render it valuable
for the cabinet-maker in constructing the insides of drawers, as insects
are believed to dislike the smell. The foliage of this species exactly
resembles that of the Cupressus horizontalis. The cedar may possibly
have existed at a former period and have been destroyed, but I should be
inclined to doubt the theory, as it would surely have been succeeded by
a younger growth from the cones, that must have rooted in the ground
like all those conifers which still would flourish were they spared by
the Cypriote's axe. The native name for the cypress is Kypreses, which
closely resembles the name of the island according to their
pronunciation Kypris. The chittim-wood of Scripture, which was so much
esteemed, may have been the highly aromatic cypress to which I have

After a ramble of many hours down to the monastery upon the rocky shore,
along the point, and then returning through the woods over the highest
portions of the promontory, I reached our camp, which commanded a view
of the entire southern coast with its innumerable rocky coves far beyond
telescopic distance. From this elevation I could distinguish with my
glass the wreck of the stranded steamer in the bay at Volokalida. We
were camped on the verge of the height that we had ascended by the
precipitous path from the lower valley. As the country was a mass of dry
fire-wood we collected a large quantity, and piled two heaps, one for
the camel-owners and the servants, and another before the door of our
own tent to make a cheerful blaze at night, which is a luxury of the
bivouac seldom to be enjoyed in other portions of this island. While we
were thus engaged an arrival took place, and several people suddenly
appeared upon the summit of the pass within a few yards of our tent. An
old woman formed one of the party, and a handsome but rather
dirty-looking priest led the way on a remarkably powerful mule. Upon
seeing us he very courteously dismounted, and I at once invited him to
the tent. It appeared that this was the actual head of the monastery and
the lord of all the promontory who was thus unexpectedly introduced.
Cigarettes, coffee, and a little good cognac quickly cheered the good
and dusty priest (who had travelled that day from some place beyond
Rizo-Carpas), and we established a mutual confidence that induced him to
give me all the information of his neighbourhood.

I had observed hundreds of cattle, goats, sheep, and many horses,
donkeys, &c., wandering about the shrub-covered surface during my walk,
and I was now informed that all these animals were the property of the
monastery. These tame creatures are the objects described in some books
upon Cyprus as "the wild oxen and horses of the Carpas district, the
descendants of original domestic animals"! The monastery of Cape St.
Andrea forms an exception to all others in being perfectly independent,
and beyond all control of bishops. This wild country, far from all
roads, and forming the storm-washed extreme limit of the island, was
considerately out of the way of news, and the monk was absolutely
ignorant of everything that was taking place in the great outer world.
He had heard that such mischievous things as newspapers existed, but he
had never seen one, neither had that ubiquitous animal the
newspaper-correspondent ever been met with in the evergreen jungles of
Cape St. Andrea. His monastery was his world, and the poor inhabitants
who occupied the few miserable huts within sight of his church were his
vassals. Although the bell of the monastery tolled and tinkled at the
required hours, he informed me that "nobody ever attended the service,
as the people were always engaged in looking after their animals."
During the conversation a sudden idea appeared to have flashed upon him,
and starting from his seat, he went quickly to his mule, and making a
dive into the large and well-filled saddle-bags, he extracted an
enormous wine-bottle that contained about a gallon; this he triumphantly
brought to us and insisted upon our acceptance. It was in vain that we
declined the offering; the priest was obdurate, and he placed the bottle
against the entrance of the tent, which, if any one should have
unexpectedly arrived, would have presented a most convivial appearance.

Upon questioning the good monk respecting the destruction of forests
upon his domain, he informed me that "during the Turkish administration
he had been annually pillaged by hundreds of vessels which arrived from
the neighbouring coasts of Asia Minor and of Egypt for the express
purpose of cutting timber to be sold by weight as fire-wood at their
various ports. He had protested in vain, there were no police, nor any
means of resistance at Cape St. Andrea, therefore the numerous crews had
defied him; and small presents from the owners of the vessels to the
Pacha at headquarters were sufficient to ensure immunity." I asked him
"why they wasted so much excellent fire-wood, and left the boughs to
hamper the surface?" He replied, "that as the wood was sold by weight,
the dealers preferred to cut the thick stems, as they packed closely on
board the vessels, and, being green, they weighed heavy; therefore they
rejected the smaller wood and left it to rot upon the ground." He
declared "that on several occasions the crews had quarrelled, and that
from pure spite they had set fire to the thick mass of dried boughs and
lighter wood which had spread over the surface, and destroyed immense
numbers of young trees." I had observed that large tracts had been burnt
during the preceding year. He was delighted at the English occupation,
as his property would now be protected, and in a few years the trees
would attain a considerable size.

Having passed an interesting afternoon with the new ecclesiastical
acquaintance, and tasted, immediately after his departure, the contents
of his enormous bottle (which was as instantly presented, as a "great
treat," to the servants), we lighted our big bonfires, and enjoyed the
blaze like children, although the showers of red sparks threatened the
destruction of the tent in the absence of Captain Shaw and the London
Fire Brigade. After this temporary excitement in this
utter-lack-of-incident-and-everyday-monotonous-island, the fires
gradually subsided, and we all went to sleep. There is no necessity in
Cyprus for sentries or night-watchers, the people are painfully good,
and you are a great deal too secure when travelling. As to "revolvers!"
I felt inclined to bury my pistols upon my first arrival, and to
inscribe "Rest in peace" upon the tombstone. It would be just as absurd
to attend church in London with revolvers in your belt as to appear with
such a weapon in any part of Cyprus. Mine were carefully concealed in
some mysterious corner of the gipsy-van; where they now lie hidden.

We had been two days at Cape St. Andrea, and it was necessary to
right-about-face, as we could go no farther. The monk proposed to guide
us to Rizo-Carpas, the capital of the Carpas district; therefore on 14th

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